Visit Penmaenmawr and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Penmaenmawr, Conwy. Early travellers had some wariness in approaching the Height of the Great Stone that looks out from the coast towards the shores of Anglesey. But it was essential to undertake the dangerous ascent and no less dangerous downward route, for the Traeth Lafan (Lavan Sands) stretched far enough out from the mainland to enable you to get near enough, as Daniel Paterson recommends in his Direct and Principal Cross Roads of 1811, to take a ferry over to Beaumaris and so reach the important copper-mining area of Amlwch and Parys Mountain. The copper-mines have now declined into nothingness, and the roads are no longer what they were when Defoe and Pennant and Dr Johnson considered the ways there with dread. In the case of Johnson, however, the anxieties were overdrawn. He and his party, who had dared to start out only because they could not find accommodation overnight, discovered that a new way had been cut. Smooth and enclosed between parallel walls in the mountain-side, it protected the wayfarer from the “deep and dreadful” precipice dropping to the waves. But this protecting wall had been broken here and there by mischievous wantonness. The inner wall gave some protection against the frequent falls of loose rock from the hill above, liable to collapse at the smallest accident. The old road, they observed, was higher up than the new one and must have been “very formidable”. Now road and railway carry round the face of the headland above the sheer drop to the sea, this last in a kind of roofed gallery. There is a similar road tunnel through Penmaenbach, 188 yds long; but the earlier way, rough but most attractive for its scenery, crosses Sychnant Pass and touches Dwygyfylchi with its lovely small valley, joining it to Penmaenmawr. This great headland, 1,550 ft above sea-level, encloses the town on one side, and Moel Llys (1,180 ft) shuts it in on the other. Gladstone popularized the place: and, whatever may have happened to throw doubt on various of his other opinions, his one on this subject stands firm.
For the archaeologist. Penmaenmawr is of exceptional interest. Close to it is the famous Craig Lwyd axe factory, one of the several that research has been disclosing in recent years, and that throw an astonishing light on the skills of a Stone Age people whom the last generation was prepared to dismiss as entirely primitive. The industry of making axes and other tools for the agriculture and building techniques of the time was widespread and expert. The products were transported between Ireland and Britain and traded from Scotland to Kent. Seaways and land-ways were both open to this traffic; at Craig Lwyd hundreds of these tools were discovered in various stages of preparation. At Llanarmon in Gwynedd a pair of axes, beautifully tooled in green stone, were found in the limestone caves in 1896: and these have now been traced with confidence to the factory near Penmaenmawr. The same caves gave evidence of Stone Age burial and pottery-making. But the Craig Lwyd factory is proof of far more sophisticated skills than that. A similar site can be seen at Llyn Barfog, in Merioneth. There can be no doubt that the expert manufacture was matched by an equally intelligent knowledge of trade and travel.
Nearby towns: Conwy, Llanfairfechan, Llanrwst
Nearby villages: Aber, Bangor, Beaumaris, Bethesda, Caerhun, Colwyn, Colwyn Bay, Cwm-y-Glo, Dalgarrog, Deganwy, Dinorwic, Eglwysbach, Llanbedr-y-Cennin, Llanddoged, Llanddona, Llandegai, Llandegfan, Llandrillo-yn-Rhos, Llandudno, Llandudno Junction, Llanelian-yn-Rhos, Llanfaes, Llangelynin, Llangernyw, Llangoed, Llanllechid, Mochdre, Old Colwyn, Penmon, Rhos-on-Sea, Tal-y-Cafn, Trefriw, Tregarth
Have you decided to visit Penmaenmawr or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Penmaenmawr bed and breakfast (a Penmaenmawr B&B or Penmaenmawr b and b)
- a Penmaenmawr guesthouse
- a Penmaenmawr hotel (or motel)
- a Penmaenmawr self-catering establishment, or
- other Penmaenmawr accommodation