Torrent Walk Hotel, Dolgellau

Torrent Walk Hotel, Dolgellau

This pub is an amalgamation of two previous hostelries. The two-storey part facing Mill Street was the Golden Goat and dates back to the 18th century or earlier.

Behind it is a later three-storey building with a frontage along Smithfield Street. This was the Skinners Arms until 1901, when it was renamed the Torrent Walk Hotel after a popular riverside footpath in Dolgellau.

The Skinners Arms’ name related to the local tanning industry, which turned animal skins into leather. Dolgellau’s last tannery closed in the 1980s. The tanneries weren’t always popular neighbours for other traders and residents. In 1885 the town’s inspector of health reported that many complaints were being made about the “stench arising from the two tanyards”. He also mentioned a “great stench” arising from manure heaps at the Skinners Arms and Angel Hotel.

The Skinners Arms’ frontage was remodelled in 1901 in conjunction with a widening of Smithfield Street. After the change of name, the Torrent Walk Hotel boasted that it was the nearest hotel to Cader Idris and the Torrent Walk, was just two minutes from the railway station and was the the Cyclists’ Touring Club’s local HQ.

The building is also linked to a precursor of the welfare state. The Golden Goat Friendly Society was formed in 1802 to provide financial help when members needed it, for example in sickness or old age. In 1873 the society (colloquially known as known as “Hen Glwb y Plas”) had c.230 members and c.£900 of funds. Its treasurer was Robert Jones of the Golden Goat.

In 1904 magistrates refused to renew the Golden Goat’s licence, because there were three other pubs in the immediate vicinity.

Postcode: LL40 1AA    View Location Map

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