23 February 2021

House a pub after all

I had mentioned before that the previous owner of my house had said that the place had been a pub. She even knew the name: the Territorial Arms. I had tried to look up information about this pub. I had googled myself silly, and found nothing. I had done a Welsh class in local history, and asked the bloke who gave the course if he had any idea. He was a local historian, after all! But he couldn't find anything either.

I had also gone to the county archives. I had enlisted the archivists, and still nothing turned up. I had started to believe it was an apocryphal story.

And then something happened. For reasons of practising my Welsh, I tend to speak to a linguist every Friday. And this Friday we ended up talking about houses. And I mentioned the pub thing to him! And he said something along the lines of "let me googled that for you", and immediately found something. After our chat he emailed me the January 2011 edition of the local newspaper. And it had an article in it by a very famous local writer/editor (he is a specialist on Caradoc Prichard), about this area of Bethesda. And he mentions the Territorial Arms! And he explains exactly where it is, and that is exactly the location of my house! I was so excited. It was true!

I was also feeling a bit inadequate. I had spent so much effort looking for just that information, and it took him some 10 seconds. He even has quite bad eyesight! But being excited about this new-found knowledge outweighed the sense of inadequacy.

The next thing I did was ask on the village Facebook page if anyone knew any more. Now I had evidence it was true, I wondered if some of the villagers knew more. When was this house a pub? Had it been run by the ancestors of anyone still living here, and did they know that? Did anyone know who the people were who had scratched their names into the hearth stones?

As I write this, no new information has been uncovered, but now I have a start maybe I'll find more in due time. I hope so!

From Llais Ogwan, January 2011

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