Very Early Photographs
Taken from stereoscopic views & CDVs
A very early view, pre 1864, looking from Rock Walk towards Vane Hill, the terrace in the foreground is Palk Street with the single storey “Marine Tavern” Note bottom right is still a small area of foreshore- eventually the Pavilion would be built here on reclaimed land. In the centre is the Strand, Victoria Parade, slightly up the hill is Park Terrace, and, to the right only Park Hill villa is built on the hill (see below)
Taken from a CDV by Way & Sons of 13 Victoria Parade, this picture dates from between 1864 and 1867. The 1864 date is from the date of building of the very top right hand villa on the hill, and the 1867 date is from the date that they started to cut away the rest of Beacon Hill to build the ballroom, the rock removed being used in the construction of Haldon Pier
Again taken from a CDV by Way & Sons, and photographed from a very similar position to the one above, the date being around the same period of 1864 to 1867. This shows the Strand and The Terrace as well as many of the villas built on Lincombe Hill.. Note the lovely gas lamp fitted on the top of the wall. The big house in the centre of the picture is Apsley House (see advert on my 1878 adverts page)
This view can be dated between 1859 and 1867, and shows the harbour looking from Beacon Hill, the terrace of houses on the right is Beacon Terrace. The roadway in the centre of the foreground is leading to Shaws Shipyard and is where Beacon Quay would eventually be built. The hill in the background is Warren Hill, the large terrace, centre left, on the waters edge is Sulyarde Terrace, to the right of this would be built the Torbay Hotel and this would eventually take in Sulyarde Terrace
Again dated from the early 1860s, this view is of the new road that was built around the bottom of the cliff to give easy access to Torquay harbour from Cockington and the growing district of Chelston, in 1858 it was renamed Station Road to commemorate the opening of Torquay Railway Station. The houses on the top of the hill are on Waldon Hill and this is an opposite view to the one above, from Beacon Hill. Today, we have the Terrace gardens at the foot of the cliff and major reclamation on the seaward side. The road today is known as Torbay Road. The building on the extreme left is the end of Abbey Crescent- still standing although much altered and subject to possible redevelopment.
Church of St Mary Magdalene, Upton Parish Church, from a printed stereoview. Date unclear but certainly before 1891. In the background to the right is the original Torbay Hospital, and a house called "Elm Villa". To the left are the houses of Higher Union Street.
A nice early view of the Ladies Bathing Cove, later known as Beacon Cove, date probably between 1866 and 1871, in 1876 Torquay Lifeboat station was erected on the extreme left hand side, after the lifeboat was removed in 1923 this served for many years as a wonderful beach cafe, until it was demolished to make way for the great white elephant known as Coral Island (luckily now only a memory)
A great view taken looking across the inner harbour towards Vane Hill, possibly by Alfred Seaman, probably dated between 1887 and 1902.
Another view possibly by Alfred Seaman, again dated between 1887 and 1902 looking out from Waldon hill over the harbour to Vane Hill (dating source – the jubilee lamp on the Strand erected for Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee can just be made out)
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