Blaenau Ffestiniog is a historic mining town in Wales, in the historic county of Merionethshire, although now part of the unitary authority of Gwynedd. The population of the community of Ffestiniog was 4,875 according to the 2011 census, including the nearby village of Llan Ffestiniog, which makes it the fourth most populous community in Gwynedd, after Bangor and Llandeiniolen. Llan Ffestiniog's population of 864 puts the population of Blaenau itself at around 4,000. Blaenau Ffestiniog was at one time the second largest town in North Wales, behind only Wrexham. After reaching 12,000 at the peak development of the slate industry, the population fell with the decline in the demand for its slate. Today the town relies on tourists, who come for attractions that include the nearby Ffestiniog Railway and Llechwedd Slate Caverns. Before the slate industry developed, the area now known as Blaenau Ffestiniog was a farming region, with scattered farms working the uplands below the cliffs of Dolgaregddu and Nyth-y-Gigfran.
A few of these historic farmhouses survive at Cwm Bowydd, Pen y Bryn and Cefn Bychan. Much of the land was owned by large estates; the town of Blaenau Ffestiniog was created to support workers in the local slate mines. In its heyday it was the largest town in Merioneth. In the 1760s men from the long established Cilgwyn quarry near Nantlle started quarrying in Ceunant y Diphwys to the north east of the present town; this valley had for a number of years been known for its slate beds and had been worked on a small scale. The exact location of this original quarry has been obliterated by subsequent mining activity, but it is that it was on or near the site of the Diphwys Casson Quarry. Led by Methusalem Jones, eight Cilgwyn men formed a partnership and took a lease on Gelli Farm where they established their quarry. In 1800, William Turner and William Casson, quarry managers from the Lake District, bought out the lease and expanded production. In 1819, quarrying began on the slopes of Allt-fawr near Rhiwbryfdir Farm.
This was on land owned by the Oakeley family from Tan y Bwlch. Within a decade, three separate slate quarries were operating on Allt-fawr and these amalgamated to form Oakeley Quarry which would become the largest underground slate mine in the world. Quarrying expanded in the first half of the 19th century. Significant quarries opened at Llechwedd and Votty & Bowydd, while Turner and Casson's Diphwys Casson flourished. Further afield and Wrysgan quarries were established to the south of the town, while at the head of Cwm Penmachno to the north east a series of quarries started at Rhiwbach, Cwt y Bugail and Blaen y Cwm. To the south east another cluster of quarries worked the slopes of Manod Mawr; the workforce for these quarries was taken from nearby towns and villages such as Ffestiniog and Maentwrog. Before the arrival of railways in the district, travel to the quarries was difficult and workers' houses were built near the quarries; these grew up around existing farms and along the roads between them.
An early settlement was at Rhiwbryfdir, serving the Llechwedd quarries. As early as 1801, new roads were being built to serve the quarries. By 1851, there were 3,460 people living in the new town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. During the 1860s and 1870s the slate industry went through a large boom; the quarries expanded as did the nascent town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. The town gained its first church and first school, saw considerable ribbon development along the roads. By 1881, the town's population had soared to 11,274; the boom in the slate industry was followed by a significant decline. The 1890s saw several quarries lose money for the first time, several failed including Cwmorthin and Nyth-y-Gigfran. Blaenau Ffestiniog hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1898. Although the slate industry recovered from the recession of the 1890s, it never recovered; the First World War saw many quarrymen join the Armed Forces, production fell. There was a short post-war boom, but the long-term trend was towards mass-produced tiles and cheaper slate from Spain.
Oakeley Quarry took over Cwmorthin, Votty & Bowydd and Diphwys Casson, while Llechwedd acquired Maenofferen. Despite this consolidation, the industry continued to decline; the Second World War saw a further loss of available workers. In 1946, the Ffestiniog Railway closed. In August 1945 the secluded farmhouse of Bwlch Ocyn, at Manod, which belonged to Clough Williams-Ellis, became the home, for three years, of the famous writer Arthur Koestler and his wife Mamaine. During his time at Bwlch Ocyn, Koestler would become a close friend of fellow writer George Orwell; the slate quarries continued to decline after 1950. The remaining quarries served by the Rhiwbach Tramway closed during the 1960s. Oakeley closed with the loss of many local jobs, it re-opened in 1974 on a much smaller scale and was worked until 2010. Maenofferen and Llechwedd continued to operate, but Maenofferen closed in 1998. Llechwedd is still a working quarry; as the slate industry declined, the population of Blaenau Ffestiniog has declined, to 4,875 in 2011.
At the same time the tourism industry has become the town's largest employer. The revived Ffestiniog Railway and the Llechwedd Slate Caverns are popular tourist attractions, as is the Antur Stiniog downhill mountain biking centre. Recent attractions include the Zip World Titan zip-line site, which now features the Bounce Below slate mine activity centre; the English pronunciation of Blaenau Ffestiniog suggested by the BBC Pronouncing Dictionary of British Names is, but the first word is pronounced by locals. Located
See Llanfihangel. Llanfihangel-y-Pennant is a small village in Wales, it is in the community of Dolbenmaen in Snowdonia. It is named after Cwm Pennant, a valley which stretches from north of the villages of Dolbenmaen and Golan towards the Drwys y Coed pass, between Moel Hebog and Crib Nantlle; the parish church is dedicated to Saint Michael, Llanfihangel being the Welsh for the church of St. Michael's, it is a grade II* listed building. The ancient ecclesiastical parish of Llanfihangel-y-Pennant is part of the bishopric of Bangor. Www.geograph.co.uk: photos of Llanfihangel-y-Pennant, Cwm Pennant and surrounding area
United Kingdom census, 2011
A census of the population of the United Kingdom is taken every ten years. The 2011 census was held in all countries of the UK on 27 March 2011, it was the first UK census. The Office for National Statistics is responsible for the census in England and Wales, the General Register Office for Scotland is responsible for the census in Scotland, the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency is responsible for the census in Northern Ireland; the Office for National Statistics is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority, a non-ministerial department formed in 2008 and which reports directly to Parliament. ONS is the UK Government's single largest statistical producer of independent statistics on the UK's economy and society, used to assist the planning and allocation of resources, policy-making and decision-making. ONS designs and runs the census in England and Wales. In its capacity as the national statistics office for the United Kingdom, ONS compiles and releases census tables for the United Kingdom when the data from England and Wales and Northern Ireland are complete.
In the run-up to the census both the main UK political parties expressed concerns about the increasing cost and the value for money of the census, it was suggested that the 2011 census might be the last decennial census to be taken. The first results from the 2011 census and sex, occupied households estimates for England and Wales and Northern Ireland, were released on 16 July 2012; the first results for Scotland, the first UK-wide results, were published on 17 December 2012. More detailed and specialised data were published from 2013; the Registrar General John Rickman conducted the first census of Great Britain's population, was responsible for the ten-yearly reports published between 1801 and 1831. During the first 100 years of census-taking the population of England and Wales grew more than threefold, to around 32 million, that of Scotland, where a separate census has been carried out since 1861, to about 4.5 million. From 1911 onwards rapid social change, scientific breakthroughs, major world events affected the structure of the population.
A fire that destroyed census records in 1931, the declaration of war in 1939, made the 1951 census hugely significant in recording 30 years of change over one of the most turbulent periods in British history. The 1971 census was run by the newly created Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, a body formed by the merger of the General Register Office and Government Social Survey. In 1996 the Office for National Statistics was formed by merging the Central Statistical Office, OPCS and the statistics division of the Department of Employment. In 2008 the UK Statistics Authority was established as an independent body. A population census is a key instrument for assessing the needs of local communities; when related to other data sources such as housing or agricultural censuses, or sample surveys, the data becomes more useful. Most countries of the world take censuses: the United Nations recommends that countries take a census at least once every ten years; the design for the 2011 census reflects changes in society since 2001 and asks questions to help paint a detailed demographic picture of England and Wales, as it stands on census day, 27 March.
Data collected by the census is used to provide statistical outputs which central government uses to plan and allocate local authority services funding, which local authorities themselves use to identify and meet the needs of their local communities. Other organisations that use census data include healthcare organisations, community groups and businesses; the questionnaires, including people's personal information, are kept confidential for 100 years before being released to the public, providing an important source of information for historical and genealogy research. The 2011 census for England and Wales included around 25 million households. Questionnaires were posted out to all households, using a national address register compiled by the Office for National Statistics with the help of local authorities through comparisons of the National Land and Property Gazetteer and the Royal Mail and Ordnance Survey national address products. People could complete and submit their questionnaire online, or fill it in on paper and post it back in a pre-addressed envelope.
Guidance was provided online and through the census helpline. Completed questionnaires were electronically tracked and field staff followed up with households that did not return a questionnaire. Special arrangements were made to count people living in communal establishments such as. In these cases field staff delivered and collected questionnaires and, where needed, provided advice or assistance in completing the questionnaire. There was a legal requirement to complete the 2011 census questionnaire, under the terms of the Census Act 1920; as at 27 March 2011 everyone who had lived or intended to live in the country for three months or more was required to complete a questionnaire. Failure to return a completed questionnaire could lead to a criminal record. Lockheed Martin UK, the UK arm of US-based aerospace, technology company Lockheed Martin was awarded the contract to provide services for the census comprising questionnaire printing, a customer contact centre and data capture and processing.
The contract is valued at £150 million one third of the total £1 million census budget
Bethesda is a town and community on the River Ogwen and the A5 road on the edge of Snowdonia, in Gwynedd, north-west Wales. It is the 5th largest Community in Gwynedd. In 1823, the Bethesda Chapel was built and the town subsequently grew around it; the chapel has now been converted into flats and is known as Arafa Don. The town grew around the slate quarrying industries. At its peak, the town exported purple slate all over the world. Penrhyn Quarry suffered a three-year strike led by the North Wales Quarrymen's Union between 1900 and 1903; this led to the creation of the nearby village of Tregarth, built by the quarry owners, which housed the families of those workers who had not struck. The A5 road runs through Bethesda and marked the border between Lord Penrhyn's land, the freehold land. Most of the town is to the east and north east of the road, with housing packed onto the hillside in irregular rows, built on the commons. On the current high street, all the public houses are found on the north side of the road.
The narrow gauge Penrhyn Quarry Railway opened in 1801 to serve Penrhyn Quarry. It connected the quarry with Port Penrhyn on the coast and operated until 1962. In 1884, a branch of the London and North Western Railway's network from Bangor was opened; the line closed to passengers in 1951 and to freight in 1963. The trackbed of the Penrhyn Quarry Railway towards Porth Penrhyn is taken over by the Lôn Las Ogwen cycle path; the peak population of Bethesda was 10,000. Current opportunities for employment in the town are limited: there are a few manufacturing businesses. For employment with higher earning potential, residents tend to commute to towns along the North Wales coast. Bangor is the most popular destination. Ysgol Dyffryn Ogwen is a bilingual comprehensive school, with 374 pupils, established in 1951. Zip World Velocity in Penrhyn Quarry is the longest zipline in Europe, at just over 1,600 metres long, brings the town hundreds of visitors; the architecture and layout of the town is utilitarian.
Most of the buildings are constructed of stone with slate roofs. Some are constructed wholly of slate blocks, although such buildings tend to suffer from damp and structural slippage because the flat and smooth surfaces of slate do not bind well to mortar; the town has 40 Grade II listed buildings, including three pubs, in addition to the substantial and imposing Grade I listed Nonconformist Jerusalem ChapelThe upper parts of Carneddi and Tan y Foel owe more to stone quarrying on the nearby hills rather than slate quarrying that supported the lower end of the town. At the eastern limits, the town is bounded by the rising land of the Carneddau mountains which form some of the more remote landscapes of Snowdonia. Much of Bethesda once consisted of discrete villages such as Gerlan, Tregarth and Braichmelyn. Bethesda is noted for both the number of chapels in the town; the town was named after the Bethesda Chapel, converted into residential flats. Llanllechid, on the outskirts of Bethesda, is the home of the Popty Bakery, the origins of which date back to the bakery opened by O. J. Williams in the early 1900s.
The product range focuses on traditional Welsh cakes and Bara Brith and these lines are retailed throughout Wales and parts of England through outlets including Aldi, Asda, Co-Op, Morrisons and Tesco. There are ten pubs not including Tregarth; the Douglas Arms, on the High Street, was named after the family which owned the nearby Penrhyn Quarry. Other pubs include the Bull, The Kings Head, Y Sior, The Victoria Arms, the Llangollen; the village has its own micro brewery known as Cwrw Ogwen. It manufactures one beer named Cwrw Caradog, named after the writer Caradog Prichard; the dominant language of the town is Welsh, can be seen written and heard spoken in most settings. According to the United Kingdom Census 2001, 77.0% of the residents are Welsh-speaking, higher than the average for both Gwynedd and Wales as a whole. The S4C series Amdani! was based on a fictitious women's rugby team in Bethesda, many of the location shots were filmed in the area. The series was based by Bethan Gwanas, who lived in the town.
In June 2012 Tabernacl Cyf. A non-profit co-operative based in the town, was awarded a grant of around £1 million to renovate Neuadd Ogwen, a performance venue on the High Street, it was due to reopen as a community arts centre in June 2013. In the 1970s and 1980s Bethesda developed a reputation as a hub of musical creativity. Jam sessions and small home studios abounded alongside a burgeoning pub rock scene; as well as the now well-established'Pesda Roc' festival, Bethesda has nurtured the Welsh language bands Maffia Mr Huws and experimentalists Y Jeycsyn Ffeif. In more recent years it continues to spring up bands from the local community such as Radio Rhydd. Bobby Atherton - footballer Ellis William Davies - politician Idris Foster - Jesus Professor of Celtic Studies at the University of Oxford David Ffrangcon-Davies - a Welsh operatic baritone Bethan Gwanas - the author lived and worked in Bethesda. Esyllt Harker - singer and storyteller. Mikael Madeg - Breton language writer, French language assistant at Ysgol Dyffryn Ogwen 1971–72 Frederick Llewellyn-Jones - politician Leila Megane - singer Gwenlyn Parry - writer William John Parry - first
Barmouth is a town and community in the county of Gwynedd, north-western Wales, lying on the estuary of the River Mawddach and Cardigan Bay. Located in the Historic county of Merionethshire, the Welsh form of the name is derived from "Aber" and the river's name, "Mawddach"; the English form of the name is a corruption of the earlier Welsh form'Abermawdd'. The town is served by Barmouth railway station; the town grew around the shipbuilding industry, more as a seaside resort. Notable buildings include the medieval Tŷ Gwyn tower house, the 19th century Tŷ Crwn roundhouse prison and St John's Church. William Wordsworth, a visitor to Barmouth in the 19th century, described it thus: "With a fine sea view in front, the mountains behind, the glorious estuary running eight miles inland, Cadair Idris within compass of a day's walk, Barmouth can always hold its own against any rival."Dinas Oleu, located east of the town on the adjoining hillside, was the first tract of land to be donated to the National Trust.
In January 2014, two trains were stranded at Barmouth after severe winter storms destroyed the sea wall at nearby Llanaber. Barmouth Bridge, which takes the Cambrian Line over the River Mawddach, was previously at the end of the Ruabon–Barmouth line, which passed through Bala and Dolgellau; the southern end of the bridge is now the start of the Mawddach Trail, a cycle path and walk way that utilises the old trackbed. The Barmouth Ferry sails from Barmouth to Penrhyn Point, where it connects with the narrow gauge Fairbourne Railway for the village of Fairbourne. Barmouth is one of the closest seaside resorts to the English West Midlands and a large proportion of its tourist visitors, as well as its permanent residents, are from Wolverhampton, Birmingham and other parts of the Black Country, Telford, Shropshire; the town has a RNLI lifeboat station with a Visitors' Centre with shop and viewing gallery. The nearest rugby club is in Dolgellau, 7 miles away. Barmouth has one major football team: Barmouth & Dyffryn United, the team competes in the Welsh Alliance league and is well-supported by residents.
Barmouth is the venue for a motocross event. Taking place on the last weekend in October, the event sees riders take part in beach racing, using a temporary motocross course constructed on the beach. Over 200 riders take part in this event, with spectators attending free of charge; the event attracts champion riders from Wales. The busy harbour plays host to the annual Three Peaks yacht race. Auguste Guyard, French educationalist and philosopher who moved to Barmouth upon the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War. Fanny Talbot landowner and philanthropist, donated Cliff of Light, to the National Trust. Jim Valentine, Rugby Union and Northern Union player for Swinton, killed by lightning in Barmouth 25 July 1904 aged 37. Herbert Tudor Buckland, architect known for his seminal Arts and Crafts Movement houses Commander Harold Godfrey Lowe RD was the fifth officer of the RMS Titanic. Major Harold William "Bill" Tilman, CBE, DSO, MC and Bar, English mountaineer and explorer, renowned for his Himalayan climbs and sailing voyages, lived in Barmouth for many years.
Adrian Dingle was a Welsh Canadian painter. Johnny Williams, boxer once both the British and Empire heavyweight champion. Tommy Nutter British tailor, reinvented the Savile Row suit in the 1960s. Robert Russell Davies is a British journalist and broadcaster who presents Brain of Britain on BBC Radio 4. Charlie Brooks, actress. St David's Church, Barmouth St John's Church, Barmouth St Tudwal's Church, Barmouth "Barmouth". Encyclopædia Britannica. 3. 1911. Barmouth community website latest news from Barmouth and historical photo gallery and much more. Mawddachestuary.co.uk What's on in Barmouth Illustrated Guide to Barmouth Sunset at Barmouth and Barmouth Evening by Christopher Williams, painted in 1910s and exhibited at National Library of Wales. Aerial photograph of Barmouth www.geograph.co.uk: photos of Barmouth and surrounding area
Dolgellau is a market town and community in Gwynedd, north-west Wales, lying on the River Wnion, a tributary of the River Mawddach. It is traditionally the county town of the historic county of Merionethshire, which lost its administrative status when Gwynedd was created in 1974. Dolgellau is the main base for climbers of Cadair Idris; the site of Dolgellau was, in the pre-Roman Celtic period, part of the tribal lands of the Ordovices, who were conquered by the Romans in AD 77–78. Although a few Roman coins from the reigns of Emperors Hadrian and Trajan have been found near Dolgellau, the area is marshy and there is no evidence that it was settled during the Roman period. There are, three hill forts in the vicinity of Dolgellau, of uncertain origin. After the Romans left, the area came under the control of a series of Welsh chieftains, although Dolgellau was not inhabited until the late 11th or 12th century, when it was established as a "serf village" by Cadwgan ap Bleddyn — it remained a serf village until the reign of Henry Tudor.
A church was built in the 12th century, although Cymer Abbey, founded in 1198 in nearby Llanelltyd, remained the most important religious centre locally. Dolgellau gained in importance from this period onwards, was mentioned in the Survey of Merioneth ordered by Edward I. In 1404 it was the location of a council of chiefs under Owain Glyndŵr. After a visit by George Fox in 1657, many inhabitants of Dolgellau converted to Quakerism. Persecution led a large number of them to emigrate to Pennsylvania in 1686, under the leadership of Rowland Ellis, a local gentleman-farmer; the Pennsylvanian town of Bryn Mawr, home to a prestigious women's liberal arts college, is named after Ellis's farm near Dolgellau. The woollen industry was long of the greatest importance to the town's economy; the industry declined in the first half of the 19th century, owing to the introduction of mechanical looms. Another important contributor to the local economy was tanning, which continued into the 1980s in Dolgellau, though on a much reduced scale.
The town was the centre of a minor gold rush in the 19th century. At one time the local gold mines employed over 500 workers. Clogau St. David's mine in Bontddu and Gwynfynydd mine in Ganllwyd have supplied gold for many royal weddings. Dolgellau was the county town of Merionethshire until 1974 when, following the Local Government Act of 1972, it became the administrative centre of Meirionnydd, a district of the county of Gwynedd; this was abolished in 1996 by the Local Government Act 1994. Today, the economy of Dolgellau relies chiefly on tourism, it is believed that Dolgellau Cricket Club, founded in 1869 by Frederick Temple, is one of the oldest cricket clubs in Wales. For nearly a century Dolgellau was the home of Dr Williams School, a pioneering girls' secondary school; this was funded from the legacy of Daniel Williams the Welsh nonconformist of the 17th/18th century. The name of the town is of uncertain origin, although dôl is Welsh for "meadow" or "dale", gelli means "grove" or "spinney", is common locally in names for farms in sheltered nooks.
This would seem to be the most derivation, giving the translation "Grove Meadow". It has been suggested that the name could derive from the word cell, meaning "cell", translating therefore as "Meadow of cells", but this seems less considering the history of the name; the earliest recorded spelling is "Dolkelew", although a spelling "Dolgethley" dates from 1285. From until the 19th century, most spellings were along the lines of "Dôlgelly" "Dolgelley", "Dolgelly" or "Dolgelli". Thomas Pennant used the form "Dolgelleu" in his Tours of Wales, this was the form used in the Church Registers in 1723, although it never had much currency. In 1825 the Registers had "Dolgellau", which form Robert Vaughan of Hengwrt adopted in 1836. While this form may derive from a false etymology, it became standard in Welsh and is now the standard form in both Welsh and English, it was adopted as the official name by the local rural district council in 1958. Shortly before the closure of the town's railway station it displayed signs reading variously Dolgelly and Dolgellau.
Dolgellau is home to Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor. The site it occupies was home to Dr Williams' School, a direct grant grammar school for girls aged 7–18 established in 1875, it was named after its benefactor Dr Daniel Williams, a Nonconformist minister from Wrexham, who gave his name to Dr Williams's Library in Euston, London. The school closed in 1975. Dolgellau Grammar School, a boys' school, had been established in 1665 by the Rector of Dolgellau, Dr John Ellis, at Pen Bryn, before moving to its present site on the Welshpool road. In 1962, it became a comprehensive school under the name Ysgol y Gader, it has 310 pupils and, according to the latest inspection report by Estyn, it has a GCSE pass rate of 75%, which puts it in joint 11th place in Wales, makes it o