Facade of fire damaged Phoenix gets an ‘all things bright and beautiful’ make over whilst debate over long term future goes on

PUBLISHED: 15:57 01 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:57 01 October 2019

Historic former Phoenix Hotel in Wisbech has had a  £6,000 facelift nine years after devastating blaze. Picture (right) : MATTHEW USHER and today (left) KIM TAYLOR

Historic former Phoenix Hotel in Wisbech has had a £6,000 facelift nine years after devastating blaze. Picture (right) : MATTHEW USHER and today (left) KIM TAYLOR

Archant

Behind its gleaming exterior lies a hotel in ruins –destroyed by fire nine years ago.

Facade of the fire gutted Phoenix in Wisbech has been given a face lift. Picture; KIM TAYLORFacade of the fire gutted Phoenix in Wisbech has been given a face lift. Picture; KIM TAYLOR

But the façade is an altogether different story, given a facelift to allow it once more to dominant the street scene in part of Wisbech.

Whilst lawyers and council officials continue their behind the scenes wrangle, the front, at least, of the former Phoenix Hotel on the North Brink has been given a make-over.

Thanks to £6,000 provided by Wisbech Society and Fenland Council together with skilled workmanship a little bit of civic pride has been restored.

Paul Eden, from Wisbech Society, said: "The property's owner disappeared soon after the 2010 fire and all efforts to trace them have failed.

Historic former Phoenix Hotel in Wisbech to have £6,000 facelift nine years after devastating blaze. Picture: MATTHEW USHERHistoric former Phoenix Hotel in Wisbech to have £6,000 facelift nine years after devastating blaze. Picture: MATTHEW USHER

"A key part of the nationally important Georgian terrace that comprises North Brink, the façade is supported by a steel structure.

"False windows and doors were erected to disguise the derelict wall that remained.

"Unfortunately, these soon fell into disrepair and, more recently, deteriorated to the point where 'windows' were falling out, greatly detracting from North Brink's famous architectural beauty."

The society decided, however, that whilst a long-term solution is sought, the façade would benefit from what he termed "sprucing up".

Historic former Phoenix Hotel in Wisbech to have £6,000 facelift nine years after devastating blaze. Picture: WISBECH SOCIETYHistoric former Phoenix Hotel in Wisbech to have £6,000 facelift nine years after devastating blaze. Picture: WISBECH SOCIETY

The restoration work was completed by Tawn Decorators

In 1835, when it was known as The Old White Hart Inn, it was one of two coaching inns in the town from where daily services ran to London.

Princess Victoria, who was travelling with her mother the Duchess of Kent from Burghley House to Holkham Hall, changed horses at the inn.

The landlord even had 'patronized by royalty' painted on the arch over the coach entrance.

Historic former Phoenix Hotel in Wisbech to have £6,000 facelift nine years after devastating blaze. Picture: MATTHEW USHERHistoric former Phoenix Hotel in Wisbech to have £6,000 facelift nine years after devastating blaze. Picture: MATTHEW USHER

Historic former Phoenix Hotel in Wisbech to have £6,000 facelift nine years after devastating blaze. Picture: MATTHEW USHERHistoric former Phoenix Hotel in Wisbech to have £6,000 facelift nine years after devastating blaze. Picture: MATTHEW USHER

Historic former Phoenix Hotel in Wisbech to have £6,000 facelift nine years after devastating blaze. Picture: MATTHEW USHERHistoric former Phoenix Hotel in Wisbech to have £6,000 facelift nine years after devastating blaze. Picture: MATTHEW USHER

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