Dymock Arms, Penley

Said originally to have been 2 cottages. Alternatively it might have been a single lobby-entry house, and it is shown on the 1837 Tithe map as a single dwelling. It subsequently became a public house and was known as the Dymock Arms by 1873. Originally timber-framed, its front was rebuilt in brick in the C19. The L-hand end was extended slightly c1870, although without adding any openings to the front, and the R-hand end was extended in 1920.

Its a 2-storey brick range painted white, with slate roof and brick ridge stack in line with the porch. The original building is on the L side and the higher 1920 extension on the R side. In the original building, the 2-storey porch is L of centre. It has a segmental-headed doorway and inside it is an boarded door. To its L is a small added lean-to and 3-light wood-framed casement window in each storey, segmental-headed in the lower storey. On the R side of the porch are 2 similar 2-light windows in each storey. At the L end is the extension of c1870, which has ‘Dymock Arms’ in modern lettering. To the R, the 2-storey addition of 1920 has a projecting bay and is half-timbered in the upper storey. The projection has a boarded door in the lower storey, and 2 cross windows in the upper storey. Further R is a 4-light lower-storey window and 2-light window in a segmental half dormer. The R gable end has an oriel window.

The L gable end is asymmetrical and has a replacement upper-storey window in the extension of c1870. Behind the original building and c1870 extension is a C20 outshut. Behind the 1920 section are larger C20 extensions.

Devastating Fire

The Dymock Arms was engulfed in flames after an arson attack swept through the grade II listed building in January 2010. Plans to restore the 16th century building to its former glory have since been submitted to Wrexham Council by owner Jim Murphy. The application is seeking listed building permission for repairs and a partial rebuild, plus some demolition work.

The plan to restore the pub as faithfully as possible, although sadly some of the oak timber were lost in the fire, but the plan is to put oak back in.

Firefighters from Wrexham, Ellesmere and Whitchurch battled the early morning blaze. Parts of the building which escaped fire damage have been left in a perilous state through exposure to the elements, vandalism and theft. Large parts of the roof timbers have been lost, either through fire damage or fungal and insect attack.

Metal thieves have also struck in a 20th century extension to the pub taking pipe and ductwork.

Pictures before and after the devasting fire.

Sources: Coflein; Flintshire Archives; John Harding; http://urbanx.co.uk

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