The Hand Hotel, Chirk
The main section of this hotel was built in the mid 19th century, according to the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust. The adjoining two-storey section, to the south, is much older and may date from the 17th century. It’s likely that the three-storey part was built as an extension to this older building, to cater for the increase in trade with the opening of Thomas Telford’s road from London to Holyhead. A distinctive feature of the frontage is the Italianate portico at the entrance.
Inquests were held here, including those of many local colliers. Ellis Davies, the Hand Hotel’s ostler, was lucky not to have his own inquest here in 1870, after being thrown from a carriage when the horse took fright while en route to Cefnywern. He lay unconscious on the road until “stimulants” were brought from Cefnywern. (Ostlers looked after the horses of guests at inns.)
In January 1870, the managers of Brynkinallt Colliery treated 100 of their employees to dinner at the Hand Hotel. The colliery, east of Chirk, had opened in 1858 but by 1870 “little work” was being done in summer, according to a speech at the dinner.
In 1905, a soccer referee called Mr Hull had to be escorted to the hotel “surrounded by a howling crowd” after Chirk lost at home to Nantwich. He had awarded the visitors a penalty. Some of the crowd hurled sods of grass and “other missiles” at him as he left the ground.
Postcode: LL14 5EY View Location Map