The name wtra, used for a narrow lane, comes from the Shropshire word "out-track", a farm road. The Unicorn and Plas Coch (to its right) were built around 1700. Originally they had steeply pitched roofs with dormers and tall chimneys. In the early 1800s the roof level was raised (see gable end of Plas Coch). The Clifton Hotel, next door (now Y Meirionnydd), was rebuilt around 1820 from the old town jail (1716-1813). John Howard, the penal reformer, visited the jail in 1774 and commented on its filthy state. Little had improved by 1788, when prisoners petitioned about the maggots and "nasty filth" in the water which came from the river Aran where sheep skins were washed.