Snowdon 1870s

Index to all Snowdon pages

Summary of accounts of ascents, and descriptions of Snowdon (full transcriptions below)

1870     Description of an ascent by a group including women
1870     Description of a separate ascent by one of the same party
1870     A group of Welsh people sang as the sun rose, but a church minister was reduced to silence by the beauty of the views.
1870     A newspaper gave details of how it was possible to travel to the summit from Chester and back in a day
1870     A magazine published a print of people climbing Snowdon with alpenstocks
1870     A local newspaper reported that Snow lay thick on the summit in mid May, but the huts were open
1871     A Snowdon guide was charged with cruelty to a pony on Snowdon
1871     A Birmingham newspaper suggested that climbing Carnedd Llewelyn would avoid the ‘touters’ on Snowdon
1871     A book of extracts from the Pen-y-Gwryd visitors’ book was published
1871     A group of 45 workmen from Penlon (Bangor) slate works spent an excellent day climbing Snowdon
1871     The author of a guidebook wondered why there was not a proper hotel on the Summit of Snowdon as there was on the Righi, Switzerland
1871     Abel Heywood’s guide included a description of a moonlight ascent by 8 people
1871     Arthur Schuster saw the Brocken effect on Snowdon and reported on it to the British Association
1871     Two sisters climbed Snowdon from Pen-y-Gwryd
1871     W.S. Symonds recorded memories of the botanical guide, William Williams
1873     The Good Templers opened a refreshment hut halfway between Llanberis and the summit
1873     The Geologist Daniel Mackintosh climbed Snowdon and Cader Idris with a companion and several boys at Easter time
1873     There was snow on Snowdon in mid-September
1873     Description of a thunderstorm on Snowdon at night
1873     Shaw’s tourist’s picturesque guide to North Wales based on Black’s Picturesque Guide to North Wales, 1858)
1874     A Fictional romance on Snowdon from How the Snow melted on Snowdon by J.J. G. Bradley.
1874     Frederick Roberts Wilton, a London School teacher died from a fall on Snowdon
1874     Dr. W. Wilberforce Smith spent a night in one of the huts on the summit
1874     A Parliamentary bill to enable a railway to be built up Snowdon was abandoned due to the landowner’s opposition
1874     The Guardian newspaper published a report of an ascent
1874     David Illingworth published an account of an ascent of  Snowdon in the Yorkshire Magazine
1875     A tourist reported that he had never seen the scenery from the summit, and mentioned that a young man had died on Snowdon recently
1875     Mary Jones wife of David Jones and administratrix of Philip Williams, of Snowdon summit Hotel was granted a licence for the sale of alcohol
1875     The body of Edward Grindley Kendall was found on Snowdon
1875     Four ladies and three gentlemen travelled from Aberystwyth to Llanberis, climbed Snowdon, saw the sun set and stayed the night on the summit
1876     The Fiztgerald family, (mother, brother, nephew and niece of the poet) climbed Snowdon
1876     A newspaper report of an ascent claimed that the tourist found 60 people on the summit
1876     A newspaper published a Mr D Shaw’s ascent of Snowdon with others at night.
1876     A newspaper published a magazine article which complained that the railway to Llanberis spoiled the scenery
1877     A newspaper gave advice on guidebooks for Snowdon
1877     A newspaper published a brief account of an ascent wich noted that there was ahut for ladies at the summit
1877     A visitor to the summit complained that he was not allowed into one of the huts without paying
1877     An account of an ascent in verse
1877     A third parliamentary bill for enable the building of a railway to the summit was abandoned because the land owner objected
1877     H.B. Biden’s published All Round Snowdon, with a panoramic view.
1877     Thomas Adler wrote about an attempted ascent  with his wife (and mother?).
1878     Jenkinson’s Smaller Practical Guide to North Walesincluded brief directions for ascents on various paths
1878     An anonymous account of an ascent of Snowdon
1878     A newspaper reported that several young men broke into the half-way hut on their way to the summit on Whit Monday
1878     A newspaper published advice on ascents by the Alpine Club
1878     A newspaper repeated an article published in the Odd Fellows Quarterly Magazine describing Christmas ascents in deep snow
1879     Maxwell Haseler died near the summit in January, having been abandoned by his companions
1879     There was still snow on the summit in May
1879     Dr Joseph Parry wrote an Ode to the Sun, to be sung by the Eryri Choral Union on the summit at sunrise
1879     Rev. Thomas Butler (1806-1886) ‘Reminiscences of botanical rambles about Snowdon and its neighbourhood.’  for the Gossiping Guide to Wales

This group had just spent two weeks in the Lake District (2nd to 15th August, 1870) and were in Wales until August 27th. The party consisted of ‘Arthur and I’ (who were compelled to occupy a double bedded room at the Royal Victoria Hotel in Llanberis), Walter, Ethel and Frank Underhill. The name of the author is unknown, but the family name of some of the others was Ironmonger. Frank, who went up separately. also recorded his experiences.
18th August, 1870, Llanberis
During our stay at Llanberis I was struck by an evil arising from the immense number of tourists who visit the spot. All the children of the place, and they are legion, are half pauperised. They are taught by their parents to get all they can from the visitors and you can scarcely walk a hundred yards but you have a swarm round you offering to act as guides to this place and the other and when they find you will not employ them they unblushingly ask for money. The result must be to engender habits of idleness which in afterlife will bear sad results.

The morning was fine and not too hot for our ascent of Snowdon on whose top was floating some few fleecy clouds which we expected would be dispersed by a gently wind before we reached the summit. We accordingly started about half-past ten and an easier mountain ascent I never met with. The road is broad and sound all the way and to within a mile of the top a carriage could be readily driven. Although it is a stretch of five miles it is so gradual in its ascent that in no part can it be called difficult. The ease with which you gain the summit (most objectionable to the young athlete), is well compensated by the extensive and magnificent views you obtain almost the entire distance. Many visitors had preceded us and we met them on their return looking not well pleased. I asked one old gentleman if he had obtained a good view to which he replied grumpily “yes, of the fog” His patience had evidently been exhausted and he had declined waiting for the good time coming. Then we reached the top which took us two hours and a quarter, the clouds had dispersed and though it was intensely cold and windy, we had the finest mountain view conceivable. Mapped out below us was the entire district of North Wales, St George’s channel and the sea, with the beautiful bays of Cardigan and Caernarfon. The Menai Straits with the tubular bridge and the Isle of Anglesey lying on the west and north. Immediately beneath the dark pass of Llanberis and the beauteous vale of Gwinnant contrasted their differing scenic effects whilst the entire chain of mountains from Llanrwst to Dolgellau including the precipitous Cader Idris were not dwarfed by comparison with their giant neighbour. Far below in the mountain valleys were innumerable ravines that collection of “the tricklings of tears from the mountainside” as De Quincey has it relieving the dry arid rocks around and lower still the rich colours of autumnal vegetation blended with the many varied greens and browns of the mountainside and the rich purple hues of the overchanging [sic] shadows. A bright sun lit up the landscape but no haze retarded the view. Taking it as a whole it was without exception the finest Panorama I have ever been fortunate to behold. Alongside the cairn some enterprising fellow has erected one or two huts in which you can get refreshments not very varied but of excellent quality and considering the labour of bringing them up not very dear; and he has even got bedrooms for half a dozen visitors who are bold enough to encounter the night winds at this altitude for the chance (in many cases a remote one) of seeing the sun rise from the mountain. After refreshing our inner man and woman with Tea, Bass and mountains of bread and butter and feasting our eyes with all the beauties of the prospect, we prepared to descend. Walter whose teeth were chattering with cold regretted that he had not a basin of soup and informed us that the French cooks were clever enough to produce a very palatable soup by steeping their beards in boiling water. To which Ethel, with her usual half innocence half-archness asked Uncle Walter if that was the French way of making Hare soup. Not withstanding our hasty luncheon we were well prepared for dinner on our return and we had scarcely finished when Frank Underhill turned up.
August 19th 1870
Frank not being able to join us before determined to walk over Snowdon to Beddgelert where we were to join him on our way to Ffestiniog. … and I leave him to describe his walk.
Frank’s journey over Snowdon
No task is so difficult as that of making “much ado about nothing” or in other words of finding new features in ground which has been often trodden before by more skilled observers and writers and I can but give my own personal experience of what has been probably described hundreds of times before. … I was awakened about seven from somewhat uneasy slumbers by the morning salutations of a peacock to his spouse which to judge by the unearthly row was by no means of a pleasing character …  after a hasty breakfast I left the hotel with the intention of walking over the mountain and meeting rest of the party at the Beddgelert side. I had scarcely got into the road when I found myself surrounded by a colony of guides but these I soon disposed of. A guide, except in cases of danger, or where much information can be given, being to my mind an intolerable nuisance and having a tolerable knowledge of the way from old experience I considered one quite unnecessary. The morning by this time seemed everything that could be desired and the sun was just beginning to shine giving promise of a steaming hot day. Though not in much training I felt the old spirit of Swiss and Scotch days and started off at a rapid pace. The first part of the way (it can hardly be called an ascent) is very easy, the road extremely wide and good and the views of Llanberis Lake and Country very picturesque. The mountain is entirely composed of slate the strata being thrown up nearly perpendicularly and presenting an exceedingly broken and craggy appearance as it is the case in all elevations where this species of rock is found. Until nearly halfway up I did not meet a single person and then only a party of limp and unwashed tourists who had slept on the top and seen the sun rise, a sight which they said (though their looks denied it) repaid them for the various discomforts of their lodging. After a sharp and very enjoyable walk I turned off somewhat suddenly to the left and commenced the ascent to the summit, the only really uphill part at all. I stopped some time talking to an old man selling milk and drank some having previously rendered it harmless by adding the remnants of my brandy bottle having run out in my pocket mixing with gloves, tobacco and botanical specimens. … The old man had also a splendid piece of Paisly [sic] fern which he had found on the mountain and he answered me that there was plenty of it to be met with though I afterwards entirely failed to find any.
The last mile is decidedly steep and by far the finest part of the ascent especially where the Capel Curig path joins with the Llanberis one. On arriving at the summit exactly two hours from the time I left the hotel, the wind was very high and the cold intense causing me to wrap my plaid closely round me and to bless myself for having bought it. In the cabin were divers cads, male and female whose company I carefully avoided and seating myself on the cairn admired the view which certainly is equal to if not finer than that from any mountain I have yet visited. The hills and rocks are so bold and precipitous in outline and there are scarcely any signs of cultivation or habitation to be seen for miles. After spending half an hour on the top I commenced the descent towards Beddgelert having firmly resisted all offers of coffee and ham from the proprietors of the several dens. The descent is if possible more gradual and easy than the way I had come up but the path is by no means so clearly defined indeed had it not been for the assistance of various parties whom I met I should have been sorely puzzled at times. It presents no feature of special interest, in fact I seemed to have completely turned my back on the best scenery the moment I left the summit.
From the bottom of the mountain there is a four mile walk over an uninteresting and dusty road and I was by no means sorry to get a sight of the Royal Goat Hotel where I arrived nearly an hour before the rest of the party.
Anon, ‘Diary of Tour to the English Lakes and North Wales, 1870’ NLW Mss 12523, pp. 72-82

Sunrise on Snowdon
At about three o’clock was seen the first faint blush of morning, purpling the east. All now gathered on the rocky peak to watch a scene, which every minute was varying and increasing in interest.
{Description of the sun rise.}
Just as [the sun] cleared the horizon and the day had really dawned, the Welsh people burst forth in one of their wild thrilling mountain anthems … Then … they asked a Christian minister who happened to be there to preach to them. But his heart was too full for his lips to utter words to man. Speech seemed an impertinence when nature was so eloquently addressing herself to all … But prayer was offered … on that topmost stone of the altar of that grand cathedral …
Ballymena Observer – Saturday 09 July 1870 by the Rev. Newman Hall in the Sunday at Home
Northern Standard – Saturday 09 July 1870

To Snowdon and Back in a day
{New railway links to Llanberis – despite the objections of some to the disturbance they cause, are very convenient.} (See The Times last week which said the line went under Caernarfon Castle.)
Left Chester at 6 am, arrive at Dolbadarn Hotel at 11 am, so could be on the way to Snowdon by 12 (on a cool day).
The ascent can be hard, and the view uncertain. Possible to be down by 5 p.m. and having enough time to have a meal at the hotel, it is possible to catch the mail from Holyhead [at Caernarfon?] and be home that evening.
Chester Chronicle – Saturday 16 July 1870

GOOD WORDS [magazine?] has a charming picture of the summit of Snowdon, with two of three tourists in the act of making the final assault, aided (?) by those absurd poles [alpenstocks] that Englishmen affect now-a-days alike in Wales and Switzerland.
The Aberystwyth Times Cardiganshire Chronicle and Merionethshire News, 19th March 1870

LLANBERIS. THE SEASON. Notwithstanding the inclemency of the weather, nearly every day, parties ascend Snowdon. On Tuesday week, snow lay thick on the summit, and the weather looked cheerless enough, still a few adventurers, among whom was one courageous lady, successfully accomplished the feat of reaching the highest peak. The hotel, or refreshment rooms, on the top have once again been tenanted, and the attendants say that not a day passes without a visit from some person or other.
Llangollen Advertiser Denbighshire Merionethshire and North Wales Journal, 13th May 1870

The officers of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, during the past few weeks, have been very actively engaged in Carnarvonshire, and have succeeded in bringing a large number of cases of gross cruelty to animals before the magistrates. One of these has occurred on the very summit of Snowdon. Of Saturday, at the Caernarvon county petty sessions, Mr Motum, one of the principal officers of the society, charged Robert Richards, a Snowdonian “guide,” with cruelty to a mare by overstocking – neglecting to relieve her of her milk. Mr Motum said he went to the top of Snowdon on the 12th of August, and there found the defendant’s mare which had foaled in February last, and was till suckling her colt. The mares udder was very distended, milk was running from her teats, and she appeared to be in great pain. In addition, she had two saddle wounds. … The bench fined the defendant 20s and costs.
The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality, 26th August 1871

Among the Welsh Mountains, by a tourist.
There are mountains in Wales – and mountains. Some can be run up and down before breakfast and which present no sort of difficulties to justify the use of those slender imitations of the genuine alpenstock which you purchase at every other shop in Llandudno: there are other mountains exalted in altitude, but in ascent intensely practicable, even for mules and ponies – mountains abominable in the tribe of touters who inhabit their very summits, and keep wooden hotels there feeding you with ham and eggs and bottled stout, at prices strictly proportioned to the altitude of the locality; boring you to death likewise with telescopes and stereoscopic views and specimens of mineral ores.
Carnedd Llewellyn belongs to neither of these types … {routes to ascend and descend it}
{Description of an ascent from Bethesda}
Birmingham Daily Gazette – Tuesday 12 September 1871

Short Pieces in Rhyme Selected from the Visitors’ Book at Pen-y-Gwryd Inn including the ‘missing’ poem by Charles Kingsley et. al.; a note that Profs Tyndall and Huxley climbed Snowdon from the inn in December 1860. None of the entries are dated but a later edition includes a comment by W. Bourdon dated 1872.
Offerings at the Foot of Snowdon, or Breathings of Indolence at Pen-y-gwryd (1864?)
Tremadoc : Printed by Robert Isaac Jones 1871, 1876?
3rd edition (no date) Tremadoc: R Isaac Jones: 191-?

The annual treat given by G. W. Cooke, Esq., to the workmen employed by him at the Penlon (Bangor) slate works came off on Saturday last, and assumed the shape of a trip to Llanberis, and the king of the Welsh mountains, Snowdon. The men, with their wives and sweethearts, numbering in all 45, started early on Saturday morning, and on their arrival at Llanberis, the majority made the ascent of Snowdon, from whose summit, the weather being extremely favourable, a magnificent view was obtained. The party, extremely pleased with its trip, returned from Llanberis the same evening between seven and eight o’clock, arriving in Bangor by the nine o’clock train.
Llangollen Advertiser Denbighshire Merionethshire and North Wales Journal, 8th September 1871

Llanberis is the Chamouni of Wales, and from it, perhaps, more tourists ascend Snowdon than any other point. … Over the lake you may visit the slate quarries; – a dreadful horn blows about fifty times in every ten hours, to give warning of blasting.
Dolbadarn Castle … as a ruin it is scarcely worth an investigation.
If you wish to achieve the heights [of Snowdon] sound lungs and stout legs are the principal requirements. A guide had better be taken for fear of accidents. You may ascend at what hour you like, and of course run the risk of clouds. Now-a-days hardy tourists ascend over night in hopes of seeing the sun set and rise, and not unfrequently their hopes are blasted. … And sleeping, or resting, or even existing, all night in the huts on top of Snowdon is not delectable. By the way, how is it that no enterprising speculator has ever sought to build an hotel on the top of Snowdon? The Righi at Lucerne, is twice as high, and there we find an hotel larger than any existing in the warmest Welsh valley {and it has a telegraph for booking beds}. We cannot help thinking that such an establishment on Snowdon would be rather a hit.
Roberts, Askew, The Gossiping Guide to Wales (Oswestry, 1871), p. 127.
There were subsequent, almost annual, editions until at least 1952

The following was added to the text published in the 1864 edition:
No tourist is supposed to leave north Wales without paying a visit to “Y Wyddfa”, which, thanks to the blessings of good roads …  can be done at the present day with a very small degree of expense and labour. In addition to the coaches … the line of the railway from Bangor to Caernarfon had recently been extended to Llanberis
Week’s wanderings amidst the most beautiful scenery of North Wales. New Edition with an appendix of Natural History, a map and twenty illustrations, (Chester, Catherall and Prichard, [1871])

The Llanberis route to Snowdon
For a long time past there have been coaches daily driven from the hotels near the Caernarfon Railway station so as to meet all the demands of the tourist, whether arriving at Caernarfon by the 10.10 a.m. or later trains. [but] the progress on the Llanberis line has driven local coach accommodation out of the field … but [other] conveyances are available. Moses Griffiths the celebrated Snowdonian guide, is generally present during these trips and is greatly esteemed as being communicative without being loquacious. … He is a safe hand, has known Snowdon and its approaches for 30 years, has been up the mountain 550 times in every kind of weather, and without a single accident.
{It is possible to get to Morfa station of the new (Llanberis) line …}
The Ascent of Snowdon from Llanberis
[This] is the easiest of any, and presents no form of danger especially with a competent guide. It is, however, right to remind tourists that the head of the mountain is often the seat of storms, which fearfully inundate its sides and base; and that deep and heavy mists for hours, nay, sometimes for days, cover its gigantic waist. Patience and caution, however, easily evade these difficulties, but they are mental qualities requisite to avert danger.
The real height of Snowdon … is still disputed. A recent trigonometrical survey asserts it to be 3571 feet. A higher altitude has been subsequently assigned … A well educated company of “Sappers and Miners” conducted the latter survey which gives about 20 feet in excess of the preceding one.
People differ as to the time of day at which the ascent should be made …
Snowdon was held sacred by the ancient Britons; and they believed that if a person slept upon its top, the most beautiful forms and images would float before him, and he would awake in possession, and under the influence of “the Awen” i.e. a poetical inspiration.
Formerly a Royal Forest …
The wolf … the eagle … plants …
We shall conclude our guide by giving a recent moonlight ascent.
We left the Snowdon valley, and had every prospect of a lovely night and a brilliant morning. Nature was tranquil, and although we had five miles and a half to reach the summit we accomplished the task with very little fatigue. The ascent is so easy that the most timid may ride within a few yards of the summit. Cheerful spirits and determination are the only requisites for the trip. Take what you may of stimulants for the journey, do not forget to have your can replenished with cooling water from the well. Our party consisted of eight persons. After crossing the rivulet, about a quarter of a mile from the hotel, we entered on a rough mountain path. A mile brought us into smooth, grassy defile.
Our guide here hallooed out “Gentlemen, look below, that you may see nature in her best suit!” Immediately under us lay the beautiful expansive lake of Llanberis, stretched like immense mirrors in the shade, with a silvery ray resting on their surface, in which the rugged mountains were reflected. Dolbadarn tower was visible at the top of the lower lake. After entering the wicket gate the soft heath became a relief though the steep ascent often caused us to pause for breath. We now thought we were at our journey’s end. But alas! On Alps, Alps still arise. Our guide lustily called out “Excelsior” although we had yet three-quarters of a mile to accomplish. When we rested on the summit for a few moments, the moon declined behind one of the western mountains, and we retired to the Snowdon Refreshment Room, at the summit of the hill, kept by Mr Phillip Williams, and partook of a cup of hot coffee and its appendages. We had a fine view of the sunrise; in the first instance, a glare of red appeared in the horizon, and, as by magic, the king of day shot forth – one of the most magnificent sights we ever beheld. We were enchanted with the scenery about us. We could see the Menai Straits like a ribbon, winding and twisting to the Gap; The Isles of Anglesey and the Isle of Man were specks on the face of the ocean; and the picture, take it all together, will compete with the best views from the glaciers of Switzerland. As Albert Smith said, “Wales is too near home to be appreciated; gentlefolks must go to spend their money in Switzerland.”
Snowdon Valley Hotel, Llanberis
T. Thomas, Proprietor
Ponies and Guides to Snowdon on the following terms:
Ponies to Snowdon and back to Llanberis                     5s
Guide to Snowdon and back to Llanberis                      5s
Ponies to Snowdon and down to Pen-y-Pass                7s 6d
Guide to Snowdon and down to Pen-y-Pass                 7s 6d
Ponies to Snowdon and down to Beddgelert               10s
Guide to Snowdon and down to Beddgelert                10s
Bed from           1/6 -2s
Breakfast          1s -2s
Luncheon         1/6-3s
Dinner               1/6-3s
Tea                      1s-2s
Abel Heywood’s series of Penny Guide Books, A guide to Carnarvon, Llanberis and their environs : with notices of several interesting villages and sites en route.
Manchester : Abel Heywood & Son ; London : Simpkin, Marshall & Co. [1871], pp. 13-16; other editions, [1874], [1877], [1888]

The ascent of Mount Snowdon should be made from Caernarvon. For the shortest and easiest route, go to Llanberis from Caernarvon by rail, eight miles, and then on foot to the summit, five miles; or, making the ascent from Beddgelert (13 miles from Caernarvon), the scenery is exceedingly fine, though the distance to the summit is greater (six miles and a half), and the ascent somewhat steeper. The Capel Curig route is the longest and most fatiguing, but the scenery is truly magnificent. Snowdon rises 3571 feet above the level of the sea: the summit is surrounded by a low wall, and is five or six yards in diameter. In fine weather, the Isle of Man and parts of England, Scotland, and Ireland, may be clearly seen.
Fetridge, William Pembroke, The American Traveller’s Guide. Harper’s Hand-book for Travellers in Europe and the East, 10th year, (1871), p. 124

1871 (about)
Mr. Arthur Schuster gave a short description of a curious phenomenon observed on the top of Snowdon. He stated that about two years ago as he and his brother were coming down from the top of Snowdon about half an hour after sunrise, their attention was directed to a light spot which seemed to walk with them. On the spot was a coloured bow. Then a second bow appeared, and then another and another till five consecutive bows were seen at once. In one of the bows he saw his own shadow. The fog approached the spot where he stood, and as it approached the outer bows disappeared while the inner bow took brilliant colours and contracted so as to form an entire circle round his shadow. At last, when the fog was about two feet away, he could see the shadow of his own head surrounded by a brilliantly coloured circle. Two seconds afterwards he was sin-rounded by a dense fog. One single fog bow had often been observed, but he did not know whether more than one had ever been seen.
Professor Forbes said that such phenomenon had frequently been witnessed, but he had never heard of so many as five bows being seen at once; and he confessed that he had sought in vain for an explanation such as that which Mr. Schuster was in search of. Had that gentleman been able to give the size of the bows, and the distance between them when the cloud was a certain distance from him— say fifteen or twenty yards—they might have had some data on which to work.
Mr. T. J. Pearsall said it would also be of importance to determine the amount of darkness between the lines of the bows.
Mr. Glaisher had heard of, and seen, similar phenomena, but not more than three rings.
Schuster, Arthur, ‘On a Curious Phenomenon Observed on the Top of Snowdon’, (a paper read at the Bradford meeting of the British Association), Symons’s Monthly Meteorological Magazine, vol. 8, (1873), p. 157

Two sisters stayed at the Penygwryd Inn on 17th July 1872
Wednesday was lovely, so we started at eight, going up the steepest and grandest side of Snowdon by a zig-zag path. We arrived safely at the top about noon. We had a clear, grand view in the sunshine, and we did thank God for letting us see His handiworks. I am so pleased that Switzerland has not spoiled Fanny’s enjoyment in Wales, she constantly exclaims how delighted she is. … About two we began to descend, for clouds had veiled the summit, but it was lovely to see them drifting and clearing. I had written to secure rooms with my cottage friend at Llanberis, as we came down that side. We were a little stiff the next day, but I wish you could see how well F. looks.
Havergal, Maria V.G. and Havergal, Frances Ridley (more famous than her sister)
The autobiography of Maria Vernon Graham Havergal : with journals and letters, (1888), p. 284
Maria and Frances Havergal’s names appear in one of the Pen-y-Gwryd visitors’ books, 17th July 1872 accompanied by scriptural quotations.

The Rev. W.S. Symonds, F.G.S., visited Snowdonia several times and wrote a popular book on the Geology of Wales and Devon and Cornwall. He knew William Williams, the botanical guide of Llanberis who died in an accident on Snowdon in 1861.
I have paid several visits to this delightful district [Snowdonia], and some years ago, in company with my friends the Rev. R. Hill and Professor James Buckman I carefully observed the geology and botany of Snowdon and its neighbourhood. We procured the services of William Williams the well-known botanist and Llanberis guide. I could not ascertain from him whether there was any section of the Llandeilo beds where fossils could be obtained, although he took me to several localities where Caradoc fossils might be found, and in search of them, ventured to one of the most dangerous spots on the crags of Moel-y-Wyddfa. Williams was a most daring cragsman, and my companions will not easily forget seeing him on the precipitous escarpment of Moel Siabod, searching for the Saussurea alpina, and the Woodsia fern (Woodsia ilvensis). The purple Saxifraga oppositifolia was found by William Williams on Glyder-Fawr. It grows on the Pyrenees, and on the Matterhorn above the Smutz Glacier. Williams was afterwards killed by falling down the-precipice of Moel-y-Wyddfa, when searching for the Woodsia. I do not know whether Williams left behind him any account of the localities where he obtained his specimens of the rarer plants of Snowdonia, for he owned to us that several of the old stations were completely destroyed. The spiderwort (Antherieum serotinum) grew no longer among the crags above the Devil’s Kitchen, though there was a station on Carnedd Dafydd where he obtained specimens worth half a guinea each. The Woodsia ilvensis grew in 1861 on a rock above Llyn Cwm, but in a locality only practicable for goats. Williams was an ardent lover of nature, and thoroughly appreciated a day’s ramble with a botanist or geologist. It may be well to mention here for the information of entomologists, that on questioning him as to the habitat of the rare beetle, Miscodera arctica, he informed me that the most probable locality for finding it, was on the Beddgelert flanks of Snowdon, and that it was never seen far below the summit. Sir William Guise took this beautiful insect near the summit, on the ascent from Pen-yrgwryd, and by carefully turning the most likely-looking stones succeeded in taking also other rare coleoptera. The Welsh Char (Salmo salvelinus), known as the Torgoch or Red Belly, is found in Llyn Cawellyn [Cwellyn], near Snowdon. When I was there last a number had been taken with a net.
Snowdon was held in high veneration among the ancient Britons; and we find Giraldus saying that he “must not pass over in silence the mountains called by the Welsh Eryri, and by the English Snowdon, or mountain of Snow.”
It is not probable that he and Archbishop Baldwin made the ascent; but he seems to have been bamboozled by the natives; for he informs us that a lake on Snowdon “is noted for a wonderful and singular miracle ; it contains three sorts of fish; eels, trout, and perch, all of which have only one eye, the left being wanting.” Edward the First held, “a triumphant revel upon Snowdon, and then adjourned to conclude the ebullitions of joy for victory by solemn rites upon the plains of Mefyn.” Camden visited Snowdon personally. Mr. Pennant’s description of a tour, made in 1778, is extremely graphic.
Symonds, W. S., (F.G.S., President of the Malvern Naturalists’ Field Club), Records of the Rocks – Notes on the Geology, Natural History, and Antiquities of North and South Wales, Devon, and Cornwall (London: 1872), pp. 111-113
Following a review of this book with an extract about Snowdon in the Worcester Journal – Saturday 21 December 1872, the reviewer continued with the following about William Williams: ‘This rash and unfortunate explorer lies in the churchyard of Llanberis, where some friends and lovers of his daring researches have raised a monument to his memory.’

1872, 31st August
Last evening ascended Snowdon and slept there. Saw a splendid view of the fog, came down this morning to this house to breakfast, after which ascended Moel Siabod and saw the same view.
Extract from the Pen-y-Gwryd visitors’ book by W Bourdon, Offerings at the Foot of Snowdon, or Breathings of Indolence at Pen-y-gwryd, (1871), 3rd edition, Tremadoc: R Isaac Jones: [191?]

30.7.1872 (Tuesday)
Ascended Snowdon, saw nothing but mist
Tabor, Henry Samuel, Essex Record Office D/DTa F11

Bill in parliament for rights to build a railway to the summit. Abandoned because George William Duff Assheton Smith objected to it.
Turner, The Snowdon Mountain Railway, (2001), pp. 21-23

The Good Templars of the Carnarvon district have at last hit upon a novel plan to extend their influence, even sky-wards. They have united to furnish a wooden erection which will be carried to the summit of Snowdon, and there opened on Whit Monday next as a temperance restaurant and fossil and trinket repository. The building, which cost from £24 to £26, will afford sleeping accommodation for six persons, and will be under the personal superintendence of Brother Moses Williams, of the Eryri Lodge, Carnarvon. Visitors to the famous mountain top throughout the summer months, and especially such as are temperance men and Good Templars, will not fail to bestow their liberal patronage upon the redoubtable Templar, who thus volunteers to mount the hill tops and climb the skies in order to administer to the comforts of travellers, as well to unfurl the flag of Tempalism on the highest summit in England or Wales.
Wrexham and Denbighshire Advertiser and Cheshire Shropshire and North Wales Register, 24th May 1873

Good Templars’ hut on Snowdon
In reference to our paragraph under this head last week we have been requested to publish the following:
Sir. In yours of the 24th instant, I find that some friend has, with mistaken kindness, committed to one or two errors in referring to my Good Templar restaurant now erected on Snowdon. In the first place the restaurant is not on the summit, as intended, as owing to previous arrangements between the present tenant and the Estate; but it is erected half-way up on the Llanberis path. Secondly, the paragraph mentions that I have sleeping accommodation for six persons. I should be sorry to disappoint any of my friends if they came up the expectation of getting a bed. At present I have no beds, but I shall be happy to supply them with a good cup of tea or coffee.
Yours truly
Moses Williams
Good Templars’ Restaurant, Clogwyn Coch near Llanberis.
Wrexham Advertiser – Saturday 31 May 1873

A Walk from Llanberis to Church Stretton across Snowdon, Moel Wyn and Cader Idris
D Mackintosh, FGS.
During the Easter holidays I had the good fortune to be the perambulating guest of a gentleman distinguished for classical attainments. Not having been trained in the transcendental dynamics of the Playfairian sect of geologists, I expected to be benefited by his unbiased opinions on some more important points connected with glaciation and denudation. … We left Chester for New Llanberis and remained all night at the original Dolbadarn Hotel where we experienced all the comforts of an old Welsh inn. For the sake of three pupils who accompanied us we took particular notice during our walk through the Pass of Llanberis, of the … rocks. {The origins of Snowdonia are volcanic.}
Rock smoothing in Llanberis pass. …
How was the Drift cleared out of Llanberis Pass? …
From Pen-y-Pass to Snowdon
The narrow pathways by which ladies can ascend in summer was in many places washed away by rain torrents, in others covered with snow.
{His companion and the boys climbed to the top of the Ordnance Cairn.}
From Beddgelert over Moel Wyn to Diffws. …
Beddgelert – the modernised Welsh Inn
From Diffws (an exceedingly clean and comfortable inn called the Queen’s Hotel) to Dolgellau …
From Dolgellau over Cader Idris to Machynlleth …
{Description of Cader Idris based on Ramsay’s memoir of north Wales.}
Welshpool, Church Stretton,
Cheshire Observer – Saturday 10 May 1873
Mackintosh had published The Scenery of England and Wales … in 1869

On Saturday morning last the summit of Snowdon was covered with snow, which is considered unusually early. Notwithstanding this, several parties went up from Llanberis and other points.
Llangollen Advertiser Denbighshire Merionethshire and North Wales Journal, 12th September 1873

A correspondent from Llandinorwic writes:- One close sultry afternoon,- one of the few warm days we have had during this summer – I joined a number of friends who were bent on ascending to the summit of Snowdon, the majestic and far-famed Queen of the Cambrian hills.  “Cheered by short refreshment” at one of the hostelries at Llanberis, we commenced the ascent. We were by no means inclined to be “up to time,” or disposed to “do” the ascent in a shorter time than that given in the guide books, – which seems to be the ambition of many tourists, therefore when we came to the Ceunant Mawr we sat down on a moss covered ruck a little way above the waterfall. A striking prospect met our eyes here; before us lay the green level meadows, and the glassy lake, whose surface was a wonderful picture of the surrounding hills, flushed with the deep hues of sunset. To the right were seen the celebrated Dinorwic Slate Quarries, and to the left the cluster of villas, hotels, and cottages forming the flourishing village of Llanberis. We gazed for awhile on this scene, bathed in the varied and deepening tints of the setting sun. There was an ominous stillness around us, the atmosphere became more oppressive. No breath of air stirred, – not enough to move even the lightest leaves, or to wrinkle the surface of the lake. The cattle lay still and quiet in the meadows, no sound of merry children came from the village, the smoke hung in a thick veil over the house tops. Resuming our journey we came, after a stiff walk, to the place known as Clogwyn Coch (the Red Cliff,) and by this time black, frowning clouds had gradually gathered overhead, giving strong warnings of an approaching storm. Nevertheless, we continued to walk upwards, and when we attained about half-way up, the valleys below were growing indistinct in the fast-deepening gloom. Our apprehension of a coming thunderstorm were soon verified by an unusually bright flash of lightning, which seemed to pierce the air close to us, followed immediately by an awful peal of thunder. The echo still reverberated among the rocks, when another flash lit the surrounding cliffs. The accompanying thunder was followed by a shower or rather a cataract of rain, drenching us to the skin. The storm now increased terribly, the lightning flashed almost incessantly, and the deafening roar of the thunder seemed to shake even mighty Snowdon to its very foundation. We must have been literally in the midst of the storm, for the lightning played everywhere around us, and each flash was instantly followed by a peal of thunder. We had climbed more than half way up, and were in a totally unsheltered position. The water rushing in a foaming torrent down the path by which we ascended, made us hesitate to turn back, for fear of being swept down by its force. After an earnest consultation, we determined to push upwards, trusting that the storm would soon abate.
We trudged on, wet and shivering, for about half-a-mile, when, to our inexpressible astonishment and relief, we found ourselves above the storm. The view that met us then was strange and sublime beyond conception, and will never be forgotten by any of us. The sky shone brightly, and the moon smiled over our heads, while below all was buried in a sea of dark vapour, on and through which the lightening played in a manner both terrible and grotesque; the thunder resounding from cliff to cliff incessantly. We continued our journey, often looking with wonder at the storm which raged beneath us. But gradually the violence of the tempest abated, and when we reached the summit, the thunder had ceased. The sheds upon the top offered us the means of repairing the effects the storm on our persons and garments.
After resting ourselves for some time, we went out to watch the rising of the sun, which is of course the chief source of attraction to Snowdonian tourists. And never did a lovelier morning break on a stormy night. A light southerly breeze came on, driving the vapour in white thin clouds along the mountain-sides, and slowly revealing the rocks and glens among which the terrible storm had been raging a few hours before. We had a charming view of the rising sun, which we felt to be an ample reward for our night’s adventure.
The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality, 13th September 1873
Manchester Evening News – Tuesday 16 September 1873

Shaw’s tourist’s picturesque guide to North Wales (1873), pp. 64-75 is very similar text to Black’s Picturesque Guide to North Wales, 1858, but includes a coloured illustration of the summit huts and cairn.

A Fictional romance from How the Snow melted on Snowdon by J.J. G. Bradley. Chapter 3
A gentleman advised a party of tourists that their dress was unsuitable for an ascent of Snowdon, but his advice was ignored as was subsequent advice he gave as he followed them up the mountain as the weather deteriorated. A woman’s saddle was loose and caused her to fall off, while the pony trotted home. The gentleman offered to accompany her down but she insisted on ascending, then agreed to descend, but they got lost and had to spend the stormy night on the mountain …
Essex Newsman – Saturday 11 July 1874

A GENTLEMAN LOST ON SNOWDON. On Tuesday, the 10th instant, at nine a.m., Mr. F. R. Wilton, of the City of London School, left the Glyn Peris, Llanbeis, for the top of Snowdon, with the intention of descending from thence to meet some friends at Bettws y-Coed. He has been traced to the top, and there is evidence to show that while remaining there he fell into conversation with two gentlemen from the neighbourhood of Manchester, who were making for Beddgelert, the elder of whom was forced by sudden illness to ask for assistance at the house of Mrs, Fraser, of Rhyd ddu. It has also transpired that he subsequently spoke to three gentlemen, bound for Llanberis, who undertook to show him the path leading to Capel Curig and Bettws-y-coed. Mr. Wilton is 23 years of age, and 5ft. 9in. in height; he has dark hair, a fresh, bright complexion, and is rather slim. He wore a dark coat, light trousers, and white straw hat, and was carrying an umbrella and a guide book. Any communications tending to throw light upon Mr. Wilton’s movements after leaving the summit, will be gladly received by Mr. W. G, Rushbrooke, Post Office. Llanberis, or by Rev. J. Stephenson, 18, Colebrooke row, Islington, N.
The Western Mail, 20th August 1874

The body of Mr. Frederick Roberts Wilton, one of the masters of the City of London School, who has been missing since the 11th inst., has been found in a lonely part of Snowdon by Owen Owen and William Roberts, two Llanberis guides. Deceased evidently lost his way after leaving the summit, and, wandering along an old ravine, fell fifty yards down the face of the mountain on the pass-side. His watch, purse, and other articles were found upon him. At the inquest, on Tuesday, the medical opinion was that, being badly injured by the fall, deceased could not move, and died from exposure. A verdict of “Found dead” was returned.
Flintshire Observer Mining Journal and General Advertiser for the Counties of Flint Denbigh, 28th August 1874
The Cambrian News and Merionethshire Standard, 28th August 1874 [More details]

F.R. Wilton fell from Snowdon summit into Cwm Glas.
Penny Illustrated paper, (1874)

The morning was all that could be desired, and, after getting an early breakfast, we easily obtained the services of a guide, and set out at eight o’clock for our five miles’ walk to the summit of Snowdon. We had noticed the previous day that his peak was an obstacle to the onward course of the clouds, and that it was constantly being enveloped in them; therefore, as we were none of us possessed of the hardiest of constitutions, we exercised the creditable precaution of taking our overcoats on our arms, although the day itself was as fine and warm as need be. We could scarcely have been favoured with a nicer morning for the purpose. Our guide took us first to the Cennant Waterfalls, leaping sixty feet in one bound. The heavy rains during the preceding night had swollen the streams supplying the Cwen Brwynog, and therefore we saw it under very favourable circumstances. The ascent was done very easily for the first three miles, then tho track became very steep. We often stopped to view the many changing prospects which opened out before us. At the three miles end we stayed at a wooden hut to drink a cup of hot tea, which we found very refreshing. This hut, a repository of such luxuries as lemonade, &c, is perched on the mountain side close by the track, and the man who keeps it stays there all night through. He told us that he had never been so much frightened with his unenviable position on the lonely and dangerous mountain side as he had been during the preceding night; the wind bad been so boisterous that he had expected his establishment being blown over many a time. After a little rest we faced the other two miles. The summit seemed, and had done so for some time, to be within a quarter of a mile of us, so deceptive does it appear. As we ascended higher the views around us grew richer and richer during the intervals between the fogs, for we were often enveloped in the clouds, and could then only see a few yards round our feet. We now felt the benefit of our overcoats, for though the weather was fine and genial at the foot of the mountain the wind and fogs were bitter cold at the top. We reached the point of the peak, 3070 feet above the sea, about eleven o’clock, having been three hours on the journey. The summits of tho Snowdonian range are not rounded, but shoot up in ragged peaks and edges, formed thus by the ravages of wind and rain. As we neared the summit we anticipated having a splendid prospect, and our hopes were fully gratified. When at the top we were surrounded for some time by a dense cloud, but it rapidly moved along, and then there opened to our gaze a view extending from Moelfrao Bay on the north-east coast of Anglesea to Cader Idris far to the south of us, while on the east stood the Glyders, Carnedds Dalfydd, and Llewellyn (only 100 feet lower than Snowdon), and Moel Shiabod; to the west, the Congregational Mountain (so called, the guide said, from the practice of military officers meeting on that mountain in former times to confer upon military matters), the Five Rival Sisters, and a full view of Carnarvon Bay. The Menai Straits were very visible, and the Suspension Bridge easy of discernment. Far below our feet lay the lovely Nant Gwynant on one side and the desolate Llanberis Pass on the other, while the prominent galleries of the Dinorwig slate quarries on the side of Flydydyr Fawr were also open to our view. The prospect included every variety of scenery—
“Mountains, valleys, lakes and streams,
Landscapes bright with sunny beams.”
For the time being we were “Land Surveyors” in the most pleasing sense of the term. In one direction we distinctly saw the white breakers of the billowy ocean; in another pleasing woodlands in rich exuberance; in many others calm and placid lakes surrounded by the green verdure of pasture land, adorned by many trees and cattle; while in our more immediate vicinity the wild aspect of the ragged and rocky outlines before us presented a picture of the sublimity of desolation rarely equalled. While gazing around us our view was often blocked by passing clouds, but as they sailed away and vista after vista opened up before us disclosing gulf after gulf, lake after lake (of which we counted nearly twenty), mountain after mountain, and the Irish Sea and Carnarvon Bay in the far backgrounds, the temporary obscurity only served to enhance our pleasure as we thus stood on the pinnacle of England, in the centre of such a wide circle of vision. There is a refreshment booth at the summit, and we were glad to sit by the warm fire and obtain ‘”something warm” to apply inwardly. The whole fare for the four of us only amounted to a glass of brandy, one of whiskey, and two of stout, for which together with some bread, butter, and cheese, we paid the modest sum of eight shillings. After this refresh we had just another look around us, and then, having been about forty minutes at the top, we descended. On the return journey the guide took us to the spot where the Doncaster young gentleman fell down just a month before; and thence on to a rocky projection from whence we could look down into the dismal pass below us. The guide was quite an expert in so exercising his vocal organ as to send a series of distinct echoes reverberating through the valleys amongst the mountains, and the effect of the reboations was very pleasing. The day being exceptionally fine many people were ascending the mountain as we descended. We arrived back at our hotel at Llanberis at half-past one, the whole journey having occupied five hours and a half.
Illingworth, David, Reminiscences of a Tour Through North Wales in September 1874, part 3, Yorkshire Magazine, A Monthly Literary Journal, vol. 3, pp. 494-498.

Is there any good reason why Snowdon should receive a preponderance of attention from tourists? This question is asked by Dr. W. Wilberforce Smith, who fails to see any special attraction, and he is not the only one who “missed the sight, and saw but the mist.” Dr. Smith says that a few nights ago he slept in one of the huts on Snowdon’s summit, which he says is more frequently in the clouds than other neighbouring summits though they are nearly as high. He gives his experience of the descent of the mountain. In the morning he walked down alone on that side which is said to be the most difficult, viz., towards Capel Curig. There is now an excellent cart-road over the greater part of that route. In the remaining steeper part in fair daylight it would have needed some carelessness to meet with any accident. The difficulty is not to be compared with that of some of the ordinary beaten paths in Switzerland for instance, that which leads to the margin of the Lower Glacier at Grindelwald. In bad weather there would be somewhat analogous difficulty in walking on the cliffs at Ramsgate. Of course those who have only a small share of what the phrenologists call the faculty of “locality” should be additionally careful.
Wrexham and Denbighshire Advertiser and Cheshire Shropshire and North Wales Register, 5th September 1874

Second bill in parliament for rights to build a railway to the summit. Also abandoned because George William Duff Assheton Smith objected to it.
Turner, The Snowdon Mountain Railway, (2001), pp. 21-23

Snowdon was, of course, in our programme. In shape, as well as in height, Snowdon is fairly monarch of the Welsh mountains: there are no finer hollows than those which his six arms embrace; no uglier or more saw-like ridges than those which enclose his hollows; no more charming little lakes than those basined at different heights in his sides. Of all the several ways up Snowdon, that from Llanberis is the tamest. By far the most imposing approach is that from Capel Curig, by way of Gorphwysfa; but that from Beddgelert is also fine; and, after seeing the mountains thoroughly, I should say that an ascent from Beddgelert, and a descent to Gorphwysfa, will show its features best. Ascent or descent by the Crib Goch ridge, or by Bwlch-y-Saethau, is dangerous: on the former route, in particular, a man’s life depends upon his not slipping or stumbling.
Ascending Snowdon from Beddgelert, the first aim is to get fairly upon the mass of the mountain at Llechog, a recurved ridge, which, like all the six arms (some places excepted), has one precipitous and one rounded side. Llechog is precipitous towards the north, but easily accessible on the other side. Arriving upon Llechog, you look down into one of Snowdon’s hollows, Cwm-y-Clogwyn, another of the characteristic spoon-shaped valleys, though not the finest in Wales. You hem the precipitous edge of Llechog for awhile, looking over into impossible precipices, or down at barely traversable loose slopes; you serpentine the more solid piece of the slope; presently you come up upon the narrow bridge which leads from Llechog to the summit, called Bwlch-y-Main. This is another situation of grandeur beyond imagination without seeing. Here are deep spoon hollows on both sides; on one hand Cwm-y-Clogwyn, on the other the longer and broader deep of Cwm-y-Llan. Sometimes the path, which winds about among sharp, jagged rocks set upright, and forming an edge not many feet wide, passes the brink of Cwm-y-Clogwyn; then you go through a notch in the jagged edge, and see down into Cwm-y-Llan. As you clamber along this ridge (which looks a most frightful place, but is really perfectly safe, and is sometimes done with ponies), you see the top of Snowdon, with the hut, rising among the jags above you; the last part of the climb is truly magnificent.
But the full grandeur of Snowdon cannot be better seen than from the steep and difficult (but not in the least dangerous) path to Gorphwysfa. The sun was out as we descended; but frequent clouds came to shade the path, and we went merrily down towards Capel Curig, with a midland woolspinner, who thought he had done great things in mountaineering to walk up the easy ride from Llanberis, but was quite willing to learn better, and seemed fairly awe-struck at the majesty of Snowdon on the way down to Gorphwysfa, sharing also our delight with that pretty green lake which lies highest and closest to the mountain’s side.
Guardian newspaper, 9 September 1874
Reproduced in Loftie, William John, Views in North Wales, from drawings by T.L. Rowbotham, with notes by W.J. Loftie, (1875), pp. 112-113

One large page of text accompanied each of 20 small coloured chromolithographic prints pasted into the volume including:
1 An early start for Snowdon (coloured, person on horseback with guide)
20 A Late return to Llanberis (similar to no. 1 but in reverse)
The Londoner may comfortably breakfast at home and dine at the foot of Snowdon
1 An early start for Snowdon
{A strong wind on the ridge just below the summit might} ‘have blown over any person whose dress had caught it like a sail.’
{Fatalities} As I am writing, the news comes that a young member of my own college has met with death by a fall on its crags, while attempting to descend into Cwmglas.
Some enthusiasts even sleep in the little hut upon the summit, but the weather must be very settled to render this tempting. The sight ought to be a grand one, but whether they will enjoy it is another question. It may be noticed that I have at present said not a word about the view from Snowdon … I have never seen it. Alpine peaks are apt to be spiteful and veil themselves in vapours: Snowdon is worse than most of them. I have spent about a month at different times, at its feet, and commonly it has been useless to think of ascending the mountain. I have started four times to make the ascent.
Bonney, T. G., Welsh scenery (chiefly in Snowdonia) by Elijah Walton with a descriptive text by T.G. Bonney (1833-1923), (London : W. M. Thompson 1875)

License [for the sale of alcohol]. An application made by Mary Jones wife of David Jones and administratrix of Philip Williams, of Snowdon summit Hotel, for a special license was granted.
The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality, 19th June 1875
The Cambrian News and Merionethshire Standard, 18th June 1875

DISAPPEARANCE OF A TOURIST IN WALES. Mr Edward Grindley Kendall, of Crosby, near Leicester about 32 years of age, who was on a tour in Wales has been missing since the 11th inst., and much anxiety is felt is to his safety. He was last seen starting from Gwynant-vale, where he set out at six o’clock in the morning to ascend Snowdon from that side. His friends offer £10 reward for the recovery of the body, and a handsome regard for information about him if living. On Tuesday, Mr Mosley, a gentleman staying at Llandudno, and a guide who accompanied him, found near a lake on Snowdon boots and stockings marked Kendall.
The Times (London, England), Friday, Jul 02, 1875
Wrexham Guardian, 3rd July 1875

The body of Mr. Kendall the missing tourist, from Leicester. who had not been heard of since the 11th of June, has been found in an unfrequented spot near the summit of Snowdon, fully a mile from the place where his clothes were found.
South Wales Daily News, 15th July 1875

A party of ladies now staying in Aberystwyth last week under-took the arduous task of ascending Snowdon, and passed the night on its summit. The ladies, four in number, left Aberystwyth in company with three gentlemen, also visitors to the town, on Wednesday morning by the early train, reaching Portmadoc at about noon. From thence they drove to Llanberis, where the ascent was commenced at 4 p.m., the top of the mountain being reached in four hours. The party had some difficulty as to accommodation for the night when they had gained the summit ultimately, however, rough “shakedowns” were provided for them at the hotel. The setting of the sun was seen to perfection but, unfortunately, the weather was extremely unfavourable at dawn, and dense clouds prevented its rising from being witnessed. The descent was safely accomplished, and the energetic travellers arrived at Aberystwyth by the last train on Thursday evening.
The Aberystwith Observer, 14th August 1875

The Fiztgerald family (Mother, brother, nephew and niece of the poet), climbed Snowdon.
‘The start was auspicious except that Gerald wanted to ride a donkey and carry his white mice, Nesta had a screaming fit on not being allowed to lead her little dog, Grannie was annoyed with Maurice because he would not allow two holdalls and Maurice was consumed with manly irritation at Family life. Together with a guide, the party started out with the children roped to their father and the guide walking a few paces in front and trying to obey Grannie’s command to remove the stones from the path. … {They reached the top and went into the hut}. Grannie had a cup of tea, Nesta an unripe banana, Gerald some effervescent lemonade and Maurice contented himself with whisky.
Mallet, E.G., Climbers’ Club Journal (date unknown)
Hoare, D.F.L., Snowdon  “That most celebrated Hill” (1987), p. 144

{The author had climbed Ben Nevis, Ben Lomond …}
The summit of Snowdon is marked by a round pillar of considerable thickness, strongly built of large stones to a height of ten or twelve feet, with a wooden pole standing up above it from its centre. …
There were 60 people around the summit.
The refreshment rooms at the summit are of a very humble character but a good many people patronised them. There are ?four beds in a wooden hut and occasionally persons remain over the night to see the sun rise next morning.
Quotes “After a wearisome walk… looking like the ral sans retour of fairy land”.
(To be continued)
Berwickshire News and General Advertiser – Tuesday 04 January 1876

A Night-time ascent
{While staying at Rhyl, took the train to Caernarfon then another to Llanberis. Walked to the “Travellers’ Rest” [Gorphysfa] where he had tea and returned to Llanberis. Found that no one at the Royal [Victoria] Hotel was going up Snowdon that night so went to the Castle Hotel to find that two gentlemen from Cambridge, two women and another man were going up at 12.30 am with a guide, Griffith, a teetotaller.}

We all reached the mountain top in safety, about four o’clock. The wind was very high (literally and physically), and two or three times we were very near being blown off into the frightful abyss below. About 4.10 it commenced to rain in torrents, the rain and the clouds, by which we were enveloped, completely obstructing our view. In about 10 minutes, however, the clouds rolled away, and then such a sight presented itself to the eye, that I for one shall never forget the longest day I live. The sun rose gradually from the horizon as if from some vast ocean. As it increased in size its ray shot out in all directions, illuminating the earth with beams of light of surpassing brilliance, and creating a halo utterly impossible for the artist to reproduce, or the pen to describe. Slowly the vaporous masses disappeared from the neighbouring mountains, and then the scene presented was truly grand. For miles and miles on either side the ocean and several large and important towns loomed into view, the magnificent residences in the various villages looking like mere toys, whilst large ships resembled tiny models. Truly this is one of the great works of the Creator. Leaving the mountain a little after six we descended on the Capel Curig side – a very dangerous descent – and, alighting at the top of Llanberis Pass, again called at the “Traveller’s Rest”, where we refreshed, after which we proceeded on to Capel Curig, taking the coach from thence to Betws-y-Coed and thence back to Rhyl, having walked 25 miles and viewed on the road some of the grandest scenery in the kingdom, if not in the world. … I would strongly urge [readers] not to attempt the ascent without a guide [and] the necessity of taking some kind of refreshment with them; if not, they will have to pay the following for anything they want from the huts at the top: Bottle Allsopp’s beer 1s; bottle ginger beer 6d, one slice of bread and butter and a cup of coffee 1s 6d.
Mr D. Shaw, A Night on Snowdon, Worcestershire Chronicle – Saturday 26 August 1876

Ascent of Snowdon by W.R.
I have been reading Mr Shaw’s account of his ascent of Snowdon {and think that the dangers he describes have been exaggerated. Brief comments on the routes}
Worcestershire Chronicle – Saturday 02 September 1876

Holiday Rambles, no VIII. Snowdon and Vicinity by T.M. Bound, M.R.C.P., Edward VI Commercial School, Norwich
{Not an actual journey, but a description of the surroundings.}
‘The real summit of the mountain is not more than seven yards in diameter, and is surrounded by a dwarf wall … [from a much earlier source]
Quotes Pennant
Wellington Journal – Saturday 04 November 1876

The view from the peak of Snowdon is said to be a very grand one, embracing the loftiest points of England, Scotland, and Ireland the Isle of Man sparkling with ocean lights-the Menai, running like a silver thread in a web of verdure and Anglesea, with her hills and coasts spread like a map before the eye. Unfortunately, however, this magnificent sight is seldom seen, and a large majority of tourists ascend the mountain only to find themselves, when they reach the summit, surrounded by a dense mist, which baffles all hopes of a view. The fact is that Snowdon, from its height and position, is a great cloud-catcher, and the neighbourhood is to be avoided at those seasons when westerly and south-westerly winds prevail. In the early summer, however, there is often much fine weather; but it is not every one that is able to select that time of the year for a visit. From the summit of Snowdon an easy horse-path leads down the gentler northern slopes of the mountain. It commands in one place a fine view of the great eastern precipice, with the blue waters of Glaslyn and Llyn Llydaw sleeping far below among domes of ice-worn rock; at another, of the wild amphitheatre of crags and boulders, at the head of Cwm-glas, above the valley of the Llanberis Pass; then it descends near the gloomy recesses of Llyn-du’r-Arddu, a lonely tarn, whose shores are strewn with huge boulders, and whose waters are shadowed by the dark precipices of the summit ridge. Beyond this spot slope succeeds to slope of barren moor; and the route would be dull were it not for the views over the lowland country and the Isle of Anglesea. These views, however, gradually become more and more restricted, till the descent to the shores of Llyn Padarn introduces us to new scenes of beauty among the gardens and the groves of the lower village of Llanberis. Here once more we come on to the handiwork of the nineteenth century; for a railway has been carried along the western shore of the lake, and by its hard formal lines has sadly marred the charms of the rocky margin. To the railway contractor nothing is sacred and now that the shore of Llyn Padarn is for ever ruined, there is talk of carrying a line through the valley of Aberglaslyn, and thus spoiling perhaps the most lovely spot in the whole of Wales. From “Picturesque Europe” for May.
Llangollen Advertiser Denbighshire Merionethshire and North Wales Journal, 12th May 1876

H.B. Biden’s published All Round Snowdon, (London, 1877) A Panorama of Snowdon, the Summit, with names and Altitudes of all the Principal Mountains.
Reviewed favourably in Globe, 5.9.1877

Travelling in Wales
Recommending people to visit Wales – arriving by train, but get off the ‘iron highway’ and strike paths for themselves across country. He recommends Robert’s Gossiping guide and Black’s guides; H. B. Binden’s “All Round Snowdon” for the summit; Borrow for his account of Welsh people; Murray’s Handbook for descriptions of Cathedrals.
The very raison d’etre of a tourist in north Wales is to fling a fly, or climb a mountain. There is no one who cannot walk or go on a mule from Llanberis to Y Wyddfa, the summit of … Snowdon. It is not a bad preparation to read Charles Kingsley’s “Two Years Ago” and then his “Letters and Memoirs”.
Quotes a letter of Erskin of Linlathen [who was writing to his cousin Rachel about mountains while on the Continent] in 1826: “I know it must be a great bore to get pages filled with phrases about lakes, and mountains, and blue skies …  Were there not some such things, eternity would be but a melancholy prospect for us. … The affections are always new and … whatever weariness my descriptions of the aforesaid mountains may produce in you, the mountains themselves, and the blue sky into which they push their pointed tops, and the rising sun, and the setting sun, and the shining hosts of heaven, and the lake in whose glassy surface all these reflect themselves never tire me. Their silence, and their simplicity, and their beauty, are ever new to me; there is no over-excitement in them.”
Graphic – Saturday 08 September 1877
[Letters of Thomas Erskine of Linlathen, edited by William Hanna, Volume 1, (1877), p. 90; 4th edition, (one volume, 1884), p. 70 [but the transcription on the newspaper had ‘are never new to me’]

I have slept on the summit of Snowdon, coiled in a rug, and have been awakened by the sweet voices of some miners invoking the rising sun with the same air and words as the Druids used 2,000 years ago. I also am in a sense a sun-worshipper. On that morning I had a splendid adventure. After admiring the gorgeous sight, and the self-possession of a young lady newly-wed, who had slept in the hut erected for the accommodation of enterprising females, and who enjoyed nature with the blissful unconsciousness that her chignon [a knot or coil of hair arranged on the back of a woman’s head] was put on the wrong way, I descended the mountain. But I did not return the way I came. I went down a mere sheep track towards a little inn called the Snowdon Ranger.
The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality, 12th May 1877

A VALUED correspondent writes: Who are the proprietors of Snowdon, I wonder? I was on the summit of that mountain on Saturday, and was introduced to one of them. The wind blew a hurricane, it rained furiously. I was obliged to hold on to the column of stones placed at the topmost peak to prevent myself being blown over into the dark abyss below, and the freezing temperature was fast penetrating to my marrow. I saw a burly individual standing at the opening of what appeared to me like a good-sized dog kennel – the only shelter on the summit. “For goodness sake,” said I, “let me come in out of the cold.” “We don’t find shelter here for nothink,” was the sweet-tempered response, and the surly growler kept blocking up the aperture of the good-sized dog kennel, with his hands deep down in his capacious pockets as though preparing for the down-pour of coin, which he expected to flow from his inhospitable word. He was mistaken, for bidding him growl in his tub till he was tired, I descended the mountain till I arrived at a small shanty two miles lower down, kept by one Williams, of Carnarvon. “Who’s that bear you have on the summit ?” said I. “O, he’s one of the proprietors of Snowdon,” was the reply. Unhappy Snowdon, I thought, to have such a proprietor. He would have been at least half-a-crown the richer if he had kept a civil tongue in his head and an hospitable heart in his bosom. He sold Bass’s ale at eighteen pence a bottle, and there was a strong smell of whisky about. I wonder if that proprietor of Snowdon condescends to pay for a licence to supply anything to customers but impertinence? Probably not. Supervisors and revenue officers don’t often go on rummaging expeditions five thousand feet above the level of the sea on very rainy days. They know themselves better.’
The Western Mail, 7th September 1877

Frontispiece: Real photo of four women with long sticks and a man aged 70.
Started Wednesday August 16th
To Penygwryd
Selected a guide
Ascent of Snowdon
Anon, Journal of a four days Tour in North Wales by a party of five. [In verse.] (London: Privately printed 1877), pp. 2, 99

Third bill in parliament for rights to build a railway from Llanberis to the summit of Snowdon and down to Rhyd Ddû to join the North Wales Narrow Gauge Railway. Abandoned because George William Duff Assheton Smith objected to it.
Turner, Keith, The Snowdon Mountain Railway, (2001), pp. 21-23

Thomas Adler wrote about an attempted ascent on Monday 10th [month unknown] with his wife (and mother?).
Left town [Llandudno] 10 am arrived Llanberis 12.15 … After slight refreshments at the Victoria Hotel we set out for Snowdon, proceeding for 2½ hours. We had ascended above halfway and we were obliged to give up for we had about four miles to go to the top which we could not have reached and got down safely for the night train. … Mother, having purchased and Alpine climber with a spike at the end, something less than 17 feet long went up with the agility of a young Nanny Goat. The Billy Goat, being left in the rear, gave up first. As we had scarcely had anything to eat all day, we gladly availed ourselves of tea and eggs at a little cottage on the mountain, the people very primitive, the parlour and everything being scrupulously clean and bright. They speak and understand little English and we even less Welsh. A group of children followed us singing in their native tongue.
Hoare, D.F.L., Snowdon “That most celebrated Hill” (1987), p. 144

Day 3, Climbed Snowdon
Anon, A run through south Snowdonia. Cassell’s Family Magazine, 1878

The Dinorwic Slate quarries
Snowdon 3570 feet
{Name and Location}
{Views from the summit}
Many persons will be disappointed in the peak of Yr Wyddfa in not being able to enjoy the solitude so dear to a mountaineer. On the top is a large cairn by which have been built three rude huts where a man and his wife live during the whole of summer. They provide tea, beer, eggs, bread, butter, and cheese and accommodate visitors with bedrooms and small sitting rooms and fires where they remain overnight and see the sunrise. The charge is 8s for supper, bed and breakfast, 1s for a bottle of beer, and 2s for a single meal. It is advisable not only to see the sunrise but also to see it set which is generally the more beautiful. Of course the traveller will often meet with disappointment at the top. It is not unusual for the mountain to be enveloped during many successive days in a dense mist …
Round Snowdon from Caernarfon, by coach.
Snowdon Ranger, 7¾ miles; Beddgelert 13m; Pen y Gwryd 21m; Llanberis 27m; Caernarfon 35m.
During the summer months coaches leave Caernarfon every week day for the above circular tour. {detailed description of the route.}
Ascent of Snowdon, from Llanberis
A well-defined pony path leads from Llanberis to the top of Snowdon … Charge for guide 7s, for Pony 5s.
Enter a road on the right, close by the Royal Victoria Hotel. A plantation is soon reached, where foot-passengers may pass through a wicket gate, but for ponies a gate has to be unlocked by persons residing at the cottage close by although it is a public road.  …
Three miles from Llanberis at a height of 2,000 feet, there is a hut that is occupied in summer by a person who sells refreshments. … [half-way hut?]
Arrived at the ruins of some huts, [stable] where there is a spring of pure water, said to be the highest spring in either England or Wales, a path diverges to the right and descends to the Snowdon Ranger hotel … The summit of Snowdon now appears …
Ascent of Snowdon from Capel Curig and Pen y Gwryd.
Ascent of Snowdon from Beddgelert
Ascent from the Snowdon Ranger Hotel
Jenkinson, Henry Irwin, Jenkinson’s Smaller Practical Guide to North Wales, (Stanford: 1878), pp. 131-142
2nd edition, 1880; another edition, 1883; 4th edition, 1887; and other editions with slightly different titles.
This includes notes on botany by James Britten (1846-1924)
See also Jenkinson’s Practical Guide to North Wales
Hoare, D.F.L., Snowdon  “That most celebrated Hill” (1987), p. 122, suggests that this was based on hearsay, but the author states in his preface that he has personally visited every place mentioned.

Whit Monday is observed as a general holiday in almost every town in North Wales, and invariably some attractions for amusement are everywhere offered. In our own town the holiday observing section betook themselves to spend the day in various ways, some treating themselves to a few hours’ cradling on the waves “round Anglesey, half way,” others visiting Holyhead regatta, Beaumaris Castle, &c. But the most novel and remarkable was, perhaps, the way in which a party of young gentlemen enjoyed themselves on a trip to the summit of Snowdon. Reaching the half-way house, in which one of the guides resides, the gallant party took it by storm, pulling down the shutters, broking [sic] the windows, and extracting from the interior a quantity of pop. Several windows were broken here and there on the way, and it would be well for the guarantee of their future conduct if an example had been made of a few of them and this no doubt would have been done had it not been of the connection with several respectable families in the town.
The North Wales Express, 14th June 1878

Members of the Alpine Club intend to dine and climb in North Wales next Spring. The place, we believe, is not yet fixed upon. Let us recommend to them the ascent of Crib Coch, where they can find the most difficult bit of mountaineering in the whole Principality. In some parts the sides are sufficiently precipitous to deter even a member of the Alpine Club, and the walk along the exceedingly narrow ridge, to Crib-y-ddysgyl and the highest summit of Snowdon, is both difficult and grand. The view of the magnificent precipices of Crib Coch, and down into the Pass of Llanberis, surpasses anything of the kind in Wales.
The Cambrian News and Merionethshire Standard, 30th August 1878

Christmas in Wales [at Pen-y-Gwryd inn]
… Snowdon and his giant fellows were shrouded with mist, with which the sun strove ineffectually, showing only for a moment a pale wan disc as he disappeared over a ridge of the mountains. We had lingered on the way, and it was late in the afternoon when we sighted the sturdy storm-beaten hostelry, with its forlorn and ragged fir-trees, perched in lonely solitude in the mountain-girt space at the head of the three passes. Before we entered it we paused to look down the dusky vale of Gwynant, where beyond the purple woods the mountain peaks stood out against a sky barred with fiery crimson. Go when you will to Pen-y-gwryd, in season and out of season, you are sure to find Harry Owen equal to the occasion. Though we had arrived unexpectedly in mid-winter there was no difficulty in meeting our wants. Before long a Christmas dinner was spread, to which six guests sat down. Of those gathered there, London, Liverpool, and Manchester had each contributed two. Four of these had thought proper to perform the perilous feat of ascending Snowdon amid snow and ice, and had happily escaped accident. When experienced mountaineers like Tyndall and Huxley did not deem it prudent to ascend the same mountain in winter without the assistance of a guide, it could hardly be considered prudent for less experienced climbers to make the ascent at all, and something still less wise to dispense with guides as our friends appeared to have done. The London men had been up the day before, and had been favoured with clear weather. The Liverpool adventurers, who had just descended, had not been so fortunate. They had gone “sounding on a dim and perilous way,” struggling through the mist and often waist- deep in snow. The evidence they produced of having accomplished their purpose was rather curious. The London men had drawn a cork on the summit, and the Liverpool men claimed to have brought this down with them. But one cork is very much like another, and, in the absence of identity, the proof seemed weak. The London men, however, stated that in drawing their cork they had broken their screw in it! The cork was, therefore, cut open, and sure enough there inside was the broken screw. On their way out our climbers had observed a phenomenon in the shape of frost-work, also described by Mr Biden in the visitors’ book of the hotel. They had seen frost crystals forming themselves horizontally from the face of the rock in delicate branch work and right in the eye of the wind. Harry Owen’s inn was full of cheery life on that merry Christmas night. For ourselves, we gathered round the fire with pipes and talk, but in the kitchen there was merriment of a more boisterous kind. For there the kissing bush was hung, and not in vain, as peal after peal of hearty laughter bore witness. Once we walked out into the night and strolled to the head of Gwynant. The air was bitterly cold, and flying clouds obscured the light of the moon. Nothing could exceed the loneliness and weird wildness of the scene. On all sides the mountains lifted their ghostly forms, the whiteness of their snow fields increasing the depth of their rock shadows – Cwm Dwli and the mysterious recesses of Snowdon being as black as a wolf’s throat. From the Llanberis road the valley below seemed an abyss of impenetrable and unfathomable gloom. How comes it about that these piled-up masses of inert, inanimate earth and rock should, under such conditions, make one’s spirit shrink within one with awe, at least, if not with fear ? Is the German right when he puts a soul in nature, and talks to Us of the Earth-spirit? …
The North Wales Express, 20th December 1878, from the Odd Fellows Quarterly Magazine

On Sunday afternoon, Jan. 28th, a party of five young gentlemen, staying at Penygwryd, left the hotel for an ascent of Snowdon. When some distance from the summit, one of their number complained of fatigue, and his companions proceeded with the ascent, expecting that he would follow or return to the hotel. After waiting sometime at the summit they descended the mountain, and, seeing nothing of their friend, surmised that he had also made the descent safely, their first inquiries at the hotel being as to the time he had returned. On learning that they were the first arrivals, their fears as to his safety were excited, and a search party was at once sent on the mountain. On Monday afternoon his body, terribly mutilated, was found at the foot of one of the precipices, there being little doubt that he had attempted to follow his companions, and that, missing his way, he met with his death, which must have been instantaneous. The remains were collected and removed to the hotel. The body has been identified as that of Mr. Maxwell Haseler, aged 23, youngest son of Mr. G. C. Haseler, Enderley, Hamstead-road, Birmingham. The place where the body was found is known as Bwlch-y-Saethau. Mr. J. H. Roberts, district coroner for Carnarvonshire, held an in- quest on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at the Penygwryd Inn. A verdict of Accidental death was returned.
The Cambrian News and Merionethshire Standard. 31st January 1879

On May 21st, there is yet enough snow on Snowdon to enable mountaineers to enjoy their favourite occupation within a few hours of London. The gullies which descend from the peak towards Glaslyn are still full of snow … signed M.A.C.
The Times (London, England), Saturday, May 24, 1879

1879 An Ode to the Sun and Serenade. Music by DR JOSEPH PARRY, University College of Wales. These two pieces are from the facile pen of an author who has added much to the Music literature of the Principality. It is astonishing what amount of work Dr Parry has done since his appointment as Music Professor in the College at Aberystwyth, especially when so much of his time is taken up with his pupils. His opera and oratorio-works of intrinsic merit in an artistic point of view, and highly popular in style – besides a host of other pieces, vocal and instrumental, have been written during his leisure hours, when apart from his pupils. Amongst the latter we find the “Ode to the Sun” and “Serenade.” The Ode was written expressly for the Eryri Choral Union, with the purpose of being performed on the summit of Snowdon, and according to the title-page, “upon the appearance of the Sun on Friday, August 22, 1879, but we cannot say whether this charming idea was carried out or not.
The North Wales Express, 24th October 1879

Thomas Butler was son of Dr Samuel Butler (1774-1839), headmaster of Shrewsbury school. Thomas Butler had been at Barmouth in 1828 on a reading party with Charles Darwin. He retired to Shrewsbury in 1876 where he worked on the museum’s botany collection. It was probably Thomas Butler whom William Williams’ [Wil Boots] brother referred to as ‘Rev. Mr Butler’ who influenced William Williams interest in botany.
Rev. Thomas Butler (1806-1886) ‘Reminiscences of botanical rambles about Snowdon and its neighbourhood.’  Gossiping Guide to Wales, (1879) pp. xxi-xxiv
Hans-Peter Breuer (ed.) The Note-books of Samuel Butler, (????), pp. 212, 345
Jones, Dewi, ‘The Doctor and the Guide: two Snowdonian plant hunters’, Caernarvonshire Historical Society Transactions, vol. 59, (1998), p. 70