Route of old Post Road, Criccieth

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Route of old Post Road, Criccieth

The coast path west of this gate parallels the course of the primitive “Post Road” which served the district before the turnpike road was built in 1807 (in connection with the Cob at Porthmadog). As you stand here, picture pack horses – laden with goods – or carts drawn by small horses following the track. The route was unsuitable for anything bigger.

Criccieth at that time was isolated, and communication with the outside world was slow and difficult. Roads were so poor that small sailing smacks carried produce and passengers along the coast. They used many creeks, coves and open beaches to load and unload their cargoes.

Westwards from here, the old “Post Road”, as it was known, continued towards the mouth of the river Dwyfor. Travellers could cross the river by two fords or, at the highest point which the tide reaches, a bridge. The cliffs that the path now follows suffer from erosion, and the track was further seawards in days gone by.

Eastwards, the track went up the castle hill, past the small community known as Y Dref (the town) and descended to the beach on the other side. Before the esplanade was built there, the beach was strewn with big boulders, around which the track weaved.

Immediately to seaward of the gateway here, at the end of Maes Abereistedd, a “pill box” was built in 1940. It was a hut with thick concrete walls and roof. Guns would have fired through the small openings in the walls, had the Nazis attempted to invade from the sea. The hut was known locally as the “Home Guard”. It was demolished in 1963.

With thanks to Robert Cadwalader

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