A Short History of Hafod Elwy Hall
The oldest holiday home:
The Hafod (summer dwelling) and Hendre (winter dwelling) system existed for many years in Snowdonia long after it died out elsewhere in Wales. From the records we know that Hafod Elwy Hall has been a ‘summer dwelling’ or holiday home for many hundreds of years until we bought it in 2004 and the lovely old Hall became a real home for the first time.
The first mention we have found of Hafod Elwy is in the ‘Survey of the Honour of Denbighshire’ dated 1334. This refers to Hafod Elwy as “comprising 650 acres capable of depasturing 180 animals” and states the pasture of the waste of Havodelwe…worth 40s (£2.00)”, suggesting oxen were farmed here.
Glimpses of the Hall’s history abound including a lease from Henry V111, military defaulters, land disputes and fighting off a compulsory purchase order which won Hafod Elwy Hall retention of fishing and shooting rights over the Alwen reservoir together with the right to keep a boat thereon. From 1864 to 1987 the Hall was owned by the Robb Cox family. Alexander Robb Cox was an architect and we know from his granddaughter that he undertook a refurbishment shortly after his purchase, including uncovering the lovely old fireplace in the gun room.
Many historic features remain: the fabulous slate floors, the thunderbox, bread oven, the slate fire in the dining room, archways, architraves, old wells and stone walls to name a few. Guests miss the pleasure of seeing the floor joists which are simply tree branches lay flat and uncut.