Carreg Cam feat stone, Criccieth

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Carreg Cam feat stone, Criccieth

This stone, now outside the Memorial Hall, originally stood outside the old Town Hall, at the foot of the castle. It was known as the “Carreg Cam”. The name supports the local story that people once used the stone to mount horses, as camu means “to step”. (Cam itself means crooked, but if that was the meaning in this case, it would have mutated to Gam after the feminine noun Carreg.) Local residents would tell visitors that the stone had mystical powers!

That area was then known as “Y Dref” (the town). It was eclipsed in the 19th century, when the High Street grew up along the turnpike road of 1807. The market and fair was held in Y Dref, from the square down to Abermarchnad. The little green in front of the Town Hall was where the farm lads hung around and challenged each other to lift the stone – which weighs c.170kg.

In the 1880s, David Lloyd George lived in Tanygrisiau Terrace and would pass the stone every morning on his way to the railway station for his train to Porthmadog, where he was an articled solicitor’s clerk. Gatherings took place on the green beside the Town Hall, and during election campaigns the prospective candidates would make their speeches here. Perhaps the future Prime Minister even stood on the stone to address the locals.

In 1927 the local council resolved “that the ‘Carreg Cam’ be removed from the Town Hall to the Memorial Hall grounds”. It has become an annual event, in recent years, to hold a competition between strong men from all over the world to lift this “Carreg Orchest” (“Feat Stone”).

With thanks to Robert Cadwalader

Postcode: LL52 0HB    View Location Map

Website of Memorial Hall – details of how you can try lifting the stone


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