Remains Found In Excavating On The Site Of The Westgate Hotel 1884.

Photo reference number: 1545

Drawing made some time before 1910.

Source 'Historic Newport' by James Matthews, 1910.

The present Westgate Hotel stands on the site of the second Westgate Hotel. It was the second hotel which was involved in the Chartist Insurrection. The first Westgate Hotel, it seems, stood on the opposite side of Stow Hill. (See text, below, from 'Historic Newport'.) The remains pictured above were found when the second Westgate Hotel was demolished and the site excavated for the building of the present hotel. Some think these remains could have been the town's West Gate and offer this as evidence that Newport once had a town wall.

Text from 'Historic Newport':

The first "Westgate Inn", founded as long ago as 1709, stood on the line of Skinner Street.
The second "Westgate Inn" was built on the site of the old Manor House at the bottom of Stow Hill in Westgate Street, which formerly belonged to the Morgans, Herberts, and Stradlings. This was the Inn that Mr. Richard Warner, the author of Walks Through Wales, saw building as he was passing through Newport on 7th August, 1799. The improvement thus effected was the commencement of the making of the fine open space - the Westgate Square.
By the Assessment Book of the 23rd of August, 1828, compiled by Messrs. Oliver and Jones, Messrs. W. and S. Iggulden were the Proprietors of the Westgate Hotel in that year, in which capacity they continued until they gave up to take a similar position at the Carpenter'?s Arms in 1838. On Mr. Samuel T. Hallen taking possession of the Westgate in 1838, he was the proprietor of the Inn for upwards of 46 years, during which period he was wounded by a bullet while in occupation as landlord at the time of the ever memorable Chartist outbreak in 1839. Mr. Hallen died in 1883, and his widow continued in occupation until 31st March, 1884, when the historic Hostel was demolished.
The third "Westgate" of the Victorian Jubilee era was under the proprietorship of Mr. Samuel Dean from 1884, and remained so down to a recent period. Mr. Dean, who witnessed the alterations during the taking down of the old and erecting the present buildings, says:- "In excavating underneath the old (Chartist) Westgate Hotel, preparing for the foundations of the present building, the workmen came across an old spiral stairway, and at the bottom a stone porch, forming the entrance into a subterraneous passage or subway, was discovered, leading under the road (Stow Hill) in the direction of Messrs. Smith's property. The contractor being satisfied did not proceed further, and the place was filled in."

See also remains of archway

Contemporary print of the third Westgate Hotel, 1886