In February 2009 the Pengwern closed it's doors, some feared for the last time. Therefore, at a public meeting held shortly before it closed,
it was decided to establish a community social enterprise, Pengwern Cymunedol, in order to reopen the hotel. A number of individuals from among the villagers
of Llan Ffestiniog volunteered to try to achieve this.
A surveyor was employed to undertake a thorough survey of the condition of the building.
Yn mis Chwefror 2009 caeodd drysau'r Pengwern ac ar y pryd ofnid am byth. Mewn cyfarfod cyhoeddus,
ychydig cyn y cau, penderfynwyd sefydlu menter gymunedol, Pengwern Cymunedol,
gyda'r amcan o ail agor y gwesty. Codwyd pwyllgor o blith pentrefwyr Llan Ffestiniog i geisio cyflawni'r nod.
Cyflogwyd syrfëwr i archwilio cyflwr yr adeilad. Yn ôl ei adroddiad roedd angen gwaith i gymoni'r adeilad ond nid oedd unrhyw broblemau sylfaenol.
The report showed that work was needed to tidy up
and improve aspects of the building but there were no major underlying problems.
With help from the Wales Cooperative Centre Pengwern Cymunedol established itself as an Industrial and Provident Society. That is, a company limited by guarantee, a democratic community initiative run for the benefit of the village and surrounding area. The cooperative is managed by a Board of Directors, elected by the shareholders of the company at the Annual General Meeting.
With help from Cymdeithas Tai Eryri a grant was secured from the Welsh Government to employ an architectural firm, Pensel Cymunedol, to facilitate plans for the development of the Pengwern. Following local consultation the outline plans are now in place and have been divided, and costed, into a number of stages to be carried out over the next few years.
The purchase was completed in March 2011 thanks to the Welsh Assembly Goverment, who agreed to grant aid the purchase, with Cymdeithas Tai Eryri acting as conduit to transfer and safeguard the public funding.
By means of voluntary work the building was repaired and improved sufficiently so that the bar and function room were reopened at the end of May 2011. By July 2012 the kitchen and restaurant were brought up to standard and reopened. In November 2013 the first three rooms were available for accommodation. Currently we have seven room available and work is ongoing to progress this further.
The vision for the future is to continue the development of the Pengwern over time so as to make it a first class economic , social, educational and cultural asset. That is, a unique pub, restaurant, hotel and eco-accommodation of a high standard as well as a social and educational centre. The aim is a thriving business with all the benefit coming to the community. This is part of a wider vision for the Ffestiniog valley; to utilise local resources by developing social enterprises owned by and run for the benefit of the whole community.
Gyda chymorth Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru sefydlwyd Pengwern Cymunedol fel Cymdeithas Ddiwydiannol a Darbodus; hynny yw, cwmni cyfyngedig trwy warrant-menter gymunedol
democrataidd yn cael ei redeg er budd y pentref a'r fro.Rheolir y cwmni cydweithredol hwn gan Fwrdd Cyfarwyddwyr a etholir gan y cyfranddalwyr yn y Cyfarfod Cyffredinol Blynyddol.
Drwy Gymdeithas Tai Eryri sicrhawyd grant gan Lywodraeth Cymru i gyflogi cwmni pensaerniol, Pensel Cymunedol, i hwyluso creu cynlluniau ar gyfer datblygu'r Pengwern. Yn dilyn ymgynghori'n lleol mae cynllun cynhwysfawr yn ei le sydd wedi'i rannu'n nifer o gamau, pob cam wedi'i gostio.
Cwblhawyd prynu'r Pengwern yn mis Mawrth 2011 diolch i Lywodraeth Cymru a gytunodd i gefnogi'r pryniant, gyda Chymdeithas Tai Eryri yn gweithredu fel asiant i ddiogelu'r cyllido cyhoeddus.
Trwy waith gwirfoddol llwyddwyd i drwsio a chymoni'r adeilad ddigon i fedru agor y bar a'r ystafell ddigwyddiadau ar ddiwedd Mai 2011. Erbyn Gorffennaf 2012 cwblhawyd gwaith ar y gegin a'r bwyty gan ddechrau cynnig bwyd yn Y Pengwern. Erbyn Tachwedd 2013 agorwyd 3 llofft a bellach mae 7 ystafell ar gael a'r gwaith cymoni yn dal i fynd rhagddo.
Ein gweledigaeth ar gyfer y dyfodol yw datblygu'r Pengwern ymhellach dros amser fel ei fod yn ased economaidd, cymdeithasol, addysgol a diwylliannol gwerth chweil. Hynny yw, tafarn unigryw, bwyty, hotel ac eco-lety o safon uchel yn ogystal â chanolfan gymdeithasol a diwylliannol. Yr amcan yw busnes llewyrchus gyda'r budd i gyd yn dod i'r gymuned leol. Mae hyn yn rhan o weledigaeth ehangach ar gyfer Bro Ffestiniog; sef gwneud defnydd o adnoddau lleol drwy ddatblygu mentrau cymdeithasol sy'n eiddo'r gymuned ac yn cael eu rhedeg gan ac er budd y gymuned gyfan.
"Pengwern" is the name of a Tudor Manor House in the parish of Ffestiniog. It is situated to the north west of the village of Ffestiniog,
not far from the main road leading from Manod to Maentwrog. Its six tall chimneys are visible from the road leading from Ffestiniog to Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Part of the house dates back to the 14th century, and members of thre family took part in the War of the Roses. There is a plaque bearing the date 1662 on the newer part of the building.
The "Arms" consists of a wild boar - traces of this are still to be seen on a gravestone in the village church yard.
The Hotel, bearing the name "Pengwern Arms" was one of three taverns in the village in the 18th century. It was then known as "Yr Efail" (The Smithy", and it was then occupied (about 1795) by
David Owen, the Smith, and Alsi Jones, his wife. Alsi possessed some medical skills and her services were particularly in demand with children's ailments, there being no doctor within reach,
and the nearest "drug store" was in Penrhyn.
Their daughter, Martha Owen, became famous as an inn keeper in the course of time, and "Yr Efail" became known as (the house of Martha). Bards and writers of all kinds were made welcome,
and several of them wrote odes to her:-
...."Ni wnai un dyn o enw da
Ymwrthod a thy Martha.....
(no man of good repute would refuse to visit the house of Martha)
Martha Owen could speak English, there being only one other person in the parish who could converse in what was then still a foreign tongue. In 1862, George Borrow in his book "Wild Wales" records a visit to Ffestiniog, and a night's stay at the inn:-
"About an hour's walk from Tan-Y-Bwlch brought me to Ffestiniog which is situated on top of a lofty hill looking down from the south east on the valley (of Maentwrog)". In the later decades of the 19th century the inn was occupied and run by a family of the name of Jones, and they carried on until the late 1920's. During this period many famous people visited the inn , and the Visitor's Book was well worth studying. The family had a remarkable dog, who had been trained to conduct visitors to the Cynfal Falls down the valley, and he became very well known. When he died, his body was preserved and placed in a glass case, which stood in the present saloon bar. The Jones family sold the hotel to a family of the name of Hatward - the mother, two sons, and two daughters (one son still lives in the viullage). They built up a good business, and during the 2nd World War (1939-1945) the hotel never had an empty bed. The Hayward family ran the farm then attached to the hotel, and the home produced food was much relished by the visitors. The hotel has changed hands since then, but still continues to attract the tourists, with its old world charm and at the same time its modern conveniences and good fare.