The Old Chemist Inn, Saundersfoot

The Old Chemist Inn, Saundersfoot

In this building there was once a pharmacy and pub, in the same room! It wasn’t the only establishment in the district to combine these activities.

In 1872 the chair of the local magistrates’ bench decided that alcoholic-drinks licenses should not be granted to anyone who was also trading as a chemist or grocer. Thomas Mathias, the chemist here, appeared before the bench to renew his license. At the same hearing, three chemists from Narberth also wanted to continue selling alcoholic drinks at their shops.

A compromise was reached: the bench’s other two magistrates agreed to sign the licenses on condition that each chemist provided a separate room for selling drinks. Thomas said he had a house next door to his shop and would use that as a public house.

He was born in New Moat, in the Preseli hills. In the 1881 census, he was described as a chemist and druggist living in Railway Street, Saundersfoot. The road outside the Old Chemist Inn, now The Strand, was known as Railway Street because a railway track was set into the road. Coal and iron were carried along it and through the tunnels near Coppet Hall which you can now walk through.

Thomas was recorded as a druggist, grocer and merchant in the 1891 census. He died in 1893, aged 54. His estate was valued at £13,145 (more than £1.7m in today’s money). It was left to his widow Mary and son John, a farmer.

The pub here was known as the Globe Inn by 1903, when magistrates demanded improvements to the structure. Chemist AD Griffiths was granted a special license for the Globe Inn in 1908 for the annual local sports day in August.

Postcode: SA69 9ET    View Location Map

Website of The Old Chemist Inn

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