The Castle Hotel
The Castle Hotel, High Street, Conwy
The Castle Hotel combines elements of two earlier hostelries, The King’s Head and The Castle. The King’s Head, built in the 15th or 16th century, is to the left of the arch which leads to the hotel car park.
The Castle Hotel was rebuilt or improved many times. Skulls and other human bones were found in the rear yard during building works. The land used to be part of Aberconwy Abbey.
Pevsner’s guide to The Buildings of Wales: Gwynedd describes today’s frontage as being of neo-Jacobean style, designed by Douglas and Fordham in 1885.
Past guests include the 18th-century author and lexicographer Samuel Johnson, Victorian poet Charlotte Brontë and the poet William Wordsworth, whose visit to Conwy inspired his poem We Are Seven – see the grave in St Mary’s Churchyard. In 1848 the engineers George and Robert Stephenson were guests of honour at a banquet to celebrate completion of the tubular railway bridgeat Conwy, still in use today
For most of the 20th century the hotel was owned by large chains, but in 2000 it was bought by members of two North Wales families. One of them was Graham Tinsley MBE, the hotel’s chef director. He was one of the founders of the Welsh Culinary Team in 1993, and became team manager 10 years later. Soon afterwards, the Welsh Culinary Team attained seventh place in the world rankings of the World Association of Cooks’ Societies.
There have been tales of ghosts at the hotel. One concerns a hotel chambermaid who, shortly before her death, asked to be buried on her native Anglesey. She was buried in the churchyard behind the hotel, perhaps because of infectious disease at the time, and it’s said that various supernatural happenings occurred until her body was exhumed and reburied near her home. Past guests have reported feeling the weight of a cat on their beds, although no such animal was there.
Postcode: LL32 8DB View Location MapWebsite of the Castle Hotel