Y Felinheli shown within Gwynedd
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||Y FELINHELI|
Y Felinheli (formerly known in English as Port Dinorwic) is a village lying beside the Menai Strait (Welsh: Y Fenai or Afon Menai) between Bangor and Caernarfon in Gwynedd, north-west Wales. The population is about 2,080.
Etymologically its name comes from y (the), melin (mill) and heli (brine/salt-water/sea). (An alternative view is that Y Felinheli comes from Y Felinheulyn, Mill on the river Heulyn, which runs into the village.)
During the late 18th century the Dinorwig quarries built an extensive harbour for the export of slate, which was transported to the quay on the purpose-built Dinorwic Railway narrow gauge railway later replaced by the Padarn Railway. It was this industrial expansion which gave Y Felinheli (Felin-hely, 1838) the alternative name of Port Dinorwig or Port Dinorwic.
The village at present
The port now provides a centre for pleasure boating and sailing. It has moorings, a marina and a well-developed accompaniment of yacht support businesses, including rigging, sail making and boatyards. The boatyard was constructed prior to the Second World War for the purpose of building landing craft, which later played a major part in turning the War in the Allies' favour. The slipway still exists, although now in private ownership, is probably the largest slipway in North Wales, and is usable at most states of tide. The local sailing club organizes dinghy racing on Saturday afternoons and on Wednesday and Friday evenings. A by-pass constructed in 1993/4 has removed much of the traffic that congested the main street for many years.
Demographically, according to the United Kingdom Census 2001, the number of speakers of the Welsh language in all age groups was 72%, with the highest percentage of Welsh speakers being in the 5–9 range (97.8%). This means that Y Felinheli was the 49th most Welsh-speaking electoral division by percentage in Wales. There is a very strong Welsh community, with almost all community activities held in the Welsh Language.
Although most villagers work in Caernarfon or Bangor, the village has a strong sense of community. The local carnival committee organises the annual Felinheli Festival and also a fireworks display at the beginning of November. Both of these events are very popular in the local area, and parts of the village close down to allow the visitors proper access.
- Community Council
- geograph photos of Y Felinheli and surrounding area
- Y Felinheli/Port Dinorwic Marina