MEMORY LANE: End of an era for iconic Buxton hotel

Buxton Advertiser archive, demolition of the giant Spa Hotel, Buxton
Buxton Advertiser archive, demolition of the giant Spa Hotel, Buxton
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These forlorn images of a Buxton landmark reduced to rubble marked the end of an era for a Victorian building which once laid claim to being the town’s best-known hydropathic establishment.

The Spa Hotel was demolished in 1973, but in its heyday as the Buxton Hydro the iconic building was home to one of the largest hydropathic establishments in the region.

Buxton Advertiser archive, the vast Spa Hotel (formerly the Hydro) before its demolition in the early 1970s

Buxton Advertiser archive, the vast Spa Hotel (formerly the Hydro) before its demolition in the early 1970s

During the late 19th and early 20th century, the Hydro flourished as a popular destination for wealthy visitors wanting to enjoy the year-round entertainment which the spa town and its facilities had to offer.

As well as its treatments, the Hydro became renowned for its large gatherings and parties - in 1924 there were reports that around 500 guests sat down to Christmas dinner, with an additional 700 having to be turned away.

Changing times eventually saw guest numbers start to dwindle, marking the start of the building’s slow demise.

After being used as a Canadian hospital during the First World War, and subsequently the head office of Norwich Union, attempts were made to reinvent it as a hotel, but when these failed an other use could be found for it, the building was demolished in 1973.

Buxton Advertiser archive, demolition of the giant Spa Hotel, Buxton

Buxton Advertiser archive, demolition of the giant Spa Hotel, Buxton

A book charting the rise and fall of the Buxton Hydro between 1866 and 1974 was published in 2007 by Peter Lomas, the third cousin of HRP Lomas who ran the Buxton Hydro for 58 years. For more information, visit www.buxtonhydro.info.

Buxton Advertiser Archive, 1920s, a group taken on the forecourt of the Spa Hotel

Buxton Advertiser Archive, 1920s, a group taken on the forecourt of the Spa Hotel