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Festiniog, Merionethshire

Historical Description

Festiniog, a village, a parish, and the head of a poor-law union in Merionethshire. The village stands on an eminence overlooking a small but enchanting vale, near the confluence of two rivers, near the Sarn Helen Way, 4 miles S of Blaenau Festiniog, 15 SW of Bettws-y-Coed, 16 SE of Beddgelert, and 19 WNW of Bala. It has a station on the Bala and Festiniog branch of the G.W.R., which is connected at Blaenau Festiniog with the Bettws-y-Coed branch of the L. & N.W.R., and with the Festiniog narrow gauge railway to Port Madoc. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Blaenau Festiniog. The church, at the edge of a cliff, overlooking the vale, is a modern structure in the Norman style. Much business is done in connection with extensive neighbouring slate quarries. The town's name signifies " the place of hastening," and its derivation is probably " a place affording a defence." The Cynfael, in its vicinity, rushes down a romantic wooded glen, and forms two falls, of no great height, but of much beauty. The upper fall occurs about 300 yards above a rustic bridge, and is formed by three steep rocks; the lower fall occurs about 300 yards below the bridge, and passes broadly down a shelving rock about 40 feet in height; and a tall columnar rock, called Hugh Lloyd's pulpit, stands on the bed of the stream between the bridge and the lower fall, and takes its name from a Welsh enthusiast who used to preach from the platform which forms its summit. It has a market-hall and a bank. The parish comprises 16,323 acres; population of the civil parish, 11,073; of the ecclesiastical, 7722. The living is a perpetual curacy, united with the rectory of Maentwrog, in the diocese of Bangor; gross value, o£273 with residence. Patron, the Bishop of Bangor. There are Calvinistic Methodist, Congregational, and Wesleyan chapels.

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 districtMerioneth North1935 - 1974

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

Land and Property

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

Newspapers and Periodicals

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