Pengroesoped Tavern

Pengroesoped Tavern

The Tavern, built in approximately 1852 by John Rosser of Pantglas farm and mill.  Through my research I have been able to trace the family back to 1625 living at Pantglas where they were farmers and millers.

A £100 loan was taken by John Rosser to finance the building of the Tavern. He built it in a field called Cae Coed on the Mamhilad to Llanover road at Pengroesoped. 

In the parish register dated 1854 John Rosser was mentioned as being a farmer and innkeeper.

By 1859 John Rosser junior had taken occupancy of the tavern and was living there with his wife Amy. The same year a petition was going round the village asking for support against the paying of taxes towards the widening of Newport bridge, John Rosser signed the petition.

The census of 1861 says John Rosser (jnr) is a 35 year old publican, his wife Amy is 34, their children are Ellen 10, Thomas 8, John 6 and three year old Margaret.

Sketch of the Tavern before building commenced.


On October 30th 1861, Lewis Edmund (builder) wrote in his diary, “old John Rosser died suddenly this morning,” he was 76 years old, his funeral was at St Iltyd’s, Mamhilad.

Two years later on the 10th January 1863 John Rosser, son of John, of the tavern died, he was only 38, he too was buried at St. Iltyd’s, Mamhilad.

On the 26th May 1863 Ann Rosser, widow of John (snr) took the mortgage in fee for herself and in the names of three of her children, Aaron, James, and William.

Amy Rosser, wife of John jnr had all her children baptised seven months after his death, on the same day, the 9th July 1863 at St Peter’s.

Amy remained at the Tavern with the children. The following article appeared in the Usk Observer on 16th January 1864:

Pugilism at Goytrey

Thomas Jenkins, Thomas Griffiths, John Allgood and Henry Painter were charged with committing a breach of the peace by fighting.

William Rosser gave evidence that John Jenkins and Thomas Griffiths began fighting on the night after Christmas day at Mrs Rosser’s house at the Goytrey and the other two acted as their seconds, after which they began a “set to.”

Mr Ralph (of the Bench) said if the occupier would not sell too much drink at once disturbances would be less frequent.

Fined 9s each.

Amy Rosser remained at the Tavern until her early death in January 1867, she was only 40 years of age, the funeral took place at St Iltyd’s, Mamhilad. Lewis Edmunds wrote in his diary on the 17th January that he was at Amy Rosser’s funeral.

The census of 1871 says William Rosser is a 32 year old unmarried publican, living with him are his nephews John 16 and Charles 11, his 20 year old housekeeper is his niece Ellinor (they are children of his brother John, by Amy Rosser.)

William Rosser is mentioned as being an overseer of the poor for the parish and also for objecting to the quarter sessions of Usk being moved to Newport.

In 1877 the owner of the Tavern was John Phillips, the grandson of Ann and John Rosser, his mother, Ann Rosser married John Phillips of the Lower Hendre, Llanover (late of Mamhilad Villa.)

There is a letter to Lady Llanover from E Francis dated 28th June 1877 informing her he had seen the three Rosser brothers that morning, “Rosser the publican, Rosser the farmer and Jim or James Rosser,” who had informed him the old public house was for sale but not to put it abroad.

 It wasn’t sold to Lady Llanover, William Rosser  purchased the Tavern from his nephew John Phillips. 

On the census of 1881 William is 41, an innkeeper, Elizabeth his wife is 29 and they have a daughter Alice just one year old.

In 1885 William sold the Tavern to Lady Llanover for £850, he then rented Kiln Farm from her until 1887 when he moved to the Halfway House in Little Mill, where he died in April 1893.

Another newspaper incident is mentioned on the 29th June 1883 when a James Meredith was drunk at Pengroesoped Inn, he was unconscious for three hours then taken to the railway station. For this misdeameanor he was fined 10s or 7 days.

Robert Bassett took the lease for the Inn from Lady Llanover in 1885 at a quarterly rent of 10s, she turned the Inn into a coffee/temperance house. She sent the following items to the Inn on the 2nd May 1885:

2 quilts, 3 pairs of blankets, 4 pairs of sheets, 8 pillow cases, 4 bed towels, 4 tea cloths, 6 kitchen dusters, 6 knife cloths, 6 dish cloths, 2 table cloths, 6 housemaids dusters, 2 wool mattresses, 2 straw mattresses, 3 pillows, 2 chambers.

6 cups and saucers, 1 milk jug, 2 basins for use of tea, 3 broth basins, 3 mugs, 1 salt server, 2 pie dishes, 1 meat dish, 6 large plates, 6 small plates, 3 blue and white jugs.

2 small pans for washing hands, 1 small pan for washing dishes, 1 tin tea pot, 1 tin coffee pot, 6 tea spoons, 2 table spoons, 6 knives and forks, 1 tin pepper pot, 1 tin jack, 1 bucket, 1 sweeping brush, 1 hearth brush, 1 black brush, 1 scrubbing brush.

There are several account books for the Inn starting May 1885.

The census of 1891 says John Morgan and his family are in occupation he is 67,  a mason, his wife Ann is 51, they came from Glamorgan. Emma their daughter is 27, living with them is 27 year old William Powell,  a weaver.

John Morgan remained at the Inn through to 1911 when he says he is the manager of the refreshment rooms.


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