The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny
The Angel Hotel, 15 Cross Street
This was always the place to have the ball, the dance, the sale or any other public activity in Abergavenny. One ball in 1838, to mark the Abergavenny Eisteddfod, went on until 5am!
Naturally, in the Second World War the British Army officers stationed in or around Abergavenny congregated here. There is a story that a journalist, smuggled in to see what they got up to, was disappointed to find them just sitting at the bar talking! The ballroom and the Wedgewood Room became the Donut Dugout, run by the American Red Cross and local volunteers.
Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler's Deputy, would call in at the Angel for a drink if passing on one of his walks around the countryside with his guards. He was held at Maindiff Court, Abergavenny, after he flew to Scotland in May 1941, possibly in the hope of brokering a peace deal between Britain and Germany. He was also moved around, staying briefly at various other places including Porthmawr in Crickhowell, perhaps to reduce the chances of his being captured or killed by Nazi agents.
Records of the Angel exist from 1721. It was completely rebuilt in 1801, and many alterations have been made since. However, it retained until the 1950s the stables that were needed for its role as a coaching inn on the route between London and Milford Haven. Alterations c.1937 showed that the present entrance hall was over the original cobbled entrance to the courtyard behind. That earlier entrance was low, and people riding on the top of the old coaches had to stoop to avoid the arch above.
With thanks to Gill Wakley, of Abergavenny Local History Society
Postcode: NP7 5EN
Website of The Angel Hotel – including more on its history