Episodes 33 and 34 – Aberangell, Gwynedd and Aberarder, Inverness

Aberangell

Our next tour stop is a small village in the Welsh county of Gwynedd. Situated on the border of Snowdonia National Park, Aberangell is a short drive north-east of the market town Machynlleth, on Wales’s west coast.

Here Afon (or river) Angell arrives at Afon Dyfi. If you love nature then it’s a great place to visit and explore the forest and hills. You might also find the ruins of old slate mines, where a great hole would be dug out of the ground to form a quarry.

Once there was a railway station at Aberangell, opened in 1867. Passengers went on the line until 1901, when passenger services ended. Freight continued until 1908 when it was finally closed down. The station at Aberangell was used as an exchange from the Hendre-Ddu tramway system onto the main railway system.

The Hendre-Ddu trams didn’t run on the same type of tracks as the main line. It was a private line, carrying timber and slate down from the Hendre-Ddu quarry. This output nearly a thousand tons of slate in 1883, with 31 men working there. Over time production decreased and in 1946 it closed for good.

One slate mine owner lived in Aberangell, and bought his home – Bryn Derwen – for just £6,000. It is still lived in today.

Aberarder

We now need to travel a long way. Back into England, up the M6, through Scotland almost all the way to Inverness. Here is Aberarder, one of four villages around Loch Ruthven, to the south east of Loch Ness. It is at the top of Strath Nairn, where the River Nairn first forms its course before making its way to the sea.

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Episode 32 – Aberaman, Rhondda Cynon Taf

This week we’re visiting Rhondda Cynon Taf, a county in the south of Wales, named after the five valleys that make it up. The region is close to the capital city of Cardiff.

Aberaman is found in the Cynon valley (pronounced ‘cuh-non’). As we learned last week, ‘Aber’ means river mouth, and this village is located where the Amman river (Afon Aman) arrives at the Cynon river.

Before the nineteenth century, Aberaman Isha was the rural home of the Mathew family. They were large landholders in the Glamorgan area, which included the modern Rhondda Cynon Taf region. Three of the Mathews served as High Sheriff of Glamorgan.

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