A journey through the history of the North Euston

North Euston, pictured in February 1957
North Euston, pictured in February 1957
1
Have your say

It’s often been described as the jewel in Fleetwood’s crown.

And the North Euston Hotel celebrates its 175th anniversary next week, with a whole host of events.

Officers at ease outside the North Euston, in 1861

Officers at ease outside the North Euston, in 1861

We take a look back at the incredible history of a hotel which was built to act as an overnight stop for weary travellers making their way to Scotland.

The fine semi-circular building, which overlooks both Morecambe Bay and the River Wyre Estuary, was built at a cost of nearly £30,000.

Work began in 1839 and was completed in 1841.

The hotel was commissioned and paid for by Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood and designed by architect Decimus Burton.

The North Euston Hotel as an army officers mess in 1861. Reproduced by courtesy of the National Army Museum

The North Euston Hotel as an army officers mess in 1861. Reproduced by courtesy of the National Army Museum

It was built to serve overnight guests making the rail journey from London Euston, to a point close to the departure of the steamers to Scotland.

Travellers would have to alight at Fleetwood and take the sea ferry to Ardrossan and then travel by rail to Glasgow – as it was not possible to put a railway over the Shap Hills. There was no direct rail route from London to Scotland along the west coast.

Fleetwood was at that time, the most northern station, hence the name North Euston.

It was a journey made by Queen Victoria in 1847, when she visited the hotel.

1986
 The North Euston, seen here from the Euston Park, which contains a number of seafaring relics, including an old sailing ship anchor recovered from Morecambe Bay

1986 The North Euston, seen here from the Euston Park, which contains a number of seafaring relics, including an old sailing ship anchor recovered from Morecambe Bay

The original building extended over the land where the Magistrates Court is now and that was the main entrance.

When it first opened, it was only for the wealthy – a sitting room cost 3s 4d (16.5p) a day, and a bedroom was 2s 3d or 4s 0d (11p or 20p).

Behind the hotel, Sir Peter had bath houses built. Water in the town centre came from wells, pumps or water butts and Sir Peter thought the townspeople would appreciate the baths. In the event, they were little used and demolished before 1900.

The first manager of the hotel was a Corsican named Xenon Vantini, who had been a courier for Napoleon. He had previously managed the Victoria Hotel, in London.

Only 18 years after it had opened with such high hopes, the North Euston closed its doors as an hotel, suffering from a lack of visitors and in 1859, it was sold to the Government.

The North Euston became Euston Barracks, to be turned into a school of musketry for officers. Hutments and barracks were erected and Fleetwood began a new life as a garrison town.

It was converted in 1867 into officers’ quarters, which was how it remained until the army left Fleetwood.

Then the North Euston stood empty and derelict. Not until 1900 was it to shine again.

In the 1890s, a group of London businessmen bought the property and converted it back into a hotel, adding a second floor of bedrooms and making the building into the size it is today.

Rooms at that time cost 21 shillings for a weekend.

Last century, the hotel was owned by various people – including Scottish and Newcastle Brewers, a group of Arab businessmen, then two local families in 1980, Mr and Mrs Johns and Mr and Mrs Cowpe, who sold it to The Elizabeth Hotel Group.

In 2009 the Spearman family from St Annes bought the hotel – declaring their dedication to bringing the hotel facilities up-to-date without disturbing the charm of the stunning building.

The hotel currently consists of 53 bedrooms, including three suites, restaurant, public bar and four function or meeting rooms (including a magnificent ballroom, which hosts regular tea dances.)

• To find out more about the hotel or events, visit www.northeustonhotel.com