Snowdon summit huts, details

Index to all Snowdon pages

See in particular:


This includes little about the acquisition of the huts by the railway company in the late 1890s because the history of the Snowdon railway company has been published elsewhere.

SUMMARY OF EACH ENTRY (full transcriptions with sources below)
1804   J.S. Duncan found Lloyd’s hut near the summit
1805   Richard Vaughan Yates found ice under a hut near the summit
1810   William Joseph Bruce sheltered in a rude stone hut
1817   Paul Fisher sheltered in a low stone hut
1819   William Gerard Walmesley crawled into the hut
1821   A brief history of the hut was published by the Rev. Peter Bailey Williams
1822   Ann Lister and her aunt ‘foolishly sat down in the little hut on the stone benches’
1825   The Rev. George John Freeman found a ‘vile wretched house’ near the summit
1826   A girl went to sleep near the summit and on awaking found her family sheltering in the hut
1827   John Parker wrote a very brief history of the hut
1828   John Orlando Parry sketched the hut

1832   A local newspaper announced plans to build a hut near the summit
1834   The foundations of a hut were observed
1834   The Manchester Chronicle announced that a hut was about to be built
1835   no known references to a hut
1836   no known descriptions of ascents of Snowdon
1837   Francis Horace found the hut ‘erected on the summit for the purpose of accommodating those travellers who wish to ascend the previous evening in order to see the sun rise’
1842   The Ordnance Survey spent 4 months on the summit in huts and tents
1844   A visitor found a stone hut, lined inside with wood
1844   John and Hannah Matthews spent a night in a hut on the summit
1844   The King of Saxony visited one of the huts while the rest of his party sheltered in a stone hut nearby
1844   Newspapers reported that there were two huts on the summit and an unroofed stable nearby
1845-1850 Five visitors’ books for the huts survive
1845   Rev. Henry Wellington Starr visited one of the huts
1846   Miss S. Dovaston found ‘a little cabin with couches and sofas therein’
1847   R.W. Long found two huts and the ruins of others
1847   Sir Andrew Crombie Ramsay, the geologist, hated the huts, the coffee-pots, the guides and the visitors
1848   John Orlando Parry put an advert for Roberts and Williams’ hut in his journal
1848   William Bennett found that the keepers of the huts sold ferns
1848   Thomas Griffiths (Talhaiarn) was fed in one of the huts by Siôn [John] Roberts
1848   An anonymous tourist found one of the huts covered externally with boards
1849   Edwin Lees found that ‘porter, bread and butter etc.’ was available in the huts
1849   An anonymous visitor found a blazing fire in one of the huts to keep him warm.
1849   Mary Ann Hibbert stayed the night in one of the huts but found the bed too disagreeable to sleep in.
1850   An anonymous visitor thought that the coffee, cigars and whisky by the fireside a real luxury
1850   Humphrey’s Guide to the Summit of Snowdon advised tourists to take their own food to the top
1850   Humphrey’s Guide to the Summit of Snowdon reported that the four huts were soon to be [wall]papered
1853   Augusta Pearson and her party warmed themselves by the stove while they waited for the mist to clear
1854   Henry Farncombe Billinghurst reported ‘… great was the consumption of bottled stout – brandy – tea – eggs – bread and butter etc.’
1854   William Pamplin, the botanist, thought the best view to be had when he was there, was the interior of the hut.
1855   A stroller from Chesterfield had tea, fried ham, and bread and butter in one of the huts
1855   William F. Peacock found an advert in one of the huts stating that bed and breakfast could be had for 5 shillings
1857   Print of ‘Summit of Snowdon’ Engraved and printed by H Humphreys, Carnarvon,
1857   J.P. Hamer’s guidebook indicated that everyone who ate their own provisions in the huts had to pay 6d
1857   An anonymous female warmed herself at the stove while drinking ice-cold stout
1858   ‘Clyro’ (John Henry Cliffe) stated that the prices of refreshments in the huts were high but understood why
1858   A visitor complained that all prices for refreshments were in multiples of 6d
1858   An anonymous visitor complained about the huts and all the rubbish around them
1858   A newspaper reported that there were two tents on the summit, one for ladies.
1859   Supporters of a tourist who died climbing Snowdon in November were forced to break into the huts which had been closed for the winter
1859   Description of the interior of one of the huts
1860   James Bridge Davidson arrive at the summit on the 14th May when he found that the beds were not yet ready
1860   An anonymous tourist wrote of the provisions which ‘the English, of all people, take care to provide or to call for in every place of resort and in all circumstances, however exciting.
1860   Bradshaw’s Shilling Handbook stated that there were two or three beds available for those who wished to see the sun rise
1860   The Mountaineer John Tyndall found the huts encased in ice on the 28th December
1861   Murray’s Handbook
1863   John Holland thought the huts were less impertinent than the one at Dinas Bran, Llangollen because it was more useful.
1864   The Pumphrey Brothers took a photograph of the huts
1865   Gertrude J. Stratton had hot brandy and water at the summit
1866   A party from Manchester arrived on the summit
1867   Visitors to the summit in late May found snow and the huts closed
1867   A group of ladies found there were no candles in the huts at night
1869   A newspaper reported that the wife of one of the keepers of the huts saw him only once a fortnight during the season
1870   A visitor stated that there were beds for half a dozen visitors
1871   A guide book wondered why Snowdon didn’t have a proper hotel like the on The Righi at Lucerne which also had a telegraph
1874   David Illingworth recorded the price of spirits on the summit
1876   A newspaper reported that the huts were very humble
1877   A newspaper reported that rooms had been added to the huts for women only
1878   A guide book reported that ‘The charge is 8s for supper, bed and breakfast, 1s for a bottle of beer, and 2s for a single meal.’
1881   A mountaineer reported that one of the keepers of the huts was dependant on the absence of mist for his income
1884   One of the huts was rebuilt
1884   A visitor was killed by lightning when in one of the huts on the summit
1885   A donations box on the summit raised money for the new church at Llanberis
1886   Two visitors described the huts as ‘wretched and insufficient’ with poor, expensive food.
1887   A photograph of the summit shows a sign on one of the huts ‘Bazaar and Refreshments Well Aired beds Ham and Eggs etc. Choice of beverages Roberts and Owen Proprietors’
1889   A newspaper reporting on the proposed sale of part of Snowdon suggested that the ‘hideous huts’ might be replaced by an even worse hotel.
1889   Sale catalogue of the Hafod y Llan estate including part of the summit
1892   More plans for a railway to the summit
1894   It was said that the little refreshment house on the summit had four beds,
1895   The Tramway Co.’s 1st application for a licence to sell alcohol in their proposed hotel was refused.
1896   The huts were struck by lightning
1896   January: The first train, with workmen, reached the summit
1896   April: The first train with passengers reached the summit but had an accident going down, closing the line for a year
1896  The Tramway Co.’s 2nd application for a licence to sell alcohol in their proposed hotel was refused.
1897   The railway re-opened
1897   The Tramway Co.’s 3rd application for a licence to sell alcohol in their proposed hotel was refused.
1898   Both huts, now known as the Snowdon Summit Hotels, were taken over by the Tramway Company
1899   Both huts were run by Miss Amos
1923   Proposals for new huts
1935   A new hotel, café and station, designed by Clough Williams-Ellis, were opened on the old station site.
1942-1945 The hotel was requisitioned by the Ministry of Supply then by the Air Ministry for radar development, then by the Admiralty, then by  the Army.
1952-1954   Improvements to the buildings
1968    Further improvements to the buildings
1968    Much of Snowdon was purchased by the Secretary of State for Wales as part of the National Park.
1982   The building was purchased by the National Park who immediately began to refurbish it. They leased back to the Railway company.
2009   Hafod Eryri (the ‘summer residence’) was opened on the summit. It took three years to build and is the highest building in England and Wales.

J.S. Duncan made some notes on an ascent of Snowdon possibly for a longer account to be written at home. This is the earliest known reference to a hut on the summit.
Wyddfa [Snowdon] covered with clouds – Left steep like a view into an illimitable cauldron throwing up volumes of vapour – Lloyd’s hut – Petrifactions on the very peak of the summit. Sun bursts through the darkness. The Wydfa [sic] summit of sublimity – descend over loose stones – Rock chrystals – quit? Lloyd a good civil useful guide – mountaineer fisherman – Llanberis Inn
[Lloyd was probably William Lloyd the schoolmaster of Beddgelert and guide to Snowdon who sold crystals. It is thought that he built the hut near the summit on land owned by Sir Richard Bulkeley.]
Notes on a tour in the Diary of J.S. Duncan (of the Ashmolean) and his brother? P.B. Duncan, ‘Tour Through Wales from Oxford’, 1804, NLW MS 16714A, f. 8r

Richard Vaughan Yates, (1785-1886) and his brother Joseph Brook Yates (died 1865) saw a hut when they climbed Snowdon in 1805. Richard wrote:
‘On the top of the mountain were several patches of snow and under a hut was a large piece of ice.’
Yates, R.V., Memoranda of a Tour in North and South Wales and parts of England and Ireland, 12th May to 22nd June, 1805, NLW, ms 687B (UCW 47), pp. 88-96

Within a few yards of the extreme peak of the mountain, a quantity of huge fragments have been piled together in the shape of a hut, and once served as the bleak abode of a shepherd. Here, in this rude and deserted tenement, I took my seat to contemplate the surrounding glories.
Bruce, William Joseph, A Peregrination through part of the Counties of Somerset, Monmouthshire, Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire with a portion of South Wales and a tour round north Wales as performed in the Autumn of the Year 1810, NLW MS 19405C, p. 182

Paul Fisher spent several hours sheltering in a hut on the summit, waiting for the fog to clear.
This summit is not more than five or six yards in diameter; and is covered with small slaty stones, of a deep brown colour. As the fog continued, we descended for shelter under the crags on the south side of this point … At this place we found a small low hut, having the roof as well as the walls of unhewn stone; and which, though dark, damp, and dirty within, would serve for a retreat in very tempestuous weather. Several names were carved and scratched upon the stones of this hut. … I several times amused myself by going a little way round the side of the peak towards the N.E.: but immediately on passing the limit of our shelter, the wind rushed upon me with such great violence and intense coldness, (but still noiseless and unperceived, until I found myself in its current,) that I was glad to return again towards the hut.
Fisher, Paul Hawkins, A Three weeks tour into Wales in the year 1817, (1818), p. 34

A woman tourist, probably Eliza Constantia Campbell, nee Pryce, wife of Robert Campbell, R.N., did not take advantage of this hovel: We took our breakfast under a rock which afforded a shelter from the keen air which chilled us on the summit.
Account of a tour, NLW Gunley, Parcel XXX
Her reluctance might be explained by the size of the entrance. A couple of tourists found it very small:
 ‘we entered on all fours a small hut of loose stones’.
Walmesley, William Gerard, ‘Journal of a Pedestrian Tour made in north Wales during the month of June, 1819, by William Gerard Walmesley and William Latham.’ London Metropolitan Archives, CLC/521/MS00477

John Parker was a frequent visitor to Snowdonia. On this occasion, accompanied by Neave, he ascended at night to see the sun rise but made no mention of the hut.
finding ourselves in want of sleep lay down below the chief summit,
Parker, John, (1798-1860), 1820, June, NLW MS 18256C Tours through Wales 1819-47, pp. 9-44,

1821 (before)
Details about the construction of the hut were published in a guide book written by a local cleric, Peter Bailey Williams, rector of Llanberis and Llanrug. His account of the hut is presumably based on local knowledge and his own observations.
There was a circular wall formerly on the summit, (which is not much more than from six to eight yards square) to shelter the visitors from the cold, but the Bethgelert Guide, named Lloyd, having collected a sum of money, (about five Pounds as it is supposed) from different Gentlemen; in order to build a small hut, or shed, he made use of the Stones for that purpose; but the miserable building which he erected, and which is nothing more than a heap of stones piled together in the form of a small Stack of Corn, could not have cost him more than twenty or thirty Shillings, and is on the East side, about ten yards below the apex; but at present is of no use, as it is nearly coming down: Here it is usual for Strangers to leave their names inscribed on the ruins of this small building.
Williams, Peter Bailey, The tourist’s guide through the county of Caernarvon: … (1821), pp. 116-128

The Rev. Robert Newell implied that there was still a wall of some sort on the summit and added that visitors had an alternative to inscribing their names on the rocks:
The highest point is a craggy space, about two or three yards in diameter, and called Yr Wyddfa, the conspicuous. … It is amusing to observe the anxiety of the adventurers to record their exploit: scraps of paper are carefully packed among stones at the top, with their names, and the date of their excursion.
Newell, Robert Hasell, Rev, (1778-1852), Letters on the Scenery of Wales; including a series of Subjects for the Pencil, with their Stations determined on a General Principle; and Instructions to Pedestrian Tourists, (London: 1821), p. 158, 160-161

Ann Lister (1791–1840), the diarist and mountaineer accompanied her Aunt to the summit.
[We] foolishly sat down in the little hut on the stone benches
Diary of Anne Lister, 1822, WYAS:Calderdale, SH: 7/ML/E/6, p.45

Freeman suggested that the stones from the summit had been used for the hut:
The apex was once what Mr. Bingley calls, “a mere point,” only a few yards in diameter: but to my surprise and regret, I found this fairly battered down, and the pieces lying about in testimony of the barbarity! and this, I guess, for the purpose of building a vile wretched house, which I saw a little distance on the eastern declivity!
Freeman, George John, Sketches in Wales; or, A diary of three walking excursions in that principality, in the years 1823, 1824, 1825 (1826), pp. 195-196
This reference to a vile wretched hut has been repeated many times:
The Mountains of Snowdonia, p. 57
Carr and Lister, p. 76
Glyn D. Parry, Snowdonia and the Snowdon Mountain Railway: a portrait in old picture postcards, (1991), p. 13
Jones, Robert, The Complete Guide to Snowdon (Carnarvon, Humphreys, ????)
Anon, ‘Bare rock or soft seats, What should really be on the summit of Snowdon?’ Welsh Review / Trem ar Gymru, no. 1, August, 1996, pp.  42-43)

1826 – 1830
One young girl, whose enthusiasm had carried her beyond her strength, sat down as soon as she reached the top, and leaning against the large pile of stones, which helps to support the flag-staff, fell fast asleep.  On awaking, she found herself quite alone; she could not see a vestige of her companions. For a few minutes she was bewildered; but on consideration, she determined that the wisest plan was to remain patiently in the same place till the mystery should be explained. After awhile, she thought she heard the sound of voices, and going round the pile of huge stones, she went carefully down a few paces. Still no one could be seen, but the sound was more distinctly heard, and she continued to go towards the place from whence it proceeded. She soon came nearly on the top of a cave, or rather a rude stone hut, the only shelter there to be found, and on creeping down the side of it, found a small entrance. There the whole party was seated, some on the ground, and others on along rough stone, which served as a bench. They were busily engaged in demolishing the contents of the provision basket. No complaints were now heard of the mustiness of the bread. A walk to the top of Snowdon is a capital cure for daintiness.
Anon, ‘Two Ascents of Snowdon at Midnight’, The Leisure Hour Monthly Library, Volume 6, (1857), pp. 396-399

John Parker who was a frequent visitor to Snowdonia, wrote a fictional account (probably based on much experience) of a tour of Wales by three gentlemen.
‘The House of Refuge was built by the Beddgelert Guide, with a subscription collected for that purpose. It can hardly be called a shelter; the walls are built of loose fragments without any mortar. Yet they say the workmen who put up the mound of stone, slept here for a fortnight, in the fine summer weather in 1827.’
Parker, John, (1798-1860), The Passengers (Travels through Wales), (London, 1831), 191

sketch of ‘The highest Peak of Snowdon’ showing a pillar on top of a beehive shaped mound of stones and an igloo shaped hut below it, both big enough for travellers to shelter in.
On the highest summit is a Pillar (no. 1 in illustration) and a little lower down – a little stone hut for travellers- to shelter in (no. 2 in illustration) … Well it was no use staying there as we were so wet and so hot! – so we sallied out of this little hut …
Parry, John Orlando, (1810-1879), ‘A Journal of a tour in the Northern part of Wales, made in September, 1828’, NLW minor deposits 293B

There were reports of plans to construct a hut on or near the summit in 1832 possibly in conjunction with the recent completion of the Victoria Hotel, Llanberis which was owned by Assheton Smith. There is no firm evidence that any hut was built in 1832 but the report was published in September from which date, until the May of the following year few people attempted the ascent of Snowdon and the weather would have been too unreliable to carry out any building work.
It is reported that T. Asheton Smith Esq., who claims, so I understand, a very considerable proportion of the Snowdon Range, is about to erect near the summit of the hill on the Llanberis side, a building of suitable accommodation for the temporary refreshment of manly tourists and fairy footed pedestrians. … If the scite [sic] of the building be not too difficult for horses … the building will no doubt provide for their accommodation also. “A good man is merciful to his beast.”
On the particular architectural character of such a building it may not be very easy to determine. … If such a building resembled the out-offices or other portion of a convent it would be as much in harmony with the rugged and anti-social majesty of surrounding objects as any other character of building whatever. … This mountain building is intended as an outpost or adjunct to the new inn at Llanberis.
{The letter went on to describe the situation of Llanberis and criticise the design of the new inn which might have been better if it looked like a castle.}
Sept 22nd 1832 from An Architect.
Caernarfon and Denbigh Herald, 29.9.1832

and glad we were to get under the shelter of a rock to eat our breakfast.
Anon [Campbell, Eliza Constantia] Stories from the history of Wales: with various information and amusement for young persons by the author of “The History of Wales arranged as a catechism” (Shrewsbury: John Eddowes,1833), pp. 102-106

In 1834, the foundations of a hut were observed. The exact location of these are unknown, but it is possible that it was not on the summit. Indeed, it might have been near the spring where an unroofed stone building was later used to shelter the ponies while their riders walked the final few hundred yards to the top.
‘soon passed by the foundations of a house which one Mr Smith the proprietor of part of Snowdon is building for the accommodation of those who should be tempted to see the sunrise – it will have 9 bedrooms and 4 sitting rooms and will effectually [illegible] half the pleasure of the journey as it will take away all the difficulty.’
Tomkins, William Graeme, ‘Travelling Reminiscences or notes of a Journey from London to Liverpool via [Wales], Denbighshire Archives, DD/DM/365/1, p. 80

A newspaper report of July again reports that a cottage is anticipated:
To the summit of Snowdon, on which a cottage is about to be built for the reception and entertainment of travellers, there is a commodious road, belonging exclusively to the Victoria Hotel, where Welsh ponies with careful guides, are kept in constant readiness. …
Manchester Courier, 19.7.1834; 2.8.1834

Only one reference to the summit is known for 1835: it mentions the cairn and wooden pillar but not a hut. There are no known descriptions of the summit in 1836 but in 1837 Francis Horace records its existence:
We visited the hut erected on the summit for the purpose of accommodating those travellers who wish to ascend the previous evening in order to see the sun rise.
Francis, Horace, Journal of a tour 1837, NLW ms. 11597B, pp. 62-63

The Ordnance Survey were on the summit for several months while resurveying north Wales

The German tourist, J.G. Kohl, reported that the surveyors were sheltering in tents, not huts.
Snowdon narrows, as you approach the summit, into a complete cone, on the top of which, a surveying party found only room sufficient to spread a small tent, and arrange their mathematical instruments. The soldiers on duty at this tent, erected for the purpose of a new survey of the country, had constructed a pathway of stones around their frail canvass dwelling, which added considerably to the facility of commanding a prospect of the scenery on every side. The officer of the post, for the better accommodation of himself and his men, had raised several other tents on the little levels lower down.
Kohl, Johan Georg, Reisen in England und Wales, (Dresden and Leipzig, 1844)
J.G. Kohl, England, Wales and Scotland, (Chapman and Hall, London, 1844), 3 vols
Kohl, Johan Georg, Travels in England and Wales [1845], (Translated into English by Thomas Roscoe), p. 104

Edward Stanley, (1779–1849), the Bishop of Norwich, (1837-1849), climbed to the top of Snowdon in October, 1842 to visit his son, Lieut. Charles Stanley, R.E., who was one of the officers supervising the revision of the Ordnance Survey triangulation. The surveyors spent four months on the summit waiting for clear views of distant survey points.

His descriptions of the buildings on the summit are tantalisingly brief, and there appear to have been more than two, but some, at least, were of timber and may well have been the huts built for tourists a few years earlier.

Having arrived at the top, his son had to rush off to observe from the summit, the heliostat at Axe Edge, in the Peak district, nearly 100 miles away which had just become visible for the first time.

 ‘leaving me to the care of James to do the honours of his house … [and have an excellent lunch] I took off my wet stockings & freezing shoes by Charles’s stove … In vain I poked in piece after piece of coal into the stove and sat with my hands … over it to keep out the cold which now became unwelcome … through cracks and crannies of the thin wooden walls … [a storm erupted but somehow, James came from the cooking room with an excellent supper.] By the time [supper was] over Boreas [Greek god of North Wind] was active in his vocation, he roared and bellowed angry on the hut which with all its force pelted and battered on the outward panels of the building, as if it insisted on its right to every square inch of space and would have ejected us from this its domain of storm and tempest. … about 8 I turned into bed, covered over with blankets my sheet, fur coat etc. and one of Charlie’s … fur stuffed quilt … a carpeting of snow which had drifted under the door & on [Charles] opening it to see how it could get in, we found the little covered in passage separating his house from Pipon’s, well filled with snow. … [He had nightmares at night and thought there was someone nearby but] as I well knew I & Charlies & his sappers were sleeping high above the rest of our fellow mortals, our nearest neighbour upwards being the man in the moon … [In the morning] The head of [Charles’] cot was frozen to the panels, … and his water jug a mass of ice. … I should add that to my surprise, the building did not shake, the walls seemed to stand firm … because literally they were founded upon a rock, but Charlie’s rationale of the phenomenon was probably that true one, namely that the timbers were so hard frozen together it was impossible to shake them. … [After breakfast was] over I visited the other houses of James, the men and the cook’s home … what a wild climb to reach the observatory not 20 paces above.
Letter to his wife, dated ‘Camp Snowdon, Monday Oct. 20, 1842’, Cheshire Archives and Local Studies, Stanley of Alderley Records, DSA/201

The most singular and amusing thing on the top of Snowdon is a rude hut constructed of massive stones piled one upon the other – interior cased in wood in which a most singular character named Williams, a second Robinson Crusoe, has taken up his abode during the season – a good natured careless sort of fellow ready to welcome every stranger, high or low to his hospitable abode. Luxuries he cannot boast of but a cup of coffee, probably without milk and a bit of home made bread and good butter he sets before you and bids you eat and smile and be merry. He appears to have been disgusted with the lower world and declares himself happier on the top of Snowdon – surrounded with mists that drown the valley below.
Anon, 1844, Lancashire Record Office, Preston, Ms DDX1282-4

We met on the summit two parties had gone up the previous afternoon and not being able to see anything, had passed the night in a hut at the top – One party consisted of a gentleman and three ladies, the other of three gentlemen … a cup of warm coffee procured at the hut was quite a treat
Matthews, John and Hannah (Husband and Wife), ‘Journal of a Tour in France, Switzerland, Germany etc. in 1842 by JM and HMM. Also a Tour in North Wales in the Summer of 1844’, NLW MS 23063C, f. 111v

We found refuge in a small wooden shed, erected for the protection of travellers from the rain and wind, in which the host kept up a welcome fire. The man presently prepared a singular brown mixture, which he sold for coffee, and furnished some grayish oatmeal cake as an accompaniment. There were no spirituous liquors of any description to be had, because the occupier, with no small degree of self-satisfaction gave us to understand, that his wooden hut was to be regarded as a Temperance Inn. Not far from this mountain hotel, which I must state to be the first imperfect house of accommodation we had yet met in England, was a small stone hut, in which the rest of the travellers, together with their ponies, had found a harbour not much better than our own.
Carus, Carl Gustav, The King of Saxony’s Journey Through England and Scotland in the Year 1844, (1846), pp. 238-240 based on Carus, C. G. [Carl Gustav, German physician], England und Schottland im Jahre 1844 (Berlin 1845)

One of these two brief sentences were published in at least nine national, regional or local newspapers, the first being a Welsh newspaper (but the equivalent has not been found in Welsh language newspapers). The sentence, with no other information, appeared as a snippet of news.
Snowdon. A couple of huts have been erected on the summit of this far-famed mountain, in which visitors may take shelter and refreshment, as occasion may require.
OR: A couple of huts have been erected at the summit of Snowdon for the accommodation of tourists.
The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality, 13 August 1844
Liverpool Mercury, 16 Aug 1844
The Preston Chronicle and Lancashire Advertiser, 17 Aug 1844
The Guardian (London), 21 Aug 1844
The Welshman, 23rd August 1844
The Leeds Mercury, 24 Aug 1844
Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier, 05 September 1844
Durham County Advertiser, 13 September 1844
Berkshire Chronicle – Saturday 21 September 1844

We reached the Stone Huts and stable which are built near the summit for the temporary reception of the adventurous traveller and steed. At this point it is impracticable for horses to ascend further; the buildings were unroofed and the walls driven in by the violence of the storm.
Letter Shrewsbury Chronicle, 25.10.1844

Rev. Henry Wellington Starr became famous for climbing Snowdon on his own in 1846 and dying from an accident on his way down. He is almost the only person who recorded (in his own journal), visiting one of the huts on Snowdon during the life of the earlier surviving visitor’s books (1845-1850), but he did not sign it as several others did on the day he was there.
‘A week ago, when I left home,
I little thought that I should come
To Snowdon’s chalet—thence to see
The sun in heavenliest majesty.
Anon, The Tourist in Wales: A Series of Views of Picturesque Scenery, Towns, Castles, Antiquities etc. with Historical and Topographical Notices.   (London and New York: George Virtue, 1851) based on Anon, Remains of the late Rev. Henry Wellington Starr, B. A. (London, 1847) (2nd edition 1848)
Evans, Clive Evan, The story of the Reverend Henry Wellington Starr B.A. and his mysterious death on Moel-y-Cynghorion in Snowdonia, September 1846, (1994)

[We] attained the highest summit in Wales; found a little cabin with couches and sofas therein kept by a man
Dovaston, S., Miss, A Few Remarks on a tour to Shropshire and north Wales, Cardiff Central Library, MS 3.149

On the highest point is erected a heap of large stones some [blank but in pencil 15 or 20] feet high on which stands a pole. … On the summit there are two huts together with the ruins of some stone ones formerly in use. … We found by the book kept in the other hut …
The man who keeps the hut here stays on the summit all the season but spends the winter at Beddgelert. He said he liked his summer residence very well, only it was rather dull sometimes [deleted in pencil] in bad weather when travellers did not ascend the mountain sometimes for days together.
Having first taken some refreshments in the second hut which we found – after we had gone into the other in the morning – was the one patronised by our guide.  They kept ginger beer which was of a very superior character, as on this elevated situation one might imagine.
Long, R.W., Notes etc. of a tour of ten days among some of the beauties of north Wales in the summer of 1847, NLW MS 5912B. pp. 155, 157, 158, 161

After scaling a pile of stones on the extreme summit, and refreshing ourselves at the hut …
Bells Weekly Messenger, 12.7.1847 (From the Liverpool Standard)

Confound the Cockney tourists, though, that one meets a-top, and confound the huts and coffee-pots, visitors’ books and guides.
Geikie, Archibald, Memoir of Sir Andrew Crombie Ramsay, (1895), pp. 104-106

[Card Advert]
Roberts and Williams Beg to announce that they have a house fitted up, on the top of Snowdon, for the reception of Ladies and Gentlemen. It contains Beds and Refreshments, and all other necessaries required by Visitors. The house is situated on the right hand side of the path in going to the top of the mountain. We shall feel obliged to our visitors for their patronage; and no excursions shall be wanting to merit their approval.
Parry, John Orlando, (1810-1879), Diary, tour through North Wales and part of South Wales, 1848, NLW 17728A

[arrived at] the summit, just before sunset. Here we found that the guides who are stationary at the top, having erected booths, where parties who wish to see the sun rise may now sleep, that is, lay miserably awake, had Lonchitis [a fern] for sale at sixpence a root; a practice which, if encouraged, must soon annihilate this fine and sparingly scattered fern from all accessible habitats.
Bennett, William, Notes on the rarer Ferns observed in a fortnight’s Pedestrian Tour in North Wales; with several new Localities for Asplenium lanceolatum, The Phytologist: a popular botanical miscellany, Volume 3, (1848), pp. 714

Let it be known that there are two inns on the summit of Snowdon. I went to Siôn [John] Robert’s, … , ‘let me have a rasher of bacon, and a slice around the loaf, and a quart of beer,
‘Y Cymro’ (Thomas Griffiths, Talhaiarn), 1848, The Works of Talhaiarn, Welsh and English, pp. 317-319
Thomas Griffiths, also signed the visitors’ book.
Bangor University Archives and Special Collections, ms. 4151, p. 113

The welcome hut at length appeared through the obscurity, perched on a peak, from which the precipitous rock sloped everywhere down into a sea of impenetrable fog. It was a miserable and impoverished hovel, with only an exterior covering of boards, through which the rain, which now descended in torrents, oozed and dripped at every crevice, rendering it, but for a well-supplied stove, too damp to be safely tenantable. At a short distance beneath the contiguous cairn of stones, which marks the summit of Snowdon, is another and more comfortable one, but of this I was not at the time aware. The moisture of my garments, as well as of this cheerless cabin, naturally disposed me to seek a corrective cordial; but here, where even the most zealous teetotaller might gladly admit of an exception to the rigour of his principles, may nothing be had more potent than a cup of indifferent coffee, which proved, however, most acceptable. Moreover, it was early in the season, and the tenant of this mountain auberge had but recently ascended for the season, to reap his harvest of profit from the tourists, which served as his apology for having no other provision than a huge loaf and butter: happily, there was no lack of peat to cherish a cheering blaze.
I determined to remain till evening, but hour after hour passed, and it was scarce possible to peep out of the casement for the rush of the impetuous blast, which made the slight-built hovel tremble with the fierceness of its assaults, as though it would tear it from its fastenings and hurl it bodily down the mountain-side.
Anon, The Tourist in Wales: A Series of Views of Picturesque Scenery, Towns, Castles, Antiquities etc. with Historical and Topographical Notices.   (London and New York: George Virtue, 1851), pp. 20-26

refreshment huts had been erected by some of the guides [,] those who were inclined solaced themselves with porter, bread and butter etc.
Lees, Edwin, Notes on a Tour among the Scenery of North Wales in the Summer of the Year, 1849, By Edwin Lees, F.L.S., in company with two Ladies [Mrs Woodward and Mrs Lees and Mr Woodward], illustrated with prints, sketches and watercolours, NLW MS 1250D (no page numbers)

The summit is not more than seven yards in diameter, but there are erected upon it two or three sheds rudely fitted as sleeping-rooms, and one room used as a coffee-room. These buildings are called the Snowdon Hotel, and belong to two guides, who soon procured us coffee and eggs, and offered us other refreshments—That which was even more congenial to our feelings was a blazing fire, for the temperature was very cold.
Anon, A Few Days’ Run among the Mountains of North Wales (Conclusion) VISIT TO SNOWDON.
Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent, 8th September 1849 (and other newspapers, derived from a Lewes Newspaper)

after bespeaking the room for the night to eat our dinner in the first instance. … We had tea as soon as it was dark & then came the night which was misty & windy so that we saw little of the moon or anything else. I tried to lie down on one of the beds but bad smells & other disagreeables made me soon quit that locality & I got some sleep as did my companions also by the fireside. We wrote letters at intervals I was struck with one of the guides when he brought up hot water coals etc. for the night asking if we should like a Testament
Hibbert, Mary Ann, Diary for 1849, 1850, 1851, Gloucestershire Record Office, D1799/F334

There are a couple of huts on the summit, erected especially for the accommodation of wanderers, wherein all plain provision is made for their comfort. … These huts are really pleasant things to find in this bleak spot, even in the day-time. … A snug fire-side, with a cigar and a noggin of whisky, if that way inclined; or a cup of coffee, if it be preferred, is a real luxury, while the mountain-top is wrapped in a dense damp cloud. We will whisper to the traveller, however, that he had better carry his own cigars; for the host’s are of detestable flavour, and —sixpence a piece.
Anon, The land we live in, a pictorial and literary sketch-book of the British empire, vol. 1, (Subsequent edition 1856), p. 139;

It is not necessary to take ordinary notables, for these are to be had at the top of the mountain, in the wooden huts, erected there by the guides; but as the quality of the refreshments obtainable is not always good, there can be no imprudence in taking some cold meat and good bread in a basket, with Wine or spirits.
Humphrey’s Guide to the Summit of Snowdon [by H- B- Y.], etc. embellished with fine steel engravings. H Humphreys, Carnarvon [1850], p. 8

1850 [pre?]
Mr H-B-Y’s ascent, published in a guide book
We now pursued a rugged path by the side of this precipice, until we arrived at the object of our wishes, Y Wyddfa, which signifies ‘The Conspicuous,’ for so the Welsh very aptly designate the peak of Snowdon, which is 3571 feet in perpendicular height. There the first object which attracted our attention, was the little town of Snowdonia, as the guides call it, which had been apprized of our approach and prepared for our reception, by two young men, who warmly welcomed us. This town consists of four huts made of wood. One of which is called Saxony, because the King of Saxony dined in it—or sat in it, or possibly dosed in it,— perhaps all three. The men were singing and working like industrious and happy fellows, feeling the elasticity of spirits which such a noble position naturally excites. Supper, a bed, and breakfast, are procurable there for five shillings; and during the summer seasons vast numbers of tourists avail themselves of the wretched accommodation afforded there, for the sake of seeing the sun set and rise—a truly glorious sight! Those huts are to be immediately papered, and to be provided with good fires, and they say, good beds too, and, strange enough, views—guide-books—stationery, &c., are to be bought there. … What a change from the majesty of scenery where we had been standing a short time before! we step from the sublime (if not to the ridiculous) to a vulgar, and very dingy hut, about l2 feet long and 9 feet wide, a rusty stove in one corner, and a black coffee-pot keeping itself warm upon it! the wooden floor damp and wet as that of a vault, the paper black and falling off, the windows about 18 inches square, frames inclusive. But the hotel-keepers there, will soon be able to say, “Nous avous change tout cela.“ [We have changed all this] Indeed I believe that a metamorphose has already taken effect there. My friend W was seated on a three-legged stool, I was perched on one end of a bench. and the guide on the other, with a clunch of bread in his hand of at least half-a-pound weight, indicating that the whiskey had not taken away his appetite. H. was seated on a dirty bed. The waiter, who was intelligent and able to speak English, while placing cups on the table, tried to amuse us with tales, the purport of some of which was to shew how unlike “men are to each other and even to themselves, when in this elevated region of novelty and wonder. What merriment has there been here! What alarm! What delight! What devout contemplation! What folly! What enthusiasm! What pride!” For my part, I felt as if I could kneel down and pray to the Maker of Heaven and Earth.
In the course of conversation with the guide (on Mr W’s recommending him to plant flowers about the huts) it was replied, that they would not grow there, and that potatoes, which he had planted about 100 yards below the peak did not produce tubers.
Mr H-B-Y’s ascent in Humphrey’s Guide to the Summit of Snowdon [by H- B- Y.], etc. embellished with fine steel engravings. H Humphreys, Carnarvon [1850], pp. 19-21

We could not see anything but the stones we stood on, and most gladly turned into a little hut, sort of place, and crouched over a stove, which gradually infused a little warmth into our frozen selves. It seemed perfectly hopeless to wait for a chance of its clearing and … perused a book intended for visitor’s names, but full of would be witticisms, acrostics, conundrums etc.
Pearson, Augusta, A Spinster’s Tour through North Wales, 1853, Anon, (Editor), (Gomer, 1988), pp. 26-28

Four or five huts are erected at the summit with very fair sleeping accommodation… the hut keeper makes a charge of 5 shillings for supper and bed and breakfast. When our party had all struggled up … great was the consumption of bottled stout – brandy – tea – eggs – bread and butter etc {many people on the summit) ‘every one enters his name in the book kept at the hut.’
Billinghurst, Henry Farncombe, A Pedestrian Ramble through Oxford, Chester  and North Wales, Women’s Library, London, 7RMB/B/1, pp. 257-258

The best sight or view we had was the interior of one of the huts, which was a welcome shelter, and besides shelter it had a stove, at which we warmed our persons, dried our clothes, amusing ourselves with the entry-books kept for the signatures and remarks of the visitors.
Pamplin, William, ‘Tour of Wales by William Pamplin and Alexander Irvine, 1854, An Account of Localities of some of the rarer British Plants and others noticed in North Wales by Mr Pamplin and Mr Irvine, in September, 1854’
The Phytologist, vol. 1, (London, 1855-1856), p. 54

The summit … we safely reached and found it covered with four or five small huts and a pile of stones placed there by the Ordnance Surveyors. Toil worn and half famished we soon made enquiry for refreshment, which the guides very readily produced for me, in the shape of tea, fried ham, and bread and butter.
Derbyshire Courier – Saturday 05 January 1856 by A Stroller, Chesterfield, 31.12.1855

… we arrived at the summit … and touched Snowdon flagstaff … Snowdon top boasts two huts, and we got tea at one of them; a slight matter of suspicious Congou [black Chinses tea] and undesirable biscuits. This hut is a rather commodious building, containing a rough table, a long bench, a few chairs. Three hams swing from the rafters, and (the only aristocratic object in the place) you have the comfort of a good, well-ordered stove.
After tea, the VISITORS’ BOOK …
In the second hut, fixed to the wall, is a bill about two feet long by sixteen inches:
John Roberts
(The Oldest guide on Snowdon)
Philip Williams
Begs to inform tourists visiting Snowdon that they have
Where refreshments of the best quality can
Be obtained, as well as
Bottles Porter, Wines and Spirits,
At very reasonable terms.
N.B. Parties wishing to stay for a night may be accommodated
We had not been up long before a blind man (who frequents the summit) approached with articles to sell. They were specimens of crystals and copper ore, obtained from the mountains. … His charges are exorbitant; for a two inch crystal he asked three shillings, and certain of our party bought several …
From the well-thumbed, dog-eared, illustrated, polyglot, inky volume, let me extract a few “evidences of inspiration”. …
William F. Peacock, Welsh mountains : on and over them ; being personal ascents of Snowdon, Cader Idris and Plinlimmon, with “The Visitors’ Book at Bettws-y-Coed” (London : Simpkin and Co. 1855), pp. 11-15

The cold was intense, as may be imagined. The huts being all secured, he got under the lee of the stones,
The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality, 19th January 1856

[Print of ‘Summit of Snowdon’ Engraved and printed by H Humphreys, Carnarvon, showing the huts on both sides and a group of a man, three women and a man on horseback in the foreground. – the smaller of the two – see below]
Foyl, William, Tour of North Wales 1857, NLW 23178B

The Summit. Where you find every accommodation for resting yourselves in well-built huts, with good fires, and kept by civil people, Messrs Roberts and Phillips, here to those who choose coffee, tea, bread and cheese, ham and eggs, spirits, porter, lemonade, etc. can be had; the author recommends to all, coffee and tea and bread and butter as the most refreshing, this may not appear palatable to the males, but from experience he most strongly recommends it; …
opp. p. 82 Print of the Summit of Snowdon
Always be prepared with a flask of brandy or sherry, the former preferable, and some biscuits or sandwiches. At the summit you get coffee, ham, eggs, tea, bread-and-butter, spirits, bottled ale, porter, soda water, lemonade, etc. at fair prices.
Don’t bring more provisions from hotels at foot than necessary, as if so, at summit you must pay 6d each for your accommodation, which is only reasonable when you are provided with firing and dry hut, always remember that the men who are catering for your comfort there have to undergo great hardships, great expense, and great risk, even in summer.
Good specimens of spar, copper, lead etc. may be bought at the summit; also good woollen stockings for gentlemen – excellent for warmth and wear.
Hamer, J. P., Hamer’s practical steamboat, railway, and road guide to Snowdon and around. (1857), pp. 82-83, 94-95

The guide at once threw open the door of one of the huts that form part of what is termed the Hotel, where there was a fire burning most cheerily at which we were glad to thaw our benumbed hands and put a bottle of stout so icily cold that it produce momentary toothache served to complete the thawing process.
Anon (female), Journal of a Tour through North Wales, NLW, ms. 20719 A, p. 132

After partaking of a slight refreshment at the huts, we resumed our journey to Beddgelert.
Hereford Times – Saturday 02 October 1858

Within the last few years two or three of the Llanberis guides have erected some rude huts, called the “Snowdon Hotel”, on the highest summit adjoining the Ordnance Carnedd, or heap of stones, in the centre of which is a high signal-post, where tea and coffee, ale, porter, spirits, and other refreshments can be obtained. Of course you cannot expect these commodities at the usual prices, the labour of conveying them to so great an altitude being taken into consideration. Where such a number of hungry and thirsty visitors are congregated, the demand is great and the prices commensurate, and we have no doubt that the guides have found it a good speculation, and reap a rich harvest during the summer season. You can also “procure a bed”, if you are desirous of remaining on the mountain all night; but as there is only one bed in a very small apartment, as far as we know, the great majority of tourists who arrive over the night are obliged to “rough” it in the best way they can. The charge, if we recollect right, is 6s 6d for bed and breakfast. The appearance of the huts is unsightly, and the solitudinous stillness of the “lonely mountain top” – the great charm to us in mountain excursions – is now in a great measure destroyed. The innovations of man, however, cannot alter in this alpine region the external charms of nature.
‘Clyro’, Hereford Times, 25 September 1858
Republished as Cliffe, John Henry, Notes and recollections of an angler: rambles among the mountains, valleys, and Solitudes of Wales with sketches of some of the Lakes, Streams, Mountains and Scenic Attractions in both Divisions of the Principality (London 1860), p. 150

Top of Snowdon
Tourists wishing to make the ascent of Snowdon, and their name is legion, will be gratified to learn that an important addition to their shelter is a spacious, lined tent pitched close to the summit. The tent is for the use of ladies and gentlemen but a second tent is added for the exclusive use of ladies. Both have been erected at considerable expense by Mr Madoc, the spirited landlord of the Royal Victoria Hotel, the situation of which, at the foot of the mountain on the Llanberis side, is well known. The tents are a great acquisition at such a spot and we doubt not that visitors will avail themselves of the accommodation thus liberally supplied.
Caernarfon and Denbigh Herald, 7.8.1858

A RAMBLE IN NORTH WALES. Being an Impromptu in hexameter, after the style of Professor Lengthy Individual. Written in the rough, on one’s hat, on five-barred  gates, on stone walls, and the like, BY HASWELL HILL.
He entered a hut on the summit – a savage to look at, yet jolly:
Where he found a male and a female of the friendly people called Quakers.
Half-a-dozen young roystering spirits, and three or four giants
Clad in fustian, or corduroy, or sacking or something of that sort,
Whose self-imposed duty it was to fry eggs and bacon
Make coffee and draw- not sketches, but good bottled porter!
Of all of which Brownson partook the charge “three-and six-pence,”
(For copper coin isn’t yet known on the summit of Snowdon.)
Whereon Brown as loud as he dared, muttered “Shameful, atrocious, extortion.”
To the top of the cairn he then mounted; and, in spite of the ominous warnings
Of guides and of tourists, who were not aware of his travels
In Alpland, and “hugest bears and monsters of mountains,”
To which those of Welshland might not even “hold up the candle”
In spite, I say, of these cautions, he safely descended to Capella Curig
The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality, 21st August 1858

O sad dispellers of any illusions which the scene may have occasioned!—forth step an uncommonly sharp lad, a coatless waiter, and a jauntily arrayed landlord of a little public-house; and you are requested, in the most obsequious style, to order tea or coffee, or a bottle of stout, or of Bass’s bitter ale ! Such is the consequence of fashionable touring. The majestic mountain altitude, where the admiring beholder would gladly be alone, and commune with his own thoughts, is converted into a theatre of rival publicanism; and when you would examine the rocks under your feet, and scrutinize their mineralogical character, you find the shattered shells of numberless eggs, frequent fragments of porter and ale bottles, and all the refuse ejected from two rough cabins, inside of which are proceeding all manner of culinary abominations, while cups and saucers are clattering, corks are popping out of bottles, young men are smoking short pipes or cigars, and lads are washing up crockery. One glance into that cabin is enough to originate the fervent wish that the next thorough blast would blow the whole culinary concern down into the gaping hollow beneath, and that all the itinerant herd of drinking, smoking, and chattering barbarians would betake themselves to the pot-houses in the valleys and the plains. Is it not enough to rouse one’s indignation, to be intruded upon at the summit with contending cards, and offers of accommodation for the night to see the sunrise on the morrow, together with ham and eggs, and tea or coffee, for the small charge of five shillings? Moreover, a female waiter will attend upon your ladies, who can rest all night under coverlet and under curtains! Will it be believed that many so-called ‘ladies’ do accept this accommodation? So we were credibly informed. Meanwhile the men of the party must perchance lie on forms or on the floor, while the cabin lad blows the fire, boils the kettle, fills the hut with smoke, and the whole party set up a song and a shout. Thus is this lofty natural altar basely desecrated; and even a paltry rent is charged by the so-called lord of the manor, to those rival tenants of the cabins who dispense ale and porter, and dwell continually upon the top, during the summer months.
Avoiding the broken bottles, egg-shells, and huts, we easily hasten over the rocky pathway;
Anon, The London Review, vol. 11, (1858), pp. 124, 127,

The owners of the huts there having left for the season, they [the tourist and guide] were obliged to break open one of the huts.
The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality, 29th October 1859

The very slender wooden structure which we found on the top were by no stretch of the imagination convertible into a building worthy of the name of hotel. We were ushered into a little room a well lighted, where stood two broken down couches and a bench: this was the waiting, dinner, tea, and supper room. A smaller room, divided from the waiting room by the slenderest of partitions, was the bed-chamber. Two beds, separated by a space of about two feet, filled the entire room. … There were two beds and two couches; lots were cast for choice, and soon all were laid down – but not to rest. The grinding of a horrid coffee mill (a sound well known to all Snowdonians) was first heard, then there was the shuffling of many feet, and finally a Welsh hymn was sung. Mr. Griffith Philip Williams, the courteous proprietor of the Summit Hotel.
The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality, 27th August 1859


Our ladies rode on their ponies to the very summit without either difficulty or danger. We found on the summit several huts or tents, pitched by one proprietor, and dignified with the name Snowdon Hotel. There are also enclosures for horses, and other conveniences for numerous parties. Tea, coffee, bread and cheese, porter, bitter ale, and other refreshments were at the disposal of all who relished such things at such an altitude; and … few climb Snowdon without partaking of some of those creature comforts which the English, of all people, take care to provide or to call for in every place of resort and in all circumstances, however exciting. Full forty were on the top while we were there, some enjoying the view, others their cigars and pale ale. On the very pinnacle of the mountain stands a cairn of stones some twelve feet high, erected a few years ago by the men employed on the Ordnance survey.
Dumfries and Galloway Standard – Wednesday 26 September 1860

For those who wish to see the sun rise a hut called the Snowdon Hotel with two or three beds, is built on the top;
Bradshaw’s Shilling Handbook of Great Britain and Ireland, Section 2, [South and north Wales and Ireland] (no. 19) (dated on google books to 1860)

John Roberts, the excellent warden of the Snowdon Hotel, …a stout wooden hut, 3,500 ft above the blue water. There were no beds as yet (14th May), but [there was] a fire, benches, rugs, and eatable and drinkable accessories of a bivouac.
Davidson, James Bridge, The Conway in the stereoscope,  illustrated by Roger Fenton ; with notes, descriptive and historical, by James Bridge Davidson. (London : Lovell Reeve, 1860), p. 59

On reaching the summit, refreshments can be obtained during the season, in the form of tea and coffee, with viands substantial if mountain air should have created a keen appetite. Eau de vie or other liqueurs are said to be valuable pocket companions in such expeditions. There are other liquefactions to be had, besides fine water from the mountain-top; so that none who scale the height in the usual season have occasion to complain either of hunger or thirst. To be impartial, however, we must add the testimony of one who speaks experimentally: “Happy are they,” he says, “who have brought their provisions with them, and are independent of the mountain hotel.” This may seem personal to the proprietors of the Snowdon summit refectory, but a gentle hint may be useful. At the summit too, huts are provided for public accommodation, and most serviceable have they proved on many a stormy day.
The pyramid of stones raised on Y Wyddfa was one of the stations formed for the Ordnance survey of the country, and is ascended by most persons desirous of seeing all they can.
A Guide through North Wales including Anglesey, Caernarvonshire, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Merionethshire, and Montgomeryshire; with the Adjacent Borders, Completing The Basin Or The River Dee, and the Upper Basin of the Severn, as far as Shrewsbury.  Designed to Accompany the Ordnance Maps. By William Cathrall, Author Of “Wanderings In North Wales,” Etc.
With A Notice of the Geology of the Country, by A. C. Ramsay, Esq., F.R.S. & G.S., Local Director Of The Geological Survey Of Great Britain, Etc. (London: 1860), pp. 142-143

1860 December 28th
The huts at the top were all encased in ice, and from their chimneys and projections the snow was drawn like a kind of plumage by the wind.
Tyndall, John, (1820-1893), Hours of Excursion over the Alps (1860, and new edition 1899), pp. 421-428

Murray’s handbook for north Wales included very detailed advice on climbing Snowdon including information from acknowledged, reliable sources.
The visitor who has thus arrived at the peak of Snowdon by any of these routes will be much mistaken if he comes prepared for mountain solitude, for Moel-y-Wyddfa in the season is one of the most crowded spots in Wales. Creature comforts are there in profusion, for, well knowing that human nature enjoys even the highest beauties after a slight refection, the sharp-sighted guides have erected 2 hotels on the highest point, where all sorts of comestibles may be obtained at tolerably reasonable prices, considering the labour of getting them up. Indeed in foggy or wet weather it is no slight relief to find a dry comfortable room and blazing fire, not to mention the addition of coffee, ham, and eggs. Beds are also obtainable, for which and breakfast the charge is 5s., with the view at sunrise thrown in gratis. A tall man of the name of Moses, who does the cooking and waiting, has even a stand of jewellery and trinkets for sale.
Murray’s handbook for north Wales written by Dr Bevan of Beaufort, Monmouthshire, (1861), pp.  100-101; 2nd edition, 1864; 3rd edition, 1868; 4th edition, 1874; another edition, 1885.
Review in Archaeologia Cambrensis, (1862), p. 247

The refreshment hut which one finds on the top-most peak of Snowdon, is less impertinent [than the one at Dinas Bran, Llangollen] because more useful.
Holland, John, Letters from Llangollen (19 letters published in The Sheffield Daily Telegraph with poetry, manuscript notes and many prints), NLW, ms. 16722 D, f. 25

Would suggest to proprietor that stone walls be built all round the huts.
Visitor’s book, NLW MS 16083C, f. 38v

Perhaps I had better state, for the information of all those whom it may concern, that the actual summit of Snowdon is not more than 12 yards in diameter; but there are erected upon it two or three sheds, rudely fitted up as sleeping rooms, and one room used as a coffee room. These buildings are somewhat magni-eloquently styled the “Snowdon Hotel,” and I can assure all intending visitors that, considering the circumstances, the accommodation and attendance are first-class. There were a number of people on the “Top” besides those of our little party, so that the Hotel was quite crowded. The ladies expressed a desire to have a cup of coffee, and no sooner was the order given than we heard the musical notes of the coffee mill, so that the delicious beverage was quite fresh; and our fair companions told us they never tested nicer coffee in their lives. For myself, I enquired for a bottle of Barclay’s Stout, but, owing to the crowd, I had made up my mind to wait some time before I could be supplied but immediately after the order had been received we heard the corkscrew in operation and the glasses tinkling, and the porter was at once served out to us – an expedition which would put to shame some hotels which I could name down in the lowlands. Sixpence was charged for a glass of whiskey, and a shilling for the coffee, with plenty of good plain bread and butter. Not so dear for the top of Snowdon, I thought. What will the good souls in Llandudno say to this moderate tariff and bill of fare? The porter was remarkably good, and as cold as if it had been iced. In fact, we had a jolly time of it “on the top,” and amused ourselves in a variety of ways, everybody doing that which was right in his own eyes, with no parson to over-awe, or a policeman to intimidate us!
The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality, 13th August 1864

5 mo 24 [24.5.1864] [Quaker date?]
‘Pumphrey Brothers Photos’
A nice quiet day and the result some good pictures
Enquire of William and Roberts
Snowdon Visitors’ book, NLW MS 16083C, f. 65v
Three surviving identical stereo photographs of the summit of Snowdon may well be one of those taken by the Pumphrey brothers on that day. [Alfred Pumphrey (1830-1913) and Josiah Pumphrey (1823-1911) of Birmingham.]
Victoria and Albert Museum, E.1519-1992;
National Library of Scotland IL.2003.
National Library of Wales, Llyfr Ffoto 1347, no. 76 which has 1900 in pencil on the back and the title is written in script, not printed.

Alas! At top … was a dense white fog, very wet & cold, but there was a good fire in one of the huts where we were glad to sit, & eat our luncheon, which we had bought up, slung upon one of the ponies. We had some capital porter, & shall I write it? hot brandy & water, ordered by the liberality of our friend, Mr Thomas, expressly ‘for the ladies’, which I had no doubt did us great service in keeping out the cold. … The summit is 3571 feet above the level of the sea, & is about 7 yards in diameter, with a cairn built in the middle & two or three little huts for rest & refreshment.  … E bought a crystal, also from the mountain. Wrote in the book at the summit …. ‘saw the mist, but missed the view!’.

Stratton, Gertrude J., Journal of a trip to North Wales in 1865 by Gertrude J Stratton between August – September illustrated with contemporary engravings. NLW 21992A

I am here, indulging in the luxuries of the Snowdon summit hotel—two or three huts, erected by some enterprising guides at the top of the mountain—with the intention of staying all night for the purpose of seeing the sun rise in the morning.
The Photographic News: A Weekly Record of the Progress of Photography, Volume 10, (1866), p. 315

R Evans of Llanberis brought a party from Manchester up to Snowdon they were much pleased with the journey and had been accommodated well by Messrs Robert & Philips [sic] the hotel but the weather was very warm but the view was not good – dull and misty.
Visitor’s Book, NLW MS 16083C, f. 185v

MIDNIGHT ASCENT OF SNOWDON. – Visitors are said to be already finding their way into Carnarvonshire, although the summit of Snowdon is yet covered with snow. … and to his dismay discovered when he arrived at the top that the huts were so firmly closed that an entrance could not be effected.
The Brecon County Times Neath Gazette … 1st June 1867

by half-past ten o’clock we had reached the highest point of Snowdon! and gladly availed ourselves of such shelter and entertainment as the hut afforded. We now learned to our dismay the importance of the question to our guide, “Have you candles?” for the waiter stated that none were there excepting the small piece of candle before us. However by careful search another small piece was discovered by one of our party, which sufficed to light the hut whilst we were taking tea; for, being the only ladies there, this previous bit of candle was politely placed at our disposal, as well as the room, which had been engaged by a party of gentlemen who had arrived there before us. There we rested ourselves awaiting the rising of the sun.
The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality, 14th September 1867

Moses [a Snowdon guide] soon routed out the three tourists from the private cabin [in the Summit Hotel] and put a fire in the stove  – a door inside this cabin leads to another something like a ships cabin where there are two beds  – it’s a snug place enough for a wild night if you forget the great hollows outside – as for the beds I can’t say what they are – I have owned them twice but never used them – we had some brandy then my companions disappeared and came back twisted up in blankets  – I rolled myself up in the rugs – then we dined – bread and bacon – then we rung out our clothes and garnished the cabin with them then rolled ourselves tighter and felt comfortable – the weather got very bad and wild – two hours later no one could have crossed the ridge – we got a candle – the only one – the gale came on and made the cabin creek and tremble exactly as if we were at sea … Presently Moses looked in and said the gale had carried off  the roof of one of the cabins and the stones of ours …
Anon, An Account of tour in North Wales – ‘Notes to Wild Wales’ NLW MS 11045E, pp. 26-32

We at length arrived safely on the summit in a pelting shower of rain, which compelled us to seek the shelter in one of the hut – I beg pardon “hotels,” which grace the top of Snowdon. There are two of these hotels kept by two men, who reside up here during the summer months, only occasionally descending into the world beneath. While at the Padarn Villa Hotel on the previous Tuesday, a gentleman said he had been rambling about, and had visited the cottage of one of the summit hotel proprietors, which was situate at the foot of the mountain. The husband, of course, was absent, and he asked the wife how often did she see her husband. She replied, “Once a fortnight until the end of October, when he comes down for the winter” We soon seated ourselves by the stove in which was a blazing fire, and, ordering coffee, set ourselves to the task of drying our clothes, our outer garments being completely saturated by the mist and rain; and we afterwards made a hearty meal.
I clambered up the great cairn of stones erected by Government some years ago, and is surmounted by a huge wooden pole.
Wrexham and Denbighshire Advertiser and Cheshire Shropshire and North Wales Register, 20th August 1870

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.
Anon, ‘Diary of Tour to the English Lakes and North Wales, 1870’ NLW Mss 12523, p. 76

Suggestions for a proper Hotel at the summit
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.
Gossiping Guide to Wales (Oswestry, 1871), p. 127

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.
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

Date: 5.9.1874 and 26.8.1876 & 1877 & 1878 & 1879
Name: The Summit Hotel, Snowdon Top
Parish: Llanberis
Owner: G.W.D. Assheton Smith, Vaynol
Licensee: John Roberts
Gwynedd Archives, Register of Licences 1874-1879, XLC/3/3/1

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.
Berwickshire News and General Advertiser – Tuesday 04 January 1876

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.
Anon, The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality, 12th May 1877

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.
Jenkinson, Henry Irwin, Jenkinson’s Smaller Practical Guide to North Wales, (Stanford: 1878), p. 133

… Public-House Half-way up Snowdon. Mr Allanson, on behalf of Moses Williams, applied for a license to sell intoxicants in a small hut situated about half-way up Snowdon. Mr Allanson said that his client had that morning received a letter from Capt. Stewart, Portdinorwic, intimating that the Vaynol Estate were opposed to his holding a license for the said premises. He therefore asked the application be adjourned till the 27th of this month in order to give Moses Williams time to answer the letter, and have a fair field. Mr J. Roberts, Bangor, who appeared for a large number of ratepayers to oppose the application, said that he was quite willing to the Adjournment, provided that the additional expenses were defrayed by the other side. Mr Allanson assented to this course, and the bench granted the adjournment.
The North Wales Express, 12th September 1879

“bare” indeed is the head, save for the “hotel” kennels. At twelve o’clock the mist descends in mass … so there seems little chance that my solitary possession will be disturbed. I then turn into one of the huts, and have a little refreshment and some talk with the keeper. He, poor fellow, regards the mist coming in between him and his bread, beyond which his chief anxiety seems centred in the dark doings of some enemy some three thousand feet below him who regards him and his miserable aerial hovel with envy and cupidity; so he says but he comes of a suspicious race.
Paterson, M., Mountaineering below the snowline or The Solitary Pedestrian in Snowdonia and Elsewhere. (London, 1886), p. 51

I now climbed to the summit of a pile of stones which had been erected to the height of two or three yards near the hut.
Feeling very cold I descended from the stones and returned to the cabin, where I found my friends seated by the stove, and in friendly conversation with the proprietor. In a short time our party was augmented by the arrival of a clergyman and his guide, who had come up from Llanberis, and like us were glad to avail themselves of the shelter which the cabin afforded.
The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality, 27th August 1881

The Carnarvon (County) Annual Licensing Sessions were held on, Saturday, before Sir Llewelyn Turner, Dr. Taylor Morgan, and Mr Poole. The number of full- licensed-houses in the division was 64, and beer- houses three. All these were renewed except one. There had been a conviction against the Vaynol Arms, Pentir, and the license was renewed after the owner had been cautioned. The police objected to the renewal of the license of the Sportsman Inn, Clynnox, there being four convictions within the five years, and two endorsements. During eight years there were six convictions. Deputy-Chief Constable Prothero said the house was in a scantily populated neighbour- hood, and was frequented only by workmen from the sett quarries, who came some miles off. Mr. J. A. Hughes appeared in support of the application, but the license was refused. During the renewals, an observation was made that one applicant (Snowdon Summit Hotel) was the highest landlord in the kingdom.
The North Wales Express, 9th September 1881

John Roberts, Hafod, Llanberis, was summoned for assaulting Gaynor Roberts, his wife, on the previous day. The defendant came home drunk and brutally assaulted his wife, knocking her on the head with a heavy brush. Deputy Chief Constable Prother, who prosecuted, said the defendant kept a public-house on the summit of Snowdon, and was therefore one of the highest licensed victuallers in the kingdom. He had ill treated his wife on a previous occasion. The defendant, who admitted the offence, was fined 40s and costs, and bound over to keep the peace.
The North Wales Express, 21st April 1882

The first meal in the new hut was taken this day by Arthur D Snow of Wimbledon
NLW MS 16084C, f. 57v

Came from Capel Curig on 3rd August, terrible pull, thought we should never get to the top – Slept in very small bed slightly damp – rolled in blankets hurried out at 4 to see the “sunrise” – Ye Gods one mass of damp grey cold mist- no 2 and 3 [his companions] formed a disturbing element to my nights slumber. In spite of sundry threats from this long legged ????? they sat on the bed and discussed the most abstruse and philosophical subjects till 2 am.
Visitor’s book NLW MS 16084C, f.93v

A visitor struck by lightning
During a thunderstorm on Sunday [21st September, 1884] forenoon the lightning struck a tourist named Livesey, of Ashton in Makerfield, who had ascended to the summit of Snowdon from Beddgelert. A party of London visitors from Llanberis met Mr Livesey on the summit, and on the first flash of lightning being observed, he expressed his desire to them to witness the effect of a thunderstorm from such an altitude. He stepped into a wooden hut, which was struck by the next flash, and he was killed instantaneously. Mr. Livesey, who was about 40 years of age and unmarried, was well known in Lancashire. His body was subsequently brought down to Llanberis by a party of guides. The tenant of the hut was also hurt. Another account says that Mr. Livesey was accompanied by two Ladies, who had a narrow escape, and were on the mountain several hours before assistance arrived..
Flintshire Observer Mining Journal and General Advertiser for the Counties of Flint Denbigh, 25th September 1884

We then went into the hut reserved for gentlemen when we met with a tourist who had accompanied the two ladies. … Thomas Livesley, of Ashton, near Newton-le Willows immediately left the hut, remarking that he had been visiting Snowdon for 16 years, and had never before witnessed a thunderstorm from the summit. His departure was undoubtedly due to his desire to see the storm, and he stepped over to the other hut, a few yards away from where we were sitting.  A moment or two after he had left us our hut was struck by the lightning, and it reeled to its foundations the tables were overturned, the windows stove in, and the flooring by the doorway was tilted up. We could not emerge to see what damage was done elsewhere. The hotel keeper and his assistant shortly afterwards rapped at the door, but we could not open it, and they had to gain admittance by the window. … The two ladies had been sitting in an adjoining room, and above one of their heads the electric fluid had entered. This lady escaped without injury, but her companion, who was sitting on the opposite side of the table, had her hair singed, though she suffered no other injury. The room was wrecked, but fortunately nothing took fire. … As far as could be ascertained the deceased, after leaving our hut to see the storm went into another hut, and was looking through the window when the electric fluid struck the rock and split it into three portions, one portion going underneath the cairns of stones which marks the summit, another striking our hut, and the third coming in contact with the erection in which Mr Livesley was at the time. The fluid penetrated the window sash, a small piece of the paint of which lodged over the left eyebrow of the deceased. … soon after the summit was reached the rain, which commenced falling heavily, drove Mr Livesley and others who had ascended the mountain into the two wooden huts which have been erected for the accommodation of travellers. These huts are bound with strong bands of iron, which are clamped into rocks – a necessary precaution in such an exposed place against being blown over. Mr Livesley and two ladies, who had also ascended from Beddgelert, sought refuge in the hut on the left side of the cairn of stones which marks the summit, the fourth occupant being Mr Thomas Roberts, the proprietor. They had only just entered, when a flash of lightning struck the cairn, dislodging several stones, and making a clean passage through it. Then it struck the hut, and the electric fluid passing over one of the ladies who was seated at the table, and singeing her hair, struck Mr Livesley, who was standing in the doorway watching the effects of the storm. The second hut, in which there were three gentlemen who had made the ascent that morning from the Llanberis side, and who but a few minutes previously had been in conversation with Mr Livesley who remarked to them that although he had frequently ascended the mountain during the past sixteen years, the present was the first occasion he had been upon the summit during a thunderstorm, was struck by the same flash, which, entering under the doorway, ripped up the flooring, rendering exit impossible, overturned the tables, and made its passage out by the window, which was smashed to atoms. A small metal gong bell, which was on the table, was melted by the fluid, and the place was wrecked. The keeper, finding that Mr Livesley was unconscious, and that the two ladies were too terrified to be of any assistance, ran to the second hut, which is but a few yards distant, and made his way in by the window. A gentleman who was in the hut accompanied him, and found Mr Livesley reclining against the side of a bed.
The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality, 27th September 1884;
Llangollen Advertiser Denbighshire Merionethshire and North Wales Journal, 26th September 1884;
The North Wales Express, 26th September 1884

Letter dated 24.7.1886 from Jonathan Carr (late of summit and Bettws y Coed) at present of Montreal. Long account of his journey from Montreal …well on Friday I visited old Snowdon again having been here guiding and working on top during summer of 1885 and left on 29th September 1885 for Montreal. … leaving Thomas Roberts, John Owens my old masters and my old mistress Mrs G Roberts and my old mate John Roberts of y Bedd. {sentence in Welsh}
Snowdon Visitors’ book, NLW MS 16085C, f.18v-20r

… About £l00 was subscribed in monthly instalments by quarrymen, who also gave many days’ voluntary labour in preparing and levelling the ground, and a collection box on the summit of Snowdon brought a return of a little more than four [10 according to another report] guineas. The works have been excellently carried out…
The North Wales Express, 26th June 1885

1885 August
The Eryrod Eryri club was formed at the summit. They arranged trips to the summit.
Hoare, D.L.F., Snowdon, “That Most Celebrated Hill”, (1987), p. 147

The huts on the top of Snowdon ‘wretched and insufficient’ with poor, expensive food.
Myrbach, [Felician] and P[aul] Villars. Sketches of England. London: The “Art Journal” Office, (1891), p. 138
T.G. Creak of Cheadle Hulme and Robert Owen of Plas Gwynant Lodge, one of the proprietors of the huts on the summit [Climbed to the summit].
Visitors’ book NLW MS 16085C, f. 2

Arrived here at 9.25 [p.m.] Fine clear evening. From Moses Williams hut we saw a magnificent sunset.
Visitors’ book NLW MS 16085C, f. 11v

By 1887
Advert: ‘Bazaar and Refreshments Well Aired beds Ham and Eggs etc. Choice of beverages Roberts and Owen Proprietors’

The license of the Summit of Snowdon Hotel was transferred to Mr. Thomas John Roberts.
Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent, 13th January 1888

beginning of the 1889 Snowdon Visitors’ book
[inside cover of new volume]
Annie Roberts, Erwfair, Llanberis
Jinnie Roberts, Erw faer
Snowdon Visitors’ book
Please write with ink and keep clean.
29.6.1889 [date of first entry]
NLW MS 16085C, ff. 180v – 181r

Snowdon to be offered for Sale by auction.
The new owner might improve the footpaths on the Llanberis side, or run Snowdon on strictly commercial principles. In that case the hideous huts near the summit may be removed to make way for an hotel still more abhorrent to the lover of the picturesque …
It was recently complained that advertisements are at the present time stuck on the outside of the wooden houses at the top {and this might become worse}.
It would be too easy to vulgarise and spoil [Snowdon].
Western Daily Press – Thursday 04 July 1889

Particulars and Conditions of Sale [of the Hafod y Llan estate formerly the property of Lord Mostyn.]
Freehold estate including the summit of Snowdon and 1500 acres rich in copper, slate and other minerals in pa. Beddgelert, to be sold by Edwin Fox and Bousfield at the Mart, Tokenhouse Yard, London on 10 July 1889.
Particulars and conditions of Sale of a grand Freehold Estate in the parish of Beddgelert in the County of Carnarvon. Consisting of Mountainous land, including the Summit of the World Renowned Snowdon, with its hotel and Beacon. Fertile Valley meadows … Stretching alongside the High Road from Beddgelert to Capel Curig adorned by Hanging Woods and having several Charming Sites suggesting the erection of one or more FISHING BOXES, or even more pretentious RESIDENCES
… 1500 acres, rich in copper, slate and other minerals and affording Pasturage for Cattle and sheep yielding a present nominal income of over £200 a year.
Which will be sold by Auction by Messrs Edwin Fox and Bousfield, London, 10 July, 1889.
The contour of the land is grandly varies, noble Craggs and Rocks jut out all up the Mountain side, with deep Ravines, Waterfalls, and Streams scarring its face.
The Southern Slope of the World-Renowned Snowdon, forms a portion of the Property, as does also its highest pint, marked by the Ordance Survey beacon and the Summit Hotel, so well known to Travellers from all parts of the World, for the hospitality it affords the Mountaineer, whose stay on this lofty eminence – whether long or short – must have been enough to impress upon the mind the Marvellous Panorama revealed to his gaze.
The Estate is rich in Minerals.
The Slate quarry has been worked at great expense for some years, over £80,000 having been sunk in its operations, and there is ample and complete Plant and Machinery for extended operations.
Two copper mines have also been opened with success, and other ores are believed to be obtainable.
The right of fishing in Lake Dinas appertains to the Property {and rights to shooting}.
The Timber is included as is also the reversion to Bryndinas Cottage, and all the minerals.
Schedule [includes] Tenant annual rent
Hafod y Llan farm Margaret Evans £125
Hotel, Summit of Snowdon R. and J. Owen: Two leases for 21 years from Midsummer, 1887 £25
{and other properties}
Bangor University Archives, Sale catalogue, SC/854

Part of Snowdon was sold by auction at the Mart, Token house yard, London on Wednesday by Messrs Fox and Bousfield. … This “freehold estate” was described as lying in the parish of Beddgelert … consisting of mountainous land including the summit of the world-renowned Snowdon with its hotel and beacon. In addition there was offered meadows on the Banks of Lake Dinas … Mr Bousfield said … The sketch attached to the bill is taken from an old map and does not show all the buildings now standing upon the estate. … There is a worth attaching to this property far beyond the material value. I refer to the minerals which are stored in the bowels of the mountain.  Then think of the magnificent view which may be enjoyed after you have scrambles to the top (Laughter). The estate comprises 1500 acres of land with cottages and buildings, an hotel, and a beacon and with a rental now enjoyable of £216.10s. {the slate quarries and potential for copper quarries.} … {Following a silence at the beginning of bidding, }Mr Bousfield continued: I may be sentimental, but remember what prices are being paid for pictures on canvas merely nowadays. Consider the enjoyment you will be able to give to thousands … and the joy of allowing the people freely to ramble all over the place. … Why, there is a fortune in the hotel alone which is at the summit. I was charged 2s 6d there for a single bottle of Bass …
{Bids began at £2000  by a clergyman and increased in steps of £100 up to £5,750 to Mr Perks of Lombard Street, London who was buying for Sir Edward Watkin. Messrs Roberts and Owen, proprietors of the Snowdon Summit Hotel said that the auctioneer did a great injustice by saying that their charge for a pint of Bass’s ale was 2s 6d. Their charge, they state was one shilling.
Bye-Gones, 17.7.1889, p. 176

c. 1892
Returns of General Inquiries concerning Licensed houses: Snowdon Inn, Snowdon.[Snowdon Summit Hotel]
Petty Sessional Division Portmadoc. [Listed in index under Beddgelert parish]
Name: Snowdon Inn
Licensee Robert Owen, age 38,
Licence Ordinary
Situation Summit of Snowdon
Distance from nearest Public House on each side: About 4 miles
Doors Three
Stabling equipped None required
Rooms Six
Bedrooms Three bedrooms, four beds
Sitting rooms / Coffee Rooms: Three
How many rooms used as Bars or Smoking Rooms, or where, as a rule, drink only is supplied to customers? : None
Is drink supplied in any rooms which is also used by the Licensee and his (or her) family and general household? No
Licensee married or single: Married
First licenced: about 50 years ago
When Licensee was Licenced: 10 years ago
Does Licensee devote his whole time to the business: Partly (House closed fully 7 months of each year).
Does the Licensee carry on business wholly on his own account? Yes
Or is he a manager? No
Is it a Tied House? No
How many permanent residents in the house including licensee’s family, servants or other permanent or habitual resident? 2 Comfortably
Gross rent: £6
Gross rating £9
Rateable value £6 10s
Owner of premises: Sir Edward W Watkin, the Chalet, Beddgelert
Terms: Leasehold
Built about 50 years ago
Whether in thoroughly good repair and condition or how otherwise? As good as possible considering the altitude.
Gwynedd Archives, XQA/L/9/457

Report of the committee enquiring into the circumstances of Houses and Premises licenced for the sale of Intoxicating Liquors in Carnarvonshire … to which is appended a detailed return with summaries of fully licences houses and beer houses … (1892)
This seems to be based on XQA/L/9/457 (above) but the rent / rates do not correspond
Portmadoc division, no 457
Snowdon Inn, Snowdon [Snowdon Summit Hotel]
Parish: Beddgelert
Owner: Sir E.W. Watkin, Chalet, Beddgelert
Free House Yes
Rooms 6
Bedrooms 3
Sitting / Coffee Rooms 3
Bars / smoking rooms (drinks only supplied) [no entry]
Nearest pubs 20 yards / 4 miles
Outside doors 3
Gross rating £8
Ratable Value £6 10s
Freehold [blank]
Leasehold Yes
Annual Tenancy [blank]
The Summit Hotel, Snowdon Top
Parish: Llanberis
Owner: G.W.D. Assheton Smith, Vaynol & Sir Bulkeley, Baron Hill
Free House Yes
Rooms 4
Bedrooms 3
Sitting / Coffee Rooms [no entry]
Bars / smoking rooms (drinks only supplied) 2
Nearest pubs 3 ½ miles, 5 miles [but the entry for the other summit hotel says 20 yards]
Outside doors 1
Gross rating £6 10s
Ratable Value £5 5s
Freehold [blank]
Leasehold [blank]
Annual Tenancy Yes
Gwynedd Archives, XQA/L/10

Proposals for a railway to the summit
Initial discussion on building a railway. Survey at the summit.
The huts had been built on the land leased by the Vaenol estate … but no one had bothered about boundary lines when the huts were built and it turned out that one of the huts was on Sir Edward Watkin’s land.
Hoare, D.L.F., Snowdon, “That Most Celebrated Hill”, (1987), p. 126-127

… above us loomed a wooden house, with an unplastered foundation of rubble stone … a cairn of stones some 12 or 15 ft high marked the highest point and near it were built three wooden huts, to support which rubble walls were built upon the slope.
The shortest and most picturesque route to Snowdon is via the North Wales Narrow Gauge (2 ft) of “Toy” Railway which forms the Junction with the L. & N.W. Rilway at Dinas, three Miles south of Carnarvon: official guide with illustrations. North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways, (Dinas, Caernarfon: North Wales Narrow Gauge Railway c. 1894), p. 16

1894 (12th November)
Lease for line and summit and another for the Victoria Hotel signed by Asheston Smith (the owner of the Vaynol estate) and the Snowdon Mountain Tramroad and Hotels Co. Ltd.
First sod cut 15.12.1894. Improvements also made to the Victoria Hotel.
Hoare, D.L.F., Snowdon, “That Most Celebrated Hill”, (1987), p. 237

When campaigning against the building of a railway to the summit, Canon H.D. Rawnsley, the secretary of the recently formed National Trust, wrote:
If it be argued that more hotel accommodation is necessary, we rejoin that the little refreshment house on the summit, with its four beds, probably satisfy all the need of those who wish to see the sun rise.
The Times 6.11.1894

At Portmadoc County Court, on Tuesday, before Judge Lewis, Sir Edward Watkin and Owen Roberts, [sic, Robert Owen] Snowdon Summit, were summoned by Mr G. W. D. Assheton Smith, Vaynol Park for having built huts on his property on the top of Snowdon.
Mr Mostyn Roberts, Carnarvon, appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr Lloyd-George, M.P., for Mr Edward Watkin. Plaintiff endeavoured to recover the site of two huts that had been built on the summit of Snowdon.
Mr Lloyd George applied that he and Mr Roberts might retire to consider if an arrangement could not be arrived at.
His Honour consented, and the parties left the court. Later in the day they returned, and Mr Lloyd-George said that they had succeeded in coming to an arrangement.
His Honour said he was pleased to hear it. It seemed that three landlords claimed parts of the summit of Snowdon, viz., Sir Edward Watkin. Mr Richard Bulkeley, and Mr Assheton Smith. Mr Mostyn Roberts said that there were two huts built on the summit by Owen Roberts, without consulting Mr Assheton-Smith. A dispute arose between Sir Edward Watkin and Mr Assheton-Smith touching the boundaries of their properties. That dispute had been settled, and Roberts, Sir R. Bulkeley, and Mr Assheton-Smith had come to terms. Mr Assheton-Smith was to have possession of those portions of the huts which were on his property, Roberts had withdrawn within the boundary. The water shed was to be the boundary between Sir Edward Watkin’s property and that of Mr Assheton-Smith. Roberts was to give up those portions of the huts that were on the Llanberis side of the summit, and Mr Assheton-Smith was to consent to allow Roberts to stop there till the termination of the season.
Judgement for plaintiff, each party to pay its own costs.
Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent, 16th August 1895
The North Wales Express, 16th August 1895 which included Thomas Roberts, the tenant of the other huts on Snowdon, as one of the defendants.

County Court – A High Dispute
This was an action brought by Mr Assheton Smith (for whom Mr Mostyn Roberts appeared) against Messrs Robert Owen and D. J. Roberts (represented by Mr D. Lloyd George, M.P.,) to recover possession of premises on the summit of Snowdon, but before hearing the following terms of arrangement were come to:—(1) As regards Owen’s recently demolished hut, for possession of the land on which part of it stood, according to the line of boundary agreed to between the plaintiff and Sir Edward Watkin, on the outside of which on Sir Edward Watkin’s land the new hut had just been built by Owen. (2) As to Roberts’ hut, that the boundary is the watershed each side under that hut. (3) Neither tenant to be disturbed in the present season before 31st October. Each party to pay their own cost – Judgment was entered accordingly.
The Cardigan Bay Visitor, 17th August 1895

In the action of Mr G. W. Duff Assheton Smith, Vaynol Park, who was represented by Mr Mostyn Roberts, Carnarvon, against Robert Owen and Thomas J. Roberts, owners of the huts on the summit of Snowdon, licenced victuallers, Mr D Lloyd George, M.P. (who appeared for the defendants and for Sir Edward Watkin, defendants’ landlord for a portion of the land upon which the huts were erected) asked His Honour’s permission to let the case stand over for an hour or so with a view of coming to a settlement. He had arranged with Mr Mostyn Roberts and Captain A. P. Stewart [Assheton-Smith’s agent] to discuss the matter, and thus save a great deal of the time of the court. The permission was granted. From the particulars of claim the plaintiff held he was entitled to the possession of certain premises on the summit of Snowdon on which portions of the two huts or other buildings used as licensed refreshment houses are erected, together with appurtenances, which premises were let to the defendants as tenants from year to year, and which tenancy was duly determined by notice to quit, expiring on the 12th day of November, 1894. The plaintiff claimed possession, and £4 for mesne profits from 12th November, 1894, to 25th July, 1895. At a later stage Mr Mostyn Roberts came into court, and informed the Judge that he was pleased to tell his Honour that they had come to terms, thereby saving a great deal of the time of the court. The two huts were built by defendants’ predecessors in title without consulting the landowners, and, unfortunately, they succeeded in building them on the boundary running between Mr Assheton Smith’s property and Sir Richard Bulkeley’s property, and also on the boundary dividing the property of Mr Assheton Smith from that of Sir Edward Watkins. He asked his Honour to make a note that the plaintiff was to have possession of the property of Owen’s hut according to the defined boundary, and with regard to the other hut, that the boundary be the watershed on the mountain which runs under that particular hut.
Eventually his Honour gave judgement as follows:
“Judgment for plaintiff as regards ownership of hut recently demolished for possession of land on which part of it stood according to the line of boundary agreed upon by plaintiff and Sir Edward Watkin outside of which, on Sir Edward Watkin’s land, the new hut has been built. As regards Robert’s hut judgment that the boundary is the watershed which lies under that hut, neither defendant’s to be disturbed in the present season before October 31st, each party to pay its own costs”
The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality, 17th August 1895

Licence to sell alcohol refused
The enlargement of the hut on Snowdon was no reason for refusing the application, and the advocate quoted cases in proof of his contention. Mr Honoratus Lloyd, on behalf of Mr Assheton-Smith, opposed the renewal, and applied for a new license for the Snowdon Railway Company. Robert Owen, the applicant, said that he had held the place for 30 years. No charge had ever been laid against him by anyone. The premises were made of wood, and had to be renewed from time to time. A few years ago he filled up a precipitous piece of rock, and enclosed the place, and added it to the hut 12 months ago. By doing so he had improved the accommodation considerably.
Cross-examined: He only added three feet to the premises, and built a new retaining wall. It was land that was not in existence before. A retaining wall was built up from a ledge below. All the old shed had been pulled down, and a whole new shed built. A portion of the old shed was on Mr Assheton-Smith’s property. He had pulled it down. The new hut was nearly three times as large as the old one. There was another hut belonging to Roberts. They shared the profits. There were four bedrooms. Sanitary arrangements were being made. There was accommodation for ladies. The new shed would cost him about £500, and the retaining wall over £25. The old hut was on three different properties.
Mr Lloyd’s contention was that the present buildings on the summit were not the same as those which had been licensed originally. He said that three feet in one place and four feet in another of new land had been added to the enclosure where the hut had been built. The hut was an entirely new one. Here Mr Casson, the clerk, said that it was customary in this division to grant renewal of licenses to houses erected on the sites of the previous licensed premises. Mr Lloyd expressed his thanks to Mr Casson for this statement, and said that he would not follow the argument any further. Evan Evans, county surveyor, gave evidence as to drawing the plans produced showing the added area to the enclosure of the hut. The hut was an entirely new construction. The old hut was partly built on Mr Smith’s land. Witness doubted the sanitary accommodation of the place.
Cross- examination: He could not say that refreshments were given on the old retaining wall. The additions to the hut were improvements. The Bench unanimously granted the license.
Mr Honoratus Lloyd applied for a license for an hotel near the summit of Snowdon.
Edward Owen, a Snowdon guide, said he had acted as guide for 18 years, and had the honour of taking Mr Gladstone partly up. He gave evidence, as to the present accommodation in the huts. Sometimes about 300 people went up daily. He and his parties had had everything they wanted. There was no need of further accommodation. Cross-examination: No complaints had been made concerning the present license. Witness kept the Gelert Inn.
Robert Owen gave the dimensions of the rooms in his hut. The coffee-room would accommodate about 120 and the bar-parlour, 12. Three hundred would not want to dine all at the same time.
Mr Morris, Hampstead, a tourist, said that he had been up Snowdon many times. The accommodation now from 100 to 150 in one of the rooms in the hut. He never saw more than about 250 at the same time on the summit. There was sitting accommodation for 30 in Roberts’s hut. He had had everything he wanted there, everything good in quality and quantity.
Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent, 6th September 1895

This second report of the proceedings (above) has been included because it contains slightly different information.
Opposition to Renewal of Licences. Mr Griffith Jones, who was instructed by Messrs George and George, applied for a renewal of the licence of the Snowdon Summit Hotel to Mr Robert Owen and the application was opposed by Mr E. Honoratus Lloyd (instructed by Messrs Barber and Co. Carnarvon), on behalf of Mr G. C. Aitchinson, of Llanberis. Mr Robert Owen stated that he had held the licence for this hotel for the past fifteen years and that it had been granted for the past thirty years. The structure was of wood. About seven years ago he raised the ground and made a platform, and within the last twelve months had enclosed and covered in the platform. He produced a plan showing the improved premises. The accommodation had been increased by enlarging the coffee room and kitchen. In cross-examination witness stated that he had built a retaining wall of from three to four feet width at each end. The present building was twice the size of the old one. There was another licence by Roberts and they shared the profits. In addition to drink they supplied tea and coffee and ham and eggs. There were six bedrooms. There was no W.C., but accommodation was being provided. Mr Evan Evans, the county surveyor, gave evidence as to the building, and the magistrates unanimously granted the application for renewal.
Application for New Licence.
Mr E. H. Lloyd applied on behalf of G. C. Aitchinson for a licence in respect of new premises erected on Snowdon for the accommodation of visitors, and the application was opposed by Mr Griffith Jones. After proof of due service of notice, Mr G. C. Aitchison was examined and stated that he was the Secretary of the new rail- way up Snowdon, and the applicant. The railway was nearly completed. There was a demand for first-class hotel accommodation for visitors. The Company were under a covenant with the owner to expend £5,000 on the premises. If a provisional licence were granted they would put forward a suitable transferee. Mr Evans, the county surveyor, stated that the site of the hotel was about 100 feet from the summit. He produced plans showing the accommodation which on the ground floor was good. Mr N. P. Stewart, agent to Mr Assheton Smith, thought the house was called for by the requirements of the tourist traffic but on cross-examination said he had not seen the premises now licensed. For the opposition a number of witnesses were called. Edward Owen stated that he had known Snowdon for thirty years, and had been a guide for eighteen years. He lived at the Royal Goat Hotel, Beddgelert. He knew Robert Owen’s new premises, but had not been inside. It had accommodation for fifty or sixty. From 200 to 300 people went up Snowdon in a day. During eighteen years as guide he had all he wanted and did not consider another hotel necessary there. Robert Owen’s parlour would accommodate twenty-four to thirty people for lunch at a time. Robert Owen stated that his coffee room would accommodate 100 to 120 to dine and Robert Roberts a further twenty-four or twenty-eight. Cross-examined: Never had 2,000 up in one day; never heard of 1,500, but there might have been. Was afraid of the new hotel. Mr E. J. S. Morris stated that he had been up Snowdon twenty times during the past four years and always found proper accommodation and food at Owen’s place Mr J. E. Burrows who had been up Snowdon 150 times, Mr W B. Ainslee, forty-seven times, Mr W. P. Brown, a hundred times, Mr J. S. Halliday, seventy times, all spoke to the sufficiency of the present accommodation and did not consider another hotel necessary. The magistrates present then consulted, and the Chairman seated that the majority considered that the application for a new licence should be refused.
The Cambrian News and Merionethshire Standard, 6th September 1895

On Wednesday the first train arrived at the top of Snowdon with workers. It is capable of taking 110 passengers.
Bye-gones, 15th January, 1896, p. 267

Proposed New Hotel on Snowdon.
At Portmadoc Licensing Sessions, on Friday last, Mr. H. Lloyd Carter applied for a new licence for premises about to be erected at the summit of Snowdon by the Snowdon Tramway Company, at a cost of about £5,000. There were two houses on the summit, but he contended that they could not be described as hotels, and it was the, intention of the company he represented to build a first-class hotel. Mr. William George appeared to oppose on behalf of Sir Edward W. Watkin, Bart., and 263 inhabitants of Bedgelert and Mr. E. E. Bone (Pugh & Bone), Llandudno, opposed on behalf of the Snowdop Summit Hotel Company, Limited. … Evidence was then given by Mr. G. C. Aitchinson, manager of the company, who produced plans of the proposed hotel, which would stand upon an acre of ground, and about 40 yards from the summit. The company were laying down Safety grips to guard against the possibility of further accidents. In cross-examination; by Mr. Bone, Mr. Aitchinson admitted that the Snowdon Tramway Company were the owners of the Padarn Villa Hotel, which was within four minutes walk of their station at Llanberis. They were also the proprietors of the Victoria Hotel on the other side of the station. The latter was only a minute and a half’s walk from their terminus. They had a large refreshment room in the station itself where they sold tea, coffee and luncheons, but they did not propose to ask for a licence for that. He knew there were two fully-licenced houses already on the summit of Snowdon, and he had been in the luncheon-room of the Snowdon Summit Hotel, which had been greatly improved since last year, when the present owners had taken over the property. It would probably accommodate between sixty and eighty persons, and a good luncheon could now be obtained. There were also small bedrooms and lavatory accommodation. Mr. George held there was no case to answer. Mr. Bone also maintained that no case had been made out. It could not be contended that the accommodation at present was inadequate, but the case for the applicants was based on conjecture merely of the possible requirements in the future. At present the accommodation was ample, and whenever more was required it would be provided by his clients. The tram-road was not yet running, and although he hoped it would prove a grand success it would require a good deal and a long time to restore the confidence of the public in it. There were already two fully licensed houses on the summit, and he could not conceive the day when three licensed houses would be required. Moreover, the Tramroad Company were doing their best to minimise the requirements of the public on the top of the mountain by the superabundant provision for refreshments at the base, in the shape of two hotels within four minutes walk of their Llanberis Station, and refreshment rooms at the Station itself. It would be time enough for the applicant to come for another licence when his tram-road had been running several years, when thousands were using it to ascend the mountain, and when, if ever, his clients had been given an opportunity of supplying the wants of the public and had failed to do so. The Chairman said the Bench did not wish to hear further evidence, and were unanimous in favour of not granting the application.
Llandudno Advertiser and List of Visitors, 3rd September 1896

This second report of the proceedings (above) has been included because it contains slightly different information.
Brewster sessions, Portmadoc
SNOWDON SUMMIT. Mr Carter, Carnarvon, applied for a new license for a new hotel that is to be built on Snowdon, by the Snowdon Railway Company. Mr Carter gave a description of the hotel, and said that though there was already a licensed house on Snowdon, there would be no danger if another hotel was licensed. The new hotel would enable visitors to stay for a lengthened period, and pot for a night or so. The plans were practically the same as those shown last year. Mr William George opposed on behalf of the overseers and a large number of ratepayers of Beddgelert, and Mr Bone, Llandudno, for the Snowdon Summit Hotel Company. Charles Shepherd and J. Morgan proved the publication of the usual notices. Mr Bone said that the notices had not been served upon the superintendent of the police for the district. The Clerk said that the Bench must be satisfied that the notices had been regularly served. Mr Carter said that a constable or a sergeant, or a corporal of police might be the superintendent of the division. Mr Carter said if he questioned Inspector Jones if he were the superintendent of the police in Eifionydd, Mr Jones would say that he was. The Clerk said that Inspector Jones was not the superintendent. Mr Bone: Inspector Jones does not hold the rank of superintendent. The Clerk showed that the Act referred to the superintendent. Inspector Jones was called, and was examined by Mr Carter. The Inspector said that he ranked as an inspector, but he superintended all the work of the police in the division. There was no superior officer to him in the division. The notice was served upon him on August 6th. Any document addressed to the superintendent would come to him. He was frequently called chief constable (laughter). Replying to Mr Bone, Inspector Jones said that there was no superintendent in the division. By Mr Carter: There would be no difference at all between my duties if I were raised to be a superintendent and my present duties as inspector. The Clerk ruled that there was no superintendent of police in the division, Mr Bone said that he would not press the objection any further, but would fight the case on its merits. The Bench said they would reserve their decision upon the point. Mr Aitchinson, the manager of the Snowdon Railway, gave evidence. The hotel was within 40 yards of the summit. He produced the plans, &c., of the buildings. The cost of the hotel would not be less than £5,000. The line would be re-opened early next year. A safety grip was being put down so as to present any accident occurring. The rental of the hotel would be about £300 a year. The trippers were as numerous this year as they were last year. There was not sufficient accommodation on Snowdon at the present time. Cross-examination The hotel was to be built on a different place from what it was proposed to build it last year. The station was now higher. The present accommodation on Snowdon was much better than it was last year. By Mr Bone: There were two licenses at the bottom of the line. It was at first thought of applying for a refreshment license at the station at the lower end of the railway, but it was not carried out. There were two fully licensed houses on the summit already. One was called the Original licensed house. By Mr Carter: It was wet on the 26th August, and the Summit Hotel was so full that many people could not get in. Mr George said that no case for a new license was made out last year, and nothing had since occurred to cause them to alter their decision last year. No more visitors had gone up this year than went up last year, but the present accommodation was much larger than it had ever been. The Bench resolve not to hear more evidence, and were unanimous in their decision not to grant the application.
The North Wales Express, 4th September 1896

Mr Thomas Roberts applied for the transfer of the license of the Snowdon Hotel from Robert Owen to George Fawcett. The application was granted.
Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent, 7th August 1896

The Vaenol estate agreed to lease Thomas Roberts the part of the hut on their land for £10 per annum [Hoare, D.L.F., Snowdon, “That Most Celebrated Hill”, (1987), p. 127] The boundary line through the middle of Robert’s hut was marked with iron pegs.

The Snowdon Railway opened 6.4.1896 [Easter Monday], but there were two accidents on its first journey back and one passenger died. It was exactly a year before it reopened – to Clogwyn.
When the whole top was transferred to the Railway company, Miss Amos took over the two hut(s) and there were 15-20 beds available.
April to June 150 visitors per day
July to September at least 700 visitors per day

It is not often that Snowdon is crowned by lightning, the summit being higher than the electrically charged clouds in ordinary thunderstorms, but on the afternoon of Wednesday, the 9th inst., there burst on the hoary old head of the giant mountain a storm of such fearful splendour that the impressions of it will never fade from the memory of any of those who happened to be on the spot, who numbered 15 or 20 in addition to the waiters, &c., in the refreshment rooms. This occurred between three and four o’clock in the afternoon, and Mr Leach, photographer, Dinorwic street, Carnarvon, who was on the spot, says that “the lightning discharges were so very near that they had much the appearance of a wonderful pyrotechnic display. The whizzing of the flashes about the carn was something awful – they shot hither and thither following each other with such rapidity as though they were showers of sparks from some gigantic anvil. The chimney of Mr Roberts’s rooms was struck and shattered and Mrs Roberts, the mother of the proprietor, was very much shaken, while the man in charge was struck down to the floor and had the back of his hand cut and his arm rendered useless. It if needless to say they were very much alarmed, and for safety they ran into the new refreshment rooms. The latter is provided with a lightning conductor, otherwise there can be no doubt but that the place would have been struck and perhaps shattered as the rattling of the electric current about this building was even worse than around the other one. The noise of the accompanying thunderclaps was deafening, one clap following another quickly as to cause one continuous roar. The storm did not last more than 30 or 40 minutes, and it died off as suddenly as it burst. No such storm as this passed over the summit of Snowdon within living memory.
Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent, 18th September 1896

Railway Terminus built?
Hoare, D.L.F., Snowdon, “That Most Celebrated Hill”, (1987), p. 127

Proposal to demolish all the huts and build a concrete terminus below the summit, but nothing was done.
Hoare, D.L.F., Snowdon, “That Most Celebrated Hill”, (1987), p. 244

Petty Sessions
On the application of Mr Thomas Roberts (on behalf of Messrs Pugh and Bone, Llandudno) the licence of the Snowdon Summit Hotel was transferred from Mr J. Fawcett to Mr A. G. Pugh, Llandudno, secretary of the company.
The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality, 6th March 1897

Proposed New Hotel on Snowdon. APPLICATION FOR LICENSE AGAIN REFUSED. The most important and interesting case at the Portmadoc Brewster Session, on Friday last, was one in which the Snowdon Mountain Tramroad and Hotels Company, Ltd., applied for a license for a large hotel which they propose to build on the summit of Snowdon. This was the third time for the application to be made. The Bench consisted of Mr. J. C. Greaves (chairman), Dr. Griffith, Messrs. R. Rowland, J. T. Jones, Jonathan Davies, and R. O. Williams.
Mr. Lloyd Carter, Carnarvon, made the application on behalf of the Tramroad Co. Mr. T. J. Madden, barrister, Liverpool, instructed by Messrs. Pugh & Bone, solicitors, Llandudno, appeared on behalf of the Snowdon Summit Hotel Company, Ltd., to oppose the application ; while Mr. E. Griffith Jones, M P., barrister, Aberystwyth, instructed by Messrs. Lloyd George & George, opposed on behalf of the Beddgelert Parish Council and Sir Edward Watkin, Bart. Mr. Carter, in opening the case, said it would not be wise to go into the application at length, as the circumstances in connection with it had been detailed on the two previous occasions when the application was made. The application, was first made before the railway up to Snowdon summit had been finished, and when it, was a question of doubt as to whether it would be a success. He now appeared before them with evidence to show that the line was in full working order. The number that had travelled up to the present this season, by means of the railway, amounted to nearly ten thousand. They must also bear in mind that visitors ascended and descended Snowdon from all parts, and not by means of the railway only. However, it must be said that a great many more people frequented Snowdon since the establishment of the line, and he submitted that the circumstances of the case were such as to admit of the Bench granting the application. The license, if granted, would be for a first-class hotel, would be completed at a cost of £5,000.
The Chairman: During what time have these ten thousand people visited Snowdon ? From April up to the present time.
The Clerk: You want a provisional license?
Mr. Lloyd Carter: Yes.
Mr. T. J. Madden rose as the first witness was about to be called, and pointed out that Mr. Lloyd Carter had said he had the right to reply. He knew of no such right, and, as a matter of fact, he had no earthly right to reply. However, they were not desirous of placing him at a disadvantage by objecting when he would rise to reply at the end of the case, and he asked Mr. Lloyd-George to finish his address there and then. (Loud laughter.)
Mr. Madden: I mean Mr. Lloyd Carter. (Renewed laughter.) I hope that he will be equally famous as Mr. Lloyd-George. (Laughter.) Proceeding, Mr. Madden said it would be advisable to be strictly regular in the matter, and he urged upon Mr. Carter to finish his statement at this stage.
Mr. Griffith Jones, M.P., said he entirely agreed with Mr. Madden. They did not want to take Mr. Carter by surprise, and consequently took measures at the opening of the case. He submitted arguments in support of his objection. Mr. Carter said he was much obliged to the learned counsel, but he must remind Mr. Griffith Jones that he was engaged in the case two years ago, when Mr. Honoratus Lloyd made a similar application, and Mr. Jones made no objection at that time. He submitted that he had right to reply. It was a matter which it was customary to leave in the hands of the Bench to decide. The Clerk said it was done both ways. A similar question had arisen at Penrhyn on the previous day.
Mr. Griffith Jones: I may say it was on a question of law Mr. Honoratus Lloyd was allowed to go on.
The Bench ruled that Mr. Carter had a right to reply.
Mr. Griffith Jones then asked if he would be at liberty to reply after Mr. Carter’s final address?
The Clerk hardly thought the ruling of the Bench could be applied in the case of Mr. Jones, but Mr. Carter said he would not have the slightest objection to Mr. Griffith Jones having the “last word.”
John Morgan and John Long gave evidence as to the serving and posting of the necessary notices.
Gowri C. Aitchison was then called. He said he was secretary to the Snowdon Tram-road Company, and was the applicant for the license. He stated that the estimated cost of the new hotel for which they were applying for a license was £5,000. The plans he submitted were identical with those presented twelve months ago. The present accommodation on Snowdon summit provided for eighty people at a crush. In reply to the Bench, witness said there were four or five bedrooms at the present hotel. At the proposed new hotel they would be able to seat two hundred people in one room at a time comfortably.
Continuing his examination, Mr. Carter asked if the line is now amended as proposed last year? Witness replied, Yes. He added that up to last week 9,700 had been taken up by the railway. As a matter of fact, more people had ascended Snowdon this year than ever before. They came to the summit by other means as well as by the railway. The accommodation on the summit, however, was similar to the accommodation of two years ago. He considered that the Tramway Co. were fully justified in applying for the license, as a first-class hotel was absolutely required on Snowdon summit.
Mr. Griffith Jones, cross-examining: You have carefully referred to one hotel only on the summit?
Witness: No, no, sir; I referred to two.
The Chairman: Are there two licensed- houses at present on Snowdon summit?
Witness Yes.
In continued cross-examination by Mr. Griffith Jones, witness said the second hotel was the “Old Original”, which could accommodate a dozen comfortably. The license was granted to Mr. Roberts. The “Old Original” is situated in the Llanberis parish. The Snowdon Summit Hotel was situated in Beddgelert parish, and was granted by the Portmadoc Bench. It is a wooden building with a galvanized roof. It had one large room, which would accommodate forty people. There were three or four bedrooms, which included all the sleeping accommodation for visitors on the summit.
The Chairman and the Clerk said they understood witness to have said in evidence that there was accommodation for eighty in the Snowdon Summit Hotel.
Witness: I mean that there is accommodation for eighty on the top of Snowdon. In further reply to the Bench, witness said the large room might hold sixty at a crush, and twenty might find room in the bar.
In continued cross-examination, he said the original hut or original hotel had a room which would hold twenty. That and the Summit Hotel included all the accommodation on the summit. He was not certain as to whether there was sleeping accommodation at the “Old Original”. He did not believe more than forty could be comfortably seated in the large room of the Snowdon Summit Hotel. He did not recollect Supt. Rowlands stating two years ago that there was accommodation in the large room for 120 people.
Mr. Griffith Jones: Do you on oath say that there are only two or three bedrooms at the hotel?
For the accommodation of visitors, yes. I have seen no other rooms.
Further replying in cross-examination, witness said two years ago plans of proposed alterations to the hotel were submitted to the Bench for approval. Mr. Griffith Jones: Now, Mr. Aitchison, you do not seem to know a great deal about it.
Witness: Yes, I do know a good deal about it.
Mr. Griffith Jones: I ask you again then, if there are only the large room, the bar, the kitchen, and three bedrooms in that hotel? – Yes.
I put it to you that there are three other rooms not in use which will accommodate three hundred people? I should say it was impossible.
I say there are three large rooms underneath which will accommodate three hundred people. I do not see that that is so. The large room is on the rock.
Is there a balcony ? – Yes, but there is no roof to it.
How many will it hold? – I should say about one hundred people.
The Chairman: You cannot call the balcony accommodation.
Mr. Griffith Jones: We wish to point out that tables could be and are put there, and refreshments supplied.
Addressing witness, Mr. Jones asked him if he made the application in the interests of the public only?
Witness replied that he also made the application in the interests of the Company. The Company were desirous of providing accommodation for the people they took up by railway.
Mr. Griffith Jones asked if the platform of the station was covered for the convenience of passengers.
Witness: It is an open platform on the summit. It is not usual to cover platforms. He added that they had two waiting-rooms which were covered, and could accommodate more people than they could take up in the train.
The Chairman: How many do you carry at a time? – We can carry sixty.
Mr. Griffith Jones: Do you swear that there are rooms covered to accommodate sixty at your station on the summit?
Witness: Yes, I have seen more than sixty.
Mr. Jones: Yes, if packed up like herrings, perhaps?
Mr. Lloyd Carter: Like your balcony.
The Chairman suggested that Mr. Jones should reserve his additional remarks, and take the replies as he received them.
Mr. Griffith Jones: Very well, if Mr. Aitchison will reserve his additional remarks.
Continuing his cross-examination, Mr. Jones asked witness if he had any means of showing the number taken up now, and the number taken up before the construction of the Snowdon Railway?
Witness replied that according to the statistics of the London and North Western Railway Company —.
Mr. Griffith Jones: I don’t want to hear anything about the North Western Railway Company. He added that that would be merely hear-say evidence. The books of the North Western would have to be presented for the evidence to be regular.
A discussion followed between Mr. Griffith Jones, the Chairman, and the Clerk, at the conclusion of which the Chairman said it was no use asking questions which Mr. Jones was aware the witness had no knowledge of. Witness, replying further, said he could not explain what was the difference in the number taken up now and the number taken up before the railway to the summit was constructed.
Mr. Jones stated that that was the information he required. He did not believe any person could definitely explain the difference in the number taken up before and after the railway was constructed.
In the cross-examination by Mr. Madden, witness said that 10,000 had been taken up in the course of five months. The season opened in the middle of April. The tickets were 5s. each. In April £25 was taken, in May £108, in June £300, in July £500, in August £1000 – that was up to the present time. The number of trains running during the day was eight.
Mr. Madden: Is it not a fact that in April, May and June, you only ran two trains ? No, it is not a fact.
In further reply, witness said they reckoned their season to be in July, August and September. They did run on some days in the early part of the year four trains only, and two specials if required.
Mr. Madden: And were they required? Yes, they were required.
Mr. Madden asked if the average number taken was five hundred a week, or seventy a day.
Witness said that that was the average, but they only opened in the middle of April. He added that sometimes the train went up half filled. He could not say what was the largest number that had been taken up. Three hundred were taken up one trip. This number was delivered in three quarters of an hour. They had not issued orders to passengers to go down by the next train.
Mr. Madden: Have you ever urged passengers to go down? – Yes, when pressed, and when we were afraid we could not take them all down in the final return journey.
Have you, as a matter of fact, not frequently urged them to return by the next train? Yes, only about a dozen times. Of course, we urged it because of the crush.
In further reply to Mr. Madden, witness said they wished to have the hotel for the purpose of providing the accommodation needed. Often the weather was too un-favourable for visitors to see the scenery, and accommodation was needed for the visitors to while away the time until the mist or rain cleared. Have you a single soul here to-day to say the hotel is needed?
No, sir, I have not.
Is there one here to-day to support your application? No, sir.
Have you heard any complaints? Yes.
Who are they? What are their names? – They are visitors.
In further reply, he said he had nothing to complain of the catering at the Summit Hotel. It was very good.
Photographs showing the present Summit Hotel, and its interior, were then submitted by Mr. Madden, and examined by witness and the Bench. Witness replied to several questions regarding the rooms. He added that the proposed hotel would be situated about forty yards from the Summit Hotel.
Mr. Madden: You want it to be in front of our hotel? No, but in order to be nearer the station.
Cross-examined further, the witness said last Bank Holiday he sent a telephone message to the manager of the Summit Hotel, to accommodate five persons for the night. He replied he was full up, and could not take them. They took up more than 500 a week in the busy season. They took up 300 daily at the present time. The five visitors who could not be accommodated at the Summit Hotel were visitors staying at one of their own hotels, who had visited Snowdon. They anticipated if there was an hotel with plenty of accommodation, that a number would come up by the railway and stay there all night. It might be, to a certain extent, speculative, as Mr Madden said.
There are only five people to confirm your statement, and their names you have not produced? No, sir. He added that he did not think it necessary to bring those persons there as witnesses.
In continued cross-examination, he said the sleeping accommodation at the Summit Hotel, although small, is very fair: that was, it was fair in quality, not in quantity.
Having re-examined witness at some length, Mr. Lloyd Carter said that was the case for the application. Mr. Madden then addressed the meeting at length, and said he had never known of an application made more speculatively, and so thoroughly in opposition to the Licensing Act, as that put forward by the Railway Co. They appeared before the Bench with a shadowy claim. Not a single person had come forward to support Mr. Aitchison. The people who came up Snowdon did not go up there for refreshments. People went up there to enjoy the scenery and to breathe the mountain air, more than for the purpose of refreshments, which could be had at the bottom of the mountain. The Railway Company were desirous of having the monopoly in refreshments as well as in the conveyance of passengers. Two licensed houses were quite sufficient for the present, and, if necessary, the Snowdon Summit Hotel could be enlarged to meet almost any requirements. The Snowdon Summit Hotel Company were waiting developments, and if the railway was a success, they would then take steps to make the necessary alterations. He did not see any earthly use for three licensed houses on Snowdon summit. People could get drink down below, without going to the top for it.
Arthur John Bennett, manager of the Snowdon Summit Hotel, said between fifty and sixty could sit down comfortably in the large room. The bar could accommodate another fifteen or twenty. When they were full up they sent the other visitors to the “Old Original.” The balcony could accommodate one hundred and fifty or two hundred easily at least, a hundred could he seated comfortably. There were also three large rooms underneath which could be utilized, if necessary. They had been able to supply all persons who called for refreshments at all times. The passengers who came up sometimes returned in ten minutes or a little longer.
Witness next replied to numerous questions by Mr. Griffith Jones as to the number of rooms. He added, in further reply, that he had never been too full up, except on the occasion referred to by Mr. Aitchison.
Robert Owen, giving evidence for the opposition, said he had been manager of the Summit Hotel for sixteen years, until last year. Since the railway was constructed the greatest crush had been during Bank Holidays. There was, however, sufficient accommodation to meet all requirements.
Replying to Mr. Griffith Jones, witness said he had seen as many as thirty accommodated at the “Old Original.” The Summit Hotel could take in a hundred easily, and a hundred and twenty at a crush. The three large rooms not in use, and the balcony, could easily be utilised, if necessary. The balcony could be covered.
In cross-examination by Mr Carter, witness said he had an interest in half the receipts of the Summit Hotel. On Jubilee night there were fourteen people staying there. Some slept in the bedrooms, others on stretchers, but not on tables. (Laughter.)
Mr. Carter: You put fourteen on stretchers? – No; two could be put in each of the three bedrooms.
In further reply, he said they had sixty chairs at the hotel, and six forms. They could seat one hundred people at a crush. He had never seen one hundred people at the hotel.
C. E. Breese, solicitor, Portmadoc, next gave evidence. He went up recently to the summit. About eighteen went up by the railway. About eighteen or twenty were on top when they arrived. He went to the Summit Hotel, and was in the large room, which, he should say, would accommodate seventy people comfortably. He saw no need for a third hotel.
In cross-examination, he said he went up before the 10-10 morning train had arrived from Llandudno. He was not there at the influx of visitors.
William Broomfield, Llandudno, said he had been a visitor to Snowdon many times. He said there was at present ample accommodation for five hundred visitors daily. People did not go up Snowdon for refreshments.
In cross-examination, he said he did not reside in the neighbourhood, but at Llandudno.
W. B. C. Jones, land agent and surveyor, Criccieth, next gave evidence. He said he went up Snowdon on Wednesday last by the 10-10 train, and stopped there all day long. There were between 300 and 320 people there during the day. There was sufficient accommodation on the summit, and there is absolutely no need whatever for another hotel.
In cross-examination, he said that was the first time for him to go up. Both licensed- houses answered the purpose needed exceedingly well.
Mr. Carter then addressed the bench at length, contending that if the hotel were erected, still more people would go up Snowdon. The present accommodation, which had been the same for years, was very inadequate, Mr. Griffith Jones followed, and the Bench then retired. After consulting for fifteen minutes, they returned, and the Chairman announced that the application was refused.
Llandudno Advertiser and List of Visitors, 2nd September 1897

Proposed New Hotel on Snowdon.
At the adjourned Licensing Sessions, on Friday last, at Portmadoc, it was anticipated that the Snowdon Tramroad Company would renew the application for a hotel licence on the Summit of Snowdon in accordance with notice given. It will be remembered that a similar application was made on behalf of the company a month since, and was refused for the third time. Mr. Madden (Liverpool), instructed by Messrs. Pugh & Bone, Llandudno, appeared to oppose the application on behalf of the Snowdon Summit Hotel Company, and Mr. S. T. Evans, M.P. (instructed by Messrs. Lloyd-George & George), on behalf of Sir Edward Watkin, Bart, and the Parish Council of Beddgelert. The magistrates present were Dr. J. T. Griffith (chairman), Messrs. Robert Rowlands, J. T. Jones, J. Davies, J. R. Pritchard, Robert Thomas, and A. Osmond Williams. The Clerk to the Magistrates stated that he had just received a telegram from Mr. Lloyd Carter, solicitor to the Tramroad Company, asking him to inform the solicitor to the Snowdon Hotel Company that the application would not be proceeded with. Mr. S. T. Evans, M.P., said he was not surprised to hear that the application would not be proceeded with, seeing that a similar application was made a month ago, and refused on its merits.
The Chairman: Then we can take it the application is withdrawn. Mr. Evans thought the applicants ought to have informed them of their intention earlier if they had done so, it would have avoided a good deal of expense and trouble. Mr. Madden then submitted plans for the approval of the magistrates of the proposed alterations and improvements at the Snowdon Summit Hotel. He said that when an application was made for a new hotel licence on August 26th, the principal contention of the applicants was that another was absolutely necessary, because they had conveyed ten thousands persons to the summit during the summer months, and alleged that at times there was not sufficient accommodation at the existing hotel. His company had taken this into consideration, and had determined to enlarge the existing premises. Plans of the proposed alterations had been deposited with the police superintendent as required, and when the extension was carried out the dining room would be sufficiently large to accommodate 120 to 140 persons comfortably, and seven bedrooms would also be provided for visitors. The Chairman asked if Mr. Madden meant that seven additional bedrooms would be provided. Mr. Madden I mean seven bedrooms for the use of visitors exclusive of those occupied by the officials. The speaker went on to state that in these days of fast travelling comparatively few persons stayed the night, but walked up to enjoy the views, and returned the same day. Several other improvements would also be effected, but he would call the architect into the witness-box to give the magistrates any other information they might require. The Clerk to the Magistrates informed the Bench that they were bound to pass the plans if they were in conformity with the general regulations, and the Superintendent had no objection to offer. After Mr. Edward J. Muspratt, architect, had given evidence, supporting the statement of Mr. Madden, Mr. S. T. Evans, M.P., said that he was instructed to estate that Sir Edward Watkin, the ground-landlord, would offer every facility for the carrying out of the proposed improvements at the Snowdon Summit Hotel, and would assist in providing necessary accommodation for the public. The plans were unanimously passed subject to the approval of the Superintendent of Police.
Llandudno Advertiser and List of Visitors, 30th September 1897
Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent, 1st October 1897

With respect to the dispute as to the proprietorship of the two hotels which have been erected on the summit of Snowdon it was on Wednesday arranged that the tramway company should take over the other hotel on a 14 years’ lease, and that Mr Assheton-Smith should pull down a wall now in construction which would block the view from the hotel leased by the company promoted by shareholders from Portmadoc and Llandudno. This will thus remove what threatened to be a serious blot upon the scenery of Snowdonia.
Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent, 18th February 1898

1898, 30th April
{Near the top, he found the railway, then saw the hut with the sign Summit Hotel.}
I struggled round the cairn and on the eastern side of it the strength of the gale was terrific and it was extremely cold; in fact, so unpleasant that it wasn’t many seconds before I knocked at the door of the ‘Hotel’ I soon found myself in a large and plainly furnished clean room heated by a central stove and ordered tea. A pot of much needed hot tea together with bread and butter and jam of two kinds adlih? must be accounted most reasonable at 1/6 at this elevation. I noted that a single cup of tea was 6d while the charges for supper, bed and breakfast even in 1898 could not be considered dear at 10s.
I learnt from the hotel people that 3s 6d is charged for the ascent or 5s for the return trip. …The hotel is open during six months of the year and the railway charge for all goods brought up to them from Llanberis is 5s per cwt.
Brown, Leonard Joseph, Snowdon, Caernarfonshire (2nd ascent), NLW Leonard Joseph Brown ms. 433, f. 6

At present the summit of Y Wyddfa is occupied by a neat temporary structure. The old, untidy huts have disappeared since the Tram Road Company acquired control of the summit. It is to be hoped that the intention of the company to substitute an obtrusive hotel a little way below the actual top where the space is so limited, will before long be carried out. The Portmadoc magistrates were very ill advised in refusing a licence for this most obvious improvement on the first application.
Baddeley and Ward, Through Guide to Wales, (1898)

Mr John Humphreys applied for the temporary transfer of the license of the Snowdon Summit Hotel from the name of the company to that of Mr Aitchison, the Manager of the railway company. The application was granted.
Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald and North and South Wales Independent, 1st April 1898

On the application of Mr Lloyd Carter, the licence of the Snowdon Summit Hotel was transferred from Alfred Gardner Pugh to Gowrie Colquhoun Aitchison.
Cambrian News 3rd June 1898

Colwyn Bay Police Court.
On the application of Mr. Amphlitt the licence of the Sun Inn was transferred from Mr. Saunderson to Mr. A. J. Bennett, late manager of the Snowdon Summit Hotel.
Llandudno Advertiser and List of Visitors, 17th November 1898

The lease and rights of both huts were acquired by the Snowdon Mountain Tramroad and Hotels Company
Copa’r Wyddfa / Snowdon Summit, Snowdon National Park, [1988]

On Monday morning, … James Clarkson, boots at the Snowdon Summit Hotel, was charged with being drunk and disorderly at Beddgelert.
The North Wales Express, 16th June 1899 and several other newspapers

SNOWDON SUMMIT HOTEL. Mr Lloyd Carter said that he appeared for the licensee of the Snowdon Summit Hotel, under the impression that there was to be an opposition. But he now found that there was no one opposing. Dr Griffith said that there were complaints made that the sanitary state of the hotel was very bad. Mr Carter said that he knew nothing of it till that moment. He would draw the attention of the licensee to the matter.
The North Wales Express, 1st September 1899

D.E. Jenkins account of the summit is not entirely in line with documentary evidence which he may not have access to at the time of writing.
At present the Tramway Company has handed over the management of the whole business to Miss Amos, who opens out at Easter, and closes for the winter about the last week in September. An average of about one hundred and fifty per day visit the summit from April to June, and of no less than seven hundred from July to the second week in September. Should any one care to spend the night on Snowdon, in order to witness the sunrise, between fifteen and twenty can be accommodated with beds.
The excellent idea of providing refreshments on the summit of Snowdon is now over sixty years old, and belongs to a miner, who was at that time working in Clogwyn Coch copper mine. His name was Morris Williams, and his native place Amlwch, in Anglesey. It was while busily engaged in the mine that it occurred to him how large a number climbed Snowdon durig the summer months, and that perhaps it would pay him to provide a small hut near the summit, where they might get something to refresh themselves. He tried the experiment once or twice without the hut, taking with him tea, coffee, butter, bread, and cheese, and was soon convinced that a living could be made there.
The first hut was built about 1837 or 1838, and was situated below the summit cairn, on the property of Hafod y Llan. Its outer walls were of stone, and its inner lining of neatly planed boards. Morris Williams could neither speak nor understand English, and his business suffered in consequence. In order to get over this difficulty he took one of the guides, William Williams by name, into partnership; and he, thinking to add to the attraction of Snowdon, dressed himself in a suit of goat-skin, consisting of cap, coat, and trousers, which made him appear like a savage from the land of perpetual snow. The strange dress did its part well, and the flocking visitors soon made the humble summit hut a paying concern.
John Roberts, Blaen y Ddol, Llanberis, was a guide at this time, and was on the summit nearly every day. He perceived that the keepers of this hotel in miniature were on the high road to a solution of their own problem of “a living wage.” He thought he would start an opposition, and as the mountain was then, just as it is at present, the property of three different people, he went to Sir R. W. Bulkeley, Baron Hill, to secure a spot for a hut, and succeeded in his errand. The tent was pitched on the spot where now stands a respectable structure, on the Llanberis side of the peak, and soon took away the greater part of the business done. There was nothing for it but to remove the prior structure to the top too; the wood lining the old hut was taken to build the new one, and the competition was placed on a fairer basis.

Very soon afterwards, Morris sold his share to his brother, Phillip Williams, and the next thing we find is that Phillip and John Roberts have united their interests by a formal partnership. We lose sight of William Williams all at once, and we cannot account for his disappearance, unless, indeed, it was about this time he lost his life. He had been once a boots at the Dolbadarn Hotel, and was known by all as “William y Boots”; he lost his life in seeking for rare plants, and the gully into which he fell is known to this day as the Gully of William the Boots.

Visitors now became more numerous every year, and the partners determined to apply for a license to sell intoxicants. It was agreed that John Roberts should make the formal application, and that the license should be in his name; but when Roberts had secured the license, he refused to let Williams have any advantage from it, and the partnership was dissolved. After a while Phillip Williams discovered that the summit was in the Bedd Gelert parish, and that Portmadoc was the proper place to apply for a license. He made several applications, and was each time successfully opposed by Roberts; but his perseverance ultimately succeeded, and from that day to this two licenses are granted for the summit, one at Carnarvon and one at Portmadoc. The right of Carnarvon to grant a license for the summit is one of those obscure points with which British law teams. John Roberts died and left his interests to his nephew; Phillip Williams died, and his daughter kept his hut on after him, until Mr. Robert Owen purchased the lease from her, in 1879. He and Thomas J. Roberts joined their business, and things went on smoothly until the Snowdon tramway was mooted, when these thriving men began to be harrassed by notices to quit, and attempts to secure a license for another summit hotel. Assheton Smith, Esq., Vaynol, gave them notice to quit, in order to place the summit at the disposal of the Tramway Company, but he could only claim one-third of the area on which the huts were built, and so could not enforce the notice.

The struggle ended by the Company buying up Roberts’s rights, and taking over Owen’s lease for fourteen years, Owen having in the meantime built a good and commodious wooden structure, for which twenty tons of timber had to be carried up on men’s backs and shoulders, along the Rhyd-ddu path.

Roberts’s hut was only replaced at the beginning of last summer, after doing service for fifty-eight years, by a very excellent structure on the Llanberis side.

At present the Tramway Company has handed over the management of the whole business to Miss Amos, who opens out at Easter, and closes for the winter about the last week in September. An average of about one hundred and fifty per day visit the summit from April to June, and of no less than seven hundred from July to the second week in September. Should any one care to spend the night on Snowdon, in order to witness the sunrise, between fifteen and twenty can be accommodated with beds.
Jenkins, D.E., Bedd Gelert: its Facts, Fairies and Folk-lore, 1899, pp. 183-185

This article, written by Gruffydd Prisiart in about 1859 was published with additional notes by Richard Griffiths. It is likely to be based on memory and local stories, and, possibly, John Parker’s reference to it in his book, ‘The Travellers‘ (1831). A rough translation is included below.
Ar ddechreu’r ganrif hon, nid oedd math yn y byd o adeilad na chlawdd ar ei chopa, (Gwel nodyn 1 “Cawr pen y Wyddfa,”)  ond yn 1827 neu gynt, cafodd William Lloyd, yr hwn oedd ysgolfeistr ym Meddgelert, ac arweinydd hysbys i ddieithriaid yn yr haf i’r Wyddfa, &c., rodd o £5 gan wahanol foneddigionf (Gwel nodyn 2 “Yr Hen Deithwyr,”) am godi gwrthglawdd bychan ar ei phen, i fod yn rhyw fath o gysgod ar dywydd garw neu wlawog. Ym mhen ychydig wedyn chwalwyd ef gan wyr dros y Llywodraeth a chodwyd twr neu golofn o gerrig yn y lle, i nodi’r fan fel pwynt mesuriadol. Yr oedd y dynion mewn gwisg filwrol, a chydag ereill o’r gymydogaeth yn eu cynorthwyo, cariasant i fyny ddwy astell dew o ffawydd tramor, ac a’u codasant, gan eu gosod ochr wrth wyneb, yna adeilasant dwr o gerrig o amgylch eu godreu i’w cynnal i fyny, ond ym mhen rhyw ddeng mlynedd adgyweiriwyd y twr, gan ei godi yn uwch, i’r safle y mae yn bresennol.
Codwyd y ty pren cyntaf yma tua 1838, gan weithiwr o waith copr y Clogwyn Coch, a hynny yn taro i’w ben wrth weled cymaint o Saeson yn dringo i’w phen. Gan nad oedd Morris William yn gallu dweyd ei feddwl yn yr iaith estronol, gorfu iddo gymeryd llanc o arweinydd o Lanberis yn bartner, sef “William y Boots,” fel y gelwid ef, yr hwn a ymwisgai mewn arddull Laplander, mewn gwisg o groen gafr, a hynny ynghanol yr haf. Ond syrthiodd William, druan, dros ddibyn wrth chwilio am blanhigion y creigiau, nes y collodd ei fywyd. Daeth cydarweinydd o Lanberis yn wrth-ymgeisydd cyn hir, ond partnerwyd eto, a bu llawer o helynt, trwy fod y naill yn methu cael eu digoni ag arian. Trwy bopeth, y mae erbyn hyn gryn bentref ar ei phen, a’r perchenogion yn derbyn llawer o elw oddiwrthynt bob blwyddyn.
I. CAWR PEN Y WYDDFA. Dywedai y prifathraw Rhys yn ei bapur dyddorol ar Lên Gwerin Ogofeydd Cymru, o flaen Cymdeithas y Cymmrodorion, yn Llundain, Chwefrol 14eg, 1900, mai o dan y garnedd fawr ar ben y Wyddfa y claddwyd Rhitta neu Rica Gawr.” Bron ar derfyn plwyfi Beddgelert a Llanberis, ar ei chopa, yr oedd dwy garnedd fawr o gerrig yn aros nes y chwalwyd hwy gan fileiniaid anwybodus, i godi’r tŵr a’r tai ar ei phen. Cafwyd yn un ohonynt gistfaen, ond nid oedd lludw nac esgyrn ynddi. Dim ond darn o faen callestr a math o bibell. Tybed mai nid o dan un o’r carneddau hyn y rhoddwyd y cawr hynod hwnnw i huno?
Tŷ da adail, tô dedwydd:
Trigfa y Cawr Rhitta rhwydd.
meddai Michael Prichard o Lanllyfni yn 1730. [o ‘Cywydd i’r Wyddfa’]
Y mae hen ysgriflyfr ymwelwyr, llyfr postio, perthynol i Westy yr Afr, wrth fy llaw. Dengys ar unwaith pa fath foneddigion urddasol oedd yn ymweled yn barhaus â Beddgelert yr adeg honno. Codaf enwau ychydig am fisoedd haf 1827, fel rhyw ddangoseg dybiedig pwy dalodd i William Lloyd y Sgwl am godi y cocyn cerrig ar ben y Wyddfa. Arglwydd Bagot a’i deulu, gyda’i weision a’i gerbyd Syr Thos. Billins a’i deulu; George Talbot, Yswain, a’i frawd; Syr Gilbert Blain; Syr Abraham Hume a’r Iarl y Gwir Barchedig Arglwydd Esgob Llundain, ei ferch, a’i fab, gyda’u morwyn a’u gwas, ei gerbyd, a’i weision lifrai; yr Ardalydd Brown Mill, ei foneddiges, a’i mham; Arglwydd Wood [yn trafaelio yn ddirgelaidd] y bargyfreithiwr Bouncill; a llu o rai tebyg.
At the beginning of this century, there was no type of building or shelter on the summit, (See note 1″The giant of Snowdon”) but in 1827 or earlier, William Lloyd, who was a schoolmaster in Beddgelert, and a well-known leader of tourists to Snowdon etc. in the summer, was given  £5 from various gentlemen (See note 2 “The Old Travelers,” below) for erecting a small earthwork on the summit, to be of some kind of shelter in inclement or rainy weather. Shortly afterwards it was broken down by Government troops and a stone tower or pillar erected, to mark the summit as a measuring point. The men in military uniform, assisted by others from the neighbourhood, carried up two thick planks of foreign beech, and raised them, laying them face to face, then built a stone tower around them to support them, but about ten years later the tower had been repaired, raising it higher, to the present site.
The first wooden house was built on the summit around 1838 by a worker from the Clogwyn Coch copperworks, when it saw so many Englishmen climbing to the summit. Because Morris William could not speak in the foreign language, he had to take a young man from a Llanberis conductor as his partner, “William the Boots,” as he was known, who was a Laplander-style man, dressed in goats skin, in the middle of summer, but poor William, lost his life when searching for plants. Another man from Llanberis soon became [Morris William’s] partner, but there was much trouble, as there were disputes about money. There is now quite a village on the summit, and the owners receive a lot of profit from them every year.
Note 1 Cairn or Giant [of the] Summit of Snowdon
Snowdon summit cairn. Professor [John] Rhŷs stated in his interesting paper on Welsh Caves Legends to the Cymmrodorion Society, in London, February 14th, 1900, [Published in Celtic Folklore, Welsh and Manx, vol. 2., (1901), pp. 477-480] that “Rhitta or Rica Gawr was buried beneath the large cairn on Snowdon.” Near the end of Beddgelert and Llanberis parishes, at its summit, were two large cairns of stones until they were demolished by ignorant villains, to erect the tower and houses on its summit, in one of which was found in a cist, but there were no ashes or bones, just a piece of flint stone and a type of vessel [pot]. I wonder if it wasn’t under one of these cairns that that great giant was buried?
Tŷ da adail, tô dedwydd:
Trigfa y Cawr Rhitta rhwydd. [Awaiting a good translation].
Michael Prichard of Llanllyfni, 1730.
An old visitor’s book, a mail [or posting] book, belonging to the Goat Hotel, is beside me. It immediately shows what kind of noble gentlemen were continually visiting Beddgelert at that time. I will pick up a few names for the summer months of 1827, as some presumed monologue who paid William Lloyd y Sgwl (the Skull) for erecting the stone stack on top of Snowdon. Lord Bagot and his family, with his servants and carriage, Sir Thos. Billins and his family; George Talbot, Esq., and his brother; Sir Gilbert Blain; Sir Abraham Hume and the Right Honorable the Lord Bishop of London, his daughter, and his son, with their maid and servant, carriage, and uniformed servants; the Marquess of Brown Mill, his lady, and his mother; Lord Wood (mysteriously traveling); barrister Bouncill; and a host of similar ones.
Griffith, Richard, ‘Y Wyddfa, O Ysgrifau Gruffydd Prisiart, Beddgelert. Ysgrifenwyd tua 1859, gyda Nodiadau gan Carneddog’, (Y Wyddfa, from the writings of Gruffydd Prisiart written in about 1859, with additional notes by Carneddog, (Richard Griffith, 1861 – 1947), Cymru, cyf. 19 (1900), pp. 262-266

Snowdon Mountain Tramway took over the huts and rebuilt them.
Three Stops to the Summit, Rol Williams, 1990.

An application was also made by Mr Carter for the transfer of the licenses of the Victoria Hotel (Llanberis) and the Snowdon Summit Hotel to J. P. Pullen a son of Mr Pullen of the Royal Oak. Bettws-y-coed. Mr Aitchison, manager of the Snowdon Railways, said that the application was rendered necessary because he was resigning the management of the hotel department to the company. Superintendent Griffith did not think that the same person should hold two licenses. Mr Aitchison: I hold two. He added that Mr Pullen had been appointed manager of the hotels by the company. The transfers were allowed.
The North Wales Express, 29th April 1904

‘The top of our highest mountain out of Scotland is disfigured with four buildings whose roofs are red painted corrugated iron and whose walls are ochre-coloured. … At the back of one of the huts was fluttering in the breeze, on a clothes line, the week’s washing. Oh spirit of the Mountains, can you forgive this indignity?
Snowdon, Caernarfonshire (3rd. ascent), NLW Leonard Joseph Brown ms. 434

The Snowdon Craze – an hour on Llanberis station
A large no. of people attempted the climb but the weather became bad and most were wet, cold and miserable by their return. Bread and cheese on the summit is 1s 6d
Hertford Mercury and Reformer – Saturday 30 August 1913

Plans to rebuild the huts included 7 bedrooms, but it was never completed
[Hoare, D.L.F., Snowdon, “That Most Celebrated Hill”, (1987), p. 130]

photograph shows station and four large huts.
Hoare, DLF, Snowdon, That Most Celebrated Hill, (1987), p. 212

Hotel near Snowdon Summit
To replace wooden hutments 50 years old
The proposed hotel on Snowdon is not likely to be built immediately but it is felt by the Snowdon Mountain Tramroad and Hotels Company that a well-designed hotel of stone might well take the place of the present three wooden hutments
Yorkshire Evening Post – Wednesday 23 May 1923

The 5 or 6 remaining huts were demolished and a new station built.
Hoare, D.L.F., Snowdon, “That Most Celebrated Hill”, (1987), p. 244

Notes of a Holiday
The summit of Snowdon is crowned by a great cairn erected by the surveyors of the Ordnance Survey. One may excuse the existence of the buildings just below the summit belonging to the rack railway, but one felt that the other erections there, an “hotel”, and a broken down corrugated iron affair, detract from the dignity of the mountain.
Tamworth Herald – Saturday 28 August 1926

Death of Robert Owen of Nantgwynant, nephew of Henry Owen of Pen-y-gwryd
Robert Owen owned and managed the Snowdon Hotel and from him it gained its high reputation for comfort. To build it he had to transport twenty tons of material up from Rhyd Ddu on the backs of men, horses and donkeys. Many will remember the long and costly fight for the licence on Snowdon Summit.
Caernarfon and Denbigh Herald, 22.4.1927
Hoare, D.L.F., Snowdon, “That Most Celebrated Hill”, (1987), p. 127

A new hotel, café and station, designed by Clough Williams-Ellis, were opened on the old station site. No bedrooms for visitors were included. The large windows were blown in during a storm and had to be made smaller. First used 20.7.1935
Hoare, D.L.F., Snowdon, “That Most Celebrated Hill”, (1987), p. 131]

The old huts were pushed over the mountain side.
[Hoare, D.L.F., Snowdon, “That Most Celebrated Hill”, (1987), says they were demolished in 1923, but this did not take place until after the new station building was completed.]

Morris Williams who worked in the Clogwyn Coch copper mine first provided refreshments on the summit. He tried first, as an experiment in the open air, offering tea, coffee, bread and butter and cheese, and found a paying demand. The first hut was built in about 1817 or 1818 on the property of Hafod y Llan, by the Beddgelert guide named Lloyd, who used the stones of a low wall (which used to surround the summit) for the purpose. Later, another hut was built, in competition with the first, on the property of Sir Richard Bulkley, and applicartions for licences to sell intoxicating liquours were made. One was granted from Caernarfon, and the other from Portmadoc, as the huts were in different ‘parishes’ (or cantrefs, i.e. hundreds), and so came under different licencing authorities, authorities so far apart although the huts were so close together. The summit of Snowdon is the meeting point of three parishes and of three estates. The curious observer may see a brick wall radiating from the summit towards Beddgelert, and serving no obvious purpose. A brick wall here in a land of rock? Why carry bricks more than 3,000 feet above the sea? Merely to mark the boundary of one of the three ‘properties’ that share Y Wyddfa between them!
Davies, Valentine, Guide to Snowdon, (1936), pp.
Barber, Chris, (1986), The Romance of the Welsh Mountains, p. 15