John Sisson was one of the first Commissioners of Rhyl, he served for many years and was a great benefactor to the town. He acquired the site upon which Morfa Hall was built in 1824-5, it was then common land, bordering on the sandhills and beach. The exact date when Mr Sisson built his house has remained obscure, but in 1839 he was known to be living at Morfa Lodge, and was still in residence in 1857. Old maps of the period from 1857 onwards, show Morfa Hall as a building in three parts, the middle connected to the third part, but the first portion of the premises “Morfa Cottage”, separate and close to what was eventually Sea Street, then re-named Church Street.*
Advertisements appear in the North Wales Chronicle and the Liverpool Mercury in the period between February 1855 and February 1856 , they said Morfa Hall was “To be let”, they describe a superior house with buildings and lawns open to the sea and country, suitable for families of first class distinction, or for a first class school or boarding house.
Morfa Hall became the Parade Hotel, we don’t have the exact year but in June, 1865 the Liverpool Mercury carried an advertisement:
Parade Hotel, Rhyl. This newly furnished Hotel is most conveniently situated for families and gentlemen visiting this well known and much frequented watering place, it stands in a handsome enclosure and commands an uninterrupted view of the sea. An omnibus awaits the arrival of every train and steamer. In order to secure suites of rooms, application should be made to the proprietor a few days prior to their being required, Emil Buhrer, Proprietor.
In 1875 the building became the “Morfa Hall Women’s Convalescent Home”. The Women’s Convalescent Home was originally in premises on the corner of Elwy Street and Kinmel Street. The increasing success of this home compelled the committee to look for more adequate accommodation. In 1874, 199 were received in Elwy Street. In 1875 on moving to Morfa Hall, where the accommodation was was largely increased, the number was 242. In February 1876 there was an Annual General Meeting of the Governors, where the committee reported that the institution continued to prosper. The patients had been sent chiefly from the “inland towns”, Birmingham alone having contribtuted 48.
Another image of Morfa Hall is available via “The People’s Collection”
Here the information states that Morfa Hall was also once the Pier Hotel, other uses include Ysgol Dewi Sant:
The building also housed The Register Office. Today the building is occupied by the WCVA, the voice of the Voluntary Sector in Wales:
As always all comments are welcome, what do you know about Morfa Hall?
*”The Commissioners of Rhyl”, Marjorie Howe.