Pubs of Cefn Mawr & the Cefn
The village of Cefn Mawr and surrounding villages are very close together and when one first comes to the area, it is hard to define where one ends and another begins. This is as a result of the Industrial History and Heritage of our villages. If the whole area is seen as Cefn this may resolve a few problems for visitors. The area of Cefn was once famous for the number of pubs when it was at the hay day of its industrial past, and at one point according to I.D. Hooson, a local historian for the area in the 1920’s, there was one pub for every 50 people or less!
Well times have changed, all of the large heavy industry has gone, and the area is now predominantly residential. One of the favourite pastimes for some of the locals is recalling the names of the pubs in living memory, believed to be 39, although this may well be contested too!
However, one important feature for a visitor to our area is this, all the remaining pubs are living heritage, they are all 150 years old or more and all have rich and interesting histories, and hence we dedicate this page to them.
The Queens Hotel LL14 3BD
The Queens Hotel built in the 1820’s is the oldest and only hotel in Cefn Mawr and Surounding Villages. The Plas Kynaston Canal once ran through open fields to the rear of this hotel, where upon
it was then connected to the Plas Kynaston Colliery via a narrow gauge tramway which ran through a tunnel underneath the Queens Hotel. The tunnel is still there today, although closed off, at
present. The THI (Townscape Heritage Initiative) have recently indentified this building to be included in the upgrade portfolio for the village.
The Mill Inn L14 3ML
The building date of the Mill Inn is still unknown however what is known at present is, The Mill Inn gets its name from the mill that once stood on the opposite side of Mill Lane to the pub. This was the up stream mill of two mills, less than ¼ of a mile apart and being known as Upper and Lower mills.
What is known about the early history of this pub is that Mr William “Merlin” Hazeldine, owned it and lived there while he was operating his works, The Plas Kynaston Iron Foundry. The iron foundry was responsible for producing a significant amount of the iron work for Thomas Telford’s civil engineering works and projects around the UK, and a number of iron bridges made over 200 years ago still stand around the UK, apart from the Poncysyllte Aqueduct. This pub is intrinsically linked with the early history of Cefn Mawr.
The Aqueduct Inn LL20 7PY This pub situated on the A5 trunk road to Hollyhead, is also at the Southern end of the Aqueduct, and hence the name. Magnificent views across the valley can be had in the beer garden to the rear of this pub, and it is well worth calling in for a beer or two! Traditional pub food, Sunday Roast & Real Ale overlooking the Llangollen Canal & Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, Hollyhead Road (A5) Froncysyllte
Tel 01691 772 481
The Telford LL20 7TT
This is also referred to as Scotch Hall, it is of typical Telford architecture, with large windows facing south for maximising the day light. Similar designs of buildings can be found at many of his sites around the UK. During the construction of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct 1795 to 1805 and whilst visiting Plas Kynaston, the country estate preceding Cefn Mawr and Surrounding Villages, Thomas Telford is reputed to have stayed here, and hence the name of the pub today. Tel 01978 820 469
The Duke of Wellington LL14 3SG
This charming pub on the main road to Llangollen (A539) situated between Acrefair and Trevor, dates back more than 200 years, and one would suppose that it draws its name from the good old Duke! It was at these cross roads that a toll house once stood for the Llangollen Road, but now makes an ideal junction for the main car parking areas for the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Cefn Mawr. Shanny runs an excellent pub & grub menu where people want to go back form more. Tel 01978 820 000
The Oddfellows Arms LL14 3TB
This cosy little pub stands back from the main Llangollen Road on Chapel Street, the road to Pen-y-Cae. It is another long established premises dating back more than 150 years, to the first half of the 1800’s. The pub is actually older than the Methodist Chapel it stands next to and gains its name from the Oddfellows’ Society that used to hold meeting there. They serve good beer and there is always an interesting story to be heard.
The Eagles LL14 3ST
The Eagles is an extremely well known local land mark, all the bus drivers and taxi drivers know where mean when you say “The Eagles” at the crossroads of Chapel Street, King Street (B5096) and the main Llangollen Road (A539). The pub originally belonged to Mostyn Owen, the squire of Plas Kynaston when it was called The Chirk Castle Arms, however when it became the property of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn in 1844 the name was changed to the Eagles, as it is known today, Dyson and Michele will be glad to see you.
The Hampden Arms is run by Pauline Jones and she serves really good food, situated at the top of Acrefair hill on the A539, the road from Ruabon to Llangollen, this is an easy stop, even if you are not coming to visit us here in Cefn Mawr. The pub itself derives its name from John Hampden, an English politician in the first half of the 17th Century who refused to pay Ship Money to Charles the 1st. Later, Whalley, an MP that lived in Plas Madoc whom was also a land owner is believed to have built the pub around 1860, and named it after his ancestor, John Hampden.
The Black Lion LL14 3YS
This is the oldest pub in Newbridge, well over 200 years old and situated on the old turnpike road, which originally ran through the centre of Cefn Bychan as it was then called. Cefn Bychan is older than Cefn Mawr, having been in existence for many centuries before the coming of the Canal Era. The turnpike road crossed the River Dee close to where the “New Bridge” is today, and where the name of the area now comes from. There is an inscribed stone over the lintel in the pub naming the owner in 1810, as N&M Stephens. Today, Dave and his staff will be glad to serve you when you call on by, Tel 01978 810 618
The Newbridge Arms LL14 3BJ
Once called the Masons Arms, and again dates back to the early 1800’s. The term “Arms” is originally a term referring to heraldry and coats of arms, and is common in Cefn. The New Bridge Arms is a large building with many rooms and former stables. It has a comparatively long history. In 1831, at the time of the dispute between coal owners and workers, this pub was the meeting place for the Friendly Society of Mineworkers’ Union with 100 members. Today this pub is actively supporting the reinstatement of the Plas Kynaston Canal, and Scott will be glad to tell you all about the current progress, and latest news.
The Jolly Mason LL14 3YF
The Jolly Mason dates back to 1835, when Knight’s Quarry was a prosperous concern, and it is likely that the pub was built by John Edward Night, the brother of William Knight who was the owner in 1844. Ian Carson, now in 2010 and his staff will be most pleased to serve you if you should call in for while.
The Holly Bush
The oldest pub in Cefn Mawr is a very popular local. It is still soldiering on after surviving Tesco’s demolition bid for their new bypass! The pub dates back to the beginnings of Cefn Mawr as a village in its own right, i.e. the early 1800’s. The Holly Bush once held events called “Small Beer” contests, and raffles to raise money for needy causes. This is a pub to be proud of and is now the Headquarters of the PKC Group.