Former Vardre Inn, Clydach

Former Vardre Inn, Clydach

The building now occupied by Tiamo restaurant was the Vardre Inn from 1869, when Benjamin Williams obtained a licence to open a pub here. This area of Clydach was then a village called Vardre, or Fardre.

Benjamin was a tinplate worker. In 1871 he was living at the Vardre Inn with his wife Elizabeth (nee Clatworthy) and their three children. She died in April 1876, aged 27. Benjamin married Ann Davies and was living with her in Clase by 1881, when the inn’s licensee was a David Williams (probably no relation).

When David’s daughter got married in 1890, the festivities went off with a bang. Two lads had fixed a cannon to the highway, despite being warned they had no right to do so. As they fired one of the celebratory charges, the cannon exploded. Fragments hit bystanders and broke one of the arms of a Mrs Mary Richards.

In December 1894 Henry Bowen was enjoying a glass of beer in the Vardre Inn when he heard a gang of men and a team of 17 horses drawing a giant steam boiler along the road. The boiler had arrived at the Midland Railway’s Clydach station and was being taken to the Graigola colliery in Glais. Henry, a haulier by trade, rushed out to warn the men that one side of the road was too soft for such a heavy weight. As he was giving his warning, the carriage wheels suddenly sank into the ground and the boiler fell on top of him, killing him.

By 1901 the inn had become the Vardre Hotel and was run by widow Elizabeth Whittaker and her daughter Mary. It remained a pub until 2012, when it became a restaurant.

About the place-name:

The village's name was written as Vairdre in 1322, le Vayrdreve in 1408, Fardre in 1832 and y Fardre in 1908. Vardre, properly (Y) Faerdre, means "the settlement of the steward or bailiff". The maerdref was a settlement (tref) or area held by a seignorial officer (maer in Welsh) and to at least two farms in the administrative division of Parsel Rhyndwyglydach.

With thanks to Lorna Crook, and to Richard Morgan of the Welsh Place-Name Society

Postcode: SA6 5ES    View Location Map

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