The first in a series of blogs introducing some of the most historic, characterful and interesting pubs in the south Wales valleys.

The Skirrid Inn

In the small village of Llangfihangel Crucornau, between Abergavenny and Pandy on the road to Hereford, is one of the – if not the – oldest pub in Wales. The Skirrid Inn, deriving its name from the Anglicised version of the pair of nearby Ysgyryd peaks, can trace its origins back almost a millennium.

In 1175, the Skirrid Inn was frequented over Christmas by William de Braose who was in the area looking for revenge for the death of his uncle, Henry de Boase, at the hands of Welsh nobles. William held numerous Lordships in the Marches, across south Wales, in Ireland and Normandy and was an ally to King John. He invited some of Welsh noblemen to Abergavenny Castle on Christmas Day for dinner. As it was served, William ordered his men to slay his Welsh guests. 

Another ruthless man, Owain Glyndŵr was another patron. In 1404 it is rumoured that Glyndŵr met supporters of his Rising against the Kingdom of England at the inn, before plundering Abergavenny and set it on fire.

The Skirrid Inn was later used as a courthouse try highwaymen and sheep thieves, and yet another ruthless man forged a lasting connection with the in. George ‘hanging judge’ Jeffreys, was sent to judge the ‘Bloody Assizes’: the trials of those who took part in the Monmouth Rebellion (also known as the Pitchfork Rebellion) that tried to overthrow King James II. Many of the hundreds who were sentenced to death or to be transported to the West Indies were hanged at The Skirrid Inn.

With all this death and barbarism, it’s little surprise that it is considered one of the most haunted pubs in the UK!


The Skirrid Inn is close to Pandy, home village of Raymond Williams, and tickets are still available on our Williams Centenary bus tour here: bus