Plans for two blue plaques to salute historic landmarks

PUBLISHED: 12:10 21 January 2019

The family-run Bedford Hotel in Sidmouth.

The family-run Bedford Hotel in Sidmouth.

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Sidmouth could be getting two new blue plaques after plans were submitted to the town council.

One of Sidmouth's current blue plaques at Alma Bridge. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 4258-35-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24One of Sidmouth's current blue plaques at Alma Bridge. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 4258-35-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Sid Valley Association (SVA) has revealed its plans to add two new blue plaques to Sidmouth’s coastline.

This comes after the civic society announced last January its intention to add up to 57 new plaques alongside the 35 currently in place.

One of the chosen sites for the new plaques is the Bedford Hotel on The Esplanade which is being nominated on account of its appearance and history of past residents.

The hotel has been in situ since the 1800s and was originally the reading room and library of London print maker John Wallis. The charity plans to add the sign to the front porch on the south side of the building.

The building quickly became a popular meeting spot in the town and by 1865, it was converted into the Bedford Hotel.

The new plaque will commemorate the origins of the building describing events such as the Great Storm of 1824 which reduced it to a shell as well as detailing the history of the many famous families that have lived there.

The Bedford Hotel currently has a blue plaque in place having been granted permission in 1991 to commemorate original owner John Wallis.

The other proposed location is Number 3 Clifton House on Peak Hill Road. SVA plan to add the plaque to the front south east elevation.

The house has a historical significance having been originally built by the Heffer family in the 1800s where they lived whilst fishing. They kept their fishing boats on the beach below and dried their nets over the low cliff. The house was also partly burnt down after World War II meaning the thatched roof had to be converted into slate as it is today.

Samuel Heffer originally purchased the land for £20 in which he built two houses which are now Clifton House and Connaught House.

The blue plaques will be made from pure aluminium with matt colour graphics applied and will be in an ellipse shape. They will measure 305mm by 480mm and will be identical to the existing signs in Sidmouth.

Sidmouth Town Council Planning Committee will now pass their verdict on the application before the final decision rests with East Devon District Council.

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