Two Hundred and Fifty Miles through North Wales: Day 3, Part 1

The party of travellers awake to the sound of jackdaws and visit the church in Dolgellau. Dolgellau is highlighted as “a delightful centre for pleasant walks, drives or rambles” in the surrounding areas such as Cader Idris, Aran Fawddwy, Tal y Llyn and Dinas Mawddwy.

Plan of Dolgellau

DD/DM/1113- Plan of Dolgellau from the original diary 'Two hundred and fifty miles through North Wales on a wagonette'

Wednesday 17th September 1890

Dolgelly [Dolgellau] to Barmouth and Harlech

Again we are awoke by the screaming of the jackdaws flying from house to house and making a rare noise over our heads.  After breakfast we spent a short time in the Town. Cader Idris was pointed out to us by an old guide belonging to Dolgelly, on the bridge we met a lad with two fine ponies which took my attention, and I was told they belonged to Mrs Morgan of the Goldmine. The old town must have been laid out in weekly numbers the only way to describe it is by placing a decanter on the dinner table, drop a handful of nuts on the top of it and the decanter will represent the Old Church, and the nuts the houses, built anyhow and anywhere yet Dolgelly is the capital of Merionethshire and is on a main line of railway, there is nothing interesting in the town itself.

We visited the Church, an old edifice recently repaired where the curfew bell is ringed 9 o’clockin the evening to denote how many days of the month have passed.  The Rivers Mawddach and Wnion contain plenty of trout.  Dolgelly itself is a delightful centre for pleasant walks drives or rambles among the passes and hills, those who can spare time would do well to stay and explore the Cader Idris and Aaran mountain ranges, the beautiful districts round Tal y Llyn and Dinas Mawddwy. The lovely Glens of Tyn y Groes a sequestered spot about 4 miles distant in one of the most romantic and charming glens in North Wales, also the torrent walk, precipice walk and foxes path Cymer Abbey, the waterfalls the Gold Mine and Mawddach falls and other places.

Records relating to Bala and Dolgellau are held by Gwynedd Archive Service. More information about their holdings is available at

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