Former Griffin Inn, Brecon

PWMP logobutton_lang_welshFormer Griffin Inn, The Struet, Brecon

This building was once the Griffin Inn, or the Griffin Vaults. It dates from the early 18th century, or slightly earlier. The frontage we see today – including the pub’s name over the central doorway – was probably added in the 19th century.

In the early 20th century the pub was kept by Thomas James Barratt, who had earlier been a butcher and a milk vendor. Initially he worked as agent for licensee GR Smith, a manager for Arnold, Perrett & Co (a Gloucestershire brewery). Mr Barratt became the licensee in May 1918.

Two months earlier he learned that his son Arthur Waters Barratt had fallen in the Battle of the Somme. Arthur had worked as an assistant draper in Abercynon, in the South Wales coalfield, before emigrating in 1914 and becoming a book-keeper in Melbourne. In 1915 he joined the Australian Infantry and returned to Europe.

Arthur was hit by a shell near Pozieres after following orders to go “over the top” (leave the safety of the trench) at about 12.30am. His body was never recovered. His date of death is officially recorded as 29 July 1916. He was 24 years old.

His family was notified that he was missing but heard nothing more until his father wrote to the British Red Cross Society to ask for information in March 1918. Only then was Thomas Barratt informed that it had been “common knowledge” among Arthur’s comrades that his son had died on 28 July 1916.

In 1919, Thomas Barratt was fined for allowing his dog to be “at large” in the night. He explained that she had become so friendly with members of the local Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps at their nearby camp that he couldn’t keep her from them!

The pub’s ground floor later became shops. That on the right was a hairdresser’s before it became the premises of Morgans Family Butchers in 1999.

With thanks to Steve Morris of Breconshire Local & Family History Society

Postcode: LD3 7LT    View Location Map

Website of Morgans Family Butchers

To continue the Brecon in WW1 tour, walk southwards along The Struet. The next QR codes are at the barber shop on the left, near where Lion Street diverges from High Street
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