From the Waterloo Bridge, Betws-y-Coed, to the Crimea Pass, pausing in Pont-y-Pant and Dolwyddelan village along the way. A journey through the Lledr Valley following the A470.
Available from Plas Penaeldroch Cafe, Pont-y-Pant
Having collected postcards, photographs and stories of the area for quiet a while now, I thought, rather than keeping them to myself it would be a nice idea to make them into ‘something’. So here is the something.
If you enjoy your visit to lledrvalley.org and you have something that you would like me to add, I really hope you will get in touch via the email link in the top bar – any pictures, stories or memories you have would be gratefully received. And of course, anything I am sent will be fully credited, with thanks.
I am lucky to now be a resident in this beautiful and peaceful valley, and look forward to further exploring the history of this little known wonder of North Wales.
Diolch yn fawr
Below is a rather long newspaper article about a proposed road from Llanrwst to Ffestioniog via Dolwyddelan, from an 1846 newspaper report. This is the road we travel today on our journey through the valley – before this date it was little more than a winding rough track. The new rout straightened out many of the bends in the ‘old’ road, leaving occasional side roads still in existence today that were part of the original byway [see the photo at the bottom], and it created what is now the Crimea Pass. Forgive the length of the article [which I have cut down considerably from the original] but as it’s talking about such an important aspect of the Lledr Valley I though it might be of interest to someone other than me!
Newspaper report …
North Wales Chronicle – 20th October 1846
NEW ROAD FROM LLANRWST TO FFESTINIOG,
A public meeting of the landowners and others interested in the above undertaking, was held, pursuant to advertisement, at the town hall, Llanrwst, on Tuesday last. William Hammer, Esq. of Bodnant, was called to the chair.
The chairman proceeded to explain the object of them being called together, which was to take into consideration the desirableness of making a road through Dolwyddelen, so as to form a ??? direct and better communication between this town [Llanrwst] and Ffestiniog. As he was not very well acquainted with the line of country through which the proposed road would pass, he hoped some of the men from Ffestiniog, or the engineer, would more particularly explain it; he went on to remark that he considered all new roads great improvements to the line of country through which they would pass; and that as far as he understood the direction of this line would open up a district where a road was very much needed, and give them direct communication with South Wales, from which, for want of a more direct rout they were at present in some measure cut off.
He added that he should be glad to hear that the inhabitants there took up and entered heartily into the project, and that whatever was decided upon, it would not be entered into in half measures.
He also remarked that he understood that it was in the contemplation of the Chester and Holyhead Railway Company to make a branch from their main line to this town [Llanrwst], and that they might still be induced to do so, if they saw that travelling to, and upon the line were increased by the new road.
Mr. Edward Oakley then rose and explained more particularly the line of the proposed road, the country through which it would pass, and the advantages likely to accrue to the district and towns to which it would lead, and felt convinced it would increase travelling very considerably and would form the leading rout between North and South Wales.
Mr. Spooner, the engineer who has lately surveyed the line, showed his maps and sections of it, and explained very fully the length of the new road, the cost, and the very easy ascent over the hills dividing the two counties of Carnarvon and Merioneth.
Mr. W. Griffith, of Llanrwst, prior to moving the resolution place in his hands, begged to observe on the importance of the proposed communication between Ffestiniog and this town [Llanrwst], through the vale of Dolwyddelen. It was not only opening a communication between these two localities, but forming a direct road from Dolgelly, Machynlleth and Aberystwyth to Holyhead and Chester railway at Conway; in fact opening an inlet from South Wales to this portion of the North.
We are indebted to the exertions of the gentlemen of the Ffestiniog side of the hill [now the Crimea Pass] for starting the project, and to their assistance we very much look forward. It was represented at the meeting held in ffestiniog, that the Right Hon. Lord Willoughby De Eresby had handsomely consented to give his land on this side of the hill along which the proposed line was to take. He admitted that this town and locality had no claim upon his lordship, he having lately, on several occasions, afforded both his munificence, assistance and co-operation, to the several public buildings and general improvements of this place. But when he looked to the advantage the whole parish of Dolwyddelen would derive from it, of which parish, his lordship he believed, with two exceptions, was sole owner, he did hope and trust his lordship would lend a helping hand, prominent and ready as he is on every occasion to afford his aid to projects tending to all public improvements in this neighbourhood.
Mr. W. Hughes stated, on behalf of Lord Willoughby De Eresby, that the proposed new road met with his lordship’s concurrence, and he believed he might safely say his lordship would give the land through which the road was intended to pass, but beyond that he was not authorised to say what his lordship was disposed to do.
At the conclusion Mr. W. Griffith read the following resolution:- ‘That it will greatly tend to the advantage to the inhabitants of Llanrwst, that a new turnpike road should be made to connect Llanrwst with Ffestiniog, and by way of Dolwyddelen’.