Capel Curig

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Capel Curig
St Julitta's Church
Capel Curig is located in Conwy
Capel Curig
Capel Curig
 Capel Curig shown within Conwy
Population 206 (2011)
OS grid reference SH720582
Community Capel Curig
Principal area Conwy
Ceremonial county Clwyd
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BETWS-Y-COED
Postcode district LL24
Dialling code 01690
Police North Wales
Fire North Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Meirionnydd Nant Conwy
List of places

Coordinates: 53°06′18″N 3°54′47″W / 53.105°N 3.913°W / 53.105; -3.913

Capel Curig, c.1870
Unspoilt Capel Curig 1846 by John Harwood

Capel Curig (Welsh pronunciation: [ˈkɑːpɛl ˈkɨːrɪɡ]; meaning "Curig's Chapel") is a village and community in Conwy County Borough, in Wales. It lies in the heart of Snowdonia, on the River Llugwy, and has a population of 226,[1] reducing slightly to 206 at the 2011 census.[2] It is at the junction of the A5 road from Bangor and Bethesda to Betws-y-Coed with the A4086 road from Caernarfon, Llanberis, Pen-y-Pass and Pen-y-Gwryd.

Capel Curig is recorded as being as the wettest place in the British Isles [1], although the weather station is in Dyffryn Mymbyr, a couple of miles out of the village, in the direction of Snowdon.


Capel Curig takes its name from the little Saint Julitta's Church in the ancient graveyard by the river bridge on the Llanberis road. This confusingly has been known for over 100 years as St. Julitta's Church and is currently being restored by the "Friends of Saint Julitta". Tradition claims this chapel to be the 6th century foundation of St. Curig, a Celtic bishop. Centuries later, probably when the present ancient church was built, the name appears to have been Latinised as Cyricus, which is the name of a 4th-century child martyr whose mother was Julitta. They are usually named together as Saints Quiricus and Julietta.

The names Capel Kiryg and Capel Kerig were recorded in 1536 and 1578 respectively.[3]

Evan Roberts[edit]

Capel Curig was home to the botanist Evan Roberts.[4] Roberts lived at Gelli, from where he explored all of Snowdonia, and compiled an unparalleled knowledge of the plant life of North Wales. Although he spent the first 40 years of his life as a quarry worker, he went on to become the colleague of academics. He was awarded the honorary degree of M.Sc. of the University of Wales, in 1956, at the same ceremony as the architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and his portrait was painted by Kyffin Williams.

Roman fort[edit]

Approximately one kilometre from Pont Cyfyng, on the farm of Bryn Gefeiliau, there are the remains of a Roman fort (c.90–100 AD) and named Caer Llugwy by its excavators.[5] (53°05′50″N 3°52′27″W / 53.0972°N 3.8743°W / 53.0972; -3.8743 (Bryn-y-Gefeiliau Roman Site), OS Grid Reference SH746572). In 1920 excavations undertaken by J.P. Hall and Captain G.H. Hodgson revealed a roughly square Roman fort of approximately 4 acres (1.6 ha). Stone buildings were uncovered and traced. The rectangular walled area is on flat land close to the River Llugwy. From the pottery and finds in 1923 and subsequently, it appears to have only been garrisoned for 20–30 years.[6]

Activity centre[edit]

The village is a popular centre for walking, climbing, mountaineering, mountain biking and other outdoor pursuits and is served by the Sherpa bus network. It is also home to a youth hostel, Army training camp, a camp site, several cafes and hotels and outdoor activity gear shops.

Wolverhampton City Council have since 1961 operated 'The Towers' outdoors activity centre just outside Capel Curig. The centre facilitates walking, climbing, a variety of watersports and field studies on a schdule that is adapted day to day according to the prevailing weather conditions and to the abilities and needs of individuals and groups.

Also located in Capel Curig is the UK National Mountain Centre at Plas y Brenin, which offers the highest quality mountaineering, climbing, canoeing facilities and training. One mile east of the village on the A5 is Ty Hyll, home of the Snowdonia Society


Capel Curig is mentioned in the song Bottleneck at Capel Curig by cult UK band Half Man Half Biscuit on their album Trouble Over Bridgwater.

Capel Curig is the setting for the climax of the 1956 thriller The Hidden Face by Victor Canning.


  1. ^ Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Parish Headcounts : Conwy
  2. ^ "Community population 2011". Retrieved 21 May 2015. 
  3. ^ A Dictionary of British Place Names, A.D.Mills, Oxford University Press, 1991
  4. ^ Robin Gwyndaf (2006). The Mountain Man. A portrayal of Evan Roberts, Capel Curig, rockman, botanist and conservationist. Capel Curig: Friends of St. Julitta's Church. ISBN 0-9552995-0-0. 
  5. ^ J.P. Hall (November–December 1923). "Caer Llygwy: the Roman Fort between Capel Curig and Betws-y-Coed". The Classical Review 37 (7/8): 186. doi:10.1017/s0009840x00085413. 
  6. ^ Gwynedd Archaeological Trust Archwilio Bryn y Gefeiliau (Caer Llugwy) Roman Fort, Primary Reference Number (PRN): 799. Accessed 12 September 2013

External links[edit]