Penmachno is situated in the Machno Valley, Conwy County, North Wales. Formerly Pennant Machno it is a village centred on the valley of the Afon Machno, one of the upper tributaries of the Afon Conwy. As with its better-known neighbour, Betws y Coed, it is situated within the Snowdonia National Park, but it does not suffer the crowds.
Walks, Cycle Trails and Other Activities
Penmachno Mountain Bike Trail: Activity holidays are well catered for in the village. The Penmachno Mountain Bike Trail starts from the edge of the village and runs through the forests of Snowdonia.
Walks: The Machno Valley is a beautiful location and there are many pleasant walks from the village including the spectacular Conwy Falls and the Machno Valley itself. You are spoilt for choice, with walks through the Gwydir Forest and over the hill to the Lledr Valley and the villages of Dolwyddelan and Pont y Pant. Alternatively, head out through the Machno Valley itself and climb the hill to Llyn Conwy. Head toward Llan Ffestiniog and explore the landscape around Llyn Morwynion and the waterfalls at Rhaeadr y Cwm.
Horse Riding: Gwydyr Stables Riding & Trekking Stables is located on the hillside above Penmachno. The riding centre at Gwydyr Stables (formerly Ty Coch) was established in 1973 and offers a wonderful location for horse riding, pony trekking or extended day trail rides. It provides breathtaking scenery in which to enjoy the excellent views across the Snowdonia Mountains. Two or three-day trail rides around the area are avilable, with either camping, bunkhouse, B & B or hotel accommodation to chose from.
Archery: There is the opportunity to practice Archery whilst visiting Gwydyr Stables.
Ty'n-y-Coed Uchaf: Close to Penmachno is a National Trust property Ty'n-y-Coed Uchaf, a preserved traditional Welsh farmhouse.
Ty Mawr Wybrnant: To the Welsh people Penmachno's main claim to fame would be its proximity to Ty Mawr at Wybrnant. Ty Mawr (the Big House), a National Trust property, was the birthplace of Bishop William Morgan renowned for translating the Bible into Welsh. Ty Mawr is worth a visit for the beauty of the Wybrnant valley alone. Wybrnant is a hanging valley located between Penmachno and Dolwyddelan.
The Eagles: The village of Penmachno has a real ale pub.
Penmachno Parish Church: The parishioners of Penmachno lost the use of their church St Tudcluds, in the early 21st century, however following a great deal of effort by the church and the community St Tudclud's reopened in 2010 as both a church and community centre. The church is home to the Penmachno Inscribed Stones. See Below.
Penmachno Inscribed Stones: Penmachno was an important early Christian centre as is evidenced by a collection of inscribed stones from the late 5th and mid 6th century AD that are to be found in the parish church. The parish church of St Tudclud (sometimes Tyddyd, or Tyddwd), built in 1857, stands in the centre of the village where originally stood two churches. This accounts for the large size of the present churchyard.
The other church, dedicated to St Enclydwyn, fell into ruin after the Reformation and disappeared with little trace. When the old church was dismantled, three of the five stones were found. The others were found close to the Roman road, which runs south to Tomen y Mur, one from Rhiw Bach, and the other possibly from Beddau Gwyr Ardudwy, a legendary site near Bryn y Castell, Ffestiniog. The content of the inscriptions give a moving picture of a community of the 6th century anxious to retain some link with the firm political structures of Rome and the secure society that their ancestors had known before the withdrawal of the Roman Legions.
One of the stones has the Christian Chi-Rho symbol and states in Latin "Carausius lies here in this heap of stones.” Another states "Cantorix lies here. He was a citizen of Venedos (Gwynedd) and cousin of Maglos the magistrate.” The terms "citizen" and "magistrate" appear in no other British inscription of this date. What is amazing is that such a hierarchy should have still existed here in "Venedotia" so long after the legions had left.
Another point of interest is that the old church was reputedly the burial site for Iorwerth ab Owain Gwynedd (1145-1174), also known as Iorwerth Drwyndwn (broken nose, snubnose or flatnose), the father of Llywelyn the Great, and that the fifth stone a 13th century gravestone relates to him. Iorwerth was heir to the Kingdom of Gwynedd but it is said that he was refused the crown because of his irregular face. The stone cannot however be proven to be his. [Iorwerth was killed in battle at “Pennant Mehangell” during the wars of succession that followed the death of Owain Gwynedd. However, I cannot ascertain the location of "Pennant Mehangell.” There is a village in Powys near Llyn Vyrnwy named "Pennant Melangell" but this does not appear to be the site of the battle. Maybe Penmachno or as it was called "Pennant Machno" was the site of the battle after all.]
Capel Bethania: I visited the village one day in 2006 and I met an elderly lady called Mair who was 91 years old and the oldest person in the village. Mair (no disrespect meant, she did not give me her surname) was originally from Blaenau Ffestiniog, but had lived in the village with her late husband for many years. She was very concerned about another place of worship in the village, the old Capel Bethania. Her husband had looked after the Chapel for many years but it had since closed down and was falling into disrepair. The Chapel stands proud in the centre of village and indeed seems incongruous for such a small village. It is now in private ownership and seems ripe for conversion to a private dwelling. Let us hope it is tastefully converted, and remains a building of which both Penmachno and Mair can be proud.
A hodgepodge of text from the original Penmachno web page.
Penmachno Bethania Chapel, Penmachno Churchyard, Tombstones in the graveyard, The Old Empty Shop in Penmachno, Stone Bridge in the Machno Valley, Bend on the Afon Machno, Golf Courses in this region of Conwy County Wales, Capel Garmon Burial Chamber, Penmachno offers some of the best Mountain Bike Trails in Wales, For walkers and ramblers Penmachno is in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park, Pony trekking in the hills of Snowdonia is also available nearby, Ty Coch Farm Riding & Trekking Centre, Penmachno.