"TREFRIW, a parish in the hundred of Nant Conway, county Carnarvon, 2 miles N.W. of Llanrwst, its post town, and 10 from Aberconway. The village is situated in the vale of the Conway, which is navigable for small craft. Lead, zinc, and other minerals are found here. The living is a rectory* with the curacy of Lanrhychwyn, in the diocese of Bangor, value £168, in the patronage of the Bishop of Llandaff. The church was built by Llewelyn in 1230. At lake Llyn Geirionydd lived Taliesin, the father of Welsh poets. Salmon, trout, and other fish are abundant in the streams and lakes. Fairs are held on the 12th May, 3rd September, and 7th November." [From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]



  • A brief medical historical and geographical review of the Trefriw Chalybeate Wells : "the richest iron waters known". Trefriw : Trefriw Chalybeate Wells, 1908. 68p
  • A guide to Bettws-y-Coed and Llanrwst : with notices of Capel Curig, Trefriw, and Dolwyddelan. Manchester : Abel Heywood & Son, [1906]
  • Beecham's photo-folio : 24 choice photographic views ... Bettws -y- Coed & Trefriw. St.Helens, Lancashire : Thomas Beecham, [ca.1900?]
  • Evans, J R. The Trefriw steamers, 1847-1940. Trafodion Cymdeithas Hanes y Bedyddwyr (1989), p. 13-16
  • Hayward, John W. Guide to Trefriw and the Vale of Conway spa. Liverpool : London : Adam Holden ; Simpkin, Marshall, 1881. 83p
  • Jones, Morris C. Hanes Trefriw : fel y bu ac fel y mae : sef desgrifiad cryno o'r ardal a'r trigolion, achyddiaeth yr hen deuluoedd, campau ac arferion yr henafiaid . Llanrwst : Argraphwyd gan W.J. Roberts, 1879. 48p
  • Lilly, Gweneth. Treason at Trefriw : the Conwy Valley, 1605. Llandysul : Pont Books, 1993. 68p. Welsh version originally published: Llandysul: Gomer, 1991
  • Phil ap Iorwerth. Living link with the past : [Trefriw woollen mill]. Country Quest 28/1 (1987), p. 45
  • Roberts, Owen O. The Vale of Conway Spa : or, Observations upon the medicinal properties of the Trefriw Waters. Carnarvon : James Rees, pr, 1853. 27p
  • Trefriw and Llanrhychwyn churches : a short story. Trefriw : Llanrhychwyn : Saint Mary's Church ; Llanrhychwyn Church, [197-?] 8p
  • Trefriw : its lakes and walks. Manchester : Abel Heywood and Son, 1907. 28p
  • Wicklen, Stan. Editions of Y Dadl (1776) of Dafydd Jones of Trefriw. Transactions of the Caernarvonshire Historical 46 (1985), p. 15-21
  • Williams, Samuel. Hanes Ebeneser, Trefriw 1935-1966. Trefriw : [Eglwys Trefriw?], 1967. 19p

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.

Trefriw Parish; Statistics; Area (with Llanrhychwyn parish) 9576 acres; Population (just Trefriw) 214 males, 214 females, total 428

  • Trefriw Parish Church           "The Church has been for about a century in a most dilapidated and wretched condition and considered by the parishioners not only unfit but highly injurious to their health to attend. The attendance in consequence of this has been very small. The Church is at prsent and has been for the last 12 months undergoing a thorough restoration and is expected to be finished in about 6 weeks ......." W Lewis Walker, Rector
  • Nebo, Trefriw, Calvinistic Methodists       Erected 15 years ago                    Attendance - morning 27 scholars, afternoon 27                   "The weather was unfavourable this day at our high land place"             John Roberts, Manager, Tyddyn Wilym
  • Penuel, Trefriw, Welsh Calvinistic Methodist        Erected 1815          Attendance - morning 133, afternoon 108 scholars, evening 192                      Roger Thomas Rogers, Deacon
  • Ebanezer, Trefriw, Independants                    Erected 1833              Attendance - morning 103 + 63 scholars, afternoon 148, evening 85                  "There had began to preach about 60 years ago in this neighbourhood for independants"      Henry Jones, Diacon, Tan y Celyn
  • 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 Trefriw chapel (in Welsh )   - with translation by Eleri Rowlands (Dec 2009)

Church, Trefriw (1883) - on the People's Collection Wales  site


Church Records


Description & Travel

Trefriw - on the Times Past - North Wales Photo Archive site

'Trefriw, near Llanrwst, with mill' by David Cox jnr (1809-85) (water colour and pencil) - on the People's Collection Wales site

You can see pictures of Trefriw which are provided by:



TREVRIW (TREV-RIW), a parish in the Uchgorvai division of the hundred of NANTCONWAY, county of CARNARVON, NORTH WALES, on the road from Aberconway to Llanrwst, 2 miles (N. N. W.) from Llanrwst, containing 413 inhabitants. The village is situated on the western bank of the river Conway, up which the tide flows to it, and vessels of sixty tons' burden come up to this place, bringing coal, lime, and other heavy goods for Llanrwst and the neighbouring parishes, and conveying downwards the produce of the slate quarries of Trevriw and Llanrhychwyn. Lead-ore and zinc exist in the parish, and have lately been procured to a considerable extent. Fairs are held on May 12th, September 3rd, and November 7th. The living is a discharged rectory, with the perpetual curacy of Llanrhychwyn annexed, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Bangor, rated in the king's books at £7. 15. 10., and in the patronage of the Bishop of Bangor. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a small edifice, consisting of a nave, chancel, and north aisle : it is stated to have been built by Prince Llewelyn the Great, about the year 1230, "for the ease of his princess, who before was obliged to go on foot to Llanrhychwyn, a long walk among the mountains." There are places of worship for Independents and Calvinistic Methodists. A free school, for the benefit of poor children of Trevriw and the adjoining parishes, was founded here, in 1817, by Lord Willoughby de Eresby, by whom it is also supported. Llewelyn ab Iorwerth is stated to have had a palace here, situated in a place now called Gardd y Neuadd, where some hewn stones were discovered, which have since been used in building a wall, and are pointed out as the only remaining fragments of the royal habitation. Dr. Thomas Williams, a physician, who compiled a Latin and Welsh Dictionary, and wrote some other works, which are preserved in manuscript, was, according to Mr. Owen, a native of Trevriw, where he died about the year 1620. The poor are supported by an average annual expenditure amounting to £75. 8. . (A Topographical Dictionary of Wales by Samuel Lewis, 1833)

Historical Geography

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



Various items  - on the People's Collection Wales  site

  • Slate Pier at Trefriw, photographed by Roger Fenton between 1851 and 1862
  • The 'George' steam boat at the quay in Trefriw, c. 1875
  • 'Trefriw near Llanrwst, with mill' by David Cox Jnr. (1809-85) (watercolour & pencil)


Gwynedd Family History Society have a diagram of the ecclesiastical parishes of Caernarfonshire (under Parishes)

Plan of the parishes of Trefriw and Llanrhychwyn, Carnarvonshire - on the People's Collection Wales  site

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SH774637 (Lat/Lon: 53.156162, -3.835473), Trefriw which are provided by:


Merchant Marine

Trefriw Port Books 1817-1847 -  details of extant records on Archives Network Wales
"Include; ............ details of vessels, tonnages, masters, origins, destinations, cargoes by weight and fees etc .........."



Trefriw Woollen Mill  - on the Finster site

Trefriw Woollen Mill - on Kate and Jeff McConnaughey's site

Slate Pier at Trefriw, photographed by Roger Fenton between 1851 and 1862  - on the People's Collection Wales site



Conwy Schools (Ysgolion Conwy) records -  details of extant records on Archives Network Wales
"Include; ......... Trefriw: National School, 1866-1953; Trefriw: Nantbwlchyrhaiarn Council School, 1908-1964