Glanwydden village history
The earliest record of the village date from a royal charter granted in 1580 by the Wynne family, for the construction of a windmill and storage house. The Mill which stands next door to the pub, fell into disuse in the late industrial era, when steam powered mills in Manchester and Liverpool superseded most wind powered flour production. Local stories say the sails for the mill fell off during the later days of the first world war killing a pig. The mill was then plundered for its stone for local buildings. Only the base part of the mill remaining and used as a sheep fold by local farmers. In the 1980s the Windmill way sympathetically restored and is now a family home. There is still evidence of its working past in the gardens of the house with three large pieces of mill stone uncovered and on display.
Glanwydden remained largely agricultural until the arrival of large-scale quarrying, the village being surrounded by several limestone outcrops including the Great and Little Ormes, which were quarried heavily and their stone became central in the construction of much of Llandudno, Penrhyn Bay and surrounding villages in the 18th & 19th century. With the added advantage of sitting on the main route from Llandudno to Chester meant Glanwydden enjoyed somewhat of a boom. At the time it had three pubs; The Queen’s Head, The Sun and The King’s Head. The village would have been far more self sufficient in those days with bakery opposite (presumably with such close proximity to the mill), a dairy that was opposite the pub (now demolished), and the pubs itself starting life as a wheelwright’s cottage.
For a period in its life Glanwydden was a gated village that was closed off to “outsiders” at certain times of the day and only the residents were allowed in.
History of the pub
The pub started life as a pub in the mid 19th century at that point no doubt operated to serve labourers of surrounding farms and quarries.
The pub went through various ownerships in its long history. In the 1970s it was owned by Ansells brewery which went on to merge with Ind Coope and Tetley Walker to become the brewing giant that was Allied Breweries.
The pub is owned by Mostyn Estate and was taken on by Ansells Brewery in 1970 on a 30 year lease. The pub has had a number of licensees over the years, each bringing their own unique personality and style to the place.
Rob and Sally Cureton took over the pub in 1982 when the pub was a lively Welsh drinking pub that served lunches and a few “specials” depending on what the previous landlord fancied making on the day! They knew they wanted to take it in a new direction introducing a substantial quality food element. However, coming from a fine dining background and large industrial kitchens, it was a challenge when they were faced with no gas, 4 electric hobs and an electric grill…thank goodness for microwaves! The kitchen remained this way for 10 years until the pub was renovated creating a new kitchen, new toilets and new entrance to the venue. From there the old place has never looked back, going from strength to strength creating a fantastic reputation for its food. People would come from near and far to dine and over time Rob soon realised that he didn’t have enough tables for the number of people who wanted to dine. The only solution was to extend so the dining room was added about 10 years ago allowing the pub to accommodate a few more punters.
Over the years, the pub has gained much recognition for its food featuring in publications such as ‘The Good Food Guide’ and ‘The Michelin Guide’. The pub won “Best Pub in Wales”.
Plenty of interesting people have visited the Queen’s Head over the years, however the most notable would have to be Emperor Akihito of Japan who came to visit. Back in 1982 (when he was a Royal Prince), he was in the area staying in Bodysgallen Hall and wished to frequent “a traditional Welsh pub and have a pint of beer” so the Queen’s Head was the obvious choice!
In our lower car park you can still see the remains of some stables and outbuildings from when ‘Bessie’s’ riding stable resided there in the 1980s which was a popular choice with local and visiting horse riders.
We took on the pub in 2018 and have made some sympathetic improvements during our tenure but very much carried on the tradition of quality fresh local food, served with good quality ales and wines, which we feel should stand us in good stead for many years to come…