Tower Hotel, Talgarth

PWMP logoTower Hotel, Talgarth

This Victorian hotel replaced an earlier pub called the Plough and Harrow. One of the landlady’s sons was killed in the First World War.

In 1886 police took the Plough and Harrow’s landlord to court for opening the pub out of hours, but the case was dismissed. Two years earlier the pub’s landlady, Margaret Jones, had to pay more than 19 shillings (fine plus costs) for having the pub open at 10.25pm on an August evening.

The Tower Hotel was named after the medieval tower house at the opposite end of Market Square. In 1894 the owner advertised for tenants, saying the hotel had been “recently wholly re-built”. The hotel included 11 bedrooms, a brew house, coach house, stables and a sheep-penning area south of the hotel for fair days. The same tenancy included Tower Farm, near the hotel. Guests had exclusive fishing on two local rivers and the use of a boat and boathouse on Llangorse Lake.

John Jones Powell and his wife Sarah were the tenants by 1899. They had seven sons and three daughters. He was born in New Radnor and became maltster (producing malt from grain for making beer) at the Ashburnham Hotel, Talgarth. He was a Talgarth parish councillor and former mounted infantryman (soldier on horseback). His wife continued as tenant after his death, aged 63, in 1914.

Four of the couple’s sons, Leslie, Thomas, Rowland and Bernard, served with the armed forces in the war. Bernard, the youngest, left his job as a bank clerk in Newport to join the South Wales Borderers. He was promoted to Second Lieutenant in 1916 but was wounded by a sniper while advancing towards enemy lines in France’s Somme region on 4 September 1917. He died a few hours later, aged 23.

The hotel was a venue for auctions and other events, often farming-related. In 1915 the local branch of the Farmers’ Union met here and resolved to raise funds for the Red Cross, which provided medical help at the frontline.

Postcode: LD3 0BW    View Location Map

Website of the Tower Hotel