Former circulating library, Beddgelert

button_lang_frenchbeddgelert_colwyn_guest_houseFormer circulating library, Beddgelert

This building has had various uses over the centuries. In the Victorian era it was home to a circulating library, run by a famous Welsh bard. In the late 19th century and early 20th, it was an alcohol-free hotel. Today it’s the Colwyn Guest House.

The building is part of a row developed c.1830, on the site of earlier buildings, to capitalise on the growing tourist trade in the area. The land here belonged to the Sygun Estate.

The building was later home to Richard Owen (1831-1909), well known as the Welsh-language poet “Glaslyn”. He took his bardic name from the main river which runs through Beddgelert. Here he ran a bookshop and a circulating library (similar to today’s public libraries but with borrowers paying subscriptions). He moved to the hamlet of Nantmor in the 1870s.

The building became the Colwyn Temperance Hotel, named after the river Colwyn, which flows past on the opposite side of the street. In 1909 the hotel advertised that its facilities now included a darkroom, where visitors could develop films and make prints of their holiday snaps. It was still known as the Colwyn Temperance when it was placed for let in November 1914.

More about “Glaslyn”:


Glaslyn was largely self-educated, having become a domestic servant as a boy. He moved to a slate quarry as a young teenager, and in maturity he supervised other quarries. His poetry and prose appeared in many periodicals. He sang in choirs and played wind instruments. He married a singer called Elin Jones and they had two sons.

After Elin’s death in 1902, he was so poor that he moved to Llys Ednyfed workhouse in Penrhyndeudraeth. Literary figures and MPs appealed to the Government to grant him a pension in recognition of his literary work. When Glaslyn died in March 1909, one of his closest friends said the appeal had failed, but some newspapers reported that the Prime Minister had belatedly agreed to give him £100.

Postcode: LL55 4UY    View Location Map

Website of Colwyn Guest House