Topics / Pubs
Figures from the Griffydam Census returns show the number of pubs and chapels in the village in relation to its population during this period:
1841: 68 houses inhabited (4 empty) - Pop 282 - 1 pub & 1 chapel
1851: 72 houses inhabited (none empty) - Pop 312 - 1 pub & 1 chapel
1871: 64 houses inhabited (10 empty) - Pop 275 - 3 pubs & 1 chapel
1891: 55 houses inhabited (16 empty) - Pop 258 - 4 pubs & 2 chapels
1901: 45 houses inhabited (7 empty) - Pop 210 - 4 pubs & 2 chapels
NB: The Red Lion pub is not included in the above figures. However, due to its close proximity to Griffydam details about the Red Lion have been provided.
When the 1841 census was carried out, only 1 beer house existed, that being the Waggon & Horses. This was later joined by The Griffin, The Rising Sun and The Travellers Rest. As men in Griffydam started to become increasingly employed in the coal mining industry then the demand for beer grew in parallel with it.
The free trade movement of the early 1800’s believed that increasing competition in the brewing and sale of beer would lower the price, so that beer was consumed rather than more alcoholic drinks such as gin. The Beerhouse Act of 1830 enabled any rate-payer to brew and sell beer on payment of a licence costing two guineas. Magistrates would no longer be involved in the issuing of Licencing the local trade in beer. It resulted in the opening of thousands of new public houses and breweries throughout the country. By 1841, 45500 licences had been issued to commercial brewers.
The domestic nature of The Griffin and Rising Sun suggests they would have taken advantage of this act to sell and even brew beer in their Home.
Controls were gradually added to the Act as Beerhouses proved a problem to public order which limited the number of premises. This resulted in Magistrates increasingly being involved in the approval of licences. An example of this is the magistrate’s refusal for a licence for the Rising Sun in 1908; on the grounds of excessive number of licenced premises for the community, and the structural unsuitability of the property to accommodate the tenant and customers.
The First World War necessitated strict controls on licenced premises; a Government Minister claimed that the war effort was fighting Germany Austria and Alcohol. The Beerhouses Act was not finally repealed until 1993.