In the Bwlchgwyn of the pre-1960s there was actually a night life! Men walking to and from the pubs and beer houses, people visiting each other. We had street lights, of course, but it still seemed to be very dark. I was too young to go into the pubs, but at night the streets always seemed to be busy, every few minutes I would hear another set of footsteps and I would listen for the high heels and try to guess, by the muffled sound of conversation, who was passing and in which direction. Then at 10.30 the sounds of people going home, “goodnight”, “nos da”, footsteps, chatter, car doors opening and closing then the last few stragglers, and all quiet save for the fox walking along the white line.
The King’s Head deserves to be first on the list because not only is it said to be one of the oldest houses, but it is still open to customers!
This used to be two separate properties, the pub on the left and a cottage on the right. Old Mr Davies, who lived in the cottage, had a lovely vegetable garden (where the car park is now), it even had an air-raid shelter.
There was always a good sing-song at the “West”, which was situated further up the main road, towards the War Memorial. Here is a rare, older, picture of the Westminster Arms.
The Joiner’s Arms was originally a beer house and did not have a spirits licence. This old house was situated at the top of Nebo Hill on the junction with Stryt Maelor. I remember passing it often on the way to the Rec and it was a very small establishment on the edge of the road with at least one cottage attached to it at the far end. One cottage was occupied by Mrs Alice Roberts, a lovely, lovely lady, who used to come down to Brooklyn a buy a Hovis loaf and two slices of ham ‘one for me and one for my cat’.
Here is another old picture showing the Joiner’s Arms, the pictures are dated about 1910, looking carefully at it, I think that Mrs Roberts would have had the slightly smaller cottage at the left. I know that there are villagers who will remember more than I do and I wold welcome more detail.
I have a new photo of the Hwntw and I’ll add it very soon. I remember the Hwntw will simply because, as a very young girl, I would go to the bus stop with my mother, or far walks with my dad, down the path behind The Crest (it has a new name now) on the top of Wesley Road, and onto Ruthin Road, more or less opposite the Hwntw. It had that look of a very old establishment that had seen better days. There’s quite a lot I can add to this page.
This public house faced onto the main road just beyond its junction with Nant Road. The Bwlchgwyn Resident’s Assoc. published a picture of the Hwntw together with a group of drinkers and the landlord in front of the pub. It is likely that they were celebrating a success at the recent Bwlchgwyn eisteddfod.
This is the only picture I have (edit: had – I have a better picture to upload) of the Hwntw and it has been magnified many times to get this result. The Hwntw is the white building in the centre, facing the camera.
Then I looked closely at a picture of my father as a young man, sitting in the garden at Wesley Road, and realised that the building in the distance was the Hwntw Arms.
This pub still stands but not, of course, as a pub. It changed to Brooklyn Stores and then it became a private house. I have a few really good pictures for this so please check the Blog on this site to see when I add them. Some were given to me many years ago and I just never had the opportunity, because of other pressures, to do anything with them.
Situated on the main road, close to the junction with Brymbo Road and Fronheulog Hill, the Red Lion was built in 1866 with a mortgage from Mr Charles Evans of Burton Brewery, Wrexham. The pub sold beer from Soames’ Brewery, Wrexham. Times changed and the Red Lion later became Brooklyn Stores and Garage, as shown opposite. In those days the road level was lower, there was no porch and there were steps up to the door.
I have a recollection that the beer was supplied by Soames Brewery in Wrexham.
Very fond memories for me!
This view shows the Four Crosses with the Old Road to the left and the straight road across the moors to the right. The pub was later renamed “The Moors”.
This was a big moment at the Four Crosses – everyone is standing around a car! Whoever it was who owned the car, the person and the car were both Very Important!
If you look an any modern map you will see this area, in that corner along the top of Glascoed Road, up to the hairpin bend and across to The Drive, described as The Gorse, which always made me think of prickly bushes with bright yellow flowers. Not so. It was originally called Y Gors, meaning a swampy, marshy wasteland. The land, which was originally waste land and marshy (“gors” in Welsh) was cultivated and farmed by Wilkinson of iron fame.
You’re quite right: The Gors, on Glascoed Road, was never a pub or a beerhouse. It was intended to be a pub but it never opened. I think that Soames Brewery was involved in this house, too.
The Mount Pleasant was right on the furthest edge of the village, on Llanarmon Road, close to the bridge and county boundary. I think the building still stands but I have never taken a picture of it.
Dog and Partridge
The Dog and Partridge was the last building on Ruthin Road before the Four Crosses.
The Traveller’s was on Pant Y Ffo / Pant Y For, not an easy place to identify.
Importantly, the streets and roads used to have different names; Pant y For was a small row of cottages and a blacksmith’s almost opposite High View – the tollgate for the turnpike road now known as Ruthin Road.
It seems likely that the road was originally a continuation of Glascoed Road at the same time that the lower part of Ruthin Road (by the King’s Head) and Nebo Hill (to the Joiner’s Arms) was known as Rhos Street.
Technically, the Gegin is in Minera but it is on the Ruthin Road between Coedpoeth and Bwlchgwyn. The level of the main road on that corner has changed so much that passing traffic now looks down on the building whereas, originally, there were steps from the road up to the door and a hitching rail for the horses. Mr Mitchell, who lived in the village (and who was such a gentleman that, when I was about 14, he called me ‘Miss Belton’, not Hilary, because I was a young lady and no longer a child. Bless him.) told my mother about how much the road had changed over the years and that in his younger days he could earn sixpence by helping ladies out of their carriages and onto the steps when they stopped at the Gegin for refreshments.
The Hand was near King’s Head and appears to have closed c1871
Three Jolly Miners
Somewhere in Bwlchgwyn, the only reference I have found to it is in J C Davies’ book “Pubs and Inquests in Coedpoeth, Minera and Bwlchgwyn”