Hanbury Arms

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Coordinates: 51°36′30″N2°57′07″W / 51.608459°N 2.951936°W / 51.608459; -2.951936


Hanbury Arms
Hanbury Arms.jpg
The Hanbury Arms viewed from the banks of the River Usk. The Norman tower (c.1219) is visible at the left, adjoining the main building.
Newport UK location map.svg
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Hanbury Arms
Location within Newport
General information
Architectural style
Town or city Caerleon, Newport
Country Wales
Coordinates 51°36′30″N2°57′07″W / 51.608459°N 2.951936°W / 51.608459; -2.951936
  • Tower: 1219
  • Coach House: 1565

The Hanbury Arms is a Grade II listed public house on Caerleon High Street, near Newport, Wales. The oldest parts of the building date back to 1219. It is both a listed building and a scheduled Ancient Monument in the region. [1]

It is well known for being frequented by Alfred, Lord Tennyson in 1856, where he began writing Idylls of the King from the building's riverside views. [2] A blue plaque now adorns the building, with another on the wall near his rumoured seat.


The pub is formed from local rubbled stone, limewashed and decorated in 16th century style. [3] Much of the original architecture remains untouched. The slate roof also consists of local Welsh stone. The windows were reformed in the 19th century and the interior remains in its true style. [3]


Caerleon has historic origins as an Iron Age Silures hill fort. Upon the arrival of the Roman outposts across Britain, including at nearby Caerwent, the Isca Augusta fortress at Caerleon developed on the River Usk as an important route for goods and men into the country. [4]

The first known construction on the site is a Norman tower built around 1219, which stands to this day. The purpose of the tower is uncertain, however two theories exist. One suggests that the tower was twinned with another on the opposite bank of the Usk, and together served as a chain tower allowing access to the upper river. Other historians claim it formed the outer bailey of the village. [1]

In the 1600s, Caerleon's quay grew, likely in a similar to the much earlier Roman docks that are now buried, and the Hanbury Arms established itself as an important presence on the riverside. [5]

The current building began as a home and trading post named Ty Glyndwr, built by the local Morgan family. The building dates to 1565 [3] and was later used in the 17th century as a Magistrate's Court. The aforementioned Norman tower was appropriately used during this time as a lock-up. [3]

Present era

The modern premises operates as it did in the 18th century, as a public house now operated by Cardiff-based Welsh brewery S.A. Brain. [6] The business operates until 11.30pm during weekends. It hosts regular live performances from local and international musicians, especially so during the yearly Caerleon Arts Festival each summer. [7]

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  1. 1 2 "Tower to the south west of, and attached to, The Hanbury Arms, Caerleon, Newport". britishlistedbuildings.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-04-15.
  2. "History Points - The Hanbury Arms, Caerleon". historypoints.org. Retrieved 2019-04-15.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "The Hanbury Arms PH, Caerleon, Newport". britishlistedbuildings.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-04-15.
  4. "History of Caerleon". Caerleon.net. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  5. "Quay Wall and Slip at the Hanbury Arms, Caerleon, Newport". britishlistedbuildings.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-04-15.
  6. "The Hanbury Arms, Caerleon". Whatpub. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  7. "Caerleon Festival". Caerleon Festival. Retrieved 2019-04-15.