Historic Landscape Characterisation

Creuddyn and Arllechwedd – Area 23 Penrhyn Bay PRN 15802


SH 814814 looking north. Showing the different characters of Penrhyn Bay , with the older, organically evolved settlement on top of the ridge and the recent, planned estates and housing below.



Historical background

A built-up area which extends over the slopes of Mynydd Pant, and over the low-lying area at the foot of the Little Orme/Mynydd Pant/Nant y Gamar ridge (area 3). Although several different building characters and periods are evident, having developed from separate foci, their boundaries have become merged.

The Medieval focus is Penrhyn Old Hall at the foot of the ridge, described as ‘ancient' by Leland in 1536-9, the home of the recusant Pugh family. A museum of Welsh curios was established here in 1910, and by 1987 it had become a night-club. It now functions as a pub-restaurant. The chapel attached to it, which dates from the sixteenth century, was restored for religious purposes c.1930, but has since become derelict.

The settlement on Mynydd Pant evolves from a nineteenth century quarry workers' community, constructed for the limestone quarry on the Little Orme - sixteen two-up two-down dwellings were erected on Maesgwm Road , near the ridge for the quarrymen and their families in the period 1894 to 1900. These survive and the community appears to have developed in the area downslope from here. This area is characterised by two-storey double-fronted houses, larger than most quarrymen's houses yet smaller than most middle-class dwellings of the period. These are for the most part limestone-built and slate-roofed and are laid out along small winding lanes which preserve their original Welsh names. A post-office and three chapels, one Baptist and two Calvinist, were noted.

More recent developments in this area include post-war housing on the lower slopes which unites it with the settlement on the alluvial flatlands. Apart from Penrhyn Old Hall itself and a small number of nineteenth century buildings, this is entirely twentieth century in character, and grew up along the tracks of the Llandudno and Colwyn Bay Electric Railway, opened in 1907.

No trace was noted of the original wooden and corrugated iron bungalows constructed on the main road and on Morfa Road in 1920. Surviving buildings illustrate the varieties of suburban architecture available from the mid-1920s onwards, and include at least one attempt at 1930s Modernism. Though roofing material is for the most part red tile, a distinctive feature is the occasional use of green slate, probably of Lake District origin rather than Arfon. These are laid out along broad straight roads. There is a variety of retail outlets and places of worship, all of mid- to late-twentieth century construction, within this part of the character area.


Key historic landscape characteristics

Vernacular settlement, suburban development

A landscape in which the Medieval phase associated with the surviving Penrhyn Old Hall and its associated chapel, has been obscured by two distinctive but inter-related areas of settlement, one representing the last phase of vernacular organic settlement, the other entirely suburban.



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