by  • July 25, 2013 • Inn, Modern, Pembrokeshire, Period, Post-Medieval, Site Type, St. Dogmaels • 6 Comments


    Formerly part of the Abbey estate sold to John Bradshaw in 1537, “Potpitt” comprised of 15 acres adjacent to the seashore and was worth 6s.8d. The name may imply pottery manufacture here, and originally was applied to the site where the hotel now stands, rather than the beach. It was confirmed to John Bradshaw in 1544 by a charter from King Henry VIII, the close then referred to as “Potpyt”. “Poppet” was indicated on Lewis Morris’ 1748 plan of Cardigan Bay, Bar & Harbour.

    An inn was erected and opened here about the year 1800. On March 5th 1814 Elizabeth Devonald of Poppit was buried at St. Dogmaels having died aged 82. On April 12th 1822 Daniel Samuel of ‘Poppit’ was buried at St. Dogmaels having died aged 7 weeks. Masons were employed at ‘Poppit House’ in 1830. A map of 1834 indicates “pwllcam”. In 1836-42 David Rees of Poppit was a burgess of Cardigan. On 10th April 1837 David Rees of Poppit, carpenter, leased the ‘Noyadd Arms’ in St. Dogmaels. A mason’s bill for work suggests that further construction work took place here in 1839.

    In 1844-51 the public house here was run by David Davies. On January 20th 1851 John Owen, son of Samuel & Ann Owen of the ‘Webley’, was baptised by the Vicar of St. Dogmaels. Samuel Owen was the publican. In 1851 the following persons lived here: David Davies, 39, farmer of 16 acres and publican; Ann Davies, 47; Mary Davies, 10; Margaret Davies, 8; and a servant. In January 1852 Anne Davies of the Webley died aged 49. In 1855 the Teifi was showing signs of following a new course, depriving sailors of the sheltered pool at Pwll Cam. In 1856 ‘The Webley Arms’ was leased by Mr. D. K. W. Webley-Parry to John Davies of Tynewydd for £30 per annum. On November 8th 1858 Margaret Evans of the ‘Webley’ was buried at St. Dogmaels having died aged 88. In 1861 the following persons lived here: John Davies, 49; Ann Davies, his wife; Charlotte Davies, their daughter; John Davies, 13, their son; Elizabeth Davies, 5, their daughter; and Hannah Davies, 2, daughter. On 20th Deecember 1861 the following advertisement appeared in the ‘Pembrokeshire Herald‘:

    “…PEMBROKESHIRE. TO BE SOLD BY PUBLIC AUCTION, AT THE ANGEL INN, IN THE TOWN OF CARDIGAN, ON SATURDAY, THE 18th DAY OF JANUARY, 1862, At two o’clock precisely in the afternoon, subject to such conditions of sale as shall be then and there produced, IN THE FOLLOWING LOTS, THE UNDERMENTIONED VERY VALUABLE FREEHOLD ESTATES: THAT IS TO SAY: 1. Part of Manianfawr, St. Dogmells, William Williams, Tenant from year to year; 2. Tyryet and Lime Kiln, John Evans, under tenant to Wm. Williams; 3. Dincwd, Mary James; 4. A Cottage, Garden, & Orchard, part of do, Anne Samuel. 5. Another Cottage and Garden, part of do., John Rees, tenant; 6. A Blacksmith’s Forge, another part of do., John Rees. 7. Part of Manianfach and Mill, George Richards; 8. Part of Parkttwyd. Ditto; 9. Part of ditto. 10. Part of ditto; 11. Ditto ditto;11. Poppit & the Webley Arms, John Davies, with four inclosures of land ; Arid Parkygwartheg, part of Manianfawr, together with the Strand or Beach belonging to Poppit aforesaid. LOT 8 9 10 and 11 are admirably adapted for the purpose of building Marine Villas, as they abut immediately upon the Estuary of the river Tivy, close to Cardigan Bay. The House of Poppit, and the Webley Arms are situate by the banks of the river Tivy, and a great number of vessels are always moored exactly opposite to the door of the Inn and the Webley Arms is very much resorted as a Marine Residence in the summer months, and in consequence of these advantages any good tenant will make a comfortable livelihood. The respective Tenants will shew the premises, and for further particulars apply to Mr Thomas Morgan, Solicitor, Cardigan, at whose Offices a Map of the different Lots may be seen, and possession of all the Lots may be had at Michaelmas next, if required. Cardigan, December 15th, 1861…”

    In January 1862 the ‘Webley’ was sold by D. K. W. Webley-Parry to Thomas Harman Brenchley of Glaneirw. John Davies was the tenant. In 1866 it was known as “The Poppit or the Webley Arms”. In 1871 the following persons lived here: Joseph Williams, 60, master mariner; Elizabeth Williams, 55, his wife; John Williams, 30, their son; Mary Williams, 26, their daughter; Ann Williams, 19, daughter; William Williams, 14, son; Benjamin Williams, 12, son; and James Williams, 3, grandson. On September 7th 1872 Mary Williams of the ‘Webley’, daughter of mariner Joseph Williams, married John Evans, mariner, of Trecwn. On February 21st 1875 Anne Williams, 23, of the ‘Webley’, daughter of master mariner Joseph Williams, married John Richards, mariner of St. Dogmaels. They had six children together before John Richards died aged about 41. His widow married Thomas Bowen of Penally, St. Dogmaels. One of their children was Benjain Lodwig Williams Richards who later became a river pilot. In 1881 the following persons lived here: Elizabeth Williams, 64, public house keeper; Mary Evans, 35, her widowed daughter; James Williams, 13, son; and Elizabeth Evans, 7, grand-daughter.

    In June 1883 the “Poppit Inn” was advertised for sale. It was advertised to let on 6th July 1883. By 27th June 1884 there was an outdoor skittle alley here. By 16th May 1885 there was a refreshment tent here. In 1885-1904 the “Webley Arms” was run by William H. Harper. Ca. 1886 William D. Harper was born here. Ca. 1887 Alfred T. Harper was born here. On 13th June 1890 the “Criterion Refreshment Saloon” was located here. In 1891 the following persons lived here: Jane Harper, 42, wife; Mary E. Harper, 6, her daughter; William D. Harper, 4, son; Alfred T. Harper, 3, son; and Frances Thomas, 18, servant. In 1901 the following persons lived here: William H. Harper, 51, merchant seaman (born at Birmingham); Jane Harper, 51, his wife (born at Cardigan); Mary E. Harper, 16, their daughter (born in St. Dogmaels); Alfred Harper, 13, son (born in St. Dogmaels); Euronwy Harper, 9, daughter; and Rev. Robert C. A. Boyd, 47, boarder, Church of England clergyman (born at Manchester, English-speaking). All were bilingual except where noted otherwise. In August 1902 and June 1903 the property was advertised to let. In July 1904 William H. Harper left for Aberporth and advertised ‘Poppit House’ to let.

    On 2nd January 1905 the license was transferred from William H. Harper to Lewis Davies. In 1905-09 Lewis Davies, a builder born at Penalltydre, was the landlord of the ‘Poppit Inn’. On September 3rd 1906 Ann Davies was buried at St. Dogmaels having died aged 58 on 30th August 1906. On May 10th 1909 Lewis Davies of Poppit House was buried at St. Dogmaels having died aged 66 on 6th May. On 24th May 1909 the license was temporarily transferred to the executor of his will – J. G. Owen. In July 1909 the 4 bedroom property was advertised to let with 12 acres. In 1910-20 John Davies was the proprietor. In 1911 the following persons lived here: John Davies, 60, farm labourer (Welsh-speaking); Ann Davies, 62, his wife since 1870, Innkeeper; Mary Rees, 36, daughter (married since 1901); Evan Rees, 8, grandson; Ann Mary Rees, 7, grand-daughter; and Maggie Davies, 17, niece (b. Cardigan). Except where noted otherwise, all were bilingual and born in the parish. On 15th May 1920 the Webley Arms, occupied by Caradog Rees, was sold by auction with 12 acres.

    In October 1921 the license was transferred from Caradog Rees to David R. Davies. On 16th October 1921 there was a clear-out sale here. In 1921-27 David R. Davies lived here. In February 1927 the Webley was advertised for sale with 7 bedrooms and a large attic. On 26th May 1927 a clear-out sale was held here. In July 1928 the hotel was advertised to let. On 27th August 1928 there was a clearance sale held here. In August 1929 H. C. Miles was the licensee. In February 1932 the license was transferred from Mr. H. Miles to Daniel Davies. By 7th September 1934 extensions were being built. On 20th March 1935 there was a sale of stock and contents here for Daniel Davies, who was leaving. In May 1935 the hotel closed temporarily. The building was renovated and extended in 1935-36 for Harold Edwin Hurst with electricity and hot and cold running water to all the rooms. It had re-opened by 9th September 1936 with Idris Davies as licensee. In July 1937 William Rowland Paul was made a temporary licensee, succeeding Idris Davies. In October 1938 the license was transferred to George Edward Rees. In 1939-July 1940 George Edward Rees was the publican. In 1940 the license was transferred from George Rees to Edward Renaud Skipwater. In January 1941 Edward Renaud Skipwith was the licensee. In March 1941 the hotel was advertised for sale with 17 guest rooms.

    In July 1941 the license was transferred to Mary Daniel. In 1941 Henry Graham Daniel, son of Henry Rowland Daniel, a Cardigan solicitor, retired here. In February 1942 Martha Daniel was the licensee and Henry Graham Daniel lived here. In September 1945 Lieutenant Roy Graham Daniel of the ‘Webley’ was released from a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. By May 1946 Roy Graham Daniel, Robert H. J. Daniel and Eric Daniel lived here, having served in the army during World War II. On September 17th 1946 Henry Graham Daniel of the ‘Webley’ died aged 55. In 1950-56 Roy Graham Daniel lived here. In 1955 Eric N. Daniel, Martha Daniel, and Gwyndaf Davies lived here. In 1957 Eric Daniel was the landlord. On 14th January 1958 Mrs. Martha Daniel of the ‘Webley’ died. In March 1958 a new bar opened here. In 1965-71 Mr. & Mrs. Eric & Lily Daniel were the proprietors.

    In 1972-74 Mr. & Mrs. C. N. W. Reece were the proprietors. In 1983 D. Hutton was the licensee. In 1990-99 Islwyn & Lorraine Bowen were the proprietors. The ‘Webley’ was advertised for sale in June 2000 and January 2001.

    Webley Hotel in June 2002 (c) Glen K Johnson

    Webley Hotel in June 2002 (c) Glen K Johnson


    Small hotel in painted roughcast with slate roofs, ca1800 origins, much extended. Two storey with slate gabled roofs.


    Cardigan Bay, Bar & Harbour, Lewis Morris 1748

    St. Dogmaels Parish Register – Burials 1813-52; 1852-85; 1885-1952

    Map of Cardigan, John Wood 1834

    NLW MSS 5540-5542

    NLW Minor Deposit 490-9B

    Pigot & Co.’s Directory 1844

    Poster – Sale of Wreck at the Webley Arms 14/09/1849

    Census Returns 1851; 1861; 1871; 1881; 1891; 1901; 1911

    NLW Noyadd Trefawr MS 1157

    St. Dogmaels Parish Register – Baptisms 1813-58

    Llangoedmor Parish Registers

    Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser 1866; 1883-85; 1890; 1893; 1903-06; 1909; 1921; 1924; 1927-29

               1932-42; 1945-47; 1950-54; 1956; 1958; 1960; 1964-67; 1970-72

    St. Dogmaels Parish Register – Marriages 1837-1970

    Accounts – Rebuilding Blaenywaun Chapel, St. Dogmaels 1891

    Occupiers List of Voters – St. Dogmaels 30/07/1894

    Kelly’s Directory of South Wales 1906; 1914; 1926

    Register of Electors – Cardigan 1912

    The Benedictine Abbey of St. Mary at St. Dogmaels, Herbert M Vaughan 1917

    The Webley Hotel promotional booklet, 1950’s

    The Gateway to Wales, W J Lewis 1990

    The 1993 Guide to Cardigan

    The Cardigan Guide 1994

    Tivy-Side Advertiser 2000; 2010

    Sale Particulars – Webley Hotel, J J Morris 04/04/2001

    © Glen K Johnson 25/07/2013


    6 Responses to WEBLEY HOTEL

    1. Anthea Darlington
      January 5, 2014 at 3:55 pm

      The above-mentioned Mary and John Richards are my great-grandparents. Their 6 children included Benjamin who you mention who never married and in later life worked for the coastguard service; Ceridwen who was cook-housekeeper to Sir George Bowen, MP for Carmarthen, at his home Llwyngwaur, Nevern; Gwladys who never married and lived for many years as companion to an aunt; Sarah, my grandmother who was a lady’s maid at Bronwydd and married the chauffeur; and Lizzie who lived in Cardigan with her husband who spoke no English and bred birds called ‘mutes’ which did not cheep- crosses between sparrows and canaries. They fascinated me in their bog cage in the garden when I was a child. They were all sterile and could not breed. Of the children of the first marriage, only Sarah had children: Mary Annie who died of scarlet fever when they were in service in Berkshire; my aunt Iris who lived at Albro in the High Street which you mention: she and her husband Reg rented it from Mr Nugent after his mother died while Reg was postmaster at Cardigan; my Aunt Josephine who lived at Llysaeron, Pilot Street for many years and worked for the National Assistance Board; my Uncle Jack who lived at the corner of Pilot Street and was a local postman; my father Allenby who worked for some years as a printer at the Tivy-Side before moving to England for work. We lived in Bron-y-dre, Cardigan. Of all of these, I am the only descendant. Mary Richards’ second husband, Thomas Bowen, was a famous and decorated lifeboatman whose picture is on the wall at the St Dogmaels museum and whose lifeboat was recently discovered and dug up at Cardigan Netpool (account in the RNLI Journal). Their son, Tom James Bowen, was a colourful local figure and was lifeboat coxswain and later honourary coxswain of the Fishguard lifeboat. He lived at Fern Grove, Pilot Street. One of his two sons, Tony Bowen, is still alive and lives at Sloop, I think, on High Street St Dogmaels. Tom James died after falling into the sea in old age from a boat on which he was ferrying a TV crew to and from Cardigan Island to film the Viking sheep! A story is told that my great-grandmother once laid out a number of drowning victims washed up at Poppit after a wreck, and that the outlines of their bodies may still be seen in the lounge of the Webley where the sea water soaked into the floorboards. My father told me that when he attended St Dogmaels School in the 1920′s, the orphans from Albro Castle workhouse used to come to school with no shoes, even in winter. He remembered them huddling round the stove which heated the schoolroom to try to get warm. The then schoolmaster treated them badly: there was a pecking order of bullying with the orphans abused worst and then the children with no father, which included my father as his father had died as a result of filling shells during the First World War.

      • glen
        January 5, 2014 at 6:27 pm

        Hi Anthea. Thanks for this wonderful contribution, I’m a near neighbour and friend of Tony Bowen, son of Thomas John Bowen, so I’m familiar with some of the above, but the personal memories and the additional information are lovely to read, Thank you so much. Regards, Glen.

      • AnneTaylor
        December 21, 2014 at 3:11 pm

        to anthea I too am descended from Joseph wiliams who married Elizabeth Lodwig in 1838.
        I have records showing their daughter Ann marrying Richards ,dau Mary marrying Evans. After elizabeth died Josep h lived with Ann Richards as in 1891 census and before ann marries Thomas Bowen.. In 1911 Thomas James Bowen is with his mother Ann this does not tie in with the records you posted on Glen Johnsons site? Contact me if you wish ,I have a pretty full family tree for Williams and Lodwhig and onwards Anne Taylor

    2. annetaylor
      December 21, 2014 at 8:46 am

      Re Anthea Darligton.My records show it was ANNE Williams who married John richards and then Tom Bowen with whom she had a son Thomas. I will have to check this !Anne

    3. Anne Taylor
      December 29, 2014 at 10:33 am

      Really keen to clarify the question of who married Thomas Bowen.
      I have Anne Richards nee Williams, Anthea Darlington has Mary nee Williams.!
      Both cannot be correct!
      I would willingly exchange information with Anthea,if she is willing .
      Still researching Joseph Gomer wBwilliams b ca 1866 lived Baptist street,St Dogmaels.pretty sure I have WW1 records for him and a death in 1977 in Merthyr Tydfil Glamorgan.
      If you have time in your busy schedule ,please contact me Anne Taylor in Pembs. March 6th and 7th


      • glen
        December 29, 2014 at 7:02 pm

        Hi. Please check my file on Penally which refers to the marriage of Thomas Bowen to Anne Richards, which Tony Bowen, their grandson, assures me is correct.

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