Historical Facts Llansanffraid Glan Conwy village

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Location: Llansanffraid Glan Conwy, Denbighshire, Wales, United Kingdommap
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This page has facts about the village which have been shared in a Facebook group.

They have been shared with the permission of the author James Berry a local historian for the village.


Llan Fact shared 12 August 2022

For many years the hamlet of Bryn Rhys was independent of Llan. With its Chapel, two pubs, a smithy, a shop and a school; It was a vibrant if unorthdox community. The name has nothing to do with anybody called Rhys rather it is the word Rhus meaning an obstacle or a barrier and walking up old Bryn Hill you can see why it got the name Difficult Hill - Bryn Rhus

Ysgoldy is still there which translates as School house.

Llan Fact shared 4 September 2021

There has always been debate about how Y Bont Plismon got its name. Was a Policeman killed there by robbers breaking into Penrhiw Farm or was it all just a story?

Well, thankfully I can now give you the facts.

PC Thomas Owen originally from Denbigh had by 1874 been the village constable for15 years. By all accounts, he was a sensible, wise and resourceful officer who had the respect of the locals. His arrest rate was so low not because of his ineptitude but because of his excellent preservation of the Queen's Peace in Llan. On the afternoon of Tuesday 20th, October 1874 PC Owen attended a public auction at Bron Feriaeth Farm. He left early in the evening to return home probably due to the impending storm. That night Llansanffraid and the surrounding area was hit by torrential rain and devastating winds. PC Owen never returned home, On Wednesday morning 21st of October, a search discovered his body floating in a pool of water in Nant Y Garreg Ddu. The body was removed to Penrhiw Farm where Dr Pierce performed an autopsy. He deduced death was by drowning after a knock to the head. The inquest ventured that at the height of the storm PC Owen had tried to cross the wooden footbridge which was less than a yard wide and with no handrails. The strength of the wind it was believed had thrown him into the water whereupon he hit his head on the rocks. Unconcious he drowned in the swollen river. Other suggestions proffered that his police cape may have blown over his head causing him to fall. The court found that death was due to accidental drowning. From then on the bridge was renamed Y Bont Plismon, its original name lost forever.

There is a mention of this in the Welsh newspaper [1]

Policeman Thomas Owen, Llansantffraid Glan Conwy, lost his life during the storm on Tuesday night. As he dared to see towards his home, He slipped on a stone bridge to which there were no guides; he hit his head against a large stone, and went headlong into the water, and died.

Funeral of a Police Officer

Llan Fact shared 1 September 2021

In the mid 19th century the railway had not yet cut the village off from the river. At high tide, the water would fill up the creeks and gullies presenting a totally different view than today. Had you been down on the shore on Monday 27th October 1857 you would have seen a large crowd of people from the village and the surrounding area gathered to see the launching of one of the last ships to be built in Llan. The sloop The Ann & Ellen had been built of local oak by the master Shipwright John Jones. The trouble-free launching into the Conwy was noted as perfect by the press The Ann & Ellen was built for the Slate trade and was capable of carrying 60 -70 tons of slate.

Before the Railway

Llan Fact shared 31 August 2021

In 1887 the Crown Inn was put up for sale. The description of the premises gives an idea of how the many small inns in Llan would have looked." "Lot 3 Licensed Inn The Crown with outbuildings and garden, Situate on the main road to Eglwysbach at Top y Llan now in the ownership of Owen Jones. Basement- cellar and Brewhouse. Ground floor- Bar. Kitchen and Parlour, First floor- 2 bedrooms with attics above. "

Llan Fact shared 28 August 2021

When Sir John Wynn of Gwydir reported on the plague in Llan in the late 16th century. He noted that only " five cabins" stood near the church.

By the late 18th century the village was dominated by four farms. Tyddyn Y Llan, Ty Mawr yn Llan, Bryn Gynog and the Union Inn Farm.

Only two houses stood on "Church Street" , today's Victoria House and Tan y Fynwent.

The main concentration of housing was on Stryt Ucha' (Top Llan) and Pendraw Llan and around the now vanished square. A few cottages clung to Pen Tai which developed after the first Bryn Ebenezer was built. The vast majority of building in the village dates from trhe 19th century and after.

The term Church Street is a very modern development. In the 1930's it was noted as Main Street but locals called it Pentre Llan.

Locals simply divided Llan up into Pentre Llan, Canol Llan, Pendraw Llan and Top Llan.

Llan Fact shared 9 August 2021

The tithes and rents from the parish of Llansanffraid Glan Conwy made the position of rector a very lucrative one indeed. However for many years in the late 17th century and 18th the rector of the parish, didn't live here. The Rectory was rented out and the rector rarely if ever visited. Tithes and rents were collected on his behalf. Instead, the rector would employ a curate to run the parish and pay him a wage , which at times was barely enough for the curate to survive on. The curate lived in a house next to the church known as Tan y Fynwent. The Mounting Stone which he used to get onto his horse is just still visable outside his front door. In later years ithe house would become the Church Institute, then a shop and today is divided into two flats. The house today has been renamed TIr Eglwys, and one can only hope it will regain its original name soon.

Llan Fact shared 8 August 2021

For centuries a small stone chapel gaurded the entrance to the little river port of Llansanffraid Glan Conwy, The chapel was dedicated to St Ffraid and marked the spot of her supposed miracle of changing rushes into fish. However the site has been sacred for centuries before the chapel was built. The rock would have been an island when the tide was in and was marked as sacred by the Celts to their goddess Ffraid. The majority of Ffraid sites are located at or near obvious water features. At Dyserth the waterfalls. The vast expanse of St Ffraid's Bay in Pembrokshire. In Llan the rock marked the site where the fresh water of the village stream met the salty waters of the estuary. Even today the clear water of the stream exit in to the Conwy from a culvert under the embankment. Somebody other than myself has also realised the importance of this site and hangs strips of cloth near the spot on the major ancient celtic festivals., When the Celts converted to Christianity they made their gods and goddesses saints. Exit the goddess Ffraid enter St Ffraid. In the late 17th century the Chapel was stiil been used for offerings to St Ffraid for the safety of the herds. In the early 18th century it stood in ruins, untiL a huge storm in or around 1740 washed every trace away. The rock on which the chapel stood is called Pen trwyn yr Hen Gapel.

Llan Fact shared 7 August 2021

When the old medieval church of Llansanffraid Glan Conwy was demolished in 1839 very little of its ancient sructure and contents remained. However if you look closely some traces are still visable. 1.Any good bits of masonary were re cycled to build the North wall this included many shaped pieces of sandstone which more than likely came from the Roman fort at Caerhun. 2. The limestone ridge tiles of the old double aisled church were reused. 3.The old East window of 15th century stained glass depicting St Catherine and St John was repaired and placed in the west wall above the door. 4. The 18th century parish chest with its triple lock, 5. The tomb of Lady Eleanor Mytton (1642)

Llan Fact shared 6 August 2021

The old parish of Llansanffraid Glan Conwy which consisted of five townships:- Deunant, Llan or Tre'r Llan, Penoros,Trallwyn and Tre Bwll. This parish was also known as Diserth. In 1873 part of the township of Deunant was lost to the new parish of Trofarth and in 1900 the remainder of the township of Deunant and part of the township of Tre Bwll went to the new parish of Bryn y Maen. In 1970 a small portion of the north of the parish was transferred to the parish of Llangwstenin.

Llan Fact shared 19 March 2021

In 1860 the government legislated for the destruction of the vast majority of fishing weirs and fish traps. In use for hundreds of years they were highly effective and even in 1860 the government feared that they were damaging fish stocks. The fishing weir at Llandrillo yn Rhos had been established by the Cistercian Monks of Aberconwy, A fish processing "factory" based around what is now Rhos Fynach, Rhos' weir was in operation well into the age of photography and beyond. At low tide the remains of it's wooden fences and stone lines can still be seen. In Llan along the river between Bys y Benwaig yr Ail and Carreg y Groes and below Garth Farm was Cored Trallwyn (Trallwyn Weir). An alternative name Cored Bigot (Spikey Weir /Picket Weir) gives some suggestion of its construction. The weir seems to have been very profitable . As a result of a legal case in 1600 "William ap Meredith Ap David Ap Gronowe" was granted "all fish and profits in the wear and fishing place called Cored Bigot alias Cored Talloyn in every four tides and ebbings in the river and water of Conwey every Tuesday, Tuesday night Wednesday and Wednesday night."

Rhos Weir

The picture shows Rhos Weir

Llan Fact shared 11 March 2021

Margaret Yorke nee Holland. 1778 - 1848 In 1776 John Holland married Margaret Ellis heiress of Plas Ucha' daughter of John Ellis and Mary Anwyl. On marrying Margaret, Mr Holland gained not just a wife but the lands of Plas Ucha' and her £20,000 fortune. They were to have two daughters both of whom would make very advantageous marriages and further the family's fortunes. The eldest daughter Mary was to marry John Lloyd- Wynne the Squire of the Plas Coch Estate, Their second daughter Mary was to do even better in 1807 she married Mr Simon Yorke II and became mistress of the fantastic Erddig estate near Wrexham. It was a relative of the girls, Robert Anwyl who gave the church its sundial.

Margaret Yorke nee Holland. 1778 - 1848

The picture shows Margaret Yorke of Erddig with her son Simon Yorke III

Llan Fact shared 10 March 2021

The Union Inn stood on the parcel of land on Stryt Ucha (Top Llan Rd) between Merion Cottage and Gordon Villa. It consisted of a small farm., Inn and a Smithy, The land associated with it is today's Acre Field, Llywelyn Terrace and Avenue and the Park. Today's children's park stands on the same footprint its smallest field.

Llan Fact shared 19 February 2021

In the late 1820's opposition grew across the country to the government's idea to grant emancipation the the country's catholics. In towns and villages all across the kingdom Anti Popery movements were established to stop catholics gaining civil and religious liberty. In Llan the movement was led by William Williams Esq, of Hendrewaelod. A unswerving member of the Established Church, Williams gathered a group of likeminded men around him. The men in William's group were from across the social divide.In his speeches claimed that the pernicious tenets of the Church of Rome, were hostile to the civil and religious liberties of the country. At 11 o'clock on the morning of Dec 30th, 1828 at which speaker after speaker attacked the idea of Catholic Emancipation Williams produced a petition. In it it asked the King to stand firm against emancipation. Over 400 men signed the petition that morning. A month later Williams received a reply from Sir Robert Peel;The king had been pleased to receive the petition and had read it. Despite the petition Catholic emancipation passed into law later that year and the Anti Popery Movement in Llan eventually disappeared

Llan Fact shared 17 February 2021

In the 1911 census, there were 1173 people over the age of 4 living in the Parish of Llansanffraid Glan Conwy. Of these, a massive 86% spoke Welsh ( 62% both English and Welsh and 14% Welsh only)

Many of these are now in the Llansanffraid Glan Conwy One Place Study

Llan Fact shared 16 February 2021

A shorter fact today for you. I've always liked this view of Llan. The field that is being ploughed was called Cae David and the small valley beyond was known as Nant y Pistyll

Cae David

Llan Fact shared 12 February 2021

Alfred Perrin was born in Birmingham in 1834. As a young man, he studied art in France. In later life, he settled with his wife Sarah in Wales at Penmaenmawr where his two children Clara and Robert were born. By 1911 the family had moved to the Artist Colony in the new development in Llan called New Glan Conway (Known today as West End) to a house called Vaynol. Perrin and his daughter Clara who was also an artist were inspired by the unspoilt countryside while his son Robert became a photographer. Perrin died in November 1917 and was buried in the village cemetery. Sometimes after that, the family moved to a newly built house at the Junction of Top Llan and Ty Du Rd. The house was called Trum y Garnedd after the field in which it had been built. Ther Perrins must have made an impression because the walkthrough Maes Hyfryd along Ty du Rd and back along Top Llan Rd is called by locals "Going round Perrin" Where the Waters Meet. Glan Conwy.

Where the Waters meet

Today this is where the Nant runs under the road into Snowdonia Nurseries

The Antelope Inn Graig ceased being an Inn sometime before 1841. In that year it was the home of Edward Evans aged 35 a Joiner who lived there with his wife. Along with them lived another 6 people including apprentice William Evans 15 and Ann Jones his servant.

Llan Fact shared 21 July 2020

According to the earliest historical records the community of Llansanffraid was created in the early part of the 6th century by Maelgwyn Gwynedd. Maelgwyn is said to have given 5 of his townships of the Kingdom of Rhos to our community. These were Tre Llan, Trebwll. Tretrallwyn, Tredeunant and Trebenoros. One of these Tretrallwyn was known as the TIr Bord that is the land that provided for the Prince's table with food and provided accommodation for the Prince at Hendrewaelod

Llan Fact shared 7 July 2020

Llan usually held its weekly market on a Thursday on the square out side the Conway Vale Hotel. The square has long vanished beneath the A470 and the site of the Vale awaits redevelopment. As well as its weekly market the village had its monthly fairs. Held on or near the first of the month.There were three especilaly important fairs. Ffair Ffraid (February 1st / 2nd) This was the fair to celebrate the village's patron saint.In May was held the Ffair Cyflogi (Hiring Fair) At this fair young men and women hired themselves out for he year to local farmers.Towards the end of summer came Ffair Fel (Honey Fair). Sometimes Sel Potiau were held where fancy goods and crockery were sold to the villagers. By the beginning of the 20th century the markets had stopped and the fairs were failing. Just before the first world war both had ceased to exist.

Square outside the Conwy Vale Hotel

Llan Fact shared 16 June 2020

Without doubt the parish has some beautiful and wonderfully sounding names. Cilglasan is a corruption of Cil Glas Llyn the narrow blue lake, which centuries ago filled the little valley. Penoros is literallly the Pen o rhos . The furthest end of the early medieval Kingdom of Rhos to more modern ones such as Cae Ffwt which started off as Cae Ffwtbol and in a different place. The village itself has changed its name a few times originally known as Dyserth the Dyserth alis san Ffryed. Later on Llansanffraid then Llansanffraid Glyn Conwy and then Llansantffraid Glan Conway. When the railway came the name was shortened to Glan Conway to fit on the tickets. In 1974 the A was dropped and Glan Conwy appeared. Today Llansanffraid has made a comeback. In the 1980's the argument was whether we were to spell it with a T or not. But the old communion cup of 1689 spelt it without a T so we are now officially Llansanffraid Glan Conwy or just Llan.

The Village

Comment on this post

Thank you James that's interesting as up at Cilglassen farm there is a large lake at the bottom of the yard. Smaller in the summer but huge in the winter months when it's wet. I have a very old leaflet that I will copy for you covering the tithes paid and covering Llanrhos and the uprising I think.

Llan Fact shared 11 June 2020

In times gone by young men, in particular, would wait for the tide to go out and then they would carefully walk out onto the sand now just barely covered with water. They would feel for Flat Fish with their toes. When they discovered one it was speared with a trident known as a "Tryffant" To get out to the best areas to fish in this unique way they would have had to cross a deep channel into which the village sewers used to empty. It was poetically known as the Ffos Cachu (Shit Ditch)


Comments on the post

Someone in the village remembers doing that frequently as a child. It was not unknown for the less careful to spear their feet! They were frustrated in trying to get hold of a barbed implement as the flatfish fell off the spikes they took out on the river. None of the adults who had the wherewithal to do it would weld a barb onto anything for them. He also remembers Jack Bach and Dick Station (don't ask me. The former was a joiner, the latter lived in the station house) creating a 'fish trap ' ie a net attached to stakes in the river bed to catch mainly flat fish. Brian tried to steal some fish as the tide receded but, of course, was always chased by Dick Station. Late 30's/early 40s.

I'm reliably informed by two remaining members of my father's gang of the 1930s that when the famous pilot whale got stranded and died my father walked out to it and chopped some of it off for his mother to cook. I was also told that when the pilot whales were in the river viewed from the old School it was thought to be a German Submarine. The children were dismissed with the words to your homes boys and every man for himself.

Someone still has the dagger(!) He used to cut some flesh off it! He said it stank. Arthur Swan told him that the submarines were going up The Nant and he believed him!

Llan Fact shared 2 June 2020

On the 17th of May 1900 Britain exploded in celebration with the news that Mafeking had been relieved after a seven month siege. All over the country there were wild celebrations but it would seem they were a little wilder in Llan. When the news broke young men quickly turned tar soaked sacks into torches. A huge bonfire wa built on Pen Trwyn Yr Hen Capel on to which entusiastic villager gave up many a straw filled mattress.. These mattresses were soaked with paraffin commandeered from the church.and the blaze illuminated the night sky.. Many bells were rung and more fires were lit and people marched, sang and danced through the village until the early hours at which it was reported the village policeman " took a serene view" In 1905 the hero of Mafeking Lord Baden Powell himself visited Llan. He arrived by train and was met by his friend Mr Mcnicoll who picked him up by car and took him on a tour of the parish..

Llan Fact shared 1 June 2020

In times of religious persecution, the early Baptists in Llan baptised converts to the cause in one of the two pools below, Y Bont Plismon. They used Llyn y Forwyn (The Maid's Pool) called so because it's said a maid from one of the surrounding farms had drowned in it. The other pool is called Llyn y Stalwyn (the Stallion's pool). The stream itself from Bont Plismon down is known as Nant y Carreg Ddu while above it is known as Nant y Geneth (The Girl's Stream) The streams and rivers all around have names that meant something to our ancestors for instance Nant y Cywarch (Hemp Stream!!)

Comment on this post Nant y Garreg Ddu starts in Tyddyn Uchaf.

Llan Fact shared 25 April 2020

Around the year 1800 Ann Evans was beaten to death by her husband for joining the Baptist church at Fforddlas against his wishes. He was never punished for her murder.

Llan Fact shared 24 April 2020

The politics and religious divisions in Wales during the 19th century saw the village divided as never before. The majority were non conformist in religion and supporting the Liberal Party. A minority were Anglican; considerd to be more anglized and supportes of the Tories. This was only compounded by the campaign against the Welsh Language by the British government, The Tithe Wars and the refusal to disestablish the Church of England in Wales.Today thankfully those divisions have disapated however there are two physical reminders still remaining. At the beginning of the 20th century the village wanted to build a hall and the estate did offer the land where the childrens' park is in the village.However the Great War intervened. At the end of the war diagreements bubbled up. The chapels built the Neuadd Goffa (Memorial Hall) and the church built Church House. Both were built on the site of two villages shops Pen y Foel Stores and the Eagles.

Pen Y Foel Stores
The Eagles

PIctures Pen Y Foel and The Eagles with Glan Conwy School Children outside

Llan Fact shared 20 April 2020

In 1756 John Wesley visited and preached in Llansanffraid Glan Conwy while on one of his famous preaching tours of the country. This is the entry in his diary Friday 13th August 1756. "..about 8 o'clock we reached Plas Bach where as soon as I named my name, William Roberts received us with all gladness. But neither he nor any of his family could speak a sentence of English. Yet our guide helped us out pretty well. After supper, we sang and went to prayers. Though they could not speak most of them understood English and God spoke to their hearts. Saturday 14th August 1756. Several of the neighbours came early in the morning and gladly received a few words of exhortation. We then rode through one of the pleasantest countries in the world by Holywell to Chester

Llan Fact shared 14 April 2020

When development started on the West End in the late 19th century they intended to give it the name "New Glan Conway"

Llan Fact shared 31 March 2020

The Conwy Sloop the Ann Margaret was wrecked under the Carreg y Person / Rectory Rocks. The only named wreck on our part of the river I can find

Ann Margaret

Comments on this facebook post

There was also a "Jane and Margaret" Pte Elias Hughes, Rock Cottage 7th South Lancs Prince of Wales’s Volunteers, 37438 1889 - 6th February 1917, age 28 Elias was the youngest of seven children of Benjamin and Margaret Hughes. Benjamin, his father was a native of Glan Conway, as was his Grandfather, John. On the night of Sunday, April 7th 1861, Benjamin was the 16 year old Mate for his father on the “Jane and Margaret”, lying in Beaumaris, with his brothers, Elias 13 and William 8, as crew. In September 1871, Benjamin married Margaret Roberts. Their children were John, who became a saddler, William, a farm labourer, Benjamin, Thomas, a plumber, sisters Elisabeth and Jane Ann and finally Elias born in 1889. They lived in Rock cottage, where Margaret continued to live with Thomas and Elias after her husband died.

The vessel Ann Margaret was named after my Nain, Ann Margaret Hughes daughter of Lucy and John Hughes who owned the shop in Church Street. Lucy was the daughter of John Evans who was the son of Thomas Evans who married Ellen Jones. Ellen was the daughter of a sea captain from Morfa Nefyn. John Evans my great grandfather was known as John Evans, Prince of Wales (the house where he lived). His parents were Evan Evans and Lucy Evans of Dol-y-Gro, this property name was adopted by preceding generations, namely Nell Jenks who adopted it for all her houses in the village.

I remember my Nain Lucy Hughes telling me that when I was little and that mum was given her name through your Nain and the boat. Is Thomas buried in the old churchyard?

Llan Fact shared 27 March 2020

Everyone will know the legend of Ffraid and how she turned rushes into fish to feed the starving people of Llan. The fish she created are known in English as Sparling and in Welsh as Brwyniad. These fish are said to enter the river on February 1st St Ffraid's day. The Sparling were being caught up until the 1970s.

Llan Fact shared 25 March 2020

In 881 Anarawd of Gwynedd and the Princes of North Wales defeated Aethelred Lord of Mercia and his invading army at Cymryd on the western shores of the Conwy facing Llan. Anarawd's father Rhodri had been killed by the Mercians and the battle was known as "The Revenge for Rhodri". So bloody was the battle that the sands of the Conwy were said to have turned red. The story also adds that Anarawd dragged the captured Aethelred back into the Glan Conwy side. Here he lit a great fire under the capstone of the cromlech, Allor Moloch and when the stone was white hot with the heat he roasted the defeated Aethelred to death.

Cymryd from Carreg y Groes

Cymryd from Carreg y Groes

Llan Fact shared 24 March 2020

Siop yr Eagles was purchased in 1922 and the site was used to build the Church House. Above the door is the carved head of a Stag. This was once above the main entrance of the old Ty Du and dates from the Middle Ages. It is now in a rockery in Upton, Chester.

Siop yr Eagles

Llan Fact shared 20 March 2020

The village's original sundial was situated in the churchyard outside the site of the original door. It was the gift of Robert Anwyl to the village in 1736. The brass dial was replaced about 25 years ago when the original was stolen.

Llan Fact shared 19 March 2020

Pont Nant Y Garreg Ddu. Built in 1799 on the orders of the County commissioners at a cost o £1,000. It was built to replace a much older wooden bridge which carried the road from Llanrwst to Abergele. The stones used to build the bridge came from the Pant Y Ceirw quarry in Trefriw.

Pont Nant Y Garreg Ddu

Llan Fact shared 18 March 2020

The original village square now lies under the A470. It was the site of the village's three annual fairs and monthly markets. In the 19th century, on summer, Sunday evenings interdenominational hymn singing took place outdoors on the square with hundreds in the congregation.


  1. Y Dydd "YSTORMFAWR" 30 October 1874 (accessed 1 August 2022) published by William Hughes


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