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Railway Bridge East of A 470

A Grade II Listed Building in Llan Ffestiniog, Gwynedd

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Latitude: 52.963 / 52°57'46"N

Longitude: -3.9269 / 3°55'36"W

OS Eastings: 270676

OS Northings: 342362

OS Grid: SH706423

Mapcode National: GBR 5Z.K6LJ

Mapcode Global: WH55H.NS8C

Entry Name: Railway Bridge East of A 470

Listing Date: 1 February 1996

Last Amended: 1 February 1996

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 16835

Building Class: Transport

Location: Spanning a narrow unclassified lane leading NE from the village towards the locality of Tryfael; the road bends sharply under the bridge and climbs up to the L beyond.

County: Gwynedd

Community: Ffestiniog

Community: Ffestiniog

Locality: Llan Ffestiniog

Built-Up Area: Llan Ffestiniog

Traditional County: Merionethshire

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History: Late C19 railway bridge of special historic interest for its association with secret operations during World War II. Following the fall of France in 1940 the decision was taken to evacuate National treasures to safety from invasion and bombing in secret underground locations. The disused Manod slate quarry was chosen to house the National Gallery's collection and, in specially designed and disguised cases, roughly 2,000 paintings were transported by lorry to the remote quarry. Negotiating the sharp bend under this bridge on the last stretch to Manod was notoriously difficult for the larger lorries. Sir Anthony van Dyck's famous equestrian portrait of King Charles I had to be carried at an angle to reduce its height. The road under the bridge was also lowered by nearly 0.9m and concrete reinforcing aprons were built. Despite these measures there was still not enough clearance; the lorry finally just scraped through after air had been let out of the tyres. A photograph of this difficult manoeuvre has become a famous image of the War.

Description: Late C19 single-span railway bridge of rough-dressed, snecked stone. Pronounced voussoirs to the arch with projecting string-course above. Curved concrete aprons of about 0.6m deep and 0.6m wide support the bridge's foundations; the roadway dips down as it passes beneath the bridge arch.

Listed for the special historic interest associated with the bridge.

Reference: A. Wilson, `Buried Treasure,' article in National Art Collections Fund Magazine, No.21, Spring 1995, 29-34.
Merioneth Record Office, Dolgellau.

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Bridge c200m W of Pont y Pandy
    Situated c200m W of the modern Pont y Pandy on the A470, carrying a minor road over the Afon Teigl,
  • II Peniel Chapel (including hall addition to rear)
    Located approximately 91m NW of the A 470 in the centre of the village; set back behind contemporary
  • II Milepost
    Prominently sited at the junction of the A 470 and the B 4391; facing Church Square to the W.
  • II Meirion House
    Prominently located on the SE corner of the square partly behind a plain, railed forecourt.
  • II Pengwern Arms Hotel
    Facing the square prominently to the N.
  • II Ty'r Banc
    Facing the square to the SE; set back on a slightly raised terrace behind plain contemporary railing
  • II Melbourne House
    Facing the square to the SE; set back on a slightly raised terrace behind plain contemporary railing
  • II Tegannedd
    Adjoining Melbourne house, stepped down and advanced; set back slightly behind a low rubble wall.

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