Roundhouse and Vaults Inn, Ruabon

Link to French translationRoundhouse and Vaults Inn, Ruabon

Beside the beer garden of the Vaults Inn you can see an unusual circular building made of stone. This is known as the Roundhouse. It was built in the 18th century as a lockup – where people were held after being arrested. The original door would probably have been stouter than the one you see today.

In 1885 Joseph Samuels, a foreman at the Totham brickworks, was taken to “Ruabon lockup” after fighting with his nephew, Cornelius Jones, the previous evening on the railway bridge (c.200 metres north west of the Roundhouse. Cornelius fell to the ground. A doctor was quickly summoned but pronounced Cornelius dead. Joseph Samuels was convicted of manslaughter.

For a time the pub here was called the Roundhouse. It reverted to being the Vaults Inn in 2013.

From 1877 the Old Vaults Inn, as the pub was then known, was run by Oscar Alexander Hugo Franke, who was born in Dresden, Saxony (now part of Germany). He had worked as chef to Sir Watkin Williams Wynn of Wynnstay Hall before taking over the Old Vaults. In 1885 an unsuccessful attempt was made to have him removed from the electoral register, because he was “an alien and unnaturalized”.

His Irish wife Sarah died of blood poisoning in 1891, aged 47, after scratching a finger with a pin. In 1896 he advertised for “two strong respectable girls” as servants, stipulating that they must be “Church of England”. He died, aged 59, in 1902.

Postcode: LL14 6DA    View Location Map