AD When I’m travelling and end up in a small village or town, I can almost guarantee there will be two historic buildings for me to visit – the church and the pub!
That’s why I was really excited to hear about the new book from Welsh author Graham Loveluck-Edwards. Historic Pubs of Wales is a follow up to the regional best seller Legends and Folklore of Bridgend and the Vale which came out last year.
Graham is best known for writing historical non-fiction but with a tongue-in-cheek view of some of the more ridiculous aspects of it. As such he has earned himself the nickname of “the Bill Bryson of history books”. He relishes in some of the more colourful myths, legends and stories from Wales’ ancient past, and this latest book, about Wales’ oldest pubs, is crammed with fascinating, historically based stories and facts.
“I have always loved old pubs, and we are blessed to have so many belters here in Wales. There are many amazing stories associated with them. For example, the pub which claims to have an elephant buried under its beer garden, or the pub where funeral parties take a short cut to the cemetery through the bar to keep an ancient right of access alive, or the pub that claims to have invented pancake day and so many more.
In all, I’ve compiled over 100 incredible stories based around 89 amazing old pubs. Is there any truth in them? Some for sure, but this book captures them and puts them in the context of history so you can be the judge. And what about the age-old question of which is the oldest pub in Wales? We have eight different establishments all claiming it’s them, so which one is right?”
The book also contains a travel guide (you know we love a travel guide here at the Hisdoryan blog!) so readers can go on a tour around Wales and visit all the pubs in the book. They will then be able to check out all the secret passage ways, smugglers’ hides, priest holes and ghosts for themselves.
Pubs have had such a tough time in the last year with us going in and out of lockdowns and with the introduction of social distancing measures. Sixteenth century inns are usually a warren of tiny rooms so being two metres apart has made opening and trading near impossible for many. So, a book which celebrates all that is great about our old pubs, which tells people their history, where to find them and what to expect when you get there (with full colour pictures) has been welcomed by all the landlords Graham spoke to when doing his research.
So grab a copy of Historic Pubs of Wales, have an historical adventure AND support a local business in the process!