Imagine a pub that is over 300 years old, steeped in history and integral to the community and you have the Welcome to Town. Even though it is small in size it is big in heart and, in it’s time, the Welcome has provided many services to Llanrhidian and Gower: A cranny that was used as the Gaol; the Long Room, a food hall that doubled up as a courtroom for local miscreants; a meeting place for the landowners of Gower and a masonic temple;
And now in the 21st century, having undergone a complete refurbishment, the Welcome opens its doors as Gower’s premier dining pub. Proud to be a proper pub the atmosphere is friendly and unpretentious; the food is simple and delicious; the wines & beers are chosen for taste and maintained to perfection. All in all we have a simple dedication to quality which we hope is going to blow your socks off!
The Welcome had frankly been a little unloved over the last years and was looking a little sorry for itself – not any more! We love the old building and its idiosyncrasies, its sloping floors, its ridiculously thick walls, the stupidly low arches to duck under, the incredible light in the Long Room and so we have taken those features and lovingly and sympathetically brought it up to date.
In May & June 2015 we completely refurbished the building: new kitchen, new heating system, new toilets, new floors, new windows, a new bar, decorating, flooring, furniture, lighting, a new car park, gardening – nothing went untouched. We have created a new contemporary space in a beautiful old building. We love it and hope you will too.
Our philosophy is that of sustainability, simplicity and taste. What makes the Welcome so special is that its source of inspiration, history, passion and produce comes from the Gower farmers right on its doorstep where food has been produced for thousands of years. We use as much Gower produce as possible; fresh, seasonal and sourced from local farmers, fishermen and producers within about 20 miles of the pub.
The Welcome is located in the beautiful village of Llanrhidian opposite the 12 century church just off the B4295. Llanrhidian is located in the north of the Gower peninsula in South West Wales.
Gower is famous for providing the most significant evidence of the presence in Wales of Palaeolithic or Old Stone Age people in the burial ground discovered in Paviland Cave. The bones were assumed to be those of a female and, as they had been coloured with red ochre, the skeleton became known as that of the Red Lady of Paviland. The skeleton is now known to be that of a young man and to date from about 24,000 BC. It represents the earliest example in Britain of a ritual burial.
The Welcome To Town Pub
The Welcome has been a pub since at least 1826 and probably for much longer. It was the meeting place for the Gower United Association for the Prosecution of Felons’ annual dinner. This group of land owners and farmers were responsible for the rewards offered for the apprehension of local criminals. It disbanded in 1892 after a very quiet last 34 years of service – its last active case being that of sheep stealing in 1856.
The Welcome is reputed to be haunted by the figure of a coachman, some of whom believe had dealings with this society. He has been sighted on numerous occasions occupying a table near the front window –only by women and only when drinking sherry…
Church of St Rhidian
Opposite the Welcome is the ancient church of St Rhidian and St Illtyd. It is 13th century church with a 14th century tower. The most interesting historic feature is a ‘leper stone’ on display in the porch which is a 9th century Viking carved stone about 2 meters long representing the biblical story of St Paul and St Antony meeting in the desert.
On the west tower is a large stone block called the ‘Parson’s Bed’. This stone served as the hearth for a fire beacon to alert the local inhabitants of a threat from land or sea. At the church gate is a stone commemorating the lost medieval village of Llanelen: survivors from a ship wreck made their way up the hill to the village of Llanelen where they were welcomed in and given shelter. Unfortunately the sailors had the plague and the entire population of the village died.
Llanrhidian Standing Stones
One of the more distinctive features of Llanrhidian are its two standing stones – both positioned on the village green in front of the Welcome. The upper of these stones is the remains of a Celtic Cross; there are traces of iron rods embedded both at the bottom and at the top of the stone which was once used as a village pillory.
The lower standing stone is of limestone and its history in Llanrhidian is recorded in the parish register: it was raised to its present position on 8th April 1884 by a dozen or so volunteers who were rewarded with a pint of beer in the Welcome.