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Llanberis, Carnarvonshire

Historical Description

Llanberis, a village and a parish in Carnarvonshire. The village stands on the river Selont, in the heart of Snowdonia, 10 miles ESE of Carnarvon. It has a station at the terminus of a branch of the L. & N.W.R. from Carnarvon, and a post, money order, and telegraph office under Carnarvon. It is a straggling place, the old village being situated at the foot of the Pass, about 2 miles from the modern portion, which extends for about half a mile N of the station, along the margin of Llyn Padarn. It is one of the easiest, most accessible, and most frequented starting points for the ascent of Snowdon. Guides and ponies may be obtained for making the ascent. There is an hospital for the quan'ymen who are injured in the quarries. The parish is traversed throughout by the route from Carnarvon to Snowdon, and contains Dolbadam Castle, several good hotels, Padam and Peris Lakes, the Dinorwig and Glyn Ehonwy Slate Quarries, the Llanberis Pass, the Gorphwysfa Inn, Glyder-fawr, Elidyr-fawr, Moel Eilio, and Y Garn mountains, respectively 3275,3035, 2382, and 3107 feet high, together with other summits, and with part of Snowdon. Acreage, 10,219 of land and 249 of water; population, 2818. Llyn Padarn is about 1½ mile long, but is comparatively narrow. Llyn Peris is separated from Llyn Padarn by only a short neck of land, and communicates with it by a stream; is considerably smaller but much more picturesque, and is engirt from its very brink by grand spurs of the Elidyr-fawr and Moel Eilio. The lakes are very deep, and were formerly famous for char and other fish, but they have been severely damaged by refuse from the slate quarries and the mines. The solitary round tower of Dolbadarn Castle overlooks Llyn Peris, and is the remains of a castle of the Early English or Decorated period, though a castle stood on this site before the 6th century. Dinorwig Slate Quarries are the most extensive in Wales, have been worked to the depth of 300 perpendicular feet, are worked by means of powerful steam and water mills, about 23 miles aggregately of tramways, and a large number of long inclines, and have connection by a railway with Port Dinorwig on the Menai Strait. There are also extensive slate quarries at Glyn, on the south side of Llyn Padarn. The rocks around the quarries, and in the adjacent cliffs, exhibit remarkable flexures of the Cambrian formation. The Llanberis Pass, upward from the village, exhibits more wild grandeur than almost any other gorge or glen in Great Britain; is traversed, for nearly 4 miles, by a road overhung on each side by precipices and cliffs of mountainous altitude, sometimes 2000 feet high, and crowned with peaks, and is strewn, over slopes and bottom, with the debris of shattered slate fallen from the precipitous crags above. At Pont-y-Cromlech, 1½ mile from the village, is a large block of fallen stone misnamed a cromlech, and opposite this a deep ravine, called Cwm Glas, strikes off into the very core of Snowdon, and terminates there at the precipices of Crib-y-Ddysgl. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Bangor; net value, £200 with residence. Patron, the Bishop of Baugor. The old church is one of the most picturesque and interesting buildings in Carnarvonshire, has a remarkable timber roof of the 15th century, resembling a ship with the keel uppermost, and has been well restored. There are also a modern church, and Calvinistic Methodist, Congregational, Baptist, and Wesleyan chapels. The Queen, when Princess Victoria, visited Llanberis in 1832.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Registration districtCarnarvon1837 - 1937
Registration districtCaernarvon1937 - 1974

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

For births, marriages, and deaths in Llanberis from 1837 to 1937 you should search for the Carnarvon Registration District.
For births, marriages, and deaths in Llanberis from 1937 to 1974 you should search for the Caernarvon Registration District.

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Carnarvonshire is available to browse.


Online maps of Llanberis are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers online:

Postal districtLL55
Post TownCaernarfon