Barmouth across the Mawddach estuary
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament|
Barmouth (Welsh: Abermaw (formal); Y Bermo (colloquial)) is a seaside town and community in the county of Gwynedd, northwestern Wales, lying on the estuary of the Afon Mawddach and Cardigan Bay. Located in the historic county of Merionethshire, the Welsh form of the name is derived from aber (estuary) and the river's name, "Mawddach". The English form of the name is a corruption of the earlier Welsh form Abermawdd. The community includes the villages of Llanaber, Cutiau, and Caerdeon.
The town grew around the shipbuilding industry, and more recently as a seaside resort. Notable buildings include the medieval Tŷ Gwyn tower house, the 19th century Tŷ Crwn roundhouse prison and St John's Church.
William Wordsworth, a visitor to Barmouth in the 19th century, described it thus: "With a fine sea view in front, the mountains behind, the glorious estuary running eight miles [13 km] inland, and Cadair Idris within compass of a day's walk, Barmouth can always hold its own against any rival."[This quote needs a citation]
Barmouth features prominently in the novel Austerlitz by Max Sebald. The town is featured in an idyllic light, with the narrator visiting several times during his childhood. The panoramic landscape is described in the following paragraph:
Finally, when we left the southern bank and crawled to the opposite side over the bridge, almost a mile long and supported on mighty posts of oak, on our right the river bed, inundated by the sea at high tide and looking like a mountain lake, on our left Barmouth bay stretching to the bright horizon, I felt so joyful that I often scarcely knew where to look first... To the south-west the terrain lay open in a wide semi-circle, so that from the forecourt of the house you had a view of the full length of the estuary from Dolgellau to Barmouth, while these places themselves were excluded from the panorama, which was almost devoid of human habitations, by a rocky outcrop on one side and a laurel-grown hill on the other. Only on the far side of the river could the little village of Arthog be seen - in certain atmospheric conditions, said Austerlitz, you might have thought it an eternity away - infinitesimally small, with the shadow of Cadair Idris rising behind it to a height of almost three thousand feet above the shimmering sea. (Austerlitz , page 113-114)
The town is served by Barmouth railway station. Transport for Wales operate northbound services to Pwllheli via Harlech, Porthmadog and Criccieth, and eastbound services to Birmingham International via Tywyn, Machynlleth, Welshpool, Shrewsbury, Telford and Wolverhampton.
Barmouth Bridge, which takes the Cambrian Line over the River Mawddach, was also previously at the end of the Ruabon–Barmouth line, which passed through Bala and Dolgellau. The southern end of the bridge is now the start of the Mawddach Trail, a cycle path and walkway that uses the old trackbed.
Local bus services are provided by Lloyds Coaches, and link the town with nearby destinations such as Harlech, Tan-y-Bwlch, Porthmadog and Dolgellau. Cross country bus services are available to Wrexham via Bala, Corwen and Llangollen, as part of the Welsh Government funded TrawsCymru network.
Barmouth is the venue for the annual Barmouth Beach Race, a motocross event. Usually taking place on the last weekend in October, the event sees riders take part in beach racing, using a temporary motocross course constructed on the beach. Over 200 riders typically take part in this event, with spectators attending free of charge. The event attracts champion riders from England and Wales.
- John Griffith (1821-1877), a journalist, brought up in Barmouth
- Fanny Talbot (1824–1917), landowner and philanthropist, donated Cliff of Light (Dinas Olau in Welsh), to the National Trust.
- Jim Valentine (1866–1904), rugby union and Northern Union player for Swinton Lions.
- Herbert Tudor Buckland (1869–1951), architect, known for his seminal Arts and Crafts movement houses.
- Commander Harold Lowe (1882–1944), fifth officer of the RMS Titanic.
- John Rippiner Heath (1887–1950), physician and composer.
- Major Bill Tilman, (1898–1977), English mountaineer and explorer, known for his Himalayan climbs and sailing voyages, lived in Barmouth for many years.
- Adrian Dingle (1911–1974), Cornish-Canadian artist.
- Johnny Williams (1926–2007), boxer, once both the British and Empire heavyweight champion.
- Tommy Nutter (1943–1992), British tailor, reinvented the Savile Row suit in the 1960s.
- Russell Davies (born 1946), journalist and broadcaster, presents Brain of Britain on BBC Radio 4.
- Charlie Brooks (born 1981), actress, known for EastEnders.
- St David's Church, Barmouth
- St John's Church, Barmouth
- St Tudwal's Church, Barmouth
- St Mary and St Bodfan Church, Llanaber
- "124" (Map). Porthmadog & Dolgellau. 1:50,000. Landranger (in English and Welsh). Ordnance Survey. 2016. ISBN 978-0-319-26222-1.
- Ayto, John; Crofton, Ian (2005). Brewer's Britain & Ireland. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 76. ISBN 0-304-35385-X.
- "BBC - BBC - Cymru - Y ddylanwad mae'r iaith Saesneg wedi ei gael ar leoedd yng Nghymru". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
- Mills, A. (2003). Oxford Dictionary of British Place-Names. Oxford University Press.
- "Dinas Oleu Walk, Barmouth". National Trust. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
- "Road trip for storm-hit Barmouth marooned trains". BBC News. 15 January 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "RNLI: Barmouth". Retrieved 16 February 2016.
- Dolgellau Old Grammarians Archived 5 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine from Pitchero.com, retrieved 11 March 2015
- WalesDirectory.co.uk retrieved 11 March 2015
- "Three Peaks Yacht Race". threepeaksyachtrace.co.uk. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
- "Titanic: Grandson tells of officer Harold Lowe who returned for survivors". BBC News. 14 April 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
- Howell, Denis (5 November 2009). "Barmouth to Fort William Three Peaks Yacht Race Prize Giving". yachtsandyachting.com. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
- Etherington-Smith, Meredith (18 August 1992). "Obituary: Tommy Nutter". The Independent. London. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
- "Barmouth actress Charlie Brooks to star in 18-week theatre stage tour". Daily Post. 9 December 2014. Retrieved 10 September 2016.