Dating from the 17th century, The Rector's House (and possibly built for that purpose) features as stop number 9 on the Dolgellau Town Trail.
The building was Grade II listed in December 1952.
The 19th-century porch, which is of lattice-work, is a characteristic architectural feature which can be found on houses of that period throughout the town.
With records of a church's existence on the site since 1254, the current church dates from the 1700s. The church houses a 14c effigy of Meurig ab Ynyr Fychan carrying a naked sword. St Mary's is a rare example in Wales as it is entirely Early Georgian. The nave was completed in 1723 and has large windows which light the interior.
The vestry was constructed c1830.
The western end upper room was added in 1992 by Roy Olsen of Dolgellau.
Entrance is free.
No 9 on Dolgellau Town Trail
Through the church yard, and opposite the church gateway, (Steeple end) is This late 17th Century Town House, which may have been built originally for the rector of that time to live in, or it may have been later, that it became the Rectors residence.
The attractive latticework porchway was an addition in the 19th Century, and is a typical feature of houses from this period in Dolgellau. The stone walls and slate tile roofs are typically seen throughout the town.
Opposite Lion Cottage, is The Golden Lion (or as No5 on the trail states "The now defunct Golden Lion" ). For a period it had the grander name of The Golden Lion Royal Hotel.
It's quite hard to believe that this was a place for European Royalty to stay, when visiting the area. In its hey day, this was the grandest hotel of the region.
Originally, it was a coaching Inn, a place for passengers travelling by Stage Coach to stay, and for the horses to be fed/watered and rested. In the 1830's it took 24 hours to reach here from London.
The introduction of the railway, cut down the time, but ensured that there would still be travellers wanting a 'Good Hotel'.
The hotel finally went out of favour, fell into decline and suffered vandalism, before being restored, and converted into 15 apartments.
It still looked quite neglected though....pic 2 shows a plant growing out of the chimney stack
A poem from the 19th Century states... When you go to the town of Dolgelly, don't stay at the Lion Hotel, There’s nothing to put in your belly, and no one to answer the bell. (Thackeray -1850)
In front of the car park was this seven arched bridge, which was built in 1638 (The date can be seen on the downstream side. It was named 'The Big Bridge' to distinguish it from another (smaller) bridge that was located further downstream.
Part of the bridge was destroyed by a major flood in 1903. As Dolgellau has been prone to flooding, the bridge has undergone many repairs and reconstructions over the centuries.
As you can see from the picture, the upper end is higher - this was raised to join the railway line (which is now the by-pass), which was constructed around 1868. The station was near to the bridge, and served the terminuses of two rival rail companies.
The TIC in Dolgellau has plenty of useful information, and the staff were quite friendly and helpful too.
Three rooms, containing lots of free Local information leaflets, booklets- things to do and see, and a 'What's On' noticeboard for dances, markets, fetes etc. Also information for Snowdonia and Wales.
Guide books , Maps, Local interest and 'Coffee Table' books to purchase
Pick up a copy of the Dolgellau Town Trail for £1
Accommodation booking service.
Gift shop - 'pocket money price'gifts. Postcards cost 10 for £1 (I also found some free ones)!
'Cinema' which was running a DVD which I think showed things to see in the area (I didn't get to see this).
Steam Train/ Local History/Scenery etc DVDs available
Open daily 09.30 - 17.30
Vicki had downloaded a copy of this trail for each of us from the internet-it looked like an interesting way to see Dolgellau
The Dolgellau Town Trail-A Story in stone (Dolgellaus history as told by its' buildings), can be purchased from the Tourist Information Office for £1, which I thought was good value.
Information is in English and Welsh, with attractive illustrations and a map of the town and its 28 points of interest. It was devised and produced by Dolgellaus Civic Society, whos aim is to protect and promote the historical character of the town.
We didn't do it all in order, and we didn't cover all of the stops, but we felt that we'd seen and learned a lot about this interesting town.
No 1 is the former Ironmongers, which is now a lovely cafe - we visited here later in the walk -
So, come along on our Dolgellau trail......
You can buy a Town Trail leaflet from the Tourist informaton Centre or you can download a version from the internet. This is a really fun way of seeing practically everything which is of any Historic interest in the Town Centre & nearby streets.
This pyramid-shaped monument honours local bard and schoolteacher Dafydd Ionawr who lived from 1750 to 1827.
This monument features as stop number 10 on the Dolgellau Town Trail.