The Cambrian

1 - 2 Castle Street, Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent, NP22 3DE, Wales

Welsh Tourist Board

Built probably in 1809, shortly after Tredegar was created, the Cambrian Hotel helped quench local thirsts even during working hours when young boys hurried jugs of beer and cider to sweating furnace men. Accounts would be settled on paydays, occasions when free, but salty, soup was often provided to increase what was already on the slate.

For over two centuries "The Cam" has hosted and witnessed events of every kind. Chartist meetings were held in its upper room addressed by such as Dr. William Price of Llantrisant who had publicly cremated his son's body. Even though a strong Chartist supporter his arguments against the 1839 attack on Newport would be proved when Tredegar's contingent straggled back defeated past these walls.

Self-help benevolent societies were based here, and Temperance preached in The Circle outside. The Cambrian served local society while cholera struck, riots flared, election results were announced and during recruitment for battlefields from Waterloo to The Somme. Some who knew this place fought and died in distant campaigns, whilst others lost theirs lives at furnace or pit. This building has witnessed periods of great prosperity, industrial strife, hunger and economic decline. Old coins discovered walled-up during 2013's renovation, intended to bestow good luck, mark the Cambrian's two hundred years of social involvement, welcome and hospitality.

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