Chirk and the Ceiriog Valley in Wrexham North Wales
Croeso Network

Glyn Ceiriog

Glyn Ceiriog which is the largest village in the beautiful Ceiriog Valley. Visit the attractions below:-

  • The Theo Davies Craft Workshop is on the main street into the village. Here, furniture is crafted or lovingly restored by skilled craftsman Theo Davies and his family. The shop is open on weekdays. Telephone:- +44 1691 718218

  • The Ceiriog Memorial Institute is a lasting memorial to the famous poet 'Ceiriog' and to other notable Welshmen. Founded in 1911 and extended in 1929, it houses a rare collection of memorabilia. This 'Jewel of the Glen' is open daily between Easter and October, between 1pm and 6pm or, by prior arrangement for group visits.

Line of Glyn Valley Tramway

"I have often lingered in the enjoyment of the beautiful valley and its sparkling streams, and the invigorating air of its mountain slopes. A more delightful retreat for a quiet holiday 'far from the madding crowd' I do not know. To people who long for rest and quietude, the Glyn Valley offers great inducements from its comparatively small population. I feel assured that it only wants to become better known, as it soon will be, with a good hotel to minister to wanderers comforts to become one of the pet resorts of the best class of tourist."

These words are by Sir Theodore Martin who was a promoter of the Glyn Valley Tramway, lifelong friend of Queen Victoria and biographer of the Prince Consort.

Horse-drawn Trams

On 23rd December 1865 a Bill proposing the Glyn Valley Railway by the Cambrian Railway Company of Oswestry, went before the House of Commons.

The proposals to connect a junction at Chirk on the Great Western Railway line with a terminal at the New Inn, Glyn Ceiriog, came into being with the Ellesmere and Glyn Valley Railway Act of 1866. However, it was not until March 1872 that the first shareholders' meeting of the Glyn Valley Tramway was held and a contract for a price of £9,553 was awarded.

The gauge of the railway was to be two feet and four and a quarter inches and construction work for the part of the tramway between the canal and Pontfaen was started in June 1872 and the tramway was reported working in April 1873.

The problem of negotiating the severe gradient of 1 in 19 from Pontfaen to Gledrid, combined with the difficulties of working with horse power, derailment of coaches and compensation costs in the years to 1877 meant that the tramway operated at a loss.

Up until 1885 the tramway struggled on, using horse power to provide transport for the slate quarry as well as coal, building materials and general merchandise.

Steam Power

Royal assent to a Bill presented to Parliament to convert the tramway from horse power to steam power was obtained on 31st July 1885 and by the end of 1887 the tramway was complete for the use of steam engines from Black Park Basin, Chirk to Glyn Ceiriog. In this year work also commenced on the track from Pont Faen to Chirk.

Two locomotives were ordered for delivery in June 1888 at £1,150 each. They were named 'Sir Theodore' and 'Dennis' after the two Company Directors.

1891 was a successful year for the Company and in 1892 an additional engine 'Glyn' was operational on the tramway.

Fares were 6d and 10d to travel between Chirk and Pontfaen. Four trains operated each day in each direction with an additional 'down' train on Wednesdays and Saturdays to cater for the market at Oswestry.

Additional trains ran in the summer of 1905 to 1908 i.e. nine trains 'down' and eight trains 'up' to cater for the summer trade.

The speed of the trains was restricted by the Act to 10 m.p.h., but the Company said safe operation could be at 20 m.p.h. It took about 40 minutes on average to travel the six mile length of tramway between Chirk and Glyn Ceiriog but 35 minutes when exceeding the speed limit.

Passenger numbers were at about 40,000 until after 1924 when there was a decline in usage. In 1928 there were half the numbers of the previous year. In 1931 three motor bus companies began to operate to Glyn Ceiriog despite objections from the G.V.T. Company. On Thursday 6th April 1935 the last passenger train was run and on 6th July 1935 after 62 years of service the Glyn Valley Tramway was closed to traffic and the Company went into liquidation.

In early 1936 the liquidator signed a contract with Davies Bros. of Barmouth for the sale of the locomotives, rolling stock, track and equipment for the sum of £2,400. This was the end of the Glyn Valley Tramway. It has been speculated that if the Glyn Valley Tramway and its engines and vans were intact today it would be profitable once again, but as a major attraction for the Glyn Valley.

Where to Stay

The Glyn Valley Hotel, Llanarmon Road, Glyn Ceiriog, Llangollen, LL20 7EU
Telephone:- +44 1691 718896


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