sugar-loaf hats

Welsh hats are sometimes described as sugar-loaf hats. The sugar loaf shape has a rounded top: hats of this shape are found in France, and were worn by the inmates of some English Alms houses (e.g. Trinity Hospital, Castle Rising) but not in Wales, except by the members of a few Welsh women’s choirs during the first half of the 20th century.  It is said that the term sugar-loaf is derived from the hill of that name near Abergavenny, not far from the home of Lady Llanover but both may be derived from the shape of the molds in which sugar was cast.


Sugar-loaf shaped hat (25 cms high) in Carmarthen Museum, but it came originally from Northampton and was made in London. A photograph of a Brecon woman’s choir shows two of the women wearing this sort of hat