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Our Story

The Cottage Loaf's journey

From baking buns to pulling pints

A keen eye can spot a number of residing historical features around the pub.

‘The Cottage Loaf’ has been run by Stange & Co. since it was converted in 1981, and was the company’s first foray into pubs. The site was the former ‘Dunphy & Sons’ bakery and warehouse and so it was thought to be only right that the name should have some connection to that.

‘The Loaf’ is almost a reflection of the town she sits in…a few sympathetic additions and improvements here and there, but by and large it still remains the traditional pub that it was when it first opened its doors.

Much of Llandudno is owned by Mostyn Estates, and under their stewardship has managed to largely avoid the fashion of mass redevelopment and reinvention, with alterations that have taken place, being sympathetic to its Victorian heritage.


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Finding the right premises

On the site where The Cottage Loaf sits today used to be a bakehouse and warehouse belonging to ‘Dunphy & Sons’ which owned several grocery shops, bakeries and wine & spirit merchants in Llandudno, Craig-y-Don, Deganwy, Conwy & Penmaenmawr.

The company was originally formed by a Mrs Dunphy who was succeeded by her son Stephen Dunphy in 1857 whom successfully grew the business. He married a Catherine nee Phillys of Penrhyn Old Hall, with whom they had four sons. Bernard who joined the Navy but lost his life in the First World War, Jack who became a vet and Richard and Arthur who joined their father Stephen in the grocery business. As times and the area changed so did the challenge of running Dunphy & Sons and sadly decided to close in 1972. The three storey building lay empty for many years but was purchased by ourselves and was partially demolished in May 1980 to allow for the conversion to a pub.

Dutch Brigantine Catharina for website


Construction of the pub

A newspaper article (VIEW HERE) that we found recently dating back to the 18th September 1980 reporting on the construction of ‘The Cottage Loaf’…we particularly like the quote from Bill our former chairman saying ‘People were very thrifty and gathered wreckage from the beach for building work’…this made us chuckle… many of our early projects often followed this mantra, maybe not the beach but bits would be reclaimed from wherever we could and assembled into something resembling a pub!

As the article describes many of the timbers that made up Dunphy’s bakery and warehouse came from a wrecked ship. It is thought that this was a Dutch Brigantine named Catharina which was wrecked on the beach in the middle of the bay in 1869, when she was on route from Runcorn to Riga carrying a cargo of salt. The warehouse was constructed shortly after.

(Image is the wreck of the Dutch Brigantine, Catharina on Llandudno’s north shore in 1869 - courtesy of John Lawson-Reay)

Old pier 2 courtesy of John Lawson Reay for website


Salvaging the old to create the new

It is also thought that some of the structural beams come from the demolition of Llandudno’s first pier in 1877, that was also destroyed in a storm some years earlier. The dimensions of some of the timbers are an exact match for the main pier supports, the stumps of which are still visible under the present pier. The two pillars holding up the pub’s porch, were most certainly from there.

Llandudno’s Lifeboat Sisters Memorial was launched on 4th November, 1869 to assist the Catharina which was being driven ashore by heavy seas and a northwest gale. The crew of five were rescued and landed on shore.

One of the people who witnessed this rescue was Lady Augusta Mostyn who had named Llandudno’s first lifeboat in 1861. She was so impressed by the gallantry of the lifeboat crew during this rescue, that she gave each one a golden half sovereign.

Lifeboat crew on 4th November 1869: Hugh Jones (Coxswain), Edward Brookes, John Edwards, Jos Edwards, Thomas Williams, George Jones, George Williams, Richard Jones (brother to Hugh Jones), John Jones, William Owen, Ed Jones.

(Images of Llandudno old pier courtesy of John Lawson-Reay)

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Keeping the thrifty spirit alive

The majority of these timbers were salvaged again during its demolition and were reused for a third time in the building of The Cottage Loaf. The mast of the Catharina is clearly visible above you on the left as you enter the building from the front. You will see the original copper strip nailed around it. This strip prevented the boom from wearing out the mast as it swung to and fro. There is also an additional section of the mast standing through the bar and this time you will see the pulley where the ‘lines’ (ropes to us landlubbers) would have run through.

We also managed to salvage the original cast iron doors and makers plaques from the ovens in the bakery which you will see dotted around the pub. The most obvious being those mounted on the front of the bar.

In keeping with the mantra of thrift and salvage…. the stone flooring came from streets of Liverpool, when much of it was being demolished in the name of ‘progress and development’! The solid elm flooring in the upper bar area came from the Lybro Jeans Factory in Liverpool when it closed down, the slates on our roof are from the Royal Liverpool Hospital. Even our latest edition the new garden room has a slate hearth salvaged from a billiard table that once sat proudly in a manor in Thorton Hough on the Wirral and the pitch pine beams overhead and above the fire also came from the demolition of the Royal Liverpool Hospital.

Opposite the bakehouse used to be Llandudno’s indoor market and fire station (above) which gave way via the wrecking ball, for the creation of the pay and display car park. You can see in the photos above how the view from the front of the pub has changed just a bit over the past 50 years.

(Images and contributions courtesy of John Lawson-Reay)

Mum photos october 1981 danny ringing bell on day of opening 27th sept 1981
Mum photos october 1981 Willy Hobson first landlord pulling first pint 27th Oct 1981


The Cottage Loaf opened its doors

Taking the plunge from greengrocer & tobacconist to publican, the doors opened on 27th September 1981 and soon became a busy boozer in the heart of Llandudno. Bill wanted to bring all the best bits of a country pub into the heart of the town.

As ‘The Cottage Loaf’ was the company’s first foray into pubs and sat on the former ‘Dunphy & Sons’ bakery and warehouse site, it was thought to be only right that the name should have some connection to that.

(Photos - Baby MD Dan McLennan "ringing" the first bell, and first ever landlord Willy Hobson pulling the first pint.)

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Kitchen extension

The Loaf started off serving a small lunchtime menu in the 90s which soon took off and grew into a full all day extensive menu by 2000. It soon became apparent that the small kitchen could not cope with the increasing expansion of the food operation, so we set about to extend the kitchen both outwards and upwards adding a whole new floor to the kitchen. We look back now and wonder now how we ever coped!

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Garden room and rear terrace

It became clear that we didn't have enough tables! When the Loaf was built, it was very much created as a "shoulder to shoulder" kind of pub however as cultures and times change, dining has become a huge part of what we do and people don't want to stand shoulder to shoulder at the bar whilst they enjoy their Sunday roast!

So we made a few tweaks around the bar area as well as adding the substantial garden room in 2014 doubling our dining capacity. We created a sheltered sun terrace that is overlooked by the garden room so that it's large patio windows and huge glass ceiling creates a feeling of outside inside in this area of the pub.

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Covered front terrace

With more and more of us enjoying alfresco drinking and dining we have added a retractable cover to our front patio allowing our terrace to be enjoyed in all weathers and all year round.


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Stange & Co. Ltd
Registered Office: 19 Trinity Square,
Llandudno, LL30 2RD
Company registered number: 639690
VAT number: 160 2262 07

Site design & build by View Creative Agency