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The History of The Black Boy Inn in Caernarfon


The Black Boy Inn Caernarfon is a historic hotel and restaurant located in the heart of the medieval town of Caernarfon, North Wales. The inn offers comfortable rooms, delicious food, and a friendly atmosphere, all within walking distance of the famous Caernarfon Castle and the waterfront. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway, a family holiday, or a business trip, the Black Boy Inn Caernarfon is the perfect choice for your stay.

Caernarfon, a historic town in Gwynedd, Wales, is home to The Black Boy Inn, a renowned hotel and public house with a fascinating past. Dating back to 1522, it stands as one of the oldest surviving inns in North Wales, making it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and travelers alike. Let's take a journey through time and unravel the captivating story behind The Black Boy Inn.


The Origins and Name

The Black Boy Inn, previously known as the 'Black Boy,' has a name that has sparked curiosity and controversy. There are various theories surrounding its origin. One explanation links it to a black buoy that once existed in the harbor, serving as a navigational marker for sailors. Another theory suggests that it derives from the nickname given to King Charles II, who was referred to as the 'Black Boy' due to his dark complexion. The king's mother, Henrietta Maria of France, bestowed this moniker upon him. Royalists, who secretly gathered at the inn during that time, may have influenced the adoption of the name.


A Historic Setting

Situated within the medieval walls of Caernarfon, The Black Boy Inn is steeped in history. The town itself was a bustling port during its heyday, strategically positioned at the mouth of Menai Strait. It served as a naval base and provided access to the North and West Coasts of Wales, as well as the Anglesey passage. The inn's location on Northgate Street, once known as 'Four and Six Street,' hints at its connection to the red-light district, where sailors could find accommodation, gin, and companionship for just four shillings and six pence.


Architectural Delights

As you approach The Black Boy Inn, its striking exterior immediately catches your eye. The three-story building features well-kept, bright white walls adorned with signs, flags, and the name proudly displayed. Stepping inside, you'll be transported back in time. The inn's interior exudes a historic charm, with creaky floors, low-cut doorways, and rich timber frames. The warm, ambient lighting adds to the cozy atmosphere, evoking a sense of candlelit evenings enjoyed by weary travelers throughout the centuries.


A Welcoming Atmosphere

The Black Boy Inn offers a warm and inviting atmosphere for visitors to Caernarfon. Whether you're a local seeking a friendly gathering place or a traveler in search of authentic Welsh hospitality, this pub delivers. Its reputation as a free house, independently owned by a family business, sets it apart from many other establishments in the United Kingdom. The pub's commitment to creating inclusive and welcoming environments for all customers is evident in its decision to change its name, ensuring it remains a place where everyone feels comfortable.


A Culinary Delight

The Black Boy Inn is not only a haven for those seeking a pint but also a destination for food lovers. Its extensive menu tempts visitors with a wide range of delectable dishes that showcase the flavors of Wales. From traditional favorites to modern twists, there's something to satisfy every palate. The kitchen prides itself on using fresh, locally sourced ingredients to create dishes that celebrate the region's culinary heritage. Whether you're craving a hearty Welsh rarebit or a succulent roast lamb, The Black Boy Inn offers a culinary journey through Wales.


Unearthing Treasures

During restoration work in 2009, The Black Boy Inn revealed hidden treasures beneath its floors. Workmen discovered a collection of relics, including a child's shoe, clay pipes, and a coin believed to date back to 1860. Upstairs, old beams, possibly salvaged from sailing ships, add to the inn's historical charm. These remnants of the past serve as a reminder of the inn's rich heritage and the countless stories that have unfolded within its walls.


Accommodation Fit for Royalty

If you're planning to extend your stay in Caernarfon, The Black Boy Inn offers comfortable and charming accommodation. With 47 guestrooms spread across four buildings, you'll find a variety of options to suit your preferences. The rooms exude character, with original beams and sloping ceilings that evoke a sense of history. For an extra touch of medieval ambiance, select a room with a four-poster bed. Whether you're a history enthusiast seeking an immersive experience or a traveler in search of a cozy retreat, The Black Boy Inn provides accommodation fit for royalty.


Recognition and Awards

The Black Boy Inn's commitment to providing a memorable experience has earned it recognition and accolades. In 2008 and 2009, the pub received the Cask Marque award, a testament to the quality of its cask ales. It has also been featured in CAMRA's Good Beer Guide, which highlights the best real ale venues in the United Kingdom. These accolades reflect the dedication of The Black Boy Inn in delivering exceptional service and maintaining the highest standards in the industry.


Exploring Caernarfon

While visiting The Black Boy Inn, take the opportunity to explore the charming town of Caernarfon. Its crown jewel, Caernarfon Castle, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a magnificent example of medieval architecture. Delve into the town's rich history by taking a stroll along the medieval walls or visiting nearby historic sites such as Segontium Roman Fort. Caernarfon also offers breathtaking natural beauty, with the stunning Snowdonia National Park just a short drive away. Immerse yourself in the enchanting landscapes and discover the wonders of North Wales.


Embrace History at The Black Boy Inn

The Black Boy Inn stands as a testament to the enduring allure of history and the power of adaptation. As it evolves and embraces change, it remains a beloved destination for locals and visitors alike. Its rich heritage, warm atmosphere, and dedication to providing exceptional experiences make it a must-visit establishment in Caernarfon. Whether you're enjoying a pint, indulging in Welsh cuisine, or immersing yourself in the inn's unique ambiance, The Black Boy Inn invites you to embrace the rich tapestry of its past while creating new memories for the future.

Plan your visit to Caernarfon and experience the magic of The Black Boy Inn – a place where history comes to life, and Welsh hospitality reigns supreme.


Published by

Visit Caernarfon Ltd

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