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Hidden Gem
Ruthin has many delightful historic buildings that to some degree we all probably take for granted. One of these gems often gets overlooked. It’s a grade II listed property, with a small black and white timber frontage on Well Street, part of which dates from the 1500s. It may be found tucked between the former Wynnstay Arms/Cross Foxes pub and the police station garden. Some suggest it may have been an ostler’s cottage. It is nevertheless believed that its original purpose was that of a tack room, part of the stable and coach house complex of the Cross Foxes, a former coaching inn. Timber framed with tie-beamed trusses and an open roof, it was at one time joined to the Cross Foxes by an archway which sadly no longer exists. Its ancient internal beams hint at a larger establishment and a wall constructed from bricks dating from the 1800s adds weight to this possibility, but nothing further is known other than the area beyond the bricks was probably demolished for the police station, dated 1891.  This treasure is, of course, the Wayfarer Wool Shop. It is owned and maintained by Jan Thomas. This wool shop started in 1965 by the current owner’s mother, Muriel Williams, and has been trading in the family ever since. To celebrate 50 years, Jan developed an outdoor seating area, where on sunny days customers may knit and natter. Jan also runs a knit & natter session every Thursday evening from 7 p.m. at the Conservative Club to which all aspiring and accomplished knitters & crocheters are welcome (details at the shop). Step across Wayfarer's threshold and you enter a space with Tardis-like properties. It is packed from floor to ceiling with an amazing array of specialist yarns for knitting. crocheting & felting and knitted goods for all occasions, knitted by Jan & her sister. Not only that, Jan will offer help and support to knitters of all abilities to help choose and complete their projects. The fact that customers come from places far & wide to visit Ruthin and in particular the wool shop says it all: a cause for celebration. A small independent shop, helping to preserve Ruthin’s unique character and contributing to our visitor economy by drawing people here.
In March 2018, K R DANIELS considered an oft- overlooked building (and the business within it)