by  • June 1, 2013 • Cardigan, Ceredigion, Inn, Modern, Period, Post-Medieval, Site Type • 9 Comments


    Reference was made on 3rd May 1720 to a newly-erected dwelling house, perhaps here, with quays and wharves belonging to the property, which was occupied by Jenkin George. Bridge House was built or rebuilt c.1785. In 1795-1832 Thomas Davies (b. 17/04/1758) lived here – the son of Evan David, mariner and former warden of St. Mary’s Church, and grandson of Jenkin David. On 4th April 1795 David Davies was born, the son and heir of Thomas Davies. In 1795-1840 David Davies lived here. The property was called Bridge House at that time. In 1799 Thomas Davies, son of Thomas Davies, drowned in the river Teifi. By 1805 Thomas Davies was a merchant banker with premises at Bank House, High Street. In 1807 he acquired Bridge End Warehouse, quay and lime-kilns. In 1809 Ann Davies, daughter of Thomas Davies, was born here. In 1809 Llywelyn Davies, son of Captain John Davies, was Captain of the 126 ton Cardigan brig ‘Alliance’ (built in Bideford, 1796, with a 12ft draught). On 15th November 1813 Thomas Davies, was summoned by the Court Leet at Cardigan:

    “…for an encroachment and nuisance in digging and carrying away into Pembrokeshire Gravel from Netpool Bank, being an infringement upon the rights and privileges of the Burgesses of the Town and Corporation of Cardigan…”

     In 1813 Thomas Davies’ vessel, ‘Alliance’, a regular timber trader with Sweden, was burnt off the Irish coast by the American warship, ‘Argus’. In 1814 William Davies, eldest son of Thomas Davies, was lost at sea. In 1815 William Roberts of Milford built the vessel ‘Albion’ for the Davies’ of Cardigan and Newport. On 1st January 1817 Captain Thomas Davies accused John Lloyd and David Lloyd of stealing cloth and wearing apparel from his warehouse – items salvaged from the wreck of the ship ‘Elizabeth & Mary’. Both men were found guilty and transported for seven years. On 9th April 1819 the ‘Albion’ sailed from Cardigan to St. John’s, New Brunswick, Canada, with twenty seven families of emigrants on board. She arrived on 12th June 1819. She was the first of many such ships from Cardigan. In November 1819 she was lost on the Wicklow Bank with her master, Llywelyn Davies, and all hands.

    In 1820 Thomas Davies, “The Bridge”, bought Parcypratt, St. Dogmaels. Thomas Davies was the owner or a shareholder in the following Cardigan vessels: ‘Active’, 54 tons (1820-25); ‘Mentor’ (1824); ‘Fishminer’ (1824); ‘Nelson’ (1824); ‘True Briton’ (1824), ‘Victory’ (1824); ‘Eliza’ (1824); ‘Irish Miner’, 90 tons, (1825); ‘Mary & Eleanor’ of Fishguard, (1825); ‘Hawke’, (1825); ‘Thetis’, (1825); ‘Margaret’, 128 tons (1825-30); “Art” (1825); “Princess Royal” (1825); “Hope” (1825); “Phoenix” (1825): “Mary & Eliza” of Newport (1825); “Mary” (1825); “Lion” (1825); “Commerce” (1825); “Trident” (1825); “Wellington” (1825); “Minerva”, (1825); “Acorn” (1825); “Hannah” (1825); “Fame” (1826); “Jane” (1826); and “Erin” (1828). John Davies owned shares in the Cardigan ships ‘Eliza’ (1824); “Ardent”, 50 tons (1825); “Jane”, 163 tons (1825-26); “Thetis” (1825); “Margaret”, (1825); “Art” (1825); “Mary & Eliza” of Newport (1825); “Olive”, (1825); “Amity” (1825); “Elizabeth & Mary” of Newport (1825); “Ann” (1826); “Aeron” (1826); “Letitia” (1826); and “Charlotte” (1826).

    David Davies owned or held shares in the Cardigan ships: “Three Sisters”, 33 tons, (1825); ‘Hawke’ (1825); ‘Margaret’, 128 tons (1825-30), ‘Hibernia’, 55 tons (1825-37), ‘Mary & Eliza’ of Newport (1825); ‘Mary’, 55 tons, (1825-36); ‘Gleaner’ (1825); ‘Trident’, 44 tons, (1825-36); ‘Ecton’ (1825); ‘Elizabeth & Mary’ of Newport (1825); ‘Tivy’ (1825); “Ceres” (1826); “Aeron”, 49 tons (1826-37) “Ardent”, 125 tons, (1826-36); “Rosina” (1828); “Erin”, 106 tons, (1828-37); “Gratitude”, 47 tons, (1828-36); “True Briton” (1829); “Ellen”, 112 tons, (1829-36); “Francis”, 71 tons (1830-36); “Maria & Ann”, 64 tons (1830-36); “David”, 35 tons (1830-37); “Ocean”, 121 tons (1832-36); “Anna Letitia”, 106 tons (1833-36); “Victoria”, 79 tons (1834-37); “Acorn”, 62 tons (1834-36); “Mary & Eleanor”, 130 tons (1835); “Minerva”, 38 tons (1836); “Eliza”, 97 tons, (1836); “Thetis”, 60 tons, (1836); “Lion”, 27 tons (1837); “Commerce”, 51 tons (1837); ‘Magdalen’ 102 tons (1837); and “Sarah Ann”, 114 tons (1838).

    In 1823 Thomas Davies acquired a large proportion of the former St. Dogmaels Abbey estate from Noyadd Trefawr. In 1826 Thomas Davies became the Sheriff of Cardiganshire. He had two sons – David and John Davies. John Davies’ sons were Thomas (of Bank House, High Street, J. P.), and John Davies. In 1829 Ann Davies, daughter of Thomas Davies, died aged 20. David Davies traded as a lime-burner, merchant, rope-maker and sail-maker in 1830 from the nearby quay. Thomas Davies died on 22nd February 1832, aged 74, leaving a £36,000 estate.

    In 1833 David Davies had the ship ‘Anna Letitia’, 106t, built in Cardigan and named after his fiancé. On 8th April 1833 David Davies received a license to marry Anna Letitia Griffith at Eglwyswrw. In April 1833 Anne Davies, widow of Thomas Davies, wrote her will. She referred to her grandchildren – Thomas, John & Elizabeth Davies; her sisters Mary Davies and Jane Williams; her nephew Lewis Davies (son of her late sister Sarah Davies); and her son David Davies. Bridge House isshown on J. Wood’s map of 1834, the property of David Davies. By that time David Davies had married Anna Letitia Griffith, daughter of Rev. David Griffith, Vicar of Nevern. By March 1834 his wife had lost a child. In 1835 David Davies became an Alderman for three years and continued his rope-making business. On 27th July 1835 David & Anna Letitia Davies had their son and heir, David Griffith Davies, christened at St. Mary’s Church. On 12th January 1836 Mrs. Anne Davies, widow of Thomas Davies, was buried at St. Mary’s Church, having died aged 78. In 1837 Thomas Davies, son of David Davies, was born, and was christened at St. Mary’s Church on 18th July. In 1840 David Davies bought Castle Green (Cardigan Castle) and moved there that December.

    In 1841 the following persons may have lived here: Ann Owens, 35, grocer; John Owens, 2 months; and Ann Morgan, 15, female servant. In 1843-45 John Hasselby, maltster, was the tenant. In 1847-49 Dr. David Owen was the tenant here of David Davies of Castle Green. He died in 1849 and his widow left. In 1851 Evan Thomas took up the lease until 1853. In 1851 Jemima Thomas was probably born here. The following persons lived here in 1851: Evan Thomas, 32, Baptist Minister (b. Peterstone); Ann R. Thomas, 29, his wife (b. Tredegar); Thomas G. Thomas, 3, their son (b. Tredegar); Mary Ann Thomas, 1, daughter (b. Bassally); Jemima Thomas, 1 month, daughter (b. Cardigan); Mary Stephen, 24, general servant (b. Cardigan); and Margaret Jones, 34, general servant (b. Cardigan).

    In 1861 Bridge House was the home of Launcelot Lowther, 37 (b. Bradford-on-Avon); Elizabeth Lowther, 28, his wife (b. Llanarthen); Ellen Lowther, 5, their daughter (b. Cardigan); Launcelot Ethelbert Lowther, 4, son (b. Cardigan); Thomas William Lowther, 2, son (b. Cardigan); Beatrice Lowther, 4 months, daughter (b. Cardigan); and a servant – Ann Davies, 18 (b. Cardigan). In 1871 the following persons lived here: Susan Lowther, 81, widow; Eliza Lowther, 52, her daughter; Harriet Ellen Lowther, 50, daughter; Mary Selina Lowther, 48, daughter (all b. Bradford-on-Avon); and Hannah Young, 19, servant (b. Cardigan). On 5th July 1872 David Griffith Davies & Arabella Ann Davies of Bridge House had their son, David Berrington Griffith Davies, christened at St. Mary’s Church. On 26th September 1873 David Griffith Davies & Arabella Ann Davies of Bridge House had their daughter Anna Elizabeth Davies christened at St. Mary’s Church. On 5th March 1874 a sale of contents was held here. On 29th May 1874 David Griffith Davies of Castle Green advertised Bridge House to let.

    David Morris, draper, may have been the occupier in 1875. In 1880-84 Mrs. Martha Phillips lived at Bridge House. In 1881-1901 Mrs. Elizabeth Williams may have lived here. In 1881 the following persons lived here: Martha Phillips, 70, widow, retired draper; Elizabeth Phillips, 30, her daughter; and Sarah Jones, 30, general servant. (In a separate unit, No. 3 Bridge Street, lived: Elizabeth Williams, 48; Sophia Jane Williams, 13, her daughter; and Thomas Williams, 7, son.) In 1884 David Griffith Davies lived at Bridge House.

    In 1891-1910 Miss Elizabeth Phillips, a younger daughter of Mr. Levi Phillips of High Street, lived here. In 1891 Elizabeth Phillips, 40, (b. Cardigan) lived here with Adelaide Wilson, visitor (b. Begelly); and Ellen Thomas, 28, servant (b. Pembrokeshire). In a separate dwelling lived Elizabeth Williams, 58, widow (b. Llawhaden); Sarah J. Williams, 23, her daughter (b. Cardigan); and Thomas Williams, 17, her son (b. Cardigan). All the occupants were bilingual save for Adelaide Wilson, who could only speak English. In 1894 Miss Sarah J. Williams lived here.

    In 1895-1914 Mrs. Anna Sambrook lived here and kept a Temperance Hotel here. In 1895-1912 Timothy Sambrook, watch-maker, lived and traded here. On 27th September 1898 Rosina Sambrook was born here. On 3rd November 1899 this was “Sambrook’s Temperance Hotel”. On 6th September 1900 Daisy Sambrook, daughter of Timothy & Anna Sambrook was born. In 1901 Elizabeth Williams, 68 (b. Llawhaden) and her son Thomas L. Williams, 27 (b. Cardigan) occupied one property here. The other was occupied by Elizabeth Phillips, 56 (b. Cardigan) and Esther John, 26, domestic servant (b. Llanfihangel). Both were bilingual. On 20th November 1902 Daisy Sambrook, youngest daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Timothy Sambrook of Bridge House, died aged 2. Thomas L. Williams lived here in 1903. Miss Phillips lived at Bridge House in 1905. In May 1910 Miss Elizabeth Phillips of Bridge House, daughter of the late Levi Phillips, died aged 59. On 16th November 1911 auctioneer David Hughes married Lily Sambrook, daughter of Timothy Sambrook of Bridge House. On 4th July 1913 the death of Timothy Sambrook of the ‘Sambrook Hotel’ was reported. He was 54, and left a widow and four children. The business, which had traded for 29 years, continued under the management of Mrs. Anna Sambrook. In October 1914 Thomas Sambrook, jeweller, married Miss Rosetta Woolcock. In 1914 Mrs. Anna Sambrook ran a temperance hotel and a watch-maker’s shop here. On 6th October 1914 Thomas Richard Humphreys, 51, widower of London married widow Anna Sambrook, 47, of Bridge House. On 3rd November 1915 Mrs. Anna Humphreys, who was leaving, was scheduled to sell the ‘Sambrook Hotel’ by auction.

    On 20th April 1916 William Henry Hallam of Wolverhampton, married Nance Pugh Jones of Sambrook’s Hotel. In March 1917 the hotel was referred to as ‘Sambrook’s’. In September 1917 the hotel was referred to as ‘The Grosvenor’. In January 1920 Mrs. Hallam ran the hotel. By 1920 this was the ‘Grosvenor Temperance Hotel’. Miss Jones lived at the “Grosvenor” in 1924. In 1920-43 the temperance hotel was run by Mrs. William Henry Hallam and her husband. In June 1926 William Henry Hallam opened a restaurant at New Manchester House. On 8th December 1929 the roof blew off in a storm. On 26th December 1934 William Hallam, father of William Henry Hallam, died aged 84. In 1935-50 Albert Hallam lived here. On 9th April 1937 a reunion of Master Mariners was held here. On 21st April 1937 Albert Hallam, son of Mr. & Mrs. William Henry Hallam, married Miss Edna Hopkins of Swansea. In February 1940 Albert Hallam was a sergeant in the army. On 14th August 1943 Mrs. Anne Hallam, wife of William Henry Hallam, died. On 18th October 1944 William Henry Hallam died aged 69. In November 1945 Lieutenant Hubert Maxwell Davies became Deputy Lieutenant for Cardiganshire. In April 1948 Hubert Maxwell Davies lived here.

    On 2nd March 1951 the 13-bedroom “Grosvenor Hotel” was sold by auction to Mr. E. J. Birrt of Pentood, St. Dogmaels. In 1953-72 Stanley J. H. Dove lived here. In 1955 Olive Adelaide Dove, Hilda Davies and Lydia Davies lived here. It was made a listed building in 1961. In 1972 Mr. & Mrs. Stanley J. H. Dove moved to Penally near Tenby. In 1972 Mr. Piet & Mrs. Pamela Sillevis were the new proprietors. On 28th March 1975 the ‘Tivy Restaurant’ opened here. In 1976 D. M. Jones & P. Callaghan were the proprietors. On 10th September 1976 the ‘Grosvenor’ was sold by auction to Glan Davies. In the early 1980’s the Manns family were the landlords. In 1986-90 Alf & Mary Wilson were the landlords. In 1992 it was confirmed as a listed building. Owner Glan Davies died in 1994 and the property passed to his son Phil Davies and Phil Davies’ wife, Sandra Davies. Yona Davies and David Lloyd lived in flats here in 1998. In 1999 planning permission was granted for the demolition of an extension and replacement by a new extension.

    In January 2004 a major refurbishment commenced. New railings were erected around the forecourt and the building was given a new roof covering. The interior was completely gutted in June and nearly all of the original features removed. The pub re-opened in December 2004 under the management of Paul Snoaden and Kathryn Holden. In August 2006 Alvin & Annie Biddyr became the managers. The pub was still trading in 2013.

    The Grosvenor Hotel. Taken 19/02/2013 (c) Glen K Johnson

    The Grosvenor Hotel. Taken 19/02/2013 (c) Glen K Johnson


    In 1992 the building was described by CADW:

    …Later C18 house, now inn, roughcast with slate roof, hipped at south east angle, and brick south end stack. Two and a half storeys, 3-window range with paired bracket eaves and matching central pedimental gable. Gable has tripartite lunette with original small-paned sashes, first floor has 3 12-pane sashes with slate sills, centre sash not aligned with lunette and ground floor has 12-pane sash to left, centre door not aligned with window above and 4-12-4 pane canted bay to right, also not aligned. Six-panel door with lozenge-tracery overlight in painted timber doorcase, panelled piers and head, shelf hood on brackets.

    South end wall has bracket eaves, 2-window range, widely spaced, 12-pane sashes above, door and C20 curved bow window below. Attached to west is 3-storey house, roughcast to match with cambered-headed sash windows, 2 9-pane sashes to second floor, 4-12-4 pane bowed oriel to first floor left, 12-pane sash to right; 12-pane sashes to ground floor and centre 6-panel door with overlight, the doorcase stripped away to reveal blue lias surround.

    INTERIOR – Ground floor altered…”

    FURTHER OBSERVATIONS (2007) – Following 2004 refurbishment, S wall bow window replaced with canted bay having small-paned lights. Blue lias surround to doorcase concealed with render. Interior completely gutted.


    Cardigan (illus.), J Wood 1812

    Leet Court Presentments : Cardigan, Dyfed R. O. 1813

    Pembrokeshire Record Office: Port of Cardigan Shipping Registers

    Ledger of David Davies, Bridge House & Castle Green 1830-54

    NLW Llwyngwair MS 17009

    Draft Will of Thomas Davies, Bridge ca1832

    Map of Cardigan, J Wood 1834

    Pigot’s Directory 1844

    St. Mary’s Parish Register, Cardigan

    Census Returns 1851; 1861; 1871; 1881; 1891; 1901

    List of the Sheriffs of Cardiganshire, John Roland Phillips 1868

    Post Office Directory 1871

    Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser 1874; 1880; 1883; 1894; 1897-1902; 1904-06; 1910-11; 1913-18

    1920-23; 1926-27; 1929; 1934-38; 1940-46; 1948; 1950-51; 1972; 1975-76; 1993; 1995; 1999; 2004; 2006

    Kelly’s Directory of South Wales 1875; 1884; 1895; 1914; 1926

    Register of Subscribers – Tabernacl C. M. Chapel, Cardigan 1883

    List of Voters – Cardigan 25/07/1910

    Register of Electors – Cardigan 1912; 1955; 1998

    Annual Report – Tabernacl C. M. Chapel, Cardigan 1924

    Postcard – Grosvenor Hotel, New Centurion Publishing c1930

    Letter-heads & envelope – Grosvenor 1933; 1939; 1942; 1943; 1972

    Statement of Account – St Mary’s Church 31/12/1938

    The Grosvenor Hotel – promotional leaflet ca1968

    Change of Address card – S J H Dove, Grosvenor Hotel, 1972

    Cardigan National Eisteddfod – List of Subjects 1976

    Maritime Heritage, J Geraint Jenkins 1982

    Cardigan Civic Festival Programme 1986

    Cardigan & the Lower Teifi Valley in Old Photographs, Dyfed Cultural Services 1989

    Programme – Cardigan Fat Stock & Poultry Show 1990

    Buildings of Architectural or Historic Interest – Cardigan, CADW 1992

    Cardigan Annual Show Catalogue 02/08/1995; 29/07/1998; 28/07/1999; 02/08/2000

    Caring For Cardigan 1998

    The Phone Book 2003.

    © Glen K Johnson 01/06/2013



    1. Chris Sambrook
      July 11, 2013 at 7:23 pm

      Hi Glen. Stumbled across your excellent site whilst researching my family connections in Cardigan. Your notes regarding the Sambrooks of 5 Bridge Street and the Temperence Hotel confirmed much of what we already knew and filled in a few gaps where dates and names were lacking so many thanks for that. Timothy and Anna Ann were my great grandparents, their son Thomas moved to Blaenavon in Monmouthshire in the early 1920′s where he continued in trade as a jeweller until he went bankrupt in the early 1930′s, dying shortly afterwards and, like his father before him, leaving a young widow and four young children, one of whom, Thomas Richard, was my father. If it’s of any use I do have a photo of Timothy and Thomas standing outside the hotel, complete with sign over the door plus a number of other family photos of some of the individual’s named although I imagine these would be of less interest. Anyway, congratulations on an well thought out and nicely presented site and if I can provide you with any information, photos etc. relating to the Sambrooks please do not hesitate to get in touch. Regards. Chris Sambrook.

      • glen
        July 12, 2013 at 7:20 am

        Hi Chris

        Thanks very much for the feedback – glad you found the site useful. I’d certainly welcome any additional information or images – the Sambrooks are a very interesting family. Eventually I’ll be adding Pentood Uchaf and Nanperchellan, St. Dogmaels.



    2. Tom Gray
      July 18, 2013 at 3:17 pm

      Regarding your article, you say Jemima Thomas was probably born at Castle Green in 1851. Is that on the castle grounds?
      Jemima Thomas was my great grandmother.
      I live in Cardigan town, and would be keen to learn more about my family connection with the town.
      Tom Gray

      • glen
        July 18, 2013 at 4:11 pm

        Hi Tom. Jemima Thomas was probably born at Bridge House (Grosvenor Hotel). It was a good town house in those days, and the tenants there would have been quite highly regarded, so it’s a good place to have ancestral connections with! I’d love to know more about the family. Sorry if my wording was misleading in any way.



    3. Joan Beckingsale
      August 21, 2013 at 7:41 pm

      Hi Glen, Great to see your new website. As you know I have Sambrook connections and was fascinated to see a reply to you from Chris Sambrook as I have some notes on the Sambrook family written by his father in 1983. It appears we are 5th cousins and I would be happy to share the information I have on the family with him.



      • glen
        August 21, 2013 at 8:34 pm

        Hi Joan. Brilliant news – glad to bring family members together!
        Kind Regards

        • Joan Beckingsale
          August 25, 2013 at 5:31 pm

          Hi Glen, How can I contact Chris Sambrook?

          • glen
            August 25, 2013 at 5:55 pm

            Hi Joan

            I never pass on details without a person’s agreement. I have an e-mail address for Chris Sambrook – would you like me to send him your e-mail address so that he can contact you?

            • Joan Beckingsale
              August 25, 2013 at 9:30 pm

              Hi Glen
              That would be great
              Many thanks

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