Photographs I've gleaned from flea markets, junk shops and sometimes ebay. The cheaper the better. Anything with a story that can be extracted from hand written notes, location research, local histories, census records......anything. A small band of fellow enthusiasts worldwide have helped me with many of these. Of course there are always mysteries that defy research, but there's even a story inside these. All images can be viewed at super-size on Flickr.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Paignton, Devon. 1890s.

Paington, Devon

This photo nearly drove me mad. I just couldn't figure out where this beach and fanciful mock-moghul fortress were located. I placed it on a forum where I received the most outlandish advice. Several Russians were absolutely convinced that it was a long-demolished former Tsarist summer palace. Others were dismissively adamant that it was somewhere in British India. Then someone did a proper search of Indo-Saracenic follies in England and found it in Devon. It is now the Redcliffe Hotel and was originally built in 1856 as a home for Colonel Robert Smith, formerly of the Royal Bengal Engineers. Returning to the flea market where I found it I dug out three more photos of Paignton (see below) from the same album, which would have saved me a lot of bother.

Paington, Devon

Pier. Paington, Devon

Esplanade Road, Paington, Devon.

The building on the right is now the Park Hotel. They were pleased to add a copy of this to their archive.


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