Former Loyal Dispensary, Tan y Coed, Bangor

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In 1809 a group of local gentlemen, eager to mark the 50th anniversary of King George III’s reign, began to raise funds for a dispensary in Bangor. They wished to provide a facility where “the poor shall be supplied with medicine, and have the aid of medical advice, gratis”.

The facility was called the Loyal Dispensary because it was a token of local people’s “affection and loyalty to their beloved sovereign”. The building was designed by Benjamin Wyatt, who later designed the Theatre Royal in London’s Drury Lane and modified the grand homes of the Duke of Wellington. He also designed the Penrhyn Arms Hotel, which stood near the Loyal Dispensary.

A large slate plaque in the porch records that the dispensary officially opened on 25 October 1810, the date “specially chosen” as the last day of the 50th anniversary of the king’s reign. Another plaque notes that the site was chosen “to be visible from Beaumaris so that the loyal and charitable inhabitants of Anglesey could always see it”.

Jame Henry Cotton, dean of Bangor cathedral, became one of the dispensary’s chief supporters. He quipped that the facility gave “sovereign remedies”.

The dispensary vaccinated many people against smallpox. It closed in 1845, when it was replaced by the new Caernarvonshire and Anglesey Infirmary. It was then extended and had its interior remodelled as a private house. This use continued until after the Second World War. The land to the east, almost to the bridge over the road cutting, was the house’s garden.

The property belonged to the Penrhyn estate in the 1960s, and was later owned by a firm of architects which used the upper floor as a drawing office. Welsh Water had offices here after that, and now the building is home to the veterinary surgery of Evelyn Barbour-Hill.

The cutting in front of the building was part of Thomas Telford’s improvement of the London to Holyhead road. It removed a climb and descent which would have tired the horses drawing the coaches.

With thanks to Evelyn Barbour-Hill

Postcode: LL57 1PX    View Location Map

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