Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset


Site Details

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

NPRN 518360

Map Reference SH24SE

Grid Reference SH2777041929

Unitary (Local) Authority Gwynedd

Old County Caernarfonshire

Community Nefyn


Broad Class MARITIME

Period 19th Century

Site Description 1. The present day lifeboat house and slipway date back to 1888, when it replaced the original dating to 1864. In 1919 and again in 1925-26, the slipway was altered and extended (along with the boathouse) to accept the station's first motor lifeboat. The slipway now extends approximately 106m.

Event and Historical Information:
A severe northerly gale over 2-3 December 1863 resulted in 18 vessels sheltering in the bay being blown ashore. Five local men, with ropes tied around their waists, waded into the surf and managed to 28 mariners. For these acts of bravery, on of the men - Robert Rees of Morfa Nefyn - was awarded a Bonze Medal by the RNLI. This storm prompted a local vicar, the Rev Owen Lloyd Williams of Boduan, to write to the RNLI to request a lifeboat station. The RNLI's Inspector of Lifeboats, Captain J.R.Ward, visited in February 1864 and forwarded a recommendation, which was formally approved at a meeting of the Institutions Committee of Management on 3 March 1864. An £140 estimate to build a lifeboat house and a long stone launch way was accepted and a 10 oared, 36ft length x 8ft breadth self-righting lifeboat (the former Palling Lifeboat) was allocated. This lifeboat arrived at Porthdinllaen on 26 August 1864, having been conveyed free-of-charge between London and Caernarfon by the London & North Western Railway Co. The provision of a lifeboat was made possibly by a donation of £250 by Llady Cotton Sheppard. At a ceremony on 9 September 1864, the boat was formally christened COTTON SHEPHERD. Hugh Hughes became the first coxswain. Since then, over 350 lives have been saved. The lifeboat house and its slipway are shown on OS mapping and historic Admiralty charts.

Sources include:
Historic Chart 1122-B1 RCAHMW Digital Collections sourced from the UK Hydrographic Office

WWW resources:

Maritime Officer, RCAHMW, September 2011.

2. The lifeboat station was originally established in 1864, although the current building is based on the 1925-1926 substantially re-developed structure.
It comprises a rectangular boat house with a cross wing, a slipway and an associated breakwater to the
The breakwater, which was built between 1918 and 1927, incorporates the remains of an earlier pier which is thought to date to the early 19th century.
Substantial alterations were subsequently carried out on the station, the most recent in 1993.
In 2010 the site was surveyed by Gwynedd Archaeological Trust in advance of demolition, and replacement with a larger structure.
Source: Gwynedd Archaeological Trust Report No. 843 [see GAT10/04/03]
L. Moore, RCAHMW, 17th July 2012

Digital Images

Archive Records

Online Resources