Visit Tywyn and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Tywyn, Gwynedd. This was originally a village set some way from the sea along the Morfa (Sea-Land) Tywyn, the flat reaches that lie South of the estuary of the Dysynni river. The name comes from this stretch of sand and marsh, the “tywyn” that means both an extent of land and a thing that shines. The original village has now been widened into a seaside resort curiously distant from the sea, but having an exceptional purity of air and water and, from the low level on which it stands, giving an equally exceptional view of the mountain ranges enclosing it. The sands are very safe, and walks along them are remarkable for the roll of seas they show. The church gives some evidence of the age of Tywyn as a place of human settlement. As it stands, it is now of Norman work, the nave, aisles, and North transept being in that style, with rough piers of plastered rubble and without capitals. The South transept and tower are new, and belong to the restoration done in 1882, when at last the ruin made by the fall of the tower in 1692 was repaired; but the restoration carefully reproduces the earlier workmanship. The church, however, is distinguished by having in it what the Royal Commission on Ancient Monuments described in 1921 as probably the most ancient monument in the Welsh language. It is the so-called Stone of Cadvan, one of the Three Blessed Visitors who came from Brittany in the 6th century to found their faith on the shores of the Irish Sea. Cadvan (better written Cadfan) was the founder and first abbot of the monastery on Bardsey Island. The Stone is inscribed with lettering once translated: “The body of Cyngyn is on the side where the marks will be. Beneath a similar mound is laid the body of Cadvan. Sad that it should enclose the praise of earth. May he rest without blemish”.
Modern research does not approve this translation. Cadvan has been displaced by other suggested names, such as Cynien or Tegryn. Cyngen, however, remains unchallenged; and it is the name of more than one 6th century saint.
There are other monuments worth noting: the effigy of a knight in l4th century armour, Grufydd Adda (Adam) of Dolgoch and Ynys-y-Maengwyn; and one of a priest in the same period of Edward III, showing his cloak-hood or amice drawn over the head, which is unusual. St Cadfan’s Well in the Dolgoch estate nearby still keeps its ancient purity.
To the North, the Dysynni valley takes you to Llanegryn. On the way to it from Tywyn, at Pont Dysynni, is the mound of Tornen Ddreiniog, a tumulus or burial-place according to the learned, but the site of a stronghold as is locally believed. Close by is Tal-y-bont, a farmhouse that was a manor of the last Llywelyn and of the English Kings who dispossessed him. In 1275, Llywelyn wrote letters to the Archbishop of Canterbury and others sitting in Council in London to urge his own case; and from it in 1295, Edward I, the overthrow of Llywelyn completed, dated a charter in evidence of his own undisputed rule. The Plas of Ynys-y-Maengwyn is no longer to be seen as it was. Built by the Corbett family and fortified by the Royalists in 1645, it was burnt by them almost immediately to prevent its falling into the hands of Parliament.
From the now very largely modern house, the road can be taken to Bryncrug village and for the lake and village of Tal-y-llyn. As you descend into the wide and beautiful Dysynni valley, you observe, overhanging to the North, the Craig yr Aderyn (Bird Rock), the only inland nesting-place for the cormorants that are a feature of these coasts. Further up the valley are the ruins, hidden by the growth of trees, of Castell y Bere. Once this was one of the most important and carefully executed castles in Wales. Here the last point of resistance to Edward I was maintained. For, after the stray death of Llywelyn near Builth, his brother Dafydd held out against siege. The castle was surrendered and destroyed. Dafydd escaped to the North, but was betrayed by men who thought his cause was hopeless, sent to London, and put to death with public humiliation. The attitude of the English Crown to the Welsh Princes was, in fact, strongly influenced by the insistence of the bards that the Crown of London that the Romano-British had once possessed would in time fall again into the hands of the Welsh; and the head of Llywelyn, severed after his death, was shown in London with a mock crown upon it in derision of the prophecy. The accession of Henry Tudor in 1485 was hailed as fulfilment of it.
The roads in the Dysynni valley are winding and narrow. The hill-sides are wild and sheer and scattered with rock. The wildlife of hawk and buzzard is very evident, and you are followed everywhere by their stare from the skies. In the September season particularly, an eye should be kept open for the passing of the foot-packs, the foxhounds of the local kennels, whose services are much needed for protection of the flocks.
Towyn is the starting-point of the Tal-y-llyn Railway that runs to Abergynolwyn. Opened in 1865, it is one of the few narrow gauge railways still in use.
Nearby towns: Barmouth, Dolgellau, Machynlleth
Nearby villages: Aberdovey, Abergynolwyn, Arthog, Borth, Bow Street, Bryn-crug, Corris, Eglwys Fach, Elerch, Llancynfelyn, Llanegryn, Llanfihangel-y-Pennant, Llangelynin, Llwyngwril, Pandy, Pennal, South Beach, Tal-y-Llyn, Talybont, Tonfanau, Tre-Taliesin, Upper Borth
Have you decided to visit Tywyn or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Tywyn bed and breakfast (a Tywyn B&B or Tywyn b and b)
- a Tywyn guesthouse
- a Tywyn hotel (or motel)
- a Tywyn self-catering establishment, or
- other Tywyn accommodation