Historical snippets

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Sunset beyond the Chapel at Llandanwg

Stay at Cadair View Lodge

All of these locations are within a 30 minute drive of Cadair View Lodge

 

Barmouth
bulletHarold Lowe, born in Deganwy but raised in Barmouth is one of the few to be named a hero for their actions during the tragic night that the Titanic sunk. Read his story here
Blaenau Ffestiniog
bulletBoot dump.  Information is currently being gathered about the boot dump at Blaenau Ffestiniog.  Spoken history tells of a heap of boots (reputedly millions of boots) burning for years on the hillside outside of the town.  The remains from the fire can still be seen today.  The story is emerging of boots being brought to Blaenau Ffestiniog after the First World War and being sorted into those which could be repaired and those which couldn't.  The un-repairable boots were burnt.
bulletCrimea Pass.  Again, spoken history tells of the walls along the Pass being built by Russian prisoners of war.  There are also memories of a pub where the lay-by is now on the top of the Pass and also of a brewery on the same site.
bulletFacebook Group - Save Blaenau Ffestiniog's Heritage and History - old photos and information
bulletInteresting film about the history of Blaenau Ffestiniog
Bontddu Gold Mines
bullet This is a piece of silent Pathe newsreel from 1933 showing gold miners working in the mines around Bontddu on the Mawddach estuary.
Charles Darwin on the Rhinogs
bullet Read about Charles Darwin's studies in Snowdonia before his famous voyage on HMS Beagle
Dolgellau
bulletQuaker Community - In 1657 George Fox and John ap John travelled throughout Wales, arriving at Dolgellau from Machynlleth. Their preaching made a great impression on some of the local families and a sizeable Quaker community grew.  Quaker's from the area emigrated to America and the area also has strong connections with the Cadbury family.  For more information visit the Tourist Information Centre in Dolgellau where there is an exhibition on the Quakers or visit this website.
bullet Historical Landscape Characterisation Review of Dolgellau - a document produced by CADW which tells the story of the development of Dolgellau.  Contains a fascinating insight into the Town's history and tells the history of some of the buildings that can still be seen in the Town.
Flash Floods
bulletOn 3rd July 2001 flash floods hit the area, stripping trees from valleys, knocking down bridges and washing away cars and livestock.  Have a look at this website to see the forces of nature in action.
Frongoch (A4212 towards Bala)
bulletWhisky distillery - in 1897 the owner of the Rhiwlas Estate near Bala built a whisky distillery at a cost of around £100,000.  Frongoch was chosen because of the suitability of the water in the Tryweryn river and because the whisky could be easily transported by train.  At it's peak, the distillery employed about 30 people plus managers.  Because of the strong religious faith of the local people and the fact that the temperance movement had reached the area the liquor was moved out at night to avoid attacks from the locals.  The venture went bankrupt in 1910.  The buildings were empty until the First World War when they were converted into a camp for German prisoners.  Some Germans didn't survive their imprisonment and were buried in the local church yard, but after a number of years their remains were disinterred and buried in England.
bulletIrish Prisoners  - in 1916 the Easter Rising took place in Ireland.  After the rising, hundreds of Irish were taken to prison in Knutsford and to other prisons in England.  It is believed that 1,836 prisoners were sent to a camp in Frongoch, but that some were released because they had been wrongly arrested and this brought the numbers down to five or six hundred.  There were two camps, one was based in the old Whiskey Distillery buildings whilst another camp was higher up in the direction of Capel Celyn.  One camp consisted of a collection of wooden huts. One of them has survived to this day and is used by the Frongoch and District Women's Institute.
Among the prisoners at Frongoch were Terence MacSweeney, J.J. O’Connell and Michael Collins.  There is a plaque commemorating these events at the lay-by in Frongoch.
Harlech
bulletA US historic preservation group are looking at the possibility of raising a Lockheed P38 Lightening from under the sea at Harlech.  The plane went down on a training mission in 1942 - its pilot escaping.  Read more
Links To The Rich And Famous
bulletThe newly digitised 1911 census for Wales reveals that Kylie Minogue's Great Grandmother was from Blaenau Ffestiniog
bulletRussell Grant, the famous celebrity and astrologer lives in Maentwrog
Llyn Celyn (A4212 towards Bala)
bulletA Lost Village - the lake of Llyn Celyn tells a sad tale - in the early 1960s the Liverpool City Corporation built a reservoir at Capel Celyn and in the process drowned a Welsh speaking community. Today a commemorative chapel overlooks the still waters of the lake and during dry months, the ruined village can be seen as a reminder of what was lost.
bullet The Story of Capel Celyn and Tryweryn - The National Library of Wales
bullet Appeal for money to save "Tryweryn Wall" -  BBC Story
bullet Capel Celyn A village under the water
bullet

Tryweryn: 50 years since bombing of reservoir dam

Manod Quarry, Blaenau Ffestiniog
bulletThe drama "Framed" recently told a story of precious paintings being stored underground at Blaenau Ffestiniog.  This really happened but back in World War II  Read the real story.
Penrhyndeudraeth
bulletThe site of Gwaith Powdwr at Penrhyndeudraeth is now a nature reserve but during World War II it is said that 17 million hand grenades where made there.  The site has a long association with explosives production right back to the middle of the 1800's.  The site closed in the 1990's.  It was, at its peak, one of the largest employers in the area with a workforce of 500 people.  There have been a couple of massive explosions there during its history but many of the buildings and some equipment remains giving an insight to its previous life.  Find out more about Gwaith Powdwr and the nature reserve that now stands on the site.
Plas Tan y Bwlch
bulletPlas Tan y Bwlch is the grand house that can be seen on the hillside, looking out on Maentwrog, on the drive down to Porthmadog.  It is now the Snowdonia National Park's training centre,  Click here to read about its history and past inhabitants.
Plas y Dduallt and Campbell's Platform
bulletAlso near to Maentwrog.  this
Rhiw Goch Inn
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Many lives of our local Inn - for those of you who have visited Cadair View Lodge or intend to visit you will know that this inn is only a few hundred yards away, but are you aware of its history?   The inn was originally built as a farmhouse in the 12th Century.  It has been greatly extended over the centuries.  The area where the entrance is now was built about 1610 and the hall bar was built in the late 1930s.  During its early centuries it was an important country house - the home to the local MP and High Sheriff of Merioneth in the mid 1500s.  It was also the local courthouse with executions taking place there.  In 1610, Henry the Prince of Wales spent several nights at the house.  It continued as a private house until in 1905 it was bought by the War Department for the Royal Artillery training camp - the inn became the Officers' Mess.  The Army left in the 1950s and the Rhiw Goch because a residential hotel.  In the 1970s the residential side of the business was abandoned and the Inn developed into what is seen today. 

Romans around Trawsfynydd
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It is believed that the locals living around Dolgellau and Llanelltyd put up a gallant fight against the Roman invasion but eventually the better organised Romans won and the local area became part of the Roman Empire.  However there is little evidence of the Romans having been in that area.   They did build an important fort at Tomen-y-Mur near Trawsfynydd and another less important one at Caergai, near Bala.

It is believed that up to 500 auxiliaries lived at Tormen-y-Mur.  There was allegedly a bath house and a wooden amphitheatre on the site too.

From Tomen-y-Mur stretched a great road (Sarn Helen). It went south down the Ganllwyd valley (passing above Bronaber) but before reaching Llanelltyd, it appears to have turned east towards Llanfachreth.  There it turned south again, and it crossed the Wnion close to Bont Newydd.

There would also have been a road between the fort at  Caergai and Tomen-y-Mur, but the definite route has not been established.

Some traces of the roads can still be seen but they probably weren't paved as they weren't heavily used, and so over time they have disappeared.  See an aerial photo of the Roman fort complex near to Bala  See an aerial photo of the Roman fort at Brithdir near to Dolgellau

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There is what is reputed to be a Centurion's grave on the hills above Bronaber.

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A Roman Will was found near to Trawsfynydd in the 19th Century

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Several years ago a few coins from the Emporer Hadrian's era were discovered near to Ffynnon Fair above Dolgellau.

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There is also a fort on the top of Moel Offrwm, There is great speculation as to who built this fort.

Royal Artillery Training Camp at Bronaber
bulletIt's difficult to imagine now at our quiet cabins that less than 100 years ago the whole area was an artillery range.  It is difficult to track down much information but here are some snippets.
bulletThe area was apparently chosen because the terrain was very like that in the area of Africa where the Boar war was being fought.
bulletLocal farmers had to leave their property for many hours each day while the bombardments took place.
bulletIn the 1960s when the forestry commission took control of the land to plant trees there was still a considerable amount of live ammunition on the ground.  So much so that when the ground was being ploughed for planting the bulldozers had to have armour-plated cabs to protect the drivers!  Source
bulletBronaber used to be known as "Tin Town" due to the fact that many of the buildings were erected quickly out of corrugated metal sheets to meet the needs of the army camp (1902-1962).  Most of tin buildings have been pulled down and replaced with brick built buildings.
bulletThis is a weird link!  -  SF Cody the great Wild West Showman apparently stayed at the camp at Bronaber in August 1906 whilst developing surveillance kites for the British War Office!  -  Link
bullet Troop Trains Notice
bullet This link shows a photo of one of the early camps which was nearer to Trawsfynydd.  This photos is from 1904
bullet This link shows photos of buildings and items still evident from the Camp and Ranges
bullet This link is to a document from 1941 giving the Byelaws for the Trawsfynydd Artillery Range
bullet Another blog about Bronaber interpreting some of the remaining buildings and structures
Tal-y-llyn Hoard
bullet A hoard of late Celtic artefacts were uncovered on the slopes of Cadair Idris, overlooking Tal-y-llyn lake.  Items including shields which may've been used in the battle against the Roman invaders
The Ranges Motorsports Centre
bulletYes, we have a motorsports centre just over the hill from us... though most people would never know it.  http://www.balamotorclub.co.uk/pages/rangespage1.htm
Trawsfynydd
bulletBard of the Black Chair - Ellis Humphrey Evans was born at Trawsfynydd in 1887.  He began writing poetry at an early age and won his first prize in 1907.  He was called up to serve in the army in 1917 and was sent to Flanders.  He was killed in a battle the same year.  At the National Eisteddfod in Birkenhead a month later, his poem was chosen as the winner.  As a mark of respect the Eisteddfod chair was covered in a black cloth.  A film was later made depicting his story.  A statue of the poet stands in the middle of Trawsfynydd.  For more information about Hedd Wyn and details of how to visit his birthplace click here
bulletTrawsfynydd Martyr - St John Roberts was probably born at Rhiw Goch in 1577 and baptised at St Madryn's Church Trawsfynydd.  It is believed that he received his early education from a dispossessed monk from Cymer Abbey - following the dissolution of the monasteries.  He was raised as a Protestant and joined St John's College, Oxford in 1595/1596.  He then left Oxford to study law in London.  Whilst travelling on the continent he became a Catholic and went to a Jesuit College at Bordeaux.  After becoming a Benedictine he adopted the name of Brother John of Merioneth.  He returned to England and tended the sick and dying during the plague and it was whilst taking mass he was finally arrested by the authorities.  He was executed as a traitor.  There are 2 portraits of him in Gellilydan Catholic Church and one of his fingers is at the Catholic Church at Blaenau Ffestiniog.  See leaflet at Cadair View Lodge for more information.
bulletTrawsfynydd Power Station - the power station is in the process of being decommissioned and there is currently a debate over whether the large reactor buildings should be preserved by CADW.  See films about the power station
Tremadog
bulletBirthplace of Lawrence of Arabia - now forms a coffee shop and accommodation
Tŷ Mawr Wybrnant
bulletThis is the birthplace of Bishop William Morgan who translated the Bible into Welsh and is credited with unifying the Welsh language.  This 16th Century house is set in a remote valley near to the village of Penmachno.  It is managed by the National Trust.  Click here for more information

This information has been carefully researched but we cannot accept responsibility for any mistakes    

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