Former Upper Lion Inn, Talgarth

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button_lang_welshFormer Upper Lion Inn, Talgarth

The building on your right as you descend Brook Lane was the Upper Lion Inn, once home to two brothers who died in the First World War (see below). It’s now a private house – please respect the occupants’ privacy.

The inn hosted property auctions by 1809 and livestock auctions by 1917. In 1828 farmers and landowners met here to form the local Fund for the Prosecution of Felons, to offer rewards for information on livestock thieves.

In 1859 a pony mare, stolen from Ystradfellte, was discovered at the inn’s stables. The thief, Howell Powell, had offered to sell her to the Upper Lion’s landlord, James Walker, who became suspicious.

By 1901 the Upper Lion was kept by timber haulier and publican David Roberts and his wife Annie. Their sons William Arthur and Reginald Charles lived with them at the inn. In April 1901 Usk magistrates ordered David to pay a shilling per week towards the upkeep of his parents, who received five shillings weekly from the Pontypool Board of Guardians (mostly reimbursed by David’s four brothers).

William was born in Usk in 1882. He joined the South Wales Borderers and went to India in 1914. He died in the Middle East on 25 March 1918, aged 26. He is buried in Baghdad.

Two months later, on 22 May, Reginald (born in Talgarth in 1886) was killed in action while serving with the Monmouthshire Regiment. He is buried in Hazebrouck, France.

The police argued for the Upper Lion’s closure in March 1914, arguing that it wasn’t required and was inconvenient for police supervision. They had no evidence that the inn was badly run by Elizabeth Griffiths, who said she made a comfortable living from the business. On fair days, she would erect pens for up to 1,000 sheep. She also had stables for 30 to 40 horses. She had married two months earlier.

Magistrates agreed to renew the inn’s licence but only on condition that it transferred to Mrs Griffiths’ husband Rhys. They said it was unsatisfactory that “a husband should live on the premises and have no control”. Elizabeth died in September 1915, aged 44.

Among the building’s later occupants was the George Dear Pottery, in the 1970s and 1980s.

Postcode: LD3 0BN    View Location Map

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