The Piccadilly Inn, Caerwys

Link to French translationThe Piccadilly Inn

This building is believed to date from 1662, and is shown on a map made in 1742. It was later renamed after a racehorse owned by Lord Mostyn, who also owned the pub.

The Mostyn family, major landowners in north Flintshire, were patrons of the Holywell races, which started in 1774 or earlier. The oval-shaped course was 3.4km long and was near the hamlet of Babell, east of Caerwys. The Holywell Hunt took place each October. The first day’s racing featured the Mostyn Stakes, 10 sovereigns (£10).

Legend has it that Lord Mostyn was so overjoyed when his horse Piccadilly won a race at Holywell that he gave the pub to the horse’s jockey, who renamed the building the Piccadilly Inn.

This is not the only local connection with animals. The 1742 map shows a pinfold near the building now known as the Piccadilly Inn. A pinfold was a walled enclosure where straying livestock were impounded.

An 1828 directory shows that Thomas Pemberton was the licensee of the Piccadilly Inn, one of eight pubs in Caerwys. A monthly fair was held in front of the Piccadilly. In 1914 the licensee, James Baythorpe, told licensing magistrates that on fair days there would be 40 horses in his stables and cattle in the yard and croft. He earned some of his income from farming.

When the Royal Welsh Eisteddfod was held in Caerwys in 1886, a field by the Piccadilly Inn was the venue for the main pavilion for competitions – a temporary structure with space for an audience of 4,000 to 5,000 people.

With thanks to Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust

Postcode: CH7 5AW    View Location Map

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