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The Coming of the Railway
For centuries travel along the north Wales coast was an extremely treacherous affair.
Countless journeymen and their pack animals lost their on the precarious slopes of Penmaenbach, (a rocky headland lying to theeast of Penmaenmawr) and the road over the mountain to Bangor in the west was often in a state of collapse.
The opening of the Chester to Holyhead railway in 1848 was to drastically alter the fortunes of Penmaenmawr.
At that time it was a tiny quarrying village within the parish of Dwygyfylchi but this was considered too difficult for English tongues to pronounce. It was therefore decided to name the railway station after the quarry mountain “Penmaenmawr” the great stone head.
This was the name that was taken up by the community that grew up around the station.
The railway speeded up distribution of Penmaenmawr stone, but it was to further boost the town’s economy by bringing in tourists.
It was the Victorians penchant for sea-bathing that first brought them to north Wales. By the mid-nineteenth century the purpose built holiday resort of Llandudno was already thriving and the railway made it simple to venture the ten miles or so further west to Penmaenmawr with its easy access to the sea and hills. However it was the patronage of the Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone that was to put Penmaenmawr firmly on the tourist map.