The Celtic Royal Hotel, Caernarfon
The Celtic Royal Hotel, Bangor Street, Caernarfon
The oldest section of this building dates from c.1794, when it was erected by the 2nd Earl of Uxbridge. It was known as the Uxbridge Arms Hotel and featured the impressive Doric columns we still see today. The earl was made the 1st Marquess of Anglesey after his successful leadership at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, when one of his legs was hit. Legend has it that he remarked to the Duke of Wellington: “By God, sir, I’ve lost my leg!” and the Duke replied: “By God, sir, so you have!” The leg was later amputated.
The building became the Royal Hotel after Princess Victoria visited with her mother in 1832, five years before she became queen. By then the stables and coach houses had been extended to form an enclosed courtyard behind the hotel. The compound had its own smithy and farrier, and accommodation for visitors’ grooms. Guests could stroll in the hotel’s private gardens, which stretched to the foot of Twthill rock (the hill beyond the hotel).
Before the First World War, wireless pioneer Guglielmo Marconi stayed many times at the Royal Hotel while supervising construction of his long-wave transmitting station on a hillside near Waunfawr (south of Caernarfon). The station handled much of Britain’s international radio traffic through the war and continued in use until 1938.
The hotel fell into disrepair in the 1980s but was bought by an Irish hotel company, which renovated the historic structure, added new sections in a sympathetic style and reopened the hotel in 1997. It bestowed the name Celtic Royal on the hotel, to reflect this collaboration between Wales and Ireland. The hotel is now independently owned.
Postcode: LL55 1AY