Ruins of Plas Cwmorthin
Ruins of Plas Cwmorthin
Plas Cwmorthin is still sheltered by tall trees, long after the house fell into ruin. It was built in 1860 as a home for the manager of the Rhosydd slate quarry. Some of the quarry’s clerks also lived here. Food was brought to the house by pony from Tanygrisiau. Large stocks were delivered before each winter, in case the valley became cut off by snow.
Thomas Jones was the first occupant. He managed the quarry from 1853 to 1877. The old photo is thought to show female members of his family outside Plas Cwmorthin – when the trees were much smaller!
His successor was William William Morris, whose ancestors hailed from Bethesda. He was previously the company’s secretary in Porthmadog, where the quarry’s slates were loaded onto ships. William, his wife Elizabeth and their three children were devoted members of the Methodist chapel in Cwmorthin.
One of the managers here was William William Morris, whose ancestors hailed from Bethesda. He was previously the company’s secretary in Porthmadog, where the quarry’s slates were loaded onto ships. William, his wife Elizabeth and their three children were devoted members of the Methodist chapel in Cwmorthin.
Ritchie, William’s only son, died of illness in Liverpool aged 18 in April 1890, after studying for two years at Llandovery College. There was happiness the following year when the eldest daughter, Kate, married the Rev Michael Owen of Crewe, but she died in 1894. The third sibling, Ellen Jane, died in Tanygrisiau in September 1898 aged 23. She had spent the previous winter in Bournemouth to improve her health.
William retired in December 1906 and the family vacated Plas Cwmorthin. His successor, Evan Jones, moved in with his wife Anne in May 1907. He was a county councillor and served in the Royal Engineers in France in the First World War, commanding a company of Welsh miners who tunnelled under enemy territory. He was promoted to Captain in 1916 and was twice Mentioned in Despatches. He donated £5 the following year for a war memorial for the local war dead.
After the war became a local magistrate and county sheriff. He and Anne moved out of Plas Cwmorthin in 1931 to help their grown-up daughter, Ellen Anne, regain her health. He was knighted in 1935 and died in 1949.
Robert O Williams and his family moved into Plas Cwmorthin in the early 1940s, having previously lived in nearby Rhosydd Terrace.