'Totnes, High Street and Seven Stars Hotel', c 1880.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A photographic view published by Francis Bedford & Co. The hotel, originally a coaching inn, once had a large open courtyard which was enclosed in the 1840s. It is thought to have become 'Royal' after a visit in 1877 from Albert (1864-1892) and George (1865-1936), sons of Edward VII, who were attending the Royal Navy Cadet School at Dartmouth. Bedford (1816-1894) was a prolific and well-respected photographer, best known for his numerous topographic and architectural views of Britain. In 1857 Bedford became a member of the Photographic Society and in 1862 he accompanied the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII (1841-1910), as official photographer on a tour of the Middle East. He was asisted by his son, William (1846-1893) whose work is almost indistinguishable from that of his father.