John Tapley Harvey and William Harvey built Hesketh Crescent, which was commissioned in 1846. The Crescent is based on the Regency ideals of London and Brighton. The building originally had 47 windows on the first and second floors. The two side houses and the central house had more ornamentation.
At first named Meadfoot Crescent, it later became Hesketh Crescent after the birth of the first to son to Maria Palk, daughter of Lord and Lady Hesketh and wife of Lawrence Palk.
Robert Palk bought much of this part of Torquay on his return from India, but it was his son, Lawrence who inherited the estates who became the town’s first speculative developer. He started selling plots on 99 year leases to the wealthy. So affluent were these new owners that not one building was erected without its own stables and coach house.
Like Hesketh Crescent much of the surrounding area has listed buildings to prove its heritage. Hesketh Crescent is seen as an example of location and architecture at its very best. It is surely difficult to find anywhere in England that can now match this for location views and privacy.
In the past 150 years very little has changed to the aspect of this building and the grounds. The buildings have naturally changed use over the years. At the turn of the century many of the “professional people”, lawyers, doctors and the gentry occupied these private houses. Now far too large for most people to sensibly maintain and occupy the Crescent has seen three of the buildings split into private apartments, the remainder is occupied by the prestigious Osborne Hotel and the classic Hesketh timeshare.