A470 Blaenau Ffestiniog Gwynedd Wales
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Experience Victorian life above ground in Llechwedd village Blaenau Ffestiniog from Easter to September. Access to the village is free and there is plenty of time to explore the shops and exhibits. The friendly bank manager at the Greenway and Greaves Bank can exchange ‘new money’ for ha’pennies and farthings that are accepted throughout the village. Any left over coins can be kept as a souvenir. The Miners’ Arms, the cosy village pub, is fully licensed and provides small pub meals and snacks. The beer garden is ideal for relaxing and watching the world go by. The village sweet shop is a must for anyone with a sweet tooth with shelves laden with sweets and chocolates familiar as childhood favourites. As you wander through the village look out for the workshops fully stocked with old tools and machinery. Also in the village centre is the house of David Francis. This is the oldest house in the village and was originally an 18th Century squatter’s house made with mountain boulders before the discovery of slate. David Francis was a blind harpist who lost his sight at 4 years old after an accident in the mine offices where his mother worked. He lived at Llechwedd from 1865 to 1929 and in 1944 the family left the house that has been preserved today much as David Francis knew it. Also above ground is the Slates to the Sea Museum. The museum is next to the slate mill of 1852 where the Miners’ Tramway tour ends. The various exhibitions and pictures show how the slates of Llechwedd made their way down to the coast at Porthmadog where they were shipped to countries near and far. Blaenau Ffestiniog once provided a third of the entire welsh output of slate in the late nineteenth century making this connection to the sea vital.
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