Richard opened the meeting on behalf of Geraint and Mary. He introduced John Farmer who is ancient of the village. Richard made reference to his time in the village as a signalman at Penybont Station. Having attended local schools at Llanbadarn Fawr, done his time at Penybont Station he progressed to mainframe computers. Later he became a college teacher of PCs and digital cameras. He has even developed programmes that can restore old photos. He has now turned this to good use within his home community of Wellington where he has spear-headed a very active local history group and website. The website has many, many photos and maps of life in Wellington over time. He is particularly keen to get young people involved in managing the photos and the website.
Main Topic: Andrew Willemsen – History of Burton House, Llandegley
Andrew confessed that he had had very little interest in History when he was at school, in fact he hated it and gave it up at the first opportunity. His move to Penybont from London to a house with about 400 years of history he thought of as the sort of thing that can happen when you get married.
His interest in history was sparked by his sister who had started reseach family history and as he saw what she was up to he got interested as the problem solving element appealed to his technical, website design background. The house then became the focus and led to him standing nervously in front of the group today.
Andrew started with three slides:
Burton House and St Tecla’s Church, date unknown:
1706 – Built
[Image 1] The original size of the house was a lot smaller than it is now:
[Image 2] Original timber framed internal wall:
Samuel Burton of Vronlace
The house was almost certainly built and owned by Samuel Burton of Vronlace, who died on 12 March 1724 leaving his estate to his only son Edward Burton (who was born at Vronlace in 1701).
[Image 3] “Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland” (vol 4) by John Burke (1838)
Thomas Burton, who died 1696, leaving by Deborah his wife, sister to Thomas Woodrolfe M.D., who died 1710, aged 81, two sons:
- Samual Burton, of Vronlace, in the County of Radnor, died 1724, having married Elizsbeth, daughter of Thomas Mime, of Lawton’s Hope, in the County of Hereford, leaving one son, Edward Burton of Llandewy, County of Radnor, who married Mallet, inly daughter of Richard Stedman of Strata Florida, and dying without issue, 1774, bequeathed his estate of Llandewy to his namesake Edward Burton, third son of the late Robert Burton, esq of Longnor, from whom it has reverted to the Rev Robert Lingen-Burton, his only surviving son.
- Thomas Burton, DD, Canon of Christchurch, Rector of Burthorpe,
[Image 5] It is possible that Burton House became an inn at that time, but there is no direct evidence for this. There is certainly no mention of an inn in Llandegley in Carey’s New Itinerary, which does however list the Fleece Inn in Penybont (now the Severn Arms):
Edward Burton of Llanddewi
In 1726, Edward Burton was High Sheriff of Radnorshire, and shortly afterwards purchased land in Llanddewi and moved to Llanddewi Hall. Edward was also a churchwarden at Llanddewi Church, a magistrate, and in 1768 one of the commissioners for the Land Tax in Radnorshire.
Edward did not have any children, so when he died on 7 June 1774 his estate (which included several properties in Llandegley) was bequeathed to his relative Edward Burton of Shrewsbury (who was only 17 at the time) to keep the land in the Burton family.
In the late 1700s, taking the waters at Llandegley had come into vogue, due to the presence of a strong sulphurous spring and a chalybeate spring.
[Image 4] “Journey into South Wales in the Year 1799” by George Lipscomb (1802):
“The road soon brought us to the village of Llandegles: and a painted post on the right hand pointed to Llandegles Wells.- a suphureous vitriolic water, which arises in a field near the road. The spring is immediately conducted into a small building, now dilapidated, in which is a reservoir, which serves as a bath for a few persons who resort hither.
The water is covered with a brown scum, is of very dark blue, or rather blackish colour, and emits a strong and most abominable stench, as of rotten eggs.
Its taste is not, however, so disagreeable as might be expected, the impregnation of the vitriol being but slight.”
Edward Burton of Shrewsbury,
Edward lived in Shropshire for most of his life. His father was High Sheriff of Salop.
In 1789, Edward married Dorothy Blakeway and they went on to have four children.
Edward was a Major in the Shropshire Militia, and in 1802 the Mayor of Shrewsbury.
Llandegley Wells and Inn
[Image 6] At about the same time, the first evidence of an inn in Llandegley comes in “The Scenery, Antiquities and Biography of South Wales, from Materials Collected During Two Excursions in the Year 1803” by Benjamin Heath Malkin (1804):
“The village of Llandegles consists of very few houses, but those few are rather interestingly placed: while the obliging manner of the people, in furnishing local information, with a degree of intelligence rather superior to what might have been expected from their condition, almost make a stranger regret, that the accommodations of the little inn are insufficient to admit of his lengthening of his visit. I have more than once remarked the decency of manners, approaching almost to politeness that distinguishes the lower classes of inhabitants of the principality. I do not know that Radnorshire yields to any other county in this particular; and the attentions an Englishman experiences are not less acceptable, for being proffered in the English language. The address of the host and their families, both at New Radnor and at Llandegles, but particularly at the latter, was highly to their credit, though in both cases they were very small farmers, with very little besides civility to offer the guests. Here especially, and in a very considerable degree elsewhere, I observed the grace with which the women perform the office of attendance at table, always presenting any article demanded with that sort of self-collected obeisance, so much noticed by travellers through France in damsels of the same description. In both cases this superiority of deportment, is probably acquired by the universal and frequent practice of dancing.”
[Image 7] And an item in the Hereford Journal of July 1811 reads:
“Llandegley Wells, Radnorshire
The Public are respectfully informed that these Wells have been of late frequented by many gentle families, and great benefit has been derived from the use of the waters both in Drinking and in Bathing.
The strong minerals and other properties they possess, give them peculiar efficacy in all Scorbutic and Eruptive Complaints, and when combined with the fine air in the country in which they are situated, cannot fail to render these Wells highly interesting and beneficial as a place of public resort.
N.B. Those who may have occasion to visit this salubrious spot, may be very comfortably, and commodiously accommodated with Board and Lodgings, by William Parton, who is constantly provided with a good Larder, and excellent Ale and Spirits.
Llandegley Wells, July 1st 1811”
[Image 8] The next summer a follow-up item appears in the Hereford Journal:
“Llandegley Wells, Radnorshire
William Parton respectfully begs leave to return his sincere thanks to Friends and the Public in general for the very liberal encouragement and support he received last season, and to inform them, that he has lately fitted up his house in a comfortable and more commodious manner, and hopes by assiduous attention on his part, and the known Celebrity of the Waters (from the great benefit many Genteel Families and others received by their use) combined with the salubrity of the air of the County in which they are situate, that Llandegley Wells will prove highly beneficial and interesting as a place of public resort.
N.B. The Inn is adjoining the direct Post road from London to Aberystwyth is distant from Kington fourteen miles and Rhayader 12. Neat Post Chaises, able Horses, and careful Drivers.
Llandegley, June 22, 1812”
[Image 9] By 1824, the Inn at Llandegley had a new landlord – Robert Bolter. To put the “reduced fare” of 1 shilling per mile into context, the typical wage of an agricultural labourer in this part of the country at the time was about 2 shillings per day for men and about 1 shilling per day for women.
“Llandegley Wells, Radnorshire
Respectfully begs leave to return his grateful Thanks to Friends and the Public in general for the great encouragement and support he received from them last Season, and to inform them, that his house is fitted up in a Comfortable and more Commodious manner, and hopes by assiduity and attention on his part, and the known Celebrity of the of the Waters (from the great benefit many Respectable Families and others received by their use) combined with the salubrity of the air of the County in which they are situate, that Llandegley Wells will prove highly beneficial and interesting as a place of public resort.
N.B. The Inn is adjoining the direct Post road from London to Aberystwyth is distant from Kington fourteen miles and Rhayader 12. Neat Post Chaise, able Horses, and careful Drivers, at reduced Fare of 1 Shilling per Mile.
Llandegley, June 5, 1824”
Burton Arms – part 1
[Image 10] Mr Bolter is also mentioned in “The Cambrian Balnea: Or Guide to the Watering Places of Wales” by T J Llewelyn Prichard (1825) along with the earliest mention I can find of the Burton Arms:
The Inn here is called the Burton Arms, from the proprietor Edward Burton Esq. of Shrewsbury, kept by a person named Boulter. As to the assiduities of this Inn, with the good manners and character of the people, I can myself bear witness, with the addition, that the accommodations are very superior to those above described, and the ‘little Inn’ is larger and kept by different people. The rader maybe assured that a few visitors who may wish to drink these waters and reside awhile, may be very creditably accommodated at the Burton Arms, or Llandegley House, as they sometimes call the inn. Mrs Boulter is not only very obliging, and her fare good, butshe possesses considerable capacity for making her visitors comfortable; and it is to be regretted that so good a manager has not a better field to exert her talents in.
If the proprietor of Llandegley, chose to build and adorn the place a little, it could not fail of becoming the resort of the fashionable and the ailing.”
The reference to “above described” refers to a quotation lifted from the Benjamin Malkin book shown in an earlier slide, where the author complains that the “accommodations of the little inn are insufficient to admit of his lengthening his visit”.
[Image11] Murder in Llandegley reported in the Hereford Journal on 12 January 1825:
“Singular Occurrence – A correspondent states, a short time since two women were returning home from a friend’s house, in crossing a field belonging to the Burton Arms Inn, the footpath, and the one accidently stepping into a bog and lost her patten: the next day her husband went to look for it, when to his great surprise he discovered a human skull and several other bones. A Coroner’s Inquest has been held on the remains, and an eminent surgeon was present, who stated his belief that a murder had been committed on some person unknown, but how long since or by whom appears to be enveloped in mystery, except compunctions of conscience should cause the perpetrator of the horrid deed to confess the crime, before he shall be summoned to appear before that dreadful tribunal to all those ‘’who forget God.’’’
Edward Burton of Oxford
[Image 12] On 18 April 1827, Edward Burton of Shrewsbury died, and the Burton Arms was inherited by his eldest son Edward Burton of Oxford. This Edward was a theologian and chaplain to the bishop of Oxford. In 1829, he became regius professor of divinity at Oxford University. Although he was married, he did not have any children.
Burton Arms – part 2
[Image 13] Life continued at the Burton Arms, although by 1829 William Phillips was the landlord:
“Burton Arms Inn, Llandegley Wells
Half-way between Kington and Rhayader on the way to Aberystwyth
The new occupier of the above mentioned Inn, respectfully announces that he has made it much more Comfortable and Commodious, than it ever was before, and that in consequence, he hopes for increased Support.
N.B. DINNERS DRESSED by experienced Cook.
An elegant new Post Chaise, with able horses, and most capable Driver. – POSTING at reduced price of SIXTEEN PENCE per Mile. June 11 1829
[Image 14] The Burton Arms not only provided accommodation for people visiting Llandegley Wells, but also for those travelling on to the coast. One such person was Rev Benjamin Scott, a vicar in Warwickshire, who was on his way to Aberystwyth in the summer of 1830 with his second wife, who was expecting their first child. Unfortunately, Rev Scott became ill while travelling through the Radnor Hills. They managed to get to Llandegley and came to the inn, but discovered that there was no medical aid within ten miles of the village. However, Mrs Scott happened to meet a retired doctor from Ireland on the stairs, who was also staying at the Burton Arms. Despite the efforts and care of both this doctor, and later the local doctor from Presteigne, Rev Scott died on 13 August 1830. His death was reported in several newspapers, and he is buried in St Tecla’s Church – there is a plaque on the church wall behind the water butt.
At Llandegley, Radnorshire, Rev. Benj. Scott, Vicar of Bidford and Prior’s Salford, Warwickshire.
On the 30th ult died at Llandegley, Radnorshire, after a short but severe illness, aged 42, the Reverend Benjamin Scott, M.A. Vicar of Bidford and Salford, Warwickshire; youngest son of the late Rev. Thomas Scott, Rector of Aston Sandford, Bucks.”
[Image 15] Benjamin’s father was Rev Thomas Scott, who was a friend of John Newton, and who wrote a commentary on the whole Bible (Andrew has a copy for those interested, kindly loaned by Rev Thomas from the Baptist Church in Llandrindod). Benjamin’s nephew was the famous architect George Gilbert Scott.
Burton Arms – part 3
[Image 16] By 1834, the Burton Arms had been enlarged by William Phillips the landlord, and now offered hot and cold baths:
“Llandegley Wells, Radnorshire
Burton Arms Inn
William Phillips begs to inform his Friends and the Public, that the above Inn has lately been considerably enlarged and improved, and is now ready for the reception of Visitors; and at the same time that he returns thanks for past favours, he hopes to merit a continuance of them by moderate charges, and the utmost attention to the comfort and accommodation of those who may visit his house.
There are two Mineral Waters, the one Sulphureous, the other Chalybeate, which are powerful, and much approved by the Faculty;- W.P. provides hot and cold Baths. A neat Post Chaise kept.
Llandegley is distant one stage from Presteign, on the road, from thence to Aberystwyth.
Presteign May 24, 1834.”
[Image 17] Some of the guests would have arrived on the Prince of Wales coach, which ran between Cheltenham and Aberystwyth – taking 14 hours to make the journey:
“From Cheltenham, through Gloucester, to Aberystwyh, IN ONE DAY
By the PRINCE OF WALES
The Public are respectfully informed, the above Coach has commenced running from the PLOUGH HOTEL, CHELTENHAM
And will continue to leave from the above Office every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning, at sic o’clock during the season, through Ledbury, to the
WATERLOO HOTEL, LEOMINSTER
Where it will arrive at a Quarter before Eleven o’clock from whence it will proceed to Presteign, Llandegley, Penybont (Nr Llandrindod Wells), Rhayader, Llangerrig, Pont Erwyd, and arrive at
TALBOT HOTEL, ABERYSTWYTH
The same evening at eight o’clock, will return from theTalbot Hotel at Six o’clock the alternate morning (Sunday excepted) and will arrive in Cheltenham the same evening at eight o’clock. – One Coach throughout.
N.B. Persons may look themselves at the Bolt-in-Tun, Fleet Street. LONDON, leave in the evening, and arrive in Aberystwyth the following day.
Performed by NEYLER, and DANGERFIELD, MORRIS, and PHILLIPS and Co.
June 10, 1834”
This was the golden age of Llandegley Wells, with word of the sulphurous spring reaching London, and various experts coming to perform scientific tests on the waters.
[Image 18] It was also a time of change for the Burton Arms. First, in January 1836, Edward Burton of Oxford died, and because he was childless, the Burton Arms was inherited by his brother, Rev Robert Lingen Burton. Second, in 1838, there was a change in landlord, with James Griffiths taking the helm. Third, in 1839, the Burton Arms was put up for sale, along with the mineral springs, Llandegley Mill, three farms and Pound House (which was occupied by John James at the time):
“Lot 2 Very valuable, highly picturesque ESTATE, in and surrounding the village of Llandegley, in the very improving neighbourhood of Penybont, and through which the Radnor and Penybont Turnpike Road runs, consisting of a first rate Inn and Bathing, called the Burton Arms, and the celebrated Mineral Water, called Llandegley Spa, and three farms in a ring fence, containing together by admeasurement, 286A, 3R, 28P, or thereabouts, called respectively, VRONLLACE, the INN FARM, and TYNLLAN, all of which have very valuable and extensive rights on the Common on Radnor Forest, which bear an additional value from the circumstance that the whole Estate abuts upon the Forest at a most convenient and beautiful place. And also a WATER CORN MILL, called Llandegley Mill, and a cottage, called Pound House.”
[Image 19] Meanwhile, Mr Griffiths was not afraid of marketing what he had to offer, getting quotes such as “the accommodations at the Burton Arms are excellent”, “the worthy host is indefatigable” and “a first rate inn and bathing house” into the local press. He described the Burton Arms and the mineral springs as being “amidst beautiful and romantic scenery and the most salubrious atmosphere” and “these powerful, safe, and efficacious waters contain all the valuable properties of the most celebrated springs for the speedy cure of all scorbutic and cutaneous disorders, relaxation of the stomach, gravel and stone, and all chronic disorders, the nervous system, etc.”
The valuable Medical Springs of Llandegley, so highly spoken of and recommended by the Faculty, for the immediate restoration of Health and the prolonging of life, and enjoyment.
BURTON ARMS COMMERCIAL INN AND BOARDING HOUSE, LLANDEGLEY
Six miles from Llandrindod, two from Penybont, on the high road from Hereford to Aberystwyth
Has completed the fitting up of the above Establishment for the reception of Visitors needing the beneficial properties of these valuable Waters and Baths, by residing on the spot. The domestic arrangements are studied with the view of combining all the attentions, the comforts, the conveniences, and the moderate expenses, which the Visitors could enjoy at their own homes. The purity and freshness of the provisions (which is a first essential), and the produce chiefly from the FARM and GARDENS attached, the healthy and salubrious atmosphere, the beautiful romantic scenery of the neighbourhood, with the advantage of these Springs which contain all the mineral tonic of the most celebrated Springs of this country or of the continent, will render the Burton Arms desirable, delightful, and a economical residence for the summer months.
Wines, Spirits, and Malt Liquors, of the finest qualities. Several fine Fishing Streams in the neighbourhood.
The London, Hereford, and Aberystwyth Coach daily. Lock-up Coach House, etc. etc.
[Image 20] As well as a daily mail coach service there is a Sovereign London and Worcester Coach every other day bringing visitors to Llandegley. Two of these visitors are listed in the 1841 census as Mary Stanly and Elizabeth Stanley. Five servants are also listed, along with Mr Griffiths and his wife:
[Image 21] By 1844, the Burton Arms had once again been made larger, and Mr Griffiths is still marketing it with vigour:
Restoration to Health and Summer Recreation combined, in a visit to:
SULPHUREOUS and CHALYBEATE
Two miles from Penybont on the High Road from London, Cheltenham, Hereford, and Worcester to Aberystwyth.
The increasing repute of these powerful, safe, and efficacious Mineral Waters, and the many authenticated instances of the complete and permanent cures in cases of Rheumatism, Disorders of the Nervous Functions, Cutaneous and Scorbutic Affections, Relaxation of the Stomach, Gravel and Stone, has induced the Proprietor
BURTON ARMS INN and BOARDING HOUSE
To make additional accommodation, and united to the most economical charges (which have given such unqualified satisfaction) to render it to Visitors all the comforts, wants, and conveniences, and, at the same time, the expenses of a home.
The enchanting scenery around, embracing the most enchanting views of South Wales, and the invigorating and salubrious atmosphere, together with pure and substantial provisions (supplied from the farm attached) form a combination of the benefits and enjoyments to the invalid in search of health, or the tourist of pleasure.
HOT, COLD and SHOWER SULPHUR BATHS ON THE SHORTEST OF NOTICE
Wines, spirits, and liquors of the best of kinds.
The London, Cheltenham, and Aberystwyth Mail passes daily.
The SOVEREIGH London and Worcester Coach, every other day
GOOD STABLING, AND ‘LOCK-UP’ COACH HOUSE”
In 1845, a railway was proposed from Kington to Rhayader through Llandegley, but this was never built. Instead, 20 years later, a railway was built from Knighton to Llandrindod, which would help seal the fate of Llandegley Spa and the Burton Arms.
[Image 22] James Griffiths passed away in March 1847:
12 After a lingering illness, borne with christian fortitude and resignation, in his 52nd year, Mr. James Griffiths, of the Burton Arms Inn, Llandegley, Radnorshire. His mild temper and kind disposition endeared him to his family and friends, by whom he is sincerely regretted, and obtained for him the universal respect of all who knew him.”
[Image 23] Thanks to Mr Griffiths, the Burton Arms had a very good reputation. Here is an extract from “Cliffe’s Book of South Wales, Bristol Channel, Monmouthshire, and The Wye” (1848):
“About two miles and a half further on is LLANDEGLEY, where there is a much frequented Spa. One Spring is strong Chalybeate, and the other is powerfully impregnated with sulphur. The hamlet contains an excellent little Inn, “The Burton Arms”. On the north-east is a lofty group of mountains called Radnor Forest, one of which is 2163ft high. There is some fine rock scenery near Llandegley, from which beautiful spar can be obtained.”
James’ wife Maria continued to run the inn, and was joined in 1848 by her new husband Thomas Griffiths Esq (a surgeon from London) who she married on 5 July. Unfortunately, the marriage was very shortlived as Maria died less than three months later of consumption.
1848 also saw a change in ownership of the Burton Arms, when Rev Robert Lingen Burton finally sold the inn (after putting it on the market 9 years earlier) to John Owens of Trewern. Mr Owens also purchased Vronlace, Tynllan, Llandegley Mill and the spa.
[Image 24] It seems that Thomas Griffiths no longer wished to be an innkeeper after his wife’s death (or possibly after the change in ownership) as on 17 March 1849 the following advert appears in the Hereford Times:
“ BURTON ARMS INN, LLANDEGLEY, RADNORSHIRE
LIVE and DEAD STOCK, IMPLEMENTS of HUSBANDRY, HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE and EFFECTS
Of Kington begs to make known that he is instructed by Mr. T. Griffiths, who is retiring from business
To offer for unreserved Sale by Auction
On the Premises,
At the BURTON ARMS INN, LLANDEGLEY, IN Tueday the 20th day of MARCH, 1849, and following days ……..
The Sale to commence twelve o’clock each day.”
It took over a year to sell the contents of the Burton Arms – there can’t have been much of a market for goose-feather beds and Spanish mahogany furniture.
[Image 25] By June 1850, the Burton Arms had a new landlord – Thomas Alford:
Two miles from Penybont, on the high road FROM Hereford to Aberystwyth
SULPHUROUS and CHALYBEATE SPRINGS
Having taken THE BURTON ARMS COMMERCIAL INN AND BOARDING HOUSE, respectfully invites the attention of those who stand in need of health of body and vigour of mind, or wish for recreative retirement during the summer months amidst beautiful and romantic scenery.
These powerful safe, and efficacious Waters, contain all the valuable properties of the celebrated SPRINGS for the speedy cure of Scorbutic and Cutaneous Disorders, Relaxation of the Stomach, Gravel and Stone, and all Chronic Diseases, Nervous System, etc.
WINES, SPRITS, AND MALT LIQUORS OF THE BEST QUALITY,
GOOD STABLING & LOCK-UP COACH HOUSES
FISHING STREAMS IN THE VICINITY.
The London and Aberystwyth mails pass daily.”
[Image 26] The 1851 census reveals that Thomas and his wife ran the Burton Arms with help from their daughter, an ostler and a house servant – and they had one visitor:
[Image 27] Thomas Alford only lasted two years – in 1852, Philip James Junior took over:
“ LLANDEGLEY SPAS
SULPUROUS AND CHALYBEATE SPRINGS
COMMIERCIAL INN AND BOARDING HOUSE
Delightfully situated on the Mail-road from Knighton to Aberystwyth
PHILLIP JAMES JUN.
Having Entered upon the above Premises, begs to announce that he has made such Arrangements for the Comfort of Gueasts as he hopes will secure to himm the Patronage of parties wishing to avail themselves of the those far-famed MINERAL WATERS, AND IS DETERMINED TO COMBINE Moderate Charges with the most Assiduous Attention, keeping none but the best Wines, Spirits, Malt and other Liquors.
Excellent Bed-rooms and private Sitting-rooms
Mail and other Coaches pass daily.
Card of Terms will be forwarded on application.”
[Image 28] Less than two years later, in January 1854, Philip James Junior moved to the Severn Arms, and his father – also called Philip James – became the new landlord:
ROYAL OAK INN – FAREWELL SUPPER – On Friday evening last, about sixty friends of Mr. Phillip James, the respected landlord of this old-established inn, invited him to a supper on the occasion of his being about to remove to the Burton Arms Inn, Llandegley Wells; his son, who occupies this house, having taken the Severn Arms Hotel, Penybont. A highly respectable company sat down to an excellent repast; after removal of the cloth, the healths of Mr. and Mrs. James were given by the Chairman, amidst enthusiastic cheering. Mr. James returned thanks in a brief but feeling address, for himself and his worthy partner; he could not adequately state how he felt the kindness uniformly manifested towards them during a sojourn of upwards of twenty years. The harmony and conviviality of the meeting was kept up to a late hour.
[Image 29] Philip James Senior did not stay very long either – in 1856 the Burton Arms was advertised as to let, although Mr James did not leave until 1859:
“BURTON ARMS INN and BOARDING HOUSE
To be LET, and entered upon at Lady-day next, the above INN, with or without about 13 Acres of Land: the coming-in tenant will be required to take to the fixtures at a valuation.
For particulars apply on the premises, or to Mr. JOHN OWENS, Trewern, Llandegley. Satisfactiry reasons will be given for the present tenant giving up.”
[Image 30] The Burton Arms, as well as being an inn, was also put to a variety of local uses, for example, the doctor giving out prescriptions and farm auctions. It was also the location of an inquest in 1857, where the owner John Owens seems to have a conflict of interest:
“LLANDEGLEY. – SUDDEN DEATH. – An inquest was held on Friday, at the Burton Arms, before R. Wood, Esq., Coronor, and a respectable jury (Mr. John Owens, Trewern, foreman), on the bidy of Edward Parton, mason, late of Kington, in his 70th year. It appeared from the evidence that the deceased went to work as usual on Tuesday morning the 1st of September, in building a mill for Mr. John Owens, Trewern, apparently in a perfect state of health, but had not been long at work when he fell on the floor of the works, but life was quite extinct. The jury returned a verdict of “Died by the visitation of God.””
[Image 31] In 1859, Philip James Senior put his furniture and livestock up for sales, and a couple of months later the licenses were transferred to Edward Jones of Llanfihangel Nantmelan:
“ LLANDEGLEY SPAS
SULPUROUS AND CHALYBEATE SPRINGS
(Late of the Lion Inn, Llanfihangel Nantmellan)
Begs to thank his Friends for their support during his residence as above, and desires to solicit their patronage in his undertaking at the BURTON ARMS COMMERCIAL INN AND BOARDING HOUSE, LLANDEGLEY, where he hopes, by assiduity and attention to his guests, combined with moderate charges, to secure public patronage.
Genuine Wines and Spirits, Malt and other Liquors;
Good Stabling and Lock-up Coach houses.”
[Image 32] Despite the high turnover of landlords, visitors were still coming to Llandegley for the mineral spring, as evidenced in “A Handbook for Travellers in South Wales” (1860):
“On the opposite descent lies Llandegley, and near it a strong sulphur spring, much frequented during the summer for drinking and bathing (Inn: Burton Arms). Near the churchyard is a singular range of ricks abounding in quartz crystals.”
[Image 33] On 17 October 1860, Edward Jones’ daughter Elizabeth married William Ingram at Llandegley, and the 1861 census shows them to be running the Burton Arms, Edward having died:
William Ingram became the sixth landlord in the 13 years since the death of James Griffiths, and the aspirations of Mr Griffiths to run a high-class establishment with goose-feather beds seem to be now somewhat diminished, with just one servant now being employed.
In 1865 the railway station at Llandrindod Wells opened. Together with the enclosure of the common in 1862, which enabled the construction of new streets, hotels, shops and houses in Llandrindod Wells, this accelerated the demise of Llandegley Spa, and the Burton Arms. No adverts for either the spa or the inn appeared in the 1860s and 1870s, the inn seeming content to put up travellers whose destination was further into Wales.
[Image 34] William Ingram was still the landlord in 1871, now with two servants – a farm servant and a dairy maid – and a lodger was staying at the inn:
[Image 35] Despite the railway opening, there were still coaches running along the main road, taking both tourists to see the sights and also locals. A traveller in 1875 describes a new coach service from Llandrindod to Kington changing horses at the Burton Arms, which had a flag saying “Success to the coach” above the door:
“We change horses at the village of Llandegley, at the Burton Arms Inn and Boarding House, for here are sulphur and chalybeate springs, public baths, visitors, and all the reat of it, only on a small scale, the Burton being a Pump House hotel of very diminutive proportions. Over the door is suspended a flag of red, white, and blue, bearing the motto: “Success to the coach.” Barely three minutes are occupied in changing horses.”
[Image 36] But Llandegley Spa was “utterly neglected” according to the Yorskhire Post in 1876:
“A great many attended at the Communion service, after which there was a luncheon at the schoolroom provided by Mr W. Hughes, of Burton Arms, Llandegley Wells, whose catering gave every satisfaction.”
[Image 37] 1876 saw the re-opening of St Tecla’s church following its restoration. After the service, luncheon was provided in the schoolroom by the landlord of the Burton Arms, who was now William Hughes:
[Image 38] William is still the landlord in 1881, although his children seem to be occupying most of the rooms in the Burton Arms, together with a servant and a boarder:
[Image 39] A map of Llandegley in 1889 shows the Burton Arms, the sulphur spring, the mill and the new vicarage:
[Image 40] By 1891, the Burton Arms had another landlord, Charles Daniel Norton. This time, there were no servants or guests mentioned:
[Image 41] Charles was a dab hand at breeding pigs – this is from the Penybont show in 1892:
“Class 38, – Best sow of any breed, 1, £2 G D Norton, Burton Arms, Llandegley; £1, F L C Richardson,…”
[Image 42] However, at some point between 1892 and 1894, the Burton Arms shut its doors to the last paying guest, and became a private residence called Burton House. The new occupier, as mentioned in the 1895 Kelly’s Directory was Thomas Lewis Wishlade, the county road surveyor. In 1881, Thomas had married Mary Jane Watkins of Vronlace. Mary’s mother was Margaret Owens, who was the daughter of the John Owens who had purchased the Burton Arms back in 1848, so the ownership of the inn remained in the Owens/Watkins family, as it would continue to do for another 110 years. Here is the 1901 census:
This brings to a close the 19th century, a hundred years that saw the rise and fall of Llandegley Spa, and of the Burton Arms Inn.
Both Richard and Geraint thanked Andrew for his excellently researched talk. Geraint said that this was the type of detailed research that the group had been formed to undertake.
Jennifer referred to last month’s talk on the Gravestones in the area and mentioned that the Radnorshire Family History Group had completed a lot of work on gravestones around the County.
The next talk on 7th May will be on the Ormathwaite Family with Shirley taking the lead.