Absolutely steeped in history, The Bear started life, not as an inn, but as a townhouse, and was built as early as the Medieval period. Various changes were made over the centuries to make the building what it is now, and some elements of this constant evolution can still be seen today, such as the 16th century fireplace that now sits behind the bar.
The cellar dates back to the 12th century, whilst most of what comprises the 'modern' hotel was added in the 1700s. From the memoirs of Christopher Bradley, we know that The Bear has been an inn since at least 1786, when he became landlord.
Although named The Bear, there is no evidence that the hotel was ever used for bear baiting. It is known, however, that the cellar once played the role of a makeshift prison for Napoleonic troops on their way to London after an unsuccessful French landing at Fishguard.