Erbistock ferry restoration plan to boost River Dee pub

image copyrightColin Park/Geograph
image captionThe pub in Erbistock dates back to the 17th Century

A ferry crossing over the River Dee could be restored as part of plans to rejuvenate a village pub.

Graham Price, co-owner of the 17th Century Boat Inn at Erbistock said it was once popular but was now closed.

Planning proposals to Wrexham council include the restoration of the hand-operated chain ferry, which used to winch people by boat across the river.

Consultant Rob Burns said a new bar, kitchens and toilet block would also help ensure a "sustainable" future.

The application documents said the area had seen "little change from its existing 19th Century character, due to its relative isolation, and with little development pressure".

"However, the Boat Inn is currently closed, having failed as a public house, despite its picturesque location and the inherent quality of the buildings themselves, and requires substantial investment in order to provide a sustainable use," the documents added.

image captionA postcard from 1873 shows the chain for the ferry across the River Dee

In a heritage assessment, Mr Burns said an original 17th Century door survived at the back of the bar, as well as part of the ferry's winch mechanism.

"The property is evidence of historic, adaptive re-use of former dwellings and ancillary structures into a public house, as well as illustrating the importance of the ferry crossing over the Dee," he wrote.

"Its picturesque setting has provided inspiration for artists and photographers."

image copyrightJim Thornton/Geograph
image captionPart of the winch mechanism is still in place

Mr Burns said revamping the pub and demolishing some outbuildings would "not have a negative impact on these elements of significance" but would result in a "substantial improvement to both the building and the conservation area".

The proposals will be decided on by Wrexham councillors at a later date, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

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