Posts Tagged ‘Puffin Island’

Two Hundred and Fifty Miles through North Wales: Day 7, Part 2

September 15, 2011

The group continue their drive around the Great Orme and describe the Church of St Tudno.

St Tudno's Church

DD/DM/1113- Picture of St Tudno's Church, from the original diary 'Two hundred and fifty miles through North Wales on a wagonette'

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

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’.
Penmaenmawr

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 http://www.conwy.gov.uk/archives