The quiet resort of Penrhyn Bay sits in the shadow of Little Orme, whose more famous big brother, Great Orme, towers above the adjoining resort of Llandudno. The shingle beach with its rock pools is lined by sea defences consisting of large boulders. The bay started out as a farming community, then in the 19th century limestone quarrying commenced on Little Orme and a narrow gauge railway was built to service the quarry. The quarrying ceased in 1936, leaving Penrhyn Bay to more pleasurable pursuits, and enabling the creation of a Site of Special Scientific Interest and sanctuary for sea birds. Energetic visitors can make the climb up to Little Ormes Head from where there are wonderful views.
The oldest building in the resort is Penrhyn Old Hall, now a restaurant and venue for events. The hall is said to date back to the 8th century originally, when the last King of the Britons built a palace here. The Romans are also thought to have passed through, judging by the Roman coins which have been found there. The house belonged to a powerful Roman Catholic family, the Pughs, in Elizabethan times, and it was the scene of much drama arising from the struggle between the Catholics and Protestants, with some of the Roman Catholics conspiring to put to death the Protestants in the area. Some of the conspirators went into hiding in a cave on the Little Orme, where they allegedly used a printing press to produce the first book printed in Wales. The Old Hall is said to be haunted by a number of ghosts, including a monk, a young girl haunting the stairway, a soldier and an old lady.
Map of the area.
|Photo by Dot Potter, via Wikimedia Commons|