Two Hundred and Fifty Miles through North Wales: Day 2, Part 4

After lunch at the White Lion Hotel in Bala, the group travelled towards Dolgellau, passing Bala Lake and visiting Llanycil Church. The scenery is described as ‘tranquil and romantic’ on the way to Dolgellau where they spent the night in the Glyndwr Temperance Hotel.

Our first duty was to see [to] the horse, after that we had cold collation at the Hotel, oh what a joy the spread imparted to us dusty travellers, beef, ham, lamb, tongue and pickles of every description.  I fear our meal would not be productive of much profit to the hotel proprietor. We had everything in season, plenty of it and the charge very reasonable indeed. We strolled about until 3.45 then off again on our way to Dolgellau, as we drive through the long street of the town and leaving Bala lake on our immediate left we get a most beautiful view of the water in a little over a mile we reach Llanycil Church the Church yard contains some fine yew trees, near 3 miles further on we reach Glan y Llyn one of the residences of Sir William Watkin Williams Wynn and in another three quarters of a mile on a gentle eminence to the right we reach the stronghold or Roman Station of Caer Gai – Many Roman Urns have been found here, the occupation of this place by the Romans , was about the year 105. 

In another half mile we cross the bridge at point Llew, and soon afterwards Llanuwchllyn is reached.  After we leave this place the scenery is very romantic, we enter some miles of wild moor land which as we pass on becomes enclosed with rugged hills, this contains until we get close on Drewys y Nant [Drws y Nant].  As the Inn at this place was the first we had seen for some miles we stopped here.  Over the door is a queer looking old sign with an inscription in Welsh.  I enquired the meaning and was told the English translation was the sign of “Howell the Good”, we arrived here rather late, it being now 20 past 5.  We were soon provided with a good cup of tea etc, and at 6.15 Tommy was again in the shafts refreshed and ready for another run on to Dolgelly [Dolgellau].  After leaving Drewys y Nant, we get some splendid scenery which amply pays us for the wild rugged scenery we had passed for miles previous.  We soon come to the Railway Station and pass on through the valley.  The rivulet runs down on its stony bed here and there fringed with trees, the scene was most beautiful, those who have not seen a welsh valley cannot imagine anything so lovely, everything seems so tranquil and romantic.  We pass Bont Newydd Station then we see Dolserau Hall now or formerly the seat of Charles Edwards Esq. late MP for Windsor, the night is now getting dark and so spoils the splendid view before us, words cannot describe the beauty of the situation.  We pass on and at last see the lights of Dolgelly in the distance. We pass over the river bridge at 7.30 and put Tommy up at the Red Lion Stables, while we find “diggings” at the Glyndwr Temperance Hotel, a very nice comfortable place kept by Mrs Anfield.  We had a beautiful day and tired out retired to bed about 10.30.

Records relating to Bala and Dolgellau are held by Gwynedd Archive Service. More information about their holdings is available at http://www.gwynedd.gov.uk/archives

The Wynnstay Estate Collection (DD/WY) is available to view at Denbighshire Record Office, Ruthin. An overview of the collection is available at the Archives Wales website at http://www.archiveswales.org.uk/anw/get_collection.php?inst_id=29&coll_id=1175&expand=

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