Dolgellau Things to Do Tips by suvanki
Dolgellau Things to Do: 24 reviews and 67 photos
Dafydd Ionawr Memorial pyramid
Crossing over to the road to the cemetery we came to our next point of interest, a pyramid shaped memorial to honour Dafydd Ionawr (1750 -1827), a local bard and school teacher.
Well, I can't find out much more about Mr January, or his memorial stone.
I was quite intrigued by other grave stones in this small cemetery, particularly the carvings of foliage (pic 2) that we spotted on a few stones. Also, the headstone that stated
are interred the remains of
of Lion Street in the town
who departed this life July 16 - 1878
Aged 41 years
His widow Mary Jane is also buried here. She died aged 34 on December 30th 1880 , so just 2 years after her husband.
Initially it was the bold UNDERNEATH that had caught my eye, I've not seen this before on a gravestone. Why was this necessary to point out the obvious?
Later, looking at my photos, I noted that his address was here too -again, I've not seen a street mentioned on a gravestone before, though I guess this might be to distinguish him from other Thomas Thompsons in the town.
Just reading this one stone has had me wondering about who this man was, who died at a relatively young age, with his even younger widow joining his remains 2 years later.
Well, when I return to Dolgellau, I'll certainly check out the other headstones.
St Marys Church
We managed to miss points 6 (One of the few brick buildings in Dolgellau) and 7 (The Old Town Hall on the Town trail ( and headed straight to the nearby church)
I quite like this 18th Century Georgian church. An unusual feature of its exterior architecture, are the blocks of dressed slate, that resemble blocks of timber, and are arranged to overlap at the corners, as in a log cabin style (pic 2).
The church was built in 1716, (on 11th Century foundations - there are records of a church here in 1254) with the chancel being added nearly a century and half later. The main religious centre for the area was Cymer Abbey, a couple of miles away in Llanelltyd ( which we visited later that day)
Inside, are some attractive stained glass windows - The matching apse windows are probably by a local man, W. R. Williams , while the 1901 central window is by G.F. Bodley.
8 mast like timber pillars (pic 4) were transported to St Marys from the forests of Dinas Mawddy over the hills by carts pulled by teams of oxen.
Look for the carved stone effigy dating back to around 1350 of the knight, Meurig ap Ynr Fychan (pic 3)
The blue painted dome over the alter reminded me of churches I'd visited in Italy and Spain.
A modern addition is the mezzanine gallery, that is used for prayer meetings etc (pic 5) There is a stennah chair lift for those with mobility problems.
I liked the atmosphere of this church.
Address: Dolgellau, Gwynedd LL40 - Wales, UK
Looking for our next 'point of interest' we stopped to admire this stone, slate roofed cottage, with its interesting design- stone steps leading to the front door on the upper floor of the 2 cottages.
I thought at first it was a B&B, but it was privately owned.
UPDATE- The owners Vanessa and Tyler have noted my tip, and have informed me that the cottage WILL have a room for rental from April 2011! I'm afraid that I don't have any further details.
Googling this address, I came across the 1891 Census for the town, which covers this area (Folio 6-7), which I found to be quite interesting.
Address: Lion Street Dolgellau
Tan y Fynwent
No 9 on Dolgellau Town Trail
Through the church yard, and opposite the church gateway, (Steeple end) is This late 17th Century Town House, which may have been built originally for the rector of that time to live in, or it may have been later, that it became the Rectors residence.
The attractive latticework porchway was an addition in the 19th Century, and is a typical feature of houses from this period in Dolgellau. The stone walls and slate tile roofs are typically seen throughout the town.
Directions: Opposite the Parish Church of St Mary
The Golden Lion
Opposite Lion Cottage, is The Golden Lion (or as No5 on the trail states "The now defunct Golden Lion" ). For a period it had the grander name of The Golden Lion Royal Hotel.
It's quite hard to believe that this was a place for European Royalty to stay, when visiting the area. In its hey day, this was the grandest hotel of the region.
Originally, it was a coaching Inn, a place for passengers travelling by Stage Coach to stay, and for the horses to be fed/watered and rested. In the 1830's it took 24 hours to reach here from London.
The introduction of the railway, cut down the time, but ensured that there would still be travellers wanting a 'Good Hotel'.
The hotel finally went out of favour, fell into decline and suffered vandalism, before being restored, and converted into 15 apartments.
It still looked quite neglected though....pic 2 shows a plant growing out of the chimney stack
A poem from the 19th Century states... When you go to the town of Dolgelly, don't stay at the Lion Hotel, There’s nothing to put in your belly, and no one to answer the bell. (Thackeray -1850)
Address: Lion St, Dolgellau, Gwynedd LL40 1DN
Y-Bont Fawyr - The Big Bridge
In front of the car park was this seven arched bridge, which was built in 1638 (The date can be seen on the downstream side. It was named 'The Big Bridge' to distinguish it from another (smaller) bridge that was located further downstream.
Part of the bridge was destroyed by a major flood in 1903. As Dolgellau has been prone to flooding, the bridge has undergone many repairs and reconstructions over the centuries.
As you can see from the picture, the upper end is higher - this was raised to join the railway line (which is now the by-pass), which was constructed around 1868. The station was near to the bridge, and served the terminuses of two rival rail companies.
Directions: As you enter Dolgellau
Dolgellau Tourist Information Centre
The TIC in Dolgellau has plenty of useful information, and the staff were quite friendly and helpful too.
Three rooms, containing lots of free Local information leaflets, booklets- things to do and see, and a 'What's On' noticeboard for dances, markets, fetes etc. Also information for Snowdonia and Wales.
Guide books , Maps, Local interest and 'Coffee Table' books to purchase
Pick up a copy of the Dolgellau Town Trail for £1
Accommodation booking service.
Gift shop - 'pocket money price'gifts. Postcards cost 10 for £1 (I also found some free ones)!
'Cinema' which was running a DVD which I think showed things to see in the area (I didn't get to see this).
Steam Train/ Local History/Scenery etc DVDs available
Open daily 09.30 - 17.30
Address: Ty Meirion, Eldon Square, Dolgellau, Gwynedd LL40
Directions: Eldon Square is the main centre of the town. Quite well signposted.
Other Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: +44 (0)1341 422888 Fax: +44 (0)1
Y Bont Fawr-The Big Bridge
Vicki had downloaded a copy of this trail for each of us from the internet-it looked like an interesting way to see Dolgellau
The Dolgellau Town Trail-A Story in stone (Dolgellaus history as told by its' buildings), can be purchased from the Tourist Information Office for £1, which I thought was good value.
Information is in English and Welsh, with attractive illustrations and a map of the town and its 28 points of interest. It was devised and produced by Dolgellaus Civic Society, whos aim is to protect and promote the historical character of the town.
We didn't do it all in order, and we didn't cover all of the stops, but we felt that we'd seen and learned a lot about this interesting town.
No 1 is the former Ironmongers, which is now a lovely cafe - we visited here later in the walk -
So, come along on our Dolgellau trail......
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