Pont Fawr, Llanrwst, Wales

Pont Fawr (Big Bridge) was built in the 1630s and is often called “Inigo Jones’ Bridge” after the architect of such buildings as Banqueting House and St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden. I say is often called, because there’s not actually a lot of evidence to prove that Inigo Jones was involved at all, but there isn’t anything to say he wasn’t either. A plaque on the bridge claims that Jones designed it at the behest of Sir John Wynn of, you guessed it, Gwydir Castle.

I was somewhat surprised when I crossed the bridge (it’s the easiest way for a pedestrian to get to Gwydir Castle), to see that it’s so narrow as to only allow single file traffic. There is a traffic light system but when I was there this didn’t seem to be lessening the incidents of cars meeting in the middle and then having to reverse back the way they’d come. Thankfully there are areas where pedestrians can move out of the way and use as viewing points and I’d say it was fairly impossible for cars to get up to any kind of dangerous speed, but still, best to have your wits about you when you cross over and definitely keep tight hold of any young children and dogs.

Supposedly the bridge is the replacement of a 13th century bridge that fell down. During the reconstruction it is said a pearl was found near the bridge’s foundations and the Wynn family gifted it to Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I after which the bridge added Bridge of Pearls to its string of names.

I can’t speak for how much of its history is true but I will say it’s a lovely spot to admire the area and the River Conwy. You can find more photos here.

Categories: Llanrwst, Wales | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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