Posts Tagged ‘Corwen’

Corwen Walking Festival

August 24, 2018

The first weekend in September sees the return of the Corwen Walking Festival. This popular event provides walkers with the opportunity to explore the southern end of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are walks planned around the town, along the River Dee and up to the highest points of the Berwyn Range. There is also an opportunity to improve your navigation skills, with the inclusion of a ‘Map and Compass Skills and Basic Navigation’ lecture on the Saturday evening.

Denbighshire is well blessed with areas that are perfect for walking. In addition to the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley there is also the Clocaenog Forest, and the Denbigh Moors. For those who like to get out into the wilder parts of the county you may be interested to know that Denbighshire Archives holds many items which could enrich your walking experience.

Our historic maps of the county are particularly useful as they provide you with a window into the past. This can give you the opportunity to see if a particular place or feature of the landscape existed at a particular date, and allows you to contrast the modern landscape with how it once looked.

1st Edition OS map for Llandyrnog

The oldest series of maps held at Denbighshire Archives are the Tithe Maps, which represent one of the first large-scale, systematic mapping surveys of England and Wales. They were produced between 1838 and 1850 as a direct result of the Tithe Commutation Act of 1836, which replaced the ancient system of payment of tithes in produce with monetary payments. In conjunction with the apportionment, which is the written accompaniment to the map, they contain an abundance of detail as they hold details relating to the land owner, tenants, property or field names, acreage of land and land use. Each map is divided by parish. Ordnance Survey Maps have become the trusted companion for outdoor enthusiasts in this country. Here at the archive we hold the first 3 editions of the County Series, which were produced between the late 1870s, and the 1920s. These are available on request in the search room.

In addition to our historic maps we also have several published books on the shelves in our search room which can also can also provide walkers with valuable information. In particular, ‘The Drovers’ Roads of Wales’, by Fay Godwin and Shirley Toulson. For hundreds of years prior to the introduction of the railways, drovers made a living by driving cows, sheep, pigs and geese from the rural heartlands of Wales to the large markets of England. This fascinating book acts as a modern day guidebook to these historic routes, providing maps and detailed descriptions, allowing you to walk in the footprints of these hardy folk

‘The Drovers’ Roads of Wales’ by Fay Godwin and Shirley Toulson

There were two routes that passed through Denbighshire. One route to north was bound for Wrexham and Chester which passed through Ruthin, Llanarmon-yn-Ial, and Llandegla. The other route travelled through the south of the county, entering Corwen from Bala, going through the Berwyn Mountains en route to Llangollen.

Shirley Toulson highlights the importance of Corwen to the Drovers, illustrating that this was the point where many of the northern droving routes converged as they headed east. The town was also strategically significant to the historic A5 London to Dublin coaching route, which passed through the town as it headed for Holyhead. Evidence of this can be seen in the various Trade Directories available in our search room. The records of Turnpike Roads (QSD/DT), contained within our Quarter Session records, show the development of this and many other roads.


Two Hundred and Fifty Miles through North Wales: Day 2, Part 3

May 5, 2011

The group arrived in Corwen at 11.15am in time to watch a foal and horse fair and describe the area as an “old fashioned place”. They noted the churchyard and the view of Snowdon and head for Bala, passing through Cynwyd, Llandrillo and Llandderfel.


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

As we drive along, the country becomes tamer for a while, there are fewer trees on the river banks, and the valley broadens as we reach Corwen arriving there at 11.15.  We stopped to give Tommy a rest and to watch the foal and horse fair which was being held there, there was a fair number of foals but very few horses, Corwen is an old fashioned place, and is situated at the foot of a high rock on the north side of the Berwyn Range. In the Church yard there, there are some peculiar and ancient crosses also some other objects of interest in the shape of low gravestones with 2 holes for the knees of those who come to pray over the remains of their dead.  From the flagstaff above the town the peak of Snowdon is seen, we see Liberty which is an old schooling box, 1800 feet high and was erected by the Marquis of Exeter.  At 12.30, off again for Bala 12 miles distant – soon after leaving Corwen we see Llangar Church and then we arrive at Cynwyd, a village about 2 miles from Corwen, where there are some pretty waterfalls.  We pass Capel y Coed, Hendre and Tyddyn y Lan and arrive at Llandrillo a convenient place to ascend Cader Fronwen 2573 feet high and 5 miles distant. The Angling of Llandrillo is very good the waters being noted for Grayling. 

We are now 5 miles from Corwen and 8 miles from Bala, on every hand are smooth hills covered with ferns, grass and heather. We cross the Railway line again to Llandderfel a place noted as the residence of one of the celebrated Welsh fasting Girls, Gaynor Hughes, who is reported to have lived 8 years without anything more than a spoonful of water per day.  The date on the tombstone is 1786. There is also a restored Church which contains many interesting relics.  Some distance to our left we left Pale Mansion, the residence of Mr Robertson the designer of the Viaduct over theDee. QueenVictoria visited Mr Robertson at this place in August last year.  We pass a deep wooded dell and little further on we stopped, some time gathering nuts which were plentiful by the road side, shortly a turn in the Valley reveals to us Bala, we see its Ecclesiastical spires and building.  On the brow of the hill we see the imposing substantial building known as the Theological Seminary of the Welsh Presbyterians of North Wales, and to the right we pass the entrance to the fine old mansion of Rhiwlas embosomed in trees, this Mansion was once a great fame and importance, and is now the residence of the Price family.  We pass over the bridge to the White Lion Hotel arriving at Bala at 2 o’clock.