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HISTORY OF THE RED LION INN

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Church Road, Penderyn,
CF44 9JR

Telephone: 01685 811914

Email: info@redlionpenderyn.com

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Monday -Thursday - 12pm ~ 10pm*
Friday & Saturday - 12pm ~ 11pm*
Sunday - 12pm ~ 8.30pm

Bar Opening Hours: Kitchen Opening Hours:

Monday-Saturday:
Lunch - 12pm ~ 2.30pm
Dinner - 6pm ~ 8.30pm

Sunday:
Traditional Roasts - 12pm ~ 4.30pm

*If it is quiet we may close a little earlier and put our feet up for a bit.

Nestled on a hill above the village of Penderyn on the Southern slopes of the Brecon Beacons National Park is The Red Lion Inn (Tafarn Llew Coch).

It’s early history can be traced back to Norman times (c. 1115-1120 AD) when it’s footings were laid down to provide shelter for men who built the watch tower which was latterly incorporated during the building of St Cynog’s church opposite.

The building we see today is a good example of a Welsh Longhouse, with cattle accommodated at one end of the barn, which now houses the restaurant, and humans at the other in today’s bar and front lounge. This is a good clue to it’s use as a farm during the late 1500’s and early 1600’s.

Owing to it’s position at the confluence of a number of old drover’s roads, linking the South Wales Valleys to the mercantile centre of Brecon, It’s use naturally migrated from farm to that of drover’s inn at some point during the early 1700’s.

Originally there were two inns catering for the weary drovers which shows just how busy this junction was. ‘Tafarn Uchaf’ (Upper Tavern) was 100 yards higher up the road than ‘Tafarn Isaf’ (Lower Tavern). Clearly inn naming was a simple process in those days!


Tafarn Isaf no longer exists; but Tafarn Uchaf changed it’s name to The Red Lion Inn during the industrial revolution, in the early 1800’s, to make it more recognisable to the large influx of non Welsh speakers coming from around the world to work in the industrial iron producing powerhouse of Merthyr Tydfil and surrounding areas.

Although still operating as a pub, by the mid 1970’s it was in a very sorry state. Most of the building was derelict with cinder floors and only two rooms still in use; a small bar and damp lounge.

The roof’s back was broken and there were over 30 vessels of various types catching the water coming in.

However in 1978 it was sold to Keith & Beryl James and so began a love affair with a building which has continued 7 days a week, 365 days a year to this very day. The bond with the building is so strong that their last holiday was in fact in 1977.

Over the last 40 years a substantial and sympathetic renovation has been undertaken to restore the Red Lion to it’s former glory.  Every penny of savings, pensions and turnover has been ploughed back in to the building by family to develop the “…little hidden gem….” Customers love today.

In 2015, and approaching their late 70’s, Beryl and Keith were joined by their daughter Natalie to complete the last stage of the renovation of the public areas; the transformation of the old barn into a new restaurant with an ambition to become one of the finest Gastropubs in Wales.

The family’s love affair with the Red Lion continues with self catering holiday accommodation at our nearby cottage - The Cottage (or Y Bwthyn (pron. er Buthin) was built in 1880 and is one of the original dwellings of old Penderyn. It was built as a quarrymans cottage at a time when limestone quarrying was in ascendance to provide raw materials to power the iron foundries of the Merthyr Valley.  

Also with future development we plan to add accommodation in the form of individually designed cabins situated in the fields to the rear of the pub with views overlooking the National Park and Cynon Valley.


Little Lion Pizza Co.

Check out: Little Lion Pizza - Also available for events

THE LATEST FROM THE RED LION INN

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