The Maltsters Arms, Pontypridd

The Maltsters Arms, Bridge Street

The Maltsters’ Arms Hotel was erected c.1875, replacing an old building on an adjacent site which had been named the Maltsters’ Arms. Previously the old building was the White Horse Inn. From August 1809, Calvinistic Methodists, Baptists and Independents worshipped in a “long room” upstairs at the White Horse. They had previously met at houses and farms. The congregations soon outgrew the long room, and some services were held outside in dry weather.

The Baptists held their first baptism in Pontypridd on 19 September 1809, when a blacksmith’s wife called Kitty Rowlands was baptised in the river Taff by the Rev Rees Jones, of Merthyr Tydfil. Tensions arose between the Nonconformist denominations, and the Baptists soon moved out. Later they met at the Tabernacl chapel, just over the bridge from the Maltsters and now home to Pontypridd Museum.

In 1888, bards and businessmen gathered at the Maltsters’ Arms Hotel to honour the landlord’s son, Edward Williams, a gifted harpist. At the Royal Academy of Music in London, he was awarded the bronze medal in his first year, the silver in his second and finally the certificate of merit – the academy’s highest distinction. The meeting also discussed the possibility of Pontypridd hosting the National Eisteddfod in 1891.

Groups which met here included Pontypridd Football Club, the Ancient Order of Shepherds and the Cymmrodorion Society.

During the First World War, the Maltsters’ Arms Hotel was kept by Edmund and Mary Jane Lewis. Their son Stanley Owen Lewis died on 29 September 1918, aged 19, while serving with the Mercantile Marine. He was a wireless operator on a ship called SS Nyanna. He is commemorated at Tower Hill Memorial in London, and on Church Village war memorial, near Pontypridd.

There have been tales of hauntings at the Maltsters Arms. The ghost of a maid who worked here in Victorian times is said to appear occasionally in the cellar.

Where is this HiPoint?

Postcode: CF37 4PF

Other HAUNTED HiPoints in this region:
Rummer Tavern, Cardiff – haunted by spirit of sailor who found his wife in bed with another man

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