Pendraw community and woodland, Dinorwig

Link to Welsh translationPendraw community and woodland, Dinorwig

Quarrymen preparing gelignite for a blast to loosen slate on the rockface.
© Gwynedd Archives Service

As you follow the path through this woodland, you can see some of the houses, shops and official quarry buildings which made up the community of Pendraw. People who lived here did various jobs within Dinorwig. They and their families lived with the sounds of the quarry. See the footnotes for details of shops and what they sold.

Llidiart y Clo was home to the Thomas family. In around 1910, their daughter, Ellen Louisa, travelled to London to enter domestic service. She worked for several prominent families. When she returned to Pendraw everyone marvelled at her stylish clothes.

Blue Peris was a farm on the Faenol estate, which also owned the quarry. It was built as an office by Gruffydd Ellis, one of Dinorwig’s supervisors. The farm was worked by the Roberts family. Dinorwig’s owners had a food and clothes shop here that was only open on pay day. You can read about the quarry managers who lived here on our Blue Peris page.

The Ceiliog Mawr, Dinorwig Quarry after being blasted. The people
of Pendraw lived with the sounds of Dinorwig Quarry every day.
© Gwynedd Archives Service

Bron Elidir was once home to Dinorwig’s Chief Engineer, Thomas Morris. He was nicknamed ‘Tomi’. He specialised in the difficult job of laying cables for aerial ropeways. Some Anglesey quarrymen worked in Bron Elidir’s gardens in the summer. They were given a meal of porridge and buttermilk in return.

Bron Fuches is the last house in Pendraw before you reach the quarry spoil tip. It was home to William Morris, a quarry supervisor from 1842-1894. He kept a diary of experiences at Dinorwig.

Hafodty was the home of Gruffydd Ellis between 1815 and 1845. He was one of Dinorwig’s most intelligent and well-respected supervisors. During his time at Dinorwig the number of quarrymen employed rose from 300 to 2,400. He and his wife raised 10 children here.

Later that century, Hafodty housed several Dinorwig surgeons. The best-known was Dr RH Mills Roberts, who was also a talented goalkeeper. You can read about him on our page about the quarry hospital.

Dinorwig House still has a shop sign over the doorway. Many houses in Pendraw were also used as shops. They were called Siop Chwarel and would often only last for a couple of months. Some survived for longer. Ivy Cottage, No.2 Dinorwig Cottages, was a shop from 1935 until 1945.

Postcode: LL55 3ET    View Location Map

List of Pendraw shops
Dinorwig quarryman Hugh Thomas recorded the following shops which were here while he lived in Dinorwig Cottages, Pendraw, from 1915 to 1990.

  • Dinorwig House: The only shop in Pendraw with a surviving shop sign above the door: R Williams, Grocer, Linen and Woollen Draper.
  • Tragwyddol Stores: Sold a range of food to villagers and quarry workers.
  • Blue Peris: Sold clothes and food, on pay day only.
  • Siop Llew: Sold food, tobacco, sweets and cigarettes.
  • Siop Dic Pencraig: This shop took over the same space as Siop Llew when it closed and sold food and paraffin.
  • Siop Tan yr Aswy: Sold cotton reels and steel needles.
  • Siop Ifan: This shop was built from zinc and was very popular. It was run by a husband and wife. The husband, Ifan, took a horse and cart around Dinorwig to sell fruit and fish. His wife’s name is not recorded but she looked after the shop in Pendraw where she sold sweets and fizzy drinks. This building later became a fish and chip shop.
  • Siop Kate: Kate was a kind lady who sold food and sweets.