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The Pioneer Hotel

A Grade II Listed Building in Cwmfelinfach, Caerphilly

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Latitude: 51.6187 / 51°37'7"N

Longitude: -3.1789 / 3°10'43"W

OS Eastings: 318479

OS Northings: 191751

OS Grid: ST184917

Mapcode National: GBR HY.973J

Mapcode Global: VH6DM.VKBZ

Entry Name: The Pioneer Hotel

Listing Date: 16 September 1999

Last Amended: 16 September 1999

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 22319

Building Class: Commercial

Location: Right in the centre of Cwmfelin-fach at the junction of five roads.

County: Caerphilly

Community: Ynysddu (Ynys-ddu)

Community: Ynysddu

Locality: Cwmfelin-fach

Built-Up Area: Cwmfelinfach

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

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Hotel built c 1903, lease of 99 years from that date, to serve Nine Mile Point Colliery. Sold in 1909 for £26,000; at this time owned by Griffiths Bros of Newport. Sale notice lists facilites: in basement 2 large Beer Cellars, Wine Cellar, Minerals Cellar, Kitchen, Scullery, Larder. Ground floor had Public Bar, Luncheon Bar, Commercial Room, Smoke Room, Coffee Room, Jug and Bottle Department, Tap Room, Manager's Sitting Room, Lobby, WCs. First floor had large Club Room. Billiard Room, Servery, Lift from Gournd Floor, Cloakroom, Bathroom, 2 Lavatories. Second floor had 10 bedrooms. Early photographs show chimneys but otherwise frontage little altered.: it had a second sign Pioneer Hotel on the left bay and outbuildings now demolished to right.


Large hotel in Arts and Crafts derived style. Built of well jointed random rubble with rockfaced quoins, some stone rendered and painted, some roughcast, some brick. Welsh slate roof. Windows retain original glazing, mostly horned sashes with multipane upper half and plate-glazed lower half. Asymmetrical frontage on 3 storeys. To left a tall gabled bay of different textures - rubble, render, roughcast - with wide pilasters splayed at base; close under the roughcast pediment is a wide 6-light multipane window; below at first floor level is a wide elliptical-arched 4-light window with wide mullions and transoms with now faint lettering 'Pioneer Hotel ' beneath; ground floor 4-light window to bar is a different version of the divided glazing with 2 small panes and one large below the transom. To left a deep round-arched hood to the doorway with double half-glazed entrance doors and multipane overlight; single window range stepped back and down to side, the first floor 3-light window under overhanging eaves; 2 small 4-pane sashes beside second doorway. To right at centre, the roof sweeps down incorporating 2 dormers with gabled roofs with louvres above the multipane casements; end right is a 3-storey gabled bay with paired windows to each floor, the right corners chamfered to accommodate a side window at first floor level under overhanging eaves. Centre right is the entrance bay with canted 3-window bay to first floor over the elliptical arched recess forming a splayed porch with double doors and multipane overlight; bracketed hood. Single window and narrow second doorway to left separates a 2-storey canted bay with parapet rising above eaves level; similar ground floor bar windows either side of entrance. Side elevation to right has wide red brick pilasters and dressings to windows, moulded bricks to sills, unequal roof pitch which is higher to rear. To accommodate the slope, hotel rear has 4 storeys. Left side elevation has similar unequal roof pitch and has no windows except to attic; attached at front is a wall with tall railings with decorative curled finials to the stanchions.


Much of the original layout survives, though not all the fittings. Retains heavy polished wood bar, brick and tile fireplace, part glazed swing doors, engraved glass to bar windows, moulded window surrounds, dado rail.

Reasons for Listing

Listed for its architectural and historic interest as a large hotel of distinctive design performing an important social function in the industrial community in the early years of the C20.

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Telephone Call-box outside Pioneer Hotel
    In front of the Pioneer Hotel to left side.
  • II Capel y Babell
    On the S boundary of Cwmfelin-fach and a short way N of the Sirhowy River, in a maintained open space, a walled graveyard adjoining to E.
  • II Islwyn Monument in Babell Cemetery
    Close to the front wall of Babell chapel within the walled cemetery.
  • II Glebe Farm
    On the S flank of Mynyddislwyn, off the E side of the lane leading S to Cwmfelin-fach, and reached by a farm track across fields.
  • II Brynysgawen and attached farm range
    On the W hillside of the Sirhowy Valley due W of Ynysddu, reached by the mountain road from Gelli-groes, and along a farm track.
  • II Stable block at Brynysgawen
    On the opposite side of the farmyard to the farmhouse and barn range.
  • II Ton-eithin
    Just E of the crest of Mynyddislwyn, SE of the church, on the upper slope of Nant Hafod-Tudur, reached by a long farm track.

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