The White Lion Hotel, Ferryside

button-theme-crimeThe White Lion Hotel, Ferryside

This hostelry had a prime location when the ferry to Llansteffan was an important transport route. The hotel faces the medieval road from the ferry landing to Kidwelly.

It’s also near Ferryside station, on the line Isambard Kingdom Brunel engineered for the South Wales Railway (SWR). The line opened in 1852. Fifty years later, a banquet was held at the White Lion Hotel to celebrate stationmaster FM Owen’s 25 years’ service at Ferryside for the Great Western Railway (which took over the SWR in 1863).

In December 1899 sailor Andrew McGill was ejected from the White Lion after drinking too much. Earlier that day he was rescued from the Scottish barque Craigwinnie, wrecked near Cefn Sidan. His eventful day ended with Police Sergeant Thomas Davies charging him for being drunk and disorderly! When he appeared in court, magistrates showed a little sympathy, saying he must have been overjoyed after his rescue, but ordered him to pay a 2s 6d fine plus costs.

The Ferryside lifeboat rescued 15 of the 17 crew of the Norwegian ship Australia in 1901. They recuperated at the White Lion. The master, Hermann Jebe, suffered internal injuries and a broken arm and was confined to his bed at the White Lion while the ship disintegrated and the tides spread its cargo of Welsh coal across local beaches.

The rest of the sailors lined up in the square outside the hotel, shouting cheers of gratitude for the locals’ hospitality, on the day they returned to Cardiff. Captain Jebe left the hotel almost a month after the rescue to return home to Norway with his wife. He was given £11 which local subscribers had donated for him.

According to local historian Beryl Hughes, in the mid-20th century the poet Dylan Thomas sometimes interrupted his train travel between Swansea and Carmarthen for drinks at the White Lion Hotel and other pubs in the village. Some of his relatives lived in the area, both sides of the estuary.

Postcode: SA17 5RW    View Location Map

Website of the White Lion Hotel (Facebook)