Former doll factory, Penmaenmawr

Former doll factory, Penholm, Bangor Road, Penmaenmawr

Lady Lucy Cavendish stayed at the house now called Penholm (opposite side of the road from the QR barcode plaque) for three weeks in 1882 while she grieved for her husband, Lord Frederick Cavendish, who had been murdered in Dublin. Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone had appointed him the new Irish Secretary, but soon after arriving in Ireland Lord Cavendish was fatally stabbed by a group of Irish nationalists while strolling with a civil servant in Phoenix Park.photo of rogark doll

Mr and Mrs Gladstone stayed at Orme View, as Penholm was then known, in September 1882 as guests of Lady Cavendish, who was their niece.

From 1947 the large house was home to the Rogark Doll Factory, founded by George and Gladys Rogers with Liverpool-based John Clark handling worldwide distribution. The company name was a combination of their surnames. Gladys was related to the Darbishire family, which had made its fortune from local quarrying. By the mid-1950s the factory at Penholm employed 20 people while 100 local women also worked on the dolls at home There were 50 more on a waiting list. Rogark also made miniature dolls, car window mascots and novelty egg timers. Pictured right is a Rogark doll in Canadian Mountie costume.

The house is now a private dwelling. 

With thanks to David Bathers and Dennis Roberts, of Penmaenmawr Historical Society and Barbara Lawson-Reay

FOOTNOTES: How Rogark dolls were made in Penmaenmawr

Other CRIME HIPoints in this area:
Site of a woman's sensational attempt to fake her death in 1909
Quarry strike memorial, Bethesda – the long strike drove some desperate locals to crime

Where is this HiPoint?

Postcode: LL34 6YB

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