Page last updated at 14:30 GMT, Friday, 28 November 2008

'Wonderland' hotel is demolished

Penmorfa site
A pile of rubble marks the spot where the Penmorfa used to stand.

A former hotel building in Llandudno, said to have links to author Lewis Carroll, has been demolished.

Campaigners had fought to save the Penmorfa because it was the second home of Alice Liddell, the girl said to have inspired the Alice in Wonderland tales.

John Lawson-Reay from the Llandudno Seaside Buildings Preservation Trust said he was "devastated".

Building owners Anwyl Construction plan to echo the old building's style in a luxury apartment development.

The Liddell family kept the Penmorfa until 1873, and later it was turned into the 37-bed Gogarth Abbey Hotel.

In March this year supporters said TV's Griff Rhys Jones, Carol Vorderman and author Jacqueline Wilson had pledged their support to save the building.

People don't appreciate things until they're gone
John Lawson-Reay, Llandudno Seaside Buildings Preservation Trust

Cadw, the the historic monuments' agency, said however that it found no evidence that Lewis Carroll, the pseudonym used by the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson to write the Wonderland tales, ever visited the house.

All that now remains on the site is a pile of rubble.

"I'm devastated that it's gone as a great deal of effort had gone into trying to save it," said Mr Lawson-Reay.

"We had also received a great deal of public support with a public meeting where 200 people attended."

Mr Lawson-Reay said he felt the local council had "surrendered our heritage" by granting planning permission for the site to be used for a luxury flat development.

Alice Liddell
Alice Liddell spent holidays at the house in Llandudno for nine years

"People don't appreciate things until they're gone.

"This was part of the tourist attraction of the town," he added.

Earlier this year Anwyl Construction got specialist consultants to carry out a full viability study into restoring the original 1870s building but found it to be unrealistic.

Work would begin on the new apartments "later on next year, subject to market conditions", said a spokesman.

The Penmorfa as it was before demolition.

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