Victorian wharf, Aberdyfi

Victorian wharf, Aberdyfi

Photo of Aberdyfi wharf in 1891Leisure boating in Aberdyfi is focused on the wharf built in the 1880s for the thriving goods trade, particularly shipping of slate from quarries in the area. The old photo (copyright: Gwynedd Archives Service) shows the wharf in 1891.

The wharf replaced basic facilities for landing and dispatching goods by sea. The advent of the railway in the 1860s enabled slate to be brought to Aberdyfi in much larger volumes. A short branch line to the seafront diverged at the station (west of the town). In 1882 the Cambrian Railways Company gave notice that it intended to extend the pier or landing stage and install an embankment or sea wall, wharves and sidings.

The wharf area was equipped with warehouses, facilities for livestock in transit and customs inspections. In one week in June 1907 steamers and sailing ships arrived with: general cargo from Liverpool; timber from Cardiff (for maintenance of the railway bridge over the Mawddach estuary at Barmouth); timber from Caernarfon; and cement from Groningen, in the Netherlands. Slate was dispatched in two ships, one bound for Gloucester, and lead ore to Liverpool.

A 1904 harbour record notes ships taking slate from Aberdovey to Poole, Dorset, and Faversham, Kent.

Some of the slate was quarried at Bryn Eglwys, to the north, and transported on the narrow-gauge Talyllyn Railway to Tywyn wharf, where it was transferred to standard-gauge wagons for the short trip to Aberdyfi. Slate from Aberllefenni made a similar journey, using the narrow-gauge Corris Railway to Machynlleth and standard gauge from there to Aberdyfi.

Lead ore shipped from here probably came in boats from the opposite side of the Dyfi estuary.

Goods activity declined with the reduction of quarrying and mining in the region in the 20th century and with the growth of lorries. The wharf was repurposed for leisure uses in the 1970s.

With thanks to Gwynedd Archives Service for the photo

Postcode: LL35 0RA     View Location Map

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