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Poetry Landmarks

Hydro Hotel, Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire


(Associated Place)


nominated by: Richard Price

This is a hotel that no longer exists, a ghost landmark. My father stayed in the hotel in the 1960s on a speculative visit to Scotland, before I was born. My brothers and I would later play in its ruins. It was once one of the most luxurious hotels in the British Isles, one of the attractions that made royalty consider Kilmacolm to be a summer residence until Balmoral pipped it at the post. It was used as a war hospital in both wars. Dynamite had difficulty in demolishing it completely as it was finally given up for good at the end of the 1960s, and the remaining tower was only finally destroyed some years later. Kilmacolm is still worth visiting for its leafy walks and braes, and for imagining the ghosts of the Hydro Hotel. I've written a number of short stories and poems about it, so if the site isn't haunted (it's a private housing estate, now), then I certainly still am.

Contact Information

Coming in from the Bridge of Weir end of Kilmacolm, turn right at the main crossroads and head up the hill to where the tower of the Hydro Hotel used to command the village



Poetry Society 2003
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