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Details of pub: Yr Hen Llew Du, Aberystwyth

Other names: Black Lion; Old Black Lion, Hen Lew Du
Address/Location: Bridge Street, Aberystwyth
OS Grid Ref: SN5823381606
Opened: c.      
Closed: open 2017       Type: Pub
Summary: Formerly known as the BLACK LION (Hotel), now known as Yr Hen Llew Du. The prefix 'Old / Hen' was added to distinguish it from the adjacent Gogerddan Arms, which was also sometimes known as The Black Lion.
The Old Black Lion / Yr Hen Llew Du was possibly a public house rather than an inn but appears to have been incorporated into the adjacent Gogerddan Arms Inn for a period.

It was formerly no. 51 but early in the 1890s the street was renumbered and it became no. 16.

It was the meeting place of the Cambrian Society, established or first registered: 1822
Ceredigion Museum 1975.148.1, rules, 1849

It was also the meeting place of the Union Club Society , established or first registered: 1834
NLW 2844E Sales book of Samuel Williams, p. 220

The Black Lion had stables in Pier Street.

It has been said that towards the end of the 20th century, this pub was open all day, a practice to which the police turned a blind eye.


Notes: 1771
We present the pavement over and against the pine end of the Black Lyon in Bridge Street to be out of order and ought to be repaired.
Aberystwyth Court Leet Presentments, 1771, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth Borough Records; Evans, G.E., (1901), Aberystwyth and its Court Leet, p. 114
1801
John Lloyd Davies was born in the Old Black Lion in 1801. His father died when he was five but his mother is mentioned in the Aberystwyth guide of 1816 as the keeper of the inn. At 24, Davies became a solicitor at Newcastle Emlyn. He became Cardiganshire High Sheriff in 1845 and in 1855 was elected M.P. for the Cardigan Boroughs seat. He died in 1860.
'Old Black Lion', by Will O' Whispers, Cambrian News, 16/3/1973
1816
Elizabeth Davies, Old Black Lion Inn, Bridge Street, (Aberystwyth Guide, 1816)
1816
Letter from David James of the Skinner's Arms asking the Nanteos estate if he could lease land at the back of the Black Lion stables, Pier Street, to build a stable there.
NLW Nanteos, L891
1822
Elizabeth Davies, Old Black Lion, Bridge Street
Pigot’s directory, 1822
1823, 1825
licensee: Elizabeth Davies
St Michaels Vestry Rate lists, Ceredigion Archives, CPR/ASTM/123-128
1826
For sale by auction.
The Cambrian (Newspaper) : 26.8.1826
1826
licensee: Micia / Meciah Warrington
St Michaels Vestry Rate lists, Ceredigion Archives, CPR/ASTM/123-128
1826
I had very good accommodation at the Black Lion and clean beds without vermin.
Masleni, Thomas John, Sketch of a Tour of Scenery in Wales, 1826, NLW Mss 65a, p. 99
1830
licensee: Eleanor Warrington,
source: Pigot and Co, 1830
1835
Landlord: Henry Davies
Pigot’s directory, 1835
1837
On the list of premises which were provided with water by the Aberystwyth Improvement Commissioners, 1837. Occupier / Landlord: David Lewis, 51 Bridge Street (Ceredigion Archives)
1840
licensee: John Evans,
source: Robson's trade directory 1840
1844
licensee: John Evans,
source: Pigot and Co., 1844

1846
Terminus for Omnibus to Carmarthen - see ad.
1849
William Hughes, 51 Bridge Street, beer retailer.
Hunt and Co's Directory for Gloucester, Bristol and Welsh towns
1851
Licensee : William Hughes, age 48, born in Llanfihangel Geneu'r Glyn, Innkeeper
Census, 1851
1853
Licensee, William Hughes
Slater's Directory, 1853
1859
Old Black Lion, Richard Davies, Bridge Street.
Slaters Directory, 1859

1860
"PRIODASAU. Mehefin 19eg, yn eglwys Llanbadarnfawr,.Mr. John Matthias, grocer, â Miss Jane Davies, Old Black Lion, y ddau o Aberystwyth." Baner 27 June 1860
1861
Old Black Lion, 51 Bridge Street
Richard Davies, head, age 46, born in Aberystwyth, victualler.
Census, 1861
1865
'A SAILOR named Morgan Davies, a native of New Quay, and whose vessel has recently arrived at Liverpool, was proceeding towards his home, in a state of ill health, when on reaching this town on the afternoon of Thursday week, he found himself unable to proceed further, and was compelled to put up at the Old Black Lion Inn, Bridge-street. His state was such that it was thought advisable to call in Dr. James and Dr. Gilbertson, but the medical gentlemen state that they found the poor fellow in a dying condition. Under their treatment he revived for a short time; but again sunk and expired on Friday night. It is supposed that he was suffering from some organic disease. The body of the deceased was removed to New Quay on Saturday. He was a young man apparently not twenty years of age, and was unmarried.
Aberystwyth Observer 15/4/1865
1865
FREEHOLD & LEASEHOLD PROPERTY IN THREE LOTS, NAMELY: — Lot 1. All that old-established and well accustomed Freehold Inn with the extensive yard and premises behind the same, called or known by the name of OLD BLACK LION, situate in Bridge-street, Aberystwyth, now in the occupation of Mr. Richard Davies as yearly tenant.
Aberystwyth Observer 18/11/1865

1866
The license of the Old Black Lion, in Bridge Street, was transferred to the names of Ann Jones and Margaret Thomas
AO 23 Nov 1866

1868
Black Lion, Margaret Thomas, Bridge Street
Slater's Directory 1868
1870
PETTY SESSIONS, WEDNESDAY.—Before Thomas Jones, Esq. A Drunken Ballad Singer.—John Davies, ballad singer, belonging to Llanrwst, was brought up in custody, charged with being drunk and noisy on the previous night in Great Darkgate-street and at the Old Black Lion public house. P.C. Davies proved the charge.—The prisoner was fined 5s. including costs. The defendant also owed 2s. 6d. and 5s. previous fines for drunkenness which he had not paid. He was ordered to pay all, or go to prison for 14 days.
Cambrian News 22/10/1870
1871
53 Bridge Sreet – Old Black Lion
Margaret Thomas, head, unmarried, age 43, born in Llanbrynmair, licensed victualler.
Census 1871
1871
Black Lion, Bridge Street, Miss Margaret Thomas.
Post Office Directory of Monmouthshire and South Wales 1871
1875
Old Black Lion, Margaret Thomas, Inn and Public House, Bridge Street, Aberystwyth
Worrall’s Directory, 1875

1877
"Margaret Thomas, Old Black Lion, Bridge-street, was charged with supplying beer in a measure not stamped. David Owens proved the case. The defendant said she sold the beer in a properly-stamped measure, and only gave it to the man to drink in a jug. Find Is., and costs 7s. 6d" CN 9 Feb 1877

1880
Old Black Lion, Margaret Thomas, Bridge Street.
Slater's Directory of North and South Wales 1880
1880 (Nov)
petty sessions: licence transferred from Margaret Thomas to Richard Davies
1881
Old Black Lion, Richard Davies, head, age 57, born in Montgomery, innkeeper.
Census 1881
1891
Old Black Lion John Lewis, head, age 77, born in Llangurig, innkeeper.
Census 1891
1891
Landlord: Jonathan Lewis, 16 Bridge St. Old Black Lion
Kelly directory, 1891
1895
Old Black Lion, Jonathan Lewis, 16 Bridge Street.
Slater's Directory of North and Mid Wales 1895
1900
'Old Black Lion, Bridge Street, J. Lewis. Good accommodation for tourists and other travellers.'
Bennett's Business Directory, 1900
1902
Licence transferred from H Matthews to John Evans (Petty sess)
1905
Petty Sessions: Aberystwyth; number on list: 26; name of premises: Old Black Lion; Parish / Place: Aberystwyth; Licensee: Evans, John; owner or tenant : tenant; registered owner : City Brewery, Litchfield; free or tied: tied; tied to: City Brewery; type of licence: full; on or off licence: on; number of licenced days per week: 7. (1905 list)
1912
'Old Black Lion Hotel, Bridge Street, the oldest established hotel in the town, good accommodation for tourists, commercial gentlemen and cyclists, J. Evans, proprietor.'
Wales Trades Directory 1912
1920
Licensee: J. Herbert, 16 Bridge Street Old Black Lion
Kelly’s directory, 1920
1950s
Old Black Lion Hotel, Mr and Mrs Kemish, E.W., hotel proprietor, Bridge Street, Aberystwyth, (Anon, Official Guide, p. 44, (1950s), advert)
1956
Old Black Lion Hotel, Mr and Mrs G.J., Williams, boarding residence proprietor, Bridge Street, Aberystwyth, £6/6/0 [per week], Bed and breakfast 13/6d, (Anon, Official Guide, p. 53, (1956), advert)
1958
Old Black Lion Hotel, Mr and Mrs Kemish, E.W., hotel proprietor, Bridge Street, Aberystwyth, (Anon, Official Guide, p. 47, (1958), advert)
1959
Old Black Lion Hotel, Mr and Mrs Kemish, E.W., hotel proprietor, Bridge Street, Aberystwyth, (Anon, Official Guide, p. 40, (1959), advert)
1969
'Old Black Lion, Bridge Street. Oldest Inn in Aberystwyth. Telephone 7321. Bed and breakfast only. Tariff on application. Proprietor : H. L. Evans. Homely and comfortable.'
Aberystwyth : What to see and how to see it. Advert, 1969
1976
'Old Black Lion (Yr Hen Llew Du). Prop : Mr and Mrs P. A. Lane. Bridge Street, Aberystwyth, Dyfed. Tel : 615373. Real Ale. Lunchtime meals.'
Aberystwyth : Town and Around, Advert, 1976
1978
'Man cyfarfod traddodiadol Cymry Cymraeg, wel, rhai mathau o Gymry Cymraeg! Pan ddaeth teyrnasiad hir y cymeriad greiddiol a chellweirus, Llew, i ben mawr fu'r dyfalu a ddoi newid I swyddogaeth y Llew Du. Yn ffodus iawn bu'r par ifanc a ddaeth yma ddwy flynedd yn ol, Peter a Janice Lane yn ddigon doeth i beidio chwalu waliau etc. Cymysgedd o fobl, cenedlaetholwyr, gwerin leol, myfyrwyr Cymraeg, brawdoliaeth y ty betio ac ymwelwyr. Bar bach gyda tan glo, lolfa gyda'r darts a'r ystafell gefn gyda'r piano. Drafft Bass a cawl cennin.'
['Where the Welsh speakers meet. Peter and Janice Lane took over from the famous Llew in 1976. Clientele, mixture of nationalists, local people, Welsh students, the nearby betting shop clientele and some visitors. Small bar at the front with a fire, a room for playing darts and a room with a piano. Draught Bass and Leek Cawl .']
Tafarndau Cymru, Y Lolfa, 1978.
1989
The Black is said to be the town's second oldest hostelry – from the 14th century.
Article in the Cambrian News 11/5/1989
2000
'Mae'r Llew Du yn ddiddorol tu hwnt. Dyma dafarn sydd ar nos Sadwrn yn cynnig defod gymdeithasol bwysig i gannoedd o bobl ifanc wrth iddynt dyrru i'r un man ar yr un amser I siarad a'r un bobl, unigolion na fyddent yn cwrdd a hwy o gwbl yn aml iawn ond yn y dafarn arbennig yma. Mewn cymdeithas wasgaredig fel y gymdeithas Gymraeg dyma'r math o brofiad torfol sydd yn helpu diffinio beth yw ystyr 'perthyn'.'
Y Llew Du, Barn, 11/2000
2001
14-18 Heol y Bont, Yr Hen Lew Du. (The Old Black Lion. Traditional Welsh pub in town centre. Home cooked food – 7 days a week. Nightly promotions. Live sports on a big screen.'
Western Mail Town Guide, advert, 2001

Additional information

Photograph:

Gravestone of Thomas Davies

Date:

Pub sign:

Pub sign, 2006

Date:

Photograph:

Y Hen Llew Du, Aberystwyth

Date: 2010 (approx)

Photograph:

Y Hen Llew Du, Aberystwyth

Date: 2010 (approx)

Map:

Princess Street, High Street, Bridge Street, Aberystwyth, 50 inch, 1905

Date:

Photograph:

Yr Hen Llew Du, Bridge Street, Aberystwyth, sign, 2016

Date: 2016

Photograph:

Yr Hen Llew Du, Bridge Street, Aberystwyth, 2016

Date: 2016

Newspaper:

Pedlar convicted for stealing from the Old Black Lion

Date: 1879

Newspaper:

List of Aberystwyth tied pubs Sept 1895

Date: 1895

Newspaper:

Omnibus service to Carmarthen

Date: 1846