At the heart of most villages we find a shop, a school, a church and a pub; around these the life of a community can grow and flourish. The daily sound of children’s voices; the coming and going of people and trade; places of gathering for worship and social contact; these are the necessary requirements of village life. At Penybont there was a ‘British’ school for only a few years in the chapel schoolroom (and a visiting school evacuated here during WW2 which used the same venue), Penybont Chapel from 1822 to 1989, Thomas’s Shop from 1799 and also later the Post Office Stores, blacksmith, ironmonger, saddler etc., and, for the last two hundred and fifty years at least, an Inn now known as the Severn Arms Hotel. While school, church and shop may have faltered, and we must now look to neighbouring villages and to Llandrindod for some of these provisions, the Severn Arms is with us still at the very heart of our community.
Many people have worked hard to build up and maintain this enterprise. It is good that we should now recall their dedication and record their achievement. As careful owners over an extended period, the Severn Family of Penybont Hall gave the inn more than its name. In more recent years we have been singularly fortunate in the character of both owners and tenants and indeed of other employees of the business. Reputations are not easily won nor retained and the Severn Arms may be proud of the tradition of hospitality and friendliness it has established. While the negative effects associated with over indulgence on family life and on individuals cannot be ignored these may be tempered by the positive worth of hospitality, friendship and community life which the Severn Arms has so successfully promoted throughout its history.
We are grateful to those who have assisted with the preparation of this booklet. Our thanks to former and present owners and the present tenants, former employees and some of our customers, and to those who have allowed us to use photographs and other records.
Geraint Hughes July 2005.