Ye Olde Murenger House

Link to French translationYe Olde Murenger House, 52-53 High Street, Newport

The lower part of this building existed in 1533, and could have been built many years earlier. In the 16th century it was one of the homes of the High Sheriff of Monmouthshire. The sheriffs belonged to the influential Herbert family, descendants of the first Earl of Pembroke.

The building became a pub, called the Fleur-de-Lys, in the 17th century. As you look at the frontage, notice how each of the three upper floors juts out a little further than the one below. This feature was added during Victorian rebuilding.

The present name was bestowed on the pub in the 19th century. The murenger was the official who collected “murage”, a special tax for maintenance of Newport’s defensive town walls and castle. “Mur” is the French (also Welsh) word for “wall”.

In one of the upstairs rooms is a remarkable ceiling decorated with Tudor plasterwork. Some of the bas-reliefs on the ceiling depict Aragon pineapples, a symbol of the union of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon (a region of Spain). They married in 1509, and the marriage was dissolved in 1533.

Despite its importance as one of Newport’s oldest buildings, the pub was neglected in the 20th century. It was bought and renovated by the Sam Smith brewery in the 1980s.

There have been tales of various ghosts in the building, including an apparition of a woman which appears in one of the upper windows. The ghost of a serving maid has also been reported.

Postcode: NP20 1GA    View Location Map

Other HAUNTED HiPoints in this region:
Rummer Tavern, Cardiff – spirit of sailor who found his wife in bed with another man
Boat Inn, Chepstow – customers in one area are warned they may feel a “sudden shiver”
King’s Arms, Abergavenny – woman in black on staircase