Aberdovey, or more properly Aberdyfi, was established as a base for herring fishing and was approached mainly by sea. Aberdyfi means mouth (aber) of the river Dyfi (now frequently Anglicized to Dovey). When it was established, the village was entirely Welsh-speaking, and Welsh is still the first language, although there are now many residents from outside the area. As one would expect, the settlement started at the bottom of the hill next to the estuary, spread horizontally and then worked its way up. A drawing showing thatched cottages along the seafront dates to 1834, but although these vanished later in the same century, they were the legacy of seafront construction that dated from at least the 16th Century. Each new building and each new phase of development represents the development of new aspects of industry and trade in the area.
The cultural mix of Aberdovey residents has continued to change. Even before the arrival of tourism, within the Welsh community there were differences in status, religious affiliation, and types of trade and industry. Some of this diversification is visible in the area’s heritage. When tourism arrived, the cultural mix expanded to include many more Welsh speakers from other areas and English speakers, mainly from the Midlands, many of whom began to settle.
In the blog I will be exploring different aspects of the local economy and industries, aspects of social life, and individual buildings. Shipping and shipbuilding are particular interests of mine, so I will be focusing quite a few posts on this area.
Here are my heritage and history posts to date, in more or less chronological order (by date of subject matter, starting in prehistory):
- The Tal-y-Llyn Iron Age Hoard
- Cefn Caer, the Roman fort at Pennal
- The Legend of Cantre’r Gawelod and the Bells of Aberdovey
- A Visit to Castell-y-Bere (1221-1295) near Abergynolwyn
- Where was Aberdyfi Castle?
- The Bear of Amsterdam, a ship of the Spanish Armada, in Aberdovey 1597
- The Royal Silver Mint and Charcoal Furnace in the village of Furnace
- A Background to Shipping and Shipbuilding in Aberdovey
- A Visit to the church of St Peter ad Vincula and Owain Glyndŵr’s Pennal Letter in Pennal
- A brief history of 1-3 Penhelig Lodge, Penhelig
- The Calvinistic Methodist Chapel, Chapel Square, Aberdovey (established 1828)
- The Wesleyan Methodist chapel in Chapel Square, Aberdovey (built 1829, rebuilt 1868)
- St Peter’s Church, Aberdovey, (built 1842)
- A short history of the Ynysymaengwyn Estate, near Tywyn and Bryncrug
- A History of Cambrian Times, established 1860
- The Railway arrives in Aberdovey in 1864
- The Calvinistic Methodist Tabernacle, Sea View Terrace, 1864
- The Congregational Chapel in Aberdovey, established 1880
- The Aberdovey Second World War Pillbox
- The Story Behind the WWII Memorial to 3 Group 10(1A) in Penhelig Park
- The RNLI station in Aberdovey 2018