King's Head Hotel, Abergavenny
King's Head Hotel, Cross Street
The earliest records of this pub are from 1689. In 1803 the pub’s long room was used by the Abergavenny Loyal Volunteer Infantry. These men volunteered during the Napoleonic Wars to fight off any invasion by the French.
The medieval arch which can still be seen to the left of the frontage, was moved to its present position in 1836. In 1837, the landlord was one of the jurors in the trials of Chartists following the ill-fated protest outside the Westage Hotel in Newport.
According to the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales, the King’s Head Hotel’s interior was remodelled in the early 19th century, when the roof was raised using king-post trusses (these trusses needed no intermediate supports, leaving bigger open spaces underneath the roof). The building’s ground-floor ceiling beams are supported on iron columns, which may denote where there were once partitions.
The pub was host to many of the local societies and organisations through the years, including the King's Head Friendly Society and the Women's Benefit Society – forerunners of our national benefit systems. Until the 1920s, market traders and customers brought their carts and horses to stable the horses behind the pub, to load their carts further down Cross Street – and to drink in the pub.
With thanks to Gill Wakley, of Abergavenny Local History Society
Postcode: NP7 5EU