The Vaynol Arms, Nant Peris

The Vaynol Arms, Nant Peris

nant_peris_vaynol_armsThis pub was originally a farmhouse called Tŷ’n Llan, a name still used by locals today. Tŷ’n Llan means "house in the llan" (llan = walled enclosure of a church) – notice St Peris’ Churchyard is immediately adjacent to the pub’s car park.

The farm was owned by the Vaynol estate. In the 18th century, John Closs (1725-1799) took on the tenancy. His family came from Grinton, in the North Riding of Yorkshire, and moved to North Wales. John eventually became manager of a copper mine near Nant Peris. He opened part of the farmhouse as an inn c.1780, when tourists were starting to visit the area in larger numbers.

John’s son Robert (1766-1833) was the licensee later. In December 1805 Robert’s own son, John, died tragically aged seven. The boy had been, with his mother, to visit his nain (grandmother) near Betws Garmon, in the next valley to the west. The mother (named Ellen or Elizabeth) returned alone, leaving John with nain. John tried to walk home on his own through the snow (his nain assuming that he’d gone with his mother). His body was found, face down, below a steep slope near the summit of Moel Eilio.

The photo, from the late 1950s, shows landlady Gaynor Closs and nephew Twm Closs (an Oxford graduate). The Closs family continued to run the pub until the 1960s, when the Vaynol estate sold its assets. Some family members emigrated to the USA in 1845 and settled in Welsh Prairie, Wisconsin.

In 1916 Humphrey Closs of the Vaynol Arms appealed against conscription into the armed forces. He described himself as a farmer and shepherd. He was given a temporary exemption to the end of the year, when he appealed again and was exempted until 31 March. Humphrey was eventually forced to go the war, where he was wounded. He returned home in November 1918 while still recuperating.

With thanks to John Ellis, a descendant of Robert Closs

Postcode: LL55 4UF    View Location Map

Website of the Vaynol Arms