White Hart Public House, Finch Street, St Dogmaels
On May 17 1769 a lease was granted on the building to become the White Hart to Thomas Mendws. A few years later Thomas Mendws became a burgess of Cardigan (an official of the area).The Mendws family achieved some notoriety by being accused of assault, rescuing a family member from the bailiff and stealing a boat and destroying it! The next record for the White Hart was its sale by public auction in January 1868, where Master Mariner William Evans and his wife Mary became landlords. Sadly, on June 25 1872 Captain William Evans died at St. Petersburg while serving as the master of the ‘Coila‘. The publican title passed to Mary who continued to run the pub from 1872 to 1911 whilst bringing up her two sons John Philip and John J. with the help of a general servant. Over time, Mary was joined by other family members and by the 1901 census, when she was 67 years old, she was joined by the Richards family. It was noted that Mary and other family members were bilingual. Mary successfully ran the pub up to her death in May 1911 when she was buried at St Dogmaels. The running of the White Hart passed to Eleanor Richards, who oversaw the pub between 1911 and 1943. By February 1937 the pub was under threat of closure, but continued to operate through the Second World War, when the licensee transferred to Eleanor’s daughter Sara Richards. The White Hart entered a period of transition with it being regularly advertised for sale and receiving new publicans:
- July 1948 the pub license transferred to Owen and Pheobe Parry in 1949. Sadly Owen died shortly after becoming publican when the title transferred to his wife Pheobe.
- Alexander Dashwood became landlord from 1951 for just two years.
- Stanley Whittle took over the pub in 1956
- Ronald and Mona Hills were the next licensees
- Mr & Mrs Stan Rickett were landlords between 1962-1969
William Chandler and his wife June were the publicans from 1971 until 1987 until their retirement in 1986. In October 1997 Hugh and Rosemary Samways became the licensees and in 2001 the census confirmed that Hugh and Rosemary and their three children where residents at the White Hart.
In 2002 some building work took place, with an extension being demolished and new windows installed. In December 2005 Hugh Samways left, being replaced by Ann Duckworth as the licensee between 2005 and 2008.
During a royal visit on 3 July 2006, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall toured the village and were welcomed into the White Hart. This visit is still fondly remembered by residents of St Dogmaels today.
In 2010 Andrew Monaghan became the landlord. After being sub-let for a period, Andrew returned as the landlord between 2013 and 2018. Despite the pub being advertised for sale from October 2016 the White Hart was still trading into 2018. In early 2019 it was confirmed that the pub was scheduled to close on Sunday 5 May 2019.
And now? The community is looking to retain this historical pub at the heart of our village. Will you pledge your support? Follow this link to find out more.
Thank you to Glen Johnson for his assistance in compiling this history of the White Hart