Historic Landscape Characterisation

Caernarfon/Nantlle – Area 28 Caernarfon industrial area PRN 15727


The industrial area of Caernarfon can be seen towards the top left corner of this view which looks south-east.



Historical background

An area along the banks of the Seiont, where several industrial sites, some still functioning, were built along the river from perhaps the sixteenth-century onwards, and where clay extraction and brick manufacture, established c. 1850, still continue.

Key historic landscape characteristics

Relict industrial archaeology

Apart from the clay-pit itself, which has now grown to considerable size, the area is dominated by industrial structures and features, the majority of which are constructed of red brick. It is clear that the possibilities the river offered both as a power-source and as a cleansing agent has led to the establishment of a variety of industrial sites in succession to each other, and that these include corn-milling, slate-sawing, a tannery and brick manufacture.

The nineteenth-century brickworks complex, established c. 1850, has been largely demolished, including the Hoffman kilns, though a number of derelict houses survive on site. The manufacture of bricks now takes place in a large centralised facility set up in 1968 which includes grinders, pug-mills, kilns and sorting equipment. A saw-tooth-roofed range to the north-east of the area remains in use for the manufacture of tissue-paper. These buildings were erected during the war for the manufacture of Lancaster bomber fuselage noses, and were adapted for the manufacture of furniture and washing machines after hostilities ceased. They were constructed on the site of the Peblig brickworks, operational from 1880 to the 1920s.

Other industrial buildings are being re-used, such as the Glan-Morfa slate works, now an office supplies warehouse, and a stable block associated with the Seiont corn mill. Several nineteenth century water-courses survive and continue to carry water, and the site of the standard-gauge rail access from the Llanberis branch line is evident.



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