by  • December 14, 2014 • Cilgerran, Inn, Modern, Pembrokeshire, Period, Post-Medieval, Site Type • 4 Comments



    The pub is said to have opened in 1836. In 1851-61 David Griffiths lived here. In 1851 the following persons lived here: David Griffiths, aged 36, a mason; Hannah Griffiths, aged 36, his wife; Ann Griffiths, aged 12, their daughter; John Griffiths, aged 8, their son; David Griffiths, aged 5, their son; and James Griffiths, aged 2, their son. In 1861 David Griffiths, an innkeeper, became the Portreeve of Cilgerran. In 1861-94 Hannah Griffiths lived here. In 1861 the following persons lived here: Hannah Griffiths, aged 46, a mason’s widow; Ann Griffiths, aged 22, her daughter; Mary Griffiths, aged 20, her daughter; David Griffiths, aged 15, her son, a tailor; James Griffiths, aged 12, their son, a stone-cutter; Titus Griffiths, aged 9, their son; and Rachel Griffiths, aged 6, their daughter. All were born in the parish. In 1871 Hannah Griffiths, aged 56, a widow, was the publican and lived here with her daughter Rachel Griffiths, aged 16. In 1891 Hannah Griffiths, aged 76, a widow, was the publican and lived here with her son James Griffiths, aged 42, a tailor. On 26th April 1895 James Griffiths of the ‘Mason’s Arms’ was buried at Cilgerran Church, having died on 22nd April 1895 aged 47.

    In 1897-1906 carpenter Enoch Thomas was the landlord. In 1901 the following persons lived here: Enoch Thomas, aged 63, a carpenter; Mary Thomas, aged 60, his wife; Hannah Thomas, aged 20, their daughter, a dress-maker; and Samuel G. Thomas, aged 14, their son, a pupil teacher. All were bilingual. In 1906-16 Mrs. Mary Thomas was the publican. In January 1908 the ‘Mason’s Arms’ was advertised for sale with Mrs. Mary Thomas the yearly tenant. In 1916-44 Hannah Thomas and her husband, cooper William Thomas, were the resident landlords. In 1921 W. G. Thomas lived here. Mrs. Hannah Mary Thomas was the publican in 1924-51. On 16th March 1927 William Ronald Thomas (b. 2nd May 1913), the son of William Griffith Thomas and Hannah Mary Thomas of the ‘Mason’s Arms’, was baptised at Cilgerran Church. In 1935-37 Miss S. G. Thomas lived here. In May 1938 Ronald Thomas, B. A., of this address, was about to become a curate in the Birmingham area. In 1939 Mrs. Thomas lived here. On 11th July 1944 the former cooper William Griffith Thomas died aged 70. For 25 years he had been the treasurer of Penuel Baptist Chapel. He left a widow, licensee Hannah Mary Thomas, and a son William Ronald Thomas. In August 1950 the property was advertised for sale.

    In September 1951 the license was transferred to Mrs. Lily May Davies – a member of the same family that had held the license for 116 years. She married Ben Kean soon afterwards. In 1952 Mr. and Mrs. Ben Kean lived here. On 26th June 1953 the 2 bedroom property was advertised for sale. M. Thomas was the publican in 1953. In 1954-72 Mrs. Elsie Brand was the publican. Until 1990 Ritchie Ray and Mary Ray were the landlords. In 1990-2007 Barbara Wainwright and Alan Lloyd were the landlords. In 1998 Barbara Potts was the licensee. In 2002-07 Mrs. B. Wainwright was the landlady. In Spring 2007 Francine Barber became the new landlady. Structural alterations were made to the rear of the building in 2011. The pub is still trading.


    The following observations were made in 2000:

    Public house, C19, in painted roughcast with offset to left, tripartite marginal sashes and pitched slate roof with red brick right end stack. Two storey, 2 window range with centre door to ground floor. Four-panel timber door with shallow stucco reveals, raised stucco banded surround. Similar surrounds to windows, all with stone sills, flat headed to ground floor, first floor window heads to eaves. Above door, set high between first floor windows, raised stucco letters forming broad arch – ‘MASONS ARMS’.


    Census Returns 1851; 1861; 1871; 1891; 1901

    The History of Cilgerran, John Roland Phillips 1867

    Kelly’s Directory of South Wales 1875; 1926

    Occupiers List of Voters – Parish of Cilgerran 22/06/01894

    Cilgerran Parish Registers

    Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser 1895; 1897; 1908; 1918; 1921; 1924; 1933-35

    1937-38; 1940-41; 1944; 1950-52; 1956; 1971-72; 1996; 1998; 2002

    Programme of Coracle Races, Cilgerran 1953

    Cilgerran Bible Society Annual Report 1952

    The 1992 Cardigan Guide

    The 1993 Guide to Cardigan

    Cilgerran Festive Week Poster 1994

    Cilgerran Horticultural Show Programme 2002

    The Phone Book 2003.

    Cilgerran Coracle No. 20 2007

    © Glen K Johnson 14/12/2014



    4 Responses to MASON’S ARMS, CNWCE

    1. Louisa Billington
      June 6, 2016 at 1:35 pm

      Good afternoon,

      Hannah Mary from the Mason Arms was my maternal great grandmother. We are trying to find out more history and to identify family members in photos we have. I was wondering if you might be able to point me in the right direction? We were hoping some family members might be in Tom Mathias’s collection.

      You mention Fforest Farm, Cilgerran on your website. John Williams was my great great uncle who farmed at Fforest with his wife Sarah. His 15yr old son Thomas was involved in an accident with a horse and died months later (25/11/1914) I am also trying to find out more about the family and to identify them in photos.

      I would be so grateful if you can help in any way.

      Many thanks

      Kind regards


      • glen
        June 27, 2016 at 6:32 am

        Hi Louisa. Regrettably I have no old photos of the ‘Mason’s Arms’ or its various landladies and landlords. It’s often difficult to identify people from random and uncaptioned old photographs – I have photos of several Mayors of Cardigan – leading citizens of the town – and I can’t identify them, and nor, apparently, can anyone else! The best hope, if nobody else in the family can help, might be to contact the Cilgerran Community website and ask if anybody has any captioned images that your relatives might be named in, but it is difficult. If I think of anyone who might be able to assist I’ll get back to you. Kind Regards, Glen

      February 14, 2017 at 10:13 am

      Hello Glen
      We recently moved into ‘Panteg’ in St Dogmaels and would really appreciate any information or photographs you may have on the property.
      We have been told that there was a builder operating and trading under the name of RK Evans & Sons around the 70s, but would love to know more.
      Many thanks
      Paul & Emma
      07813 330982

      • glen
        February 18, 2017 at 3:26 pm

        Hi Paul, can you let me know your email address and I’ll send what I have to you. Kind Regards, Glen

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