Saturday, 21 July 2012

Llangollen, North Wales



Following the decision of the coach driver to visit "Two churches and a Tweed mill" we were given an extensive tour of the Welsh countryside to the south and east of Llandudno. The main afternoon stop at Llangollen was a huge ... 75 minutes ! Ah well I should be thankful that I was allowed to see such a place from the starting point of Llandudno as it's something I would not have considered doing.

In addition to Llandudno, Llangollen was another location that I had up my blogging sleeve from last year, so hopefully I can preserve some specific text and photographic content such as the railway and festival for that occasion in the future.


Following a conversation with the coach driver about the location of the canal, my Mother went around the shops with her friend while I went off to discover the waterway which I didn't have time to see on the rather hurried previous occasion when I was passing through.


The Canal system was originally built generally for transporting products to and from ironworks and coal mines in the area and the grand plans for connecting the system to the major western rivers were modified to join with The Shropshire Union Canal. Due to the modified plans, The Llangollen section of the canal had a secondary use as a source of water and strong currents to feed the Shropshire system. Freight was transported along the canal until 1939 before final closure in 1944.


Thankfully the canal was never totally abandoned or disposed of as the strong current provided water for a local reservoir and the exploration of The Llangollen Canal as a boating holiday commenced in the 1970's / early 1980's. It has become popular due to the surrounding hillside scenery, the nearby Pontcysylite Aqueduct built by Thomas Telford and indeed Llangollen itself.


Those wishing to sample the delights of the canal and The aqueduct without too much outlay can opt for a horse drawn trip of 45 minutes or 2 hours.

"Window of opportunity"
Stan.   "I hope this is the 45 minute trip"
Shop door artwork ... or Stan's pin up !
Bridge ... more than meets the eye.
One of the more surprising historic structures of the town is the bridge that crosses The River Dee that was built in 1345 that had to be bizarrely extended over the railway at the north end when it was built during the late 19th century. If that's not enough, the bridge was then widened during the 1960s with the opposite side to the one depicted being of a more modern construction in keeping with the historic side.
On a side note, the hotel in the background at the south side of the bridge was rebuilt to accommodate more guests in 1815.  Before she became Queen, Princess Victoria once stayed here with her Mother in 1832 and subsequently the owners renamed The Kings Head to The Royal Hotel.

Trying not to bore you with bridge details !


The 600 year old Corn Mill, on the same side of the river as The Royal but on the other side of the bridge, was once used for grinding corn by possibly The Cisterian Monks. It was rebuilt in 1786 and was still used up to 1974 before being abandoned and in danger of collapse.  The preservation of the building took decades as all the people and authorities involved couldn't agree on the function and purpose of the building. The owners finally achieved their dream and eventually opened it as a restaurant and pub in 2000 complete with working waterwheel.


Lastly, there was just enough time to have a quick look at all the shops from the outside, so here's an opportunity to sample the some delights of Castle street, Oak Street and Market Street.







Mr Jones, proud of his Welsh roots !







Sidal's Food to go ... Yum


I met up with my Mother and her friend for a drink in The Buttered Crust before they got back on the coach, but my thoughts were with someone else who seemed to be denied of the culinary privileges !!! ....
"Is it my turn now ? " !!

12 comments:

  1. That's another interesting part of the trip. I love the animals, horse and dog. You ahow us a series of convincing photos.

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  2. Great colourful images J......

    -Trevor

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  3. I would love to go to The Buttered Crust! I always love coming along on your travels! So many things I don't get to see in my everyday life!

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  4. So glad you are back blogging again. Glad to see you are traveling again too. Great shots of charming place--love the bridge. Mickie:)

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  5. It has been a long time since I have visited Llangollen, your photos make me want to return.

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  6. What an interesting excursion!
    Very nice photographs!
    And everybody had his own joy...

    Greetings, dear J.!

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  7. I can't even decide which photos would be my favorites. They would all, collectively, make a great coffee-table book! To think that there are people who never see beyond their flat in the asphalt jungle - and then there are the people who live in Llangollen. What a beautiful place. And that massive bridge! Is it common there to have signs in both Welsh and English? Good thing the Border Collie was spared the fudge - which might have killed him - or at least made him very sick. But a tea cake would have been a nice gesture. :-) Very nice post - and yet another place to add to my list. sigh. I wonder how many of the general population of the UK get out and about to see the many beautiful places scattered about the countryside.

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  8. So interesting blog and wonderful photos :) Thank you for nice time spent here :)

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  9. Oh Jayz, these photos are wonderful. I want to step inside one of your photos.

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  10. Hi, J, nice to see you blogging again :).
    It's such a picturesque looking place... The bridge has an interesting history as well as the corn mill, it's true that many old buildings are falling into disrepair just because there is no purpose for them any more.

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