Opposite Crewe Station is one of the city’s most historic buildings – one of the country’s first railway hotels and one that was frequented by royalty.
The Crewe Arms Hotel is one of many current reminders of the town’s railway heritage, a reminder of when the area was dominated by the Works and its employees.
The year 1880 is displayed on the front of the hotel, when it was substantially rebuilt, but other documents show it was first erected in the 1830s.
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It is believed to have been built in 1837 as a station hotel for the Grand Junction Railroad as part of the company’s transformation of the rural area into the primitive form of the town we know today.
The hotel, whose doors opened directly onto the platform, remained the property of the railways until 1969, when it was sold to Embassy Hotels.
But during the time it belonged to the railways, it quickly became a popular visiting point for travelers as the city quickly became one of the most important railway hubs in the country.
The most famous of these was Queen Victoria, who regularly stopped at the hotel on her trips to Balmoral.
In order to protect it from bad weather and public attention, a secret tunnel was built connecting the station and the hotel.
The tunnel has since been blocked off but, according to the Crewe Arms website, the fireplace in the drawing room keeps the memory of Queen Victoria alive.
But she wasn’t the only well-known personality to have stayed at the hotel over the past 142 years.
Sports stars have visited, including boxing champion Sir Henry Cooper alongside footballers Nicky Maynard, Geoff Thomas, David Platt and Rob Jones.
French singer Sacha Distel also visited as well as names in music like Bruce Foxton, bassist of The Jam, Stiff Little Fingers and tribute bands such as State Of Quo.
Although it wasn’t just the living who walked the floor, as the building was said to have been haunted for years by the ghost of Gray Lady.
Staff and guests have long reported sightings of the Gray Lady, with footage of a possible appearance sent to Cheshire Live just a few years ago.
The guest who recorded the footage said at the time: “I have no idea what it was.
“I was definitely scared! The bar was completely empty, but I thought maybe my colleague was playing a prank – turns out he was upstairs putting away his bags .
“I don’t think it’s an evil presence, I think maybe they were trying to tell us it was there.
“I still have no explanation for this, and after speaking with the staff and them telling me about the Gray Lady, it really scares me to watch the video again.”
Once purchased by Embassy Hotels in 1969, the hotel ‘very successfully’ transformed into a ‘bustling cocktail bar’, as well as a first-floor ballroom that has hosted many events and guests .
But the latter has been replaced by rooms as part of a £250,000 investment in the building. conducted by Embassy in the early 1980s.
It changed hands from Embassy Hotels to Jarvis Hotels before becoming privately owned with restaurant entrepreneur Grant Moon.
Under Moon’s ownership, it has undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment – rooms have been increased to 61 with public areas, Sophia’s restaurant and seven conference rooms have all been brought up to standard.
It will continue to change hands until it ends up with current owner Best Western, which has more than 250 hotels in Britain.
Since taking over the business, the rooms and common areas have been refurbished, alongside the creation of the bar and restaurant @1650.
The hotel was closed to the public around October last year and remains so to this day.