County Hotel, 1975


County Hotel, 1975


9 November 1975


Image of County Hotel, taken in November 1975, just prior to its demolition for the major Theatre Royal restoration.

What's the story?

The success of the Theatre Royal following its opening in 1865 had the desired effect of encouraging new businesses to this area of the city. The grandest was the new hotel built to the immediate right of the theatre that served both general visitors to Nottingham, as well as the theatre-folk that performed and worked next door.

Built in 1867 the Clarendon Hotel (later re-named the County Hotel) soon became a prominent Nottingham landmark and the residence for the famous names at the Theatre Royal. Agatha Christie stayed there in October 1952 for the premiere of her new play The Mousetrap. She even held her first night party there for cast and friends.

In 1927 the following listing appeared for the County Hotel in ‘Nottingham: Queen City of the Midlands – An Official Guide’ …

The County Hotel (Nottingham Hotels Limited), Theatre Quadrant, Nottingham.
The above is a first-class Family and Commercial Hotel situated in the centre of the city and convenient to the business quarters and public amusements.
It is fully licensed and bears the appointments of the R.A.C. and A.A.
Having a Grill which leaves nothing to be desired, Rest Room and new Lounge (open to non-residents) and every floor served by an electric lift, it offers to the visitor and resident alike every comfort and convenience of an up-to-date establishment.
Telephone—Hotel Office 4904 ; Visitors 4332.

The County Hotel was demolished in 1975 as part of the big Theatre Royal refurbishment. The space it occupied was now to be used for the venue’s new dressing rooms, stage door, scene dock and admin offices.

This decision to knock this Victorian hotel down was controversial. A very-heated debate in the local press quickly ensued, with campaigners wanting to preserve Nottingham’s Victorian past versus those who wanted to modernise the Theatre Royal.

It is clear that for those who remember it the County Hotel was a significant building for this city. Yet it is hard to find any great detail about life there, its interior or even the local shops that surrounded it. Stories, images and other details from the people who worked there or who stayed in one of its rooms would be most welcome.



Location of item

Lenton Local History Association


Photographer: Roland Leon


Researcher: Margaret Littlehales