Blue Plaque unveiled at Weston-super-Mare’s oldest landmark building

It's the seaside resort's last surviving thatched house
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An English Heritage Blue Plaque has been unveiled at The Old Thatched Cottage restaurant in Weston-super-Mare, which is the oldest building in the resort.

The blue plaque scheme celebrates links between notable figures of the past and the buildings in which they lived and worked.

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Built in 1791, the Old Thatched Cottage is Weston's sole surviving thatched house and was built as a holiday home for Reverend William Leeves, soldier and musician/composer.

The Grade II-listed building on the seafront has been owned and operated by the Michael family, since it was purchased by Axentis Michael in 1959.

The Blue Plaque was officially unveiled by Weston’s Deputy Mayor, Councillor John Crockford-Hawley, who said: “I would like to thank the Michael family for continuing to invest in Weston-super-Mare for more than 60 years.

“The family is passionate about the town and is playing a pivotal role in its regeneration.”

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Historian Graham Birrell, who the family commissioned to delve into the history of the cottage, also attended the unveiling and said revelations relating to the history of the cottage were far beyond his expectations.

He said: “This is an incredible landmark in the town, having been home to some inspirational people of the past as well as surviving several fires and storms.

“Reconnecting with history and heritage is so important and this Blue Plaque recognises the importance of the Old Thatched Cottage to the history of Weston-super-Mare.”

Andie Jeffries, daughter of restaurant owner Maria Michael, spearheaded the application for and subsequent installation of the plaque.

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Andie said: “The installation of the plaque not only ensures that the cottage and restaurant remain firmly on the map but will hopefully encourage more visitors to the town as part of the English Heritage Blue Plaque trail.

“We are thrilled and immensely proud to be guardians of such an important building and can’t wait to share its history with future visitors.

“I would like to thank Councillor Crockford-Hawley and Weston Civic Society for their staunch support in getting the Blue Plaque application approved by English Heritage.”

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