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Aberdyfi

Aberdyfi

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Aberdyfi or Aberdovey (the Anglicised spelling is still in common use) is a village
Village
A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet with the population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand , Though often located in rural areas, the term urban village is also applied to certain urban neighbourhoods, such as the West Village in Manhattan, New...

 on the north side of the estuary
Estuary
An estuary is a partly enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea....

 of the River Dyfi
River Dyfi
The River Dyfi is a river in Mid Wales. The Dyfi estuary forms the border between the counties of Gwynedd and Ceredigion.- Source :...

 in Gwynedd
Gwynedd
Gwynedd is a county in north-west Wales, named after the old Kingdom of Gwynedd. Although the second biggest in terms of geographical area, it is also one of the most sparsely populated...

, on the west coast of Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

.

The village was founded around the harbour and shipbuilding
Shipbuilding
Shipbuilding is the construction of ships and floating vessels. It normally takes place in a specialized facility known as a shipyard. Shipbuilders, also called shipwrights, follow a specialized occupation that traces its roots to before recorded history.Shipbuilding and ship repairs, both...

 industry, but is now best known as a seaside resort
Seaside resort
A seaside resort is a resort, or resort town, located on the coast. Where a beach is the primary focus for tourists, it may be called a beach resort.- Overview :...

 with a high quality beach
Beach
A beach is a geological landform along the shoreline of an ocean, sea, lake or river. It usually consists of loose particles which are often composed of rock, such as sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles or cobblestones...

. The town centre is on the river and seafront, around the original harbour, jetty and beach
Beach
A beach is a geological landform along the shoreline of an ocean, sea, lake or river. It usually consists of loose particles which are often composed of rock, such as sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles or cobblestones...

 but it stretches back from the coast and up the steep hillside in the midst of typical Welsh coastal scenery of steep green hills and sheep farms. Penhelig, with its own railway station, is the eastern part of the town.

Aberdyfi is a popular tourist attraction, with many returning holidaymakers, especially from the metropolitan areas of England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

, such as the West Midlands
West Midlands (region)
The West Midlands is an official region of England, covering the western half of the area traditionally known as the Midlands. It contains the second most populous British city, Birmingham, and the larger West Midlands conurbation, which includes the city of Wolverhampton and large towns of Dudley,...

, which is less than 100 miles to the east. A relatively large proportion of houses in the village are now holiday homes, resulting in high house prices. The town is located within the Snowdonia National Park.

History



Local tradition suggests that the Romans established a track into Aberdyfi as part of the military occupation of Wales around AD78.

The strategic location in mid-Wales was the site of several conferences between north and south Wales princes in 540, 1140, and for the Council of Aberdyfi in 1216. The hill in the centre of Aberdyfi, Pen-y-Bryn, has been claimed to be the site of fortifications in the 1150s, which were soon destroyed. The site of Aberdyfi Castle
Aberdyfi Castle
Aberdyfi Castle is a castle located near Glandyfi, Ceredigion, in Mid Wales.All that now remains is the motte, which is referred to as Domen Las ....

 however is usually said to be at the motte earthworks further up the river near Glandyfi
Glandyfi
Glandyfi is a small hamlet in the county of Ceredigion in Wales on the A487 trunk road from Machynlleth to Aberystwyth....

.

In 1597, a Spanish ship, the Bear of Amsterdam, entered the Dyfi estuary and was unable to leave for 10 days because of the wind. She could not be boarded as no suitable boats were available.

In the 1700s, the village grew with the appearance of several of the inns still in current use (The Dovey Hotel, Britannia and Penhelig Arms). Copper was mined in the present Copperhill Street, and lead in Penhelig.
In the 1800s, Aberdyfi was at its peak as a port. Major exports were slate and oak bark. Ship building was based in seven shipyards in Penhelig where 45 sailing ships were built between 1840 and 1880.

The railway came to Aberdyfi in 1863 built by the Aberystwyth and Welsh Coast Railway
Aberystwyth and Welsh Coast Railway
The Aberystwith and Welsh Coast Railway was a standard gauge railway built in 1863 connecting major towns on the Welsh coast.- History :...

. The first train was ferried across the River Dyfi, as the line to Dovey Junction and then Machynlleth
Machynlleth
Machynlleth is a market town in Powys, Wales. It is in the Dyfi Valley at the intersection of the A487 and the A489 roads.Machynlleth was the seat of Owain Glyndŵr's Welsh Parliament in 1404, and as such claims to be the "ancient capital of Wales". However, it has never held any official...

 was not completed until 1867. Due to public demand, this section had to use a long tunnel behind Aberdyfi, and further major earthworks and tunnels were needed along the bank of the river. This line, which became part of the Cambrian Railways
Cambrian Railways
Cambrian Railways owned of track over a large area of mid-Wales. The system was an amalgamation of a number of railways that were incorporated in 1864, 1865 and 1904...

, and later the Great Western Railway
Great Western Railway
The Great Western Railway was a British railway company that linked London with the south-west and west of England and most of Wales. It was founded in 1833, received its enabling Act of Parliament in 1835 and ran its first trains in 1838...

, is particularly scenic.
A jetty was built in 1887, with railway lines connecting it with the wharf and the main line. The Aberdyfi & Waterford Steamship Company imported livestock from Ireland which were then taken further by the railway. Coal, limestone and timber were also imported.

Local coastal shipping links with Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

 were strong, with many Aberdyfi men sailing on international voyages from Liverpool. The S.S. Dora was one of the last ships trading between Aberdyfi and Liverpool and was scuttled, with no loss of life, by a German submarine in 1917.

There have been many chapel
Chapel
A chapel is a building used by Christians as a place of fellowship and worship. It may be part of a larger structure or complex, such as a church, college, hospital, palace, prison or funeral home, located on board a military or commercial ship, or it may be an entirely free-standing building,...

s built in Aberdyfi. These include the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist chapel, the English Presbyterian chapel, the Wesleyan Methodist chapel, and the Welsh Independent congregational chapel. The (Anglican) Church in Wales
Church in Wales
The Church in Wales is the Anglican church in Wales, composed of six dioceses.As with the primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Archbishop of Wales serves concurrently as one of the six diocesan bishops. The current archbishop is Barry Morgan, the Bishop of Llandaff.In contrast to the...

 is St Peter's, and Christ the King is the Catholic Church.

The jetty and wharf continued in commercial use for coal until 1959. After prolonged negotiations, redevelopments from 1968–1971, including rebuilding the jetty, led to their present use mainly for recreational purposes. Some local fishing still occurs.

The first ever Outward Bound
Outward Bound
Outward Bound is an international, non-profit, independent, outdoor educationorganization with approximately 40 schools around the world and 200,000 participants per year...

 centre was opened in Aberdyfi in 1941. Many of their activities involve the river, boats and jetty.

The football team won the Welsh Amateur Cup Competition in 1934.

The first Aberdyfi lifeboat was bought in 1837. Run by the RNLI since 1853, it has taken part in many rescues, sadly sometimes with loss of life of crew members. The current lifeboat, an Atlantic 75, is housed in the boathouse by the jetty and is launched using a lifeboat tractor. Currently it is averaging about 25 emergency launches each year.

Transport


Road access to Aberdyfi is by the A493, with Tywyn
Tywyn
Tywyn is a town and seaside resort on the Cardigan Bay coast of southern Gwynedd , in north Wales. The name derives from the Welsh tywyn and the town is sometimes referred to as Tywyn Meirionnydd...

 four miles to the north and Machynlleth
Machynlleth
Machynlleth is a market town in Powys, Wales. It is in the Dyfi Valley at the intersection of the A487 and the A489 roads.Machynlleth was the seat of Owain Glyndŵr's Welsh Parliament in 1404, and as such claims to be the "ancient capital of Wales". However, it has never held any official...

 11 miles to the east. Aberdyfi is on the Cambrian Coast railway line. The village of Aberdyfi has two railway stations, Aberdovey
Aberdovey railway station
Aberdovey railway station serves the seaside resort of Aberdyfi in Gwynedd, Wales. The station is on the Cambrian Coast Railway with passenger services every 2 hours calling at all stations between Machynlleth and Pwllheli, including Tywyn, Barmouth, Harlech and Porthmadog...

 and Penhelig
Penhelig railway station
Penhelig railway station serves the eastern outskirts of the seaside resort of Aberdovey in Gwynedd, Wales. Its situation is unusual, being located on a short length of sharply curved single track between two tunnels...

. Trains on the Cambrian Line are operated by Arriva Trains Wales
Arriva Trains Wales
Arriva Trains Wales is a train operating company, owned by Arriva, that operates urban and inter urban passenger services in Wales and the Welsh Marches...

. The local bus service is also operated by Arriva.

A ferry used to operate across the Dyfi river to Ynyslas
Ynyslas
Ynyslas is a small Welsh village about 1.5 miles north of Borth and 8 miles north of Aberystwyth in the county of Ceredigion. It is sandwiched between a long sandy beach in Cardigan Bay and the beach in the Dyfi Estuary...

. The last ferryman was Ellis Williams.

Recreation


Popular recreational activities focus on the beach and watersports, such as windsurfing
Windsurfing
Windsurfing or sailboarding is a surface water sport that combines elements of surfing and sailing. It consists of a board usually two to four metres long, powered by the orthogonal effect of the wind on a sail. The rig is connected to the board by a free-rotating universal joint and comprises a...

, kitesurfing
Kitesurfing
Kitesurfing or Kiteboarding is an adventure surface water sport that has been described as combining wakeboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, and gymnastics into one extreme sport. Kitesurfing harnesses the power of the wind to propel a rider across the water on a small surfboard or a...

, fishing
Fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

, crabbing, sailing
Sailing
Sailing is the propulsion of a vehicle and the control of its movement with large foils called sails. By changing the rigging, rudder, and sometimes the keel or centre board, a sailor manages the force of the wind on the sails in order to move the boat relative to its surrounding medium and...

, and canoe
Canoe
A canoe or Canadian canoe is a small narrow boat, typically human-powered, though it may also be powered by sails or small electric or gas motors. Canoes are usually pointed at both bow and stern and are normally open on top, but can be decked over A canoe (North American English) or Canadian...

ing on the estuary.
The Dovey Yacht
Yacht
A yacht is a recreational boat or ship. The term originated from the Dutch Jacht meaning "hunt". It was originally defined as a light fast sailing vessel used by the Dutch navy to pursue pirates and other transgressors around and into the shallow waters of the Low Countries...

 Club has a prominent position on the river front of the village. It was founded in 1949 and helped develop the popularity of the GP14 dinghy class. It organises races for dinghies throughout the season on the estuary of the River Dyfi
River Dyfi
The River Dyfi is a river in Mid Wales. The Dyfi estuary forms the border between the counties of Gwynedd and Ceredigion.- Source :...

.

The Aberdovey Golf Club, founded in 1892, is a famous 18 hole links course located only a stones throw from the railway station. It is world renowned, having been described frequently and lyrically in the press by Bernard Darwin
Bernard Darwin
Bernard Richard Meirion Darwin CBE JP a grandson of the British naturalist Charles Darwin, was a golf writer and high-standard amateur golfer. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.-Biography:...

, the famed golf writer, who was a notable member of the club. In 1895, it was the location of the first Welsh Golfing Union Championship. Current members include Ian Woosnam
Ian Woosnam
Ian Harold Woosnam OBE is a Welsh professional golfer.Nicknamed 'Woosie', 'Woosers', or the 'Wee Welshman', Woosnam was one of the "Big Five" generation of European golfers, all born within 12 months of one another, all of whom have won majors, and made Europe competitive in the Ryder Cup...

 and Peter Baker
Peter Baker (golfer)
Peter A. Baker is an English professional golfer.Baker was born in Shifnal, Shropshire, and currently lives near Wolverhampton. He learned golf at his father's nine hole Himley Hall course and was taught by Sandy Lyle's father Alex....

.

The Aberdyfi Rowing Club rows in the Dyfi Estuary and Cardigan Bay and takes part in races all round the coast of Wales and internationally. They row 24’ long Celtic longboats, with four rowers (each with one oar) and a cox. They have three of these traditional Welsh boats with fixed seats and use these for races in Wales.

The Aberdovey Literary Institute, founded in 1882, is situated on the river front. The deeds of 1923 state it was established in perpetuity as "a non-sectarian, non-political place of recreation, education and social intercourse including ... reading rooms, writing rooms, library, billiard rooms, concert rooms ..."

Neuadd Dyfi is a community hall, conference centre and theatre owned by the village for village activities. It caters for a range of local organisations and events.

Clychau Aberdyfi


The village was the subject of the folk song, The Bells of Aberdovey . The song refers to the legend of a submerged former kingdom of Cantre'r Gwaelod (Lowland Hundred) beneath Cardigan Bay
Cardigan Bay
Cardigan Bay is a large inlet of the Irish Sea, indenting the west coast of Wales between Bardsey Island, Gwynedd in the north, and Strumble Head, Pembrokeshire at its southern end. It is the largest bay in Wales....

, (Seithennin, the drunkard, is said to have created the bay itself), and its bells which, it is said, can be heard ringing beneath the water. The composer is unknown, but the words were written by John Ceiriog Hughes
John Ceiriog Hughes
John Ceiriog Hughes , was a Welsh poet and well-known collector of Welsh folk tunes. Sometimes referred to as the "Robert Burns of Wales"...

, during the 19th century.
Welsh


Os wyt ti yn bur i mi

Fel rwyf fi yn bur i ti

Mal un, dau, tri, pedwar, pump, chwech

Meddai clychau Aberdyfi.

Un, dau, tri, pedwar, pump, chwech, saith

Mal un, dau tri, pedwar, pump, chwech

Meddai clychau Aberdyfi.


Hoff gan fab yw meddu serch

Y ferch mae am briodi

Hoff gen innau ym mhob man

Am Morfydd Aberdyfi.

Os wyt ti'n fy ngharu i

Fel rwyf i'n dy garu di

Mal un, dau, tri, pedwar, pump, chwech

Meddai clychau Aberdyfi.


Pan ddôf adref dros y môr

Cariad gura wrth dy ddôr

Mal un, dau, tri, pedwar, pump, chwech

Meddai clychau Aberdyfi.

Un, dau, tri, pedwar, pump, chwech

Mal un, dau, tri, pedwar, pump, chwech

Meddai clychau Aberdyfi.


Paid â'i wneud yn galon wan

Pan ddaw o dan dy faner

Os bydd gennyt air i'w ddweud

Bydd gwneud yn well o'r hanner

Os wyt ti'n fy ngharu i

Fel rwyf fi'n dy garu di

Mal un, dau, tri, pedwar, pump, chwech

Meddai clychau Aberdyfi.
English

If to me as true thou art

As I am true to thee, sweetheart

We'll hear one, two, three, four, five, six

From the bells of Aberdovey.

Hear one, two, three, four, five, six

Hear one, two, three, four, five and six

From the bells of Aberdovey.


Glad's a lad his lass to wed

When she sighed, "I love you!"

When but today on air I tread

For Gwen of Aberdovey.

While the heart beats in my breast

Cariad, I will love thee, by

One, two, three and all the rest

Of the bells of Aberdovey.


When I cross the sea once more

And love comes knocking at my door

Like one, two, three, four, five and six

Of the bells of Aberdovey.

One, two, three, four, five and six

Like one, two, three, four, five and six

Of the bells of Aberdovey.


Little loves and hopes shall fly

Round us in a covey

When we are married, you and I

At home in Aberdovey.

If to me as true thou art

As I am true to thee, sweetheart

We'll hear one, two, three, four, five, six

From the bells of Aberdovey.

Notable residents

  • James Atkin, Baron Atkin
    James Atkin, Baron Atkin
    James Richard Atkin, Baron Atkin was a lawyer and judge of Australian-Welsh origin, who practised in England and Wales...

     of Aberdovey (1867–1944), Barrister
    Barrister
    A barrister is a member of one of the two classes of lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions with split legal professions. Barristers specialise in courtroom advocacy, drafting legal pleadings and giving expert legal opinions...

     and Judge
    Judge
    A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and in an open...

  • Oliver Onions
    Oliver Onions
    George Oliver Onions was a significant English novelist who published over forty novels and story collections. Originally trained as a commercial artist, he worked as a designer of posters and books, and as a magazine illustrator, before starting his career in writing...

     (1873–1961), Novelist
  • Berta Ruck
    Berta Ruck
    Amy Roberta Ruck was a romantic novelist, writing almost eighty novels over the course of her writing career as well as large numbers of short stories....

     (1878–1978), Romantic novelist
  • Stan Hugill
    Stan Hugill
    Stan Hugill was a folk music performer, artist and sea music historian, known as the "Last Working Shantyman" and described as the "20th Century guardian of the tradition".-Biography:...

     (1906–1992), Musician and artist, lived in Aberdyfi, and worked at the Outward Bound centre from 1950 to 1975.
  • Sir John T. Houghton
    John T. Houghton
    As co-chair of the IPCC, he defends the IPCC process, in particular against charges of failure to consider non-CO2 explanations of climate change. In evidence to, the Select Committee on Science and Technology in 2000 he said:...

     (born 1931), co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a scientific intergovernmental body which provides comprehensive assessments of current scientific, technical and socio-economic information worldwide about the risk of climate change caused by human activity, its potential environmental and...

     lives in Aberdyfi.
  • Tom Cave
    Tom Cave
    Thomas Cave is a rally driver from Aberdyfi in Wales. He is the son of club rally driver Peter Cave and his ambition is to become the next British champion in the FIA World Rally Championship...

    (born 1991), rally driver

External links