Marconi Bungalows, Tywyn

Marconi Bungalows, Tywyn

These wooden bungalows are named after Italian wireless pioneer Guglielmo Marconi. He opened a long-distance receiving station on the hill behind the bungalows in 1913.

Eight bungalows were built to accommodate staff who worked at the station. They are identified as “Marconi Bungalows” on the OS map of 1948. All are still lived in. They were made available to local residents after the station closed in 1923.

Old photo of Marconi wireless station, TywynThe station worked in tandem with Marconi’s transmitting station at Waunfawr, near Caernarfon. Messages received in Tywyn from the Marconi company’s station in New Brunswick, Canada, went to the company’s London office by a special wire. From there they were delivered by the company or handed to the Post Office for distribution via telegraph across Britain.

The Welsh stations were important in the First World War and in peacetime. From 1918, they were even communicating with Australia.

Security around the stations was tight during the war, amid fears of German espionage. Edward Chambers, a tourist from Dudley, West Midlands, was taken to court in 1915 for taking a photo of the Tywyn station. He was a magistrate himself! His case was thrown out. His photo was confiscated and the public were warned not to take pictures in the vicinity. The old photo of the station was taken by the Marconi Company Ltd.

In 1916 there was a shortage of male telegraphists, so Marconi recruited and trained women to work at the company’s receiving stations. Nine were employed at Tywyn. This was seen as a revolutionary development at the time, especially as the women worked a 24-hour shift rota.

The building which housed the main receiving equipment is now two houses, east of the bungalows. The masts and other equipment were removed after closure. Foundations and tracks remain.

To celebrate Marconi’s birthday, each April members of Telford & District Amateur Radio Society set up temporary equipment at the site and talk with fellow amateurs in the UK, Australia, Japan and North and South America, including enthusiasts at over a dozen other Marconi station sites.

With thanks to Jean Napier, of Tywyn & District History Society. Sources include the National Library of Wales and 'Marconi and his wireless stations in Wales' by Hari Williams, Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, 1999

Postcode: LL36 9HN    View Location Map