Penygroes shown within Gwynedd
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Penygroes is a village in Gwynedd, Wales. The village is located to the south of Caernarfon, and north of Porthmadog, by the A487 road. Penygroes' population stands at 1,770, of which 88% are Welsh-speaking, making it one of the most predominately Welsh-speaking areas of the country. The population of Penygroes, plus nearby Talysarn, is 3,544.
History and amenities
Penygroes is located in the former slate quarrying area of Dyffryn Nantlle, although most of the quarries are now closed down. However, it remains the valley's main shopping and administrative centre. Its biggest employer is a paper-converting plant producing hand tissues and toilet rolls.
It is the site of the area's comprehensive school, Ysgol Dyffryn Nantlle (opera star Bryn Terfel's old school), and football team Nantlle Vale, which used to be managed by the professional wrestler and promoter Orig Williams, better known by his ring name of "El Bandito". The club's former social complex has in recent years been demolished, and a brand new police station and arrest suite now occupies the site.
Penygroes lies by the edge of Lord Newborough's former estate at Glynllifon, from which several medieval legends have emanated. The character Lleu Llaw Gyffes, who features in the ages-old legends of the Mabinogi (sometimes inaccurately referred to as the Mabinogion), was said to have lived in the area. The Iron Age hillfort at Dinas Dinlleu and the village of Nantlle—originally spelt as Nantlleu—are said to have been named after him.
Notable residents include the poets R. Williams Parry and Mathonwy Hughes, current British Kickboxing Champion Robin Humphreys, the popular contemporary actor and singer Bryn Fon, the Labour politician and former MP Betty Williams and the academic Dafydd Glyn Jones.