This book covers the pubs that survive or have existed in Hay-on-Wye, the Golden Valley and the valley that runs from Gospel Pass at the head of the Black Mountains down past Llanthony Priory to Llanvihangel Crucorney, along with those pubs along the A465 that heads back into Herefordshire along the southern edge of the Mountains.
As with previous volumes in this series, a couple of introductory chapters cover beers and ciders, licensing laws, the differences between inns, taverns and pubs and other such information of a general nature, but made specific where possible to the area covered.
The area is then divided into a number of chapters that cover geographical slices of territory, often taking a main road as their focus as pubs have tended to collect along these over the years. Hay-on-Wye itself has three chapters devoted to it.
The usual mix of details of pubs, of owners and landlords, of events and occurrences that have happened is presented, sometimes sad, sometimes amusing – of hounds being laid a scent through one inn, of badgers making a home in another (even taking to the landlord’s bed), of one landlord who turned teetotal and is reckoned to have poured his entire stock down the drain. But this volume has a couple of subtle differences from others in the series. Much ferreting away in Hereford Record Office has unearthed a larger number than usual of beer houses, ‘pubs’ that often existed for only a few decades or even years sometime during the 1800s. The authors have managed to track down many of these and owners of some houses may be surprised to learn that their home was once a local drinkers’ den.
John Eisel is a retired lecturer and spends his time on research and writing on local history, and also researching the history of the construction of bell-frames, of which he is the leading authority. He is a prominent member of Herefordshire’s Woolhope Naturalists’ Field Club.
Frank Bennett has lived and worked in Herefordshire for 40 years. he has a particular interest in the postal history of Herefordshire and Hay-on-Wye.
Paperback | 272 pages | 234 x 156 mm | 2005