Y Felinheli

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Y Felinheli
Road Bridge at The Marina, Y Felinheli - geograph.org.uk - 227475.jpg
Road bridge at Y Felinheli marina
Y Felinheli is located in Gwynedd
Y Felinheli
Y Felinheli
Y Felinheli shown within Gwynedd
Area 2.28 sq mi (5.9 km2)
Population 2,284 (2011)
• Density 1,002/sq mi (387/km2)
Language Welsh
OS grid reference SH525675
  • Y Felinheli
Principal area
Ceremonial county
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district LL56
Dialling code 01248
Police North Wales
Fire North Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament
Welsh Assembly
Website http://felinheli.org/
List of places
53°10′59″N 4°12′36″W / 53.183°N 4.210°W / 53.183; -4.210Coordinates: 53°10′59″N 4°12′36″W / 53.183°N 4.210°W / 53.183; -4.210
St Mary's Church

Y Felinheli, formerly known in English as Port Dinorwic, is a village and community beside the Menai Strait (Welsh: Y Fenai or Afon Menai) between Bangor and Caernarfon in Gwynedd, north-west Wales. The population of the village was 2,284 at the 2011 Census.[1]



Etymologically, its name comes from the Welsh y meaning the, melin meaning mill and heli, meaning brine/salt-water/sea. An alternative interpretation is from Y Felin heulyn, "the mill on the River Heulyn", which refers to the river that runs into the village.


Y Felinheli has its origins in two hamlets, Tafarngrisiau near St Mary's Church and Aberpwll to the north-east where there was a mill on the Afon Heilyn. The mill was rebuilt closer to the sea in 1633 and its name, Aber y felin gave the settlement its name. [2] The area was largely agricultural until the area was transformed by slate quarrying in the 19th century. A new dock was built in 1828 when lime was extracted at Brynadda and slate and lime were loaded and culm (coal dust or anthracite slack) was brought in to fire the lime kilns.[3]

The owners of the Vaynol Estate, the Assheton Smiths, owned most of the land in Y Felinheli and developed the Dinorwic Quarry[4] in the late 18th century, They also built the harbour to export slate transported to the quay by the Dinorwic Railway, a narrow gauge railway that was subsequently replaced by the Padarn Railway. Industrial expansion gave Y Felinheli (Felin-hely, 1838) the alternative name Port Dinorwig or Port Dinorwic.


The harbour is a centre for pleasure boating and sailing. It has moorings, a marina and yacht support businesses, including rigging, sail making and boatyards.[5] The boatyard was constructed before the Second World War for building landing craft. Its slipway, probably the largest in North Wales is in private ownership, is usable at most states of tide. The local sailing club[6] organizes dinghy racing.


Welsh language[edit]

According to the United Kingdom Census 2011, 64.3% of all usual residents aged 3+ in Y Felinheli could speak Welsh.[7] Of those born in Wales, 89.4% of the population of Y Felinheli's residents could speak Welsh.[8] The percentage of those with Welsh language skills vary as follows:

Welsh language skill [9][10] No. of persons Percentage of persons aged 3+
Can understand spoken Welsh 1,431 65.4%
Can speak, read or write Welsh 1,429 65.3%
Can speak Welsh 1,407 64.3%
Can read Welsh 1,275 58.3%
Can write Welsh 1,213 55.4%
Can speak, read and write Welsh 1,196 54.6%

According to the 2014 Estyn report on the village primary school, of the 155 pupils enrolled, 75% were from Welsh-speaking homes.[11]


The A487 road by-pass, completed in 1994, has removed much traffic congestion from the main street. The nearest railway station as the crow flies is across the Menai Strait at Llanfairpwll (2 miles (3.2 km)). The next nearest (not involving travelling by boat) is at Bangor (4 miles (6.4 km)).[12]

Historically, there was a passenger railway station named Port Dinorwic which was open between 1852 and 1960. There was also a narrow gauge railway running from the town to Dinorwic Quarry on the Dinorwic Railway (later Padarn Railway) to carry slate.


Welsh language parent-and-toddler group Cylch Ti a Fi Y Felinheli and a Welsh-language playgroup Cylch Meithrin Y Felinheli currently serves the community with the support of Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin.

Ysgol Gynradd Y Felinheli provides Welsh-medium primary education to the village and the surrounding area.[13]

Culture and sport[edit]

The local carnival committee organises the annual Gŵyl Felin.[14]

There is a local football team.[15]


  1. ^ "Community/Ward population 2011". Retrieved 18 May 2015. 
  2. ^ Jones 1992, p. 9
  3. ^ Jones 1992, p. 10
  4. ^ Jones 1992, p. 13
  5. ^ Dinas Boat Yard 
  6. ^ Port Dinorwic Sailing Club 
  7. ^ "Agenda item - Application No. C15/0416/20/AM - Land at Beach Road, Felinheli". democracy.cyngor.gwynedd.gov.uk. Retrieved 2017-02-16. 
  8. ^ "Embedding failed. (There's a problem)". fusiontables.googleusercontent.com. Retrieved 2016-09-22. 
  9. ^ Sillitoe, Neighbourhood Statistics - Neil (2008-04-14). "Detect browser settings". www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk. Retrieved 2017-02-26. 
  10. ^ Sillitoe, Neighbourhood Statistics - Neil (2008-04-14). "Detect browser settings". www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk. Retrieved 2017-02-26. 
  11. ^ "Ysgol Gynradd Y Felinheli | Estyn". www.estyn.gov.wales. Retrieved 2016-03-31. 
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ "Ysgol Gynradd Y Felinheli | Estyn". www.estyn.gov.wales. Retrieved 2017-09-20. 
  14. ^ Gŵyl y Felinheli 
  15. ^ Y Felinheli Club Information 


  • Jones, Reg Chambers (1992), Felinheli A Personal History of the Port of Dinorwic, Bridge Books, ISBN 1-872424-26-0 

External links[edit]