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Site Details

© Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 33154

Map Reference SH71NW

Grid Reference SH7280517767

Unitary (Local) Authority Gwynedd

Old County Merioneth

Community Dolgellau

Type of Site TOWN

Broad Class CIVIL

Period General

Site Description Dolgellau was founded in the late eleventh or early twelfth century, it has been suggested by Cadwgan ap Bleddyn, the Prince of Powys. It retained the status of ‘serf village’ until c.1340 when Walter de Manny established a market here. Owain Glyndwr hel his final Welsh Parliament in Dolgellau in 1404, sending letters from the town to France and Scotland asking for assistance against the English usurpers. In 1606 the Town Hall (NPRN 28738) was completed to house the public business of the town, and later that century the first grammar school in Wales was opened in the town. In 1647 George Fox converted many inhabitants of Dolgellau to Quakerism, which subsequently led to their immigration to Pennsylvania to escape persecution.
The town’s links with America continued, when the booming textile industry led to Dolgellau exporting a large amounts of Welsh flannel. The town’s success is reflected in its promotion to county town, with the County Hall (NPRN 31933) being completed in 1825, and the Market Hall (NPRN 406494) in 1870. However, the advent of the mechanical loom spelled the end of the textile industry, and aside from a brief goldrush in the nineteenth century, the town has since remained a largely agricultural centre, with a tourism trade developing in the twentieth century, promoted by such events as the annual Sesiwn Fawr music festival.

K Steele, RCAHMW, 20 January 2009

The report 'Dolgellau: Understanding Urban Character' was published in 2010 by Cadw following the success of the Dolgellau Townscape Heritage Initiative.

T. Driver, RCAHMW, 8th Oct 2010.

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