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Penrhyndeudraeth (Welsh: headland/promontory with two beaches) is a village in Gwynedd, Wales. It is located between the Traeth Mawr (big beach), the now largely reclaimed estuary of the River Glaslyn, and the Traeth Bach (little beach), the estuary of the River Dwyryd. The village is close to the mouth of the River Dwyryd on the A487 from Porthmadog.
The present village was laid out in the second half of the nineteenth century by the local landowner David Williams of Castell Deudraeth at Minffordd on land reclaimed by the drainage of stagnant marshes. The older settlement at Upper Penrhyn was originally called Cefn Coch (Red Ridge) and that name is perpetuated by the Penrhyndeudraeth primary school, which is known as Ysgol Cefn Coch.
The village has two stations, Penrhyndeudraeth railway station on the southern side of the village on the Cambrian Coast Railway from Pwllheli to Shrewsbury and to the north, Penrhyn railway station, on the A4085 near the top of the hill, on the Ffestiniog Railway.
The village is at the junction of the A487 with the A4085 which connects with Beddgelert. The first section of this road is very narrow and rises steeply through Upper Penrhyn. In places it is so narrow that only a single vehicle can pass.
To the south is a toll road leading over a wooden bridge providing a short-cut to the Harlech road. This toll bridge (at Pont Briwet, grid reference SH619383) provides stunning views of the Dwyryd estuary, only spoiled by the electricity pylons crossing immediately downstream. The bridge is also shared with the main line railway.
Prior to the economic growth of the 19th century following the many land reclamation projects (including the Cob at Porthmadog) and also the building of the Ffestiniog Railway, the few local inhabitants relied on agriculture and small scale copper mining. Some men worked boats on the River Dwyryd, carrying slate from Maentwrog to the sea for export. Local women at that time gathered cockles in the estuary for sale in local markets.
The main manufacturing industry in Penrhyndeudraeth was established in 1872 to make Gun Cotton. It became Cook's Explosives in 1922 and was taken over by Nobel and later still by I.C.I. Many here lost their lives during accidents at the works, where there is a slate plaque to remember them and everyone who worked there. The works closed and the site was finally cleared in 1997 and is now a nature reserve notable for the presence in summer of Nightjars.
Another 19th century industry in the district is Garth Quarry at Minffordd, which was established in 1870 to make granite setts for road building in Victorian towns and cities and like the explosives industry this relied heavily on the coming of the Cambrian Railways in 1872. The quarry is still working and now produces roadstone and railway ballast.
Pubs/Bars in Penrhyndeudraeth: Brondanw Llanfrothen Penrhyndeudraeth Gwynedd LL48 6AQ 01766 770555
Garreg Llanfrothen Penrhyndeudraeth Gwynedd LL48 6AQ 01766 770555
Griffin Inn Penrhyndeudraeth Gwynedd LL48 6LW 01766 771706
The Griffin Inn Penrhyndeudraeth Gwynedd LL48 6LW 01766 771911
Hotels in Penrhyndeudraeth: Brynllydan Hotel Llanfrothen Penrhyndeudraeth Gwynedd LL48 6DU 01766 770442
Castell Deudraeth (Hotel) Portmeirion Penrhyndeudraeth Gwynedd LL48 6ET 01766 770000 [email protected]
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