Former Mostyn Arms Hotel, St Asaph
Former Mostyn Arms Hotel
The St Asaph branch of NatWest Bank occupies the former Mostyn Arms Hotel, built in the 18th century. Horse-drawn carriages would approach the Classical portico on a crescent-shaped road off the High Street.
Before the railway arrived in St Asaph in 1855, the Mostyn Arms Hotel was described as a “family and commercial inn” and “posting house”, run by W Pauling and boasting “Coaches to all part of the Kingdom”. One surviving advertisement stresses the quality of accommodation for horses and vehicles rather than humans: “Excellent stabling and lock-up coach houses.”
The trains did not see off horse-drawn transport altogether. In 1889-90 the hotel’s proprietor, William Humberstone, was still described as a carriage hirer.
In 1837 the St Asaph Union Board of Guardians met at the hotel to establish the town’s Union Workhouse. One of the workhouse’s earliest occupants was Henry Morton Stanley, born in Denbigh to unmarried parents in 1841. Despite the hardship of childhood in the workhouse, he became a journalist, explorer, MP and knight of the realm – celebrated for the quote: “Dr Livingstone, I presume?” His story is told on this sculpture in St Asaph.
In the early 20th century the hotel was a post office, run by a Mr Bond and his 34 postmen, telegraph boys and other staff. His eight children also worked there, sometimes delivering telegrams as far away as Tremeirchion. (A telegram was a message sent by cable and printed at an office near the recipient’s location. The message had to be conveyed by hand over the last leg of its journey.)
After the post office moved elsewhere in 1932, the building was occupied by shops until the NatWest Bank moved in.
Postcode: LL17 0RF