So I got lost. Well not really, I knew where I was but had missed the start of my circular walk to the ‘forgotten village’ (so named by the Daily Post a couple of years ago) of Rhiwddolion.
I had read about Rhiwddolion in an old newspaper article and got curious. Situated in a remote upland above Betws-y-Coed, Conwy, it was once a thriving quarrying community of about 150 inhabitants with its own chapel, school and accommodation for the quarrymen.
The cottages were built on the Roman road ‘Sarn Helen’, which once ran for 160 mi (260 km) on a meandering course through central Wales, connecting Aberconwy in the north with Carmarthen in the west. The road was named after Saint Elen, a Celtic saint, whose story is told in the The Dream of Macsen Wledig part of the Welsh Mabinogion and who is said to have ordered the construction of roads in Wales during the late 4th century.
Three cottages have been renovated and are now let as holiday cottages and managed by The Landmark Trust. To this day you can’t get there by car and have to walk the last stretch of your journey.
Afterwards I explored the area and paid a visit to Llyn Elsi. It is a reservoir providing water for the village and was once two lakes before a dam was built.
On my way down to Betws-y-Coed I came across another ruin which was just marked as ‘Garden’ on my OS map but I’m still none the wiser as there seems to be no information about it.