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610 233 Dolgellau

Handy Base

Its narrow streets and open main square are home to a good range of inns and shops. Dolgellau’s location makes it one of the handiest bases for exploring all of Snowdonia Mountains and Coast – but don’t miss the many local beauty spots such as the Mawddach Estuary and Precipice Walk.


Quirky fact

Dolgellau has one of the oldest cricket clubs in Wales, dating back to 1869. More recently, it has become home to Tŷ Siamas, the innovative National Centre for Welsh Folk Music

Countryside Festival

The Countryside Festival, where all the profit is given to charity, is a popular annual event.

Cycle Breaks

Cycling and horse riding are available locally – Dolgellau is a specially chosen ‘Cycle Breaks’ centre with a fine range of routes, and for off-roaders there are the adrenaline-pumping mountain biking trails in the nearby Coed-y-Brenin Forest. The forest’s sympathetically designed visitor centre here has something for everyone, including an adventure playground, waymarked family trails, three new all-accessibility walks and a café.


196 150 Beicio Dolgellau Biking

Sense of Place - Dolgellau

Dolgellau stands in the centre of what was once the Celtic tribal lands of the Ordovices, who were conquered by the Romans in AD 77-78. Whilst there is no evidence of a Roman fortress having been located at the site of today’s town – the area would have been marshy during the period - a few Roman coins from the reigns of the Emperors Hadrian and Trajan have been found in the vicinity, and three hillforts around Dolgellau remain of uncertain origin.

Following the withdrawal of Roman Forces from Britain, the Dolgellau area came under the control of a series of Welsh chieftains. It would seem that the story of Dolgellau as a town begins sometime around the late 11th or early 12th century when a settlement was established as a ‘serf village’ or maerdref, possibly by Cadwgan ap Bleddyn. It seems to have remained as such, as it is mentioned in these terms in annals during the reign of Henry Tudor (1485-1509).

While Cymer Abbey in nearby Llanelltyd, founded in 1198 was the most important religious centre locally, during the 12th century a church was built for the inhabitants of the maerdref. This building was later demolished and replaced by the current church built in 1716. From the mid 12th century Dolgellau gained in importance, and was mentioned in the Survey of Meirioneth ordered by Edward I. Later, in 1404, during Owain Glyndwr’s national uprising, Dolgellau became the location of a council of chiefs led by Glyndwr himself.

To read more you can download: Sense of Place - Dolgellau

Sense of Place - Dolgellau People

Rowland Ellis and the Quakers of Dolgellau
In 1657 the celebrated preachers George Fox and John ap John arrived in Dolgellau on their journey throughout Wales. Their preaching made a great impression on a number of local families, and left an enthusiastic Quaker community in the town. 
The Quakers believed in a direct relationship with God which they expressed as an ‘inner light’. They did not believe in rituals, nor in meeting in particular places like churches. They did not recognise the need to doff hats to people who were considered to be more important in society, believing in equality instead and even basic feminism.

For more information on the people of Dolgellau download: People - Dolgellau
address and contact details:
Economy and Community Department, Gwynedd Council, Caernarfon LL55 1SH | tourism@gwynedd.gov.uk | 01286 672232
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