Felixstowe Bath Hotel
previously known as Hamilton Hotel
grid reference TM 309 346
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CAMRA Ipswich & East Suffolk branch.
last updated 15/07/2015
Built in 1839 by John Cobbold and originally called the Hamilton Hotel.
Formerly it was known as Hamilton Arms and was renamed to the Bath Hotel in the 1860s. It may also have been at one time the Hamilton temperance Hotel (a time at which it won't have been of great interest to visitors to this site).
Burned down on April 28th, 1914 after incendiary devices were planted by militant Suffragettes. Hilda Birkett and Florence Tunks set fire to the hotel as part of their "Votes for Women" campaign. The hotel was empty at the time, but was completely gutted. Crowds gathered for their trial at Bury Assizes on 29th May, where they both received prison sentences.
Interestingly, at the time of the fire, it was operated by Cobbold's but owned by Tollemache.
The 1904 Woodbridge licensing records show that the Bath's license was issued in 1853. Whether this was when it was first licensed or when it got a full (ie not just beer) license isn't clear, though the latter seems more probable.
Shown here on the 1903 OS map. The pub immediately to the south of the hotel was probably the Bath Tap.
A report in the Ipswich Journal** on 26 June in 1860 states that :
H.S. DOWNING has taken the Bath Hotel, Felixstowe & also thanks the public for his 16 years at the King's Head Hotel, Stowmarket and the 25 years of support, he has received as a valuer & auctioneer. All 3 businesses will be continued.
In 1865 they advertised warm and sea salt baths and billiards. Also listed at Beach Road East (in 1912)
A paperback book published in 1969, called "Inns of the Suffolk Coast" by Leonard P Thompson** contains the following description:
The Bath Hotel, Felixstowe
Built in 1839 by John Chevallier Cobbold as the Hamilton Arms. Bricks used in it's construction came from a Martello tower, which stood close by, and furniture came from across the Orwell, from the White Hart in Harwich. There is a reference to the "Tap" as being a detached wooden building on the beach run by a Mr & Mrs Gee in September, 1854. The Hotel was burnt down by suffragettes at 4.15am on Tuesday 28th April, 1914. From 1882 to 1906, occupied by Mr G. R. Quilter & his spinster sister, who both then moved to the Quilter's Cliff Hotel when it opened in 1906. It was known for many years as "The Quilters
(Most pub, location & historic details collated by Nigel, Tony or Keith - original sources are credited)
(some old PO directory information courtesy of londonpublichouse.com)
(** historic newspaper information from Bob Mitchell)