Penmorfa and Eifionydd: Our Local Area

Snowdonia in Winter

Bwlch y Fedwen is a substantial Grade II listed stone-built house located in the village of Penmorfa, about two miles from and overlooking Porthmadog.

Before 1811 Porthmadog didn't exist. There lay in its place a vast estuary, and at the highest tides, the sea swept inland as far as Aberglaslyn (the mouth of the river Glaslyn). Today Aberglaslyn is some 5 miles inland.

Penmorfa means the "end of the marsh" where the land met the sea, and is where a primitive ferry used to operate across the estuary to Minffordd on the southern shore.

Bwlch y Fedwen was then an inn and probably the last stopping point before embarking for the ferry.

An old lane still exists down one boundary of the property which may well have led to the ferry landing. Later the lane served as a means of bringing animals up from the marshes and the cows to be milked at the dairy when Bwlch y Fedwen operated as a farm.


In 1811 William Alexander Maddocks completed the mile long embankment, known locally as the Cob, across the estuary, reclaiming hundreds of acres of fertile farm land and creating the port of Porthmadog.

At around the same time, the slate industry around Blaenau Ffestiniog began to flourish, and the Ffestiniog Railway was built to transport this valuable commodity from the quarries high up in the hills to the port for onward shipping.

The town grew quickly, and became a centre for building wooden ships, and a major slate exporter. Its population grew to around 3,000 amply served by pubs and chapels and churches.

The arrival of mainline railways, industrial unrest at the quarries and the first world war contributed to the decline of Porthmadog as a port, and the last slate was exported in the 1940s.

Today Porthmadog is a thriving tourist town offering a selection of individual little shops, and a number places to eat, catering for virtually all tastes.

Bwlch Y Fedwen is ideally situated to enjoy whichever pursuit or activity suits. Please contact us for more information or to make your booking. We look forward to seeing you soon.