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RHAIADR MAWR OR PORTHLWYD-LLANRWST.
be seen to the greatest advantage. The scene is highly picturesque. From the upper part two streams descend at some distance from each other. The range of rock down which the water is thrown is very wide and extremely rude, being formed, in horizontal ledges, into deep clefts and enormous chasms. The streams unite a little above the middle of the fall; they rush from thence in foam over the rocks, and from the deep shelvings, in many places the water is entirely hidden from below. In addition to this, nearly every different stratum of rock throws it into a fresh direction. In the whole scene there is the utmost irregularity. On the right of the cataract the inclosing rocks are nearly perpendicular, very lofty, and crowned with pendant foliage. Those on the left are very high and towering, adorned on the lodgements with grass and ferns.
About a mile further on is another waterfall, called RHAIADR DOLGARROG. It is formed by the little stream Dolgarrog, which flows out of Llyn Cowlid, about three miles distant; but it is not so picturesque a fall, nor so lofty as that just described.
The tide reaches no farther than the village of Trefriw, beyond which the river Conway is no longer navigable. Two miles from this village and twelve from Conway is
A town finely situated on the eastern bank of the river Conway. In itself it has nothing to recommend it to notice; the streets are narrow and the houses very irregular.
The Eagles is the principal inn.
In the fifteen years of civil discord during the insurrection of Owen Glyndwr, such were the ravages committed in these parts of Wales, that this place was entirely forsaken by its inhabitants and the grass grew in the market-place, and the deer from the mountains fled for refuge into the churchyard.
The Church is a plain ill-looking structure; but adjoining to it is a chapel, built in 1633, by Sir Richard Wynne, from a design of Inigo Jones, which has a considerable degree of elegance. Against the walls of the chapel are six brasses, five on the east side and one on the west; each of these, besides an inscription, contains a portrait of the person to whose memory it was finished. They are the work of the seventeenth century. The one to the memory of Sarah Wynne by Vaughan is by far the best, whilst that on the west side is superior to the other four.
The carved work of the roof of the chapel is said to have been brought from the neighbouring Abbey of Mænan.* Into this chapel has been removed an ancient monument of Hoel Coytmor, which formerly lay among the rubbish under the stairs leading into the gallery of the church. It is an armed recumbent figure, with the feet resting on a lion. The inscription upon it is: Hic jacet Hoel Coytmor ap Gruff. Vychan ap Gruff. Amn.” Hoel Coytmore possessed the estates of Gwydir, which were sold by his son David to Meredith ap Jevan, Welsh nephew, or first cousin once removed to the renowned John ap Meredith, and ancestor to the Wynnes of Gwydir. Hoel was the grandson of David Goch of Penmachno, whose monument is in the church of Bettws.
Near this monument is placed a large stone coffin, supposed to have been that of Llewelyn ap Iorwerth, denominated from his valiant actions, Llewelyn the Great. He
* This abbey stood about three miles north of Llanrwst. On its site was erected a house, at present the property of Lord Newborough. It was founded by Edward I. after he had fortified the town of Conway, for the purpose of removing into it the religious of the Cistertian abbey.
was interred in the abbey of Conway in the year 1240, but after the dissolution of monasteries in the reign of Henry VIII, as appears from a brass plate annexed to it, this coffin was removed from thence to this place, where it has ever since remained.
In the east corner is a tablet of white marble, which bears singularly long and curious inscription, containing a pedigree of the Wynne family, from Owen Gwynedd, Prince of Wales, to Sir Richard Wynne, who died about the middle of the seventeenth century.
On the south side are two columns of variegated marble, decorated with martial insignia, one to the memory of Meredith Wynne, the other to Sir John Wynne and Sydney his wife.
About a quarter of a mile beyond Llanrwst is GWYDIR, the ancient residence of the Wynnes, and now the property of Lord Gwydir. The ancient mansion of Gwydir was taken down in 1816, since which time the present structure has been built; a part, however, of the ancient mansion has been preserved. This property came to the father of the present Lord Gwydir in right of his Lady Priscilla, Baroness Willoughby, the eldest sister of Robert, late Duke of Ancaster. It passed into this family in the year 1678, by the marriage of Mary, daughter and heiress of Sir Richard Wynne, with Robert, Marquis of Lindsay.
At a little distance above this mansion was Upper Gwydir, a house erected by Sir John Wynne, in 1604, apparently for the purpose of enjoying from thence the numerous beauties of the vale of Llanrwst. The house was taken down many years ago.
Between Gwydir and Llanrwst is the celebrated BRIDGE over the river Conway, constructed by Inigo Jones. This
bridge was directed to be built by an order of the Privy Council, in the ninth year of the reign of Charles the First. The expenses, which were estimated at £1000, were paid by the two counties of Denbigh and Caernarvon. It consists of three arches, of which the middle one is nearly 60 feet wide. One of the other two has been rebuilt since Jones's time, and the inferiority of the workmanship is very visible. The inhabitants of Llanwrst boast, that their bridge is formed on such nice principles, that if a person thrusts himself against the large stone over the centre of the middle arch, the whole fabric will vibrate. This vibration may be plainly felt by a person leaning against the opposite battlements, whilst one or two others fall back forcibly against the stone, but the motion of the bridge will not be perceived unless the experiment be made precisely in the manner above-described.
CONWAY TO BANGOR.
Penmaen Bach - Penmaen Muwr - Road to Bangor -- Ascent to the
Summit of Penmaen Mawr-Aber- Rhaiadr Du.
The hills of Flintshire and Denbighshire bear no comparison in picturesque beauty with the stupendous scenery of Caernarvonshire. The mountains instead of being gentle in ascent, and frequently covered with grass and verdure to their summits, begin to wear a savage and majestic aspect, —they are precipitous, rugged, and gloomy.
Four miles from Conway is PENMAEN Bach, The Lesser Penmaen; and about a mile further on is PenMAEN MAWR, The Great Penmaen, a huge rock that rises nearly 1550 feet in perpendicular height above the level of the sea. Around the base of this tremendous precipice is formed a part of the Chester and Holyhead road. This is well guarded towards the sea by a strong wall, and supported in many parts by arches turned beneath it, a method found to be, in point of expense, far preferable to that of hewing it out of the solid rock. These improvements were made in the year 1772, and before the wall was built, accidents were continually happening by people falling down the precipices.
Before the pass was formed, the usual mode of proceeding between Conway and Bangor was, either in boats, when the tide was not out, or across the sands at low water.