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English Inn deemed 'historically significant' by Esquimalt

100-plus years old structure, plus former Anne Hathaway replica cottage included

An Esquimalt councillor was surprised to learn recently that a prominent historic residence in the township had not yet been included in the community's heritage register.

At its May 28 meeting, council approved the addition of the English Inn, at 429 Lampson St., to the inventory of historically significant buildings.

"I have to make a confession, because every time I have guests from out of town and I want to show them the community, I've always walked by the English Inn and bragged that this is one of our best, most impressive heritage properties," Coun. Tim Morrison said.

"My point is (the status) is overdue and (the property is) certainly well-deserving of this."

Adding the inn to the community inventory was considered a priority back in 2009, when the register was first created. But before that could happen, a document outlining the historical significance of the inn was required.

According to the statement of significance submitted to Esquimalt council last week, the inn has enormous architectural, social and cultural significance.

It was first built as a private residence in 1909, and up until 1946 was home to a number of prominent families. It was developed into a guest house in 1947 and became known as the Olde England Inn. Today, the boutique hotel sits on 1.8 hectares of land in the Saxe Point neighbourhood.

The statement of significance stresses that two of the six buildings on the property are “particularly worthy of protection:” the English Inn’s manor house, as well as a replica of the childhood cottage home of Anne Hathaway, William Shakespeare’s wife.