Brief History of the Village
is a 19th century village established along the course
of the medieval road from Caernarfon to Clynnog,
and along the 1820s road that partly superseded it.
The nucleus of the community, and the feature from
which it takes its name, is the junction between
the pre-1820s road and the road to Cloddfa'r Coed,
and the smithy established there around 1801.
village expanded as a local retailing, banking and
administrative centre throughout the nineteenth-century,
and saw further expansion in the later twentieth-century
with the provision of social housing and the industrial
estates in response to the decline of the slate industry
and its consequent social upheaval.
earliest buildings are situated on the main (1820s)
road through the village - High Street (Heol y Dŵr).
Hên Bost and Siop Griffith, which are coeval
with the road, are substantially constructed from
local stone. The row known as Treddafydd, constructed
in 1837, is one of the earliest long industrial rows
in Gwynedd, and is roofed with coarse mottled slates
from Cloddfa'r Lôn. Later housing on County
Road follows the course of the Nantlle Railway, operational
from 1828 to 1872; these dwellings preserve an attractive
variety of ornamented porches and wrought-iron fencing.
material of later houses, such as those on Allt Doli,
Victoria Road and Snowdon Street, is often small
field stones, presumably used in the absence of more
substantial material. Many of these buildings were,
and in some cases still are, shops; and several comparatively
ornate nineteenth-century shop-fronts survive.
architectural influence is evident in the row known
as the Tai American (American Houses), constructed
in a mid-west Prairie idiom, possibly the work of
a returning emigrant.
area includes a number of substantial late-nineteenth
century buildings including the former county school
(1896), the former post office, now the HSBC bank
and the Commercial Inn. The patterned slate roofs
on the former offices of the Riley Quarry company
at the junction of Victoria Road and County Road
are worthy of note. A similar pattern is found on
the gate-house on the road to Talysarn.
industrial estate on the southern edge of the area
consists of a number of large steel prefabricated
sheds and smaller office buildings.