Bryn y Bont, Betws-y-coed
This whimsical house in rough-hewn stone was built c. 1845 by the Gwydir estate. It looks like a more restrained version of the Ugly House, which is a few kilometres further up the Lledr Valley and famous for the lumpy boulders in its walls. Bryn y Bont has thick corbels – the bits of rock jutting out below the eaves – similar to those on the Ugly House. The circular chimney stack is another quirky feature of Bryn y Bont, whose name means “Bridge Hill”.
In the 19th century, the Gwydir estate was the main landholding in the area. In 1873 it covered 124 square km, mostly in Caernarfonshire but with some land in Denbighshire, whose eastern boundary was the river Conwy.
By 1861 Bryn y Bont was home to John Davies, aged 52. He was master of Bryn y Bont boys’ school, which stood next door (where you now see the Memorial Hall). Community events were held at the school, such as a concert in 1881 which featured singing, recitation and a performance by Sergeant Roberts and his “Negro Boys”, the first time they had appeared on stage in their “black colour”. In 1886 a public meeting was held at Bryn y Bont to discuss the need for a village hall.
In 1919 Lord Ancaster of the Gwydir estate gave the school and adjacent land to the people of Betws-y-coed to enable them to build a village hall there. The hall was built as the village’s war memorial and remains a venue for local events.
Bryn y Bont and the Memorial Hall are now owned by Betws-y-coed Community Council. Bryn y Bont is in residential use.
With thanks to Trefor Jones
Postcode: LL24 0BB