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13  July

Historic Welshpool building to go under the hammer

15/05/2024 @ 07:27


An historic building in the centre of Welshpool with an almost forgotten rich history is being put under the hammer for auction.

The Old Coach Chambers, a prominent Grade II listed building in the heart of town, has been put on the market. Once home to the father of renowned social reformer Robert Owen, the former public house boasts a significant history within the border market town.

Formerly known as the Coach and Horses Inn, the Coach Chambers stands adjacent to the well-known Royal Oak Hotel. The current owners Robert and Margaret Langrebe have decided to sell the property. Margaret was once the owner of the adjacent Royal Oak Hotel after her grandfather bought it in 1925.

They successfully secured a Town Centre Improvement Grant from Powys County Council to support the building’s refurbishment. The Coach Chambers carries a guide price of £150,000 and will be auctioned on June 11 by Allsops.

Having renovated and refitted the building when it was acquired in 1992, it has been used as commercial offices for an estate agent as well as having residential accommodation.

With potential origins dating back to the late 17th century (as hinted by a 1692 date stone), the building underwent significant renovation in 1830. It served as a vital rest stop for travellers between 1765 and 1906 within what was then a historic transportation hub between England and Wales known as the ‘Gateway to Wales’.

“We’ve owned the property for years,” said Robert. “While it served our purposes when we owned the Royal Oak, we believe it’s time for new custodians to shape the Coach Chambers’ next chapter. The secured grant will support further renovations, enhancing this prominent building’s potential in the town centre.”

The Royal Oak Hotel was sold by the family in 2004.

Beyond its hospitality role, the Coach Chambers holds a unique place in Welsh history. It was once home to the father of Robert Owen (1771-1858), a pioneering figure who advocated for improved working conditions, reduced child labour, and educational reform.

Owen’s influence left an enduring mark on the co-operative movement and British socialism. Though a complex figure, given his views on slavery, Owen envisioned a more equitable society through planned communities and a new economic model.

Robert added: “After our time as guardians of this piece of Welshpool’s heritage, we’re excited for the Coach Chambers to begin a new chapter in its long and storied history.”

More details about the auction are available by contacting 07587 551095.