Posts Tagged ‘The Grapes Hotel’

Two Hundred and Fifty Miles through North Wales: Day 2, Part 1

April 20, 2011

On Tuesday 16th September 1890, Edwin, Maria, Ellis and Lydia left Llangollen after watching trout in the river and breakfast at The Grapes Hotel. The group head for Corwen passing Berwyn Station, the Horse Shoe Falls and the Church of Llantysillio.

The Grapes Hotel

Postal Directory, 1886, showing The Grapes Hotel, Llangollen. Available to view at Denbighshire Archives.

Tuesday 16th September 1890

Llangollen to Corwen, Bala and Dolgelly [Dolgellau]

The squawking of the jackdaws wakened us rather early so up we got up and out about seven o’clock, delighted with the prospect of another fine day.  I strolled down to the bridge and by the Old Cottages near the Corn Mill, I met a young fellow evidently a visitor. One of these cottages was covered with onions hung all over the side of the cottage, he asked me very simply if they were placed there to keep the wet out.  I said “no you flat, for the sparrows to roast in” he looked very hard, evidently thinking I had done him one, a little further on I met Lydia and Ellis.  We then adjourned to the Bridge and watched the trout sporting about in the River until breakfast time.  After doing ample justice to what the Grapes Hotel provided for our benefit, at ten o’clock we were ready for Corwen “Now Tommy” was the signal for off.

We paid a parting visit to Mother Pierce, when we saw Maggie her daughter coming down Barbers Hill to “wag our paws” before leaving and in return for their kindness, I promised to find Maggie a dairy man for a husband, but I am afraid this will be a rather difficult job for me to undertake.  Getting a last view of Crow Castle we drive on past the Berwyn Station and get a pretty view of the chain bridge on the high ground. Above the chain bridge, we see the Mansion of Mr Theodore Martin, author of the “life of the Prince Consort”.  A short distance further up the river there is a semicircular weir forming a beautiful cascade which was constructed by Telford for the purpose of feeding the Ellesmere Canal, this is generally known as the “Horse Shoe falls”. Close behind this is the little Church of Llantysilio, this Church stands in one of the sweetest spots in the district in a secluded well wooded vale close by the River Dee.  In the Church yard are some large Yew trees, and the whole scene is so calm and lovely that it might make one in love with death, like to be buried in so sweet a place.

Two Hundred and Fifty Miles through North Wales: Day 1, Part 4

April 14, 2011

The group arrived at Llangollen at around 3pm. They spent the fine afternoon fishing and described Llangollen as “a very pretty place”. Whilst fishing, they enjoyed views of Barbers Hill and the ruins of Crow Castle before retiring to the Grapes Hotel.

Llangollen Bridge
DD/DM/1113- Postcard from the original diary ‘Two hundred and fifty miles through North Wales on a wagonette’

We arrived at Llangollen at 5 past 3. We call on an old friend Mrs Pevice to look for “diggings” but find she is “full”. The old lady was very sorry she could not accommodate us and kindly recommended us to the Grapes Hotel. So after leaving fishing tackle etc in her charge we proceeded there and found every comfort and accommodation. We accepted an invitation to tea with Mrs Pevice, after tea I passed Tregwern Lodge, the residence of our old friends Miss Ovey and Mrs Scott and then spent a few hours at the Water side fishing. The result was one trout and friend Ellis was champion fisherman of the day. From the riverside we had splendid views of Barbers Hill and the ruins of Crow Castle. This old ruin stands on a mountain called Dinas Bran over eleven hundred feet above the sea level. In the 12th Century it was the residence of Gruffyd ap Madog a son of the founder of Valle Crucis Abbey at which place his parents are buried. The ruins of the castle are merely low rough walls, masses of stone are strewn about, there is a moat on one side and a well of water on the top. The building at one time was large and strong, amongst the ruins a small cottage has been erected, where you can obtain light refreshment. The Castle has passed into the hands of various families in succession and finally came into the hands of the Biddulphs of Chirk Castle. The date of its destruction is unknown, but is supposed to be previous to the 16th Century.

The chief places of interest at Llangollen are the old bridge, from here we get a pretty view of Crow Castle and Plas Newydd, the residence of the maids of Llangollen, One whose house is full of most valuable wood and ivory carving, Valle Crucis Abbey- founded in the year 1200, Llantysilio Church. The Eglwyseg Rocks and Barbers Hill, the Horse shoe Falls and Chain Bridge etc etc etc So much for Llangollen a very pretty place, the banks of the river are fringed with trees and the water flows over sloping sides of rock beneath the old bridge of four arches built in 1346 by Bishop Trevor.

After another hasty visit to Mrs Pevice, the weather having been beautifully fine all day, we make tracks for the Grapes Hotel. Strange to say at this late hour we found there was a “Jhon Johnes”/ John Jones in Wales.

“Dear ah me” I enquired from a boy if he could tell me where John Jones lived.

He said “which John Jones do you want, there are so many”.

I said “John Jones- the tailor”.

He said, pointing with his finger, “over there Sir”.

I was happy I had found John Jones at last, so off to bed like good people at 10.30 to prepare for day No.2.