Shaky Bridge, Llandrindod Wells, Wales


Shaky Bridge, Llandrindod Wells
Postmarked 1908
Publisher:

Google Street View (approximate).

A former river crossing over the Ithon usually known as Shakey Bridge, but [on this picture] captioned Shaky Bridge. This rather unsafe looking structure, made of planks suspended on wires, was built in the 1890s.
People’s Collection Wales

This is a circular walk of 6.5km (5.5 miles) graded as medium. Halfway round is the popular beauty spot at Shaky Bridge – the original wire bridge across the river Ithon was dangerously shaky. There is a picnic site which can be reached from Town by road and is a setting off point to explore Bailey Einon Nature Reserve, the grass covered ruins of Cefnllys Castle andthe 14th cent. Church of St Michael.
Llandrindod Wells

Harlech Castle, Wales


Harlech Castle
Postmarked 1908
Publisher: Raphael Tuck & Sons, “Picturesque North Wales”series

Google Street View (approximate)

Harlech was completed from ground to battlements in just seven years under the guidance of gifted architect Master James of St George. Its classic ‘walls within walls’ design makes the most of daunting natural defences. Even when completely cut off by the rebellion of Madog ap Llewelyn the castle held out – thanks to the ‘Way from the Sea’. This path of 108 steps rising steeply up the rock face allowed the besieged defenders to be fed and watered by ship.
Cadw

Harlech was begun during King Edward I’s second campaign in north Wales. It was part of an “iron ring” of castles surrounding the coastal fringes of Snowdonia, eventually stretching from Flint around to Aberystwyth; a ring intended to prevent the region from ever again becoming a focal point of insurrection and a last bastion of resistance. Following the fall of the Welsh stronghold of Castell y Bere, King Edward’s forces arrived at Harlech in April, 1283, and building work began almost immediately. Over the next six years an army of masons, quarriers, laborers and other craftsmen were busily engaged in construction. In 1286, with the work at its height, nearly 950 men were employed under the superintendence of Master James. The final result was a perfectly concentric castle, where one line of defenses is enclosed by another.

Unfortunately, the outer wall is ruinous today and fails to convey the true 13th-century effect. The natural strength of the castle rock and cliff face meant that only the east face was open to possible attack. Here the gatehouse still offers an insolent display of power. The gate-passage itself was protected by a succession of no less than seven obstacles, including three portcullises. On either side of the passage were guardrooms, and the upper floors of the gatehouse provided the main private accommodation at Harlech. The first floor must have been for the constable, or governor, who from 1290-93 was none other than Master James himself. The comfortable rooms on the top floor probably served as a suite for visiting dignitaries, including the king.
Castles of Wales

Imperial Hotel, Tenby, Wales


The Sands & Imperial Hotel | Tenby
1930s
Publisher: J. Salmon Ltd

Google Street View.

Originally a terrace of houses of circa 1835, built by Andrew Reed, known as Belmont Houses, with a two-storey range to the E apparently extended and remodelled in earlier C20. An engraving of 1832 by Reinagle shows the roof being put on Belmont Houses. Later they seem to have been known as Belmont Terrace, one being owned by the Earl of Limerick who had the Belmont Arch cut through the town walls for carriage access. No 2 was burnt in 1869. No 1 was known as Belmont Towers in 1904 when offered to let, and this included rooms built into a round tower of the medieval walls. It had 13 bedrooms and an alcoved drawing room. It was sold with Nos 2 and 3 to become the Imperial Hotel in 1905, lavishly renovated by Maples of London for the proprietor, M. Thierry-Mougnard. Further alterations by Maples are recorded in 1907, including a smoking-room in the style of Henri II of France. In 1912 a fire destroyed the roof and upper floors. A lounge over the clifftop was added in 1923.
British Listed Buildings

The Imperial Hotel was originally a terrace of houses, built circa 1835 and were known as Belmont Houses and later Belmont Terrace. An 1832 engraving by Reinagle shows the roof being put on Belmont Houses. In the 1860s the Earl of Limerick had the Belmont Arch cut through the town walls for carriage access. Belmont Arch is also known as Limerick Arch or Imperial Arch.
No 2 was burnt in 1869. No 1 was known as Belmont Towers. All three houses were sold to become the Imperial Hotel in 1905. It was heavily renovated in 1907 by Maples for its proprietor M. Thierry-Mougnard, designed to suit the demand for the highest standards and it was known for a time as Thierry’s Imperial Hotel.11 He had previously been assistant manager of London’s Hotel Cecil. The hotel was later taken over by his son, Mario, as mentioned in the illustrated brochure. A fire in 1912 destroyed the roof and upper floors. A lounge over the cliff top was added in 1923 and the building was heavily altered in the 20th century.

Facebook: Tenby Museum & Art Gallery

Chepstow Castle, Chepstow, Wales


In the keep, Chepstow Castle
c.1920

Google Street View (exterior)

Chepstow Castle at Chepstow, Monmouthshire, Wales is the oldest surviving post-Roman stone fortification in Britain. Located above cliffs on the River Wye, construction began in 1067 under the instruction of the Norman Lord William FitzOsbern. Originally known as Striguil, it was the southernmost of a chain of castles built in the Welsh Marches, and with its attached lordship took the name of the adjoining market town in about the 14th century. In the 12th century the castle was used in the conquest of Gwent, the first independent Welsh kingdom to be conquered by the Normans. It was subsequently held by two of the most powerful Anglo-Norman magnates of medieval England, William Marshal and Richard de Clare. However, by the 16th century its military importance had waned and parts of its structure were converted into domestic ranges. Although re-garrisoned during and after the English Civil War, by the 1700s it had fallen into decay.
Wikipedia.

Building was started in 1067 by Earl William fitz Osbern, close friend of William the Conqueror, making it one of the first Norman strongholds in Wales. In turn William Marshal (Earl of Pembroke), Roger Bigod (Earl of Norfolk) and Charles Somerset (Earl of Worcester) all made their mark before the castle declined after the Civil War. These magnates and power-brokers were constantly on the move. Chepstow was just one residence in their vast estates – an impressive shell into which they would bring their gold and silver vessels, rich silk and brightly painted furniture.
Cadw


The store chamber, Chepstow Castle
c.1920

Google Street View

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

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


Carnarvon Castle

Read more