Stories plea over centuries-old Ewloe pub


Romilly Scragg

AS calls grow to save a historic pub from demolition, one resident is keen to ensure its stories are recorded for future generations.

Community leaders have called for the former Boar’s Head pub on Holywell Road, Ewloe, which is at least 400 years old, to be retained as part of future development plans amid fears it could be bulldozed “within weeks”.

A pre-application to redevelop the site of pub, which closed to the public in 2002, has been returned to the applicant for further work.

But worries remain that as the building is unlisted, the former staging post could be demolished in a matter of weeks.

Hawarden Community Council this week made a formal objection to its demolition, urging Flintshire Council planners to ensure the building is retained in any development proposals which will likely look to build residential units on the site.

Separately, heritage campaigner Klaus Armstrong-Braun has set in motion a process which could see the building being listed as of national importance.

A social historian has also highlighted the historical significance of the centuries-old pub and has set about recording its memories for a national archive.

While Mr Armstrong-Braun has collated details of the history of the pub in a push to have the building officially listed, former Deeside businessman and Hawarden resident John Butler has urged residents to come forward to capture their memories for posterity.

Mr Butler, who was a regular at the pub for many years, said: “Lots of our heritage is embedded in that pub.

“Traders such as those coming from the North West of England used it as a major staging post. It was a place of rest and recuperation for weary travellers.”

Mr Butler has started recording people’s memories of the pub, but said he was also keen for people to have their say on what should happen to it.

“Some people will want it knocked down. It’s in a pretty rundown state and it could make room for 20 houses,” he said.

“It’s a serious argument.

“But the other side is you’d be losing a piece of our heritage – that has to be balanced.”

Mr Armstrong-Braun has researched the history of the pub at Hawarden Records Office and said documents showed the building in use as early as 1602 when it belonged to to the Earl of Eldon.

A plaque at the front of the building refers to the time of the plague, and beneath it, the former toll house can still be seen.

“The building is of national importance,” said Mr Armstrong-Braun. “People going to the Gladstone Estate would have stayed there, their horses resting after coming up the hill.

“It’s contiguous of the the history of the area. If you take that away, the whole history is gone.”

Mr Armstrong-Braun has forwarded historical details to Flintshire Council, Welsh Government’s historic environment service Cadw, and the Royal Commission has been advised of the history of the building. He said he was confident officers would now be seriously considering listing the building.

“It’s urgent,” he said, “because as soon as the application goes back to the council, they only have eight weeks to make a decision.”

Hawarden Community Council clerk Noel Barnes wrote to Flintshire Council on behalf of the council , and said members objected to the demolition of what it described as “an important and historic building which has been a landmark in Ewloe for more than 300 years”.

Anyone with a story regarding the pub can contact John Butler at or call on 07840884000.

See full story in the Leader

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