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Llangollen Church.jpg
Llangollen Riverside Walk
Denbighshire UK location map.svg
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Location within Denbighshire
Population3,658 (2011)
OS grid reference SJ215415
  • Llangollen
Principal area
Ceremonial county
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district LL20
Dialling code 01978
Police North Wales
Fire North Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament
Welsh Assembly
List of places
52°58′12″N3°10′12″W / 52.970°N 3.170°W / 52.970; -3.170 Coordinates: 52°58′12″N3°10′12″W / 52.970°N 3.170°W / 52.970; -3.170
St. Collen's parish church Eglwys Sant Collen, Llangollen, Cymru St. Collen's Parish Church, Llangollen, Denbighshire, Wales 61.JPG
St. Collen's parish church
Llangollen Bridge - geograph.org.uk - 1001255.jpg

Llangollen (Welsh pronunciation:  [ɬaŋˈɡɔɬɛn] ) is a small town and community in Denbighshire, north-east Wales, on the River Dee at the edge of the Berwyn mountains and the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB. It had a population of 3,658 at the 2011 census. [1]

A community is a division of land in Wales that forms the lowest tier of local government in Wales. Welsh communities are analogous to civil parishes in England. In 2016 there were 870 communities in Wales.

Denbighshire County and Principal area in Wales

Denbighshire is a county in north-east Wales, named after the historic county of Denbighshire, but with substantially different borders. Denbighshire is the longest known inhabited part of Wales. Pontnewydd (Bontnewydd-Llanelwy) Palaeolithic site has Neanderthal remains from 225,000 years ago. Its several castles include Denbigh, Rhuddlan, Ruthin, Castell Dinas Bran and Bodelwyddan. St Asaph, one of the smallest cities in Britain, has one of the smallest Anglican cathedrals. Denbighshire has a length of coast to the north and hill ranges to the east, south and west. In the central part, the River Clwyd has created a broad fertile valley. It is primarily a rural county with little industry. Crops are grown in the Vale of Clwyd and cattle and sheep reared in the uplands. The coast attracts summer tourists, and hikers frequent the Clwydian Range, which forms an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with the upper Dee Valley. Llangollen hosts the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in each July.

Wales Country in northwest Europe, part of the United Kingdom

Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 1,680 miles (2,700 km) of coastline and is largely mountainous with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon, its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate.



Llangollen Bridge, 1793 Llangollen, Castle Dinas Bran, 1793.jpg
Llangollen Bridge, 1793
Llangollen in 1850 The town and vale of Llangollen.jpeg
Llangollen in 1850

Llangollen takes its name from the Welsh llan meaning "a religious settlement" and Saint Collen, a 6th-century monk who founded a church beside the river. [2] St Collen is said to have arrived in Llangollen by coracle. There are no other churches in Wales dedicated to St Collen, and he may have had connections with Colan in Cornwall and with Langolen in Brittany.

Monk member of a monastic religious order

A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism by monastic living, either alone or with any number of other monks. A monk may be a person who decides to dedicate his life to serving all other living beings, or to be an ascetic who voluntarily chooses to leave mainstream society and live his or her life in prayer and contemplation. The concept is ancient and can be seen in many religions and in philosophy.

Coracle small, roundish shaped lightweight boat

The coracle is a small, rounded, lightweight boat of the sort traditionally used in Wales, and also in parts of the West Country and in Ireland, particularly the River Boyne, and in Scotland, particularly the River Spey. The word is also used of similar boats found in India, Vietnam, Iraq and Tibet. The word "coracle" is an English spelling of the original Welsh cwrwgl, cognate with Irish and Scottish Gaelic currach, and is recorded in English text as early as the sixteenth century. Other historical English spellings include corougle, corracle, curricle and coricle.

Colan, Cornwall village and civil parish in mid-Cornwall, England

Colan is a village and civil parish in mid-Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It is situated approximately three miles (5 km) east of Newquay. The electoral ward is called Colan and Mawgan. The population of this ward at the 2011 census was 4,256 The hamlets of Bosoughan, Chapel, Gwills, Kestle Mill, Lane, Mountjoy, Quintrell Downs, Trebarber and Trencreek are in the parish. Fir Hill Woods near Nanswhyden, contains the ruins of Fir Hill Manor. Colan Church dates to the thirteenth century.

Above the town to the north is Castell Dinas Brân, a stronghold of the Princes of Powys. Beyond the castle is the limestone escarpment known as the Eglwyseg Rocks. The outcrop continues north to World's End in Wrexham. The area nearest the castle is the Panorama Walk, and a monument to poet I.D. Hooson from the village of Rhosllannerchrugog can be found there.

Castell Dinas Brân castle

Castell Dinas Brân is a medieval castle occupying a prominent hilltop site above the town of Llangollen in Denbighshire, Wales. The presently visible castle was probably built in the 1260s by Gruffydd Maelor II, a prince of Powys Fadog, on the site of several earlier structures, including an Iron Age hillfort.

Kingdom of Powys Medieval kingdom in Wales

The Kingdom of Powys was a Welsh successor state, petty kingdom and principality that emerged during the Middle Ages following the end of Roman rule in Britain. It very roughly covered the top two thirds of the modern county of Powys and part of today's English West Midlands. More precisely, and based on the Romano-British tribal lands of the Ordovices in the west and the Cornovii in the east, its boundaries originally extended from the Cambrian Mountains in the west to include the modern West Midlands region of England in the east. The fertile river valleys of the Severn and Tern are found here, and this region is referred to in later Welsh literature as "the Paradise of Powys".

Limestone Sedimentary rocks made of calcium carbonate

Limestone is a carbonate sedimentary rock that is often composed of the skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral, foraminifera, and molluscs. Its major materials are the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). A closely related rock is dolomite, which contains a high percentage of the mineral dolomite, CaMg(CO3)2. In old USGS publications, dolomite was referred to as magnesian limestone, a term now reserved for magnesium-deficient dolomites or magnesium-rich limestones.

The ancient parish of Llangollen was divided into three traeanau (traean being the Welsh for "a third"): Llangollen Traean, Trefor Traean, and Glyn Traean.

A parish is a territorial entity in many Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese. A parish is under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of a parish priest, who might be assisted by one or more curates, and who operates from a parish church. Historically, a parish often covered the same geographical area as a manor. Its association with the parish church remains paramount.

The Eglwyseg valley is an area to the north east of Llangollen in Denbighshire, Wales; it is within the boundaries of Llantysilio Community. The name also refers to a widely scattered hamlet in the valley.

Valle Crucis Abbey was established at Llantysilio in about 1201, under the patronage of Madog ap Gruffydd Maelor of Castell Dinas Brân.

Valle Crucis Abbey Grade I listed building in Denbighshire.

Valle Crucis Abbey is a Cistercian abbey located in Llantysilio in Denbighshire, Wales. More formally the Abbey Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Valle Crucis it is known in Welsh both as Abaty Glyn Egwestl and Abaty Glyn y Groes. The abbey was built in 1201 by Madog ap Gruffydd Maelor, Prince of Powys Fadog. Valle Crucis was dissolved in 1537 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and subsequently fell into serious disrepair. The building is now a ruin, though large parts of the original structure still survive. Valle Crucis Abbey is now under the care of Cadw.

Llantysilio community in Denbighshire, Wales

Llantysilio is a community in Denbighshire, Wales, near Llangollen. It has a population of 472, falling to 421 at the 2011 census.

Madog ap Gruffudd or Madog ap Gruffudd Maelor, was Prince of Powys Fadog 1191-1236 in north-east Wales.

The bridge at Llangollen was built across the Dee in the 16th century to replace a previous bridge built in about 1345 by John Trevor, of Trevor Hall (later Bishop of St Asaph), which replaced an even earlier bridge built in the reign of King Henry I. In the 1860s the present bridge was extended by adding an extra arch (to cross the new railway) and a two-storey stone tower with a castellated parapet. This became a café before being demolished in the 1930s to improve traffic flow. The bridge was also widened in 1873 and again in 1968, using masonry which blended in with the older structure. [3] It is a Grade I listed structure and a Scheduled Ancient Monument. [4]

On the outskirts of the town is Plas Newydd ("New Mansion" or "New Place"), from 1780 the home of the Ladies of Llangollen, the Honourable Sarah Ponsonby, Lady Eleanor Butler and their maid Mary Caryll.

The Pillar of Eliseg is another old monument. Llangollen Community Hospital was completed in 1876. [5]


There is an electoral ward of Denbighshire County Council of the same name. This ward includes Llantysilio community and has a total population taken at the 2011 census of 4,079. [6]


Eglwyseg Mountain Eglwyseg 1.jpg
Eglwyseg Mountain

Today Llangollen relies heavily on the tourist industry, but still gains substantial income from farming. Most of the farms in the hills around the town were sheep farms, and the domestic wool industry, both spinning and weaving, was important in the area for centuries. Several factories were later built along the banks of the River Dee, where both wool and cotton were processed. The water mill opposite Llangollen railway station is over 600 years old, and was originally used to grind flour for local farmers.


In the late 19th century, Llangollen had a weekly newspaper, the Llangollen Advertiser.

Llangollen hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1908. The Gorsedd ceremony was held on the Hermitage Field, next to Plas Newydd, and the circle of stones was later moved into the grounds of the hall. The eisteddfod itself took place on the old Vicarage Field at Fronhyfryd and was visited by David Lloyd George, accompanied by Winston Churchill.

Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod

The annual Llangollen International Eisteddfod is a large international music festival. It starts on a Tuesday and ends on the following Sunday. It opens with a parade led by the Llangollen Silver Band, in which both locals and visitors take part in dancing, singing, and playing musical instruments. [7]

Llangollen Fringe Festival

The Llangollen Fringe Festival is an independent arts festival, usually held in mid July in the town hall. The Fringe includes music, comedy, theatre, dance and workshops. Artists who have taken part in the Llangollen Fringe include Clement Freud, Rhys Ifans, the Damned, Cerys Matthews, Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, Juan Martín, the Black Seeds, John Cooper Clarke, Will Self, Gang of Four, Lee Scratch Perry and Victoria Coren Mitchell [8]

Dee Rocks

Dee Rocks is a local fundraising music festival, usually held during May when the town hall is transformed into a music venue. The inaugural event took place on 29 May 2004, and the now annual fixture raises in excess of £12,000 for local good causes [ citation needed ].

Songs and nursery rhymes


Llangollen was an important coaching stop for the mail coach on the old mail route, now the A5 road from London to Holyhead.


Varios buses serve the town, including buses to Wrexham, Barmouth and the Ceiriog Valley.

National Express Coaches operate through the town on route 418, with journeys to Wrexham and to London via Shrewsbury, Telford and Birmingham.


River Dee and Llangollen Railway Llangollen08.jpg
River Dee and Llangollen Railway

The Ellesmere Canal was intended to connect the coal mines and ironworks at Ruabon and Wrexham to the canal network and thence to the sea via the River Mersey and the River Severn. The plans were altered, and instead of connecting Trevor northwards to the sea via the River Dee and southwards to the Severn, the canal ran eastwards to join the national network at Hurleston Junction on the Shropshire Union Canal near Nantwich. A feeder canal, navigable to Llangollen, was constructed from Trevor to tap water from the River Dee at Llantysilio (at the weir called "Horseshoe Falls"). After company mergers, the canal became part of the Shropshire Union System. [10] Until recently it was properly called the Llangollen Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal, though it is now known as the Llangollen Canal.

The canal supplied enough Dee water to supply Crewe and Nantwich, and when commercial traffic failed in the 1940s, it was its function as a water supply which kept it open. The canal is unusual amongst Britain's artificial waterways in having a strong flow (up to 2 miles per hour). Since the use of canals for leisure took off in the 1970s and 1980s, the route, twisting through Welsh hills and across the Dee Valley on the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, has made it the most famous and busiest in Britain.[ citation needed ] The canal is an important part of Llangollen's attraction as a holiday destination. A marina, built at the end of the navigable section, allows summer visitors to moor overnight in Llangollen.


The railway was extended from Ruabon, via Acrefair and Trevor, to reach Llangollen by 1865, operating passenger and goods services. The Ruabon to Barmouth Line became part of the Great Western Railway. However under the Beeching Axe of 1964, the line closed to passengers in early 1965, and to freight in April 1969. [11] The line was lifted in May 1969. [12] However, a 10-mile stretch of the line has been restored between Llangollen and Corwen and operates as the Llangollen Railway, a tourist attraction. In 2002, the Rainhill locomotive trials were re-staged on the line.


Llangollen on the River Dee hosts white water Slalom canoeing and kayaking, being host to International and UK events. The International Canoe Federation (ICF), the European Canoe Union (ECU) and the British Canoe Union (BCU) all hold events in Llangollen.

Cricket, [13] football and rugby union teams play at Tower Fields, which overlooks the town and the International Eisteddfod field and pavilion.

Thermals rising up the valley sides to the south of the town are used for paragliding. Mountain bikers enjoy the hills.

Llangollen was the starting point of the first massed-start cycle race held on British roads, on 7 June 1942. The 59-mile Llangollen Wolverhampton race was organised by Percy Stallard in defiance of the sport's governing body, the National Cyclists' Union, but with approval from all police chief constables through whose districts the event ran.

Notable people

See Category:People from Llangollen

Related Research Articles

Ellesmere Canal

The Ellesmere Canal was a waterway in England and Wales that was planned to carry boat traffic between the rivers Mersey and Severn. The proposal would create a link between the Port of Liverpool and the mineral industries in north east Wales and the manufacturing centres in the West Midlands. However, the canal was never completed as intended because of its rising costs and failure to generate the expected commercial traffic.

Llangollen Canal canal in Wales and Shopshire, United Kingdom

The Llangollen Canal is a navigable canal crossing the border between England and Wales. The waterway links Llangollen in Denbighshire, north Wales, with Hurleston in south Cheshire, via the town of Ellesmere, Shropshire. The name, which was coined in the 1980s, is a modern designation for parts of the historic Ellesmere Canal and the Llangollen navigable feeder, both of which became part of the Shropshire Union Canals in 1846.

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct Grade I listed building in Wrexham County Borough. Navigable aqueduct that carries the Llangollen Canal

The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a navigable aqueduct that carries the Llangollen Canal across the River Dee in the Vale of Llangollen in north east Wales. The 18-arched stone and cast iron structure is for use by narrowboats and was completed in 1805 having taken ten years to design and build. It is the longest aqueduct in Great Britain and the highest canal aqueduct in the world.

Shropshire Union Canal canal in North West England

The Shropshire Union Canal, nicknamed the "Shroppie" is a navigable canal in England. The Llangollen and Montgomery canals are the modern names of branches of the Shropshire Union (SU) system and lie partially in Wales.

River Dee, Wales river in Wales and England

The River Dee is a river in the United Kingdom. It flows through parts of both Wales and England, forming part of the border between the two countries.

Chirk town in Wales

Chirk is a small town and local government community in Wales. It is located in the traditional county of Denbighshire, although is currently administered as part of Wrexham County Borough. In the 2011 census, it had a population of 4,468. It is located 10 miles south of Wrexham.

Ruabon village and community in the county borough of Wrexham in Wales

Ruabon is a village and community in the county borough of Wrexham in Wales. The name "Rhiwabon" comes from "Rhiw Fabon", "Rhiw" being the Welsh word for "slope" or "hillside" and "Fabon" being a mutation from St Mabon, the original church name, of earlier, Celtic origin. An older English spelling, Rhuabon, can sometimes be seen.

Overton-on-Dee small town and a local government community in Wales

Overton or Overton-on-Dee is a small town and a local government community, the lowest tier of local government, part of Wrexham County Borough in Wales. It is situated close to the Welsh-English border on the edge of an escarpment that winds its way around the course of the River Dee, from which Overton-on-Dee derives its name.

St Martins, Shropshire village in the United Kingdom

The border village and civil parish of St Martin's is in Shropshire, England, just north of Oswestry and east of Chirk.

Acrefair village in United Kingdom

Acrefair is a village in the county borough of Wrexham, North East Wales, in the community of Cefn. It was formerly part of the ancient parish of Ruabon, and is located between the towns of Wrexham and Llangollen. It is close to the villages of Trevor, Cefn Mawr, Ruabon and Plas Madoc. The name Acrefair originates from the Welsh word for acres—acrau, or acre in the local Welsh dialect—and Mair, the Welsh name for Mary. We therefore have Acre-Mair, which leads to Acre-Fair, as there is a soft mutation on the second element of a composite word. The English meaning of Acrefair is Mary's Acres.

Ruabon railway station Railway station in Ruabon, Wales

Ruabon railway station is a combined rail and bus interchange serving Ruabon in Wrexham, Wales. It is the second busiest station in Wrexham in terms of passenger journeys, after the mainline station, Wrexham General. It is on the Shrewsbury to Chester Line, which is part of the former Great Western Railway mainline route from London Paddington to Birkenhead Woodside which lasted until 1967.

Glyndyfrdwy village in United Kingdom

Glyndyfrdwy, or sometimes Glyn Dyfrdwy, is a village in the modern county of Denbighshire, Wales. It is situated on the A5 road halfway between Corwen and Llangollen in the Dee Valley.

Glyn Ceiriog village in the United Kingdom

Glyn Ceiriog is the principal settlement of the Ceiriog Valley in north-east Wales. Glyn Ceiriog translates simply as Ceiriog Valley, though there are other villages in the valley. The village and community is technically known, in traditional Welsh naming style, as Llansantffraid Glyn Ceiriog or sometimes Llansanffraid Glyn Ceiriog, which means church of St Ffraid in the Ceiriog Valley, but it has come to be known simply as Glyn Ceiriog, or even Glyn for short. The name Llansanffraid is now more associated with other villages of the same name.

The Ruabon–Barmouth line was a standard-gauge branch line of the Great Western Railway across the north of Wales which connected Ruabon, in the east, with Barmouth on the west coast.

Berwyn railway station

Berwyn railway station in Denbighshire, Wales, is a railway station on the former cross-country line between Ruabon and Barmouth. The station, which opened in May 1865, was a stop on the Great Western Railway (GWR) line between Llangollen and Corwen. It was closed by British Rail in January 1965.

Hurleston Junction

Hurleston Junction is the name of the canal junction where the Llangollen Canal terminates and meets the Shropshire Union Canal main line at Hurleston, Cheshire, England.

Henry Robertson British politician

Henry Robertson was a Scottish mining engineer and prolific railway builder, industrialist and Liberal Party politician. He was head of Brymbo Steelworks, Wrexham. He was co-founder of Beyer-Peacock, with Charles Beyer, and Richard Peacock. His son Sir Henry Beyer Robertson was knighted by Queen Victoria for the achievements of his father.

Trevor, Wrexham village in United Kingdom

Trevor is a village in the county borough of Wrexham in Wales. It is situated in the scenic Vale of Llangollen, on the A539 between Llangollen and Wrexham in the community of Llangollen Rural.

Ruabon Brook Tramway former branch railway line in Wales

The Ruabon Brook Tramway was a Welsh branch railway line linking the Ruabon coalfield to the Shropshire Union Canal at Froncysyllte, with a private extension into the Monsanto works at Cefn Mawr which reconnected to the main line at Trevor. The area was rich in coal, clay and minerals.

Chain Bridge (Berwyn) Footbridge over the river Dee at Berwyn, Llangollen, Denbighshire, North Wales

The Chain Bridge is a footbridge over the river Dee at Berwyn, Llangollen, Denbighshire, North Wales.


  1. "Community population 2011" . Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  2. "Llangollen". Llangollen. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
  3. "Llangollen Bridge" . Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  4. "Llangollen Bridge,a539, Llangollen". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  5. "Llangollen Cottage Hospital, Llangollen". National Archives. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  6. "Ward population 2011" . Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  7. Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod
  8. Llangollen Fringe Festival
  9. Llangollen Museum
  10. "Llangollen Canal". Canal and River Trust. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  11. Lawton, p.20
  12. Lawton, p.21
  13. Llangollen Cricket Club Archived 29 July 2012 at Archive.today