History of The Cross Keys Llanfynydd

Llanfynydd translates into “Church Mountain”. It’s a village with 40 chimney pots that sits snugly in the valley of the river Cegidog, just below Hope Mountain.

Our research traces the history of The Cross Keys back to 1650. It has always been a public house.

The name The Cross Keys has itself raised many questions – why does it have an English name for a village with such a strong Welsh identity? Could it be the link to the Smithy next door? Were keys made there? Little has been recorded or saved about the history of the pub from this time.

Officially the Parish of Llanfynydd was created from the joining of the wards or Uwch Y Mynydd Isa, Uwch Y Mynydd Ucha and a part of the Cymau ward on Friday 7th February 1845.

1823 The pub and the land from the immediate area belonged to the Plas Teg Estate, Caergwrle.

1850 Tenanted by William Phenna (born Dodleston, Chester) from Poyser & Shuter Wrexham, and the Smithy next door (tenanted by Anne Humphreys) were owned by the Honble Edward Mostyn Lloyd Mostyn (Mostyn Estates) Llandudno.

1851 Hampden Alphonse Kosuth Poyser was born in Gwersyllt, son of Charles & Emma Poyser reputed linen / woollen draper and tea dealer based on High Street Wrexham. (More of him and his connection to The Cross Keys later).

1859 Violent attack on George Evans, baliff for the Coed Talon Company by Police Constable (Unknown) and dog following drinking session at The Cross Keys.

1860 Wiiliam Hughes, father of six. Publican of The Cross Keys dies following roof collapse, in Treuddyn.

1861 Edward Davison of Hope (28) recorded as Publican and brick maker.

1863 Sale of The Cross Keys by Mr E Pryce Jones, brewer.

1866 The three properties, the Smithy, pub and cottage were sold for a grand total of £400.

1866 Richard Lloyd and wife lived at the pub.

1867 Tenant landlord George Hughes is charged with Sunday trading at 12:15am and is fined £1.00

1871 Thomas Jones (35) and wife Ann from Clun St Mary Deveon reside at The Cross Keys.

1877 Price of Bricks argument settled in court, publican Thomas Jones, £12 / 9 /10 awarded to the plaintiff, a builder and contractor from Birkenhead.

1885 Herbert Evans Ffrith (32) who worked at the Limekilns in Ffrith, visited The Cross Keys to purchase a bottle of rum. He was known to lead an irregular life, often sleeping on top of the limekilns, as it was warm. He ‘roasted to death’ after falling into a kiln. ‘A portion of his trousers and a piece of his shoe were left unburnt’.

1886 C S Thorn and Thomas Richard Lloyd own the Cross Keys.

1891 Thomas Richard Lloyd passes away. The Cross Keys is left to Hampden Alphonse Kossuth Poyser, who aged 40 is a Solicitor in Wrexham and is recorded to be purchasing many pubs in the local area.

1895 Hampden Alphonse Kossuth Poyser & Charles Spencer Thorn sell The Cross Keys including the garden yard and coach houses to David Williams for £500
The Wrexham and Minera Joint Railway opened Llanfynydd Station was opened on Monday 2nd May 1898.
Moving into the 19th Century, the population of Llanfynydd was recorded to be 823 people. The quarry’s opened, blasting commenced in the search for limestone, silica, lead and fireclay. Llanfynydd became a bustling noisy community with The Cross Keys at its centre.

1921 David Williams aged 75 and his son Bertie Williams an auctioneer at Thorn & Bassell, 9 Central Arcade, Wrexham, are recorded as living at the pub along with evacuee Elizabeth Clarke from Brighton.

1932 David Williams who had been the custodian of The Cross Keys for 30 years passes away, leaving the pub to his son Bertie Williams to include ‘the parcel of land containing by admeasurement seven hundred and fifty-eight square yards or thereabouts formerly forming part of a field called Cockpit.

1955 Bert Williams and Walter Burrows deeds report that a boundary agreement was made to secure the boundary between The Cross Keys and The Old Post Office, along with a hand drawn map.

1956 Bertie Williams sells the pub to Mrs Winifred Gertrude Law (Widow) of 320 Aigburth Road, Liverpool for £1,600 to include the Inn, Bungalow Stables and Coach house.
Mrs G W Law joins forces with Border Breweries Wrexham

1961 Mrs W G Law sells the pub to Mr John Leslie & Jean Clarke of Bebbington.

1963 Mr Clarke signs a contract with Scottish & Newcastle Breweries Ltd.

1964 The contract is moved to The Birkenhead Brewery Company Ltd. The deeds describe the building to include: the Public Bar with two beer pumps, a Cocktail Lounge and the Tartan Bar which housed a red tartan carpet, which reportedly cost £600.00 to install, much to the distress of local residents.

1966 The Cross Keys Hotel was advertised in the Liverpool Daily Post as going up for auction, described as ‘mock-timbered, Olde World’ hotel that had been modernised and enlarged five years ago and containing carved wooden features recovered from the original Eaton Hall.

1968 John Clarke is reportedly pleased to welcome the first ‘wet’ Sunday trading

1969 Ham ‘N’ Egg Suppers are advertised in the Chester Chronicle.

1970 John Clarke sells the pub to Thomas Johnston from Chester.

1972 Thomas Johnston sells to Frederick Joseph Lassetter, Livingstone Drive North, Liverpool.

1980 F J Lassetter sells to Mr V D Jones (35) and Mrs Marian Elizabeth Jones from Caergwrle.
During this period, it is widely reported that the Wrexham FC goalkeeper and coach Eddie Niedzwiecki, a friend of David Jones was often found to be serving behind the bar at the pub.
Contract with Ansells Brewery Birmingham.

1982 Mr V D Jones sells to garage owners from Saltney, Thomas John Davies and Wendy Davies.
The infamous Cross Keys Steak Butty is born.

1983 an advert in The Chester Chronicle for ‘Mountain Turf’ for 48p per sq yard, grown from the fields to the rear of the pub.

Tom and Wendy worked tirelessly at the pub for 20 years.

We’re just finalising the dates of Bob and Julies time at the pub and when ….

Paul & Zoe Koffman took up the reins.

2023 – The Spicy Pint Pub Company Ltd purchase the Freehold of The Cross Keys, Llanfynydd