Now and Then XI: Port Penrhyn

Port Penrhyn - Now and Then

Port Penrhyn – Now and Then


14 February 2015

Port Penrhyn, Bangor

SH 59229 72579; 53.23152°N, 4.11044°W


Slate from Penrhyn Quarry had been exported since the early 18th century from the sheltered bay at the mouth of the Afon Cegin where the river empties into the Menai Strait at Bangor Flats. The harbour’s name was changed from Abercegin to Port Penrhyn in 1790 when Richard Pennant‘s agent Benjamin Wyatt developed new facilities there with stone quays built from blocks of Anglesey limestone. More efficient transport of slate from quarry to port arrived in 1801 with the opening of a horse-drawn tramway. This was replaced around 1878 by the narrow-gauge Penrhyn Quarry Railway so that steam locomotives could be employed on the six-mile route from Bethesda. The Penrhyn Quarry Railway closed in 1962. From 1852 the port also had a standard-gauge siding connected to the then Chester and Holyhead Railway (later to become part of the LNWR).

Penrhyn Bridge, which is now a Grade II listed structure, carries the approach road to the Penrhyn Estate’s Port Lodge over the Afon Cegin and was originally built in 1820 by George Hay Dawkins-Pennant. Two railway arches were a later addition in order to allow the tracks to terminate directly on the quays.

The Grade II listed Port House was built in classical style in 1840 by Penrhyn Castle‘s clerk of works William Baxter as the harbour master’s house. The building has been used as an office by the University of Bangor and is currently occupied by Carter Vincent LLB solicitors.

Further Reading

Port Penrhyn;
Penrhyn Quarry

Port Penrhyn, 1961

Port Penrhyn, 1961. The narrow-gauge Penrhyn Quarry Railway (PQR) opened in 1878 to allow the use of steam locomotives and was in operation until 1962. The previous horse-drawn tramway connecting Penrhyn Quarry and the port opened in 1801. The branch line of the then Chester and Holyhead Railway (CHR) serving the port opened in 1852.

Port Penrhyn

Port House (R) was built in 1840 as the harbour master’s house. The Old Port Office (L) was built around the same time and the Dockmaster’s Office (middle) in about 1860. All three are Grade II listed buildings.

Port Penrhyn

Railway arch of Penrhyn Bridge. The original bridge, carrying the roadway to the Port Lodge of Penrhyn Estate, was built in 1820 by George Hay Dawkins-Pennant. Two railway arches were added later. Sections of the trackbeds of the Penrhyn Quarry Railway and the standard-gauge Bethesda branch line now serve as the Lon Las Ogwen cycle path from Bethesda to Port Penrhyn.

Port Penrhyn

The Old Port Office

Port Penrhyn

Mussel dredgers B-932 Mare Gratia, BS-8 Valente and BS-12 Lottie Holly in the Grade II* listed New Dock

Port Penrhyn

1200kg bags of mussels being loaded for overnight trucking to the Dutch fishing port Yerseke in Zeeland

Port Penrhyn

Abandoned concrete barge on the mud flats

Port Penrhyn

Looking across Hirael Bay at low tide

Port Penrhyn

Port Penrhyn

16 thoughts on “Now and Then XI: Port Penrhyn

  1. Pingback: Afon Cegin Weir, Port Penrhyn | GeoTopoi

  2. Pingback: Port Penrhyn | GeoTopoi

    • Cindy, many thanks for all your visits and ‘Likes’ – very much appreciated. I had to google the Bay of Fundy – that looks like a splendid place to visit with those amazing rock formations. Hope you are enjoying your weekend. All the best!


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