Former ‘Doctor’s Road’, Dinorwig

Link to Welsh translationFormer ‘Doctor’s Road’, Dinorwig

In this vicinity, on the wooded slope of Allt Wen, the footpath crosses the remains of the lane which was once known as the ‘Doctor’s Road’.

It led uphill to Hafoty, home of quarry manager Griffith Ellis as the quarry expanded rapidly in the 19th century. Hafoty was well sited for the main centre of quarry operations until new facilities opened at Gilfach Ddu, beside the lake, in the 1860s.

Downhill, the lane reached the quarry hospital which opened c.1860. The hospital’s second supervisor, from 1875, was Dr Thomas Hughes. He settled in Hafoty and commuted along the ‘Doctor’s Road’. He had previously been chief surgeon at the Parys Mountain copper mine on Anglesey. After his death in 1890, a sale was held at Hafoty of all of his “live and dead farming stock” and some of his furniture.

His successor, Dr RH Mills Roberts, lived in Hafoty for a few years in the early 1890s before moving to Bodafon, Llanberis, later the Grosvenor Hotel. He was a Welsh international footballer. You can read more about him on our page about the hospital.

The lane also provided a route to Gilfach Ddu for managers living in the Pendraw area (up the hill from Hafoty). By the 20th century, the upper end of the lane was severed by extension of the Vivian quarry and its inclines.

Nobody knows when and why the lane was constructed. It is shown on a Vaynol Estate map which dates from before the lane was upgraded in the 1780s for carriage of slate in carts down to the lake. The cart route went from Allt Ddu to Cei Newydd (‘new quay’), where slate was placed onto boats for transport along Llyn Padarn. Cei Newydd was approximately where the Llanberis Lake Railway station is now located.

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