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The Burlington Hotel

The impressive bulk of the old Burlington Hotel was a landmark  on Dover’s Seafront until the Second World War.  Built in the  1860s on the site of a building called Clarence House, the hotel  faced the sea across Clarence Lawn. Originally to be called the Clarence Hotel it took over three  years to build, but in June, 1865, the flag which marked the  completion of the tower was hoisted in the presence of a party  of guests.  The original company got into financial difficulties  and had to sell before the hotel was completed. It was  renamed the Imperial Hotel in 1867 when the lease changed  hands. It reached five storeys high and boasted 240 rooms but  only 200 were completed when it opened on September 13th,  1867. It cost £75,000 to build and £25,000 to furnish.    Unfortunately, the hotel was not always full and never really a  viable proposition, it closed in 1871 unable to meet the  mortgage charges. Closed till 1897 when it was purchased by  the Frederick Hotels Company.  Following extensive alterations  it reopened on July 24th, 1897 as the Burlington Hotel.     During the First World War its ballroom was the scene of many  Naval and Military dances. The late Mr. Arthur Burr, the Kent  Coal financier, for several years had a flat at the hotel for use  during his visits to East Kent during the works of exploration  and boring for coal at the beginning of the century. On September 30th, 1924, the owners, Frederick Hotels, closed  down and opted instead to invest in the Lord Warden Hotel,  purchased from the Gordon Hotel Company, which was better  situated to cater for cross channel passengers. For over a year between 1927 and 1929, the building was used  as the head-quarters of the Southlands Training College for  Woman Students, whilst their permanent quarters near London  were being rebuilt.  In 1931 it was taken over by a London  investor, who spent a considerable sum in improvements  converting it into flats known as Burlington Mansions.   At the outbreak of the Second World War more than a 150  people were resident there, but this number quickly dwindled  in succeeding months, and part of the premises were taken  over by the Naval Authorities. The building suffered its first  wartime damage in October, 1940, when a shell struck the  huge water tank on the roof, sending thousands of gallons of  water flooding the floors below. About sixteen people were  actually living in the flats at the time, and though all escaped  injury, considerable damage was done to the building by the  water. Soon after the first shell damage the Naval Authorities moved  to the Lord Warden Hotel, but several families remained while  temporary repairs were carried out with a view to opening the  ballroom and adjoining room as an Officers' Club. Then, in  September, 1941 about a week before the club was due to be  opened a the building was hit by five high explosive bombs and  three people were killed.  Shortly after this part of the building  was demolished using dynamite as it was in such an unstable  condition.  The remains of the building were finally demolished  in 1949 
Burlington Hotel c.1900.  The road leading off into the distance on the left is Liverpool Street.  The hotel frontage and buildings fronting Liverpool Street beyond stand where the Gateway Flats now stand. Burlington Hotel.  The hotel's lounge, 1897. Burlington Hotel c.1897.  Seen from the Promenade Pier. Burlington Hotel c.1900.  Seen across Clarence Lawn. The memorial to Captain Matthew Webb, the first man to swim the Channel, can be seen in the foreground. View from the Burlington Hotel c.1900.  The view across Clarence Lawn to the Promenade Pier. Burlington Hotel c.1945.  The war damaged ruins of the former hotel, prior to demolition.