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Penmaenpool with Cader Idris in the background
Penmaenpool is located in Gwynedd
Location within Gwynedd
OS grid referenceSH693184
Principal area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtLL40
Dialling code01341
PoliceNorth Wales
FireNorth Wales
UK Parliament
Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament
List of places
52°44′49″N 3°56′10″W / 52.747°N 3.936°W / 52.747; -3.936Coordinates: 52°44′49″N 3°56′10″W / 52.747°N 3.936°W / 52.747; -3.936

Penmaenpool (Welsh: Llynpenmaen) is a hamlet on the south side of the estuary of the River Mawddach in Wales, near Dolgellau. A Grade II listed toll bridge provides access across the estuary for light vehicles.

Points of interest[edit]

Penmaenpool toll bridge

Penmaenpool toll bridge is a wooden toll bridge built in 1879 to replace a ferry crossing. It links the A493 running along the south bank of the Mawddach to the A496 running along the north. It is Cadw-registered and was Grade II listed in 1990.[1][2] The bridge can only be used by vehicles under 1.5 tonnes, and costs 60p for one journey. Around 200 crossings are made each day.[3]

Penmaenpool toll bridge, old signal box and George III Inn (right)

The George III Inn was originally two buildings: a ship chandler serving the boatbuilding industry, and a pub. It dates from approximately 1650. Gerard Manley Hopkins reputedly wrote the poem entitled "Penmaen Pool" in the visitor's book.[4][5]

Penmaenpool railway station was on the Aberystwith and Welsh Coast Railway. It opened as Penmaen Pool on 3 July 1865, and closed to goods on 4 May 1964 and passengers on 18 January 1965.[6] The route is now part of the Mawddach Trail and is popular with walkers.[7]


Fifteen people, including four children, were drowned on 22 July 1966 when the ferry Prince of Wales hit the toll bridge. The ferry had been taking 39 people on a pleasure trip from Barmouth to the hotel in the village.[8] Though 27 lives were saved, nobody was officially recognised for bravery. A memorial was held by the signal box on the 50th anniversary of the disaster in 2016, and a plaque was unveiled commemorating the victims.[9]



  1. ^ "Penmaenpool Bridge (partly in Dolgellau Community)". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  2. ^ "Thanks but no thanks - we won't be buying £350k bridge". North Wales Daily post. 18 April 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Wales toll bridge for sale – in pictures". The Guardian. 26 June 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  4. ^ Carr, Lizzie (2018). Paddling Britain: 50 Best Places to Explore by SUP, Kayak & Canoe. Bradt Travel Guides. p. 135. ISBN 978-1-784-77603-9.
  5. ^ Hamilton, Dorothy (2003). Best Tea Shop Walks in Mid-Wales. Stobart Davies. p. 120. ISBN 978-1-850-58796-5.
  6. ^ Butt 1995, p. 183.
  7. ^ "Mawddach Trail". Snowdownia National Park. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  8. ^ "Service for 1966 drowning victims". BBC. 22 July 2006. Retrieved 2 May 2009.
  9. ^ "Penmaenpool ferry disaster victims remembered 50 years on". BBC News. 22 July 2016. Retrieved 4 March 2020.


Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199.