Strongwoman’s boat loading site, Nant Peris

button-theme-womenbutton_lang_welshbutton_lang_frenchStrongwoman’s boat loading site, Nant Peris

The legendary strongwoman Marged ferch Ifan (1696-1793) used to row copper ore from this vicinity to Cwm-y-Glo, 7km away.

The area has seen many changes since her time, particularly when Llyn Peris was adapted for the Dinorwig hydro power station in the 1980s. This destroyed a column of rock at the lakeside which was known as Pilar Marged (Marged’s Pillar). Marged used to tie her boat to the pillar.

Copper was mined from the slopes above the location of today’s layby. Marged would transport the heavy load the full length of Peris and Padarn lakes, and continue along the outflow where Pont Pen y Llyn was later constructed. She then had to row the empty boat back, against the flow of water.

This was just one of several jobs for multi-tasking Marged. She also kept a pub, shod horses, wrestled (with men), hunted and played the harp. It’s said that she also had great carpentry skills, building objects including harps and her own boat. She was probably born in Beddgelert. She moved to Pen Llyn (near Brynrefail) with her husband, Richard Morris.

There are many legends about Marged, some telling of how she dealt with men who made the mistake of underestimating her strength! Another story relates how she helped to build Pont y Meibion, the bridge which crosses the river near St Peris’ Church. As you can see if you follow the footpath from the gate here, a large slate slab spans the river. Positioning the slab required a team of men at one end and Marged – alone – at the other.

With thanks to Dafydd Thomas and Gwyndaf Hughes

Postcode: L55 4UD    View Location Map