Former King’s Head Hotel, Llanrwst
This building is thought to date from the late 17th century. Harp maker John Richards was born here in 1711. His customers included Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III. He was probably the maker of a harp in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, which is initialled “JR” and was once owned by Lady Llanover, a major Victorian patron of Welsh arts. She championed the triple harp (with three rows of strings), which had been John Richards’ specialism.
Y Drych, the newspaper for Welsh Americans, reported in 1891 that the King’s Head had been sold to its tenant, Mrs Owen, for £1,625 and remarked (in Welsh): “There must be profit in selling drink to fools.”
The establishment had become the King’s Head Temperance Hotel by 1896, when alterations were made to the building. The hotel, which did not serve alcoholic drinks, was run by a company of the same name. It thrived in its early years, paying a 10% annual dividend to its shareholders.
In 1909, the King’s Head was the only place in Llanrwst holding a “billiard licence”. Inside the building today is an antique snooker table. In the 1970s, snooker-table maker EA Clare & Sons offered to buy the table for £20,000 and provide a replacement table, balls and cues. The offer was rejected.
The building was home for many decades to the Royal British Legion’s Llanrwst branch. The branch closed in 2013 after its members voted to convert it into an independent new club known as Clwb Llanrwst Club.
With thanks to Pat Rowley, of Llanrwst & District Historical Society, and Mike Bucknall
Postcode: LL26 0LB View location map View Location Map