On the east side of the canal stands an ancient farmhouse, thought to date from the 17th century. It may have been a traditional Welsh longhouse, where the farmhouse and livestock quarters were at each end of the same building. Inside there’s a large fireplace with a bread oven.
The house’s name was often written as Pen-y-ddôl and means ‘top of the meadow’. Fields between here and the river belonged to the farm. In November 1855, Robert Wright gave up farming at Pen-y-ddôl and sold his draught horses, milch cows, calving heifers and yearlings (young cattle), along with farm implements, turnips and corn.
The canal, built in the early 19th century, runs on a low embankment past Penddol. The farmhouse has been a landmark for visitors in horse-drawn boats since Victorian times. Shown here are two of the many picture postcards of the scene.
Francis (Frank) Jones was farming at Penddol by 1883. In 1901 he and his wife Jane lived here with their three sons, three daughters and a male servant. By 1914 Frank had a sideline in vehicle rental. His fleet included charabancs, landaus, dog carts and brakes. He also advertised as a “general undertaker” with decades of experience in joinery.
Jane was still living here, with three of her grown-up children, on the eve of the Second World War. After the war, competitors at the newly formed annual Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod needed places to stay. Some camped at Penddol, and this sowed the seed of today’s caravan park.
In 1955 the owners sold their cattle field, just below the canal, for £7,000 to enable the eisteddfod ground to be enlarged. The former field is now the grassed area north of the Llangollen Pavilion. The cowsheds still stand within the ground and are the same colour as the farmhouse – you can see them south of the canal bridge.
Postcode: LL20 8SS View Location Map