Llanrwst is a small market town less than a mile from the edge of Snowdonia. My main purpose for visiting was to go to Gwydir Castle (which will feature in a later post) but I also had time to wander around the town. It was easy to get to from Llandudno Junction Railway Station (just across the bridge from Conwy) though there were at the time of writing only about four trains a day and only a couple that were actually helpful for my needs. Note there is a North Llanrwst Station and a Llanrwst – for the town and castle you’ll want Llanrwst (North Llanrwst is a request stop so if you do want to get off here make yourself known to the train staff). As you can see the railway station is one of the smallest I’ve been to.
Some of the buildings of Llanrwst will feature in their own posts so this is a snapshot of some others that caught my eye as I was walking around. Ancaster Square has been the site of fairs and markets in the town since 1282 and was built around a large mound of earth. On this mound was built a market hall in 1470 with a large clock set into the wall – it was rebuilt in the 18th century and then finally demolished in 1964. In 2002 however this new tower which included part of the old clock was built – it’s 10 metres tall, apparently in order to fit the clock’s pendulum.
These almshouses next to St Grwst’s Church (a future post) were built in 1610. Originally they housed 12 men too poor to afford their own homes; women weren’t permitted until the 19th century. The last residents left in 1976. I’m not entirely sure of its use right now, though apparently it did house a museum at some point.
One building I photographed purely because of the statues was the Eagle Hotel, next to the almshouses. Parts are from the 18th century but the most striking features are Victorian. It’s named for the three eagles on the coat of arms of the Wynn Family.
Tu Hwnt i’r Bont, Welsh for “beyond the bridge”, is a 15th century house now owned by the National Trust and run as a tearoom. It apparently has a bit of an Instagram following because of how the ivy covered exterior turns a beautiful red in autumn, though I didn’t know that at the time. Constructed from local materials it was originally a courthouse and tax office and continued to be used as such until it’s conversion to the tearoom in the early 19th century. I stopped off here for an ice cream and sat on a bench overlooking the river while I ate it – I can recommend both!
It doesn’t take long to find yourself admiring the views as you step a little away from the town and the cows in a local field were particularly inquisitive (don’t worry, I was on the other side of a fence!).
It was a lovely place to visit and very friendly. You can find more photos of Llanrwst here.
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