The Old Stag, Llangernyw
This building dates from c.1650, when it was a farmhouse surrounded by grazing. It remained a farmhouse for centuries. Abergele court records show that an application was made in 1890 for a publican’s license for the Stag Hotel.
The name came from the Lloyd family’s coat of arms, which is still displayed on the front wall. The Lloyds were wealthy local landowners who lived at Hafodunos Hall, a Gothic mansion near Llangernyw built in 1864 to a design by Sir George Gilbert Scott.
In 1927 the Stag Hotel became the only retailer of petrol between Llanrwst and Abergele. Its pumps were hand-operated. Around this time a weekly market was held in the Stag Hotel’s yard.
From 1963 to 1983, Roy and Dorothy Woods ran the hotel. They updated the building but without destroying its antique charm. New features included central heating, carpets with thick piles and mains electricity, which arrived in Llangernyw in 1963. A pint of bitter at the Stag cost 2/2d (about 11p in decimal currency). The Stag had a strong reputation for the communal singing in the bar area.
Trade was boosted from the early 1970s to 1982 when an accountancy school oprated at Hafodunos Hall. Every six weeks it received a fresh group of 200 to 300 students, from various countries.
The Stag ceased to be an hotel in the late 1980s. It continued as a pub, along with the tradition that holidaymakers could get a free drink by donating an object which could be hung from the ceiling. Today the suspended collection includes a wide variety of objects including skis, man traps, fishing rods, teddy bears, ice skates and even a boat made from a turkey carcass.
Poet Margaret Sandbach, of nearby Hafodunos Hall, wrote of The Old Stag in 1850:
Some rushing up the mountain,
Some pausing at the fountain
To drink, and gather strength;
The wise one, and the sad one,
The weary and the glad one,
All sink to rest at length.
Postcode: LL22 8PP