Former Hand Inn, Llanrwst

Link to French translationFormer Hand Inn, Ancaster Square, Llanrwst

The core of this building was reputedly built as a town house by Sir John Wynn (1553-1627). His main home was Gwydir Castle, about 600 metres away on the Caernarfonshire (west) side of the river Conwy. Some historians suggest that he wanted a house on the Denbighshire side of the river so that he would be eligible for official roles in both counties. He was MP for Caernarfonshire briefly, and then its High Sheriff (the monarch’s local representative). Later he was High Sheriff of Denbighshire.

A fireplace on the first floor of the building is said to resemble fireplaces in Gwydir Castle. It was temporarily revealed when the building was refurbished in recent times.

The building was a pub called the Hand Inn during the heyday of long-distance coaches. The arched doorway to the right of today’s shop entrance enabled horse-drawn drays to deliver barrels of ale to the cellars. In 1882 a sheepdog belonging to the Hand Inn’s landlord, John Owen, won first prize, £1 10s, at the Vale of Conway Agricultural Show.

By 1892, the Hand had been converted by butcher William Jones into a shop. Rails led from his slaughterhouse so that hanging meat could be moved “right into his shop in Market Square without the least difficulty”. Previously he had traded in the open square under a wooden roof.

Today the building is home to Tŷ, which sells furniture and homeware.

With thanks to Pat Rowley, of Llanrwst & District Historical Society

Postcode: LL26 0LH     View Location Map

Website of Tŷ

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