Tŷ Gwyn Hotel, Rowen
The current building on this site is thought to date from the 17th century. It stands beside the road up the slopes of Tal-y-fan, once used by drovers moving livestock from upland pastures to markets further east. Earlier the Romans used this route to travel between their forts in Caerhun and Caernarfon.
The pub’s interior is characterised by the low ceiling and stout beams, and in winter by log fires.
In the early 20th century, the hotel was advertised as “an ideal spot for recuperating” and boasted “good shooting”. An enterprising landlord, William Griffiths, had organised pigeon shoots for the local aristocracy before he died suddenly, aged 41, in 1890.
The Bishop of St Asaph’s representative used to station himself at the hotel in January each year to collect the local tithes. These ancient taxes to fund the Anglican church were the cause of bitterness and even riots in this region, not least because much of the population worshipped in Nonconformist chapels rather than churches.
On the appointed day in 1887, disgruntled tithe-payers gathered at the village school where they resolved to demand a 20% cut in the tithe. They sent two representatives to the Tŷ Gwyn Hotel who returned with news that the diocese wouldn’t give more than a 10% discount. The meeting quickly accepted the 10%, to the disgust of a Mr Hughes of Tanybryn. He stormed out of the meeting, saying the others had promised to hold out for 20% and the church could sell his property before he paid the additional 10%. “This is the finest man in Caerhun parish,” commented one newspaper editor.
Postcode: LL32 8YU View Location Map