Torquay Harbour and Beacon c. 1848
image depicts the Harbour at Torquay from a position in Rock Walk above where
the Torbay Hotel, built in the 1850s, now stands. The viewpoint can still be
found, although trees have grown up to obscure the view.
The River Flete originally discharged into the sea at the beach in the foreground, at Cary Green. This area was filled in and eventually reclaimed over a period of time over the 1870s to 1880s: The Pavilion was later built on the reclaimed land.
The lovely rocky promontory beyond Beacon Quay on which the Beacon stood was Beacon Hill. The buildings at its base are those of Shaw’s shipyard. The main part of this headland was, rather sadly, blown apart in the 1850s to build the Marine Spa and to provide stone for the new wall of the outer harbour, now known as Haldon Pier. A handful of artist’s images exist; as usual all contradict each other . The Marine Spa was, in turn, taken down in the 1970s after a horrific fatal accident befell a young boy swimming in the pool.
Victoria Parade and Beacon Terrace were already well developed; again existing artist’s images contradict, and I have reconstructed Victoria Parade here as best possible using the most likely and interesting information.
The Queen’s Hotel, previously the Hearder Family Hotel, built in 1828, can be seen beyond Vaughan Parade, itself completed around 1832. Park Hill Road is yet to be built.
The Road to Meadfoot can be seen in the distance, winding its way over the hill to the left of the picture.
This spot appears to have been a favourite artist’s viewpoint and several images exist, generally not containing the same information. I have endeavoured here to pull together the most likely details from all of them.
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