Heritage stone work worth restoring
Mike Clemann’s plans for renovating the British Hotel call for the best, including restoring a significant portion of the stone in the British Hotel.
The British Hotel’s limestone is no ordinary stone. According to Richard Bégin’s book, From Conroy's Inn to the British Hotel: More Than 150 Years of History in Aylmer, “Robert Conroy had the hotel built of stone with walls four feet thick to ensure the intense Canadian cold did not penetrate them.”
The stone used for the then-luxury hotel was the same used for Aylmer’s former courthouse, built in 1852 and later transformed into the City Hall in 1897. “It was from the same quarry. However, the one for the British Hotel was not cut by masons and is rougher as a result,” wrote Bégin.
It is likely the stone used to build the British came from John Egan’s quarry, a source for other Aylmer landmarks of the same era. When Anglicans built Christ Church in the middle of the 19th century, around the same time as the British Hotel, they quarried stone from John Egan’s farm, located where Plaza Glenwood now stands. Mr Egan was Aylmer’s first mayor. He had his stone home built in 1840.