Gilmerton House

On Sunday 10th December 1911 a severe gale struck Ventnor. The seas were mountainous, breaking over the pier and washing the sea wall from end to end. Repairs to the landing stage had been underway for some weeks and the contractor suffered severe losses with piles stacked ready for driving washed into the sea, some later striking the pier’s iron columns.

In the town, several buildings were damaged, with local photographers such as Durell, of Pier Street, capturing the aftermath of the gale and its impact on buildings such as Gilmerton Flats, formerly Gilmerton House. Gilmerton House was erected sometime in the 1870s, one of the many lodging houses that had been springing up in Ventnor over the preceding 30 or 40 years. It seems to have been divided into 6 apartments from the outset, the lowest floor allocated to the lodging-house keeper who serviced the apartments (prior to 1881 this was Richard Pearson, and his wife Jane). They re-named it the Edinburgh Hotel, joining it up with Salopia, the property next door. By the time of the 1891 Census, Emma Quadling was running the establishment, the wife of Edwin Quadling, a former engineer who had worked on projects all over the world and had retired to Ventnor for health reasons.

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