Royal Ship Hotel, Dolgellau

button_lang_welshRoyal Ship Hotel, Dolgellau

This building is thought to date from c.1800. The three-story frontage was part of the hotel’s enlargement half a century later. Events such as auctions and banquets were often held here.

The hotel catered for some of the wealthier visitors to Dolgellau. A Stafford merchant named George Francis Griffin, son of a magistrate and former mayor of Stafford, was a frequent guest. On the day after he left the hotel in September 1865, a dead baby girl was found beside the river Mawddach near Dolgellau wrapped in newspaper, on which his newsagent had pencilled his name.

It emerged that he’d had an affair with his father’s housekeeper, who said in court that the baby was stillborn and she’d asked him to bury the girl in a cemetery. Fearing the story “would be all over the town”, he wrapped the baby in newspaper and brown paper and travelled to Dolgellau. He later told her that he had thrown the body into the sea. She was sentenced to a day in jail and he to a fortnight.

Edward Jones, the hotel’s landlord at this time, served on the school board, local health board and various other local bodies. In 1865 he was the first person in Dolgellau to receive goods by train, when a truck of “Ruabon coals” ceremoniously arrived with the first train into the town. He died suddenly, aged 45, in 1876, leaving a widow and eight small children.

Photo of Royal Ship Hotel and garage in 1930A Charles Herbert Longworth of Manchester stayed one night at the Royal Ship in March 1900. His body was discovered in Llyn Arran (a lake south of Dolgellau) three months later, complete with gold watch and cufflinks, a silver matchbox and gold false teeth. His brother revealed at the inquest that just before travelling to Dolgellau Charles had run up debts of £18,000 – more than £2m in today’s money!

Martha Evans of the Royal Ship Hotel died, aged 59, in February 1918 while her sons, Lieutenant William Evans and Bombardier Rod Evans, fought in the First World War. According to the newspaper Y Dydd, the stress of the war had brought forward her death.

After the war, one of the earliest mechanics of the Royal Air Force established the Royal Ship Hotel Motor Garage on the plot to the left of the hotel frontage (where Barclays Bank now stands). Gwilym B Richards advertised that his war service with the RAF and “Military Transport” guaranteed that repairs in his garage would be thorough. He held spare parts for cars, motorbikes and bicycles and sold petrol and oil. The photo shows the hotel and garage in 1930.

Postcode: LL40 1AR    View Location Map

Website of the Royal Ship Hotel