the old stag
 
History of The Old Stag
The Old Stag was built around 1650 and was originally a farmhouse with surrounding land for grazing.It remained a farm house until around 1890 when the first records of a license application Was recieved by Abergele courts. The application was for a "Stag Hotel"
 which gathered its name from the Lloyd family coat of arms Which has a Stags head On it and still hangs outside the pub. The Lloyd family were the owners of Hafodunos Hall, a large gothic mansion set in magnificent grounds just outside the centre of the village. Unfortunately the Hall was destroyed bt fire in 2004 but is currently under reconstruction.
Over the years the Stag hotel offered comfortable accommodation and drink for the travellers who visited the beautiful area of Conwy and surrouding counties.
 
Picture of the Stag Hotel C.1921
 
 The Pub really took off in the sixties when Roy and Dorothy woods bought the hotel as recorded in a guide at the time
 
"..yes said the man "I'll take you to the best little pub in North Wales" and travelled inland for about 20 mins, "sheep country", as we entered a little village we could hear the singing- the wonderfull strains of Cwm Rhondda. Cars lined the narrow roads, no yellow lines here and there right in front of us was the source of the singing The Stag Hotel.."lets join them I said" Inside the Stag on this Saturday night, the place was buzzing, getting to the bar was quite a struggle. A pint of mild cost 1/4d, bitter 2/2d and gin 2/3d. (The prices were, of course, compatible with average wages at that time, 2/6d per hour). Small baskets were being served at various tables to people standing. What a good smell, fried chicken and chips, "never seen this before" we said "something quite new", and all the time people singing- how the welsh can sing!. The evening ended with the Welsh National Anthem and considering how much beer and spirits had been consumed (there was no breathalizer at the time), it was sung with much reverence, a most moving experience..."
 
The Stag Hotel also had its own petrol pumps outside which were hand operated and were installed in 1927. This came as a great help to farmers as these were the only pumps between Llanrwst and abergele. The weekly market was also held in the Stag yard and farmers who visited it were grateful of the petrol facilty and also the food and beverage at The Stag which had an all day license for the market day.
During 1963 electricity came to the village making life for all a lot easier for all concerned and at the end of 1964 alterations by the woods family were completed and whilst still retaining its "old world" atmosphere it now had the added comforts of thick pile carpeting and central heating.
As word of the stag reputation spread visitors would come from all over the world to visit "the Stag- A jewel in the heart of Clwyd" as one guide book called it. Television crews came from Cardiff to film the singing and to enjoy the atmosphere.
An added bonus to the stag in the early 70's was the conversion of Hafodunos hall to an accountancy school, with a turnover of 200-300 students every six weeks, between the age of 22 and 33 and of many nationalities. Many of the young men brought their wives or girlfriends and returned to stay at the Stag Hotel after they had completed their courses. The accountancy school closed in 1982
In July 1983 Mr and Mrs Woods hung up their bar cloths for the last time, just one week short of 20 years. It had been a rocky road at times but not one without just reward for much hard work.
The Stag hotel went through a number of new owners after this and it wasnt until Grenville Barlow and his family took over a couple of years later did the pub start to grow in reputation again. The increase in the number of people driving and the introduction of mobile caravens brought new customers into the pub. These new customers helped to spread the reputation of the stag espicially its food and in particular its steaks. People still talk about the £5.00 T-bone steak or the 1/2 shoulder of lamb dinner for 0ne!!
These people who came in their caravans would come back the following year and with a tradition which still exists today bring an object which can be suspended from the pubs ceiling in exchange for a drink. This has resulted in what is probably the pubs most endearing factor, the thousands of old artefacts hanging from the pubs walls and ceilings ranging from man traps, old skis, toby jugs to fishing rods, a boat made out of a turkey carcass. childrens shoes......
The Stag stopped being a hotel in the late 80's and was sold to Darryl and Maria in 2005. Amongst a few improvements has been the installation of a new kitchen, opening up of open fires which have been closed for over 90 years and the replacement of the trodden carpet (mentioned earlier which was over 45 years old!!!) much to the delight of Health and Safety!
 
In an era where large breweries and companies are modernising pubs, putting up fake memoribilia or just making their pub look like the inside of Ikea, take some time out to visit a pub which has hardly changed in 60 years. The welcome is just as warm, the fires always going and the original piano which they used to stand around singing many years ago is still here, and yes you can still stand around and sing!
 
A collection of postcards of the Stag Hotel C.1940
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wednesday
             21st 
          JUne
 
             
          
 
 
 
 
 
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