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Church at Corris - - 213906.jpg
Church at Corris
Gwynedd UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Gwynedd
Population723 (2011)
OS grid reference SH755078
  • Corris
Principal area
Ceremonial county
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Historic county
Postcode district SY20
Dialling code 0165473
Police North Wales
Fire North Wales
Ambulance Welsh
UK Parliament
Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament
List of places
52°39′11″N3°50′28″W / 52.653°N 3.841°W / 52.653; -3.841 Coordinates: 52°39′11″N3°50′28″W / 52.653°N 3.841°W / 52.653; -3.841
Corris circa 1885. Corris NLW3361412.jpg
Corris circa 1885.
The entrance to King George's Field next door to the junior school King George's Fields SH7507 195.jpg
The entrance to King George's Field next door to the junior school

Corris (occasionally called Lower Corris [1] ) is a village and community in the south of Snowdonia in the Welsh county of Gwynedd. It lies in the historic county of Merionethshire/Sir Feirionnydd. Although the Snowdonia National Park covers much of the area around Corris, the village is not within the Park.


The name was first recorded in the thirteenth century and is derived from the Welsh corres ('a female dwarf'). In this context it probably means 'little one', referring to the Afon Deri river (formerly called Afon Corris), which that flows into the larger Afon Dulas at Aber Corris. [2] Thus although the area is noted for its slate mines, the name Corris has no connection with the English word quarries. Other fanciful explanations include the following by Thomas Morgan ('Afanwyson', 1850–1939): 'We find the forms Corys and Corus in the Cambrian Register for 1795. Some think the place takes its name from a saint called Corus. It is also said that Cunedda Wedig had a son called Coras. Others think that the river which gives the place its name, was called Corus from its making round excavations in the angles of its banks.' [3] The name Corris is also shared with a small river in Denbighshire, a tributary of the Clywedog that in turn flows into the River Clwyd.

The population of Corris community was 723 at the 2011 Census. [4]


Corris lies on the west bank of the river Dulas, which here forms the county boundary between Gwynedd/Merionethshire and Powys/Montgomeryshire, Powys being to the east of the river. The Afon Deri (shown on early maps as Afon Corris) runs through the village before joining the Dulas. The ancient Roman road between northern and southern Roman Wales, Sarn Helen, probably ran through the village. The settlement now known as Corris was at one time known as Abercorris (spelt Abercorys on some early maps), when the old turnpike road from Dolgellau to Machynlleth ran through the village, crossing the Dulas at Pont Abercorris. The modern A487 trunk road was built by the quarry owners in the 1840s and bypasses the village.

West of Corris, along the Deri valley is the village of Corris Uchaf (in English "Upper Corris", also known as "Top Corris").

The community also includes the hamlets of Aberllefenni further up the Dulas valley and Pantperthog to the south.


The area is known for its natural history and for its industrial heritage. The Corris Craft Centre at Braichgoch showcases the work of local craftspeople. Several former slate mines penetrate the hillsides, and parts of what was once Braichgoch quarry can be visited on a tourist trip called "King Arthur's Labyrinth". Two miles south of Corris is the Centre for Alternative Technology.

On the bluff above the village, known as the Braich Goch, stands the Hughes Memorial. It has been described as one of the most important objects in Wales. [5]

The Corris Railway, and its Station

Corris railway station circa 1885. Corris railway station NLW3361406.jpg
Corris railway station circa 1885.

Corris railway station was a station on the former Corris Railway, a narrow gauge railway which carried slate from Aberllefenni through Machynlleth to be shipped from quays at Derwenlas and Morben on the River Dyfi. to Machynlleth. The station was open from 1883 [6] until the end of passenger services, in December 1930. [7] :7 The Corris Railway Society has now restored part of the railway, from Corris to Maespoeth Junction, and passengers are carried by steam train on this section. The society has plans to extend further south in due course. Much of the abandoned route northwards to Aberllefenni and southwards to Machynlleth can still be traced.

Corris Station was unusual in British narrow gauge railways in having an overall roof covering the main line through the station, although this was removed soon after the railway closed in 1948. Although the buildings containing the carriage shed, waiting room, stationmaster's office and toilets were demolished in 1968, the adjacent railway stable block, comprising parcels office, coachhouse, harness room and hayloft, still survives and is now used as the Corris Railway Museum. North of the station the line was carried over the Afon Deri on a high stone bridge, adjacent to the similar bridge carrying the main street through the village. This bridge is still standing.

The village

The Corris Institute CorrisInstitute.jpg
The Corris Institute

Corris has a junior school, Ysgol Dyffryn Dulas, (formerly Ysgol Gynradd Corris).

There were formerly many chapels in the village but all have now closed, and only Holy Trinity Church remains open for worship. Corris was formerly a part of the parish of Tal-y-llyn, but until recently the church shared its vicar with Pennal.

Local government is provided by Corris Community Council, which serves the villages on the Meirionnydd side of the Dulas valley.

Another notable building in the village is the half timbered Corris Institute, built in 1911, which underwent a major refurbishment, completed in late 2006.

At the junction between the A487 and the road into the village is the Braich Goch Inn, which was originally a coaching Inn on the Londonderry Estate. It is now a bunkhouse for walkers, kayakers and mountain bikers.

Adjacent to the crossroads in the centre of the village is the Slaters Arms pub.

Corris is host to two Festivals. In February there is the Gwyl Cwrw Corris Beer Festival and September sees the Gwyl Corris Festival of Music.

Notable people

Further reading

Slate Quarrying at Corris, by Alun John Richards, 1994, ISBN   0863812791

Related Research Articles

Corris Railway

The Corris Railway is a narrow gauge preserved railway based in Corris on the border between Merionethshire and Montgomeryshire in Mid-Wales.

Pennal Village in Gwynedd, Wales

Pennal is a village and community on the A493 road in southern Gwynedd, Wales, on the north bank of the Afon Dyfi/River Dovey, near Machynlleth.

Aberllefenni quarries

Aberllefenni quarry is the collective name of three slate quarries, Foel Grochan, Hen Gloddfa and Ceunant Ddu, located in Cwm Hengae, just to the west of Aberllefenni, Gwynedd, North Wales. It was the longest continually operated slate mine in the world until its closure in 2003. Foel Grochan is the quarry on the north side of the valley, facing Ceunant Ddu and Hen Gloddfa on the south; all three were worked as a single concern throughout their history. Rock was mainly extracted underground, though all three quarries had open pits as well.

Aberllefenni Human settlement in Wales

Aberllefenni is a village in the south of Gwynedd, Wales. It lies in the historic county of Merionethshire/Sir Feirionnydd, in the valley of the Afon Dulas, and in the community of Corris.

Esgairgeiliog Human settlement in Wales

Esgairgeiliog is a village in Powys, Wales, UK. It is situated at the junction of the Afon Glesyrch's and Afon Dulas' valleys.

Llwyngwern was a station on the Corris Railway in Wales, built to serve the hamlet of Pantperthog and the residents of Plas Llwyngwern, a house where a daughter of the 5th Marquess of Londonderry lived with her husband. Although the Plas was in Montgomeryshire, the station was across the Afon Dulas in Merionethshire. The station was built at Llwyngwern, rather than at Pantperthog, because there is a very tight bend and a steep gradient on the railway at Pantperthog.

Corris Uchaf Human settlement in Wales

Corris Uchaf, locally known as Top Corris, is a village lying in the south of the Snowdonia National Park in Gwynedd, Wales. The village of Corris is nearby; the two villages should not be confused. The extensive slate quarries that surround Corris Uchaf are its most prominent historical feature.

Braichgoch slate mine Former mine in Wales

Braichgoch slate mine was a large slate mine located in Corris Uchaf, north Wales. It was worked continuously from 1787 until closure in 1970, apart from a hiatus in the 1900s. Most of the surface workings of the quarry were removed as part of a road widening and landscaping scheme in 1983.

Morben Village in Powys, Wales

Morben is a hamlet in northern Powys, Wales. Part of the historic county of Montgomeryshire from 1536 to 1974, it lies on the Afon Dyfi and was once the home of a number of riverside quays, including Cei Ward and Y Bwtri. The site of Cei Ward lies alongside the A487 opposite Plas Llugwy, where the road, railway and river run close together. Y Bwtri lay on the bend of the river opposite Pennal and was the site of a shipyard.

Afon Dulas River in Wales

The Afon Dulas, or North Dulas, is a river forming the border between Merionethshire/Gwynedd and Montgomeryshire/Powys in Wales. Another river called Afon Dulas joins the Dyfi from the south, upstream of its confluence with the North Dulas: locally this is referred to as the South Dulas.

Garneddwen Human settlement in Wales

Garneddwen is a hamlet in the south of the county of Gwynedd, Wales. It lies in the historic county of Merionethshire/Sir Feirionnydd, in the valley of the Afon Dulas.


Pantperthog is a hamlet in southern Gwynedd in Wales, 2 miles north of Machynlleth and 14 miles southeast of Dolgellau. Nearby is the former Llwyngwern quarry, which is now the Centre for Alternative Technology. The Afon Dulas, which here forms the border between Gwynedd and Powys, runs past the hamlet. It is in the community of Corris.

Ratgoed Tramway

The Ratgoed Tramway was a 2 ft 3 in gauge horse-worked tramway that connected the remote Ratgoed Quarry with the Corris Railway at Aberllefenni. It was 1.75 miles (2.82 km) long.

Nant Ceiswyn River in Mid Wales

The Nant Ceiswyn is a small river in Mid Wales. It flows from the northern flank of Mynydd Dolgoed down to Pont Cymerau, north-east of Aberllefenni. Here it joins the Nant Llwydiarth to form the Afon Dulas that flows south to the Afon Dyfi. There was an ancient bridge at Pont Cymerau.

Afon Deri River in Mid Wales

The Afon Deri is a river in Mid Wales. It flows from the eastern flank of Mynydd Ty-Glas down to Corris, where it joins the Afon Dulas that flows south to the Afon Dyfi.

Cymerau quarry Slate quarry in Wales, UK

Cymerau quarry was a slate quarry served by the Ratgoed Tramway, a horse-worked section of the Corris Railway. It is located about half a mile north of Aberllefenni in Merioneth, North Wales, on the eastern side of the isolated Cwm Ceiswyn. It worked the Narrow Vein, the highest-quality slate vein in the Abercorris Group.

The Upper Corris Tramway was a 2 ft 3 in gauge horse-worked tramway that connected the slate quarries around the villages of Corris and Corris Uchaf with the Corris Railway at Maespoeth Junction. It was just over 1.8 miles (2.9 km) long.

Abercwmeiddaw quarry Former Welsh slate quarry

The Abercwmeiddaw quarry was a slate quarry that operated between the 1840s and 1938. It was located at Corris Uchaf about 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Machynlleth, in Gwynedd, north-west Wales. The quarry was connected to the Corris Railway via the Upper Corris Tramway which carried its products to the Cambrian Railways at Machynlleth for distribution.

Llwyngwern quarry

The Llwyngwern quarry was a slate quarry in Wales that opened by 1828 and continued working until about 1950. The quarry is located on the western flank of Mynydd Llwyn-gwern.

Cwm Hengae

Cwm Hengae is a valley that runs roughly north-west from the village of Aberllefenni in Wales. The Afon Llefenni river runs along the valley and several slate quarries occupy the valley sides. The Roman road Sarn Helen ran along the valley, connecting Aberllefenni with Dolgellau.


  1. Stephen W. Town (15 January 1978). After the mines: changing employment opportunities in a South Wales valley. University of Wales Press. ISBN   978-0-7083-0660-4.
  2. Hywel Wyn Owen and Richard Morgan, Dictionary of the Place-names of Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2007, ISBN   1-84323-901-9, p. 97.
  3. Thomas Morgan, The Place-names of Wales . Revised second ed., Newport: J. E. Southall, 1912, p. 12.
  4. "Community population 2011". Archived from the original on 1 June 2016. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  5. 1 2 "Welsh History Month: Corris Roadside Memorial". Wales Online. 20 May 2013.
  6. Boyd, James I.C. (1965). Narrow Gauge Railways in Mid Wales. The Oakwood Press. pp. 24–25.
  7. The Corris Railway Society (2009). "The Corris Railway – 1859 to 1948". Corris Railway – Guidebook & Stocklist. Template Printing (Nottingham) Limited.
  8. Peter Nichols (17 February 2017). "John Disley obituary". The Guardian.
  9. "'Welcome home!' for the Diocese of Bangor's new Dean". Diocese of Bangor. Church in Wales. 21 January 2016. Archived from the original on 3 February 2016. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
Preceding station HR icon.svg   Heritage railways Following station
Maespoeth Junction   Corris Railway  Terminus
  Historical railways  
Maespoeth Junction   Corris Railway   Garneddwen