Puffin Café, Penmaenmawr

Sculpture at the entrance to the newly opened Puffin Café

Sculpture at the entrance to the newly opened Puffin Café

Date

24 December 2014
Location

Orme View Services,
A55 Expressway, Penmaenmawr

SH 73422 77622; 53.28040°N, 3.89995°W

Information

In November 2013 it was announced that the derelict building of the former Little Chef diner at Orme View Services near Puffin roundabout on the A55 North Wales Expressway would be re-developed as a new café and farm shop. With financial backing from the Welsh Assembly Government, the owners of Pwllheli’s family activity centre Glasfryn Parc have transformed the previously unappealing structure into an attractive new building. The new café and shop, with its signature puffin sculpture at the entrance, opened in December 2014.

Further Reading

New beginning for Little Chef (Daily Post, 7 November 2013)

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Now and then VII: Penmaenmawr

Penmaenmawr - Now and Then

Penmaenmawr – Now and Then

Date

13 December 2014
Location

Penmaenmawr
Beach
A55

 
SH 71822 76773; 53.27239°N, 3.92358°W
SH 70356 76205; 53.26693°N, 3.94532°W

Information

Penmaenmawr lies in the bay between the headlands of Penmaen Mawr and Penmaenbach. The igneous rock in the hills behind the town have been exploited since Neolithic times when there was an axe factory on Graiglwyd. Industrial quarrying of granite started in the 1830s. Two separate, rival concerns operated there before merging in 1911 and the site is now owned by Hanson. Granite from the quarries has been used for blocks for surfacing roads, railway ballast, and aggregate for concrete. The local community expanded as the quarries were developed, with over 1,000 workers being employed there at their peak. The coming of the railway to Penmaenmawr – its station on the Chester and Holyhead Railway opened in 1849 – led to the town also developing as a Victorian seaside resort. Nowadays the town’s population is about 4,300 (including Dwygyfylchi and Capelulo). Penmaenmawr’s local economy saw a decline in the latter half of the 20th century with the reduction in the size of the quarry workforce, the fall in its tourist trade, and the re-routing of the main road to bypass the town centre. As part of a regeneration strategy the then Aberconwy Borough Council designated the town centre a Conservation Area in 1994.

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Underpass

Underpass below the A55 North Wales Expressway, leading to Penmaenmawr promenade

Underpass below the A55 North Wales Expressway, leading to Penmaenmawr promenade

Date

13 December 2014
Location

Penmaenmawr

SH 71877 76607; 53.27091°N, 3.92269°W

Information

When the Penmaenmawr bypass section of the A55 North Wales Expressway was built, the town’s 19th century Promenade was demolished to make way. Aberconwy Borough Council replaced it with a new Promenade, designed by consulting engineers Travers Morgan and built by contractor John Laing. The new Promenade was built on reclaimed land and opened in 1989. Its facilities include a café, chalets and a paddling pool. Its pedestrian subway links to the previously existing railway underpass leading to Station Road.

 

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Jubilee Path, Foel Lus

Jubilee Path viewpoint, looking towards Sychnant Pass

Date

12 May 2012
Location

Foel Lus, Penmaenmawr

SH 73727 76324; 53.26881°N, 3.89485°W

Information

Prominent in the skyline to the east of Penmaenmawr is the 362-metre-high rounded hill Foel Lus. This is circumnavigated at a level of around 250 m by the Jubilee Path, a route affording wonderful views, especially from the viewpoint on the east looking towards the Sychnant Pass.

The path was opened as a leisure attraction in 1888 and commemorated Victoria’s 1887 Golden Jubilee. The cost of construction was £50, plus £5 for the pillars at the entrance on the southwest side of the hill.

Jubilee Panoramic Walk (penmaenmawr.com)

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Druid’s Circle, Penmaenmawr

‘Face’ – Druid’s Circle

Date

12 May 2012
Location

Cefn Coch, Penmaenmawr

SH 72283 74670; 53.25361°N, 3.91583°W

Information

Known in Welsh as Meini Hirion and in English as Druid’s Circle, this Bronze Age stone circle is located on Cefn Coch, close the North Wales Path above Penmaenmawr. The 35-metre-diameter ritual monument originally comprised 13 standing stones, two of which are now missing. It is considered to be one of the finest such examples in Wales.

Druids Circle, Penmaenmawr (Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales)

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Penmaenmawr Firing Range

Remains of the near target, with Foel Lus in the background (A)

Date

12 May 2012
Location

Cwm Graiglwyd, Penmaenmawr

(A) SH 72256 75344; 53.25965°N, 3.91650°W
(B) SH 72398 75262; 53.25896°N, 3.91434°W
(C) SH 72129 75477; 53.26082°N, 3.91845°W

Information

The former firing range, which was in use during the Second World War, is located in Cwm Graiglwyd above the town of Penmaenmawr.

Photographs of the rifle butts in better condition (from 2005 or earlier)

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