Britain’s oldest hotel collapses after fire

Britain’s oldest hotel collapses after fire

A hotel has been destroyed by a huge fire that continues to burn after more than 24 hours.

The front of the Royal Clarence in Exeter, Devon, described as England’s oldest hotel, has partially collapsed due to the blaze which broke out on Friday morning.

The hotel, which dates back to 1769, hosted Hollywood stars ahead of D-day and survived German bombing in 1942 during the blitz.

Guests include Thomas Hardy, Beatrix Potter and Clark Gable.

When the Duke of Kent (father of Queen Victoria) died in 1820, he was taken to the nearby hotel and embalmed in preparation for transportation to his funeral at Windsor.

The fire started at the Castle Fine Art Gallery next door to the hotel before spreading to the property. Firefighters battled to save the hotel for hours. No casualties were reported.

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