The Anglesey Arms
The Anglesey Arms, Caernarfon
A Custom House was built at this site in the 18th century. Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic buildings arm, has suggested 1736 as the possible date of construction. At that time the quay alongside the Menai Strait, adjoining the town walls, was the main entry point for imports to Caernarfon. Customs officers kept a watchful eye to ensure the correct duties were paid on arriving cargoes.
In 1838 they arrested Boaz Pritchard, a local trader who owned a small sailing ship. Caernarfon residents feared to go out at night in case they came upon a phantom hearse, the sight of which was said to bring bad luck to the beholder. When customs officers raided Pritchard’s warehouse they found 99 barrels of contraband brandy, a hearse and a coffin!
Over the first three decades of the 19th century, new wharves were created along the river Seiont, south of the castle, to handle rapidly growing exports of local minerals, chiefly slate. Tourism was also increasing, and the old quay became a popular place for visitors to stroll by the water and take in the view over to Anglesey. By the middle of that century, the Custom House facing the Menai had become the Anglesey Arms Hotel. It was extensively rebuilt and enlarged later in the 19th century, but parts of the original Custom House are believed to survive.
In 1887, Captain John Roberts of the Anglesey Arms Hotel was sued by David Williams, a shipbroker, over the sale of Capt Roberts’ schooner, called Emily Wynne. Mr Williams claimed he was entitled to commission of 5% of the sale price, £275 10s. The Caernarvon County Court ruled that he was entitled to 2.5% commission.
The Anglesey Arms is close to the tower in the town walls which was once the town’s execution place, nicknamed the “hanging tower”. The hotel is said to be haunted by mischievous ghosts who remove glasses from shelves. The glasses hang in mid air before falling but never breaking. Guests who have stayed in the bedrooms upstairs have reported strange happenings, including the sound of keys turning in locks while nobody was nearby.
Postcode: LL55 1SG
Other HAUNTED HiPoints in this region:
The Anglesey Arms, Menai Bridge - coaching inn said to be haunted by ghost of small elderly man
Cobden's Hotel, Capel Curig – ghost of famous cricketer’s spinster sister