As it’s Halloween we speak to Charlotte from The Fountain Inn who tells us all about her supposedly haunted pub that she owns in Swansea!
Can you tell us more about a stay at The Fountain Inn?
Our beautiful restaurant and B&B is nestled in the busy village of Pontarddulais, Swansea. You will find a warm and friendly welcome waiting for you at our luxurious Fountain Inn from all of our lovely staff. The entire building has been totally renovated with stylish decor throughout since the previous tenants. And we are happy to promote that we are family friendly as children are very welcome at The Fountain. Our stunning en-suite guest rooms have also all been renovated to offer a warm and inviting atmosphere to single, double and family travellers alike.
The Fountain Inn has a strong history can you tell us more about that?
Our B&B, pub/restaurant played a big part in Welsh history during the Rebecca Riots, as we are located opposite the site of one of the toll gates that were attacked by the rioters in 1843.
The Rebecca Riots took place between 1839 and 1843 in South and Mid Wales. They were a series of protests undertaken by local farmers and agricultural workers in response to perceived unfair taxation. The rioters, often men dressed as women, took their actions against toll-gates, as they were tangible representations of high taxes and tolls. The riots ceased prior to 1844 due to several factors, including increased troop levels, a desire by the protesters to avoid violence and the appearance of criminal groups using the guise of Rebecca for their own purposes. In 1844 a Parliamentary act to consolidate and amend the laws relating to turnpike trusts in Wales was passed.
Rebecca Rioters attacked the Bolgoed Gate on the Swansea Road, on July 6th 1843. This Gate was opposite the Fountain Inn at Bolgoed Road, Pontarddulais; a stone on the road now commemorates the spot. The gate spanned the main road in front of the inn; while a smaller bar blocked the Goppa Road at the side of the building.
The attack was planned in The Fountain Inn, the leader or Rebecca was Daniel Lewis, a local weaver, who lived with his parents in a cottage beside Goppa Chapel. At around midnight about two hundred or so men, wearing women’s clothes and caps and bonnets, destroyed the gate. They moved the toll gate keeper’s furniture out of his house before pulling the building down.
Daniel Lewis and 3 other men were caught; David Jones, a farmer’s son from Tŷ Mawr Farm and previously from Cwrt Y Carnau, William Morgan, a farmer and the keeper of the Red Lion Inn in Pontarddulais, Griffith Vaughan. A local man John Jones informed on them, but his evidence was not believed.
Daniel Lewis was a well known local man, he was a poet using the bardic name of Petrys Bach, who had a ‘happy-go-lucky’ disposition and enjoyed having a drink at The Fountain Inn. He had won the heart of Elizabeth Davies of Ystomenlle Farm, Hendy, the eldest daughter of Richard Davies, but had not won the approval of her father who was determined that she would marry a farmer. Elizabeth was as equally determined to marry no one but Daniel; she was a very headstrong woman and managed to wheedle the plan of the raid on the Bolgoed Gate from Daniel on the night. Accompanied by her maidservant, she stealthily made her way through Pontarddulais to The Fountain Inn, and watched the whole attack from an upstairs window. John Jones, a local labourer was jealous of Lewis, which may have been the reason that Jones informed on him. Daniel and Elizabeth Lewis are buried in Goppa Chapel cemetery.
Can you tell us some of the spooky things that happen at The Fountain in?
There have been plenty of unexplained noises at night and strange mists passing staff. Also bathroom and wardrobe doors opening in the B&B rooms after being locked up the day before.
Have guests ever commented on hearing ghostly noises?
Yes, guests have complained about a lot of commotion and noise downstairs until the early hours of the morning, when they have actually been the only people in the building!
Why do you think pubs seem to have an association with being haunted?
This is probably due to the fact that many pubs are very old buildings and have a lot of history behind them.
Any spooky guest tales to tell?
One of our housekeepers recalls that she was upstairs alone completing one of her daily tasks of cleaning the toilet facilities. As she left the ladies to collect more supplies she opened the door to find a strange mist, in the shape of a woman passing through the hallway and making its way down the stairs! The poor housekeeper suddenly felt a cold chill upon her and she ran, screaming ,in the other direction, much to the surprise of the B&B guests and other staff downstairs in building at the time.
To read more of our customers stories click here.