The Info List - Conwy Valley

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The River Conwy (Welsh pronunciation: [ˈkɔnʊɨ]; Welsh: Afon Conwy) is a river in north Wales. From its source to its discharge in Conwy Bay it is a little over 27 miles (43 km) long. "Conwy" was formerly Anglicised as "Conway." The name 'Conwy' derives from the old Welsh words 'cyn' (chief) and 'gwy' (water), the river being originally called the 'Cynwy'.[1][2][3][4] It rises on the Migneint moor where a number of small streams flow into Llyn Conwy, then flows in a generally northern direction, being joined by the tributaries of the rivers Machno and Lledr before reaching Betws-y-Coed, where it is also joined by Afon Llugwy. From Betws-y-coed the river continues to flow north through Llanrwst, Trefriw (where it is joined by the Afon Crafnant) and Dolgarrog (where it is joined by Afon Porth-llwyd and Afon Ddu) before reaching Conwy Bay at Conwy. During spring tides the river is tidal as far as Tan-lan, near Llanrwst.


1 Tributaries of the River Conwy 2 Geology and geomorphology 3 SSSI 4 Culture and history 5 Water quality 6 Situation 7 See also 8 References 9 External links

Tributaries of the River Conwy[edit]

Named tributaries of the Conwy (and their tributaries)

listed from source to sea -

Afon Machno Afon Lledr Afon Llugwy Afon Gallt y Gwg Nant y Goron Afon Crafnant & Fairy Falls

Afon Geirionydd

Afon Ddu (1) Afon Porth-llwyd Afon Dulyn

Afon Ddu (2) Afon Garreg-wen Ffrwd Cerriguniawn Afon Melynllyn

Afon Hiraethlyn Afon Roe

Afon Tafolog

Afon Gyffin

Geology and geomorphology[edit]

Llyn Conwy, the source of the River Conwy

The Conwy is bounded to the east by the rolling ancient mudstone hills of the Silurian period, the Migneint Moors. These acid rocks are generally covered in thin, often acid soils and for large parts of the upland areas the cover is of moor-grass — Mollinia spp and Erica communities. As a result, the water entering the river tends to be acidic and often coloured brown with humic acids To the west, the catchment is underlain by older Cambrian rocks which are harder and the landscape is, as a consequence, more dramatic with high craggy hills and mountains through which the river falls in cascades and waterfalls. Excellent examples of torrential river geomorphology can be seen at Conwy Falls and in the Lledr Gorge. The land to the East is highly forested with planted non-native conifers. On the western side of the valley are a number of lakes and reservoirs. The rocks are also rich in minerals and there are many abandoned mine sites where copper, lead and silver have been mined since Roman times. The river valley down-stream of Betws-y-Coed is relatively wide and fertile, and supports dairying and sheep rearing. In wintertime these pastures are used to nurture the sheep brought down from the mountains to avoid the worst of the winter weather.

River Conwy near Dolgarrog

SSSI[edit] Aber Afon Conwy is a site of special interest. It has acquired such a status due to its marine and terrestrial biology. The tidal reach of the site reaches around 16 kilometres. Its upstream boundary is south of Tal y Cafn, and the whole site encompasses Conwy Bay. The shoreline is supported by natural rock, in addition to boulder clay cliff, sand dune, salt marsh and woodland.[5] Culture and history[edit] The scattered communities along the Conwy valley have ancient traditions with archeological evidence of habitation back to the Stone Age. The Romans occupied this area up to 400 AD and there has been continuous habitation since that time. The valley is home to two of the oldest churches in Wales, those at Llanrhychwyn and Llangelynin, which respectively date back to the 11th and 12th centuries. Much of the Conwy valley was laid waste in the Wars of the Roses by the Earl of Pembroke, under the orders of Edward IV, the Yorkist king, following a Lancastrian attack on the town of Denbigh in 1466. At the mouth of the Conwy as it discharges into Conwy Bay is the town of Conwy with its World Heritage Site castle — Conwy Castle and two famous bridges. One of the earliest road suspension bridges by Thomas Telford now carries a footpath whilst Robert Stephenson's tubular iron bridge still carries the main Holyhead to London railway line. A third bridge now takes road traffic, and more recently still the A55 now runs in a tunnel under the estuary. Water quality[edit] The River Conwy is routinely monitored for quality by Natural_Resources_Wales. The river quality tends to be acidic in the headwaters with very low concentrations of the common anions and cations. Whilst conductivity rises as the river flows towards the sea, the overall organic quality remains very good despite some slight increases in ammonia due to diffuse agricultural inputs. Natural Resources Wales also constantly monitors water levels in the valley, with a view to giving flood warnings. There are measuring stations at Betws-y-coed (Cwmlanerch),[6] Llanrwst [7] and Trefriw.[8] The Conwy is noted for its salmon and sea trout although increasing acidification in the second half of the 20th century, especially in the poorly buffered upland waters has significantly impacted upon their spawning success. The construction of an artificial fish pass in the 1990s to allow migratory salmonids access to the river above Conwy falls was intended to help mitigate the effects of acidification.[9] The Conwy Crossing, an immersed tube tunnel was built under the estuary during the late 1980s and early 1990s.[10] It was opened by the Queen in October 1991. This resulted in the loss of some saltmarsh but also led to the creation of Conwy RSPB Reserve. Since 2002 the valley has been overlooked by the turbines of the Moel Maelogan wind farm. Situation[edit] The panorama shows the mouth of the Conwy Estuary from Deganwy Castle, the original defensive position of the area. However, problems with resupply in the event of siege and its destruction by Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, Prince of Wales in 1263 to prevent it falling into King Edward's hands, led to a new castle being built across the water in Conwy town.

Panorama of six pictures stitched together showing the mouth of the Conwy Estuary (right) and the location of Conwy Castle (left of centre)

See also[edit]

Conwy Valley Line (railway line) Rivers of Great Britain List of rivers of Europe


^ Llandudno: its history and natural history, 1861, Richard Parry ^ A guide through North Wales, 1860, William Cathrall & Andrew Crombie Ramsay ^ Transactions, 1822, Cymmrodorion society ^ The pedestrian's guide through North Wales, 1838, George John Bennett ^ http://www.ccgc.gov.uk/landscape--wildlife/protecting-our-landscape/special-landscapes--sites/protected-landscapes-and-sites/sssis/sssi-sites/aber-afon-conwy.aspx ^ "River Levels Maintenance". Retrieved 11 September 2016.  ^ "River Levels Maintenance". Retrieved 11 September 2016.  ^ "River Levels Maintenance". Retrieved 11 September 2016.  ^ REINA, PETER. "Technology: The fish ladder with a twist". Retrieved 11 September 2016.  ^ The Motorway Archive - The North Wales Coast A55

External links[edit]

www.geograph.co.uk : photos of the River Conwy

v t e

Conwy County Borough

Principal settlements

Abergele Colwyn Bay Conwy Deganwy Kinmel Bay Llandudno Llandudno Junction Llanfairfechan Llanrwst Old Colwyn Penmaenmawr Penrhyn Bay

Other towns and villages

Betws yn Rhos Betws-y-Coed Bylchau Caerhun Capel Curig Capel Garmon Cerrigydrudion Craig-y-Don Dinmael Dolgarrog Dolwyddelan Eglwysbach Glan Conwy Henryd Llanbedr-y-Cennin Llanddoged Llanddulas Llanfair Talhaiarn Llanfihangel Glyn Myfyr Llangernyw Llangwm Llannefydd Llanrhychwyn Llansannan Llysfaen Maenan Melin-y-Coed Mochdre Pandy Tudur Penmachno Pentrefoelas Rhos-on-Sea Rowen Tal-y-bont Tal-y-Cafn Trefriw Towyn Ysbyty Ifan


Abergele Betws-y-Coed Betws yn Rhos Bro Garmon Bro Machno Caerhun Capel Curig Cerrigydrudion Colwyn Bay Conwy Dolgarrog Dolwyddelan Eglwysbach Henryd Kinmel Bay and Towyn Llanddoged and Maenan Llanddulas and Rhyd-y-foel Llandudno Llanfair Talhaiarn Llanfairfechan Llanfihangel Glyn Myfyr Llangernyw Llangwm Llannefydd Llanrwst Llansanffraid Glan Conwy Llansannan Llysfaen Mochdre Old Colwyn Penmaenmawr Pentrefoelas Rhos on Sea Trefriw Ysbyty Ifan


River Conwy River Crafnant River Geirionydd River Lledr River Llugwy River Machno Afon Ddu Afon Ddu (Drum) Afon Dulyn Afon Eigiau Afon Lloer Afon Melynllyn Afon Porth-llwyd Afon Roe Afon Tafolog

Castles and forts

Canovium Conwy Castle Deganwy Castle Dolwyddelan Castle Gwrych Castle Gwydir Castle Pen y Gaer


Great Orme Little Orme Penmaenmawr


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

v t e

Conwy Valley


Llanrwst Conwy

Other settlements

Betws-y-Coed Caerhun Dolgarrog Eglwysbach Glan Conwy Henryd Llanbedr-y-Cennin Llanddoged Llangelynnin Llanrhychwyn Maenan Rowen, Conwy Tal-y-bont Tal-y-Cafn Trefriw Tyn-y-groes

Rivers & streams

Afon Conwy Afon Crafnant Afon Geirionydd Afon Hiraethlyn Afon Machno Afon Lledr Afon Llugwy Afon Gallt y Gwg Nant y Goron Afon Ddu (1) Afon Porth-llwyd Afon Dulyn Afon Ddu (2) Afon Garreg-wen Ffrwd Cerriguniawn Afon Melynllyn Afon Roe Afon Tafolog Afon Gyffin


Llyn Crafnant Llyn Elsi Llyn Geirionydd Llyn Parc


Conwy Falls Grey Mare's Tail Fairy Falls

Hills & mountains

Mynydd y Dref Tal y Fan Bwlch-y-Ddeufaen Cefn Cyfarwydd Mynydd Hiraethog

Castles & forts

Canovium Conwy Castle Gwydir Castle Pen y Gaer


Conwy Suspension Bridge Pont Fawr (Llanrwst) Tal-y-Cafn Bridge Waterloo Bridge (Betws-y-coed)

Other features

Bodnant Garden Cadair Ifan Goch Conwy RSPB reserve Gwydir Forest Klondyke mill Moel Maelogan Snowdonia National Park Surf Snowdonia Trefriw Woollen Mills


A470 B5106 Conwy Valley line

Railway stations

Betws-y-Coed railway station Dolgarrog railway station Glan Conwy railway station Llanrwst railway station North Llanrwst railway station Tal-y-Cafn railway station

Coordinates: 53°18′N 3°50′W / 53.300°N 3.833°W / 53