Ynys Cynhaiarn - Gazetteers

National Gazetteer (1868)

"YNYS-CYNHAIARN, a parish in the hundred of Evionydd, county Carnarvon. The parish includes the market town of Tremadoc, and the bathing-place of Portmadoc, which latter is a subport to Carnarvon. The surface is hilly, and there are mines of copper and slate. The population of the parish in 1861 was 3,138. The living is a perpetual curacy* annexed to that of Criccieth. The church is dedicated to St. Cynhaiarn."

"PORTMADOC, a village in the parish of Ynys-cynhaiarn, county Carnarvon, 1 mile S.E. of Tremadoc. It is a subport to Carnarvon, and has daily communication by coach with Pen-y-Groes railway station on the Carnarvon and Nantlle railway. The village, which contains a commercial inn, is situated at the mouth of the river Traeth Mawr. It is much frequented in the season for sea-bathing."

"TREMADOC, a small market town in the parish of Ynys-Cynhaiarn, county Carnarvon, 7 miles from Beddgelert, and 15 S. E. of Carnarvon. It stands on the western side, and a little above the Traeth Mawr, a tract of land reclaimed from the sea in 1809 by the late Mr. Maddocks, of Tanyrallt, who also built the town. It is regularly laid out in the form of a square, and contains a market-house, assembly rooms, hotel, commercial branch bank, and a church. Vessels of 300 tons can lie in the bay, and the mineral railway from Festiniog brings down vast quantities of slate to be shipped at the rising little port of Porthmadoc.

The river Glasllyn, which is crossed by a bridge at the further extremity of the great sea wall, has been deepened, and its banks protected by dykes. This undertaking was effected by Mr. Maddocks, at the cost of £100,000, to protect the drowned lands within the Traeth, but it has not been entirely successful. There is a quay and breakwater at Porthmadoc. Market day is on Friday. Fairs are held on 6th March, Easter Monday, 14th May, 20th August, 25th September, and 12th November."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]

A Topographical Dictionary of Wales Samuel Lewis, 1833

YNYSCYNHAIARN (YNYS-CYNHAIARN), a parish, comprising the town of Tremadoc (which is described under its own head), in the hundred of EIVIONYDD, county of CARNARVON; NORTH' WALES, and containing 1075 inhabitants. This parish, which derives its name from its low maritime situation, and the dedication of its church to St. Cynhaiarn, who flourished about the close of the sixth century, is situated on the "Traeth Mawr, and on the turnpike road from Pwllheli to Tremadoc. The surface is very uneven, and in some parts mountainous; and the soil varies exceedingly, but in the lower grounds is fertile. In the mountainous parts copper-ore is found in various places, but none of the mines are worked with spirit or success. The living is annexed to the rectory of Criccieth, in the archdeaconry of Merioneth, and diocese of Bangor. The church is now being rebuilt upon a more commodious site, in the later style of English architecture, and, when completed, will be a very handsome structure: the churchyard has been very considerably enlarged; a measure rendered absolutely necessary from the increase of population which has taken place since the formation of the town and port of Tremadoc. There are places of worship for Independents and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists. The poor children of this parish are entitled to the benefit of gratuitous instruction in the school at Criccieth. The average annual expenditure for the relief of the poor of the whole parish amounts to £329.7.



TREMADOC, a market-town and small sea-port, in the parish of YNYSCYNHAIARN, hundred of EIVIONYDD, county of CARNARVON, NORTH WALES, 20 miles (S. by E.) from Carnarvon. The population is returned with the parish. This place, which is of very recent origin, and a signal instance of the triumph of public-spirited perseverance over accumulated and apparently insurmountable local difficulties, derives its name from its patriotic and enterprising founder, the late William Alexander Madocks, Esq. This gentleman, having projected a plan for regaining from the sea a portion of land on the western side of the wide sandy aestuary called the "Traeth Mawr," purchased the estate of Tan yr Allt, in the immediate vicinity, in 1798, and in 1800 succeeded in recovering a tract of nearly two thousand acres of rich land, then forming Penmorva marsh, which now produces excellent crops of wheat, barley, and clover, to which he gave the appropriate name of Glandwr. Encouraged by the success of his first attempt, Mr. Madocks was induced to undertake the more arduous enterprise of reclaiming the whole of the Traeth Mawr, and for this purpose he obtained, in 1808, an act of parliament vesting in him and in his heirs the whole extent of these sands, from Pont Aber Glaslyn, at their head, to the point at Gest, at their lower extremity. According to the provisions of this act, Mr. Madocks received a grant of two thousand acres in fee, and was to receive one-fifth part of the land recovered from the sea, or secured from injury by the floods, the remainder to go to the free-holders who claimed right of common on the adjoining marshes. Notwithstanding the numerous unforeseen obstacles which threatened to frustrate the undertaking, Mr. Madocks succeeded in constructing across the mouth of the Traeth Mawr, at the eastern extremity of Cardigan bay, an embankment of earth and stones, nearly one mile in length, from north to south, varying from one hundred to four hundred feet in breadth at the base, and diminishing gradually to a breadth of thirty feet at the summit, which is one hundred feet high from the foundation. By means of this embankment, which, having an excellent road along its summit, forms a line of communication between the counties of Carnarvon and Merioneth, a tract of more than two thousand seven hundred acres of land was recovered from the sea, besides a vast extent of adjoining land, which was before overflowed by the tides, but is now, by draining, rendered susceptible of cultivation. This arduous enterprise was completed in 1811, at an expense of more than £ 100,000 ; and, including the lands previously recovered, not less than seven thousand acres have been gained, of which six thousand are now cultivated.

The town is situated on a portion of the tract first recovered from the sea, and is built on the sides of a spacious quadrangular area, having in the centre a lofty column, round the pedestal of which there is a flight of twelve steps. The houses are of handsome appearance, and the town promises, when the plan is fully completed, to be a great ornament to this part of the coast. Tan yr Allt, the seat of the late W. A. Madooks, Esq., is a spacious modern mansion of elegant design, situated on an elevated rock overlooking the town: it is surrounded with thriving plantations, and presents, with its entrance lodge of neat and appropriate design, a pleasing and picturesque appearance. Morva Lodge, and Twntirbwlch, erected also by that gentleman, are handsome villas in the immediate vicinity of the town. With a view to promote the commercial interests of the town which he had founded, Mr. Madocks, in 1821, obtained an act of parliament for improving the navigation of this part of the bay, on which it is situated, under the provisions of which he rendered it accessible to vessels of three hundred tons' burden, which can now lie here in safety, and constructed commodious quays and wharfs for the landing and shipping of goods. The last improvement carried into effect was the erection of Port Madoc, about one mile from the town, where many good houses have been built, and a considerable trade is now carried on. The principal exports are slates, which are brought from the Festiniog quarries, and of which about twelve thousand tons are shipped annually from this place; and copperore, which is brought from the neighbouring mines : the chief imports are timber, coal, and lime. A rail-road from the Festiniog quarries, and the mines in the neighbourhood, to this place, has been for some time in contemplation, and a company has been formed under an act recently passed for that purpose. Lead-ore has been discovered at Gest, near this town ; and an excellent road has been constructed by Mr. Madocks from Aberglaslyn, through Tremadoc, to Nevin on the western coast of Carnarvonshire. Fairs are held here annually on Easter-Monday, March 6th, May 14th, August 20th, September 25th, and November 12th. On the east side of the area a commodious market-house has been erected, above which is a handsome assembly-room. Mr. Madocks also built, at his own expense, a handsome small church, in the later style of English architecture, with a lofty spire, which forms an interesting object as seen from the coast : divine service is regularly performed in the English language, every Sunday, which is a great accommodation to families residing in the neighbourhood,  as there is no other church within twenty miles, in which the service is performed in the English language.  The road from Tremadoc to Bethgelart, along the northern side of the Traeth Mawr, passes for some distance under perpendicular cliffs of great height, in which are numerous chasms and fissures. After heavy rains, or long-continued frosts, immense masses are sometimes detached from the impending precipices, and fall with a tremendous crash, bestrewing the way with fragments, sometimes of sufficient magnitude to obstruct the passage. This road commands to great advantage the scenery of the Merionethshire side of the Traeth, and affords a delightful ride to Pont Aberglaslyn and its vicinity.


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