Three Tuns inn
This building is the oldest licensed premises in Hay-on-Wye, a town which once had at least 34 inns. Inside the Three Tuns are cruck frames, believed to date from the 16th century. Cruck frames used natural bends in tree trunks to provide one-piece beams from the floor to the upper part of the roof. The stone walls visible today were from a later period, probably the 18th or 19th centuries.
Other notable features include a large inglenook chimney, dog-leg staircase and a small platform outside which once helped customers (including those who’d had a few drinks) mount their horses with ease. The Three Tuns was damaged by fire in 2005 and restored over the following two years.
A tun is a large wooden cask for beer or wine.
In 1963, five members of the gang which had carried out the Great Train Robbery spent a couple of hours drinking at the Three Tuns, while on the run from the police. This robbery was one of the most spectacular heists in British history. A mail train travelling from Glasgow to London was halted, using a false red light, and the robbers removed £2.6m in used banknotes. Three Tuns landlady Lucy Powell recalled many years later that she had been too scared to report the robbers to the police. She’d realised who they were after they’d left the premises. A few days later, one of them was spotted coming out of a barber’s shop in Hay, after which they fled from the area. She recognised Bruce Reynolds, the gang’s ringleader, as one of the men who’d visited the Three Tuns.
Postcode: HR3 5DB
Other CRIME HiPoints in this region:
Old Abergavenny police station – drunken woman brought in by wheelbarrow in 1878, to the town’s “disgrace”