The story of Bristol’s Royal Hotel really begins in 1863 when a 30-year-old local estate agent names Walter Hughes decided there was need for a “first class hotel” on an attractive site “away from the congestion of the old city streets”. A prospectus issued by the College Green Hotel Company offered £10 shares. A row of 17th and 18th-century houses between Trinity Street and the ancient church of St. Augustine the Less were acquired and demolished with work starting on the hotel in 1865. The young architect was WilIiam Henry Hawtin, married to Walter Hughes’ sister, who also went on to build houses in Cotham, Redland and Clifton in the 1870s. (Thanks to the hotel web site for this shameless copy and paste).