The Guildhall Tavern is Denbigh’s most renowned and historic inn. It served the need of the polite visitor during the C18 and C19. It’s origins as a coaching, and later posting inn, back date to the C17, although the core of the structure is early Tudor. Former names include The Bull and The Black Bull, although the present name is recorded already in a director of 1835. During the famous siege of Denbigh castle during the Civil War (1646), the besieging parliamentary Generals Mytton and Myddleton are traditionally said to have established their Head Quarters here. Various letters sent between Mytton ‘in Denbigh Towne’ and the doughty royalist defender Colonel ‘Blue-stocking’ Salesbury have survived; in the mid C19 several of these were still in the possession of the landlady of the Bull.
The present building consists of a late C16 or early C17 triple-gabled main block, the façade to which is timber-framed (mostly now tile-hung) above a stone ground floor. The core of this building is, however likely to be earlier: an arched-braced collar truss with attendant wind bracing is partly visible in an upper bedroom, suggesting an earlier Tudor core. A fine well staircase of the second-quarter C17 rises full heigh to the attic floor; this has similar newel posts of the stair represents the badge of the Myddleton family, is based on a misconception. The arms of the Myddletons are the three wolves of Blaidd Rhudd and the presence of a hand (actually the ‘Blood Hand of the Ulster’) within the achievements merely denotes the baronetcy; it is therefore common to the arms of all families of similar status. Furthermore, the carved hand is actually not hand but glove. As Denbigh was one of the leading centres of the glove trade in the C16 and C17, the use of such a motif seems unsurprising.
An adjoining brick range with shaped gable to the front is late C17 addition. Work is known to have been undertaken in 1666, and ex-situ date of that year is recorded. In addition, a (now much weathered) stone fate plaque appears on the faced, apparently bearing the inscribed date 1666 and the initials E LL (for Lloyd). Until the early year of the century, this wing had an entrance in the R bay with a tall hood canopy, evidently of early C18 date. Within is a fine late C17 oak dogleg stair (opposite the former entrance) and two panelled parlours to the L (now one L-shaped room) with fine, large-field Stuart oak panelling. The Lloyd family were the proprietors of the hotel in the late C19 and early C20.