Offshore place-names, Deganwy

deganwy-beachOffshore place-names, Deganwy

From Deganwy promenade you can get a panaromic view across the mouth of the Conwy estuary. Below you’ll find information about the names of some of the visible features nearby. Scroll down for an annotated photo of the view (taken from higher ground to show the low-lying rocks clearly).

The beach here is called Traeth Melyn. Traeth is Welsh for beach and Melyn means yellow.

At the north end of the beach is a small promontory called Tremlyd Point. A map published in 1748 and updated in 1801 shows a circular structure here, beside the name Castell Tremlyd. The structure could have been a stockade, or was perhaps associated with the medieval fish traps in this vicinity. As well as being Welsh for “castle”, castell sometimes described a building with some characteristics of a castle, or a building sited where a fortification was thought to have stood.

The origin of Tremlyd is obscure. In the 17th century the first element seems always to have been Trim or Trym.

West of Deganwy the approach to Conwy harbour is flanked by rocks visible only at low tide. Those on the left (south side) are known as The Scabs. Mariners may have thought they resembled scabs on skin!

Those on the right are the Bwrlingau Rocks, which some fishermen refer to as “the Burlingtons”. To hear how to pronounce Bwrlingau, press play:  
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Bwrlingau is written on the 1748 map mentioned above. Its origin is unknown but the Welsh word bwrlwm can describe rippling or gurgling water. There was a Bwrling Field near Merthyr Tydfil, and it was noted in 1863 that water washed over this field when the nearby river was in flood.

At the narrowest point of the Conwy estuary in this vicinity you can see a jetty on the opposite shore. The land there is known as The Beacons – the name of a Victorian house which stood in isolation in the area until after the Second World War. Before the house was built, The Beacons may have been a vernacular name for the land, which would have been a logical place for beacons to aid navigation at night.

With thanks to Mike Headon, of the Welsh Place-Name Society

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