The Oakeley Arms Hotel and Self Catering Cottages
in the Heart of Snowdonia

Local History

Snowdonia Slate Mines

Posted On: Sun 25 Jun 2017 Posted In: Local History Posted By:

A quiet corner of north Wales holds deep buried secrets to the area’s bustling industrial past From a distance, the mountains that surround the little town of Blaenau Ffestiniog are breathtaking in their quiet beauty, but dig a little deeper and there is a treasure trove of secrets to unlock; a glimpse of a noisy and destructive industrial era long left behind and an eerie peek into the hard life of a quarry miner in the mid nineteenth century. Slate was first mined in North Wales as far back as roman times, when the fort at Segontium near Caernarfon was built with local slate. But it was ... read the full story

Snowdonia National Park

Posted On: Sun 28 May 2017 Posted In: Local History Posted By:

As regular readers of the Oakeley blog will know, we are absolutely thrilled to live and work in Snowdonia National Park. It is one of the finest natural spaces in Britain and it is an absolutely stunning place to live and visit, and earlier this week on the blog, we found out more about the Snowdonia Giving Project, of which we are extremely proud to be part of. But just what does it mean to live in or visit a National Park? Well, in England and Wales, a National Park is a region of outstanding beauty that are designated as such in order to protect and preserve them. In other parts ... read the full story

Snowdonia’s Amazing Sand Dunes

Posted On: Wed 26 Apr 2017 Posted In: Local History Things To Do Posted By:

The sand dune is one of the Welsh coast’s most prominent contradictions. These vast areas that dominate the coastline of Wales are home to sprawling and enormous walls of shifting sand; at once both huge and impenetrable but also incredibly delicate and fragile. A grain of sand on its own is tiny and insignificant, but when nature clusters hundreds of billions of them together the effect is maze-like. The sand unites to create towering dunes that stand tall above the human footprints that tread softly across them or the plants and animals that make them their home. Sand dunes are some of t ... read the full story

Snowdonia on Television

Posted On: Mon 17 Apr 2017 Posted In: Local History Posted By:

“I am not a number, I am a free man” shouts Patrick McGoohan’s character Number 6 in The Prisoner, one of the most iconic television series from the 1960s. The line is perhaps one of the most well-known from the series that captured the public’s imagination when it was first broadcast in 1967. The Prisoner will forever be linked with our corner of Snowdonia because it was here that the series was filmed. The atmospheric Italianate village of Portmeirion provided the backdrop to the series and was the “real-life” location of the fictional “Village” (to where Patrick McGoohan ... read the full story

David Lloyd George in North Wales

Posted On: Sun 19 Mar 2017 Posted In: Local History Posted By:

“He was the greatest Welshman which that unconquerable race has produced since the age of the Tudors….. and those that come after us will find the pillars of his life’s toil upstanding, massive and indestructible”. Winston Churchill’s parliamentary tribute to David Lloyd George just after his death in 1945 paid homage to the Liberal politician who had come to be considered as one of the greatest social reformers of the twentieth century. When Lloyd George’s father, a schoolmaster working in Manchester, passed away soon after his birth his mother took her young family back t ... read the full story

North Wales Stately Homes

Posted On: Wed 15 Mar 2017 Posted In: Local History Posted By:

Here in Wales, we boast a history and heritage that dates back thousands of years, so it's no surprise that dotted all around North Wales are some of the most beautiful and historic stately homes and manor houses in the country. Built for a huge number of reasons, these elegant and often enormous houses were quite literally a showcase of affluence and titles. Some were built as residences for the landed gentry, some were raised from the profits of successful businesses during the industrial revolution, and some were built as shows of defiance after victorious wins in battles for land. But wh ... read the full story

Exploring Wales’ Legends

Posted On: Wed 08 Mar 2017 Posted In: Local History Posted By:

As we've already discovered as we've delved into some of Wales' most famous tales and legends - almost every little corner, nook and cranny of our wonderful country has an ancient story or legend attached to it. It's one of the things we love about Wales - the culture and landscape that dates back thousands and thousands of years. And now, Natural Resources Wales - the government body responsible for looking after Wales' natural assets - have made it easier than ever to explore some of the most famous myths and legends of Wales with the launch of two new apps. The PlacesToGo app shows you w ... read the full story

The Legend of Nant Gwrtheyrn

Posted On: Thu 26 Jan 2017 Posted In: Local History Posted By:

Today on the Oakeley blog, we're continuing our journey of discovery into the myths and legends of Wales. Have you heard the legend of Nant Gwrtheyrn? Get your tissues at the ready, because this is a sad one! Now the home of a Welsh Language Centre, Nant Gwrtheyrn is a small bay and community on the northern coast of the Llyn Peninsula, just a short drive from the Oakeley Arms. The legend of Nant Gwrtheyrn tells of a young couple from the village, Rhys and Meinir. Rhys and Meinir were childhood sweethearts who had loved each other for many years, and couldn't wait to be married. They would o ... read the full story

Canal Crazy – a history of Canals

Posted On: Tue 24 Jan 2017 Posted In: Local History Posted By:

To trace the origins of canals, we can float back for almost 6,000 years. In Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq and Syria), enormous irrigation canals were built as far back as 4,000 BC. The Grand Canal of China is not only the longest canal in the world but its origins go back to at least 480 BC. But it wasn’t until the middle of the eighteenth century that Britain fully embraced its own watery transportation system. With the onset of the Industrial Revolution, the country was crying out for a quick, reliable and cost effective method of transporting bulky, heavy goods and raw materials. A ricke ... read the full story

North Wales’ Forgotten Railways

Posted On: Sun 22 Jan 2017 Posted In: Local History Posted By:

Here in Snowdonia, we love a good old fashioned steam train! And Great Britain has enjoyed a love affair with railways since Trevithick’s first railway steam locomotion was built in 1804. And when George Stephenson opened his first public steam railway twenty years later the golden age of Britain’s railways had begun. The railways opened up new means of transport for industry and trade, and later shaped the way a country lived, travelled, worked and even went on holiday. And in rural North Wales in the mid 19th century, the ability to transport precious goods, and later, people, opened up ... read the full story