Former Upper Lion Inn, Talgarth

PWMP logobutton_lang_welshFormer Upper Lion Inn, Talgarth

The building on your right as you descend Brook Lane was the Upper Lion Inn, once home to two brothers who died in the First World War (see below). It’s now a private house – please respect the occupants’ privacy.

The inn hosted property auctions by 1809 and livestock auctions by 1917. In 1828 farmers and landowners met here to form the local Fund for the Prosecution of Felons, to offer rewards for information on livestock thieves.

In 1859 a pony mare, stolen from Ystradfellte, was discovered at the inn’s stables. The thief, Howell Powell, had offered to sell her to the Upper Lion’s landlord, James Walker, who became suspicious.

By 1901 the Upper Lion was kept by timber haulier and publican David Roberts and his wife Annie. Their sons William Arthur and Reginald Charles lived with them at the inn. In April 1901 Usk magistrates ordered David to pay a shilling per week towards the upkeep of his parents, who received five shillings weekly from the Pontypool Board of Guardians (mostly reimbursed by David’s four brothers).

William was born in Usk in 1882. He joined the South Wales Borderers and went to India in 1914. He died in the Middle East on 25 March 1918, aged 26. He is buried in Baghdad.

Two months later, on 22 May, Reginald (born in Talgarth in 1886) was killed in action while serving with the Monmouthshire Regiment. He is buried in Hazebrouck, France.

The police pressed for the Upper Lion’s closure in 1914, arguing that it was not required and inconvenient for police supervision. The licensee, Mrs Griffiths, said the inn was busy on fair days. It had stables for 30 ponies and pens for 1,000 sheep. Magistrates allowed the inn to trade for another year, on condition the license transferred to Mrs Griffiths’ husband Rhys because it was unsatisfactory that “a husband should live on the premises and have no control”.

Among the building’s later occupants was the George Dear Pottery, in the 1970s and 1980s.

Postcode: LD3 0BN    View Location Map

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