Capel Curig, descriptions by visitors

Snowdon From Capel Curig by M L Grey, Image courtesy of Birmingham Museums Trust
Capel Curig Inn is visible to the left of the small tree on the right.

This page includes all known references to and descriptions of Capel Curig especially the inns and church by tourists and editors of guidebooks (a total of about 176). It also includes some of the more interesting descriptions of the environs of the Inn.

They are arranged in chronological order.

Although most of the descriptions are first-hand, contemporary accounts by people who visited the village or inn, they cannot always be taken at face-value. Entries from guidebooks, directories and similar sources are often unreliable or out of date.

See also:

Recording conventions

Unknown date

Poem ‘Marwnad am Mr Henry Roberts, Royal Hotel, Capel Curig’, gan y parch Evan Davies, Trefriw. It includes references to the Cemetery.
An album of newspaper cuttings and written transcriptions, NLW, John W Jones, Minffordd, Oakley Square, Blaenau, Ffestiniog, North Wales, no 403, ff. 13-14. The album is probably early 20th century.

1781

At a small distance from hence, enter Dyffryn Mymbyr, a valley in which woods, and even trees, disappear. The small church of Capel Curig, and a few scattered houses, give a little life to this dreary tract. Snowdon and all his sons, Crib Goch, Crib y Distill, Lliwedd yr Aran, and many others, here burst at once in full view, and make this far the finest approach to our boasted Alps. The boundaries of this vale are, on one side, the base of the crooked mountain, Moel Siabod; on the other, that of the Glyder Bach and several other hills of lesser note. The bottom is meadowy; at this time enlivened with the busy work of hay harvest, and filled with drags, horses, and even men and women, loaden with hay. The middle is varied with two small lakes, along whose sides we rode; and at some distance beyond them, near Pont y Gwryd, quitted our horses, to visit the summit of the Glyder, noted for the report, the editor of Camden had made, of the singular disposition of the rocks.
Pennant, Thomas, The Journey to Snowdon, (1781), pp. 150-151

Above the lower of these lakes, amongst this scene of grandeur and desolation, a large and commodious inn was erected by the late Lord Penrhyn. It forms an intermediate stage between Bangor and Kenioge. The view of “Snowdon and all his sons,” from the terrace at the back of the house, is peculiarly striking.
Note to the above by John Rhys in his edition of Tours of Wales, Vol. 2, part 2, (1883), p. 311

1787

A View of Snowdon from Capel Curig 1787, oil on canvas by P.J. De Loutherbourg
Lougherbourg toured Wales in 1796 and may have worked up a sketch for the oil painting the following year.
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

1794

28.8.1794
Capel Curig [not transcribed]
Anon, Journal of Tours in the Midland and Western Counties of England and Wales in 1794, and in Devonshire in 1803, BL add mss 30172, f. 10

1796

A few cottages and a chapel form the village of Capel Curig, where we proposed to halt for the night in order to examine some quarries and remarkable rocks in the neighbourhood; we had however the misfortune to find the houses all shut up, the inhabitants being gone to Llanrwst fair; we had therefore no alternative but to proceed to Llanberis.
Aikin, Arthur, (1773-1854), Journal of a Tour through North Wales and a part of Shropshire with observations of Mineralogy and other branches of natural History, (London, 1797), chapter 11

1796?

An itinerary of an earlier tour.
Thursday 9  early to Capel Curig
Monday 13  to Capel Curig
Diary of J.S. Duncan (later of the Ashmolean) and his brother? P.B. Duncan, Tour Through Wales from Oxford, 1804, NLW MS 16714A
[This must refer to a journey other than the one of 1804 (below): one of the entries is for Monday 6th June which would have been in 1791, 1796, 1808, 1836. In the second set of journals (NLW MS16715A of 1813, Duncan mentions climbing in the Snowdon area 15 years earlier which may be an estimate for 17 years before – i.e. 1796]

1798

JMW Turner produced an unfinished pencil and watercolour entitled ‘View from Capel Curig towards Snowdon, the mountains under cloud.
Tate Britain.
Bishop, Peter, The Mountains of Snowdonia in Art, (2015), pp. 38-39

1798

p. 317
The vale of Capel Curig, which is bounded by the British Alps, Snowdon and his surrounding mountains, affords one of the most picturesque landscapes in the whole country.
In this vale there is that variety, both of wood and water, which most of the other
p. 318
Welsh vales are so much in want of, to add to their picturesque effect. Here are two pretty large pools, near one of which Lord Penrhyn is now building a small but comfortable inn, from a design of his agent, Mr Wyatt: and I cannot sufficiently admire the taste of this gentleman, in drawing the traveller out of the road, that he may, the more at ease enjoy the many beauties of the vale; for it is situated in a part of the vale, somewhat out of the usual road, but certainly where everything around may be seen to the greatest advantage.
Those tourists who, like myself, have visited this vale some years ago, when the only place of public accommodation was a mean pot-house, considerably allied to those at Llanberis, and who shall now visit it with the present accommodations, (with which for a mountain country, I was greatly surprised), will be able with some justice to appreciate the spirited conduct, and truly patriotic exertions of the noble proprietor, who has not only constructed for them an inn, but who was the first to make this part of the country passable in carriages. I know not how far he will have the thanks of travellers on business, whose feelings are frequently callous to all the beauties of nature, and whose souls very commonly dote only on their gains. How these will like to be taken a mile out of their way, in order to be forced to enjoy what they never can, I do not know?
But I doubt not, that every man of taste
p. 319
will feel himself highly indebted to Lord Penrhyn for his truly patriotic excursions in this part of the country, and to Mr Wyatt’s good judgement for an undertaking so agreeable and so useful as the present.
The present Public House is somewhat similar, in point of accommodations, to those at Llanberis. We got here some eggs, bacon and dreadfully bad new ale. They told us they had some dried goat, but though the house was rather famous for this species of food, we declined having any.
Road from Nant Francon by Capel Curig to Llanrwst has recently been improved by Lord Penrhyn.
Bingley, William, (1774-1823), A tour round North Wales, performed during the summer of 1798: containing not only the description and local history of the country; but also a sketch of the history of the Welsh bards: an essay on the language; observations on the manners and customs; and the habitats of above 400 of the more rare native plants: intended as a guide to future tourists. (London, 1800), pp. 317-319, 332
Bingley returned to Capel Curig during his second tour in 1801, see below.

1799

{Suggestions for a new road from Bangor to Pentre Foelas to avoid the road through Conwy and Llanrwst. It would save 6 hours journey for the mail coach at Holyhead on some days (depending on the tide) and the road from Bangor to Shrewsbury would be shortened by 20 miles. …}
Letter published in the Dublin Evening post and other papers, in the Spring of 1799
Llwyd, Richard, Beaumaris Bay, a poem: with notes, descriptive and explanatory; particulars of the druids, founders of some of the fifteen tribes of North Wales, the families descended from them, … With an appendix: …  Chester, [1800], pp. 55-56 and note page 37

1799

p. 75
… the vast piles of rocks towering one on each other to a height nearly perpendicular for many many thousand feet then mountain upon mountain reared their heads and last for piercing midst the heavens rose in black majesty the triple headed Snowdon. The roaring waters rushed in time-worn tracts on every side forming loud cataracts and distant lakes. For four miles this muscan of chaotic terrors presents itself when the way, winds ruggedly rude and uneasy round the stony mountainside from whence at a considerable distance is descried the two lakes and new inn at Capel Curig. Nothing very interesting is observable in our front the whole way except the new turnpike road which when finished I dare say will be
p. 77
pleasant for both man and beast as the old one is the devil. On looking back, Snowdon and its attendants present themselves neatly piled in picturesque order to the sight. This is the perpendicular side of the mountain and consequently the most terrific and horrifying. On our arrival at the inn we were surrounded by a mob of drunken Welshmen all blood, dirt and scratches which they had obtained singing psalms and fighting. This is the old inn and such a one, as, authors fancy when they wish to kill a way worn traveller amidst the civil crafty cloak of wood emboweled thieves such as that of Raymond the Monk, such
p. 79
as that of Mountfardinton in the New Monk and such were many others in many other books. Our bedroom to be sure if festoons of any Kind are admitted as ornaments, was elegantly and profusely decorated with cobwebs in good taste and dust, the black beams, rotten laths and cold slates, composed the ceiling, loose boards made the floor between whose openings the apartment beneath could be observed. Our furniture was a stool and chair which we placed against the door to prevent intruders; and the walls and partition was handsomely hung with woollen petticoats, old stockings, pieces of timber and dirty shifts. Such was and twenty times a worse idea must be
p. 81
conceived of this our sleeping hole but not withstanding all the dreads this might be supposed to arise from such a concatenation of objects we both slept well.
[Note at the end:] pp. 160-158 Capel Curig 12 miles
An inn little better [than Llanberis], either in appearance or convenience, the people are boorishly polite all we got here was tea and eggs. This was the delectable mansion, with the apartments of terrible aspect, it seems a place for murder, bloody sheets and thieves!!
Porter, Robert Kerr, Sir (1777-1842), Journal of a Tour in North Wales etc, NLW MS  12651A

1799

10.7.1799
Capel Curig
A magnificent road is now forming between Llyn Ogwen and Capel Curig by Lord Penrhyn  … He is now building an inn of Gothic Architecture at Capel Cerrig and making a good road which will lead from thence to the foot of Snowdon … {excellent views of Snowdon} The foreground is also improved by two small lakes. After a frugal repast at a miserable hovel called an inn I proceeded to Llanrwst.
Hoare, Sir Richard Colt, Cardiff Public Library, MS 4.302.3 (folio)
Cardiff Public Library, MS 3.127.6 (quarto)
NLW MS 5370C drawings and memoranda (list of places he visited, especially where he fished)
Thompson, M.W., The Journeys of Sir Richard Colt Hoare, (1983), p. 115

1800

Lord Penrhyn … has built an inn at Capel Curig … The scenery around me was beautiful and unassuming, and formed a happy contrast with the sublimity of the more distant objects. The three small lakes of Capel Curig, a few green meadows intermingled with wood, the humble chapel, and the inn, were all that hills and mountains left visible. My taste would have led me to consider the inn, which smelled of the embattled tenements of the slate-quarries, as an intruder in such a prospect, had I not reflected that, without the comforts it afforded, I never could have seen the rest. Till this inn was erected, sorry beer, milk, butter, and oaten bread, were all that money could purchase at a hut called a public house at Capel Curig.
Hutton, Catherine, letter XVIII dated Sept 20 [Saturday] Corwen, NLW ms 19079C, pp. 123-129

1800

This presumably refers to the new inn, but no date is given
In another of my tours [presumably after 1800] while at Caernarfon, I passed through Bangor to Capel Curig where is an excellent inn in a desert and where I slept two nights.  … I returned from Nant Gwynant, slept at Capel Curig, and was wandering over Lord Penrhyn’s new road towards Caernarfon.
Hutton, W., Remarks upon North Wales: being the Result of Sixteen Tours Through that part of the Principality (Birmingham, 1803), pp. 129, 173; another edition, 1815

1800

Note – Capel Curig Inn and stables are now built, and the old horseway through Capel Curig from Bangor Ferry to Cernioge inn has been lately widened and improved. W.D. [?Walter Davies, 1761-1849]
Llwyd, Richard, Beaumaris Bay, a poem: with notes, descriptive and explanatory; particulars of the druids, founders of some of the fifteen tribes of North Wales, the families descended from them, … With an appendix: …  Chester, [1800], pp. 55-56 and note page 37

1801

Accompanied by my worthy friend the rector of Llanrug, I went from Caernarvon to … Capel Curig [which] is bounded by the British Alps, Snowdon and his adjacent mountains, and affords some of the most picturesque landscapes of the whole country. … Here are two tolerably large pools. Near one of these Lord Penrhyn has erected, from a design of Mr Benjamin Wyatt, a small, but very comfortable inn. Those tourists who, like myself, have visited this vale some years ago, when the only place of public accommodation was a mean pot-house, considerably allied to those at Llanberis, and who shall now visit it with the present accommodations, (with which for a mountain country, I was greatly surprised), will be able with some justice to appreciate the spirited conduct, and truly patriotic exertions of the noble proprietor, who has not only constructed for them an inn, but who was the first to make this part of the country passable in carriages.
In the inn a book is kept, in which such persons as express themselves satisfied with the treatment insert their names. Among other curious entries, I found the following, with the date of August 3, 1801:
Heathcote, Impey, and Drake,
For formality’s fake,
All due commendation bestowing
On the drinking and eating,
They had at this neat inn,
Subscribe to the praises foregoing.
The name of the vale is derived from its chapel, dedicated to a Welsh faint called Curig. He is mentioned in an old Welsh poem, which, however, only intimates his order; and nothing more is at present known of him.
“A certain friar to increase his store,
Beneath his cloak, grey Curig’s image bore;
And to protect good folks from nightly harm,
Another sells St. Seiriol as a charm.”
Bingley, W., Rev, (1774-1823), A Tour round North Wales including its Scenery, Antiquities, Customs and some Sketches of its Natural History; Delineated from two Excursions through all the interesting Parts of the Country, during the summers of 1798 and 1801, (London, 1804), pp. 439-440
The 1814 edition is identical to that of 1804 except that it excludes the reference to the visitors’ book.
Bingley, W., Rev,  (1774-1823), North Wales delineated from two excursions through all the interesting parts of that highly beautiful and romantic country and intended as a guide to future tourists., (1814), pp. 292-293

1800

[Having climbed Snowdon] we proceeded by the romantic pass of Llanberis through the finest rock scenery that can be imagined, towards Capel Curig; at which place we arrived, all heartily jaded, at about 10 ½ o’clock. Here we spent the remainder of the day at an excellent inn lately erected by Lord Penrhyn and beautifully situated on a small lake, surrounded by lofty mountains commenced in an excellent view of ??????? and Snowdon, full of trout on which we partly dined – I met with no fleas at night and slept 10 hours.
Having breakfasted we walked up the valley to Rhaeadr y Wennol
Trevenen, John, (of Cornwall) (1781-1829), Journal of a Walk Through Wales in the Autumn of 1800, NLW facs 501 (photocopy), 26-27th August 1800

1801

Capel Curig, a small village, consisting of little more than a church and public house. It is delightfully situated in a vale bounded by Snowdon and its surrounding mountains, which afford one of the most picturesque landscapes in the whole country, consisting of a great variety of wood and water, which are frequently wanted in our Cambrian vales, to render them completely picturesque. Here are also two pretty large pools, near one of which Lord Penrhyn is now building a small but comfortable inn, from a design of his agent, Mr Wyatt. In the neighbourhood are some quarries, and several remarkable rocks, well worth the traveller’s observation.
Evans, Thomas, (1739-1803, of Radnorshire), Cambrian Itinerary: or, Welsh tourist: … (1801), p. 306
[some of this is from Bingley, William, (1774-1823), A tour round North Wales (above)]

1801

Capel Curig stands in a fine mountainous vale, in which are two lakes. Here is an inn erected by Lord Penrhyn. This vale, which is bounded by Snowdon and the surrounding mountains affords one of the most picturesque landscapes of the whole country.
Kearsley’s Traveller’s Entertaining Guide Through Great Britain; Or, A Description of the Great and Principal Cross-Roads …  (London, 1801), p. 498

1802

p. 73
A fair is kept here on the 28th of September annually for sheep; and a road, or rather a mere right of passage, goes through this place from Beddgelert and from Llanberis to
p. 74
Llanrwst; but it is exceeding rugged and uneven.
I have already noticed (see p. 58.) the general benefit which would accrue from opening a commodious road between Llyn and Llanrwst through this part of the county: and as a new road has been of late years formed and opened from Caernarvon to Pont Aberglaslyn, this road, when branched out on one side through Capel Curig to Llanrwst, and on the other to Penmorfa, along the verge of the sands, would so facilitate the conveyance of all the produce of Llyn to the best markets of Wales and England. The advantages and comforts of such an easy communication must be so obvious to all, that they need no comment. In that case Capel Curig would be a proper place or stage for rest and refreshment on the road from Pwllheli to Chester, Salop, &c. &c.
The practicability of making roads through these places is evident from the specimen which Lord Penrhyn has given in opening a road from Nantffrancon over Benglog; an undertaking much more difficult and arduous than it would be to form roads along the tract I have pointed out.
Williams, William, Observations on the Snowdon Mountains with some account of the customs and manners of the inhabitants, (1802)

1802, 9th August

Make an excursion to Capel Curig, ten miles. The road winds through the Gwydir woods for a considerable distance, overlooking the Vale of Conwy where the yellow corn contrasts finely with the green meadows, the dark hills, and the woods now glowing in all the pride of Summer. The vale gradually becomes narrower as we approach the source of the stream, but not less woody or fertile. This is indeed, the Garden of Caernarvonshire, and some pretty comfortable houses enliven the scene. About four miles from Llanrwst is the junction of the Conwy with Llugwy, a rapid mountain torrent, rushing through a deep, rocky glen, overgrown with wood. A bridge crosses it at this spot, formerly a very dangerous ford, owing to the rapids and fragments of rocks impeding the current. Proceeding along the vale of the Llugwy, on Lord Penrhyn’s new road some hills are seen clothed with trees, through which crags of grey rock start up, and diversify the green mass. Some little cascades dash from mountains, and the whole assumes a wilder character though still tempered by the rich meadows, with hedges, and a few corn fields interspersed. The Llugwy is a glassy stream of a respectable size though less than the Conwy. After following for some distance the mazy windings of the vale, which present every moment a new prospect, some high hills appear in view. Moel Siabod lifts up its airy pinnacle in dusky grandeur, and another turning shows us the great Snowdon itself, closing the valley with a huge craggy mass, apparently forbidding all further progress. Two little lakes spread their blue waters at its feet, and on their brink stands the handsome new inn, its walls covered with slates in a most singular manner. After resting a few hours in this lovely spot, we return by the same road, gazing with rapture on the scenes of beauty and grandeur, which render this tract the most delicious in all Wales.
A., L., (female) Journal of a Welsh Tour, Monthly Magazine; or, British Register, vol. 14, (October, 1802), pp. 303-307

1802

2.12.1802
We left Capel Curig early this morning on horseback with the design of examining the Celtic remains in the Isle of Anglesea the Harper of the inn [presumably Evan Jones] accompanying us in the capacity of interpreter.
{Arrived at Moel y don Ferry and sent horses back to Capel Curig}
Skinner, John, Transcript of a Ten Days Tour in Anglesey, December, 1802, British Museum Add. MS 33636; NLW MS 21031 D (copy), f. 22
Anon, Ten Days’ Tour Through the Isle of Anglesea, December, 1802, by the Rev. John Skinner, Archaeologia Cambrensis, Supplement, July 1908, p. 9

1802

THE CAPEL CURIG ROAD. In Bye-gones, May 8,1878, in some references to Evans’s maps of North Wales, mention was made of “The Capel Cerrig and Bangor Road Bill,” which had received the Royal Assent on Aug. 7, 1802. It was said that the promoters hoped to complete their work in three months, ” whereby the distance between Shrewsbury and Holyhead will be shortened at least nine miles, avoiding the dangerous Ferry of Conway, &c.” In the newspapers at the end of July, 1805 (just three years later) I read—” Lord Penrhyn has at length opened his new road through the mountains of North Wales, by which cut ten miles are saved to the traveller on his way to Holyhead, besides the avoidance of that terrible nuisance, Conway Ferry. The new road, which is uncommonly picturesque and romantic, turns off at Kernioge, thro’ Capel Cerrig, where an admirable inn is erected near Mount Snowdon, and thence by Lord Penrhyn’s slate mines to Bangor Ferry.”
Bye-gones, June, 1880, p. 74

1803

Monday January 3rd, 1803
Packed luggage and despatched it to Llanrwst.
Passed a number of people attending a funeral to Capel Curig Chapel {the 6th death since our residence in the neighbourhood the usual average being 3 a year.}
4.1.1803 left Capel Curig … accompanied by Evan the Harper [Evan Jones], the same person who attended us through Anglesey.
Skinner, John, Journal of a tour from Capel Curig in Caernarfon to Camerton, 3rd – 22nd January 1803, Cardiff Central Library, MS 1.498; British Library, add. mss. 33640, f.1

1804

Indeed, few undertakings can appear too vast for the public spirit of this nobleman [Lord Penrhyn], when it is recollected that he has rendered accessible the very centre of Eryri, by continuing the road through Nant Ffrancon to Capel Curig, where he has built a neat and agreeable inn.
Brewer, James Norris, (fl. 1799-1829), A Tour Through the most interesting parts of North Wales, The Universal Magazine, New Series, vol. 3, (1804), p. 24

1804

10th September
Capel Curig for three days where ‘a large inn is building’
Green, Harriet, Letter to Samuel Galton jnr. (Dudson, Birmingham). 26 Sept. 1804, Birmingham archives, MS3101/C/D/16/3/1  

1804

{change of landscape in the vale of Capel Curig – more picturesque and engaging.}
In the centre of the valley which is well wooded and in tolerable cultivation on an elevated spot is situated a neat inn built in the castellated form now enlarging under the patronage of Lord Penrhyn; here we find the best accommodation and every civility and attention paid us by our host.
Capel Curig, Wednesday 26th July
{sketched Snowdon while it was briefly visible}
{possible explanations for the clouds on the summits of mountains}
During breakfast, a guide of Snowdonia, esteemed an excellent harper introduced himself to us with all the insinuating liveliness of a Welsh air. So engaging an address was too powerful to be resisted and we could not but comply with his wishes to be our conductor up one of the mountains. We accordingly prepared to ascend Moel Siabod, finding, on enquiry, Snowdon to be at too great a distance, having 8 miles of difficult road to its base and 4 in the ascent.
When on the point of leaving Capel Curig our host very modestly requested I would express, in the Inn ledger, my approbation or disapprobation of the accommodations of the inn and the qualifications of the landlord : as should his conduct have merited our favour, it might be of service to his future advancement. During the two days that this had been our headquarters having found everything far beyond expectation in so remote a spot, and unremitted attention we could not hesitate to give an unexceptional character. This book to be met with in many parts of North Wales is a great source of amusement in wet weather as it is replete with jius d’esprits and the visitants for many years back among whom are discovered many names familiar to us; but it is peculiarly calculated to interest at this place, as it is here never permitted to be explored by the profanum vulgarus, and consequently free from insertions of an absurd or indecent nature. … The ledger affords this advantage; in turning over its pages we recognise, and, as it were, hold converse with our acquaintance; some of whom have given their opinion of the surrounding scene in the most flattering dress of language, whilst others, of a more lively imagination, “whose tongue would teach to other bosoms what so charms their own” have called in the assistance of an enraptured muse.
Anon, Journal of a sketching tour in North Wales made in company with Jere in the summer of 1804, NLW Puleston Papers, 1084A, pp. 52-62
[Sadly, there is no entry in the Capel Curig Inn Visitor’s book, NLW, ex 2126 (formerly Minor deposits 681B), for 27th July, 1804, nor is there any entry in the same hand at other adjacent dates. The writer of this journal has a very distinctive way of writing th (as in the, this, that, etc. as a devolved form of ‘y’)

1804

f. 7r
[at end of poem] ‘for Griffiths album, at Capel Curig’
{comments on Panegyric}… ‘the comforts of the inn and the judicious attention of the worthy landlord, Griffiths, to whom I gladly subscribe my contribution of applause and take pleasure in adding a line in commendation of Evan Jones, weaver, mineralogist, botanist, guide, waiter and Harper, JSD’
Image 32: pen and ink and colour wash sketch: Capel Curig Church
Diary of J.S. Duncan (later of the Ashmolean Museum) and his brother? P.B. Duncan, Tour Through Wales from Oxford, 1804, NLW MS 16714A

These [Panegyrics] are rather inserted to express their disappointment than satisfaction if the latter emotion were not really excited by the comforts of the inn and the judicious attention of the obliging landlord, Griffith, to whose civility I gladly contribute my ?mite of applause and take pleasure in adding a line in commendation of Evan Jones, Mineralogist, Botanist, Guide, Waiter and Harper, JSD, July 23 1804.
Capel Curig Inn Visitor’s book, NLW, ex 2126 (formerly Minor deposits 681B), p. 101
[JSD was J.S. Duncan (as above)]

1804

Capel Curig
Withering, William, Journal of a tour in North Wales
Birmingham City Archives, 386808 [ZZ32], 24.10.1804

1805

As we approached Capel Curig the night had closed: the stars, affording but little light, twinkled brilliantly in a dark-blue sky; whilst, on the side of the road, we heard the hoarse roar of waterfalls rolling through deep and rocky glens, overshadowed with projecting trees. We slept at Capel Curig, in the neighbourhood of Snowdon, amidst rocks and sterility. It is a tedious journey of five miles to this mighty mountain, who, with his hoary brethren, attracts the clouds that roll far and near, and discharges their burthen of rain upon the country. How finely has Gray [poet] made this mountain the theatre of his bard, as if its eminence enabled the frenzied prophet to look into other worlds.
But oh! what solemn scenes on Snowdon’s height,
Descending slow, their glittering skirts unroll;
Visions of glory, spare my aching sight,
Ye unborn ages, crowd not on my soul.
Carr, John, The Stranger in Ireland or, a Tour in the Southern and Western Parts of that Country, in the Year 1805, (1806), p. 15; reprint, 1970

1806

Griffith, Moses, (1747-1819)
Watercolour ‘Capel Curig’ showing the full length of the inn and stables from the south with  a footbridge in the foreground.
NMW A 3193

1806

I returned here [Caernarfon] from that excursion [climbing Snowdon] after having spent two days at a beautiful place called Capel-Cerig … where Lord Penrhyn has built a most magnificent Inn, such a one indeed as you would like to find near London. There will be when quite finished, seventy bedrooms, fifteen or twenty sitting rooms, and stalls in the stables for one hundred horses. It happens to be on the new road to Holyhead … Lord and Lady Penrhyn were just there as I came, and Lady Penrhyn knew me immediately, though I had not the pleasure of knowing her. … Without plaguing me with any compliments nor indeed seeming to take any notice of me, she sent for the Inn-keeper and told him to give me their own sitting room and bed room., and to have as much attention for me as for themselves, after which they proceeded on their way to Penrhyn Castle. I only knew who they were after they had gone, and I was just as comfortable as in a delightful country-seat, without any of the ceremonies attending a Visit.
d’Orleans, Antoinne Philippe, Duc de Montpensier (1775-1807), Tour in Wales, [1806], Correspondence to Mrs Forbes, Seaton House, Aberdeen. MS 2358 University of Aberdeen, Letter dated Caernarfon, 20.9.1806
Hay, Malcolm, (translator) Prince in Captivity, (London, 1960), p. 208

1806

Capel Curig – only one Bed to be had, obliged to have one made on the sofa for myself. Indeed I thought myself fortunate in getting that, as many others who came after us were obliged to sleep on the floor.
Bant, Millicent, (accompanied Lady Wilson), Essex Record office D/DFr F2, pp. 18-19a, July 28th

1806

p. 200
[Capel Curig] There is … a capital inn now built by Lord Penrhyn for accommodation on the new turnpike road.
Williams, William, ‘A Survey of the Ancient and Present State of the County of Caernarvon by a Landsurveyor, 1806’, NLW ms 821C

1806

Capel Curig stands in a fine mountainous vale in which are two lakes. A good inn, erected here by Lord Penrhyn in 1798.
Anon, A Short Account of Caernarvon, and Bedd-kill-hart; or, Beddgelart, &c. (Caernarvon, T. Roberts, 1806), p. 65

1806, 29th August Friday

Capel Curig abused by Every body. Cruelty to an Officers wife. My friend on foots reception. [Did this mean that pedestrians were given poorer service than other tourists?]
Byrne, Angela, A Scientific, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour : John (Fiott) Lee in Ireland, England and Wales, 1806–1807, (Hakluyt Society, Third Series, vol. 34) (Routledge 2018), pp. 97-98

1807

September 6th, Visit of Charles Lennox, the 4th Duke of Richmond.
There is a painted panel with his coat of arms in the corridor of Capel Curig Inn. There are no entries in the visitors’ book for this year.

1808

Capel Curig
Anon, National Library of Scotland, 15368, f. 202v

1808

The North Wales Chronicle, in its second instalment of “Leaves from our Early Issues,” reproduces an account of a memorable snow storm which occurred on February 11, 1808. “Much anxiety,” says the writer, “was occasioned here for the fate of the Shrewsbury coach which passed through a short time before the storm commenced, but we are happy to say the passengers took refuge in a house near Ogwen Pool where they remained all night and the next morning arrived safe at Capel Curig.”
Bye-Gones, February, 1884, p. 38

1808

7.8.1808 [Sunday]
p. 64
{description of Landscape}
Capel Curig Inn
p. 67
More on landscape
‘Capel Curig is an immense house and a most commodious inn. The host told me that it could
p. 68
at any time furnish sixty beds.
Anon, (Dixon?), Denbighshire Archives, DD-DM-228-78
Thomas, R.G., ‘A Tour of North Wales in 1808’: article in Report of the County Archivist, 1977, pp. 12-18

1809

p. 4
6.3.1809 [Monday] Capel Curig
As I write at the foot of Snowdon and while the Welsh harper is playing you must expect to have nothing but rapturous accounts of the stupendous rocks and mountains which we have passed – and one must be without either taste or feeling not to have admired them but I fear I shall be held very cheap by the sentimental tourist when I say that my admiration for wild and rugged rocks, is what I rather have been taught than what is the natural feeling of my own mind for the appearance of comfort, neatness, cultivation, and civilisation is what I am naturally most pleased with.
Diary of [? Mrs Ann Lewis] during her journey from Tiberton to Dublin and of her stay with Lady Roche …, 1809, March 4 – July 2, NLW Harpton Court, 2364

1808

Nicholson, G., The Cambrian Traveller’s Guidein every direction containing remarks made during many excursions, in the Principality of Wales and bordering districts, augmented by extracts from the best writers, (1808)
(No copies of the first edition have been found. See 2nd edition, corrected and considerably enlarged, 1813, below)

1809-1811 (about)

Description of the Parish of Llandegai
p. 3
Lime {the cost of transport prevented lime being used to improve the soil more than a few miles inland} The lime with which the Inn at Capel Curig was built cost above a guinea and a half a load.
p. 5
The inn at Capel Curig, was, in 1800, a small house of three rooms upon a floor with an attached wing of offices. It has since grown by successive additions to an extent of 180 feet in front, with stabling, out offices, and every sort of convenience. Sixty beds are made up within it, and the establishment of carriages, and horses, tender? the mail and a heavy coach, which pass here, is very ample. Yet great as are the accommodations, so continual is sometimes the travelling, particularly in summer, that they are not sufficient to receive all who require them.
The first road from Llandygai village to Capel Curig was made by the late Lord Penrhyn, at his own expense, along an old track way which had here before served as a bridle road.
[note:] The situation of the inn is so far disadvantageous, that it supplies of corn and hay must be drawn from a distance. Even its coals come from the further part of Denbighshire, and its nearest market, Llanrwst, is 8 miles off and Cap. 6
An act of Parliament in 1807, the road was opened on the other side of the valley.
On the road from Capel Curig to Beddgelert at the distance of a few miles west is a large stone of memorial about six feet high called Maen y Gwr but more commonly known by that Llech y Gwur. Behind this in those days, when there were Dragons, a man is said to have taken his station in order to shoot one of those obnoxious monsters. The occasion of its being set up is unknown but near it was found a stone coffin which has been broken and part of it brought to the inn where it forms a seat in the gardens. In digging the foundation of the Inn was found an Iron gorget with a chain of the same metal, much worn by time.
The Inn stands beautifully over the two lakes of Capel Curig; and from it is seen in fine weather by much the best view of Snowdon {Views from Capel Curig Inn}
The village is one of the smallest imaginable consisting of scarcely half a dozen houses and a church which is little better than a hovel. To this the inhabitants have a neighbouring parishes have a right of coming, but the burthen of repair falls exclusively on Llandygai.
{People worshiped on the adjacent rock of Llanrochwen in the time of Henry III}
‘An account of the parishes of Llandygai, Llanllechid and Aber forming part of a preparatory draft of ‘A Description of Caernarvonshire’ written 1809-1811 by Edmund Hyde Hall’, NLW add MS 839C

1809-1811 (about)

The inn at Capel Curig, which serves here as a sort of pivot on which the intercourse between London and Dublin is constantly turning, has grown up to an extent of establishment which generally, though not always, ensured either the accommodation or the passage of the traveller. [note:] Sixty beds and all other accommodation in proportion are found here, but the inn labours under the disadvantage of drawing all its resources from very distant markets. [end of note]
{building of the road}
The inn itself is beautifully placed upon the bank of its lower lake, and from it the scarped face of Snowdon … is seen to very great advantage.  In digging the foundations an Iron gorget with a chain of the same was found and at the end of the terrace facing Moel Siabod, within a seat, is shown a fragment of a stone coffin found near a large stone of memorial called Maen y Gŵr, but more commonly Llech y Gŵr. The stone stands a few miles west of the inn and was the station, says the tale, behind which a monster-slayer took his post in order to destroy a dragon when dragons were in fashion.
The village of Capel Curig consists of not more than half a dozen houses and the church (a chapel of ease to Llandegai) which is merely a hovel. To this the inhabitants of the neighbouring parishes have a right to come but the burthen of repair falls exclusively on Llandegai.
{People worshiped on the adjacent rock of Llanrochwen in the time of Henry III}
Hall, Edmund Hyde, 1760s?-1824, A Description of Caernarvonshire (1809-1811), University College of North Wales, Bangor, Penrhyn add. ms. 2942, (UCNW 1952, formerly Bangor MS 908?)
Jones, E Gwynne, (ed.), A Description of Caernarvonshire by Edmund Hyde Hall, (1952), pp. 99-100

1810 (about)

f. 43r
The inn at Capel Curig I may safely pronounce to be one of the handsomest and most commodious in this country, having a garden tastefully laid out, and ornamented, all the rooms lie at the back of the house, most of them possessing a most perfect view of Snowdon and other mountains and a gravel walk about 3 yards from the house gives you an unbounded landscape with Snowdon in the Centre. A translucid stream flows almost beneath the windows  – all these beauties are much f. 43v
the politeness, genuine civility and accommodation of Mr Griffiths, the landlord of the inn who uses every exertion to make his guests comfortable. The longer you remain in this inn, the more difficult you will find it to get away.
Anon, Narrative of a Tour through Wales by an anonymous English Gentleman. NLW MS 18943B
Described as early 18th century, but refers to Cumberland (1796) and Warner (1797) and is thus probably early 19th century.

Undated (c. 1810?)

Capel Curig, a very capital inn, not quite so cheap as usual, but not exorbitant.
At Capel Curig you must remain a day or two and walk down the London road to Betws seeing some falls … [Bettws y Coed, Swallow Falls]
Anon [Advice relating to a tour from Gloucester to Mid and North Wales], NLW MS 2685

1810

6.9.1810
Capel Curig Inn. The inconvenience to which it would be exposed by the rock in front of it is removed by making most of the sitting rooms in the back of the house. These have a tolerable fine view of the vale and lakes of Capel Curig, but still I do not like the inn. Those English waiters and English manners do not suit the mountainous region in which they are transplanted. Oh how much more delightful is the romantic inn and rustic ways of the tenants of Beddgelert
Hue, Corbet (1769 – 1837), Journal of Corbet Hue, Fellow and Bursar of Jesus College, Oxford, ‘Journal of a Tour through N W[ales], 17th July, 1810’, NLW MSS 23218B, p. 83

1810

Pen and ink, grey and sepia drawings
7 Snowdon and Capel Curig on the Llugwy 6.7.1810
8 South front of the Inn at Capel Curig with Snowdon
9 Inn at Capel Curig, 10.7.1810
13 The Inn at Capel Curig with Snowdon at a distance 10.7.1810
Hoare, Sir Richard Colt, NLW Drawing volume 9

1810

Sir Richard Colt Hoare was accompanied on a tour of Wales in 1810 by Sir Richard Fenton. Both kept diaries (see below). Fenton was obsessed by Roman antiquities while Colt Hoare spent a lot of time fishing.
4.7.1810 (Wednesday)
Capel Cerrig [sic] ie the chapel of St Cyric. We fixed on this central spot for our excursions in the Snowdonian district. When I last visited these parts some years ago [1799] there was no accommodation even for the fisherman or even a pedestrian-tourist but the public zeal of the late Lord Penrhyn has remedied all these inconveniences by establishing a large and commodious inn at Capel Curig and by rendering the rough places plain. {the quality of the roads}. The inn and its appendages occupy a large space of ground and its different sides afford a singular contrast. On one side you will see numerous carriages hastening to or from the dear country and all the posting bustle of Hounslow or Salthill; on the other side all is retirement and wild solitude [ellipses in Thompson’s transcription] In front of the house is a rugged mountain … {scenery} I cannot commend either the architecture or materials of the house, particularly those of the principal front which is entirely lined with slate, giving it a most funereal appearance when viewed from the lake and other places. Had it been built with the stone of the country, and not faced, it would have proved a good and enlivening object from many points of view in the neighbourhood. The architecture is a medley of square and pointed windows etc. and irregular in its plan. The bedrooms are in general small but the whole is commodious, and so good a refuge in so desolate a country could hardly be expected.
10.7.1810 (Tuesday)
Having been confined to our fireside for the two last days by storm and tempest we gladly mounted our horses. The heavy rains induced me to show my friend [Fenton] the savage beauties of Llyn Ogwen and its neighbourhood. {to Bangor}.

20.8.1810 Monday
Bangor
Penrhyn slate quarry
To Capel Curig
The same unfavourable weather which had driven us away before from Capel Curig again received us and confined us for the first three days to our fireside, the more mortifying as we saw clear weather in the vale below.
To Llanberis
We returned, men and horses, safe and sound to Capel Curig and on Sunday 26th [August] we [Fenton and Colt Hoare] parted company and I returned to Vachdeiliog [Colt Hoare’s fishing lodge on Bala Lake].
Cardiff Public Library, MS 4.302.2 (folio, part); Cardiff Public Library, MS 4.302.3 (folio, part); Cardiff Public Library, MS 3.127.6 (quarto)
Thompson, M.W., The Journeys of Sir Richard Colt Hoare, 1983, pp. 247-248, 269

1810

Sir Richard Fenton, who published his Historical Tour through Pembrokeshire in 1810 accompanied Sir Richard Colt Hoare on a tour of Wales in 1810. Fenton was obsessed by Roman antiquities while Colt Hoare spent a lot of time fishing.
p. 184
4.7.1810
Rhaiadr y Wennol
Capel Curig
A large inn on the banks of a lake or lakes called Llyniau’r Capel, because they are near the little chapel dedicated to St Curig, a chapel of Ease to Llandegai.
5.7.1810       Thursday
Wrote all morning. My companions [including Sir Richard Colt Hoare] being on a  fishing party to the Lakes. After Dinner walked by the margin of the lakes …
6.7.1810       Friday
Sir Richard went to draw a bridge
p. 185
I went to Bettws y Coed church, but the key could not be found
Visited a Roman villa at Bryn y Geveilie
p. 186
7.7.1810       Saturday
At the pen busy till dinner. {Visited the Roman villa again with Sir Richard}
8.7.1810       Sunday         no entry
9.7.1810       Monday        no entry
10.7.1810     Tuesday
Llyn Ogwen
p. 187
views
11.7.1810     Wednesday
leave Capel Curig for Dolwyddelan
{Fenton’s diary ends on 17.8.1810}
Cardiff Central Library, MS 5.12
Tours in Wales (1804-1813) by Richard Fenton, Edited from his Ms. Journals in the Cardiff Fre-e Library by John Fisher, Cambrian Archaeological Association, Supplemental Volume for 1917, pp. 184-187

1811

Capel Curig, a fine inn
A lady, Diary of a driving tour of North Wales in the months of July and August 1811
Cardiff Central Library, ms 1.405, 20.7.1811

1812

20.8.1812 (Thursday)
To Capel Curig
‘The walls of the house [Capel Curig inn] and roof are slated and the windows and chimneys etc. are finished after a plan of My Wyatt’s to look gothic.’
Gray, Jonathan, Letter, North Yorkshire Record Office, ZGY Letter J52e, Beddgelert, 23.8.1812

1812

Drawing album
p. 95
Picture ‘From Beddgelert to Capel Curig’ lake
p. 96
Picture ‘Snowdon on the route from Beddgelert to Capel Curig’
p. 97
Picture ‘Capel Curig Snowdon in the distance’
“The great and comfortable inn of Capel Curig is situated in the most romantic spot where Snowdon with all his mountain scenery, barren, vast and sublime shews itself in his glory.’
p. 98
Picture ‘From Capel Curig to Bangor’ {the rocks}
Becker, Edmund, fl. 1770s – 1825 (also known as Ferdinand Becker)
Becker, Mr and Mrs, (1812) Album of drawings, NLW DV33 (PZ319)
(Cecilia Powell and Stephen Hebron, ‘Savage Grandeur and Noblest Thoughts: Discovering the Lake District’, exhibition catalogue, Dove Cottage, Wordsworth Trust, 2010, p. 143)

1813

Arrive at Capel Curig [no description of the inn]
‘Excellent trout caught by Jones the harper who plays for two hours at night all the melody of the mountains.’
Duncan, John Shute, (1768-1844), Later keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (1823-1829), Tour Through Wales 1813, NLW MS16715A, 8.8.1813, pp. 19-20

1813
CAPEL CURIG consists of a few cottages and a chapel, situated between Llanrwst and Caernarfon, on the London and Holyhead road, in the most southern part of Llandegai parish, so called from St. Curig its patron. It is a chapel of ease, intended, doubtless, to accommodate the inhabitants of the mountainous extremities of the parishes of Llandegai, Llanllechid, Trefriw, Llanrhochwyn, Llanrwst and Dolwyddelan, which extend nearly to this place. The church is endowed by Queen Anne’s bounty, and served by the minister of Dolwyddelan. The parishioners of Llandegai are notwithstanding bound to keep it in repair. An annual fair is held here for sheep, Sept. 28, where Lord Penrhyn first built a small but comfortable Inn, from a design by Mr. Wyatt. This has been greatly enlarged and furnished in a very superior manner. It affords many comfortable and some elegant apartments, with good stabling, &c. It is covered both on the roof and sides, with fine blue slates. Its situation is naked, but it commands a very fine combination of mountain, lake, rock, and ornamented ground. The garden is well disposed; the prospect from the terrace and the alcove singularly pleasing. Beyond the lakes immediately in front rises the biforked summit of Snowdon, in his most dignified form. A pleasure boat is kept upon the lake. The vale of Capel Curig is bounded by Snowdon and his surrounding mountains, affording a most picturesque landscape. Here is that variety of wood and water, in which many of the Welsh vales are defective. “Every curious and contemplative observer of the sublimities of nature,” observes the author of Beaumaris Bay, ”will certainly be happy in knowing that the very centre of Eryri has been rendered accessible even to carriages, by a continuation of the road through the romantic vale of Nant Ffrancon to Capel Curig. From this spot the recesses of Snowdonia may be traversed at leisure, and with the satisfaction of having within reach the noon-day repast, and the evening retirement.” From a note to “Beaumaris Bay” a poem. Upon moist heaths and turfy bogs near Capel Curig grows the Lycopodium inundatum.
Nicholson, G., The Cambrian Traveller’s Guide in every direction containing remarks made during many excursions, in the Principality of Wales and bordering districts, augmented by extracts from the best writers, (2nd edition, corrected and considerably enlarged, 1813), pp. 321-322
The 1840 edition, edited by his son (below) contains some additions to this.

1814-1815

Capel Curig is a little cluster of houses, scarcely to be called a village, but in a most romantic situation in a complete dell inclosed with rocks, and behind them towering the majestic Snowdon. There is, however, an exceedingly good inn.
Plumptre, Anne, Narrative of a Residence in Ireland during the summer of 1814 and that of 1815, (1817), pp. 189-196

1815

Arrive at Capel Curig, where is a fine hotel—beautiful little lake and noble prospect of Snowdon. The hotel is built of slate—sides and roof—and commands a fine view up and down the valley.
Irving, Washington, Tour of Wales, 1815, The Journals of Washington Irving, Volume 1, edited by William Trent and George Hellman, (The Bibliophile Society, Boston, 1919), p. 17

1815

I ascended Snowdon from Capel Curig,
Prichard, I. C., ‘Geological Observations on North Wales’,  Annals of Philosophy or, Magazine of Chemistry, Mineralogy, Mechanics, Natural history, Agriculture, and the Arts. Vol 6, (1815), pp. 363-366

1816

Capel Cerrig (likewise spelt Capel Curig), a small place, consisting of a few peasant’s houses, and a chapel, becomes important from its romantic situation, not far from the foot of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales.  A great
p. 39
benefit has been conferred on travellers by Lord Penrhyn … by a large inn built by him at this place, … The inn is built agreeably to a design of Mr Wyatt, the architect, but is by no means one of his masterpieces. The whole consists of one house of three, and another of four stories in height, situated close to each other; the latter being again separated into two divisions, one of which has a gate in the gothic style, and the other a gate in the common style. We were ushered into a pretty little hexangular room, in a projection behind the building the windings of which opened into the garden, and in the contemplation of the beautiful prospect we here enjoyed soon forgot all our objections to the building itself. It is not however to be supposed that we have an extensive prospect, for the view is bounded by a mountain, rising at a small distance from the house. But the gradual terrace-like ascent, and the rich and beautiful brushwood with which it is covered almost to its very summit, have a very picturesque appearance. The garden which runs along the whole length of the building in which we were, consisting of the projection already mentioned, and two other square projections connected together by intermediate structures, is indeed very narrow, and contains only a gravel walk with a few flower beds on each side, but from its length and number of
p. 40
lauristinuses, roses etc, with which it is filled, it has on the whole a very agreeable appearance.
{Views from an eminence in front of the house}
This inn, notwithstanding its unconnected plan, is provided with every convenience a traveller could wish for. Nay, suitable provision is even made for the scientific tourist as ancient and modern topographic and orthographic maps of Wales are hung along the walls of the passage which connects the small house with the larger one.
Spiker, Samuel Heinrich, Dr (1786-1858), Travels through England, Wales, & Scotland, in the year 1816: Translated from the German.  (London: Printed for Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, and Jones, 1820. (2 vols), pp. 38-40

1816

We slept at Capel Curig in the neighbourhood of Snowdon,
Stringer, Thomas, Irish Extracts … The European Magazine, and London Review, Volume 70, November, 1816, pp. 393-394
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=KO0RAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA391&lpg=PA396&ots=1DSbmmXnyu&dq=butler+and+ponsonby&output=text

 

1816

p. 111
It was now too late for much of out-door employment; so I amused myself with examining this poor-looking church. It is somewhat singular, that the parish of Llandegai, beginning beyond that village, is no less than fifteen miles in length, including Capel Curig, which is chapel of ease to Llandegai, and five other chapels, dependent on the same mother-church. The chapel is dedicated to St. Curig, in the seventh century, celebrated for his learning and holy life: and is well endowed by Queen Anne’s bounty.
In full hopes of fine weather for ascending the mountain early, I engaged a guide at the inn, and went to repose for the night. On awaking in the morning, I was much concerned to find that the weather was very hazy; and the mist by noon increased to a heavy rain, which confined me to the house the whole day. The recollection, however, of the beautiful and clement sky with which I had hitherto been favoured, suppressed all disposition to complaint.
This inn was lately built from a plan by Mr. Wyatt, but finding it much too small for the convenience of the numerous travellers on this road, Lord Penrhyn ordered an addition of no less than twelve handsome rooms, which are now finished. Here is a large folio book to amuse the stranger, in which it is wished by the landlord, that ladies and gentlemen would favour the public with such remarks on the treatment and accommodation which they experience under his roof, as they may think him entitled to ; and I was glad to observe, with the exception of two or three grumblers, who seemed discontented for what the landlord could not prevent, he had met with deserved praise from all. The book also contains some beautiful specimens of poetry, on various subjects; and some to the honour of Lord Penrhyn, to whom the public in general is highly indebted, for one of the greatest improvements the country ever saw, in the planning and execution of an excellent turnpike-road, through one of the roughest and most mountainous countries in Great Britain; where before no animal, but the sure-footed Welsh poney, or the native mountaineer, could travel. This road is now open from Bangor-ferry to Shrewsbury, avoiding the circuitous route through Conway; and thereby saving ten miles, merely in the distance from Bangor to Capel Voelas. Another road is now making from Chester, through Mold, Ruthin, Cerig-y-Druidion, and Capel Woelas, to meet this at Capel Curig; which from hence will branch through to Port-yn-Llyn, near Nevin, in this county, from whence it is in contemplation to establish packets, to sail to and from Dublin.
Quoted by Pugh, from the Capel Curig Visitors’ book:
“Evan Jones, the guide at Capel Curig, is one whose good qualities as a conductor, and good character as a man, are highly praise-worthy. He left an easy service, and a kind master, to support his aged parents by great toil and industry. May such virtue meet with its reward Jones follows the different occupations of a weaver, harper, and a guide; and all of them with deserved reputation.”
Pugh, Edward, (1761-1813), Cambria Depicta: A Tour Through North Wales illustrated with Picturesque Views, By a Native Artist, (London: printed by W. Clowes for E. Williams, 1816. Quarto), pp. 111-112

1817

Arrived at the ‘large and comfortable inn of Capel Curig’ soaked through, ‘having no clean shirts in the saddlebag we had determined on remaining here the rest of the day …’
Journal of Lieut. Col George Brown’s tour of north Wales, NLS ms2870, f. 15

1817

At length we arrived at the inn at Capel Curig. It was built a few years ago upon a small scale by Lord Penrhyn, from a pleasing design by Mr. Wyatt; but it has been since greatly enlarged in consequence of the increase of travelling on this road, and is now of vast extent, being scarcely less than 90 yards in length. Its sides as well as roof are wholly covered with blue slates. It stands on an elevated spot, in a bleak, exposed situation a little out of the road to Bangor and rather on that to Llanberris; having three lakes in the valley below, and a small copse on the lower ascent of the opposite mountain. In the entrance passage of the inn we saw, suspended in frames, the coats of arms, emblazoned, with the styles and titles set forth, of the two last viceroys of Ireland, the Duke of Richmond and Lord Whitworth: and at other inns on this line we afterwards observed similar ones, with those of many former Lords-Lieutenants; it being usual for every new one to send such to all the inns at which he sleeps on the way to his viceroyalty.
Before dinner we walked up the mountain to view the country, and in the afternoon strolled about two miles on the road to Llanberris. … As we returned to the inn, the moon rose in stately grandeur over the mountains on our right band. Early on the following morning we proceeded on our journey.
Fisher, Paul Hawkins, A Three weeks tour into Wales in the year 1817, (Stroud, 1818), pp. 44-45

1817

Capel Curig [little detail]
Granger, M., 2 letters to ‘My dear Sister’ addressed to Mrs Yonge at Yealmpton from M Granger. Writes about travel in Wales and gives details of the places visited. Dated Machynlleth September 1st c1817 and Bangor September 11th.
Plymouth and West Devon Record Office, 308/122/2 

1818

August 30th
At Bangor ferry we had a bad dinner soon after which we came on to Capel Curig 17 miles of most romantic scenery & excellent road the best road I ever saw. Capel Curig is a very good inn quite different to what we had seen throughout Wales. We slept here & on the 31st [August] proceeded to Llanwrst
Elwes, Susan, Diary, Norfolk Record Office, HMN 5/34    

1818

After passing Llyn Ogwen which is famous for its trout, the road for many miles is over a peat moor. There were at this time many workmen engaged in forming a new road. About a mile from Capel Curig, after making a sudden turn in the road, Snowdon majestically presents itself, & here we stopped for some time to enjoy the contemplation of so fine an object. ‘Thither shalt thou come, but no further’ was the feeling which it suggested. We descended a steep & winding mile to Capel Curig where there is, in the midst of the grand solitude, a large & very excellent inn. From the terrace at the back of the house, the view of Snowdon & all his sons is peculiarly striking. The mountain on the left of the inn is Siabod whose height is best seen a few miles distant. It is said to be the 3rd highest mountain in Wales. We were several days at Capel Curig, which only one circumstance could make us expect, we were detained by the illness of Lady Fitzherbert. This spot abounds in grandeur & sublimity & I could have passed weeks here without wishing for any intercourse with the world. The gentlemen ascended Snowdon, the distance from hence to its summit is 9 miles. They found it an arduous undertaking. It took them from 9 in the morning to 7 in the evening to accomplish it. The day was tempestuous, a thunderstorm beneath them had a sublime effect. The more usual way of ascending the heights is from the other side of the mountain, when a pony may be rode within a mile of the top. This is much more hazardous. From Capel Curig we made several short excursions. … I must not omit mentioning that the landlord at Capel Curig is also the clergyman. He does not however take any active part in the management of the inn. It is carried on in the name of his wife, who was a widow. The church was very small, & the duty very little. We found some difficulty in obtaining medical advice, & had to send many miles before even an apothecary could be met with, & luckily when he arrived our invalid had no occasion to make trial of his skill.
Alderson, Harriet, (Accompanied Lady Fitzherbert of Tissington, Staffs?), Journal of a tour from Aston to Beaumaris in September 1818, Gwynedd Record Office, XM/2600

1819

Capel Curig an only house in which gives name to or takes name from the place. It has so many doors I was obliged to ask a person standing by which I was to go in at. Here we took tea, and a coach for Llangollen coming up in about an hour we mounted it for a ride to that place.
Michael Faraday (1791-1867), Original manuscripts in the Institution of Electrical Engineers, Savoy Place, London, Common Place Book 2 for 19 July 1819,  UK0108 SC MSS 002/1/2
Dafydd Tomos, Michael Faraday in Wales: including Faraday’s journal of his tour through Wales in 1819 [1972], p. 95
In his extensive note on Capel Curig (note 72, pp. 139-140), Tomos suggested that it came into existence in 1800 and was later improved. It was the stopping place for the mail coaches from 1808-1848 when the Irish Mail commenced running. He told the story of the widow of the first landlord who married the local curate … He also suggested that it became known as the Royal Hotel in about 1871 because of a Royal visit and he lists various members of the British Royal family who stayed there but there is no evidence that Queen Victoria stayed there, either as Princess (when she stayed in north Wales for several months in 1832) or subsequently as Queen. He said that in 1955 the Central Council for Physical Recreation acquired it for a National Mountaineering Centre and re-named it Plas-y-Brenin.

1819

Climbed Snowdon … Capel Curig, stayed the night. To Llanrwst.
Anon [signed] ‘Warrington’, ‘7 days tour’, Bangor university, ms. 29, p. 26

1819, 21-22 July

At Capel Curig, where we did not arrive till late, we with difficulty procured beds; there is a celebrated waterfall near this place, Rhayader Wennol. The river here forcing its way through opposing obstacles, increases the horror of this savage desert, by a precipitate fall from rock to rock into a deep abyss. A dark wood which overhangs the rocks, gives an indescribable sublimity to the scene. The hotel at Capel Curig is a very good house, built by Lord Penrhyn, of slates, and looks well from the mountain of that name. Here we have a fine view of Snowdon, the king of the Welch mountains; and here we passed the whole of the 22nd.
There is a pretty little Welch church, which serves for a school likewise; in the church yard there are several monuments to the English; one very handsome in particular, with an elegant inscription, to the memory of Lady Arabella Ward, who died in Ireland. There are not more than two or three cottages in the village. I walked nearly to the top of Capel Curig with a Welch guide, who was knitting all the while.
Selwyn, Elizabeth, Mrs, Journal of Excursions through the most interesting parts of England, Wales and Scotland, during the Summers and Autumns of 1819, 1820, 1821, 1822 and 1823, (London, 1824), pp. 40-41

1819

Capel Curig beautiful situation of inn garden in front sloping down to the river Glewyn high mountains beyond to the right Kerrig lakes and Snowdon rising above them Inn built by Ld Penrhyn entirely of slate.
Cotton, Lady Philadelphia, Tour through North Wales, Cambridgeshire County Record Office, 588/F48, p. 4

1819

p. 47
Capel Curig. Here and at Cernioge are excellent inns built for the accommodation of Travellers by the late Lord Penrhyn.
Mr and Mrs Woolrych [Sir? Humphry W Woolrych (Humphry William), 1795-1871; Penelope Woolrych 1800?-1876], Journal of a Tour in Wales performed during the summer of 1819, NLW, 16630B

1820

Beyond the Fall [Rhaider y Wennol], instead of following the old line along the south-west bank of the Llugwy to near Capel Curig, a substantial new bridge of two arches carries the road to the north bank, along which it runs for nearly two miles, where it is again joined by the old, at a fine lofty bridge on the left, where a semi-circular turret is placed in the wall, to view a pretty waterfall under the bridge. This line is but just completed, and instead of passing the great Inn at Capel Curig is continued in a direct course about one quarter of a mile to the north of it, where they are preparing to build another inn and stables, for the greater convenience of the coaches.
Bowman, J.E., (Welshpool), Recent Tour from Shrewsbury to Holyhead, Monthly Magazine, vol 50, part 2, (1820), pp. 213-214

1821

Williams was rector of Llan-rug and Llanberis from 1792 until his death in 1836. He mentioned the road improvements on the Bettws y Coed to Holyhead road, but not the inn at Capel Curig.
Capel Curig is in the Parish of Llandegai, and was a Chapel of ease to that Church and Llanllechid, but is now served with Dolydd Helen; it is dedicated to a reputed saint of the name of Curig, respecting whom, and some other begging Friars, these Welsh lines were written:
Un o honynt, a ddygai
Curig Lwyd, dan gwr ei glog;
Gwas arall, a ddng Seiriol,
A nuw o gaws yn ei gol.
A certain Friar, to increase his store
Beneath his cloak, grey Curig’s Image bore;
And, to protect good folks from nightly harm,
Another sells St. Seiriol as a charm.
It may reasonably be supposed that St. Curig resided for some time in this sequestered spot, as we find many persons of eminence, in the fifth and sixth Centuries, to have fled from the borders of Scotland, and other parts of Great Britain, to the Mountains of Wales, to avoid the Saxon sword.
Williams, Peter Bailey, Rev. The tourist’s guide through the County of Caernarvon : containing a short sketch of its history, antiquities, etc. (1821), p. 146; (other editions, 1828, 1832)

1821

5.9.1821 (Wednesday)
Capel Curig ‘The inn very good and very full’
Morgan, Charles Octavius Swinnerton, (1803-1888) of Tredegar, Monmouthshire, ‘Journal of a tour through North Wales – 1821’ Society of Antiquaries of London.
Transcription and notes in Evans, Dai Morgan, ‘Octavius Morgan : Journal of a tour through North Wales in 1821’, Archaeologia Cambrensis, vol 160, (2011), p. 244

1821

p. 31
Capel Curig Inn has 40 beds. ‘The Clocfyman?? of the place married the landlady after the death of her first husband and lives in the house.
p. 32
29.7.1821 (Saturday)
{Evan Jones, harper at the inn, guided them up Snowdon, accompanied by a gentleman, his wife and their daughter.}
Yonge /Younge family?, Three small booklets, Plymouth and West Devon Record Office 308/41/2

1822

July 19th
Nothing could surpass the beauty of the drive from Bangor ferry to Capel Curig nor the neatness of the inn and civility of the people. …
Went into a neat garden at Capel Curig splendid view of Snowdon the house all weather slated exquisitely neat Welsh harper played several tunes for us pretty style of music and very good player [.] bad one Holyhead [.] a harper at all the Welsh inns the Capel one was also a weaver and one of the Snowdon guides.
Saturday July 20: Off at six {for Cernioge}
Brinkley, Sarah, Journal of a tour from Dublin via Holyhead, and following North Wales trip, into England, Denbighshire Record Office, DD/PR/133

1822

Capel Curig
Corn, Edward, Journal of a tour, Birmingham City Archives, MS 387323 [ZZ32], 28.8.1822

1822

p. 92
arrived at Capel Curig at 1.30 p.m., but ‘there were no beds to be had … but sent for Mrs Hughes and determined to stay at all events and to sleep upon a sofa.’
sketched Snowdon
‘Found the Townshend party just arrived from Snowdon and setting off for the Penrhyn arms, and the two Miss Cunliffes, the Warden of Ruthin, and a Mrs and Miss Newcome and another person all returned from the same place … and I drank tea with them.’
{able to get a bed in a remote part of the inn}
p. 104
‘The last time I visited this mountain I was a schoolboy. On the eve of returning to Eaton, I had snatched a hasty tour into Wales … and returning back to Capel Curig we lost our way among the marshes and with difficulty regained the proper path.’
p. 107
back to Capel Curig
Parker, John, (1798-1860), Tours through Wales 1819-47, NLW MS 18256C, pp. 92-93

1822

22d Sat:  We breakfasted at Kernioge Mawr and having crossed the new iron bridge which commemorate the Battle of Waterloo changed horses at Capel Curig, a most beautiful romantic spot very much frequented for its excellent fishing in the adjoining lake, and being itself situated on the border of a most lovely lake at the foot of Snowdon. It is however ten miles from the inn where guides are supplied to the summit of the mountain of which we had a very fine view about half an hour before we arrived at Capel Curig. We left this truly enchanting spot …
M.P. (Martha Porter?), Diary, Worcestershire Record Office, BA 3940/64ii 705:262, 22.6.1822

1822

With the intention of ascending Snowdon by all the customary routes, our first station was at Capel Curig Inn, but for several days our hopes of making an ascent were disappointed by the wetness and haziness of the weather, which prevented us from even discerning the mountain, and ultimately deprived us of the opportunity of ascending it from all the various points. Meantime we were induced by Mr. Dawson, who did us the favour of a visit at Capel Curig, to ascend and examine the neighbouring mountain Moel Shabod. … In one of the stones used in the construction of “the tap,” belonging to Capel Curig Inn, near the door, we observed a considerable mass containing the impressions of several shells.
Phillips, W., Sketch of the Geology of Snowdon, and the surrounding Country. By W. Phillips, FLS. MGS. and S. Woods, MGS, The Annals of Philosophy, Volumes 19-20, (Nov. 1822), pp. 324, 328

1823

p. 109
Road from Bangor to Capel Curig built by Lord Penrhyn ‘in order to revenge himself on the people of Aberconwy who treated him
p. 110
with great disrespect at an election there.’
p. 149
p. 150
the rain increased to a perfect torrent and we arrived [at Capel Curig] about 4 o’clock, drenched to the skin and dripping like soaked blankets. Fortunately our Portmanteaus had arrived and we soon had the comfort of exchanging out wet clothes
p. 151
for a dry suit. The rain continued without interruption till sunset, when it cleared, and the blue sky began to appear. We strolled out into the garden belonging to the Inn which is situate at a small distance from the Road at the extremity of two small lakes. On reaching the bank, a most beautiful and sublime prospect at once burst upon us: the two lakes were swollen with the rain so as to form one and a strong wind blowing from the opposite
p. 152
extremity caused a violent agitation and swell in the water which rushed with the rapidity of a whirlpool through the outlet into the river.
{view of Snowdon}
p. 154
20.9.1823 (Saturday)
p. 155
Llyn Ogwen
Benglog waterfall
toured the area around Capel Curig
p. 164
22.9.1823 (Monday)
The morning was stormy and we anticipated another days confinement, but about 12 the clouds began to break and we ventured forth, taking with us baggage for two days which we intended passing in the visit to Llanberis and Snowdon – we walked along the road by the side of the lakes, and had not gone far when it again began
p. 165
raining {and they got soaked through so returned to the inn} and did not stir out again all day.
p. 166
23.9.1823 (Tuesday)
p. 176
24.9.1823 (Wednesday)
Dolbadarn Castle (description)
p. 180
returned to Capel Curig ‘and soon found ourselves once more comfortably seated in our little snug room at the inn of Capel Curig.’
p. 181
25.9.1823 (Thursday)
To Cernioge
Chapman, William, Notes of a Tour in North Wales, NLW, mss. 20138 A

1824

Llanberis
next day (Sunday)
Dora sketched the cottages
Walked 8 miles to Capel Curig inn
next day [23.8.1824 Monday] to Llanrwst
[1.9.1824 Wednesday]
to the waterfall near Aber
[returned to] Capel Curig
{views on the route}
Wordsworth, William, letter to Sir George Beaumont, Wordsworths Letters, 2nd ed, volume 3, part 1, p. 278,
Lloyd, D Myrddin, Wordsworth and Wales, National Library of Wales Journal, VI, () 338-350
Wright, H.G., (1924), Wordsworth and Wales, The Welsh Outlook, April and May, 1924

1824

p. 110
walked to Capel Curig
{the scenery}
p. 111
It was nearly nine o’clock when we reached Capel Curig. At that excellent inn we found everybody ready to serve us. The first thing we did was to swallow a small quantity of hot mutton broth, after which we procured a couple of blankets, and closing our room door, sat wrapped in these, drying our garments before the fire. It appeared that we occupied the only vacant apartment, for while thus engaged, a petition came from a half-drowned traveller just descended from one of the coaches, praying co-partnership. In our present trim, we were barbarous enough to turn a deaf ear to the petitioner, not choosing to admit a stranger to the honours of blanketizing. Our meal for the evening was a second edition of our morning’s, not daring to use heavier food after so long abstinence. The house was very full of genteel company, and a first-rate harper played select airs in the entrance.
28.6.1824 (Monday)
WE dedicated this day, the last we should have in Wales, to walking about Capel Curig. This little village, whose chief structure is the large and capital hotel, where we now were, stands in a spot exceedingly convenient for some of the finest scenery of Snowdonia, and from which three valleys of distinct character radiate.
{The region around Capel Curig}
We dined at Capel Curig about four o’clock, with a gentleman who was desirous of going in the evening on foot to Beddgelert. We saw him a few miles on his road, a little beyond the upright stone that directs the traveller to Llanberis. This valley is lonely and without ornament, unless I may name as such, the two little lakes close to Capel Curig. On these by the way, my friend B. amused himself by skulling. I was conducted over one of them by him. The water appeared dismally black. The mountains bestow no livelier colour.
Freeman, George John, Sketches in Wales; or, A diary of three walking excursions in that principality, in the years 1823, 1824, 1825. (London, 1826), pp. 117-119

1824

The last five miles towards Capel Curig the scenery is very grand, rich mixture of rock, wood and rugged mountains, with a rapid stream and beautiful one arched bridges in the valley. We found the house at Capel Curig clean and comfortable but a drizzling rain prevented our taking advantage of the fine scenery around us.
Monday 28th:  looked out upon a drizzling rain so I quietly composed myself till seven o’clock when we were gathered together from the various quarters of this straggling house. We determined to ride to Bangor thinking that in that ride we should miss the fine weather the least. Luckily however the rain ceased and the sun almost appeared just as approached Lake Ogwen and the rest of the day was very fine.
Martineau, Margaret, Travel diary of Margaret Martineau – journey from St Albans into north and South Wales, Hampshire Record Office, 83M93/21, pp. 6-7

1824

f. 16
as not a bed was to be obtained at Capel Curig {we returned to Llanrwst}
f. 25v
23.7.1824 Friday [sic]
Nant Ffrancon
On our arrival at Capel Curig at 10 am we were informed … that all the beds were engaged but on hearing we had proposed to stay until Monday they discovered (very much to our subsequent regret), that we could be duly accommodated. I would by no means
f. 26
advise anyone to follow our example [of staying more than one night]. There appeared a sad want of arrangement [in the inn] and the quality of the provision was very indifferent but we cannot speak too favourably of our night apartments. … an opposition inn would be of great advantage to travellers in this quarter.
Lockett, John George, A tour through North Wales, 1824, NLW MS 23939B

1824

At Bangor ferry we had a bad dinner soon after which we came on to Capel Curig 17 miles of most romantic scenery & excellent road the best road I ever saw. Capel Curig is a very good inn quite different to what we had seen throughout Wales. We slept here & on the 31st proceeded to Llanwrst 11 miles the last three very rough. We got out to see a fine waterfall before we came to the falls of the Wenol which are very beautiful indeed …
1.9.1824
After dinner we went on to Capel Curig
Thursday 2nd September. We left Capel Curig & went to Cernioge, 15 miles.
Elwes, Susan, Norfolk Record Office, HMN 5/34, 31.8.1824

1825

4.10.1825
{Left Bangor for Capel Curig.}
The latter part of the road to Capel Curig less interesting.
After dinner walked a little way on the Beddgelert road and looked at Snowdon, who, however had hid himself
5.10.1825: Rose to breakfast in pouring rain, despaired of doing anything till eleven when it seemed inclined to clear, & we ordered the carriage to go to Llanrwst in the certainty of many showers. The whole drive from Capel Curig is magnificently beautiful at first mountain scenery, entirely rugged & barren, …
Jogged on to the inn at Capel Curig again. A dismal place shut in by mountains, a dismal garden, everything dismal – hope I shall never be obliged to live at Capel Curig. It is a large & comfortable inn however, but so dreary – Pretty good keep at Capel Curig.
Atherton, Ann, Tour of North Wales and Cardiganshire, 1825, NLW, 20366B

1825

Capel Curig inn
Lines, Samuel, (1778-1863), [Tour in North Wales], Birmingham Art Gallery and Museum 1988 P54, p. 16

1825

23.6.1825 (Thursday)
the first objects we were permitted to see, were the lakes at Capel Curig, a joyful sight to hungry men. The vallies on this side we found as serene as they had been on the other, so much so, that the ladies had been tempted to ramble, and we met them very intently climbing to meet us. It was nearly six o’clock when we reached the inn. This house of entertainment for man and horse, looks, on approaching it from the high road, more like a little town than a single building. It was erected by the late Lord Penrhyn, of excellent memory, for this country’s improvement, from a design by Mr. Wyatt, and has been much enlarged since. The length it has attained is no less than 252 feet, so that it affords space for a very large establishment. Its situation is very pleasant, on a bank, planted and adorned, and commanding from its extremity, a fine and well-known view over the two pools, and up the valley to Snowdon. The base of Moel Shiabod is on one side, that of the Glyder on the other. The old harper, who is also a Snowdon guide, by name Evan Jones, has been celebrated in both vocations. He is, however, among the have beens. Our ladies were of opinion that—
old age, and wandering long,
Had done his hand and harp some wrong.
Freeman, George John, Sketches in Wales; or, A diary of three walking excursions in that principality, in the years 1823, 1824, 1825. (London, 1826), pp. 152-153

1825 to do

[Aug 18], sleep on a Wednesday night at Capel Curig,
Notes and Queries, 1918

1826

{Beddgelert} We passed some small Lakes and arriving at Capel Curig, took tea and walked through the gardens of this delightful spot. It is situated on the edge of a lake, to which the gardens behind the house, lead; they are laid out with great taste and judgement, and the view from them combines high cultivation contrasted with sterile barrenness; – the stillness of a calm quiet lake, with the imposing grandeur of towering mountains. The inn itself is a very superior one, and affords every accommodation that luxury can want, or comfort desire.  {to Llanrwst}.
Anon, A Trip to the Suspension Bridge over the Menai Straits, to Caernarvon, the Lakes of Llanberis, Snowdon, Beddgelert, Capel Curig, Llanrwst, Conwy and Beaumaris. (Printed in the Stockport Advertiser, 21.7.1826 and four following weeks, now reprinted with corrections, 1828), p. 24 [and subsequent editions].

1826

Capel Curig is by far the best inn we have seen in Wales. It stands in a romantic situation near a fine sheet of water amid craggy mountains. Dined at Capel Curig – where we met a Welsh clergeman who rode with us in the evening to Bangor, 15 miles
Anon, Tour of North Wales 1826, NLW MS 22502A, p. 7 (22.5.1826 Monday)

1827

Capel Curig [inn] – clean but not comfortable
Beecroft, Judith, Cardiff Central Library, MS2.325, list of inns at end of manuscript

1827-1829

p. 113
Capel Curig
p. 114
the parlour ‘a room hung round with maps and magnificent engravings from the pictures of Rubens.’
p. 116
‘How often I have seen this view [of Snowdon from near Capel Curig] in all the varieties of drawing; from the fair but incorrect hand of some lady, to the more practiced mannerism of a London artist! That wild moorland lake, and, beyond it, that most elegant of all mountains: I recognise them as old acquaintances, though I never was here before.’
p. 118
[wall of Capel Curig Inn] Is this front newly slated? No it was done many years ago and seems as if it would never loose its freshness. No lichens appear to be spreading over it …’
p. 119
dinner
‘Evan Jones, the Harper, now began to tune his instrument, and a succession of elegant Welsh airs, played in a passage leading to the parlour, accompanied the proceedings of dinner. The first which he played was called “The Lleweni Forester”, a modern Welsh air of great beauty.
p. 121
{Warning to the waiter to give these tourists his best attention because they planned to publish an account of their tour and} ‘some inns have suffered greatly from their inattention to travellers of this description’ {especially those with a jp. 123
The harper played ‘Nos Galan, a fine solemn, stanzaic melody; perhaps Druidic in origin: at all events of great antiquity. There is in it a delicious wildness; the echo of a long-past age. These airs are associated so completely with mountain scenery that when I hear them played in England, they have the effect of magic; and Snowdon … appears to rise from the very sound of the music.’
‘This inn of Capel Curig was the creation of the late Lord Penryn … He brought this part of north Wales into the notice of the English traveller by making roads, opening slate-quarries, building inns … and accelerating the march of wealth, knowledge and commerce to a wonderful degree.’
p. 124
These two large rooms at the west end of the house, were his private apartments, and this was his dining room. {comments on the prints on the walls.}
p. 128
Chapter 4
print of ‘Snowdon and Capel Curig from a hill above the Irish road – Morning. J Parker del; on stone by L Haghe’. Shows Capel Curig Inn, Capel Curig church. Llyn Mymber and Snowdon.
Evan Jones [guide] has been pre-engaged by a gentleman to see Dolwyddellan under the impression that it is a kind of Windsor Castle and Evan Jones, not the least aware of his high-flown expectations, does nothing to undeceive him.’
Parker, John, (1798-1860), The Passengers (Travels through Wales), (London, 1831)
A dialogue between three gentlemen on a tour in North Wales. Also a poem called the Celtic annals … in illustration of an argument incidental to the subject, and as a specimen of Greek versification in the English language. CLANVOY is almost certainly Parker. Sometimes the conversation is broken by an explanatory narrative.
[He mentions the death of Lady Eleanor Butler (She died 2.6.1829), and the date of 1827 when the planks were set upright in the cairn at the top of Snowdon i.e. he must have written this shortly between 1827 and 1829 (published 1831)].

1827

We saw a very pretty little bridge over the Llugwy. We had luncheon at Capel Curig. We then proceeded on our journey; we got out at the lake and falls of Llanogwin.
Bagot, Eleanor, National Library of Wales Bachymbyd collection, Uncatalogued

1828

Capel Curig is beautifully situated in the large romantic glen called Gwn Glas, or the Blue Vale. It consists of a fine inn and several cottages, with a small mean-looking chapel. On one side it is bounded by the lofty Moel Siabod and, on the other, by the Glyder Bach. The scenery in the neighbourhood is of the most sublime and picturesque description. A chain of high mountains guard each side of the vale, and unite, at the distance of four miles, Snowdon, who sits in great majesty above them. Behind the inn, and in the centre of the vale, are situated the Lakes of Capel Curig. Boats, belonging to the inn are kept on these lakes for the accommodation of visitors who are fond of fishing. The ascent to Snowdon this vale is generally preferred by travellers, on account of the Alpine scenery—Capel Curig is fourteen miles from Bangor, and lies a short distance from the London mail road.
By the time we had refreshed ourselves with some cwrw da and bara a chaws, our car was ready, and having seated ourselves in it, we bade adieu to Curig’s blue vale ” ‘mid mountain’s high,” and arrived at our inn, in Bangor, about seven in the evening, highly gratified with our excursion. M. R.
R., M., Four Days’ Ramble in the Neighbourhood of Bangor, North Wales. By M.R, Kaleidoscope, or Literary and Scientific Mirror, vol. 9, (1829), pp. 102-103

1828

Prince Puckler-Muskau wrote at length about a walk on the mountains around Capel Curig in some lovely letters to his dear Julia.
28.7.1828 (Monday) Capel Curig, late in the evening.
My driver had not yet returned with the carriage, and I was obliged to equip myself in the clothes of my portly host, in which I now doubtless cut a very extraordinary figure; while my own are drying at the kitchen fire; and I am alternately occupied in writing to you, and in drinking tea.
To-morrow morning I shall leave my pillow at four o’clock,
Prince Hermann Ludwig Heinrich von Pückler-Muskau, Tour in England, Ireland, and France, in the years 1828 & 1829: with remarks on the Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants, and Anecdotes Of Distinguished Public Characters by a German Prince, (London: Effingham Wilson, 1832, 2 vols); also Philadelphia 1833 (4 vols), pp. 307-310

1828

p. 238
‘Journal of a tour in Wales, 1828’
p. 239
26.7.1828 Monday
Oswestry to Capel Curig by coach, 7 am – 2.30 pm
{Intended to climb Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach, but the clouds came down.}
{made three vignettes – detailed descriptions of the locations}
[27.7.1828 Tuesday]
{plants}
Ascended Glyder Fach
{landscape}
p. 240
{landscape}
p. 241
{views, made sketches}
p. 242
Glyder Fawr
p. 243
{description of the magnificent scenery in a storm}
p. 244
sheltered from the storm, then returned to Capel Curig.
Parker, John, (1798-1860), Tours through Wales 1819-47, NLW MS 18256C, pp. 238-244

 

1828

It was with no little satisfaction that we seated ourselves to a good dinner at Capel Curig, in a handsome room, having from the windows a full view of our huge southerly neighbour, Moel Siabod, which is 2870 feet high. The inn, which is beautifully situated, stands, I should think, upon more ground than any other in Wales. If I recollect aright it is about ninety yards in direct length; but it is not lofty. A path through the garden leads to a seat looking westward, and also to a rustic bridge at the foot of the lake, from both of which places, and especially the latter, there is a fine view of old Snowdon and his proud associates. During our stay here we paid many visits to this bridge, and in an old clumsy shabby boat I rowed one of my friends to the end of the first division of the lake; but I had no inclination to repeat the labour. A good boat is much wanted; it would be an acquisition.
We procured here, and in other parts of our excursion, many botanical and mineralogical specimens; a favourite object of search was the lichen geographicus, or map stone, and as we had tools with us, the smashing of a piece of rock occasionally was a matter of little difficulty. But our principal effort here was in the ascent of Moel Siabod, which one of my friends and myself accomplished, on a beautiful but variable day, in which “sunshine and shower” alternately prevailed.
Smith, John, Guide to Bangor, Beaumaris, and Snowdonia, (1829), p. 33; (3rd edition, 1833)

1828
The traveller is greatly indebted to the present Mr. Pennant, as well as to the late Lord Penrhyn, for the very great and comfortable accommodation he now derives from their exertions on this line of road. The inn at Capel-Curig is now large and convenient ; in addition to which, and to save time, Mr. Pennant has caused to be erected a cottage and stables, to enable parties in haste, as well as the mail and coaches, to change horses without going down to the inn.
Cliff, Allen, ?, The Cambrian tourist : or, post-chaise companion through Wales : containing cursory sketches of the Welsh territories, and a description of the manners, customs, and games of the natives ; with charts, comprehending, at one view, the advisable route, best inns, distances, and objects most worthy of attention. (6th edition, 1828), p. 210

1829

The small church of Capel Curig, and a few scattered houses give a little life to this dreary tract.  [derived from Pennant, Thomas, The Journey to Snowdon, (1781), pp. 150-151]… Adjoining the church is the great Inn and Post House of Capel Curig; a station which cannot be too strongly recommended to tourists, and particularly to the geological and botanical traveller, for its internal comforts and central position.
Jones, Harry Longueville, Illustrations of the Natural Scenery of the Snowdonian Mountains Accompanied by a Description Topographical and Historical of the County of Caernarvon (London 1829), p. 6

1830 (about)

At Capel Curig, situate on the Great Irish Road, is an excellent inn, where the tourist may spend some days comfortably and advantageously.
Anon, A guide to the beauties of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire: comprehending particular notices of Beaumaris, Carnarvon, Conwy, Snowdon, the Menai Suspension Bridge, Bangor, and every interesting place or object deserving the attention of the tourist. (Macclesfield : J. Swinnerton, printers, [c.1830]), p. 66

1830

{Capel Curig where the view was obscured by rain} ‘we ordered dinner and a fire and went to bed hoping to find a more cheering prospect the next morning, but we were disappointed, the rain fell in torrents and with the exception of one hour….we were compelled to behold the rain falling in torrents during the whole day and the mist on the tops of the hills scarcely chased away for five minutes. We again had dinner and a fire, the Welsh harper played in the hall almost the whole day and the waiter no
p. 6
doubt dispirited by the dreariness of the day resolved to cheer the inner man by copious draughts of his master’s beer which had the effect of rendering his brains as watery as the elements. Several times he came to the room, merely to inform us that it was a wet evening. Though the glass had been rising all day, his glass no doubt had also done so.
Sunday morning. Rose again to see a repetition of the former day, and in despair we ordered a chaise at past 12 and went to see the waterfall’…Swallow falls… ‘the late heavy rains had had the effect of rendering
p. 7
the cataract more beautiful than usual and we stood some time (though with an umbrella over our heads) and saw and heard the mighty rushing of the waters, having staid [sic] sufficiently long to gratify ourselves with the scene’… {go on to Nant Ffrancon}
Sayer, Frances, Diary, East Sussex Record Office, SAY 3401

1830

Capel Curig
I attempted to sketch the view of the lake. The shades of evening greatly enhanced the beauty of the scene. The manner in which Gilpin’s drawings in his works are executed are calculated for these scenes.
Anon, Bangor University, ms. 13473, pp. 29-33

1830

Capel Curig … when we got to the inn we found it was impossible to get horses so having endured? dinner we went out and enjoyed a most beautiful sight by seeing the sun set behind Snowdon. It was indeed a heavenly evening and my
p. 63
mind was filled with love and gratitude towards my heavenly benefactor while sketching this beautiful scenery. I was endeavouring to ???? the un-numbered mercies we had received during our tour, the constant beautiful weather not a least part of it and though he was neglected by our travelling on Sunday he does not neglect us.
Rushout, Anne, Hon (1768-1849), [Tour of Wales, 1830], University of London (Senate House Library) MS 682/3, volume for 1830

1831

Capel Curig, for the first time had a good view of Snowdon, whose proud summit pierced the clouds…we were thrown into a new world as it were, and this we soon found to be a world of mountains. {poetry quotations} the weather being particularly fine and heavens expanded arch serenely bright we were filled with wonder and astonishment every turn brought us deeper and yet more deep until every chance of escape seem’d to be cut off and to all appearance into this new world we were introduced for the express of remaining. Before, behind, and on either side mountains seem’d to defy every effort and to shut up every chance of escape, the scenery changing at every step and yet no outlet. But who could not remain in such a place?  Who could see these mighty works of the great I AM without being fill’d with wonder and astonishment!
Williams, Hannah, Journey through Shropshire, Wales, Ireland & Lancashire, Worcestershire Record Office, 899:866/9522

1831

Capel Curig is a small village consisting of a few cottages, a chapel, belonging to Llandegai parish, and a large commodious Inn. … It is delightfully situated at the junction of the three valleys, affording an infinite variety of pleasing landscapes.  … No place can be more favourably situated for excursions. …
The Inn was erected by the late Lord Penrhyn, from designs by Wyatt, and has been much enlarged since. It is pleasantly situated on a small eminence …
Detached from the Inn are stables and a cottage, erected for the accommodation of the mail and stage coaches, and of persons who wish to change horses without going down to the Inn.
Leigh, Samuel, Guide to Wales and Monmouthshire, (1831), pp. 102-103; 2nd ed. 1833; (3rd edition, 1835), p. 106; 4th ed. 1839; 5th ed.; 6th ed. 1841; 6th ed. 1842 and 1844.

1831

[Charles Darwin] accompanied Adam Sedgwick to Wales. ‘On my return to Shropshire [after completing my degree at Cambridge], I examined [geological] sections … Professor Sedgewick intended to visit north Wales in the beginning of August … and Henslow asked him to allow me to accompany him. Next morning we started for Llangollen, [when he might have visited the Sarah Ponsonby, one of the Ladies of Llangollen], Conwy, Bangor and Capel Curig.  … On this tour I had a striking instance of how easy it is to overlook phenomena, however conspicuous, before they have been observed by anyone. We spent many hours in Cwm Idwal, examining all the rocks with extreme care, as Sedgewick was anxious to find fossils in them, but neither of us saw a trace of the wonderful glacial phenomena all around us; we did not notice the plainly scored rocks, the perched boulders, the lateral and terminal moraines. Yet theses phenomena are so conspicuous … as I declared in a paper published many years afterwards [Darwin, C., Notes on the effects produced by the ancient glaciers of Caernarvonshire, and on the boulders transported by floating ice. The London, Edinburgh and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, Series 3, 21, (1842) 180-188]. At Capel Curig I left Sedgewick and went in a straight line with compass and map across the mountains to Barmouth … to see some Cambridge friends who were reading there, and thence returned to Shrewsbury.’
Darwin, F., Autobiography of Charles Darwin, (Thinker’s Library, London, 1929), pp. 31-33
Charles Darwin Papers, vol. 5, “Geological Notes made with Sedgwick”, Cambridge University Library.
Barrett, Paul H., ‘The Sedgwick-Darwin Geologic Tour of North Wales’, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 19 April 1974, Vol.118(2), pp.146-164 [this paper suggests that Sedgwick didn’t accompany Darwin as far as Capel Curig].

1831

p. 127
6.9.1831 Tuesday
Capel Curig
9.9.1831 Wednesday
Walked to Beddgelert with three others
p. 128
A small new inn lately built at the very foot of the mountain – it is called Pen Gwryd [Pen y Gwryd Inn originally opened 1811]– the new road through the pass of Llanberis opened about three weeks ago and a coach called the Snowdonian goes on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from Caernarfon to Capel Curig. 17 ½ miles meeting the Wonder coach from Holyhead about 12 o’clock, and returns again. To Caernarfon in the evening having waited for the passengers by the Wonder [coach] to Holyhead, which passes Capel Curig about 4.30? At Pen y Gwryd there is one good looking bed which may be of use to the solitary tourist.
p. 129
From hence the descent into Nant Gwynant, always beautiful, struck me now more than ever. This vale is a most romantic paradise.
Parker, John, (1798-1860), Tours through Wales 1819-47, September, 1831, NLW MS 18256C, pp. 127-129

1832

John Letts employed a guide to take him and Mr Boyce from Conwy over the mountains to Capel Curig, which was cheaper than going via Llanrwst, but they got lost and had to travel the last part of the journey across bogs and streams into which Letts fell at least five times.  
[Capel Curig inn] The instant we had reached the Inn, we went into a bed room and having clean linen all ready changed f. f. 67r
least half a cup full of water from my shoes … What the Waiters, chambermaids etc. thought of such wretched looking animals, I can’t tell; tho I cannot accuse them of any lack of attention; they were not quite quick enough – tho in bringing the hot water for our brandy so down it went most smoothly without dilution. When we entered the Parlour, we found our old friends the artists [un-named] that we met the night before at Conwy and besides two other parties of 3 or 4 gentlemen with whom we soon joined converse and found very pleasant fellows. As soon as tea came in (mutton chops steak or something of the kind was always a standing dish with us) I changed
f. 67v
colour at the first mouthful and became suddenly sick as a dog the fatigue had been too much for me, …
{next morning} [28.8.1832 Tuesday]
when Boots knocked in the morning, were very loath to rise … After puzzling out our way through the labyrinth of passages to the breakfast room and taking our morning meal we took a view of Snowdon from the garden, which overlooked besides two pretty lakes.
left Capel Curig at 11
Letts, Thomas ‘1832 August Manchester, Liverpool, By coach to North Wales with Mr Tho[Thomas] Boyce. Joined by Messrs [John] Russell and Badderly.’ NLW MS 21690B

1832

We stopped at Capel Curig about three; and after dinner ascended the mountain at the back of the inn. Under stones we found beautiful green varieties of Notiophilus quadripunctatus
Doubleday, Edward, and Newman, Edward, An Entomological Excursion, The Entomological Magazine, vol 1, (1833), pp. 52-53

1833

This account consists of a summary of the route on every other page in tabular form [in italics below], with the full account on larger sheets of paper pasted between them
p. 196
summary of route
19.6.1833 Wednesday
Capel Curig
20.6.1833 Thursday
sketched Moel Siabod, Benglog falls, Nant Ffrancon etc.
21.6.1833 Friday
Bryn y Bedd, Homer’s death on Moel Siabod
22.6.1833 Saturday
Benglog
23.6.1833 Sunday
Capel Curig
p. 197
19.6.1833 Wednesday
Left Oswestry by Wonder coach at 10 am inside
Reached Capel Curig at 2.30 p.m.
Chose a subject [to paint] for tomorrow
20.6.1833 Thursday
Sketched Moel Siabod from the bedroom window
made a sketch ‘from about ¼ mile from the inn, a great stone in the foreground’
{Wonder coach for 4½ miles 1s 6d to the coachman, alighted at the Benlog falls}
{walked along Nant Ffrancon}
back to Capel Curig at 10.45 p.m.
21.6.1833 Friday
Heard this evening the account of Mr Homer’s [Homer added in pencil] death near Capel Curig last November. Mr H was considered as partially deranged: and set out from this inn with a Lieutenant [blank] whom he quitted very shortly, saying that he should go to the summit of Moel Siabod. He borrowed a pair of gloves which were afterwards found on the top of that mountain. As night came in, Mr Homer’s absence caused some alarm at the inn, and on the following days much anxiety was felt as to the cause of it. In the course of about a fortnight, however, his corpse was discovered under a sheltering rock that is in sight of Llyn Gwynant on the rugged slope above the lake. The weather had been foggy, with snow and his path was traced for some distance on Moel Siabod, but his body was only found by accident. The poor fellow did not seem to have received any outward injury but his death seemed rather to have arisen from cold and hunger. He could hardly have lost his way: for the road was in sight and houses were, I believe in view, but he had collected from different places, heaps of rushes and fern with some stones; and of these materials he had made a rude shelter in addition to the natural rock which overhung them. The body had not begun to decay; his feet were without their stockings, and placed in his hat round which also he had bound part of his coat; and every circumstance appeared unaccountably perplexing. Mr Homer had received a classical education and was the son of a tutor at Rugby. His death I imagine to have been caused by eccentric and imprudent exposure to cold, accompanied by a sudden and fatal exhaustion.
I heard also that an ancient grave at the Gorphwsfa [Gorffwysfa], called Bryn y Bedd (Grave bank) was opened in 1831, when a stone coffin was discovered containing a skeleton. Unluckily for the presumed antiquity of this tomb, a tinder box and tobacco pipe were found lying among the bones.
22.6.1833 Saturday
{Took the Wonder coach to the Benlog falls}
‘Left my pencil behind me – borrowed one from the guard, which I am to return on Monday’
{poor weather so took shelter for three hours and fell asleep, and had to walk 5 miles back to Capel Curig in the rain}
p. 204
On entering the coffee room at Capel Curig, I found Dryden Corbett and three other men, one a great traveller, another a young Irishman whose name was Vernon. The third I had not seen before.
28.6.1833 Friday
Settled bill for rather more than 9 days at Capel Curig, charges reasonable
[per day]
breakfast 2s
dinner 2s 6d
wine half pint sherry 1s 6d
coffee 1s 6d
bed 2s
[no mention of sandwich lunch]
Parker, John, (1798-1860), Tours through Wales 1819-47, ‘Journal etc. of a Welch Tour, 1833’, NLW MS 18256C, pp. 196-206
[see Edgar W Parry, Rev John Parker’s Tour of Wales and its Churches, (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, Llanwrst,1998), p. 101-111]

1833

Capel Curig. In the garden here a gent was taking a very good oil painting of Snowdon
Letts, Thomas, Journal of Tour, 1833, NLW MS 22340B, ff. 137-141r
 

1833

p. 173
As our travels have hitherto been … “rather deficient in incident” it might here be reasonably hoped that we were buried in an avalanche of rocks near Snowdon, or overturned down a precipice and killed on the spot; therefore it will appear a most contemptable sinking in poetry to acknowledge that we were merely caught in the rain! It was no ordinary shower, however, which detained us at Capel Curig Inn, for the drops were worthy of Snowdon and sounded on our carriage-windows like rain at the theatre. If a single bucket could be copied here, no one would wonder that, seeing a snug little inn not far distant, we resolved to stay out the rainy season at Capel Curig, where I remained till A- [her companion] proceeded in the evening for our baggage and to pay the bill at Bangor. Every thing turned out to be excellent except the weather; the landlady must certainly have dreamed beforehand that we were coming, she had so enticing a sitting room prepared.
This inn was built at Lord Penrhyn’s expense entirely of slates nailed in layers on the front and sides, exactly like the roof as if the whole had been brought, ready made, from the neighbouring quarry. It has been placed half a mile off the great public road, to catch a fine view which may be excusable in this instance where so much is gained, but might be a very inconvenient custom generally, if hotels went so far in search of the picturesque.
p. 174
Capel Curig inn has another remarkable peculiarity, the landlord being a clergyman goes seven miles in Sunday to perform service at Llanrwst besides doing duty in the smallest chapel, or rather chaplette that can be imagined near the inn. It appeared scarcely larger or more commodious than a bathing machine!
The church extension commissioners, if any are ever appointed for England, should take a microscope to look at it; and certainly this innkeeper’s double vocation is a singular case of pluralities, well worthy of being quoted by those who object to them; for, though St. Matthew was originally a publican, he forsook that occupation as soon as his conversion promoted him to be a teacher. Our host’s charity did not begin at home, as on Sunday his guests were rather disappointed that he gave us no morning service nor assembled the household for family prayers; but perhaps considering how many miles he had to walk, besides performing the service twice, it might not have been very easily accomplished.
A- set off across the hills, to hear this Welsh pastor, who superintends as wild and mountainous district as Oberlin or Felix Neff, and teaches a congregation that seemed as primitive as theirs. Our enemy the rain continued inexorable, so I remained blockaded within doors, not quite reduced however to the extremity which the stout gentleman’s biographer endured, while he envied the ducks and geese in their jovial enjoyment, and admired the cock with its tail matted into a single feather; but this was certainly a silent and solitary day, while, by way of consolation, we were told that the cathedral
p. 175
service is particularly well performed at Bangor. The weather is also frequently dry there, while it pours at Capel Curig, as the showers in this quarter are partial, and seem particularly partial to Snowdon; for the rain lashed down all day with ceaseless vehemence, while very possibly all the best bonnets at Bangor were going, in full procession, on a delightful morning to church. I felt, “while days were dark and friends were few,” like a chess-player after a rash move, who suffers checkmate at once; for it turned out that our remaining at Capel Curig had been, as Talleyrand said on more important occasions, “worse than a crime, it was a blunder;” but, what cannot be cured must be endured, and my reflections, full of discontented resignation on the subject, were at length interrupted by our good landlady entering with the kind intention of enlivening my solitary imprisonment, by bringing up a handful of tracts and a plate of hard biscuits, both very wholesome and acceptable, which she insisted on presenting. It became impossible to convince her that I did not feel most lamentably dull, and she seemed quite distressed, at being absolutely obliged by many household occupations, to deprive me of her own society. The good landlady’s mistaken idea in this case, reminded me of what occurred to the Duchess d’Angouleme when she arrived in Edinburgh. On account of her reduced establishment, she thought it requisite that a footman, who had recently left off his livery should resume it. The man expressed himself so vehemently against this encroachment on his prerogatives, that she gave him his
p. 176
congé, and then, dismissing the subject from her thoughts, began reflecting on past political events, till drowned in tears. At this moment her servant having occasion to replenish the fire, entered her room, and imagining her distress to be caused entirely by his own departure, he suddenly exclaimed, “Ne pleurez plus. Madame! J’y remonce! Je porterai la livrée.” Having always lived, both in town and country, within reach of the “church-going bell,” which calls an assembling congregation to unite in praising God,—the only bond of sympathy universal among those of one faith; it was an era in a life-time to spend this entire Sunday, in the small, best parlour of a country inn; though a blessed privilege attends all Christians,—the light of the gospel being now universally diffused in this country as the light of the sun,—no place is so unpropitious that it shuts them out from the pleasures and advantages of a Sabbath. However solitary or remote from ordinances they have the Bible.
The scenery around Capel Curig reminded me of the Highlands, …
p. 179
On Monday morning, the landlady at Capel Curig, brought up a curious book, kept at the inn for nearly
p. 180
fifty years past, which afforded us great diversion. In its pages, travellers are requested to record a verdict on the house,—whether they have been properly accommodated and civilly treated; so nothing could be more diverting than to discover the names of many persons whom we had known, and to see sometimes a very characteristic note in their hand-writings. I was sorry to observe that our friend Colonel R**s, dined so little to his satisfaction on the 9th of July 1812; and we sympathised most heartily with a large family of Smiths, in the following year, who thought their beds had been damp. Certainly the public wit did not appear to much advantage in this register of grumbling; for though many a bad pun, and many a laboured attempt at one was made,—yet as far as we took time to read, not a single genuine flash of humour brightened the leaves. Irishmen might be found bewailing the wrongs of their country; Scotchmen professing an impartial preference for the Highlands, and Englishmen recording what they had ate for dinner. One evident advantage of this miscellaneous compilation is, that it acts as a safety-valve. to preserve the windows and wainscoats from poetical fire; and though few of the squibs were thrown off without some little explosion of discontent, two were in perfect good-humour; which afford a fair specimen of the genius pervading this very scarce manuscript:–
“Of all the places I have seen,
Within this mighty region,
I’d choose new Capel Curig inn,
To be my habitation.”
p. 181
The signature below is neither Goldsmith nor Crabbe, in case any one might fancy a resemblance to their style, nor has the author of the following lines favoured us probably with any more lucubrations, as his name remains unknown to fame:
“Pleas’d with the inn and host, a grateful guest,
Strikes his crack’d lyre, and praises with the rest.”
Amused to observe the whole book resounding with a universal groan over the wetness of the climate, we recommended our landlady to charge a good day in her bill, as that seemed evidently so great a rarity.
The actors at a country theatre once being unable to get up a storm for King Lear, and wishing at least to shew that it rained, made him come on the stage mad, with an umbrella; but at Capel Curig it would be madness ever to stir without one, for the peaks of Snowdon seem as if they pierced the clouds, and let out their contents upon the dripping trees and houses beneath, nevertheless we navigated our way through oceans of mud to admire whatever could be seen, and to fancy how the whole might appear when dressed up in sunshine-Snowdon in the mean time looking through the mist like an enormous ghost fitting out of sight in dim and shadowy obscurity. …
p. 187
We drove during Monday morning on an excursion from Capel Curig to Llanrwst, and Gwydir Castle
We returned in the evening to Capel Curig,
p. 192
a few miles from which stands the ancient tower of Dolwyddelan …
p. 193
When we intended to hurry finally away from our rainy quarters at Capel Curig, it proved for the present impossible. So many travellers made a rush out of the inn on the first appearance of sunshine, that the horses had their hands full; but at last we did effect our escape, and began the morning with a circuitous tour round “steep Snowdon’s shaggy side,”
Sinclair, Catherine, (1800-1864), Hill and Valley, or Hours in England and Wales, 1833, (1st edition, New York, 1838), pp. 175-182, (2nd Edition, Whyte and Co., Edinburgh, 1839), pp. 143-149
Also in Sinclair, Catherine, Sketches and stories of Wales and the Welsh, [1860], pp. 162-165

1833

we arrived at Capel Curig about five and took a pleasant walk through the woods.
Aug. 29. In the morning the weather was very misty and rainy so we staid at the Inn and wrote read etc. about half past eleven it cleared up and we went in a car to visit a very fine waterfall. The spouts of the swallow [waterfall] about three miles and a half from the Inn we thought it one of the finest we had seen in Wales. On our return
from it we had intended setting out for Bangor but the rain and mist came again & we were obliged to stay at Capel Curig but as we were comfortably situated at the Inn we did not regret it. We were so fortunate as to meet with many friends here. Mr Sharpe & his companions, the four Cambridge youths who were in the same house with us at Barmouth and others we had met with on our journey.
Aug 30 Before breakfast Mary & I sketched and then took a pleasant walk. We left Capel Curig directly after breakfast for Bangor …
Anon…of Hull?, Wigan archives EHC96/M864, pp. 115-116

1833

CAPEL-CURIG, a chapelry in the parish of LLANDEGA1, hundred of LLêchwed Uchâv, county of CARNARVON, North WALEs, 14 miles (S. E.) from Bangor, on the road from London to Holyhead and Dublin. … This place, from its vicinity to Snowdon and other mountains of note in this part of the principality, and to several of the finest lakes in North Wales, has been for a long time the resort of tourists; and, since the diversion of the road through Nant-Francon, and the erection of a spacious hotel here by the late Lord Penrhyn, has become a place of fashionable resort, and during the summer season is visited by families of distinction and others, for whose accommodation the hotel, large as it is, has been found inadequate. A new line of road from this place to Carnarvon is now being formed through the pass of Llanberis, at the foot of Snowdon, affording a more direct communication with the interior of the counties of Carnarvon and Merioneth, which it is expected will be opened in the course of the present year. Near this place is Rhaiadr y Wenol, on the river Llugwy, one of the most interesting and beautiful waterfalls in the principality. Capel Curig is situated in a district abounding with mineral wealth: a great quantity of calamine has been obtained here, and in the vicinity is found the hard primitive rock called serpentine. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Bangor, endowed with £600 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Bishop of Bangor. The chapel, dedicated to St. Curig, appears to have been erected at a very early period, as a chapel of ease not only to the parish church of Llandegai, from which it is thirteen miles distant, but also for the mountainous districts in the several parishes of Llanllêchid, Llanrhychwyn, Dolwyddelan, Llanrwst, and Trevriw, the inhabitants of which are at a great distance from their several parish churches, and are entitled to seats in this chapel: the inhabitants of Llandegai, however, are exclusively bound by ancient custom to keep the building in repair.
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales, Vol.1 (1833), Capel-Curig

1834

23.8.1834 Sunday [actually 24.8.1834]
p. 74
walked to Llanberis and was persuaded to continue to Capel Curig
p. 75
Capel Curig inn full, so went to one half a mile away.
Tomkins, William Graeme, [Diary], Denbighshire Archives, DD/DM/365/1

1834

This is from the 3rd edition, 1839
CAPEL CURIG, (Caernarvonshire.) Bangor 14½, Ffestiniog 20, Beddgelert 12, Llanberis 10, Caernarfon 17 Llanrwst 10, Cernogau Mawr 15, Menai Bridge 17
Capel Curig is beautifully situated on the London and Holyhead road: from its vicinity to Snowdon, and other mountains of note in this part of the Principality, and to several of the first lakes in North Wales, it has been for a long time much frequented by tourists, and since the diversion of the great Holyhead road through Nant Ffrancon, and the erection of a spacious hotel here by the late Lord Penrhyn, has become a place of fashionable resort, and during the summer season is visited by families of distinction, and others, for whose accommodation the hotel, large as it is, has been found inadequate. A new line of road from this place to Caernarfon, through the pass of Llanberis, at the foot of Snowdon, has lately been opened, affording a more direct communication with the interior of the counties of Caernarfon and Merioneth. …
Capel Curig is situated in a district abounding with mineral wealth. A great quantity of calamine has been obtained here, and in the vicinity is found the broad primitive rock called serpentine. Near a place called Bryn Gwaliau, between Capel Curig and Llanrwst, there are some remains of a Roman edifice, a great part of which has been removed for building materials: one of the apartments was found by Mr. Lysons, to be sixty feet by twenty in dimensions, and another eighteen feet six inches square, in which latter were several short square pillars of stone, similar to those of the hypocaust near the Feathers hotel, in Chester.
Behind the inn at Capel Curig westward are two lakes connected by a stream, on which a boat is kept, and frequently employed by visitors in aquatic excursions. At the foot of the lake there is an ancient rustic bridge, from which, as well as from the lake, is a fine view of old Snowdon and his proud associates At a short distance from the hotel southward, rises the mountain of Moel Siabod, …
Hemingway, J., Panorama of the Beauties, Curiosities and Antiquities of North Wales, intended as a Pocket Companion to the Tourist and Traveller, (1834), (3rd edition,1839), p. 116; (1845), pp. 117-118.
Hicklin, John, [editor], The illustrated hand-book of North Wales: a guide for the tourist, the antiquarian, and the angler; being the fifth edition of Hemingway’s Panorama, with revisions and additions (1851), pp. 125-127 and subsequent editions, 1856, 1861?

1835, 14th August

Entertained at Capel Curig Inn by a blind harper who played Morfa Rhuddlan.
Pryer, Thomas, ‘A Journey through North Wales in the month of August 1835 by Thos. Pryer’, illustrated with engraved prints by Gastineau and a few others, NLW MS 3138C 

1836

Chapter 9
From a rudely-constructed bridge over the rippling stream immediately behind Capel Curig Inn, is a magnificent panoramic view. The sublimity and grandeur of this scene is probably unequalled in Britain. …
On the morning of my first ascent [of Snowdon] the weather became gloomy and lowering, and I was disappointed in the expected splendours of a sun-rise seen from Snowdon. But, the guide whom I had engaged at Capel Curig was perfectly acquainted with the localities. While he highly extolled the genius of the ‘Father of Guides,’ an aged man who lives at Beddgelert, and bowed with filial reverence to his remarks, he seemed to look down upon the modern race of guides from an eminence little less lofty than the conspicuous peak, he lamented the effeminacy of tourists, and that eagerness for easy ascents and pony-parties which deprived them of the nobler views to be met with on that side,—the hotel, of so many stationary visitors,—and the guides of so much of their importance and prosperity.
Roscoe, Thomas, Wanderings and Excursions in North Wales with 51 engravings by W Radcliffe from drawings by Cattermole, Cox, Creswick etc. (1836)

1836

engaged a conveyance to take us as far as Capel Curig, a distance of about twelve miles [from Bangor], where we arrived late at night, not a little exhausted with fatigue.
On waking in the morning, refreshed with sleep, we found ourselves surrounded with the most delightful and romantic scenery imaginable. We were in the heart of North Wales, and everything around us tended to impress us with the sublime and beautiful. The old Welsh harper, in the hall of the Inn, delighted us with the airs of his native hills. The inn, itself, was remarkable for its romantic and cottage like appearance, and was exceedingly neat and comfortable. There was but one circumstance to damp our enjoyment, and that was the disappointment we felt in not meeting with our beloved friends, Mr. and Mrs. Duthoit of London, whom we had hoped to see once more before we left the country. They had been on a short visit to Wales, but had departed from Capel Curig for London, a few days previous to our arrival.
We could have lingered in this enchanting spot for days and weeks, but our time was limited, as we had engaged our passage in the packet of the 1st of August, which was to sail on Saturday. We left Capel Curig before breakfast, in a sociable for Beddgelert.
Codman, John, A Narrative of a Visit to England, (Boston, 1836), pp. 241-242
The author was a member of an American delegation to Britain. They visited parts of Europe, England, Scotland and Wales

1836

Dined and slept at an excellent inn at Capel Curig. Both at Llangollen and Capel Curig a harper continued playing in the hall.
Anon, Tour in Wales. 1836, NLW ms 12392B, p. 8

1838 (or 1832 or 1834)

p. 94
to Capel Curig
p. 95
{wedding amongst the peasantry. The visitors were invited to join the party and were given food and drink.}
Byron, W., Journal of a tour of north Wales containing many engravings, Cardiff Central Library, MS 2.1093       

1839

August 12th 1839
Shrewsbury
August 13th
Capel Curig
Webster, Daniel, [American], Paige, H.S., Daniel Webster in England in 1839 (Boston, 1917), pp. 196-198

1839

p. 12
Capel Curig, an extensive inn built by the late Lord Penrhyn and enlarged by Mr Dawkins Pennant.
p. 35
Capel Curig where there was a splendid fire in the coffee room of the splendid inn
The Welsh harper played the air of Cadair Idris, better known as Jenny Jones in compliment to the composer, the writer of these sketches, who heard it sung, whistled and hummed throughout the whole tour.
Parry, John, (Bardd Alaw), Trip to North Wales containing much information relative to that interesting alpine country; the best mode of viewing its Sublime and Magnificent Scenery; its Mountains, Castles, Lakes and Rivers, together with the distances, names of the principal hotels, conveyances etc. (London: Whittaker and Co., Carnarvon: W Pritchard, [1839])

1840

We then arrived at Capel Curig and finding we were in good time and that there was nothing particular to be seen there we determined on going to Bangor and whilst they were preparing the car we had some biscuits and wine and water listening at the same time to old [sic] harper who played most delightfully and amongst other tunes Ar Hyd y Nos.
Sarney, Elizabeth, A journal of a tour through Wales and Herefordshire, undertaken in September 1840 by Elizabeth Sarney of Wargrave, Berkshire. NLW ms 22892 A, f. 6

1840

3.8.1840
To Capel Curig ‘the place was not sufficiently enticing to detain us all night, it was a bleak, desert looking place with no other houses than the inn.’
Maymott, William, Tour in north Wales. Cardiff Central Library, MS 2.848, p. 26

1840

We walked to the inn at Capel Curig and sat in the garden and had our first view of Snowdon
{to Llanberis}
Danks, Elizabeth Mary and Benjamin, ‘Recollections of a tour in north Wales by Elizabeth Mary and Benjm Danks, 29.9.1840′, NLW ex 2685

1840

This is very similar to the 1813 edition (above)
CAPEL CURIG consists of a few cottages and a chapel, situated between Llanrwst and Caernarfon, on the London and Holyhead road, in the most southern part of Llandegai parish, and is so called from St. Curig or Cyrique. He was of Tarsus in Cilicia, and martyred while an infant at the same time with his mother Juliet or Julitta. Hence in the Myvyrian Archaiology [by Henry Owen Pugh, 1801 and 1807], this place is denominated “Capel Curig a’i fam Iulita.” It is a chapel of ease, intended, doubtless, to accommodate the inhabitants of the mountainous extremities of the parishes of Llandegai, Llanllechid, Trefriw, Llanrhochwyn, Llanrwst and Dolwyddelan, which extend nearly to this place. The church is endowed by Queen Anne’s bounty, and served by the minister of Dolwyddelan. The parishioners of Llandegai are notwithstanding bound to keep it in repair. A woman of the name of Ellen Pritchard, residing at Waenhir, near this place, died lately at the advanced age of 103 years. She has left behind her four daughters, 34 grandchildren, 74 great grand children, and two great great grandchildren. An annual fair is held here for sheep, Sept. 28, where Lord Penrhyn first built a small but comfortable Inn, from a design by Mr. Wyatt. This has been enlarged to the dimensions of a spacious hotel, and is furnished in a very superior manner. It affords many comfortable and some elegant apartments, with good stabling, &c. It is covered both on the roof and sides, with fine blue slate. Its situation is naked, but it commands a very fine combination of mountain, lake, rock, and ornamented ground. A large folio is kept for the amusement of the stranger, who is requested to make a report of the accommodations, &c. which he has received. The remarks are, with a few ill-natured exceptions, highly creditable. A guide to Snowdon and Glyder Bach, may be had here. A new line of road from this place to Caernarfon is formed through the sublime pass of Llanberis, at the foot of Snowdon ; affording a more direct communication with the interior of the counties of Caernarfon and Merioneth. The garden is well disposed; the prospect from the terrace and the alcove singularly pleasing. Beyond the lakes immediately in front rises the biforked summit of Snowdon, in his most dignified form. A pleasure boat is kept upon the lake. The vale of Capel Curig is bounded by Snowdon and his surrounding mountains, affording a most picturesque landscape. Here is that variety of wood and water, in which many of the Welsh vales are defective. “Every curious and contemplative observer of the sublimities of nature,” observes the author of Beaumaris Bay, ”will certainly be happy in knowing that the very centre of Eryri has been rendered accessible even to carriages, by a continuation of the road through the romantic vale of Nant Ffrancon to Capel Curig. From this spot the recesses of Snowdonia may be traversed at leisure, and with the satisfaction of having within reach the noon-day repast, and the evening retirement.” Upon moist heaths and turfy bogs near Capel Curig grows the Lycopodium inundatum. This district abounds with mineral wealth. Quantities of Calamine have been found here, and in the neighbourhood occurs the rock called Serpentine, a term derived from frequent contrasts of colour, like the skin of some serpents. The neighbourhood of Capel Curig, Llanberis, and Glyn Llugwy, in the time of Leland, was covered with the best wood in the country; there appears at present few recent plantations and little underwood.
Nicholson, G., Nicholson’s Cambrian Guide in every direction containing remarks made during many excursions, in the Principality of Wales and bordering districts, augmented by extracts from the best writers, 3rd edition, revised and edited by his son, the Rev. Emilius Nicholson, (1840), pp. 175-176

1841

July 27th
Capel Curig derives its name from Saint Curig of Welsh celebrity, but is nearly concentred in the church and Inn; which latter is situated at the head of a small lake called Llyn Llydu Vawr. The vale is romantic with a more pleasing mixture of wood and water than always accompanied the valleys of Cymry.

Anon, ‘Welsh Journal, 1841’, NLW MS 748B, pp. 60-61

1842

May 18th 1842, went to Maer, June 15th to Shrewsbury, and on 18th to Capel Curig, Bangor and Caernarfon, altogether 10 days examining glacier action,
Darwin, F., (ed) Life and Letters of Charles Darwin; and others (1887)
Darwin, C., Notes on the effects produced by the ancient glaciers of Caernarvonshire, and on the boulders transported by floating ice. The London, Edinburgh and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, Series 3, 21, (1842) 180-188.

1842

Capel Curig
There were some Young Gentlemen there [at the inn] upon pleasure two of them were habited in the costume of regular fishermen low slouched hats short jackets waistcoat and trowsers of the same colour … I breakfasted … and put our some linen to be dried and reprimanded the girl for neglect in airing it in cases of this sort servants require looking after upon your travels or it is an injury to health
Edwards, Thomas, Letters to Sarah Banks from Thomas Edwards, describing his journey in north Wales 2.5.1842 – 21.5.1842, NLW ex 2686, p. 36

1843

This and spacious comfortable hotel is situated on the London and Holyhead road, surrounded by the most lofty and terrific mountains in the principality. In the neighbourhood are some of the finest lakes in North Wales. No wonder then that it should be a place of fashionable resort for tourists and families of distinction during the summer months. Behind the inn, there are two lakes, on which a boat is kept for the accommodation of visitors. The scenery in this neighbourhood is truly grand, not surpassed even by the most romantic parts of Westmoreland or Cumberland. The bold and prominent rocks which ascend almost immediately from the edges of the lakes, and tower in the sky, cast a pleasing gloom upon the whole landscape.—At a short distance from the hotel southward, rises the mountain of MOEL SIABOD …
Parry, Edward, The Cambrian Mirror, or North Wales Tourist … (1843), p. 107
Parry, Edward, The Cambrian Mirror, or a New Tourist Companion through North Wales … (2nd edition, 1846)

1844

{Description of the route to Capel Curig}
Capel Curig
I was studying Patterson’s roads [book] … The inn miserable, people stupid. Drive to Llanberis.
Hall, Ellen, Diary, Bromley Archives, 855/F3/3, pp. 139-140
[Compare with her sister’s comments of 1847]

1844

p. 87
Capel Curig Inn ‘with its spacious garden and fishpond … they can make up 50 beds.’
Anon, An Account of a Tour in Wales c 1830 1844, NLW MS10566D

1844

The pretty inn at Capel Curig is built of slate, walls and roof and flights of steps, all of a shining grey, contrasting oddly with its gay garden of roses which lies beneath. From this garden is a fine view of Snowdon and its lake, with mountain scenery of great sublimity on all sides. The graceful bridge over Gwyryd is a beautiful object in the distance: while Snowdon, Moel Siabod, and the three sister lakes linked together, which extend along this charming valley lie all before the eye. The large and isolated building, untenanted but by ourselves, and total silence prevailing everywhere, caused a sombre and gloomy effect: we were by no means displeased at this accident, for the concourse of visitors to these retreats generally spoils their character. Capel Curig was less fashionable we found this year than Beddgelert and Tân y Bwlch, although at one period it attracted more strangers than any other valley in Wales; and a large fortune was made by the last proprietor of the hotel. The place is formed for an artist’s haunt: every point affords an attractive subject for a sketch. Amongst these, Gelli Bridge is conspicuous, spanning with its fine arch the brawling mountain stream.
Costello, Louisa Stuart, (1799-18700.  The Falls, Lakes, and Mountains, of North Wales. By Louisa Stuart Costello … With illustrations by Thomas and Edward Gilks, from original sketches by D. H. McKewan.  (London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1845), pp. 95-96

1844

Were charmed with the scenery at Capel Curig and the view of Snowdon.  John & Alex went out fishing directly we arrived at 5 o’clock, and Kate & I walked out to enjoy the lovely prospects and ascended a pretty steep hill opposite the inn to a cottage.  Regretted very much that we did not understand Welsh as there is such a jolly old woman there who gave us very nice looking bread, oatmeal cake & butter of which we took a little, not to affront her and having no money Kate gave the old woman a large glass headed pin out of her shawl with which the old lady was charmed.  Seeing a number of little bare headed children we wanted to find out if she was the grand-mother of the party so took her hand to see if she had a wedding ring on her finger but seeing she had not one, could not make it out, but found afterwards that the Welsh women often take off their wedding rings & put them by for fear of spoiling them.  After we left the cottage we went up the hill much further till we got into a boggy place so thought we had got up high enough & resolving before we left Capel Curig to take a sketch of the lovely view; came back to the inn.  John & Alex came back from their fishing at 8 o’clock, & had only caught 18 fish.
Sunday 21st:   [21.4.1844] Service in the church performed in Welsh so we did not attend it.  In the afternoon took a car and made an excursion as far as Lake Ogwen 4 miles from Capel Curig,
Monday 22nd: [22.4.1844] A foggy rainy day – the gentlemen went out to fish at 7 in Llyn Ogwen.  We remained at the inn until 5 in the afternoon when the weather cleared and we had a delightful walk to a pretty waterfall 1 mile and a half from Capel Curig.  The view of Snowden was perfectly clear & the evening beautiful.   Resolved to go up Snowden tomorrow if possible.
Wednesday 24th: [24.4.1844] Left Capel Curig to the sorrow of the good natured people at the Penrhyn Arms.
Rolls, Elizabeth, Memorandum book and diary of tour in North Wales, Gwent Record Office, F/P4 57

1845

we arrive at Capel Curig— the Chapel of Curig —a little village, consisting almost entirely of a commodious hotel and a secluded unpretending church.
The vale of Capel Curig exhibits scenes of romantic wildness and beauty which the imagination would find it difficult to surpass.
Bransby, James Hews, A Description of Llanberis and the Snowdon District, (Caernarfon, 1845), p. 28

1847

6.10.1847 (Wednesday)
To Llanberis for breakfast, ‘the inn there is perfection which is more than I can say for that at Capel Curig. … and the breakfast was the most luxurious one … the coffee was superlative …’
Hall, Emily, Diary, Bromley Archives, 855/F2/5, p. 201
[Compare with her sister’s comments of 1844]

1848

16.8.1848
Capel Curig
p. 25
bad weather
p. 26
stayed at Capel Curig
Balance, J., ‘A few brief recollections of a tour through Wales in the summer of 1848, presented to his dear niece, Louisa by her affectionate Uncle, John Balance, 13th October, 1848’, Cardiff Central Library, MS 2.867

1849

Capel Curig is most beautifully situated on the London to Holyhead Road. From its vicinity to Snowdon and other mountains of note … it has been for a long time much frequented by tourists; and since the diversion of the great Holyhead road through Nant Ffrancon, and the erection of a spacious hotel by the late Lord Penrhyn has become a place of fashionable resort, and during the summer season is visited by many families of distinction. … Behind the inn at Capel Curig westward are two lakes connected by a stream, on which a boat is kept and frequently employed by visitors in aquatic excursions. At the foot of the lake there is an ancient rustic bridge, from which … is a fine view of old Snowdon
Hicklin, John, Excursions in North Wales, a Complete Guide to the Tourist through that Romantic Country (1849), pp. 85-86

1850
Capel Curig. This great Snowdonian Hotel, with its comfortable homestead and large gardens, its humble little church, scattered cottages, and groups of trees, form quite a nest in a dreary tract. It is a station which cannot be too strongly recommended to tourists, and particularly to geologists and botanists, for its internal comforts and central position. We hardly know so curious an inn. Lord Penrhyn commenced it, and additions were made from time to time when the Holyhead road was in its glory. What changes has it not outlived In 1807, the “Ancient Briton”, the only coach that ventured to traverse these then terrible roads, remained here all night ; and afterwards took 14 hours to reach Holyhead: Pennant thought this “far the finest approach to our boasted Alps”. In this we cannot fully agree with him, but the best view of Snowdon, as a single scene, is undoubtedly obtained here. “From a rudely-constructed bridge over the rippling stream immediately below the inn”, enthusiastically observes Roscoe, “is a magnificent panoramic view. The sublimity and grandeur of this scene is probably unequalled in Britain’’.
NOTES FOR ANGLERS. Cape Curig is not so good a fishing station as it once was.  … There are two boats belonging to Capel Curig hotel, where keys are kept; and two or three other boats, which are much used by quarrymen and others, who often flog the lake unmercifully; the fishing had improved in 1849. It belongs to Col. Douglas Pennant. … The two lakes, Llynniau Mymbyr, near the Capel Curig inn, formerly afforded first-rate sport, but have, from some cause—perhaps frequent netting—greatly fallen off. One day in August, 1831, Hofland the painter killed here 26 brace of trout, chiefly from 1/2lb. to  1 lb. weight, three exceeding 1 lb. …
Cliffe, Charles Frederick, The Book of North Wales, Scenery, Antiquities, Highways and Byeways, Lakes … (1850), pp. 160, 164-165

1851 (about)

Capel Curig is the name of an insignificant hamlet, with a small chapel, dedicated to a British saint called Curig or Cyryg, of whom mention is made in an old Welsh poem. This place, small as it is, claims special notice on account of its very commodious Hotel, erected by the late Lord Penrhyn, and most favourably situated for the accommodation of tourists. It is, in all respects, a most eligible resting-place for travelers of every class, at a junction of roads which render it easily accessible from all quarters surrounded by the lofty mountains of the vast Snowdon group, … As a resort for artists and anglers, and as a central position for geologists and botanists, few places will be found more favourable.
At a short distance from the inn, are two lakes names Mymbyr … and on these a boat is kept for the use of visitors in angling, or other aquatic  [page missing]
Black’s Picturesque Guide through North and South Wales, (1st edition, 1851?), p. 92, and subsequent editions.

1851

Capel Curig
This enchanting little village is situated on the London and Holyhead road. It comprises merely a large and commodious hotel, built by the late Lord Penrhyn, and conducted in excellent style.
Picture: Rustic Foot-Bridge at Capel Curig, with Snowdon in the Distance.
Catherall, William, Wanderings in North Wales: a road and railway guide-book, comprising curious and interesting historical information … (1851), p.

1852

Capel Curig inn which was full {but they stayed the night}
[9.6.1852 Monday]
Rain, rain when we assembled for breakfast which was made still more miserable by the untimely gay notes of a Welsh harper twang twanging behind the door.
Typescript of a tour, ‘from Mr Pugh, Wrexham’, Flintshire Record Office, NT33

1854

Capel Curig Inn about ½ mile out of the Holyhead road so as the catch one of the principle views of Snowdon
The building is composed principally of slate and is of very curious construction since it has been enlarged about a dozen times, in fact it required quite an exploring expedition to find one’s bedroom among so many ups and downs.
Billinghurst, Henry Farncombe, A Pedestrian Ramble through Oxford, Chester  and North Wales, Women’s Library, London, 7RMB/B/1, pp. 270-272

1854

proceeded to Capel Curig, a romantic place near several lakes much resorted to by anglers, as they abound with trout, grayling, and salmon. Here we found an excellent inn, which was not only “licensed to sell ale, porter, and spirituous liquors to be drunk on the premises,” but allowed the guests of the house the extraordinary privilege of trying their luck with the hook and line in the waters of the placid lakes. Being no fisherman, either by nature or acquirement, I abandoned the idea of watching the floating cork, and allowed myself to be conveyed by the dulcet tones of a harp, touched by the hands of a blind Welshman, into the land of dreams and sweet repose.
MacGavock, Randal William, A Tennesseean abroad; or, letters from Europe, Africa, and Asia (New York, 1854), p. 77

1854

Capel Curig Inn – a very magnificent edifice. There I dined in a grand saloon amidst a great deal of fashionable company who probably conceiving from my heated and dusty appearance, that I was some poor fellow travelling on foot from motives of economy, surveyed me with looks of the most supercilious disdain.
Borrow, George, Wild Wales, (1862), pp. 145-146

1856

When we reached the inn at Capel Curig late in the evening, there were so many visitors there that they had to lie around on chairs and sofas. We three were led to a farmhouse someway off, where we found our desired repose in enormous beds. …
Capel Curig lies right in the midst of this eternally stormy, misty and sunless Snowdonia. The inn, about 10 minutes away from the village, is at the end of the Llanberis Pass, Single-storeyed but elongated, with double windows, it lies behind a line of gloomy firs. The garden behind the house goes right down over rocks to some little lakes.  … the next morning … to my great astonishment, and that of all the others, the sun was also shining.
‘It’s Wednesday today’, said the landlord of the Capel Curig Inn, ‘and then the sun does shine here sometimes – on the day it was created – to show that it is still there.’
{His companions went fishing, then visited Llyn Ogwen.}
But we returned to Capel Curig. Here things were in full swing. Gentlemen and Ladies were sitting on stones beside the little lakes drawing, and slender youths with red-striped trousers and coats and tall green caps were standing on the bank fishing.
Rodenberg, Julius, (1831-), Ein Herbst in Wales, Land and Leute, Marchen under Lieder, (Hanover, 1858). Translated by William Linnard, ‘An Autumn in Wales, (1856), Country and People, Tales and Songs’, (Cowbridge, 1985), pp. 131-135

1856

This village, whose chief structure is the spacious and comfortable hotel, is surrounded by the most lofty mountains in the principality. The hotel stands at the junction of three valleys … and open upon a pleasant garden neatly laid, and backed by a spreading plantation of timber. Sundry steps lead the visitor across the garden enclosure into the open plain, in which, close at hand, are two lakes, of unequal extent, on which a boat is kept for the accommodation of visitors.  {The landscape, mountains etc.}
Anon, The Strangers Best Guide to Bangor, Penrhyn Castle and the slate quarries, and through the most picturesque scenery of Carnarfonshire with directions how to proceed at the least possible expense and loss of time. (Bangor, printed by Catherall, Bangor and Chester [1856]), p. 35

1856

letter from Charles Kingsley to his wife, dated 12.8.1856 from Capel Curig
Kingsley, Mrs (Ed.) Charles Kingsley [1819-1875], His Letters and Memories of His Life, (Condensed edition, 1884), pp. 182-187

1856

29th [September]: Fine morning. Left Llandudno at 10 & in their small omnibus which was to take us all the way to Capel Curig by Conwy and Llanwrst at the latter place we halted but our constant ill luck attended us & it began to rain as soon as we had selected our sketch. However we continued to do something – reached Capel Curig about 4…established ourselves in our small quarters & all dined together at 6.
30th: A disappointing day for it was a constant drizzle from morning till night attempted two or three sketches but could do nothing & even Maria was baffled. Dined at 6, & lamented that this was our last evening together.
1st Oct:  A brilliant morning and Snowdon quite clear…we went out to draw as soon as we had breakfasted – nothing is perfect & we were plagued with wasps as well as pigs geese & other animals however I staid out drawing as long as my eyes would serve & then walked till my legs also were done up when I was obliged to come in to be idle – Snowdon beautiful all day.
2nd: A wet morning decided to give ourselves the chance of another day & not go to Llanberis till Saturday. It cleared up however & we drew most part of the day but not quite so perseveringly as yesterday & the mountain was never quite clear only one or two of his peaks.
3rd: …Snowdon not visible as we set out to walk to bridge on the Llanwrst road which we had been told was well worth seeing & of which indeed he had had a glimpse in the rain as we came – admired & sketched it…
4th: After a very wet night the morning dawned in clouds but our landlord said it would be fine & so we decided to be off at ½ past 9 for Llanberis our next destination. We left Capel Curig in very good humour with the house altogether – it is clean & well-appointed in many respects – the food is not good but I never do particularly enjoy hotel diet – Snowdon showed two of his peaks but not the highest.
Hibbert, Mary Ann, Diary for 1856, Gloucestershire Record Office, D1799/F337

1858

The expense of a guide [to Snowdon] from Capel Curig, which is a great deal the longest journey, is, we believe, 10s. The guides are also usually provided with some refreshment either on the route or at the summit.
Whilst we were hesitating as to whether to proceed or not, Robin Hughes, the celebrated Capel Curig guide, hove in sight, convoying three ponies, upon which sat a lady, a gentleman, and a very pleasing intelligent-looking boy. We immediately accosted Hughes, and asked him if it was his intention to attempt the ascent in such weather. He replied that the lady and gentleman were determined to proceed if possible, and added that he thought the fog was below the summit of the mountain; that he had no doubt the y-Wyddfa was perfectly clear and cloudless, and probably the fog would disperse almost as suddenly as it had appeared. Encouraged by this opinion, and relying upon the great experience this veteran guide —whom we had known for many years—possessed of the weather in this elevated region; notwithstanding the remonstrances of our host, who emphatically warned us of the danger we might encounter, we determined to proceed unaided and alone, …
Capel Curig.
“What a Sabbath of rest from all troubles, anxious, or overwrought feelings” does the solitary romantic Capel Curig present to the mind of the wayfarer! Such were our impressions upon our first introduction to this really delightful locality some twenty summers ago. First impressions sometimes lead to disappointment upon further acquaintance, but at Capel Curig it is otherwise; and it is perhaps not too much to say, that few places in the Principality combine a greater variety of picturesque and sublime scenery. The village—if such it can be called—consists chiefly of the hotel, which has been increased in length from time to time since the days of its founder, the late Lord Penrhyn, until it seems almost to form one side of a short street; and a few cottages on the great Holyhead road, where comfortable lodgings, we believe, can now be obtained by such as prefer them to the hotel. The incumbent of the humble village church, at the period of our first visit, was also the landlord of the inn, and it is singular enough, that some years ago the landlords of three of the principal inns in North Wales belonged to the three professions of Law, Physic, and Divinity. Such, however, we have been informed, was the fact.
p. 176
This “curious” inn has been so frequently described, and is now so well known, that much comment on our part would be superfluous, but it is only doing an act of justice to the present landlord, Mr. Hughes, to state, that for general comfort, attention and civility, the hotel may vie with any of its great rivals in Snowdonia. The inn is generally crowded with visitors during the summer and autumn months; and at that period great difficulty is frequently experienced in obtaining accommodation. Since the introduction of the rail into North Wales, the influx of tourists has been annually on the increase, and should it go on increasing, before many years are passed, numerous fresh hotels will probably have sprung up.
That paragon of waiters, “Old Jackson,” so well known to the habitues of the hotel for many years, has been gathered to his fathers for some time, and few, if any, of the ancient denizens of the place now remain, except Robin Hughes, the guide and fisherman, whom we encountered three years ago, apparently as hale and vigorous as ever. This guide is mentioned by Roscoe, in his “wanderings” in this locality some twenty-five years ago. Hughes was one of the guides employed in the search after a Mr. Philip Homer, a young gentleman who perished on Moel Siabod, a few years anterior to Roscoe’s visit to Capel Curig. Mr. Homer’s remains lie interred in the churchyard at Capel Curig. We remember, whilst on an excursion to Llyn Idwal, in the autumn of 1841, Robin Hughes gave us a very graphic and interesting account of this sad event. Mr. Homer appears to have been exceedingly rash and venturesome, and, regardless of advice and warning, wandered on Moel Siabod, got lost in the mist, and at last perished from exhaustion.
We must, however, for a brief space, return to our worthy friend Jackson, a “fellow of infinite humour,” and in his way a perfect original. In some respects he reminded us of old Caleb Balderstone, the faithful seneschal of the Master of Ravenswood, in the very interesting tale of “The Bride of Lammermoor.”
Jackson was an Englishman, who had lived the greater part of his life in Wales, married a Welsh woman, and in short had become almost a Welshman himself. He had passed through the bustling times when the great Holyhead road, after its completion by Telford, was the fashionable route to Ireland. No railroads in those days to interfere with the great highway through a portion of the grandest scenery in Cambria. The road was thronged daily during all times of the year with coaches and carriages of all sorts, and the inns at Capel Curig and Cernioge were then the “chief halting-places on the route from London to Dublin.” Tempus edax rerum. The inn at Cernioge, which we well remember in its declining state twenty years ago, situate in the midst of a bleak, barren, naked wilderness, has been closed some years, and now, we believe, converted into a farmhouse. Capel Curig, however, from the entrancing scenery which surrounds it, commands at this moment, if possible, still greater popularity than in the good old times when the Holyhead road was in all its glory. The description of visitors has now of course materially changed. Formerly the frequenters of Capel Curig were chiefly on “business intent”; now they are almost entirely pleasure-seekers, and consist of tourists from Bangor or Caernarvon, making the “round” through the Pass of Llanberis. One coach, we believe, still remains upon the road; it runs daily between the Llangollen-road Station and Caernarvon, through Pen-y-Gwryd and Llanberis. Travelling through the country is chiefly performed by means of cars, both single and double; the latter on four wheels are quite a recent invention, and are not only much pleasanter, but safer and more commodious vehicles than the old-fashioned two-wheeled ones. They are drawn by a pair of horses, and will hold a family party.
We have already observed that Capel Curig presents many attractions, not only to the lover of natural beauty, but also to the botanist and geologist. Our intention, however, is to introduce more particularly to the reader such places in the vicinity as are less known and frequented than the “lions ” which are pointed out by the guides and guide-books, and to explore amongst the wild hills those hidden “nooks” and recesses seldom if ever visited, and little known save to the rude dwellers in these mountain wastes. In previous chapters we have also endeavoured to furnish a truthful picture of the different angling stations as they at present exist; not misleading the sportsman, as some of the miscalled guide-books do, which assert that “in any direction the angler cannot fail to find sport,” but pointing out the changes which have taken place during the last twenty or thirty years.
Before we proceed upon our exploration of the country, we will endeavour to describe the angling as it now is in the neighbourhood of Capel Curig, contrasting its present state with what it was thirty years ago. As an angling station, Capel Curig has gradually declined: the causes of this we have previously explained, and may be comprised under three heads — excessive netting, poaching, and the vast increase of mining population. Thirty years ago, first-rate sport was obtained on the which form such an attractive feature “in the magnificent panoramic picture” presented to the eye, from the rude wooden bridge that spans the infant stream flowing from the lower lake on its course to join the Llugwy, and which is in fact a continuation of the river Gwryd, after its expansion in the Capel Curig lakes. In those days these lakes abounded in fine trout. Holland, the eminent landscape painter, states in his “Angler’s Manual” that he killed in August, 1831—late in the season too—upwards of four dozen trout, averaging from half a pound to upwards of one pound each. Other anglers of those days have even exceeded this take. Such, however, is not the case now; in fact, for the last eighteen or twenty years, the Capel Curig lakes have ceased to afford any attraction whatever to the angler. The disciple of Isaac Walton, however skilful, must be content with few rises, and very small fish. Whence does this extraordinary falling off arise? It cannot proceed from mining operations, since there are no mines in the vicinity, neither can the “otter” or “board” have so completely spoiled the sport. The only reason we can assign is, that the lakes have been greatly injured by the net. In a former chapter we mentioned the destructive effects occasioned during one season from the use of a seine net in Llyn Gwynant; and the Llynniau Mymbyr for a long series of years have afforded one of the principal supplies of trout to the tables of the visitors at Capel Curig. In June, 1843, during a week’s sojourn in this locality, we gave these lakes a thorough examination, both from boat and shore; and although the weather was exceedingly favourable for our purpose, after repeated trials we killed only a very few small trout. We have met with the same result on several subsequent occasions, and this, coupled with similar reports from other anglers, confirms our opinion that these lakes are now “utterly spoiled.”
[Cliffe, John Henry], Rambles of an Angler among the Mountains, Valleys, and Solitudes of Wales, by Clyro, no. 11, Hereford Times – Saturday 02 October 1858;
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), pp. 151, 156, 175-179

1859

11.8.1859
p. 27
On reaching Capel Curig we found the hotel full, but were promised rooms in the course of an hour as a party was on the point of leaving. We are now in possession of comfortable apartments, the hotel is large and respectable making up 50 beds …
Linder, Samuel and Susannah, Tour of North Wales, 1859, NLW MS 23065C

1860

John Tyndall climbed Snowdon with Professor Huxley between boxing day and New Year’s day, 1860 They spent an evening at Capel Curig Inn on their way to Snowdon.
Tyndall, John, (1820-1893), Hours of Exercise in the Alps. 1st edition, 1871; 2nd edition, 1871, pp. 423-430; 3rd edition, 1873

1860

… we reach Capel Curig, which is exquisitely situated in the midst of beautiful but somewhat gloomy mountain scenery. The small lakes here owe their attraction to their fine situation amidst some of the loftiest mountains in the Principality, in a solitude that would be complete were it not for that rambling inn, which anything but graces the brow of the adjacent slope.
To turn to a prosaic and unromantic subject, but one which, if not speedily considered, will send both tourists and romance out of Wales, it was with regret I here observed that the drainage of the [Capel Curig] inn was diverted into the lake. To be sure, the drainage of one house, however large, would be attended with an inappreciable effect; but if the system once spreads, and is generally adopted, the consequences will be disastrous. Neither the Welsh lakes nor streams are large enough to bear the diversion of sewerage into them with impunity; and, as the various places of resort become more built upon, if other plans of drainage be not adopted, the beautiful cascades of Wales, and its silvery streams, will be turned from with displeasure, instead of, as now, proving the great attraction to the visitor. There is also a tendency to diminish the volume of water in several of the streams by collecting it into reservoirs for the supply of towns. In this way, that once impetuous little river, Avon Gaseg, which passes the road near Bethesda, and which formerly was in such a hurry to get into the Ogwen that it is said to have presented a sheet of white foam visible at the distance of fifteen miles, is ruined by the water-works that supply Bangor. This is bad enough; but if, in addition, our beautiful streamlets are to receive the annually increasing volume of liquid house drainage, it needs no ghost to come and tell us that we shall ere long be glad to get out of their way. Only fancy, if that most charming little river Ogwen be eventually bricked over, when Bethesda is a large city, to form its main sewer ! More unlikely things have happened; but the very idea makes one’s flesh creep, and induces me to entertain a serious doubt if the system of dilution is one which in the long run will not involve greater evils than those it is now believed to remedy.
Halliwell, J.O., Notes of family excursions in north Wales taken chiefly from Rhyl, Abergele, Llandudno and Bangor, (1860), pp. 185-187
Bye-gones, July, 1874, p. 80

1860

1.8.1860 (Wednesday)
{Day trip to Capel Curig and Bettws y Coed. Had dinner at Capel Curig and went back to Bangor in the evening.}
Anon, Account [of a tour], 1860, NLW MS 6266

1861

This Capel Curig hotel throws that at Llangollen quite into the shade, attractive as we thought the latter. Yet it was not that Llangollen had claims to much elegance, being quite unpretending; nor is it calculated, or designed, I imagine, for the accommodation of persons intending to remain long; but it is unusually attractive, for a village hotel, being very clean, and well kept by a very kind and lady-like hostess, and though on the street of a village, has a situation amid fine scenery seldom surpassed. Here there is no town, no street in front of our sweet parlor, where I am writing, seated in a low, cushioned window-seat; this parlor also faces a hanging garden descending to the river, with mountains rising directly from the opposite side ; but it is in the back, though most pleasant part of the hotel. Walk out into the garden and look up the winding stream, and you see, about three and a half miles off, the lofty top of Snowden, with a group of other peaks, the beau-ideal of cloud-capped mountains.
The towering bare brow of that facing us, looks so tempting and easy of access, we resolved, this morning, to climb it; and a glorious climb we had. First downward a little we go, through this pretty garden; by a rustic bridge cross we the clear waters of the Ogwen, and soon we pass the green shades and slopes reposing at the foot of the mountain,—then, all vegetation, with the exception of grass and the profuse clusters of rosy heath, the dainty little mountain gems, blue, pink, white, with their hair-like stems, and, succeeding these, the bright flowering mosses which—festooning the rocks—thence adorn the path the greater part of the way to the summit. Up, and up, over crags we mount, hero climbing cautiously, there springing from one to the other, now following this sparkling rivulet, now that. …
Anon (an American), [Tour of England (The Lakes), Scotland, Wales and Ireland], The Friend, A Religious and Literary Journal, vol 36, no 27, (1863), p. 222

1861

Advert for Capel Curig Hotel
Print of Snowdon, from Capel Curig
This spacious and comfortable Hotel is situated on the London and Holyhead Road, surrounded by the most Romantic Mountain Scenery in Wales. The magnificent view of Snowdon and the lakes from the Garden of this Hotel is unsurpassed by any in the District. In the Neighbourhood are some of the finest Lakes for Trout Fishing, on which boats are kept for the Accommodation of those who visit the Hotel. The Ascent of Snowdon from Capel Curig is perfectly easy, and is considered the finest.
Ponies and Careful Guides
Posting in all its Branches
Daily Coaches during the Summer Months from Llangollen Road, Carnarvon, Bangor and Conway.
Jane Williams, Proprietress.

1861

Capel Curig where the comfortable inn forms a welcome oasis in the solemn desert of mountains that surrounds it on every side. The village itself consists of a primitive little church dedicated to St Curig, 2 or 3 houses near it, and the inn which would probably contain in its rambling passages the whole parish, as far as dwellings go. It is, during the season, generally full of tourists, who find it a most convenient starting point for the mountain excursions.
Murray, A Handbook for Travellers in North Wales, (1st edition 1861), p. 75; (3rd edition, 1868), p. 89; (4th edition, 1874), p. 106

1862

The hotel, now of great length, seems to have been built at some half dozen successive periods,—a new portion having been added now and then to meet the increasing demands on its accommodation. It is a most comfortable house in every respect. The fare is excellent, the waiters intelligent, attentive, and civil.
Having repeatedly taken up my quarters at the Capel Curig Hotel, and on more than one-occasion for a week together, I can strongly recommend it as a place of sojourn for the tourist who is bent on exploring the bold scenery of this neighbourhood. There is a smaller house further up the valley at Pen-y-gwryd [inn], which has also become famous, and which is resorted to by the Alpine Club school of tourists; … At Capel Curig you will encounter a continually flowing stream of fellow tourists; and the coffee-room often realises a description of the late lamented Christopher North, elsewhere applied, in which he speaks of a “miscellaneous rabble of editors, authors, lords, baronets, squires, doctors of divinity, fellows of colleges, half-pay officers,- and bagmen.”
Bigg, William, The ten day tourist, or Sniffs of the mountain breeze: comprising, Ten days in North Wales, (1862)

1866

f. 15v
Capel Curig Hotel is a most comfortable hostelry … Isaac had brought his ???? bride some 30 years before to it in the depth of winter.
11.6.1866 Monday
{Views from the inn }
Anon, Tour of North Wales, 1866 and 1868, NLW MS 23066C

1867

Henrietta Thornhill and her family and friends spent 11 days at Capel Curig.
5.9.1867 (Thursday)
[cross written] Lunch at Beddgelert, then to Capel Curig, Hotel very full
8.9.1867 (Sunday)
To a Welsh service. ‘I never saw such a wretched church [near Capel Curig]. There were only 10 people besides ourselves.’
Thornhill, Henrietta, Lambeth Archives Department, Diaries of Henrietta Thornhill, IV/81/4
A daily diary for the years 1864-1879. It records at trip to Wales by Henrietta when she was 20 with members of her family and friends from 7th August to 24th September 1867, travelling by train and horse drawn vehicle (sketching, fishing, walking, boating & climbing). Many small sketches are included within in the script.

1869

Capel Curig (pronounced Kappel Kerrig) is so called from a small chapel here dedicated to the British saint Curig. The proportions of the village are quite insignificant, as it consists only of a few cottages, which were stables in the “good old coaching days.” A great number of horses were kept here to work the coaches plying between London and Holyhead, en route for Ireland. It is scarcely possible to conceive a more retired or beautiful spot; and the tourist with time at his disposal should certainly spend a little of it in this charming place. He will find the Royal Hotel a most comfortable, homely, and well-managed house.
The prices are, breakfast and tea, 1s 6d, 2s., and 2s. 6d; dinner, 3s; beds, 2s and 2s 6d. attendance, 1s. 6d. per day.
These charges will be found most reasonable for the excellent accommodation received. The writer has spent some time here, and strongly recommends all who can afford, to make a stay at this hotel, where they will find all the comforts of a home, and receive every attention from the obliging host and hostess. The hotel was built by the late Lord Penrhyn, and was a favourite place for coach travellers between Holyhead and London to pass the night. Its walls have sheltered the Duke of Richmond, and numerous other dukes and members of the aristocracy. Our present Queen, when Princess Victoria, stayed here some time; and behind the hotel is a small square pond, in which she fished. Here they are compelled to breed fish for themselves, in consequence of the isolated position of the hotel. The fish are bred in the two large lakes (called Mymbyr) near here, and are at times netted and brought up to the small pond beforenamed, where they are allowed to swim until required for the tea or breakfast of some hungry tourist, when they are lifted out by means of a small hand-net, to be cooked; and very delicious they are, I can assure you.
Moel Siabod (2,878 feet) rises up immediately behind the hotel. The ascent is rather difficult from the precipitous formation of the side; but the view from the summit, of the mountains of Snowdonia, their lakes and valleys, the Irish Sea, and the bays of Carnarvon and Cardigan, amply repay the toil. The two Glyders are very difficult and laborious to ascend their soil being very boggy, and their sides in some parts precipitous and dangerous; but it is said that the view from the summit of Glyder Fawr (3,300 feet) cannot be surpassed by any other in Wales.
A little rustic bridge crossing the stream which flows at the bottom of the garden behind the hotel, offers the best view that can be had of the bi-forked summit of Snowdon. The view up and down the valley from this spot is also very fine. The district is rich in minerals, yielding lead, copper, and calamine in abundance. The hard rock called serpentine is also found here.
The other hotel, called Tan-y-Bwlch, is finely situated, very handsome in its appearance, and a quiet house, with good accommodation. The prices are—tea or breakfast, 2s; dinner, 3s; bed, 2s; attendance, 1s. per day. There is also an inn called Bryntyrch Inn near here.
Bradbury, John, North Wales: How to See it for Four Guineas, (1869)

1869

Capel Curig is a rare station if you have any legs. The scenery is rough and wild all round. The Artist, Botanist or Geologist may hang out here to great advantage.
There is a large hotel, a relic of posting days, gloomy without being grand – very much like a workhouse – a place you avoid as long as you can – The little inn is snug and homely – a regular tramps house.
{copy of his poem which he wrote in the visitors’ book dated 14.9.1869}
Anon, An Account of tour in North Wales – ‘Notes to Wild Wales’ NLW MS 11045E, p. 11

1874

Lake Ogman [Ogwen]. Not very far beyond we came to Capel Curig, a place around which centres some of the wildest and most interesting scenery in Wales.
Two or three little Summer cottages, and one very long, low hotel, are the only habitations. The hotel is shingled on the sides and top with blue slate, and looked time and weather defying. As we stopped at the door, the landlady—a good-looking woman, dressed in black, with widow’s cap—met us with a benign smile, and asked our orders. Her maid, who stood at her elbow, at once served us.
p. 43
The room shown us was scrupulously clean. A dark, heavy, lumbering bureau stood in one corner; a fragile skeleton of light wood, with white dimity curtain and cover, and a little swinging mirror, stood for toilet adornings. A great solid bedstead, with tester and curtains extending half-way overhead, occupied a good share of the room. A very primitive wash-stand and huge fireplace completed the appointments. The air within was chilly, and the scenes’ without inviting,—so forth we sallied.
Behind the house was a terraced lawn, radiant with flowers; beyond, a pleasant grove, at the foot of which ran a clear, rapid stream. Crossing this by a little foot-bridge, I climbed up the hill-side, and sat down on a grassy spot, where the wild-flowers were springing up in tufts and patches,—foxglove and daisy, heather, harebells and ferns, and minute little blossoms of exquisite beauty. As Wordsworth says,—
“To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.”
Looking away from the flowers to the “vast hills in fluctuation fixed,” high over them all looms the conical head of Snowdon, peering out now and then through the gray, shifting clouds. There was a solemn and impressive stillness about that spot, and a restful sense of seclusion from the turbulent, toiling world outside—a spot where the hurried pulse might learn to beat to a more healthful measure, and where
p. 44
the heated brain might grow cool, and the soul shake off its frivolous desires.
Returning to the house, we partook of a well-served supper; and then, for warmth and cheerfulness, spent the evening in the dining-room; the only party there, besides ourselves, being an English officer and his two daughters. The former, Colonel Medaus Taylor, was for some time Governor-General in India. He has written several books on that country, and told us much in regard to it that was both new and interesting. Colonel Taylor is an elegant talker, and a polished, affable gentleman—a man, also, of broad and generous views and sympathies. His daughters are learned and accomplished, but very modest in showing either.
It was with regret that we, next morning, were compelled to bid adieu to our English friends …
Post, Loretta, J., Scenes in Europe; or, observations by an amateur artist. (Cincinati, 1874)

1874

Royal Hotel: (First Class Family House; Omnibus leaves the hotel three times a daily for the Bettws y Coed Railway station, calling at the Swallow Falls; Good Fishing) R. E. Roberts Proprietor, Capel Curig
Worralls Directory, North Wales & Chester 1874, p. 204

1877

[Capel Curig] in the very heart of the mountain district. The hotel is large and commodious, and stands in the most eligible spot between three glens—the Mymbr, towards Nant Gwynant and Llanberis; the Benglog, towards Nant Ffrancon; and the Llugwy, towards Bettws y Coed. Two large lakes, connected by a rivulet, are close by, and boats are constantly kept ready for visitors.
Capel Curig (pronounced Kappel Kerrig) is an eligible centre for tourists, who find it a most convenient starting point for various mountain excursions. It is also easy of access from all quarters, situated as it is at a junction of several roads. As a picturesque resort for the artist, and as a central position for the geologist and the botanist, few places will be found more favourable.
It is considered unequalled as an angling station, being within an easy distance of a vast number of lakes. …
Capel Curig properly speaking has no village, the hotel here is everything. There is small unpretending chapel-of-ease belonging to Llandegai & dedicated to St Curig, but nothing in the shape of a village has ever grown out of it.
Abel Heywood’s Tourist Guide to North Wales, Giving a full description of its Principal Centres for Excursions etc. etc. [1877], p. 39

1878

Capel Curig, a village entirely surrounded by mountains, and consisting of 2 or 3 houses, a primitive little church, and a comfortable Inn; a most convenient starting-point for endless mountain excursions (particularly pedestrian ones), and especially for ascent of Snowdon. Close to the hotel are Llyniau Mymbyr, 2 fine sheets of water, which afford poor fishing; the view up the vale, embracing these lakes and the peaks of Snowdon, is not to be surpassed in Wales for severe grandeur.
Murray, A Handbook for England and Wales, Alphabetically arranged (1878), p. 92

1881

Capel Curig is a capital centre both for Mountain expeditions and for easier walks, and, beside hotels at some of which they board you by the week there are a number of lodging houses between the big inn and the bridge, near the Swallow Falls.
Gossiping Guide to Wales, (1881), p. 143

1884

19.8.1884
At Capel Curig we lunched at a cottage (I forget whether it was a Jones) opposite the woods.
Anon, (Greenly, Edward), Tour of North Wales, 1884, NLW MS 23067B, p. 111
Journal of a walking tour in Merioneth and Caernarfon made in August and September 1884 by the geologist Dr Edward Greenly (1861-1951), later of Llandegfan, co. Anglesey, and described by him in his memoirs, A Hand through Time, 2 vols (London, 1938), I, 104-107.

1884?

Records a few poetic entries from the Capel Curig visitor’s book.
O’Flanagan, James Roderick (of Grange House, Fermoy, Ireland)
‘Through North Wales with my wife: an Arcadian tour’, (London : Burns & Oates, [1884?]), p. 57

1885

This guide book describes walks in the area but not the inn or village.
Abel Heywood’s Series of Penny Guide Books. A Guide to Llanrwst & Betws y Coed: with notices of Capel Curig …  [1885]

1886

Capel Curig is a very convenient situation for anglers, and for tourists intending to make the ascent of Snowdon. … we had no reason to break our journey there [because they had already climbed Snowdon] except for a few minutes, which enabled us to see that Capel Curig is a great resort for artists. … There is a particular spot, opposite a small roadside inn, on the wooded banks of a stream, which seems to be very much in favour among artists of both sexes, for we saw under the shade of a clump of trees more than a dozen of them, sheltered under white umbrellas …
Myrbach, [Felician] and P[aul] Villars. Sketches of England. London: The “Art Journal” Office, (1891), pp. 133-80

1890

Capel Curig … Its charming situation at the foot of Moel Siabod and near the famous Snowdon combined with the lovely surrounding scenery brings during the summer very many visitors, who find excellent accommodation at the several good hotels which are to be found in the village. It is said that from the gardens of the Royal Hotel is to be obtained the best view of Snowdon in North Wales.  Royal Hotel, Mrs Margaret Roberts.
Sutton’s Trade Directory,  North Wales, (1889-1890), p. 87

1890

The Queen of Rumania stayed at Penrhyn Castle. On the 16th September she visited
Penrhyn Quarry and on Wednesday 17th September 1890 she travelled to Bettws y
Coed via Llanberis and Capel Curig, returning to Llandudno by train. On Thursday
18th she travelled to Ireland.
Bye-gones, 24 Sept. 1890, p. 465
Newspaper reports might add more detail

1892

The delightful village of Capel Curig next hove in sight, with all the latest improvements and all such things as are found in famous watering places. {description of the Llugwy}
Scott, John, Journal of a tour in Wales by John B. Scott, August-September 1892, NLW ex 1900, p. 122

1896

Capel Curig is beautifully situated on the London and Holyhead road; it consists for the most part of hotels and lodging houses for the convenience of tourists.
Hotels: Royal, Bryntyrch, Cobden’s, Ty’n Coed, etc.
Ward, Lock and Bowden’s Illustrated Guide Book, North Wales, (1896), p. 155

1897

Advert Royal Hotel, Capel Curig
First Class Family and Posting House. Best Views in Wales. Good fishing on all the Lakes, free of charge to Visitors staying at the Hotel. Boats may be used, free of charge.
Boats kept of the Capel Curig and Ogwen, this hotel being nearest to the Ogwen.
Guides and Ponies to Snowdon, Glydars, Moel Siabod, and Garnedd Llewelyn; also conveyances to Llanberis, Beddgelert, Bangor, and Varnarvon.
H Roberts, proprietor.

1912 (after)

Advert for Royal Hotel, Capel Curig, Patronised by Royalty.
Photograph of the inn from the south
The Royal Hotel is beautifully situated midway between Bettws-y-Coed and Carnarvon on the main road from Shrewsbury to Holyhead and is one of the oldest tourist resorts in the Principality. The Hotel is 700 feet above sea level, the air is dry, pure, bracing and possesses the strong, invigorating properties of the Highland air.  It is a capital resort for anglers and mountaineers besides the Capel Curig lake on which boating and fishing is FREE to Hotel Visitors. There are also numerous other lakes and streams for fishing open to visitors. Private Lake restocked 1912 with 5,000 9-inch trout. The Hotel is one of the best and most distinguished in North Wales, having had under its shelter the late Queen Victoria, Duke of Wellington, and many other notabilities. In 1907 the late King Edward VII stopped at this famous hostelry while more recently it was visited by their majesties  King George and Queen Mary on the 14th July, 1911. Tariff: Weekly (en pension) from £3 3s to £4 4s.