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Towyn, Merionethshire

Historical Description

Towyn, a small town and a parish in Merionethshire. The town stands on the coast, near the mouth of the river Dysinni, 4½ miles N of Aberdovey, 11 S by W of Barmouth, 13½ W of Machynlleth, and 236 by railway from London. Towyn is a well-built town. It has a good reputation as a watering-place, owing to the salubrity of its climate, and to the possession of a wide expanse of firm dry sands. The esplanade is one of the finest in Wales. Sea-bathing is proverbially safe, and the sanitary arrangements are very complete. The water supply is pure and abundant. There is good fishing, and the town is rapidly becoming prominent as a summer resort. It has stations on the Cambrian and the Tal-y-Llyn railways, and has a post, money order, and telegraph office (R.S.O.) The church, founded by and dedicated to St Cadvan, is one of the most interesting and ancient in North Wales. It is cruciform and includes an Early Norman nave, and a modern central tower. It was restored and partly rebuilt in 1882. A very remarkable inscribed stone, now placed within the church, is called St Cadvan's stone, and was thought to have been a portion of the tomb of St Cadvan. The inscription is placed on all four sides, and is the oldest example of the Welsh language extant, but antiquarians are not agreed as to the interpretation. Adjoining the churchyard is the famous St Cadvan's Well, in which tradition says the Archbishop of Canterbury and Giraldus Cambrensis bathed when on their pilgrimage through Wales in 1180. Tales of almost miraculous cures of rheumatism, &c., are told of the now abandoned waters. There are Calvinistic Methodist, Congregational, and Wesleyan chapels, and almshouse. Slates are brought down by the Tal-y-Llyn narrow gauge railway from the Abergynolwyn quarries to the depot at Towyn, and conveyed thence by the Cambrian railway. The parish includes Aberdovey. Acreage, 22,842 of land and 90 of water, with 420 of adjacent tidal water and 960 of foreshore; population of the civil parish, 3301; of the ecclesiastical, 1940 The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Bangor; net value, £218 with residence. Patron, the Bishop of Bangor. The vicarage of Aberdovey is a separate benefice.

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 districtMachynlleth1837 - 1935
Registration districtMerioneth South1935 - 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: