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Barmouth - Some Places of Interest

A small town like Barmouth does not often possess a wealth of historic sites, blue plaque homes and famous associations but it still boasts a good number of accessible places to visit. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, rather a few suggestions.

Old Town & Dinas Oleu
Ruskin's Cottages
Ty Gwyn- Medieval First Floor Hall & Museum
Sailors' Institute
Ty Crwn - Barmouth gaol
Lifeboat Museum
Churches & chapels in Town
Medieval Parish Church of St Mary & St. Bodfan
Barmouth Bridge

The area known as Old Town which spreads up the hill and overlooks the harbour is what remains of the old town of Barmouth. Before the middle of the 19th century the whole town consisted of buildings of this more traditional style. The lanes that crawl up from the town's main streets in a most haphazard way will soon have you gazing down over the town, the estuary and the bay in just a few minutes (give or take a few breathers!)

Continue up beyond the cottages and you will eventually come to the National Trust Information Board and this explains that the area you stand in, Dinas Oleu, was the first parcel of land to be given to the then newly formed Trust by Mrs. Fanny Talbot

Among the cottages in Old Town are several that were given, for a consideration of £1000, by Fanny Talbot to John Ruskin and his Guild of St. George in 1874. These were to house the poor as part of Ruskin's social experiment, outlined in his Fors Clavigera, that aimed to prevent the foment of revolution.

One of the tenants 'acquired' with these cottages was a Frenchman , Auguste Guyard, exiled after he had fallen out with the authorities in his homeland. He was certainly a kindred spirit of Ruskin. He created extensive gardens on this inclement rock and is buried above his cottage (below) in what has become known as the Frenchmen's Grave.

Rock Cottages

Rock Cottages in Old Barmouth

Gibralter Cottage
Gibralter Cottage - Old Barmouth
looking over Ruskins' cottages
Looking over Ruskins'cottages
Ty Gwyn, located on the quayside, is a first floor hall house, and is described in a poem by Tudur Penllyn (circa 1420-1490). It was said to be used by Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke, uncle of the future king Henry VII, to meet local supporters while plotting the overthrow of the Yorkists during the Wars of the Roses. It has an interesting butt tenoned purlin roof and houses an exhibition on its origins and the seafaring history of the town.
Ty Gwyn Ty Gwyn interior
Medieval Ty Gwyn
Also on the quay is the Sailor's Institute, founded at the end of the 19th century to provide a reading and meeting room for the mariners of the town. The Institute stills meets regularly.

Its unprepossessing exterior, once a Victorian corrugated iron clad building, houses an attractive original interior with a variety of material about the maritime development of Barmouth.

sailor's institute c1895
Sailor's Institute interior
Sailor's Institute circa 1895
Ty Crwn
Just behind the quay is Barmouth's old lock-up called Ty Crwn or the Round House. Built during the 1830's as the town's gaol - at a cost of £55. It must have been widely used to accommodate the inebriated and/or troublesome of the town.
Ty Crwn
Also on the quayside, one last visit will take you to the Lifeboat Museum. Once a house called Pen-y-Cei it is now solely used to exhibit information about the history of the lifeboat service that has played such an important role in saving lives off the coast of Ardudwy. Former residents of Pen-y-Cei Lifeboat Museum - Pen y Cei
Harbour Master's Office
There are some interesting churche's & chapels in Barmouth. Most of the latter are now enjoying a different use, mostly as retail outlets and one is used as a theatre while the churches still carry on with a fraction of the congregations they once accommodated. St.David's is the earliest church (1830) in the town while St. John's is the most impressive, despite its tower collapsing into the nave upon completion in 1893 and having to be rebuilt. It opened for worship in 1895.

Chapel Antiques
Dragon Theatre
St. David's
St. John's
Just 2 miles north of Barmouth is an early medieval church. St. Mary's, a beautifully located building overlooking the bay. Built in the early 13th century by Hywel ap Meredith ap Cynan, Lord of Ardudwy on a site already used in the 6th century, established by St. Bodfan.
There is a fine mid-15th century roof over the nave. The church was extensively rebuilt on the east gable during the 19th century

St. Mary's
St. Mary's - roof
St. Mary's
St. Mary's Church, Llanaber
barmouth bridge
From Barmouth, its easy to venture further afield. By foot a stroll across the tollpath on Barmouth Bridge, built in 1867 and now a Grade II* listed structure, will lead you onto the most beautiful walk along the river. It runs along the bed of the old railway, a victim of Beecham's 60's decimation of the railways. A 5-6 mile walk will reward you with splendid refreshment at the George III Hotel at Penmaenpool. You can the make your way back then!
Barmouth Bridge

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Peter & Paula Thompson
Llwyndu Farmhouse
Gwynedd LL42 1RR
Walkers & bikers welcome
Free Wi-Fi throughout

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