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......
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.
Y Sosban (Old Town Hall) features as stop number 7 on Dolgellau Town Trail. It dates to 1606 and once fulfilled the role of housing both judicial and administrative functions for the town.
Downstairs are two dungeon-like rooms which served to house vagrants and drunkards during their inhospitable stay.
The building is now home to the restaurant Y Sospan.
A more recent addition to the town of Dolgellau and stop number 22 on the Town Trail is The Catholic Church which was completed in 1966
Our Lady of Seven Sorrows was built thanks to the efforts of local priest, Francis Scalpell who wished to have a more noble structure for his church than its former home which had once been a chip shop.
Inside the church, to the left of the west door, you will find a Maltese Cross which commemorates his Maltese origins.
Services are held :
Sunday - 09.00
Holyday of Obligation - 19.00
Found on the former turnpike road to Tywyn, the Toll House is stop number 14 on the Dolgellau Town Trail.
Adjacent to the stone post which once held the tollgate, you will find the toll keeper's viewing window.
At one stage, each of the roads from the town was turnpiked, which was extremely unpopular in Wales, causing riots in the 1830s.
Dolgellau has a great town trail which is easily followed and takes you round the town, showing you its history through its buildings.
The town trail can be bought as a booklet at the Information Centre, or printer (for free) from this, and other, websites.
The town trail is a reasonably easy trail and takes you up through the town and includes great views.
Originally the town's ironmonger's, the building of TH Roberts still has many original fittings. It currently houses a wonderful bistro which serves great cakes (see my separate restaurant tip).
Wales is famous for its gold (which is now, sadly, exceedingly rare). At the turn of the 20th century, over 500 gold miners worked in the mines around Dolgellau and it is thought that many of them would have purchased their picks and shovels from this shop.
It is well worth enjoying a light meal here and looking at the various interior features.
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.
Situated in the centre of Dolgellau, its Information Centre is an excellent source of information for Dolgellau and Snowdonia in general. There is a wide selection of pamphlets and leaflets covering a wide selection of attractions in the area as well as a small selection of items to purchase (including very reasonably priced postcards).
The Dolgellau Information Centre can also assist in accommodation recommendations and searches.
Easter to October
Daily : 09.30 to 17.30
Thursday to Monday : 10.00 to 17.00
At stop number 23 on the Dolgellau Town Trail is Fro Awel. This cottage is typical of those found around Dolgellau. With a low roof and hipped dormer windows, this style of cottage was built from the 1650s to the 1750s.
The rear section of Fro Awel once housed a candle factory which supplied the gold mines of the area.
Fro Awel is Grade II listed.
Tan y Gader (built in the 1800s) is stop number 21 on the Dolgellau Town Trail and was once used as a maternity home, making it the birthplace of many of the town's older residents.
There is an unusual wheel window in the attic gable, a feature which can be seen in several homes built at a similar time in the area.
Dolgellau in full of interesting sights - but some of them require looking for.
For example, along some of the roads you will find large stones embedded in the foot of walls which were put there to protect the wall from the hubs of passing carts.
In attics, you will find wheel windows.
Given in trust to the town in 1911, The Marian is Dolgellau's main green space and is often home to many of the town's events.
On The Marian, you will find a stone circle, set up in 1948 to proclaim the National Eisteddfod of Wales - a form of advertising which is typically Welsh - which was to be held there the following year.
The historical centre of Dolgellau finds you on The Lawnt (stop number 12 on Dolgellau Town Trail). Now a residential area, you can see evidence of how many of the buildings here housed the local shops with larger windows. At number 4, you will find Hope House which was previously a woollen factory, whilst further up The Lawnt is the building which housed Dolgellau's first bank.
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