The Grouse Inn, Carrog
This pub, overlooking Carrog’s ancient river bridge, is thought to date mainly from the 19th century. The western part is probably older, and was reputedly a farmhouse before becoming a hostelry.
The Grouse Inn is named after the black grouse, a species of bird which has become scarce across most of Europe. Its last stronghold in southern Britain is a swathe of North and Mid Wales, including Llantysilio Mountain, up the slope behind the pub. A pair of the birds, shot and stuffed decades ago, is on display inside the pub.
The bird’s Welsh name is “grugiar ddu”. Grug = heather. Iar = hen. Black grouse need a variety of young and mature upland plants for food and shelter. The population has declined as management of heathland has changed, and now it’s a priority conservation species.
In 1901, the Grouse Inn was at the centre of a court case after HJ Hunt, a “young man of gentlemanly appearance”, stayed there but left without paying. He had claimed he was researching a cycling guide for a Birmingham publisher and that his luggage was at the railway station. He got only as far as Glyndyfrdwy before being arrested. Police discovered that he had previous convictions from Devon, and he was sentenced to a month in prison with hard labour.
Postcode: LL21 9AT
Black grouse information – Denbighshire Countryside Service website