Great Eastern Hotel

One of London's famous railway-hotels, it was built close to Liverpool Street Station in 1884, designed by Charles Barry. In 1901 a further building was added, designed by Colonel Robert Edis. Built mainly in red-brick with white stone decoration, the hotel was extensively renovated in 1998 and re-opened under new ornership. The five-star hotel now has 63 bedrooms.

Locals seldom visit the hotels beside the London termini and it may be that you have never been inside the hotel or the large pub on the Bishopsgate side of the building. Here are some lesser-known facts about the hotel which will, hopefully, give you an insight into the way a Victorian railway hotel operated.

Five Secrets About the Hotel

(1) Until the 1980s the Great eastern Hotel was the only hotel within the City of London. There had been a hotel above Cannon Street Station, looking rather like the one at Charing Cross Station. The other two City termini - Holborn Viaduct and Fenchurch Street - never had hotels built onto them. Today the hotel is just one of about 30 within the Square Mile!


(2) Beside the entrance to Liverpool Street Station (from Bishopsgate) there is a large ornate pub, called Hamilton Hall, now operated by Wetherspoon's.

The highly decorated interior was originally the ballroom of the hotel. Its design was copied directly from the Palais Soubise, in Paris, in 1901. The small mezanine floor, in one corner, was once where the orchestra was situated. The pub name is a reminder of Lord Claude Hamilton, once Chairman of the Great Eastern Railway.

(3) Within the hotel building are two Masonic temples. One is seen in the picture. The extravagant design in marble indicates the success of the hotel. It was built on the instructions of Lord Claude Hamilton, Chairman of the Great Eastern Railway.

(4) Beneath the hotel was once an area called 'The Backs', with tracks and sidings serving the hotel. A late-night train brought coal for heating the hotel and it took away the hotel refuse and ashes.

(5) Sea-water was also regularly brought to the hotel to supply the fresh sea-water baths situated within the hotel.


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