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.
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