The Stag Inn, Dolgellau

The Stag Inn, Dolgellau

This building dates from the 1770s. Inside you can see a broad fireplace from that period, with a large beam across the top of the aperture. Notice how similar the frontage is to the adjoining houses, which may have been built at the same time.

In the early 20th century the police were concerned that the pub had two public entrances. Their duties included apprehending drunks inside taverns. Whenever an officer entered the Stag through one door, drunks could escape through the other! In 1903 the owners agreed not to allow customers to use the back door, which opened onto a narrow lane.

In 1909 the entrance to the inn’s yard (to the right of the frontage) was remodelled to remove a stone pier which projected into the pavement of Bridge Street, causing an obstruction to passers-by.

The Stag made headlines in 1904 after barman William Edward Smith killed miner William Foulkes, 51, of Well Street, Dolgellau. Smith’s daughter Edith, 16, worked as barmaid. When she served beer to Foulkes and his companions in the parlour, Foulkes “took liberties” with her. Witnesses said later that he grabbed her legs, possibly reaching under her clothes. She told him: “Keep your hands off me.” Smith overheard her and an altercation followed in which he struck out several times before dragging Foulkes’ limp body out to the back.

An inquest jury delivered a verdict of manslaughter and Foulkes was sent to the Assizes (equivalent to today’s Crown Court) at the County Hall, a stone’s throw from the pub. Mr Justice Wills took into account Smith’s previous good character and bound him over in the sum of £50 to keep the peace.

During the First World War, the Stag Inn’s licensee, David Williams, 39, argued in 1916 that he should not be conscripted into the armed forces because he had nine children. A military tribunal refused to exempt him from military service.

Postcode: LL40 1AU    View Location Map