A hole in Exeter’s heart

Media coverage of the fire that destroyed a large and historically important part of a central Exeter block was widespread. The Royal Clarence Hotel was all but destroyed by the fire that raged through several properties and took an enormous fire team days to control. The Clarence is thought to be the first hotel in the country; it and adjacent buildings were Listed and included much fabric of historic value, including mediaeval parts. Local press coverage was continuous, with more information here, and here. The BBC includes devastating images of the fire and loss here. Investigations are ongoing but much of what was left standing had to be demolished for safety. We saw for ourselves for the first time today what little was left. The backdrop to Cathedral Green has been changed significantly; what it’s new face will be will take some time to form, after much sifting through the ashes.