Two Hundred and Fifty Miles through North Wales: Day 5, Part 4

The group leave Llanberis at 1.30 and head towards Bangor, admiring views of Anglesey on the way. They spent the night at Mrs Buckley’s Temperance Hotel on the High Street where they go to bed disappointed that they did not follow the road to Menai Bridge.

DD/DM/1113- Picture of Bangor from the original diary ‘Two hundred and fifty miles through North Wales on a wagonette’

At 1.30 we are in the Wagonette, and ready for off.  We drive on getting a last view of the fine quarries, and at the end of the lake pass over a bridge, and leave Snowdon behind.  We had decided not to go to Caernarvon [Caernarfon] (where there is nothing of importance to be seen except the old Castle) but to cut across the country lanes and come out at Bangor.  We leave the road to our right and go on through lane after lane, until we pass a Chapel with the word “Glascoed” on it.  We pass on and enquire at an Hotel the way are directed by the very civil and obliging proprietor, to take the road to the right of the old roman camp, which he pointed out some distance away, he also advised us to walk to the top of the camp, for the fine view to be had from there, we took his advice and traversed lane after lane until we got to the camp.  We got out of the Wagonette in order to walk up the hill, this being a quiet spot, Professor Ellis being musically inclined, whistled that good old coachmans ditty “come whistle me driver and your horse will stale”, this was done in such comic style, and tickled Lydia so much that she sank on the bank bursting, when she felt better we walked to the top, there had evidently been a moat round it, from the top we could see the Island of Anglesey whilst on each side wherever we looked we obtained a splendid views which amply repaid us for the trouble. 

We pass on down the lanes and at last drive down a very steep hill overhanging with trees, eventually we come to a railway bridge where we recognise the London and North Western Carriages, this looked like home again, to our left was a rather busy Railway Station when we got on the main road we found the station to our left was Port Dinorwic.  We enquired from an old Welsh woman our way to Bangor, as she could not speak English we had to trust to luck and proceed leaving Port Dinorwic behind us.  We had not gone far before we came to the entrance of a very handsome approach to a carriage drive, the gravel was laid like carpet, not a stone seemed out of place.  On enquiry we found it was the entrance to Vaenol [Vaynol] the residence of G D A Smith Esquire, owner of the Llanberris Quarries.  Past here it commenced to rain, so we made up our minds fro a wet night.  We soon arrived at two roads on was 2 and a half miles to Menai Bridge the other led to Bangor.  We take the Bangor road and come to a large village just on the edge of Bangor.  I think the village was called Gorphwysfa or a name very much like it.

The houses were continuous until we got to Bangor arriving there at 4 o’clock.  We put the horse up at the Albion Hotel and hang ourselves out at Mrs Buckley’s Temperance Hotel, High Street, the rain having cleared away we walk down past the wooden structure where the Welsh National Eisteddfod had lately been held to the ferry where we got no end of solicitations to have a row up the straits or out fishing.  As tea time was getting near we hailed a car and drove back when we done ample justice to an excellent spread.  After tea we stroll about the miserable looking town which still retained mementoes of the visit only a few days previous of the Queen of Romania, across the streets from one side to the other were scrolls containing the words “Long live the Queen of Romania” and other mottoes.  I should think the Queen must have been sadly disappointed at the place.  Our only regret was that we had not turned off for Menai Bridge instead of Bangor, so we went to bed to sleep on our disappointment.

Link to Vaynol Estate papers- Archives Wales

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