Then & Now

Abbey Hotel – Then & Now

The Abbey Hotel then & now

This image of the old Abbey Hotel wall was provided to KHAS from the collection of the late Reg Palmer. It shows the Abbey Hotel in the late 1980s or early 1990s, now converted to flats.

Betty Sunley wrote in Kenilworth History 2006 / 2007 of the hotel’s predecessor, based on information from Robin Leach’s Victorian Kenilworth and its People (Rookfield Publications, 2006): “The Bowling Green Inn formerly stood on the top of the Abbey Hill at Kenilworth on the site now occupied by the more imposing modern structure of the Abbey Hotel. In its day it had a local reputation and a very large patronage. The name was derived from the large bowling green to the side of the house, and it was this that drew its visitors from far and near”. More details can, of course, be found in Robin’s book.

Part of the old Bowling Green Inn structure was demolished to drive Priory Road through in 1884, with the consent of the land owner The Earl Clarendon. Betty goes on to record the demise of the remaining part of the Bowling Green Hotel in favour of the present structure: “On the 2nd of October 1884 the Bowling Green Inn premises were sold at auction. Within three months, Thomas Bernard Cooper, the new owner, had submitted plans for a new hotel which included the removal of the existing inn. These were passed and the new hotel was built by Horton and Redfern who then became the new owners. The new Bowling Green Hotel opened in November 1886. The name was later changed to Abbey Hotel”.

Norman Stevens has supplied some details from the Michelin Guide of 1913, which includes prices for breakfast at 2/6, lunch at 2/6, dinner at 4/- and a chauffeur at 7/-,amongst other amenities:

The Michelin Guide of 1913

KHAS Newsletter 30  from October 1968 included a snippet provided by Helen Steward, showing accomodation costs at the Abbey Hotel in the 1920s:

Cost of Overnight Accommodation from AA Handbook 1925:

At “The Abbey Hotel” – 3 star hotel.
Single Room 6/- to 6/6
Double Room 12/- to 15/-
Breakfast 3/6
Lunch 3/6
Tea 1/6
Dinner 5/6

From RAC Handbook 1928:

Abbey Hotel
Single Room 6/6
Breakfast 3/6
Lunch 3/6
Dinner 5/6
Chauffeurs or Servants 10/6

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