The Crown Hotel, Bridge Street, Corwen
This former coaching inn mostly dates from the early 19th century, reputedly incorporating parts of a building from 1628. The long room at the back (west of the bar) was once the passage for horses and coaches to reach the stables behind the hotel.
Horse-drawn road vehicles continued to be widely used long after the advent of railways decimated long-distance travel by coaches. In 1919 a reward was promised for the return of two ladies’ umbrellas, which had probably been “placed on wrong trap in Crown Yard”. In the same year, the Corwen Coach-building Co. was established at the Crown Hotel.
The outbuilding facing the road with “Crown Hotel Garage” written across the front was previously shops. It was converted into garages as cars become more common in the early 20th century. In 1902 the Crown advertised itself as “Terminus of motor cars running from Bettws-y-Coed to Corwen” (through an area not served by rail). In 1916 a local Sunday school hired motor vehicles from the Crown for a trip to Llangollen.
An ancient marble bust was excavated from beneath the foundations of an old building near the Crown in 1909. Experts concluded that it was Roman and depicted a bald “priest of Isis”. It was displayed in a Liverpool museum until the Second World War, when it may have been destroyed by German bombing.
In 1891 Sir HB Robertson celebrated his first wedding anniversary with a dinner at the Crown for 80 Great Western Railway employees. His late father had made a fortune promoting and engineering railways in Wales, including the GWR line from Ruabon to Corwen.
In 1907 the landlord’s wife, Sinah Jones, died aged 53 from “paralysis”. The press reported that an epidemic of paralysis had recently claimed 18 lives in the Corwen area. Mrs Jones exhibited and judged butter at agricultural shows, and had beaten 800 rivals to win first prize at the International Show in London in 1896.
In 1919 the landlord was permitted to use his “motor garage” to sell refreshments to people attending the National Eisteddfod.
Postcode: LL21 0AH View Location Map