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"DOL-WYDDELAN, a parish in the hundred of Nant Conway, in the county of Carnarvon, 6 miles S.W. of Llanrwst. It is situated on the river Lledr, under Moel Siabod. There are still remains of the old castle in which Llewelyn the Great as born, and which afterwards descended to the Berkenets and the Gwynnes. Of the two towers which existed in Pennant's time, only one remains, with a small portion of a wall of great thickness. The village is one of the rudest and most primitive in Wales, situated in a wild and lovely valley, entirely surrounded by mountains. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Bangor, value £107, in the patronage of Lord Willoughby d'Eresby. The church, dedicated to St. Gwyrelan, was built by Meredydd-ap-Jevan, who is stated to have purchased the castle in the reign of Henry VII. The Independents and Calvinistic Methodists have places of worship here. Fairs are held on the 16th April, 15th August, and 20th September." [From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]


A guide to Bettws-y-Coed and Llanrwst : with notices of Capel Curig, Trefriw, and Dolwyddelan. Manchester : Abel Heywood & Son, [1906]

Avent, Richard. Dolwyddelan Castle, Dolbadarn Castle. Cardiff : Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments, 1994. 36p

Hughes, H Harold. The old church Dolwyddelan. Bangor : Jarvis & Foster, [1924?] 11p

Kendell, Hilary. Walks from the villages of Snowdonia : Beddgelert, Betws-y-Coed, Capel Curig, Dolwyddelan, Llanberis, Llanrwst, Trefriw. [Betws y Coed] : [Hilary Books], 1999. 113p

Thomas, Evan . Hynafiaethau, hynodion, a hanes Dolwyddelan. [Tremadog] : [Robert Isaac Jones], [1861] 14p


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Dolwyddelan area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

Church History

See Welsh Chapels and Churches for a photograph of St Gwyddelan's Church

Dolwyddelan Church - on the Cistercian Way site

Rev. W. Pari Huws Papers - details of extant records on Archives Network Wales
"Includes;  ...... an address on the centenary of Dolwyddelan Congregational Chapel, Caernarfonshire by him,1917"

Rees, Thomas & John Thomas. Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru (History of the Welsh Independent Churches), 4 volumes (published 1871+). Here is the entry from this book for Dolwyddelan chapel (in Welsh )    - with translation by Eleri Rowlands (Oct 2009) 

Church and chapel data from The Religious census of 1851 : A Calendar of the returns relating to Wales, Vol 11, North Wales. Ed. by Ieuan Gwynedd Jones, UWP, 1981. The names given towards the end of each entry are those of the informants.

Dolwyddelan Parish; Statistics; Area 14384 acres; Population 371 males, 356 females, total 727

  • Dolwyddelan Parish Church                 Attendance - average - morning 40 + 15 scholars          Services in Welsh           Rich. Jones, Perpetual Curate, Bettws-y-coed
  • Capel Eleu, Calvinistic Methodist             Erected 1835           Attendance - morning 131, afternoon 242, evening 150             William Jones, Deacon, Bwlch Cynyd
  • Ganasareth, Independent             Erected 1826         Attendance - afternoon 89 inc 45 scholars, evening 95 inc 55 scholars                   Evan Lewis, Independent Minister
  • Capel y Cyfin, Calvinistic Methodist           Erected 1833        Attendance - morning 43, afternoon 36 scholars, evening 30             William Ellis, Deacon

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Dolwyddelan which are provided by:

A Castle Wales site - Dolwyddelan Castle

People's Collection Wales site (use search box) - Dolwyddelan Castle

Dolwyddelan - on Wikipedia  and wicipedia (Welsh)

Dolwyddelan - on geograph.org

Dolwyddelan Castle - on the Betws-y-coed site


Pedigree and notes on the Lloyds of Hafodunos etc - details of extant records on Archives Network Wales
"Pedigree of the Lloyd family of Hafodunos, Denbighshire, the Owen family of Coetmor, Dolwyddelan, Caernarfonshire and the Jones family of Trefriw, Caernarfonshire"

Wills etc. transcribed by Bob Owen, Croesor  - details of extant records on Archives Network Wales 
"Wills, administrations, inventories etc., transcribed by Bob Owen, c. 1930s, from material, dated 1634 to 1831, held at the Bangor Probate Office. Material relates mainly to parishes around the Merioneth-Caernarfonshire border and in particular the Ardudwy and Llanfachreth-Dolgellau areas as well as the uplands of Dolwyddelan and Penmachno and the shipping activities of old Barmouth...."

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Dolwyddelan has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


Edward Roberts (Jolly Fox) Papers 1877 - 1926  - details of extant records on Archives Network Wales
"Include; Chronicles of the Times i.e. diaries, 1877 - 1926, which include brief notes on events in Dolwyddelan....."


Gwynedd Family History Society  have a diagram of the ecclesiastical parishes of Caernarfonshire (under Parishes)  - with some links to photographs of parish churches

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SH734523 (Lat/Lon: 53.052905, -3.890292), Dolwyddelan which are provided by:

Public Records

Dolwyddelan Rate Books 1876 May 1 - 1877 June 8  - details of extant records on Archives Network Wales
"............ In the late nineteenth century the dominant landowner in the parish was the Gwydir family......"

Social life and Customs

Papers of Gwilym Prysor  - details of extant records on Archives Network Wales
"The collection consists of songs and poems composed for various special occasions; sermons preached on the opening of a chapel in Dolwyddelan ....