17th September 2020

Sidmouth's Blue Plaques

Discover Sidmouth’s fascinating history through its Blue Plaques.

Created by Britain’s oldest Civic Society, The Sid Vale Association was founded in 1846. The Association raises awareness of the town’s history, as well as promoting and maintaining Sidmouth and its surrounding area.

The Blue Plaque initiative was launched in 1992 and there are now 64 Blue Plaques indicating the interesting history and heritage of the Regency seaside town.

The Victoria Hotel was honoured to be awarded a Blue Plaque this year, joining our sister hotel The Belmont, Jacob’s Ladder, Connaught Gardens and many other historical sites. Each plaque depicts Sidmouth’s rich past with stories of royalty, rogues, colourful residents, fashionable architecture, innovations and more.

Following the Blue Plaques around the town provides a unique way to discover the history of Sidmouth and a wonderful day out. Some highlights include the following;

  • Plaque 33 Hylton - a late Victorian house, visited by author and artist Beatrix Potter and her family in 1908
  • Plaque 52 Royal York Hotel - Sidmouth’s first purposebuilt hotel, where poet Rupert Brooke stayed and wrote a love poem
  • Plaque 2 Aurora - Summer residence of JRR Tolkien, who wrote part of Lord of the Rings here and is also said to have stayed at The Belmont (Plaque 6)
  • Plaque 45 Norman Lockyer Observatory - Founded in 1913 by Sir Norman Locker, Professor of Astronomical Physics in London and founding editor of Nature, one of the most recognizable scientific journals in the world
  • Plaque 51 Royal Glen Hotel - A fine late 18th-century Gothic villa which was rented during the Christmas of 1819 by the Duke of Kent, the Duchess and their baby daughter Victoria, the future Queen of England. Tragically, the Duke died of pneumonia a month after they arrived

'A Guide to the Blue Plaques, A Life and Times in Sidmouth' can be purchased via Devon Museums.