Gelert’s Grave, Beddelgert, Wales


Beddelgert, Gelert’s Grave

Google Street View.

A short walk south of the village, following the footpath along the banks of the Glaslyn leads to Beddgelert’s most famous historical feature; ‘Gelert’s Grave’. According to legend, the stone monument in the field marks the resting place of ‘Gelert’, the faithful hound of the medieval Welsh Prince Llewelyn the Great. The story, as written on the tombstone reads:

“In the 13th century Llewelyn, prince of North Wales, had a palace at Beddgelert. One day he went hunting without Gelert, ‘The Faithful Hound’, who was unaccountably absent. On Llewelyn’s return the truant, stained and smeared with blood, joyfully sprang to meet his master. The prince alarmed hastened to find his son, and saw the infant’s cot empty, the bedclothes and floor covered with blood. The frantic father plunged his sword into the hound’s side, thinking it had killed his heir. The dog’s dying yell was answered by a child’s cry. Llewelyn searched and discovered his boy unharmed, but nearby lay the body of a mighty wolf which Gelert had slain. The prince filled with remorse is said never to have smiled again. He buried Gelert here”.
Beddelgert Tourism

To this day, a cairn of stones marks the place, and the name Beddgelert means in Welsh ‘The grave of Gelert’. Every year thousands of people visit the grave of this brave dog; slight problem however, is that the cairn of stones is actually less than 200 years old!

Nevertheless this story has great appeal. History and myth appear to have become a little confused when in 1793, a man called David Pritchard came to live in Beddgelert. He was the landlord of the Royal Goat Inn and knew the story of the brave dog and adapted it to fit the village, and so benefit his trade at the inn. He apparently invented the name Gelert, and introduced the name Llywelyn into the story because of the Prince’s connection with the nearby Abbey, and it was with the help of the parish clerk that Pritchard, not Llywelyn, raised the cairn!
Historic UK

Snowdon Railway, Wales


Snowdon Railway Train at Llanberis Station
Postmarked: 1942
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View (approximate).

The Snowdon Mountain Railway is a narrow gauge rack and pinion mountain railway in Gwynedd, north-west Wales. It is a tourist railway that travels for 4.7 miles (7.6 km) from Llanberis to the summit of Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales. The SMR is the only public rack and pinion railway in the United Kingdom, and after more than 100 years of operation it remains a popular tourist attraction, carrying more than 140,000 passengers annually.

1894-96 Snowdon Mountain Railway was constructed between December 1894, when the first sod was cut by Enid Assheton-Smith (after whom locomotive No 2 was named), and February 1896, at a total cost of £63,800 (equivalent to £6,775,000 in 2016). 150 men with picks, shovels and dynamite laid almost eight kilometres of track up the mountain – all in fourteen months.
1895-96 The technology for safely transporting carriages of people up and down a mountainside had existed in Switzerland for some time, so that was where the newly-formed Snowdon Mountain Tramroad and Hotels Company Ltd. went. They purchased five Swiss steam locomotives — L.A.D.A.S, Enid, Wyddfa, Snowdon and Moel Siabod – three of which are still in service today.
1922-24 Three more steam locomotives were built in Switzerland — Padarn, Ralph and Eryri — along with two more carriages. All of the railway’s steam locomotives were built by the Swiss Locomotive & Manufacturing Co. of Winterhur at a cost of £1,525 each (which would have the equivalent purchasing power of around £120,000 today). In 1924, the Snowdon Mountain Tramroad and Hotels Company Ltd sold the Royal Victoria Hotel and formed as Snowdon Mountain Railway.
1958-63 During the 50’s and 60’s the four original locomotives were sent to Hunslet to be overhauled, No.2 in 1958, No.5 in 1959, No.3 in 1960 and No.4 in 1963, and the original open carriages were remodelled so that they became enclosed, in an attempt to better protect passengers from the elements.

Snowdon Mountain Railway

The Abbey Grotto, Gronant, Wales

The Abby Grotto. Gronant.

Publisher: Marimax Ltd, Colwyn Bay

Street View: Talacre Abbey

The next terrace contains the folly tower and grotto, both thought to be contemporary with the house (c. 1824). These can be reached by pathways just to the north-east of St Benedict’s Lodge or to the south-east of the house. The ruined folly tower is constructed of a mixture of brick and stone with a coating of mortar. In the basement floor are the remains of a shell room. A path leads around what appears to be the tumbled ruins of the tower, also of mortared stone and brick. The path continues around the pile of rubble, steps having been cut into the natural stone, and finally leads to the entrance of the grotto. This is built of the same material as the tower. It has several chambers connected by winding passageways. One of the chambers is open to the sky. Features include a (Mostyn) lion’s head with a hole for the mouth. A fire lit at the back of the hole could fill the ‘mouth’ with flame and smoke. There is also a cyclops, a ghostly figure delineated on a passage wall, and in the innermost chamber the headless life-sized figure of a seated monk.”
Archwilio.org

Suspension Bridge, Conwy, Wales


On the suspension Bridge, Conway

Not sure on date. Maybe 1920s.

Built by Thomas Telford, the 99.5-metre-long (326 ft) suspension bridge[1] spans the River Conwy next to Conwy Castle, a World Heritage Site. The bridge was built in 1822–26 at a cost of £51,000 and replaced the ferry at the same point. It is in the same style as one of Telford’s other bridges, the Menai Suspension Bridge crossing the Menai Strait. The original wooden deck was replaced by an iron roadway in the late nineteenth century and it was strengthened by adding wire cables above the original iron chains in 1903. The following year a six-foot-wide (1.8 m) walkway was added for pedestrian traffic.
Wikipedia

Google Street View.

Caernarfon Castle, Wales


Carnarvon Castle
Postmarked 1910.

Approximately here.

Caernarfon Castle (Welsh: Castell Caernarfon) – often anglicized as Carnarvon Castle or Caernarvon Castle – is a medieval fortress in Caernarfon, Gwynedd, north-west Wales cared for by Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service. It was a motte-and-bailey castle in the town of Caernarfon from the late 11th century until 1283 when King Edward I of England began replacing it with the current stone structure. The Edwardian town and castle acted as the administrative centre of north Wales and as a result the defences were built on a grand scale. There was a deliberate link with Caernarfon’s Roman past and the Roman fort of Segontium is nearby.

While the castle was under construction, town walls were built around Caernarfon. The work cost between £20,000 and £25,000 from the start until the end of work in 1330. Despite Caernarfon Castle’s external appearance of being mostly complete, the interior buildings no longer survive and many of the building plans were never finished. The town and castle were sacked in 1294 when Madog ap Llywelyn led a rebellion against the English. Caernarfon was recaptured the following year. During the Glyndŵr Rising of 1400–1415, the castle was besieged. When the Tudor dynasty ascended to the English throne in 1485, tensions between the Welsh and English began to diminish and castles were considered less important. As a result, Caernarfon Castle was allowed to fall into a state of disrepair. Despite its dilapidated condition, during the English Civil War Caernarfon Castle was held by Royalists, and was besieged three times by Parliamentarian forces. This was the last time the castle was used in war. Caernarfon Castle was neglected until the 19th century when the state funded repairs.
Wikipedia

Colwyn Bay, Wales


Colwyn Bay looking west
c.1910

Street View

The Victoria Pier and Pavilion were opened in 1900 and could accommodate 2,500 people. The pier was initially 12 metres wide and 96 metres long, but was later extended to 320 metres.
Colwyn Bay Heritage Online

Work began in 1899 to the design of Maynall and Littlewood of Manchester. The pier opened on 1st June 1900 to a length of 220 feet, including a 2500 seat pavilion. The Bijou Theatre, built in 1916, accommodated 600. In 1922, the main pavilion was burnt down. It was replaced the following year, by the pier’s new owners, the local council. In 1933, the pavilion was once again destroyed by fire and, two months later, a separate blaze wrecked the Bijou Theatre. A replacement pavilion opened in 1934.
National Piers Society

Designed by Maynall & Littlewoods of Manchester, Colwyn Bay’s Victoria Pier was one of the later British piers to be built, with construction starting in June 1899 by the Salford firm of William Brown & Sons. Many of the pier’s components were pre-fabricated, and manufactured by the Widnes Iron Foundry. Its official opening was on 1 June 1900, when the architect, Mr. Littlewood, handed a golden key to the pier’s owners. As first constructed, the pier was just 316 ft (96m) long and 40 ft (12m) wide, comprising a timber promenade deck with seating and railings along its length, and a 2,500 seat pavilion in the Moorish Revival style. The pavilion was set to the right of the deck, with a walkway allowing access to the pier-head to the left. The pavilion’s main entrance was flanked on one side by a flower shop and, on the other, by a coffee lounge and cake shop. Inside, the pavilion boasted a large balcony which extended around three sides of the auditorium and a full orchestra pit. In 1903, the Victoria Pier Company decided to extend the neck to a length of 750 ft (227m) to facilitate outdoor theatrical performances. The pier featured intricate cast iron balustrades, manufactured by the Widnes Iron Foundry, and similar balustrade designs can be found at Mumbles Pier, and formerly at Grand Pier, Weston-super-Mare and Morecambe’s Central and West End Piers.
Wikipedia.


Victoria Pavilion, Colwyn Bay
Postmarked 1903
Publisher: J. Homan, Colywn Bay/Valentine