Former Castle Hotel, Llanberis

Former Castle Hotel, Llanberis

This building, now a SPAR shop and post office, was previously the Castle Hotel. When proprietor Richard Rogers sold it in 1861, he said it boasted “extensive views” of the lake and the slate quarries on the opposite side of the valley. It seems that Llanberis’ industrial landscape was a tourist attraction even then.

In 1883 the Cambrian Building Society of Cwmyglo bought the hotel for £820. The society was formed in 1876 so local people could invest their savings. It ran into trouble when property values reduced. Many of its buildings were sold in 1889, at an auction in the Castle Hotel. The hotel and its garden, stables and coach houses sold for £720 to the Blake & Company brewery of Bangor.

The society was wound up in 1890, with depositors losing money. A pauper called Mary Jane Williams, who lived in the local workhouse for a while, had invested £10 in the society. She was lucky to get her money back, with £6 interest, in 1892.

Throughout this unsettled period, the hotel was run by tenant licensee Edward Armsden, a Conservative who moved from Bedfordshire to Wales c.1863. He was licensee here by 1865. His family continued to run the hotel after he died in 1904.

The Castle Hotel lost one of its staff in the First World War. William Lloyd Jones, a chorister at Llanbeblig, Caernarfon, served with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He was buried at Gaza War Cemetery in 1917 and remembered on the war memorials in Llanberis and Caernarfon.

After the Second World War the Castle Hotel was owned by Ind Coope brewery. The RAF used it as “forward base camp” when training mountain rescue crews in Snowdonia in the 1970s.

A slate-quarry rubble wagon is displayed outside the SPAR shop.

Postcode: LL55 4SU     View Location Map

Llanberis store details – SPAR website