Bree & Gawndy are currently cooped up in their luxury apartments at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
It’s set on some of the Coast’s most prized real estate, with panoramic views of the most picturesque part of our neighbourhood, the Crowne Plaza Hotel has long been a beloved Coast icon.
What a hard life the guys have, right?
Today, they’re off to do paddle boarding, then they’re hitting the Lord Ashley Bar for cheese and wine tasting. What. A. Hard. Life.
For those of us left in the office though, we’ve been kept wondering. See, there’s something at Crowne Plaza that just doesn’t quite make sense. So we decided to investigate.
Who was Lord Ashley?
The Lord Ashley Bar and Fireplace. Ever wondered why the best rooms in the hotel have that name?
Here’s the story. Lord Ashley was a real guy. His full name was Anthony Ashley Cooper, and he was the Seventh Earl of Shaftesbury.
He served as a British politician between 1811 and 1851.
So, he lived a long way away from Terrigal. And he lived a long time before the Crowne Plaza was built in the late 1980s.
Obvious question: what’s he got to do with anything???
This is where it gets pretty interesting.
Back in the 1870s, an iron screw steamer routinely travelled from Britain through the Pacific, past Australia and into New Zealand. It was named after Lord Ashely of Shaftsbury.
In 1877, the Lord Ashley steamer made a fateful journey through the trans-Tasman. During its journey, it was twice hit by a passing cyclone. But it survived the weather’s battering.
As it passed the Central Coast, mechanical faults proved its downfall. It sank off the coast of Terrigal.
It’s rumoured that the Crowne Plaza’s Lord Ashley vista now overlooks the spot where the vessel was lost.
Some of its remains survive today, on the seaward side of Terrigal Reef. At least, some Coasties say they’ve seen parts of the anchor marking out the bow, and two cylinder engines. Ghosts of the ship that once sailed.
We'll ask Bree & Gawndy to go diving for some souvenirs. There's got to be a perk in here for all of us!
If any of you out there would love to enjoy a locals getaway deal at the Crowne Plaza Terrigal, check out all the special deals here