About Porthmadog

From around 1800, William Madocks constructed Port Madock , also known as Port Madoc , from the salt marshes of the Glaslyn Estuary. Madocks was an Englishman born of Welsh parent, and later became MP for Boston in Lincolnshire.

Madocks’ first experience in land reclamation had been the building of two dykes. The second of these, constructed by James Creasy in 1800, was later used by the Croesor Tramway audio clip.

Between 1808 and 1811, Madocks built the famous Cob, along which the Ffestiniog Railway passes before heading into the mountains. The Cob was hugely expensive - Madocks was bankrupted by its construction - but the thriving sea port of Portmadoc grew up because of it, fed by the then-growing export of Welsh slate.

More recently, Portmadoc has assumed the name Porthmadog audio clip in honour of the Welsh Prince Madog. The old name has almost completely passed out of usage. I have written these pages using both names, preferring the old name for historic topics and favouring the new name for issues of the present day.

Whereas Portmadoc became Porthmadog, Caernarfon has also been spelt Carnarvon, Carnarfon, or Caernarvon. But that’s another story …

The Welsh Language is fascinating and beautiful. Many websites have sprung up devoted to it. If you’d like an overview, may I recommend www.visitwales.com/explore/traditions-history/welsh-language and gov.wales/topics/welshlanguage.

Dr Ben has a most helpful gazeteer of placename pronunciation on his Welsh Highland website. This is excellent for the non-Welsh speaker interested in the Welsh Highland Railway.

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