The Rummer Tavern, Cardiff

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Link to French translationThe Rummer Tavern, Duke Street

This building is believed to date from the early 18th century. Its long, narrow shape indicates that it was built on a medieval burgage plot – a rectangle of land at right-angles to the street. The façade gives the building a Tudor appearance but is a pastiche of Tudor style. The interior had a makeover in 1888, when the “old world furnishing” gave way to a “metropolitan bar” with mirrors on the walls.

A rummer is a large glass or cup for wine, which originated in central Europe in the 16th century and was associated with toasts. In Germany it is known as römer. The German verb rühmen means to extoll or praise, as does the Dutch verb roemen.

In 1840 the Rummer Tavern was named as the new starting point of the “Hero” coach service to Worcester and Birmingham. In 1835 the Bristol and Newport Steam Packets company advertised a coach service between Cardiff and Merthyr, starting at the Rummer Tavern. Other coaches connected Cardiff to Newport, where the steamship from Bristol docked.

Drawing of William ChurchmanIn 1877 labourer Henry George Bird was sentenced to a month’s prison with hard labour for stealing six shillings from the Rummer Tavern. Mrs Churchman, the landlady, had left the bar briefly and when she returned she saw Bird leaning over the counter with his fingers in the till. Landlord William Churchman chased Bird down the street and caught him.

Mr Churchman (pictured right) had taken over the pub after service with the Bute family, which owned large parts of Cardiff including the castle. He had arranged Lord Bute’s wedding and established the Bute Household Cricket Club.

The Cardiff 100 Miles Road Cycling Club was based at the Rummer Tavern from its formation in 1891. Mr Matthews, landlord of the Rummer Tavern, presented a cup to CE Jenkins in 1899 for completing the “100 Miles Club course” in 5hrs 58mins, breaking the previous record. Other organisations meeting here around that time included the Welsh Kennel Club and the regional Amateur Athletics Association branch.

Over the years, several staff and customers have reported seeing or experiencing ghostly presences in the Rummer Tavern, most often in the toilets and the cellar. The Paranormal Database website records that the spirit here is that of a sailor who died soon after finding his wife in bed with another man.

Postcode: CF10 1AY    View Location Map

Website of the Rummer Tavern

Other HAUNTED HiPoints in this region:
Ye Olde Murenger House, Newport - apparition appears in one of the upper windows
The Maltsters Arms, Pontypridd - ghost of Victorian woman in cellar


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