Heritage of Barmouth
The first record of Barmouth as a small port on the Welsh Coast was in 1565 in a survey commissioned by Queen Elizabeth I. Subsequently, Barmouth and the Afon Mawddach developed as one of the major ship building centres in Wales during the 18th & 19th centuries.
Enjoy a short walking tour of Barmouth’s maritime heritage by visiting the Sailors Institute, Ty Gwyn, Round House and Lifeboat Museum, all situated around the harbour area and open during daylight hours with free admission.
Ty Gwyn dates back to 1460 and is one of the first four buildings to be built in the shelter of the anchorage. It was built by Gruffydd Fychan of Cors-y-Gedol as a potential escape route. Later, Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke lay concealed in the building with his ward, the future King Henry VII, when plotting the downfall of Richard at the Battle of Bosworth. Artefacts including those from ‘The Bronze Bell Wreck’, which was discovered by local sub-aqua club members just off the coast are on display in Ty Gwyn ‘the Shipwreck Museum’. The vessel foundered whilst carrying a cargo of Carrara marble from Genoa. Local sculptor Frank Cocksey was commissioned to carve one of the marble blocks as a unique piece of art representing three generations of fishermen pulling in their catch. This is now sited on the harbour-side.
Ty Crwn (the Round House) was built as a lock-up for wrongdoers of the time, one half for women, the other for men. Situated just behind Ty Gwyn, it has two figures showing what life was like as a prisoner in 1830.
The recently refurbished Sailors Institute (on the quay) was erected in 1890 and houses many artefacts, pictures and paintings.
Further north along the promenade the R.N.L.I Lifeboat Museum displays information, photographs, crew kit and equipment, plus gives the opportunity for close inspection of the Barmouth lifeboat from a viewing gallery. Regular exercises provide an opportunity for the public to watch the lifeboat being launched by the local volunteer
Discover Old Barmouth
Climbing haphazardly up the steep slopes at the back of the High Street,
the paths and alleys of old Barmouth reveal many quaint and delightful corners.
Houses seem to be built almost on top of one another in this fascinating jumble
of steps and terraces. Continue upwards, beyond the last houses to reach the
open hillside of Dinas Olau (Fortress of Light), donated by Fanny Talbot,
the very first piece of land owned by the National Trust. To commemorate its
Centenary, the National Trust constructed a semi circular viewing point high
above the town.