Excellent point. George Newnes, one of the architects of making Lynton and Lynmouth the tourist haven of North Devon in Victorian times, was a successful publisher whose claim to fame was primarily for getting Arthur Conan Doyle’s works out to the public via his monthly illustrated periodical The Strand. He came to the area following the request from a friend and entrepreneur Thomas Hewitt who wanted some investment in the area, which Newnes gladly gave.
For some time, there had been complaints that the town lacked the quality of public building needed to hold meetings, and it was decided by the villagers to erect a proper town hall as a way to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. This proved to be far too ambitious financially, until George Newnes stepped in with the cash to build such a fine monument to the Queen.
The Town Hall took two years to build and cost the princely sum of £20,000 and on 15th August 1900, George Newnes officially opened the building, an unusual grand mixture of mock-Gothic, neo-Tudor and art nouveau design. It still holds a prominent position in the town and hosts town council meetings, line dancing and jive classes, a second hand bookshop and weddings (more details here), to name just a few.
|St Vincent owners Emma and Mike's wedding July 2016|