Old Fairway buoy
Old Fairway buoy, Conwy quay
This metal buoy was anchored to the seabed and floated at the mouth of the Conwy estuary for c.80 years. It showed sailors the start of the channel into Conwy harbour. The water beside the Fairway buoy was deep enough for boats to float there without risk of grounding, even at low tide. The buoy was positioned about three miles west of the entrance to Conwy harbour until it was replaced by a modern version in 2007.
The buoy stands on the section of Conwy quay which was created in 2005, as an extension of the original quay which was built in 1833. The original quay wall, which stopped short of today’s Conwy Mussel Centre, was engineered by William Provis, who had earlier assisted the construction of Conwy Suspension Bridge.
It’s claimed that the ghost of a hooded monk haunts Conwy quay. There was an abbey in Conwy until the monks were expelled to make way for the walled town and castle.
In shallow water a short distance west of Fairway buoy are the Llys Helig rocks. According to legend, there was once a mansion at the site but it was destroyed by inundation as punishment for the sins of earlier generations.
Another legend from the Conwy estuary’s shores concerns a mermaid who placed a curse on the town of Conwy after being washed ashore nearby. Fishermen refused her pleas to return her to the sea, leaving her to die.
There’s also the tale of Saint Ffraid, who sailed on a square of turf from Ireland to the banks of the Conwy estuary. She is said to have ended a fish famine by placing rushes in the water and praying they would transform into fish, which they did.
Postcode: LL32 8BB