The Info List - Aberdyfi

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(English: Mouth of the River Dyfi), or Aberdovey (the Anglicised spelling) is a village and community on the north side of the estuary of the River Dyfi
River Dyfi
in Gwynedd, on the west coast of Wales. The village was founded around the harbour and shipbuilding industry, but is now best known as a seaside resort with a high quality beach.[2][3] The town centre is on the river and seafront, around the original harbour, jetty and beach but it stretches back from the coast and up the steep hillside in the midst of typical Welsh coastal scenery of steep green hills and sheep farms. Penhelig, with its own railway station, is the eastern part of the town. Aberdyfi
is a popular tourist attraction, with many returning holidaymakers, especially from the metropolitan areas of England, such as the West Midlands, which is less than 100 miles to the east. A relatively large proportion of houses in the village are now holiday homes, resulting in high house prices. The town is located within the Snowdonia National Park. In the 2011 census, 38.5% of the population of Aberdyfi
ward identified themselves as Welsh (or combined).[1]


1 History 2 Governance 3 Port and railway

3.1 Lifeboat 3.2 Worship

4 Transport 5 Recreation 6 Cultural References

6.1 The Bells of Aberdovey

7 Notable people associated with Aberdyfi 8 References 9 External links


Aberdyfi, 1860

from across the river.

Local tradition suggests that the Romans established a track into Aberdyfi
as part of the military occupation of Wales
around AD78.[4] The strategic location in mid- Wales
was the site of several conferences between north and south Wales
princes in 540, 1140, and for the Council of Aberdyfi
in 1216. The hill in the centre of Aberdyfi, Pen-y-Bryn, has been claimed to be the site of fortifications in the 1150s, which were soon destroyed.[4] The site of Aberdyfi Castle
Aberdyfi Castle
however is usually said to be at the motte earthworks further up the river near Glandyfi.[5] During the Spanish Armada of 1597, a Spanish ship, the Bear of Amsterdam missed her objective at Milford Haven
Milford Haven
and ended up having entered the Dyfi estuary. She was unable to leave for 10 days because of the wind and could not be boarded as no suitable boats were available.[4] An attempt to burn her was frustrated by winds and when she did leave she ended up being captured by a waiting English fleet off the Cornish coast.[6] In the 1700s, the village grew with the appearance of several of the inns still in current use (The Dovey Hotel, Britannia and Penhelig Arms). Copper was mined in the present Copperhill Street, and lead in Penhelig.

Aberdyfi, showing the harbour

Governance[edit] An electoral ward in the same name exists. This ward stretches inland along the A494 road and includes Pennal
community. The total population of the ward taken at the 2011 census was 1,282.[1] Port and railway[edit] In the 1800s, Aberdyfi
was at its peak as a port. Major exports were slate and oak bark. Ship building was based in seven shipyards in Penhelig where 45 sailing ships were built between 1840 and 1880.[4] The railway came to Aberdyfi
in 1863 built by the Aberystwyth
and Welsh Coast Railway. The first train was ferried across the River Dyfi, as the line to Dovey Junction
Dovey Junction
and then Machynlleth
was not completed until 1867. Due to public demand, this section had to use a long tunnel behind Aberdyfi, and further major earthworks and tunnels were needed along the bank of the river. This line, which became part of the Cambrian Railways, and later the Great Western Railway, is particularly scenic.[7] A jetty was built in 1887, with railway lines connecting it with the wharf and the main line. The Aberdyfi
& Waterford Steamship Company imported livestock from Ireland which were then taken further by the railway. Coal, limestone and timber were also imported.

Crowds on shore at Aberdyfi
watching the regatta circa 1885

A view of Aberdyfi
from Penhelyg Rock circa 1885

Local coastal shipping links with Liverpool
were strong, with many Aberdyfi
men sailing on international voyages from Liverpool. The S.S. Dora was one of the last ships trading between Aberdyfi
and Liverpool and was scuttled, with no loss of life, by a German submarine in 1917.[4] The jetty and wharf continued in commercial use for coal until 1959. After prolonged negotiations, redevelopments from 1968–1971, including rebuilding the jetty, led to their present use mainly for recreational purposes.[4] Some local fishing still occurs. The first ever Outward Bound
Outward Bound
centre was opened in Aberdyfi
in 1941.[8] Many of their activities involve the river, boats and jetty. Lifeboat[edit] Main article: Aberdyfi
Lifeboat Station The first Aberdyfi
lifeboat was bought in 1837. Run by the RNLI
since 1853, it has taken part in many rescues, sadly sometimes with loss of life of crew members. The current lifeboat, an Atlantic 75, is housed in the boathouse by the jetty and is launched using a lifeboat tractor. Currently it is averaging about 25 emergency launches each year.[9] Worship[edit] Chapels in Aberdyfi
include the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist chapel, the English Presbyterian
chapel, the Wesleyan Methodist
chapel, and the Welsh Independent congregational chapel. The (Anglican) Church in Wales
is St Peter's. Transport[edit] Road access to Aberdyfi
is by the A493, with Tywyn
four miles to the north and Machynlleth
11 miles to the east. Aberdyfi
is on the Cambrian Coast
Cambrian Coast
railway line. The village of Aberdyfi
has two railway stations, Aberdovey and Penhelig. Trains on the Cambrian Line are operated by Arriva Trains Wales. The local bus service is operated by Lloyds Coaches
Lloyds Coaches
with services to Tywyn, where a connection can be made for Dolgellau, and to Machynlleth, where connections are available to Aberystwyth. A ferry used to operate across the Dyfi river to Ynyslas. The last ferryman was Ellis Williams.[10] Recreation[edit] Popular recreational activities focus on the beach and watersports, such as windsurfing, kitesurfing, fishing, crabbing, sailing, and canoeing on the estuary.[3]

Activities in Aberdyfi

from Aberdyfi

A dinghy race in the Dyfi estuary

on the Dyfi

The beach on a busy Bank Holiday

The Dovey Yacht
Club has a prominent position on the river front of the village. It was founded in 1949 and helped develop the popularity of the GP14
dinghy class.[11] It organises races for dinghies throughout the season on the estuary of the River Dyfi. The Aberdovey Golf Club, founded in 1892, is a famous 18 hole links course located near the railway station. It is world-renowned, having been described frequently and lyrically in the press by Bernard Darwin, the famed golf writer, who was a notable member of the club. In 1895, it was the location of the first Welsh Golfing Union Championship. Current members include Ian Woosnam
Ian Woosnam
and Peter Baker.[12] Located by the Aberdyfi
Golf Club is Aberdyfi
Football club boasting one of the best football pitches in Mid-Wales. The football team won the Welsh Amateur Cup Competition in 1934.[13] The Aberdyfi
Rowing Club rows in the Dyfi Estuary
and Cardigan Bay
Cardigan Bay
and takes part in races all round the coast of Wales
and internationally. They row 24’ long Celtic longboats, with four rowers (each with one oar) and a cox. They have three of these traditional Welsh boats with fixed seats and use these for races in Wales.[14] The Aberdovey Literary Institute, founded in 1882, is situated on the river front. The deeds of 1923 state it was established in perpetuity as "a non-sectarian, non-political place of recreation, education and social intercourse including ... reading rooms, writing rooms, library, billiard rooms, concert rooms ..." Neuadd Dyfi is a community hall, conference centre and theatre owned by the village for village activities. It caters for a range of local organisations and events. Cultural References[edit] The Bells of Aberdovey[edit]

The bells of St Peter's Church can play Clychau Aberdyfi

See also: The Bells of Aberdovey (song) Aberdyfi
is closely linked to the legend of the submerged lost kingdom of Cantre'r Gwaelod
Cantre'r Gwaelod
(English: Lowland Hundred) beneath Cardigan Bay, and bells which, it is said, can be heard ringing beneath the water at the beach. The Bells of Aberdovey (in Welsh: Clychau Aberdyfi) is a well-known song referring to this legend. This song first appeared in the English opera Liberty Hall in 1785, written by Charles Dibdin, and is not thought to be a traditional folk-song as Welsh words were written by John Ceiriog Hughes, during the 19th century. The legend and the song have inspired local cultural projects involving bells. A new chime of bells was installed in September 1936 in the tower of St Peter's Church, which overlooks Aberdyfi
harbour. The ten bells, tuned in the key of A flat, were specifically designed to allow the playing of The Bells of Aberdyfi
and are played from a mechanical carillon inside the church.[15]

A bell installed beneath the pier rings at high tide

In 2010 an art installation was commissioned from sculptor Marcus Vergette as a homage to The Bells of Aberdovey. The work is a bronze time-and-tide bell suspended beneath Aberdyfi
pier which is rung by the action of water at high tide. It was installed in July 2011 and is one of several such bells around the United Kingdom.[16][17] The children's novel, Silver on the Tree, by Susan Cooper, the final book of The Dark is Rising, is largely set around Aberdyfi, with many references to local landmarks. The novel, Megan's Game by Tony Drury, published in 2012, contains many references to Aberdyfi, surrounding areas and the legend of The Bells of Aberdovey.[18] Notable people associated with Aberdyfi[edit]

John Corbett (1817–1901), industrialist, philanthropist and Liberal Party politician James Atkin, Baron Atkin
James Atkin, Baron Atkin
of Aberdovey (1867–1944), Barrister
and Judge Oliver Onions
Oliver Onions
(1873–1961), Novelist Berta Ruck
Berta Ruck
(1878–1978), Romantic novelist Marguerite Florence Laura Jarvis (1886-1964), writer of romantic novels under many names (including Countess Barcynska), wrote the novel "Miss Venus of Aberdovey" and lived for a while at Panteidal Lodge Stan Hugill
Stan Hugill
(1906–1992), Musician and artist, lived in Aberdyfi, and worked at the Outward Bound
Outward Bound
centre from 1950 to 1975 Dr Thomas Tibbott Davies FRCS (1916–2007), local GP for many years[19] Christopher Riche Evans (1931–1979), psychologist, computer scientist, and author Sir John T. Houghton
John T. Houghton
(born 1931), co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change lives in Aberdyfi[20] Kenneth O. Morgan, Baron Morgan of Aberdyfi, (born 1934), Historian and author Sir Simon Jenkins
Simon Jenkins
(born 1943), Journalist, editor, author, chairman of the National Trust Jimmy Page
Jimmy Page
(born 1946), with Robert Plant
Robert Plant
(born 1948), composed many Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin
songs at nearby Bron-Yr-Aur
cottage David Gill (born 1957), former chief executive of Manchester United and a vice chairman of The Football Association
The Football Association
owns a house in the village and is a member of Aberdovey Golf Club Tom Cave
Tom Cave
(born 1991), rally driver

and The Dyfi valley from Ynyslas
Sand Dunes, April 2011


^ a b c "Neighbourhood statistics". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 14 May 2015.  ^ "Aberdyfi.org". Retrieved 23 April 2011.  ^ a b "Aberdyfi.com". Retrieved 23 April 2011.  ^ a b c d e f Lewis, Hugh (1997). Aberdyfi: a chronicle through the centuries. Aberdyfi: Author.  ^ " Aberdyfi
Motte". Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2011.  ^ Pickering, W (1932). Archaeologia Cambrensis, Volume 87. Cambrian Archaeological Association. p. 392.  ^ Christiansen, Rex & Miller, R.W. The Cambrian Railways, Vol. 1 David & Charles (1967) ^ Outward Bound
Outward Bound
International. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-13. . Retrieved 10 October 2014. ^ " Aberdyfi
Lifeboat". Retrieved 24 April 2011.  ^ "The Williams Family Tree". Retrieved 24 April 2011.  ^ "Dovey Yacht
Club". Archived from the original on 21 May 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2011.  ^ "Aberdovey Golf Club". Archived from the original on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2011.  ^ "FAW Welsh Trophy - over 100 years of history". Retrieved 23 April 2011.  ^ " Aberdyfi
Rowing Club". Retrieved 24 April 2011.  ^ "About us". St Peter's Church website. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2012.  ^ "New bell rings as the tide rises in Aberdyfi, Gwynedd". BBC News. 12 July 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2012.  ^ "Time and Tide Bell". Marcus Vergette official website. Retrieved 3 January 2012.  ^ "City veteran wields pen against dodgy brokers". The Telegraph. 17 May 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2014.  ^ The Royal Society of Medicine Wall of Honour Archived 16 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Scientist's climate change honour". BBC. 16 January 2006. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Aberdyfi.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Aberdyfi.

 "Aberdovey". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.  Aberdyfi.org Tourism website BBC Aberdyfi
site BBC Cantre'r Gwaelod
Cantre'r Gwaelod
legends site www.geograph.co.uk : photos of Aberdyfi
and surrounding area Snowdonia 360: Aberdovey Virtual Tour

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Principal settlements

Bala Bangor Barmouth Bethesda Blaenau Ffestiniog Caernarfon Criccieth Dolgellau Ffestiniog Harlech Nefyn Porthmadog Pwllheli Tywyn

Towns and villages

Aberangell Aberdaron Aberdesach Aberdyfi Abererch Abergeirw Abergwyngregyn Abergynolwyn Aberllefenni Abersoch Abertrinant Afon Wen Anelog Arthog Beddgelert Bethania Bethel Bethesda Betws Garmon Bodferin Boduan Bontddu Bontnewydd Botwnnog Bryncroes Bryn-crug Brynrefail Buan Bwlch-derwin Caeathro Capel Celyn Carmel Carnguwch Ceidio Chwilog Clwt-y-bont Clynnog
Fawr Corris
Uchaf Corris Croesor Cwm y Glo Deiniolen Dinas Dinas Dinlle Dinas Mawddwy Dinorwig Dolbenmaen Dolmelinllyn Dwygyfylchi Edern Efailnewydd Eisingrug Fairbourne Friog Frongoch Ganllwyd Garndolbenmaen Garneddwen Gellilydan Glasinfryn Groeslon Llan Ffestiniog Llanaber Llanaelhaearn Llanarmon Llanbedr Llanbedrog Llanberis Llandanwg Llandegwning Llandeiniolen Llandudwen Llandwrog Llandygai Llanegryn Llanelltyd Llanengan Llanfaelrhys Llanfaglan Llanfair Llanfihangel Bachellaeth Llanfihangel-y-Pennant Llanfihangel-y-Pennant, Dolbenmaen Llanfrothen Llangelynnin Llangian Llangwnnadl Llangybi Llaniestyn Llanigian Llanllechid Llanllyfni Llannor Llanrug Llanuwchllyn Llanwnda Llanymawddwy Llanystumdwy Llithfaen Llwyndyrys Llwyngwril Maentwrog Mallwyd Mellteyrn Minffordd Morfa Bychan Morfa Nefyn Mynydd Llandygai Mynydd Nefyn Mynytho Nantlle Valley Rhostryfan Nantmor Nasareth Nebo Pant Glas Penffridd Penisa'r Waun Penllech Penllyn Penmaenpool Pennal Penrhos Penrhyndeudraeth Pentre Gwynfryn Penygroes Pen-y-meinl Pistyll Pontrug Porthdinllaen Portmeirion Prenteg Rachub Rhiwddolion Rhosgadfan Rhoshirwaun Rhoslefair Rhos-y-gwaliau Rhyd Ddu Rhyd Rhyd-uchaf Rhydyclafdy Sarn Meyllteyrn Soar Talsarnau Tal-y-bont (near Bangor) Tal-y-bont (near Barmouth) Tal-y-llyn Talysarn Tanygrisiau Trawsfynydd Trefor Tregarth Tremadog Tudweiliog Tywyn Waunfawr Y Felinheli Y Ffor Y Fron Y Rhiw


Bangor University Coleg Harlech Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor Coleg Menai Schools

Castles and forts

Castle Castell y Bere Criccieth
Castle Dolbadarn Castle Harlech
Castle Fort Belan


Afon Aber River Adda Afon Artro Afon Cegin Afon Cwmnantcol Afon Daron Afon Dwyfor Afon Dwyryd Afon Dysynni Afon Fathew Afon Glaslyn Afon Llyfni Afon Mawddach Afon Ogwen Afon Rhythallt Afon Seiont Afon Tryweryn


Bardsey Island Ynys Gifftan Ynys Gwylan-fawr St Tudwals Islands


Parliamentary constituencies Places SSSIs Country houses Grade I listed buildings Grade II* listed buildings History Lord Lieutenants High Sheriffs Museums

v t e

Communities of Gwynedd

Aber Aberdaron Aberdyfi Arthog Bala Bangor Barmouth Beddgelert Bethesda Betws Garmon Bontnewydd Botwnnog Brithdir and Llanfachreth Bryn-crug Buan Caernarfon Clynnog Corris Criccieth Dolbenmaen Dolgellau Dyffryn Ardudwy Ffestiniog Ganllwyd Harlech Llanaelhaearn Llanbedr Llanbedrog Llanberis Llanddeiniolen Llandderfel Llandwrog Llandygai Llanegryn Llanelltyd Llanengan Llanfair Llanfihangel-y-Pennant Llanfrothen Llangelynin Llangywer Llanllechid Llanllyfni Llannor Llanrug Llanuwchllyn Llanwnda Llanycil Llanystumdwy Maentwrog Mawddwy Nefyn Pennal Penrhyndeudraeth Pentir Pistyll Porthmadog Pwllheli Talsarnau Trawsfynydd Tudweiliog Tywyn Wa