The group continue their drive around the Great Orme and describe the Church of St Tudno.
We now pass the toll house gate, a castellated structure of stone, pay the sum of 6d for the wagonette to go past. Here the marine drive fairly begins the, worn rugged limestone rock, the beating sea birds hundreds of feet below. The long stretch of troubling waters, sparkling in the sunlight, the scene ever changing to fresh beauties, as the road winds up and down and onwards. There is probably no drive like it or equal to it, for its beauty in the Kingdom. The broad well made road is protected by a strong parapet in the seaward side as it winds onwards first ascending above the sea and again by gently gradients finding a lower level, curving around huge jutting angles and creeping under towering and seemingly threatening masses of overhanging rock, a wild and fascinating ride throughout.
When I was in the bay 23 years ago, there was no marine drive the cliffs were the haunts if innumerable wild birds, such as gulls, razorbills, ravens, guillemots, cormorants etc etc. At one time many of the villagers used to gain their living by collecting the eggs of these birds and selling them, the birds have now nearly all disappeared. Round the first corner where the roads begin to dip again towards the sea level we pass a footpath leading to the old Church of St Tudno, which stands high above us. It was erected about the eleventh century, it was long neglected and suffered to fall into decay. In 1839 the roof was blown in by a terrific storm, it was restored in 1855 by a Birmingham gentleman as a thank offering for the recovery to health of his daughter through staying at Llandudno. There are also on the head remains of some old cave dwellings, also an old copper mine. At the extreme point of the promontory, we reach the new lighthouse and telegraph station erected in 1862, it has a light which can be seen 24 miles away, and is 325 feet above the sea level. The view from this point is exceedingly fine, Puffin Island, Anglesey, Penmon lighthouse and the Menai Straits and Bridges, can be seen on a fine day. Soon after leaving the lighthouse the whole of Conway Bay lies before us.
Presently the rocky precipices are changed for glass slopes, on our right in the hollows can be seen what remains of the old Abbey of Gogarth, a few bits of wall over hanging the sea. It is very old as it was known to be a ruin in the reign of Henry the 8th. We soon pass the toll house which marks the end of the Great Orme proper. On our right in the field a lot of gipsies are encamped. We pass on along the Abbey road bordered with private residences, then through the streets to the Crescent drive, and the circuit has been made giving us a splendid appetite for tea. After tea we sport our figures on the promenade, looking for Uncle Arthur, but as we presume he is mashing elsewhere, return home and meet him on our door steps. The night is agreeably spent with his funny tales, when he retires for the “Hydro” at the foot of the Little Orme, so once more we retire to rest feeling that we have all benefited by the out.
Records relating to Conwy are held by Conwy Archive Service. More information about their holdings is available at http://www.conwy.gov.uk/archives