Soldiers Point Hotel, also known as the ‘Old Castle’ building, was built in 1848 as the residence of the Engineer in charge of the Government-sponsored alterations to Holyhead harbour being carried out as part of improvements to the mail route from London to Dublin. John Hawkshaw succeeded James Meadows Rendel in this post when the latter died in 1856.
The grounds of this two-storey castellated Victorian mansion are bounded by curtain walls with ‘folly’ towers — one of which, looking out onto the harbour, functioned as a pillbox during the Second World War.
Over the years, the house has been used as a private residence as well as as a hotel, and has been derelict for a number of years. In September 2011 the property was gutted by a fire; at the time it had apparently been occupied by homeless people.
The house is owned by Conygar Stena — a partnership between Stena Line and the Conygar Investment Company — and features in their ambitious waterfront regeneration plans for the town. In the proposals, which were unveiled in 2010, the house would be renovated as a new, larger home for Holyhead’s Maritime Museum.