Penygroes, Gwynedd

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Penygroes War Memorial - - 141335.jpg
Penygroes War Memorial
Penygroes is located in Gwynedd
Location within Gwynedd
Population1,793 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceSH470531
Principal area
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtLL54
Dialling code01286
PoliceNorth Wales
FireNorth Wales
UK Parliament
Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament
List of places
53°03′11″N 4°16′59″W / 53.053°N 4.283°W / 53.053; -4.283Coordinates: 53°03′11″N 4°16′59″W / 53.053°N 4.283°W / 53.053; -4.283

Penygroes (About this soundWelsh pronunciation) 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 1,793 at the 2011 census, of which 88% are Welsh-speaking, making it one of the most predominantly Welsh-speaking areas of the country. The population of Llanllyfni community, which includes Penygroes and Llanllyfni village, which practically adjoins Penygroes, plus Talysarn, is 4,135 according to the 2011 census.

History and amenities[edit]

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 lies in the community of Llanllyfni, and nearby villages are Carmel, Talysarn, Nantlle, Tanrallt, Nebo, and Groeslon.[2]

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 F.C., 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. As of a 2015 local council report 84% of the school's pupils come from primarily Welsh-speaking households.[3]

The cycle path Lôn Eifion passes near the village, following the route of the former Carnarvonshire Railway, which ran from Caernarfon to Afon Wen and closed in 1964.

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, the popular contemporary actor and singer Bryn Fôn, the Labour politician and former MP Betty Williams and the academic Dafydd Glyn Jones, as well as the Welsh international goalkeeper and artist Owain Fôn Williams


  1. ^ 2011 census.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Davies, John; Jenkins, Nigel; Menna, Baines; Lynch, Peredur I., eds. (2008). The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. p. 502. ISBN 978-0-7083-1953-6.
  3. ^