Posts Tagged ‘Llanfairfechan’

Two Hundred and Fifty Miles through North Wales: Day 6, Part 3

August 25, 2011

The group arrive at Penmaenmawr at 11.15 on September 20th 1890. Penmaenmawr is described as ‘lovely spot and lies at the base of a fine amphitheatre of hills’. They approach the walled town of Conway and discuss the history of the Castle.


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

We drive on, the weather having improved, when on our left over the bay we had a sight very seldom seen by towns people, a splendid rainbow with its lovely colours, showing the bow in its full size from water to water.  We go on towards Penmaenmawr with the railway and coast on our left and rocks on our right in the distance we see two jettys extending out into the Bay, and underneath the first we perceive what appears to be man hanging which on our nearer approach we find is a peculiar shaped log of wood.  We have driven past a very fine sandy beach from Llanfairfechan and arrived at Penmaenmawr at 11.15.  We put ‘Tommy’ at the stables of Penmaenmawr Hotel, and then look after our own comforts.  Penmaenmawr is a lovely spot and lies at the base of a fine amphitheatre of hills, it has a poor approach to the beach, namely under a narrow railway arch, this is a great drawback, the beach is very sandy.  There is a pretty fairy glen and waterfall here.  We spend some little time watching the ladies bathe sitting on a log of wood opposite the vans, one of the ladies amused us with some funny stories more especially the one about the woman not being able to swallow on account of getting the sand in her mouth.

At one o’clockwe left here for Conway, we drive on the Pendyffryn and then cross the railway for a short distance until we get to Penmaenbach Point, where we get another fine view of the bay.  At this point the men are repairing the wall of the road, a great depth down is the water almost under us, whilst above us is portion of the rock which had to be cut away to form the road.  We again re cross the railway with Conway mountains on our right and proceed towards Conway.  On leaving the shore we come in sight of Conway Castle, we soon enter the arch, of this fine old place. Conway is a rare old walled town, the walls being in the form of a Welsh harp, it is one of the few remaining places where the curfew bell is still rung.  There is an old Church supposed to have been erected about the year 1066, immediately beyond the screen in the Church is the tomb of one Nicholas Hookes, whose epitaph states “was the forty first child of his father and himself the father of twenty seven children”  good old Hookes. 

Queen Elizabeths palace is also here, it was built in the year 1577, the fine old ruin Conway Castle, was completed by Edward the first in 1284, on the site of a Welsh fort, it is one of the most unique and picturesque of our ancient fortresses.  It’s form is on an oblong square standing on the edge of a steep rock, washed on two sides by an arm of the river.  The walls which are partly covered with ivy are all embattled towers 40 feet in diameter.  The chief entrance used to be form the town by a drawbridge, Richard the second rested here when on his way toIreland.  James the first granted the Castle to the Earl of Conway who dismantled it, the ruin is now in the possession of the Erskine family.  We proceed towards the Suspension Bridge, where we are stopped and pay a toll of 6d for the horse to cross.  This chain bridge is an elegant structure and designed by Telford, it was commenced in 1822 and finished in four years.

More photographs of Penmaenmawr are available to view on The Peoples Collection website at

Records relating to Conwy are held by Conwy Archive Service. More information about their holdings is available at

Two Hundred and Fifty Miles through North Wales: Day 6, Part 2

August 18, 2011
The group leave Bangor and describe the ‘fine view of Penrhyn Castle in all it’s beauty’. They travel through Llandegai and Abergwyngregyn arriving at Llanfairfechan described as ‘a pretty watering place with a fine sandy beach’.

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

We leave Bangor at 9.30, on our left we get a fine view of Puffin Island (near here the Royal Charter was wrecked), and Beaumaris. Our pleasure here is stopped by a downpour of rain which necessitates stopping to arrange rugs umbrellas etc.  We soon arrive at the park walls of Penrhyn Castle, through a break in the trees we get a glimpse of the Castle.  We pass the splendid Castle gates and then have a lovely drive up a road thick with trees either side, bending over and forming a lovely tower.  We pass on to a second lot of entrance gates, we drive up the hill where we get another fine view of Puffin Island, Beaumaris and the Buckley Monument, and on looking back, get a fine view of Penrhyn Castle in all its beauty.  This Castle is the residence of Lord Penrhyn and is situated in the midst of a thickly timbered park on an eminence overlooking Beaumaris Bay and the entrance to the Straits; it is situated two miles from Bangor Station.  The Park is surrounded by a wall seven miles in circuit, the Castle is a fine modern mansion but built in the old style resembling a Norman stronghold, the great tower or keep being copied from Rochester Castle the interior is richly decorated, and in the inside are all kinds of furniture made of slate from the Penrhyn Quarries, in one of the bedrooms is a four post bedstead made entirely from slate. 

We proceed on a short distance until we get to the model village of Llandegar[Llandegai] with its pretty Church, this is approached by a thick avenue of yews.  We drive through the rain to the charming hamlet of Aber, here there are some splendid waterfalls and glens a little wide to our left is the Railway Station and Bulkeley Arms.  We pass a pretty Church which attracted my special attention, being built of slate stone with white stone facings.  After driving for some few miles and passing a very fine building of Castle like appearance on our left we arrive at Llanfairfechan which is a pretty watering place with a fine sandy beach, it stands out to sea with the Great Ormes head in view on the right.  It was an insignificant village until the late Mr John Platt M. P. from Oldham went to live there, he enlarged Bryn y Neuadd converted it in to an elegant mansion, and made other improvements in the neighbourhood. 

Records relating to Conwy are held by Conwy Archive Service.  More information about their holdings is available at