Pont y Pair, Betws-y-coed

Link to French translation

Pont y Pair, Betws-y-coed

This bridge is thought to have been built c.1500 by a Hywel Saer Maen (saer maen = stonemason). It was originally wide enough for packhorses, and subsequently enlarged. The bridge has five segmental arches. The central arch spans the river Llugwy. The other arches carry the road at the required level to the central section.

The name Llugwy is probably an ancient reference to the Celtic god Lleu, god of the sun or light. To hear how to pronounce Llugwy, press play: Or, download mp3 (22KB)

Pair is Welsh for cauldron. The water below the bridge often swirls like boiling liquid in a cauldron. To hear how to pronounce Pont y Pair, press play: Or, download mp3 (35KB)

Pont y Pair became an important piece of infrastructure in 1808, when the London to Holyhead coaches were diverted this way following completion of Pont yr Afanc, the stone bridge over the Conwy south of Betws-y-coed. This diversion was a response to the loss of life in a ferry accident at Conwy in 1806. Now coach passengers could avoid the ferry by crossing the river Conwy much further south and using the road through Trefriw to reach the town of Conwy. The coaches stopped using Pont y Pair when they were diverted via Thomas Telford’s new road (now the A5) in the 1820s.

Where is this HiPoint?

Postcode: LL24 0BN

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