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CAPEL CURIG, CAERNARFONSHIRE

Site Details

© Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 33012

Map Reference SH75NW

Grid Reference SH7292857712

Unitary (Local) Authority Conwy

Old County Caernarfonshire

Community Capel Curig

Type of Site TOWN

Broad Class CIVIL

Period Multiperiod

Site Description Capel Curig is a village lying in the ehart of Snowdonia on the River Llugwy. The name derives from the 6th century foundation of the chapel of St Curig, the site of which is occupied by the present church of St Julitta (NPRN 43713).

In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Capel Curig:

"CAPEL-CURIG, a hamlet and a chapelry in Llandegai parish, Carnarvon. The hamlet lies on the river Llugwy, at the foot of Moel-Siabod and Snowdon, 5½ miles WSW of Llanrwst r. station. It has a post office under Conway, and a hotel; and is a polling place, and a resort for tourists and anglers."

RCAHMW June 2017

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Capel Curig is located on Thomas Telford’s historic post road, today the A5. The small village is situation in a valley between the summit of Crimpiau to the north-east and the Llynau Mymbyr to the south-west. The origins of the village are not entirely clear, but archaeological excavations have found Roman bricks and cement, perhaps evidence of a small garrison, along the river Llugwy. The name Capel Curig is derived from the small sixth-century church founded here by the Celtic bishop, Saint Curig. Today this church is known as St Julitta’s Church.

At the end of the eighteenth century, Richard Pennant built the first major road between Bangor and Capel Curig and, in 1801, set up the Capel Curig Inn, today renamed Plas y Brenin. A year later, Thomas Telford’s new road connecting Holyhead and London reached Capel Curig and from 1808 a steady stream of mail coaches brought many tourists into the valley.

Situated beside two connected lakes and surrounded by the mountains of Snowdonia, the village’s location attracted anglers, landscape artists and mountaineers throughout the nineteenth century. During the 1850s, the German journalist and travel writer Julius von Rodenberg was intrigued by the British obsession with trout and salmon fishing in all kinds of weather as he observed fellow-tourists wade around the Llynau Mymbyr. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, the Italian painter Onorato Carlandi returned time and again to Capel Curig to sketch the landscape and watch his fellow artists walk around the area with large canvasses on their backs.

Capel Curig is home to a predominantly Welsh-speaking community and remains a favourite stop for mountaineers and kayakers.

Record updated as part of the AHRC-funded project 'Journey to the Past: Wales in historic travel writing from France and Germany'.
R. Singer (Bangor University) and S. Fielding (RCAHMW), 2017.

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