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"TYWYN, (or Towyn), a parish, post, and market town in the hundred of Estimaner, county Merioneth, 12 miles N. of Aberystwith, and 10 from Barmouth Ferry, with which it is connected by a short branch of the Aberystwith and Welsh coast railway. It is a bathing-place situated under the hills, near Cardigan Bay, opposite Sarn-y-Buch shoal. The parish includes Aberdovey, Cefnrhos, Cynfalfach, Faenol, and 7 other townships The town is much resorted to for bathing. In the parish is a small harbour easy of access. The herring fishery is carried on to some extent, and lead, copper, and slate are productive. The soil is rocky. Much of the marshes have been reclaimed, and are now rich meadow and pasture. The ruins of Trebeni Castle are seen on the hills. The river abounds in salmon." [From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]


Aberdovey & Tywyn pocket companion. Tywyn : Aberdovey & Tywyn Tourism Council, 1993. 48p

Aberdovey : a glimpse of the past : a collection of photographs. [Aberdovey] : [Hugh M. Lewis], [1975] 64p

Beech, Michael J. My childhood in Tywyn, Meirionydd : 1942-1951. Montpon-Ménestérol : Les Presses de la Double, 2002. 69 leaves

Leigh, Leslie A. Tenant farmer family in-migration and stability in the parishes of Pennal and Tywyn, 1838-1910. Journal of the Merioneth Historical and Record Society 12 (1996), p. 277-88

Lewis, Hugh M. Aberdovey official guide. Aberdovey : Aberdovey Advertising Association, [195-?] 42p

Morgan, Thomas O. New guide to Aberdovey and its neighbourhood : with some account of Towyn, Machynlleth, and the vales of Dovey and Dysynwy. Aberystwyth : J. Cox, 1854. 118p

Official guide Tywyn Meirionnydd, Gwynedd : home of the Talyllyn Railway. 5th ed. Tywyn : Tywyn and District Publicity Bureau, [1985]. 114p

Thomas, Henry. Some features and episodes in the history of St. Cadvan's Church, Towyn. 1964?

Towyn, Merioneth : the official guide. Gloucester : British Publishing Co., [195-?] 56p

Business and Commerce Records

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Towyn Friendly Society and Aberllefenni Slate and Slab Quarries Co. records 1832-1953
    "Towyn Friendly Society was established in c.1830 in Tywyn, Merionethshire............. Aberllefenni Slate and Slab Quarries Co., Machynlleth, Montgomeryshire, managed the Aberllefenni Quarry, close to Corris, Montgomeryshire, during the 19th and 20th centuries; its records became incorporated in those of Towyn Friendly Society."

Church History

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.

Parish statistics; Area 26372 acres; Population 1322 males, 1447 females, total 2769

  • Towyn Parish Church          Attendance - 60 + 36 scholars, afternoon 45 + 36 scholars        Services in Welsh        Owen Jones, Minister
  • St Peter's Church        Consecrated 1837 as an additional church         Attendance - morning 102 + 80 scholars, afternoon 96 + 76 scholars           "The above morning congregation consisted principally of English people, the afternoon of Welsh ......."          Benjamin Morgan, Minister
  • NB. There is no entry for the Aberdyfi Chapel of Ease erected in 1833
  • Bwlch, Celynen, Calvinistic Methodist                 Erected 1809          Attendance - morning 40, afternoon 86 scholars, evening 95      Humphrey Pugh, Deacon, Torfannau, nr Towyn
  • Tabernacl, Aberdovey, Welsh Calvinistic Methodist           Attendance - morning 146, evening 179                 Owen Williams, Deacon, Shoemaker
  • Bethel, Aberdovey, Wesleyan Methodist            Erected c1832             Attendance - morning 90, afternoon 71, evening 124                William Rowlands, Class Leader
  • Christian Meeting House, Towyn, Brethren Meeting on Unsectarian Principles              Formerly a dwelling house built before 1800         Attendance - morning 9, afternoon 10 scholars, evening 44                 John Pughe, One of the Ministers, Penhelyg House
  • Nebo, Aberdovey, Independent/Congregational         Erected 1845       Attendance - morning 11, afternoon 22, evening 21                 The mark of Thomas Walter, Deacon, Boatman, Aberdovey
  • Chapel Maethlon, Towyn, Calvinistic Methodist           Erected 1820         Attendance - morning 79 + 51 scholars, afternoon 79 + 51 scholars, evening 79           William Jones, Elder, Llanerchyllyn
  • Bethesda, Towyn, Independent             Erected 1820             Attendance - morning 38 scholars, afternoon 120, evening 110              Hugh Lloyd, Minister
  • Bethel, Towyn, Calvinistic Methodist           Erected 1815            Attendance - morning 74 + 18 scholars, evening 112 + 30 scholars           William Rees, Deacon, Draper
  • Ebenezer, Towyn, Wesleyan Methodist             Erected 1820               Attendance - morning school, afternoon 151, evening 110           Daniel Jones, Wesleyan Minister, Towyn
  • Penisardre, Towyn, Wesleyan association        Attendance - morning 32 scholars, afternoon 57, evening 48                 Griffith griffiths, Missionary
  • Saron, Towyn, Independent                   Erected 1837 on new site               Attendance - morning 52, afternoon 42 scholars, evening 50            Hugh Lloyd, Minister
  • Bethlehem, Bryncrug, Towyn, Calvinistic Methodist         Erected 1800    Attendance - morning 210, afternoon 212 scholars, evening 250               Griffith Jones, Steward, Gwyddelfynydd
  • Brynhoreb, Bryncrug, Towyn, Wesleyan Methodist            Erected 1830           Attendance - morning 71, afternoon 67 scholars, evening 107      John Jones, Steward, Bryncrug British School

St Peter's Church, Aberdyfi

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 Saron, Bryncrug   chapel (in Welsh ) - with translation by Eleri Rowlands            And Towyn chapel (No translation)    And Aberdyfi chapel  (No translation)

Church Records

Joyce Hinde has supplied a list of Parish Registers held at Merioneth Record Office.

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Eglwys Bethel (MC), Tywyn, casgliad (collection) 1879-1971  ".....established in 1815, with a new chapel being built in 1871......"
  • Eglwys Gynulleidfaol Bethesda (Bethesda Congregational Church), Tywyn, cofnodion (records) 1809-1957    
    "The cause at Bethesda Congregational Church, Tywyn, Merionethshire, was begun in 1804. ......."

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Tywyn which are provided by:

Narrow Gauge Railway Museum at Tywyn Wharf

Tywyn - on Wikipedia

Aberdovey - on Wikipedia

Aberdovey - on the Aberdyfi.org site



Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Owens brothers of Rhoslefain, Tywyn, archives.  20th century    "Hugh W. and Haydn Owens were brothers from Rhoslefain, Tywyn, Merionethshire, who moved to the USA. ...... "
  • Williams, W. Pryce, of Tywyn, papers    "papers of W. Pryce Williams, 1863-1958, comprising printed flyers of local interests, 1887-1958, including lists of pupils at Towyn Council School, 1927-1936; family papers, 1894-1939; letters, 1894-1907; note books, 1863-1935; and miscellaneous papers, 1891-1955"

Historical Geography

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


Tywyn enamel works group c 1885 - on the People's Collection Wales site


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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SH586006 (Lat/Lon: 52.584742, -4.088555), Tywyn which are provided by:

Merchant Marine

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Aberdovey Port (Aberdyfi) trading letters and accounts     "Xerox copies of Aberdovey Port, Aberdyfi, trading letters and accounts, 1787-1794 [20th century]."
  • Aberdyfi crew lists 1863-1913   "Crew lists, merchant ships' agreements and official logbooks of ships connected to Aberdyfi, registered at Aberystwyth, 1863-1913"
  • T. Wynne Thomas of Aberdovey Archives  "Papers ..... relating to Aberdyfi, comprising Cambrian Railways-Port Aberdovey account books, 1882-1888; newspaper cuttings on shipping at Aberdovey and the Second World War, 1882-1944; manuscripts, 1925-1926; printed booklet, 1946; and photograph of the Aberdovey Lifeboat, [undated]."
  • Wynne-Williams, R. A., Cambrian Railways port papers    "Cambrian Railways Company, rgister of vessels, Port of Aberdovey, 1895-1932; and notes of ships using Aberdovey Port, 1934-1959."

Social life and Customs

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Towyn Golf Club Records 1904-1946
  • Tywyn and District War Memorial Cottage Hospital records 1919-1964    "...... comprising minute books, 1919-1947; programmes, 1932-1964; newspaper cuttings, [undated]-1964; and miscellaneous papers, [undated]-1948."