BETWS-Y-COED ("Prayer house in the wood", Welsh pronunciation: ) is
a village and community in the
Conwy valley in
Conwy County Borough ,
* 1 Name
* 2 Location
* 3 Governance
* 4 Public transport
* 5 References
* 6 External links
The name Betws or Bettws is generally thought to be derived from the
Old English bed-hus—i.e. a bead-house: a house of
prayer, or oratory. The earliest record of the name is Betus, in
Betws-y-Coed is one of the honeypot locations in Snowdonia. It lies
Snowdonia National Park
Snowdonia National Park , in a valley near the point where the
River Conwy is joined by the
River Llugwy and the
River Lledr , and
was founded around a monastery in the late sixth century. The village
grew very slowly with the development of the local lead mining
industry. In 1815, the Waterloo Bridge , built by
Thomas Telford to
Holyhead road (now the A5 ) across the River Conwy
and through the village, brought considerable transport-related
development. The village became a major coaching centre between Corwen
(to the east) and
Capel Curig (to the west) on the
Irish Mail route
Holyhead , which led to the improvement of the roads
Blaenau Ffestiniog and north to
Conwy . It is a
primary destination for the purpose of road signs.
Betws-y-Coed railway station in 1868 heralded the
arrival of the railway line from
Llandudno Junction railway station ,
and resulted in the village's population increasing by around 500.
The village has a large village green which is the playing field for
the local football team. The green is bounded on its western side by
the A5 trunk road, with 19th century buildings, including shops,
hotels, and the Church of St Mary . This church was built on the site
of a former cockpit and fairground , and although it is of early
English appearance, it was completed as recently as 1873, the internal
roof timbers testifying to this relatively young age. The interior
also features various types of stone: local bluestone, sandstone (and
floor tiles) from Ancaster , and black serpentine from
Cornwall . The
square bell tower was added in 1907, and the integral church hall was
added in the 1970s, the commemorative stone being laid by the Earl of
Ancaster in 1976. Village sign Pont-y-Pair Bridge and
On the southern side of the green is
Betws-y-Coed railway station
with cafes and tourist shops and a car park. In the former railway
goods yard, reached from the station, is the
Conwy Valley Railway
Museum with its extensive miniature railway .
Other attractions in the village include the Miners' Bridge and the
14th century church of St. Michael, which is the origin of the name
Betws (meaning "prayer-house"). There are scenic walks beside the
River Llugwy, which flows through the village, and the River Conwy
provides further attractions, including the Fairy Glen, the
pass and waterfalls including the
Conwy Falls. The Pont-y-Pair Falls
are in the centre of the village (also the site of a 53-hole rock
cannon ), and a mile upstream are the famous
Swallow Falls .
Llyn Elsi reservoir nearby is popular with walkers and anglers,
and also provides water for the village. A wide range of footpaths
provide access to the lake, both from Betws y Coed itself and the
outlying village of Pentre Du. There are many other small lakes in the
The village is also a centre for outdoor activities and lies within
Gwydyr Forest .
Betws-y-Coed Golf Club was founded in the 1970s. There
was a much earlier club and course located on or near the Recreation
The village is home to at least one well known rock band ;
founded there in 1996.
The parish , including the village itself and its immediate
neighbourhood, has a population of 564. An electoral ward of the same
name exists. This ward includes a large additional area and has a
total population of 1,244.
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Betws-y-Coed railway station
Betws-y-Coed railway station, a passenger station on the Conwy
Valley Line from
Llandudno Junction to Blaenau Ffestiniog, is an
integral part of the settlement's tourism industry. The train service
is operated by Arriva Trains
Wales and is marketed as the
Railway (Welsh: Rheilffordd Dyffryn Conwy).
Conwy Valley Line was constructed by the
London and North Western
Railway with the primary aim of transporting dressed slate from the
Blaenau Ffestiniog quarries to a specially built quay at
export by sea. The original plans envisaged a railhead at Betws-y-Coed
and a large goods yard was established with intended interchange to a
proposed narrow-gauge line (with a significant saving in construction
costs) via the steeply graded
Lledr Valley to Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Other entrepreneurs proposed narrow gauge lines from
Betws-y-Coed and from Beddgelert to
Betws-y-Coed. In the event the line to Blaenau, which was not
completed until 1879, was built to standard gauge and the other
proposals were abandoned.
Extensive passenger and goods facilities were however provided at
Betws-y-Coed, where the station, which was opened in 1868, adjoins the
Holyhead A5 turnpike road and was thus ideally located to
serve many isolated communities in Snowdonia and also the rapidly
developing tourist industry. In the LMS timetables the station was
listed as "Bettws-y-Coed - Station for Capel Curig". There was
originally a passing loop with full length up and down platforms. The
loop was removed some years ago but the footbridge that previously
gave access to the now-removed down platform has been retained and
provides access to the
Conwy Valley Railway Museum, which runs a
miniature railway and other attractions in the former goods yard.
The comprehensive range of passenger station buildings has been
preserved and sympathetically adapted for use as cafes and tourist
shops. The station now functions as an unstaffed halt. The platform
was refurbished and a passenger information system installed in spring
* ^ "Full text of "The place-names of England and Wales"".
Archive.org. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
* ^ Domesday Maps website Archived November 21, 2008, at the
Wayback Machine .
* ^ John Dean. "Betws-y-Coed, Conwy.". Golfsmissinglinks.co.uk.
Retrieved 13 December 2014.
* ^ "Check Browser Settings". Neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk.
Retrieved 22 July 2015.
* ^ "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 22 July 2015.
* The A-Z of Betws-y-coed, by Donald Shaw. Gwasg Carreg Gwalch,
1990. ISBN 0-86381-153-1