The Hanbury Arms, Caerleon

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Link to French translation Link to Japanese translation The Hanbury Arms, Uskside, Caerleon

Most of this riverside inn dates from c.1565. Little of the structure has changed apart from rebuilding of the rear section (probably in the 18th century) and reshaping of windows in the early 19th century. Original window apertures can still be seen on the first floor. Initially it was a town house, known as Tŷ Glyndŵr, for the influential Morgan family, a major property owner in this area for centuries.

At one time the local magistrates heard cases here, in the panelled room. Miscreants would be locked in the tower which is attached to the pub and thought to date from the 13th century.

The building became an inn during the 17th century, located conveniently close to the quay on the Usk. Small ships sailed from the quay to places such as Bristol and Somerset. Traffic was boosted when a tramway was built in the 18th century to carry metal from the Cwmbran area to the quay.

In 1856 Alfred, Lord Tennyson lodged at the Hanbury Arms while working on his long poem Idylls of the King. His inspiration was the legend of King Arthur and the knights of the round table. There was a theory that the round table was located at the remains of Caerleon’s Roman amphitheatre. The poem names Caerleon many times, and even refers to the tower (built much later than the presumed time of Arthur’s rule). Tennyson’s room at the Hanbury Arms has been kept unchanged since his stay.

John Sherwood, the inn’s landlord in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, had studied at Cambridge University, where he was a noted rower. It was reported that he had won five medals at the Henley regatta. He ran a brewery at the Hanbury Arms.

Postcode: NP18 1AA    View Location Map

Website of The Hanbury Arms