Pont Fawr, Llanrwst

link to welsh translation Link to French translation

Pont Fawr, Llanrwst

A ford crossed the river Conwy in this vicinity long before it was bridged. The original bridge was declared unsafe in 1626 and preparations began for its replacement, funded by the people of Caernarfonshire (west of the river) and Denbighshire (east of the river). In 1634 four Lancashire stonemasons were contracted to build the new bridge. The year 1636 and the royal coat of arms are shown on a plaque on the upstream side of the bridge, which is known as Pont Fawr (“large bridge”).

The workmen who built the bridge inserted the keystones for the central arch upside down. This was not discovered until the opening day, when the arch collapsed. The central arch rises to c.18 metres above the water.

The bridge features cutwaters – stonework shaped like a ship’s bow – up its full height. The river is the outlet for rainwater and meltwater from across a large area of Snowdonia including Dyffryn Mymbyr (around Capel Curig), one of the wettest places in Britain. The western arch was rebuilt in 1703, after the original collapsed in 1702. Since then the bridge has stood the test of countless floods and the advent of motorised road vehicles.

The bridge is too narrow for vehicles to pass, and the hump-back limits forward visibility. This explains the local nickname Pont y Rhegi – "bridge of swearing".

The renowned architect Inigo Jones was professionally associated with the wealthy Wynn family of Llanrwst, and legend has it that he designed Pont Fawr.

Where is this HiPoint?

Postcode: LL26 0ET

Tales of Llanrwsts characters and customst Tour Label Navigation previous buttonNavigation next button