Historic Landscape Characterisation

Arfon - Area 4 Llanberis


© Crown copyright. All rights reserved, Gwynedd Archaeological Trust, 100017916, 2005

Historic background

A large village, constructed largely on land belonging to the Ruthin charities, a fact reflected in street names such as ‘(Dean) Goodman Street’, and as such typical of an area where nucleated settlements develop in areas not owned by the major local landowner, the Vaynol estate. The original Llan is in Nant Peris, 2km to the south-east.

Though cabins are recorded from the late eighteenth century where travellers could find guides willing to escort them up Snowdon, the Llanberis developed as a settlement after the establishment of the Royal Victoria Hotel (see area 5) pre-1831 and the arrival of the branch line railway in 1869. Though it was home to a number of quarry families as well, it became a popular tourist location, and remains popular with walkers and climbers , as well as with visitors to the National Museum’s Amgueddfa Lechi, the ‘Electric Mountain’ power station tour, Dolbadarn castle and the Snowdon Mountain Railway.

Key historic landscape characteristics

Industrial settlement (slate quarry), visitor settlement

Llanberis is dominated by a number of substantial late nineteenth-century buildings, including hotels, church and general community infrastructure. The shift from family holidays to activity holidays is to some extent reflected in the changes in hotel provision, and what were once substantial gardens around the hotels themselves have been converted into car parks, resulting in a comparatively bleak townscape. A number of Victorian shop-fronts survive.

Terraced housing for quarry families is largely confined to the north-western part of the village, and includes a number of fine ornamented fronts and porches.

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