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The Old Courthouse: The Amazing Transformation Into a Unique Dining and Event Venue in Caernarfon

Updated: Sep 14, 2023


The old courthouse in Caernarfon is a historic building that dates back to the 14th century. It was originally part of the town walls and served as a prison and a court of justice. The courthouse was restored in the 19th century and is now a museum that showcases the history and culture of Caernarfon and its surroundings. The museum features exhibits on the medieval and Tudor periods, the Welsh language and literature, and the local industries and crafts.
The Old Courthouse Entrance - Caernarfon

The Old Courthouse, a stunning bistro restaurant, wedding venue, and private hire space located in the heart of the historic town of Caernarfon in North Wales. The beautiful Grade-I listed building, originally a courthouse, has undergone an incredible transformation to become a unique and elegant destination for dining, celebrations, and cultural events.


A Rich History Restored

Built in 1863, The Old Courthouse served as the seat of justice in Caernarfon for over a century until it closed its doors in 2009. The building remained dormant until 2018 when it was purchased by Moira Hartley, a freelance musician with a vision of creating a vibrant cultural hub where people could enjoy live music, fine dining, and the rich heritage of the town.


The Restoration Process

Over the course of two and a half years, Moira Hartley and her dedicated team undertook a painstaking restoration project, carefully preserving the building's original features while transforming its interior into a breathtaking venue. The domed courtroom has been converted into a stunning theatre, creating a unique space for captivating performances. The Magistrates' courtroom has been beautifully transformed into a 60-cover bistro restaurant, offering a menu of exquisite dishes made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The Witness Room and the lower ground floor have been turned into a stylish bar, complete with artists' green rooms, dressing rooms, and storage facilities.


The old courthouse in Caernarfon is a historic building that dates back to the 14th century. It was originally part of the town walls and served as a prison and a court of justice. The courthouse was restored in the 19th century and is now a museum that showcases the history and culture of Caernarfon and its surroundings. The museum features exhibits on the medieval and Tudor periods, the Welsh language and literature, and the local industries and crafts.

The Dining Experience

At The Old Courthouse, they pride themselves on offering a dining experience that combines elegance and warmth. The Bench Bistro, located in the former Magistrates' courtroom, provides a relaxed and friendly atmosphere where guests can savor a seasonal menu that showcases the best of local produce. Their talented chefs create culinary delights, from succulent steaks to a variety of other options such as vegan, gluten free, vegetarian, and more, ensuring there is something to satisfy every palate. The emphasis on fresh, high-quality ingredients and the attention to detail in every dish make dining at The Old Courthouse a truly memorable experience.


Unforgettable Events

In addition to its exceptional dining offerings, The Old Courthouse is also a sought-after venue for weddings, private parties, and corporate events. The unique charm and grandeur of the building, combined with its stunning location opposite Caernarfon Castle, create a magical setting for any occasion. There experienced events team works closely with clients to tailor every detail, from the exquisite decor to the personalized menu, ensuring that each event is a memorable and unforgettable experience.


The old courthouse in Caernarfon is a historic building that dates back to the 14th century. It was originally part of the town walls and served as a prison and a court of justice. The courthouse was restored in the 19th century and is now a museum that showcases the history and culture of Caernarfon and its surroundings. The museum features exhibits on the medieval and Tudor periods, the Welsh language and literature, and the local industries and crafts.
Theatre - The Old Courthouse - Caernarfon

Cultural Hub and Live Performances

Central to Moira Hartley's vision for The Old Courthouse was the creation of a cultural hub that celebrates the arts. The transformation of the domed courtroom into a theatre has made this vision a reality. The venue hosts a diverse range of performances. Guests can immerse themselves in the vibrant atmosphere while enjoying live music and captivating shows. The Old Courthouse has become a hub for creativity, attracting artists and performers from near and far.


The old courthouse in Caernarfon is a historic building that dates back to the 14th century. It was originally part of the town walls and served as a prison and a court of justice. The courthouse was restored in the 19th century and is now a museum that showcases the history and culture of Caernarfon and its surroundings. The museum features exhibits on the medieval and Tudor periods, the Welsh language and literature, and the local industries and crafts.
The Bench Bistro - The Old Courthouse - Caernarfon

A Unique Venue for Every Occasion

The Old Courthouse offers a range of spaces that can be tailored to suit the specific requirements of any event. The grandeur of the former courtroom, now a concert hall, provides a magnificent backdrop for musical performances. The bistro restaurant, with its elegant ambiance, is perfect for intimate gatherings and special celebrations. The stylish bar and lounge area offer a relaxed setting for pre-meal drinks or a night out with friends. Whatever the occasion, The Old Courthouse offers a unique and versatile venue that promises to exceed expectations.


Future Prospects and Expansion

The Old Courthouse has already captured the hearts of locals and visitors alike, establishing itself as a premier destination in Caernarfon. With an exciting lineup of upcoming performances and events, The Old Courthouse aims to solidify its position as one of the top entertainment venues in North Wales.


The old courthouse in Caernarfon is a historic building that dates back to the 14th century. It was originally part of the town walls and served as a prison and a court of justice. The courthouse was restored in the 19th century and is now a museum that showcases the history and culture of Caernarfon and its surroundings. The museum features exhibits on the medieval and Tudor periods, the Welsh language and literature, and the local industries and crafts.
The Cells in The Old Courthouse - Caernarfon

A Testament to History and Ambition

The restoration of The Old Courthouse in Caernarfon is a testament to the power of vision and the preservation of history. Moira Hartley's dedication to creating a unique venue that celebrates the arts while honoring the building's heritage has resulted in a remarkable transformation. The Old Courthouse stands as a beacon of elegance, offering an unforgettable experience for those who appreciate fine dining, cultural events, and the enchanting charm of Caernarfon. As the venue continues to thrive, it promises to be a cornerstone of the town's cultural scene and a cherished destination for years to come.


Visit The Old Courthouse

The Old Courthouse is open every day from 6 pm until 11 pm (Last food order is 9 pm), offering a delightful dining experience in an exquisite setting. Whether you are looking for a romantic evening, a special celebration, or a cultural experience, The Old Courthouse welcomes you to indulge in its charm and create lasting memories.


Visit The Old Courthouse www.theoldcourthouse.org.uk to explore the unique dining and event offerings and discover the magic that awaits you at this extraordinary venue.


Published by

Visit Caernarfon Ltd



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