Now and then IX: Aberglaslyn

Aberglaslyn - Now and Then

Aberglaslyn – Now and Then

Date

24 January 2015
Location

Pont Aberglaslyn, Nantmor, Beddgelert

SH 59422 46237; 52.99494°N, 4.09600°W

Information

“Pont Aber-glaslyn, or the Bridge at the Conflux of the Blue Pool ; it is also called by the inhabitants, The Devil’s Bridge, on which account it has sometimes been confounded with the bridge of that name near Hafod, in Cardiganshire. In approaching this spot from Bedd-gelert, the rocks on each side become incomparably grand. The road winds along a narrow stony vale, where the huge cliffs so nearly approach, as only just to leave width sufficient at the bottom for the road, and the bed of the impetuous torrent that rolls along the side of it. Here these lofty rocks, which oppose nothing to the eye but a series of the rudest precipices, “raised tier on tier, high pil’d from earth to heaven,” seem to forbid all further access, and to frown defiance on the traveller. The bridge crosses the Glaslyn, and unites the counties of Merioneth and Caernarvon. In the span it is thirty feet, and from the water to the parapet forty feet high.”

— Joseph Hemingway, Panorama of the beauties, curiosities, and antiquities of North Wales, exhibited in its Mountains, Vallies, Waterfalls, Lakes, Cities and Towns, Castles and Ruins, etc. Intended as a Pocket Companion to the Tourist and Traveller., 1839

To the south of Beddgelert the Afon Glaslyn flows through the gorge known as the Pass of Aberglaslyn on its way towards Tremadog Bay at Porthmadog. The A498 road and the Welsh Highland Railway follow, on opposite sides, the route of the river through the pass. At the end of the pass the river is spanned by the 15m-long 17th-century Pont Aberglaslyn road bridge. The bridge was enlarged in 1796 and was restored in 1957, when an inscription dated 1656 was discovered. The structure received a Grade II listing in 1968. Up until the construction in 1811 by William Alexander Madocks (1773-1828) of Porthmadog Cob – the embankment across the Glaslyn estuary – the river was tidal and was navigable at high tide as far as Pont Aberglaslyn.

‘Aberglaslyn Pass’. Library of Congress collection of Views of landscape and architecture in Wales c. 1890-1900, photochrom prints (a lithographic process producing colourised images from black and white photographic negatives).

‘Aberglaslyn Pass’. Library of Congress collection of Views of landscape and architecture in Wales c. 1890-1900, photochrom prints (a lithographic process producing colourised images from black and white photographic negatives).

Pont Aberglaslyn

Pont Aberglaslyn

Afon Glaslyn, Pont Aberglaslyn

Afon Glaslyn, Pont Aberglaslyn

Afon Glaslyn, Pont Aberglaslyn

Afon Glaslyn, Pont Aberglaslyn

Afon Glaslyn, Pont Aberglaslyn

Afon Glaslyn, Pont Aberglaslyn

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9 thoughts on “Now and then IX: Aberglaslyn

  1. Pingback: Afon Glaslyn (IR) | GeoTopoi

    • Glad you like the idea, Alexandra. It occurred to me a while back when reading a local history book about the Great Strike at the slate quarry. I’ve since been collecting the old views from various sources. For some of them it is difficult to work out the exact location and some are no longer accessible. Thanks again for your comments!

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