Former Porth Llwyd Hotel, Dolgarrog

Link to French translationFormer Porth Llwyd Hotel, Dolgarrog

This building, now empty, was built in anticipation of a railway line which never materialised.

During the Victorian era paddle steamers took tourists up the river from Conwy to a wharf at Trefriw. The valley, with its spectacular torrents and waterfalls, was described in tourism guides at the time as being comparable to the German Rhine or the Rockies in the USA.

A plan was proposed for a new narrow-gauge railway line from Conwy to Llanrwst, passing through the hamlet of Porth Llwyd. In c.1861, to meet the expected rush of visitors, an hotel named the Plas Rhaiadr was built in the hamlet of Porth Llwyd. “Rhaiadr” = waterfall or cascade. The railway was never built. Instead, a standard-gauge line was engineered along the east bank of the river Conwy.

The Aluminium Corporation came to the area in 1907 to build a factory for smelting and rolling aluminium. It took over the hotel in 1913 and renamed the building The Dolgarrog. The hotel was run by the works secretary as a temperance establishment and a sort of club for managers of the company.

It was later re-named the Porth Llwyd Hotel. In 1925 it was damaged by floodwaters from the breaching of the Eigiau and Coedty dams. The manager’s wife was the first to give an alert of the disaster, in which 10 adults and six children were drowned. She and her staff had to be helped to safety through chest-deep floodwater, by some local boy scouts. The hotel’s annexe – which comprised a dining room, billiard room and six bedrooms – was swept away.

In 1927 it was taken over by the Royal British Legion, which erected the village's war memorial in the same year. The branch in the village was the RBL’s first branch in Wales. In more recent times, the building became the Dolgarrog and District Social Club. After a period of use as a local pub, it closed in 2013.

With thanks to John Lawson-Reay

Postcode: LL32 8AF    View Location Map

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