Before 1700 there must have been inns which offered travellers refreshments and accommodation and pubs for local people to drink and socialise but there are almost no records of these in Ceredigion.
During the reign of Elizabeth 1st, The Council of the Marches was concerned about the number of alehouses in certain parts of Britain, including Wales.
An edict, dated Ludlow, 15th March, 1573 ran as follows:
‘Whereas the Lord President and Council are given to understand that an excessive number of alehouses in the counties mentioned below, many being in desert and secret places, as woods, commons, waste grounds and mountains out of any highway: and the number is still increasing by the obtaining of licences from Justices of the Peace who are far away from the affected places and ignorant of the character of the applicant or the needs of the locality. And as by this felonies are increased, thieves, murderers and women of light conversation are harboured, rogues and vagabonds maintained, whoredom, filthy and detestable life much frequented, unlawful games as Tables, Dice, Cards, Bowls, Kayles, Quiots and such like commonly exercised, Bows and Arrows left aside to the great decay of artillery and emboldening and encouragement of the foreign enemy. … Letters mentioning te premises are to be despatched to the Sheriffs and Justices of the Peace in the counties named below … They are to assemble to discuss by what means good order may be continued, ale houses, vagabonds and unlawful games suppressed, the poor relieved and artillery maintained. The Justices … are to discover how many alehouses there are in every township, hamlet or other places in their counties standing bound according to the statue, and how many alehouse keepers are not so bound. … The Justices are to remove the excessive number of the alehouses, especially those in suspect or remote places….
Counties of Hereford, Gloucester, Worcester, Salop Monmouth and the 12 shires of Wales.
Four years later a report was produced, dated Bridgenorth, 30th July, 1577 expressing concern that insufficient men were practicing the use of the bow. It included the following:
That Sheriffs and Justices … to [set] down a perfect note of all the alehouses, taverns and inns with the names of their occupiers as well in privileged places as elsewhere, that the just number may be known. The certificate is to be returned to this court on or before 10th October next.
This was sent to the same counties as listed above. The document concludes with the following list:
The Number of Taverns, Inns and Alehouses in the several counties undermentioned, and privileged places within the same.
|County of Worcester (except City of Worcester) ||447|
|County of Flint ||67|
|County of Carnarvon ||22|
|County of Merioneth ||32|
|Radnor towns: ||Inns 1 ||Alehouses 8|
|County of Radnor ||105|
|County and Town of Carmarthen ||Inns 4 or 5 ||Taverns 2 ||Alehouses 31|
|County of Cardigan ||Inns 9 ||Alehouses 32|
|County of Anglesey ||Inns and Alehouses 30|
Published in Calendar of the Register of the Council in the Marches of Wales, 1569-1591, (Honourable Society Cymmrodorion, Record Series, 1916), pp. 102-3; 170-171.