Old police station, Dolgellau

Old police station, Dolgellau

Suspects were held in spartan conditions here after the police station was built in the mid-19th century. In 1880 the cells were described as “wholly unfit” and plans outlined for ventilating two of them from the rear yard and the third from the street in front. In 1908 heating equipment was provided in two of the cells.

Perhaps the most notorious person held here was farmer Cadwaladr Jones. He was arrested in July 1877 after dismembered body parts of Sarah Hughes were discovered along the river Arran near Dolgellau. Jones, aged 25, had married a different woman in December 1876. He knew Sarah Hughes through her domestic service at his father’s house. The surgeon who examined the body parts thought that she was pregnant when she was killed.

Jones was convicted of her murder in Chester. After the death sentence was translated into Welsh for him, he was overcome by emotion and had to be helped out of the dock by warders. He was hanged in Dolgellau in November 1877 – the town’s first execution since that of the “Hwntw Mawr” in 1812. One of Sarah Hughes’ legs was found in the river in June 1878.

In April 1888 “great excitement” was caused when two police officers brought a couple of miners to the station from the recently opened Gwynfynydd gold mine. Evan and Benjamin Morgan, of Talybont, Ceredigion, were homeward bound for the Easter holiday when they were stopped and found to have pieces of quartz hidden in their clothing. The quartz contained an estimated £20 worth of gold. They were caught because the mine owner employed two police constables to keep watch at the site.

The police station relocated to a former cinema north of the town after the Second World War. The old station was became an office for the probation service. It’s now home to Mantell Gwynedd, which supports voluntary and community groups.

Postcode: LL55 1AB    View Location Map

Website of Mantell Gwynedd