Thursday, 22 February 2018

Wales’ History – What’s the difference between a ‘Tavern’ and an ‘Inn’?

Modern Day Snowdonia Hotels can often date Back to the Middle Ages, but are they all the same?

We’ve all seen the old signs hanging from a rugged and rustic looking medieval building ‘The Black Boy Inn’, ‘The Hound and The Mountain Tavern’, but surely these two kinds of establishments are basically one and the same… right?

Actually there are a few very important differences between taverns and inns that you should know about, I hope you appreciate my input.

Inns and taverns appeared throughout the United Kingdom in the 12th and 13th centuries and were common in towns and villages throughout the entire isle. Many remaining Snowdonia Hotels started life as Inns provided a very important function in providing lodgings for travellers. Taverns on the other hand were drinking houses for those who enjoyed drinking ale.

Inns would offer lodgings for travellers and more lavish dining, while taverns would usually be solely for drinking and simple dining.

While these days it may be difficult to differentiate the difference between an inn and a tavern as you know them both as a pub, traditionally an inn would be where you would stay the night, and a tavern is simply where you go to have a drink.


In a medieval tavern you’d more likely to find less wholesome pastimes such as gambling, singing, revelry and seeking courtesans.

A favorite hobby of medieval Britain was undoubtedly drinking – a tavern could be considered any building which brewed ale as there was incredibly little regulation in alcohol services at the time. Ale brewers could be found all up and down the main road of a village. Ale was essential to British lifestyle and culture as bread!


Innkeepers were generally quite wealthy and part of the urban elite, they were members of local governments and even acted as banking agents as well as local hubs in the late medieval system of commerce.

Inns played a vital role in evolving a prosperous town and did much to contribute to the advancement of the nation’s economic and social and political life of the nation in the middle ages.

The Black Boy Inn is one such example of these integral pillars of local society, as it would have housed many travellers, been a hub of the local community, have contributed to the trade economy, house local governmental dignitaries and have been a very important part of the town’s society, in additition to being a snowdonia hotel.

Today it still stands as an important part of the town’s character, history and is loved by locals and guests alike with fantastic reviews and great value high quality characteristic cuisines