Pont Pen-y-benglog

Pont Pen-y-benglog, Llyn Ogwen

Date

28 March 2020

Location

Llyn Ogwen
SH 64914 60537; 53.12482°N, 4.02023°W

Information

In the early 19th century, Scottish civil engineer Thomas Telford (1757-1834) built the A5 road as the main London-to-Dublin mail route. The current ‘Pont Pen-y-benglog’ bridge over the Afon Ogwen was built to replace a difficult, steep section of the earlier coach route at the western end of Llyn Ogwen. The surviving arch of the earlier, medieval pack-horse bridge can be seen below the present one.

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Benglog Anti-tank Blocks

Anti-tank blocks, with Pen yr Ole Wen in the background

Anti-tank blocks, with Pen yr Ole Wen in the background

Date

1 June 2013
Location

Benglog, Nant Ffrancon

SH 64749 60410; 53.12364°N, 4.02264°W

Information

The anti-tank blocks and a spigot-mortar mount are located on the old coach road at the head of the Nant Ffrancon pass, close to the western end of Llyn Ogwen. These World War II anti-invasion defences formed part of Western Command’s network of stop lines in Wales.

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Benglog Pillbox, Llyn Ogwen

Pillbox, looking towards Foel Goch

Pillbox, looking towards Foel Goch

Date

1 June 2013
Location

Benglog, Nant Ffrancon

SH 64787 60576; 53.12514°N, 4.02214°W

Information

The pillbox is located close to the waterfalls on the Afon Ogwen at the head of the Nant Ffrancon pass, near the western end of Llyn Ogwen. The site was used previously as a sheep fold and the dry-stone structure has a thick interior lining of concrete. This position formed part of the network of World War II anti-invasion defences in the area.

Pill Box, Bethesda (Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales)

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Pont Pen-y-benglog Spigot Mortar Mount

Steel boss

Steel boss – the pivot about which the mortar could rotate

Date

18 May 2013
Location

Pont Pen-y-benglog, Llyn Ogwen

SH 64914 60484; 53.12434°N, 4.02021°W

Information

With a conventional mortar, a tubular launcher fires the mortar bomb. In the case of a spigot mortar, however, a hollow tube in the projectile fits over a solid rod, or spigot, in the launcher. Featuring widely in British anti-invasion defences during World War II, the Blacker Bombard, or 29mm Spigot Mortar, was introduced in 1941. The mortar was equipped with both 20 lb anti-tank bombs and 14 lb anti-personnel bombs.

The spigot mortar emplacement at Pont Pen-y-benglog is situated close to the A5 road near its crossing of the Afon Ogwen and formed part of the stop-line defences in the area.

Spigot Mortar

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Llyn Ogwen Pillbox I

Pillbox, looking over Llyn Ogwen towards Tryfan

Pillbox, looking over Llyn Ogwen towards Tryfan

Date

18 May 2013
Location

Llyn Ogwen

SH 65486 60489; 53.12454°N, 4.01166°W

Information

With the fall of France and the defeat of the British Expeditionary Force in 1940, Germany, in the hope that Britain would surrender, made threats of imminent invasion. Turning the initial bluff into reality would, however, have taken a certain period of preparation, as Britain’s naval and air forces presented a formidable obstacle to mounting the threatened ground assault (codenamed Operation Sea Lion). Nonetheless, in the face of such threats, Britain undertook a major programme of constructing anti-invasion defences during 1940 and 1941. This involved building a network of coastal defences, backed up by a series of ‘stop lines’. Exploiting both natural and man-made barriers, such as rivers and railway cuttings, the stop lines were intended to slow down the advance inland of any invading force. The stop lines were reinforced with additional obstacles such as anti-tank blocks, barbed-wire entanglements, ditches and minefields, and were defended by gun emplacements and pillboxes.

The pillbox at Llyn Ogwen, protecting the A5 road, was part of Western Command’s network of stop lines in Wales, intended to defend against a possible German invasion coming via Ireland.

British anti-invasion preparations of the Second World War (Wikipedia)

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