Six Roman coins, in excellent condition, were found in the grounds of Rhos Fynach, now a pub and restaurant. They were from the time of Constantine the Great, indicating that the site was used in Roman times. In the Middle Ages, the site is thought by many to have been an outpost of the large Cistercian monastery at Maenan, in the Conwy Valley. The theory is that monks stayed overnight when making the round trip to collect fish from the fishing weir nearby. Legend has it that the buildings are haunted by a monk wearing a brown habit and white cloak.
A charter of Llywelyn Fawr (Llywelyn the Great) dated 1230 records that all rights in the land of “Ros Veneych” were bought by his chief adviser, Ednyfed Fychan. Ednyfed had to pay an annual rent of two shillings (10p in modern currency) for lamps in the parish church at Easter. Ednyfed was a significant figure in Welsh history. He also owned a manor house at the foot of Bryn Euryn, the hill south of Rhos.
In 1575, a charter by the Earl of Leicester granted Rhos Fynach, together with its lands and fishing rights, to a Captain Henry Morgan for the sum of sixpence. These favourable terms recognised services “rendered at sea in connection with the Queen’s enemies”. In other words, Captain Morgan was a sea rover in the Drake tradition, a privateer who was probably not too particular whether England was technically at war or not with the ships he attacked. He was not the notorious pirate Captain Morgan, despite rumours to the contrary.
With thanks to Ian Reid, of the Llandudno & Colwyn Bay History Society
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