Former bonded warehouse, 9 Palace Street, Caernarfon

Former bonded warehouse, 9 Palace Street, Caernarfon

This building became a bonded warehouse after Caernarfon became a bonded port in 1842. The port’s designation meant goods could be imported without taxes being paid until they were sold after processing.

Bonded warehouses were needed in the town, to store the goods under strict conditions to prevent smuggling. This building was one of three bonded warehouses in Palace Street, the others being in the Market Hall’s cellar and at the Pen Deits Inn (on the corner opposite the castle). Another bonded warehouse, operated by Morgan Lloyd, was built into the slope between the slate quay and Y Maes (Castle Square).

The Pritchard family owned 9 Palace Street c.1826. It’s believed they traded in wine and spirits, when the building was also an inn known as the Vaults. There were extensive cellars for storing imported goods.

In 1868 Williams, Evans & Co were the owners, and by then it was a customs warehouse where spirits and wines were bottled before being sold at a price which included tax. Shortly later, under owners Davies & Griffiths, the rear of the building was merged with 14 Hole in the Wall Street.

In the late 19th century there were 13 pubs in this short street! There were c.60 in Caernarfon. Improved glass technology enabled shopkeepers to install larger windows to display their wares, but pubs tended to retain smaller windows so that drinkers wouldn’t be seen easily from outside!

From 1935 to 1965, W Rowland & Co of Bangor traded here. Wines and spirits were still sold here in the 1970s. Since then the building has had various uses, including an outdoor shop and a gym. In 2016 it was taken over by community benefit society Llety Arall, owned by its members, and converted into guest accommodation with a ground-floor shop and a rear yard for community activities.

With thanks to Clive James, of Caernarfon Civic Society

Postcode: LL55 1RR    View Location Map

Website of Llety Arall

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