PLANS have been revealed to refurbish the historic Royal Kings Arms Hotel in Lancaster – immortalised by Charles Dickens – to return its former glory.
Last December, London-based Artisan Hotels took over running of the Grade II listed property which they say has been neglected and in need of a upgrade.
Proposals include a new coffee bar, brasserie and restaurant, repainting of the front elevation, erection of a single storey rear extension and a new canopy and decking area, a new reception, and glazed openings and new sliding doors to the entrance lobby.
The work will also include re-painting of the front façade to reinstate it in “historic paint colours” with the addition of gold leaf detail to the stonework which will enhance the appearance of the building.
It is also proposed to remove some timber screens and doors that were added during 1988 alteration works and to improve the proportions of openings, where possible.
A small extension to the rear accommodates an ancillary staff stair (located in the existing barrel drop) to allow efficient running of the hotel and to provide an additional direct means of escape from the basement kitchen.
The roof is proposed to extend as a canopy across the rear elevation, providing a more welcoming and aesthetically pleasing rear entrance to the building from the car park.
A spokesperson for Artisan Hotels said the listed Kings Arms “has been neglected over previous years and the new owners wish to refurbish the hotel and reinstate it as a prestigious destination hotel in Lancaster city centre”.
Originally built in 1625 during the reign of Charles I, and then later rebuilt in 1879, the hotel was mentioned by Charles Dickens in his comic travelogue through northern England in The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices. Dickens stayed at the Kings Arms in 1857 and again in 1862.