A fire in Exeter has nearly destroyed several old buildings, including the oldest hotel in England. The Royal Clarence Hotel was open back in 1769. According to guests, who were evacuated from the building, they saw flames, ash and flying debris.
The fire started on Cathedral Green in Devon early in the morning. Hotel guests were woken up by security and saw orange flames everywhere. The hotel stuff and all guests were evacuated from the building, as well as residents of neighbor buildings. Around 110 firefighters, paramedics and police participated in actions to stop the blaze. A team was sent to the river Exe to enable constant supply of water.
The loss of such a hotel is significant for Exeter. For hundreds of years it was the heart of the city. Cathedral Green was the center of the city during the medieval period. From the 15th to 18th centuries, the business hub of Exeter was also located nearby. All trades and all business deals were made near the cathedral. In the 1700s and 1800s, the meetings of anti-slavery movement took place there. The Royal Clarence Hotel served famous guests like Beatrix Potter, who admired the view from the windows. In the 1930s, the fascists met at the hotel. Later, it became a popular destination and gentleman would rent rooms all year in order to have a presence in Exeter.