Wynnstay Arms Hotel, Wrexham

Link to French translation


Wynnstay Arms Hotel, Yorke Street, Wrexham

This hotel was built in the mid 18th-century. It has been heavily altered since then, but the original frontage survives. The ornate cast-iron balcony is significant, as it is said to be where two British prime ministers delivered speeches to the townsfolk. One was William Gladstone, who lived in Hawarden, north of Wrexham. The other was David Lloyd George, who announced here in 1918 that the First World War had ended.

The Wynnstay Arms Hotel is also linked to a key event in Welsh sporting history. The Football Association of Wales was formed at a meeting in this hotel in February 1876. This followed a debate within Wales about whether the nation should form a national football team, to play against a team from Scotland or Ireland, and if so, whether it should play association football or rugby football.

The consensus in South Wales was that Wales should be represented by a rugby team, so Llewellyn Kenrick – a soccer-playing solicitor from Ruabon – called a meeting at the Wynnstay Arms Hotel to form the FAW.

A first match, against Scotland in Glasgow, was arranged for 25 March. That didn't leave the FAW committee much time to choose a suitable team. The first trial match took place at the Racecourse on 12 February, between the Druids club and Wrexham Town. “Gentlemen desirous of playing” were invited to apply to Llewellyn Kenrick, the FAW’s secretary, and trial matches were held each weekend. Today the FAW is the world’s third oldest football association. It has been affiliated to FIFA (the international federation of football associations) since 1910.

William Page, the hotel’s omnibus driver, died in 1866 after jumping onto the track at Wrexham General station to retrieve a paper which had blown from his pocket. While lying under the third wheel of a steam engine, he said he was “all right” and asked for the engine to be moved back to release his arm. His left arm and leg were amputated at Wrexham Infirmary but he died just as his wife and children arrived to see him.

Postcode: LL13 8LP    View Location Map

Website of the Wynnstay Arms Hotel