The Fox and Grapes, Hawarden

The Fox and Grapes, 6 The Highway, Hawarden

This inn is one of the oldest buildings in Hawarden. Its earliest section dates frohawarden_fox_hotelm the second half of the 17th century. A sample of timber from the attic was carbon dated to c.1480, indicating that some of the building’s timber was recycled. The single-storey section alongside the car park was originally the stables, built in the 18th century.

The inn was enlarged at various times and features an 18th-century inglenook fireplace. One extension was designed to increase the space for billiards (a game similar to pool). The inn was the home venue for Hawarden’s billiards team when playing opponents from other towns in the district. Albert Jones, the landlord in the late Victorian era, was a billiards referee.

The building was known as the Fox and Grapes Inn by the 1860s, but for decades after then was also known as the Fox Inn or the Fox Hotel. When the photos shown here were taken, c.1900, “Fox Hotel Billiards” was written on a large sign on the inn’s west wall but the grapes featured on the hanging sign, which depicted an Aesop’s Fables scene.

hawarden_fox_and_grapesThe inn has long been a meeting place for local groups, including several friendly societies in the 19th and early 20th centuries. (Friendly societies collected regular contributions from members, who received financial help in times of need, including old age.)

Livestock sales were also held here. In 1902, breeders showed off their finest shire horses at a “horse parade” at the Fox Hotel.

In January 1903, a “welcome home dinner” was held here in honour of seven local men who had returned from the South African (Boer) war. An inscribed silver hunting watch was presented to each of them. Three men who had died in the war – Samuel Bailey, George Fox and Charles Toller – were remembered.

Until 1896, a thatched cottaged adjoined the inn’s west wall. It was the childhood home of Emma Hamilton, Lord Nelson’s mistress.

Postcode: CH5 3DH    View Location Map

Website of the Fox & Grapes