From Talyllyn to Llanddeiniolen the Griffiths story continues
William Griffith came North from Talyllyn to an area located just outside Caernarfon called
Llanddeiniolen, it was here that for the next 60 years he was to marry, bring up his family and
die aged 8? just after the turn of the 1900s. He is buried with his wife Hannah in the Llanddeiniolen
Church in Wales just a short walk from the house he occupied all his life.
There are a number of stories that have come down through the generations and one of these was that
William was fluent in both English and Welsh, it is also remembered that he was the person who would
fill in the many forms requiring English and that he was a poet very much involved in the local
The Llanddieniolen area of Wales where he chose to live and work is just a few miles inland from the narrow
flat plateau that forms part of the Menai Straights, close to the bridge that Robert Stephenson built
to join the mainland with Anglesey. The house he choose to live at Tyn Rhos Bach was the home of his
Mother in Law to be Mrs Thomas.
The area is a mixture of flat valleys and imposing hills some of these almost depressing in their slate
grey, the valleys seem to close in on you as you make your way away from the coast past many of the natural
lakes, this is contrasted with the beauty of the hills almost as though, where man has hewn out the rock the
scars still bleed and where he has been unable to exploit the minerals, the beauty remains, starkly different
from the former.
As I have said already the reason William came North was almost certainly to obtain work in one of
the Quarries of North Wales, the one where he ended up working was the Dinorwig Quarry at Llanberis
owned by the Micheal Duff Ashton Smith family. The Quarry employed 3000 men when it was at it's peak
output in the late 1880s. Quarrymen worked a 10 hour day 5 1/2 day week, the pay was poor and the conditions
led to a large number of the quarrymen catching illnesses that caused them an early death.
The Dinorwig Quarry ceased production circa. 1969 and closed down, shortly after this the Quarry was
developed into a heritage centre where all aspects of the life of the quarryman can be viewed.
The quarry is situated on the Nant Peris Mountain now more famous for the power generation it provides
for the national grid. All of the workings are contained within the mountain and it uses surplus
generating power at low demand times to pump water from the lake below to a lake high up the mountain,
when the demand on the National grid is high it can be turned on in a few seconds to provide a massive
surge in power to cope with these high demands.
William obtained lodgings at at Tyn Rhos Bach the home of the Thomas family who's daughter Hannah he was
William and Hannah married at the local Parish Church in Wales in the mid 1800's and lived with his mother in law
during the early part of their married life. In the 1851 census we find him with their 5 mnth old son
Thomas, he gives his age as 26 but there is no mention of his occupation. In the 1871 census we find
that he gives his occupation as Stone Mason this being different from many of the other men working in
the quarries, they being Slate Quarrymen.
His brother in law William Thomas was also employed in the Quarry and almost certainly the
house where they all lived would have been owned by the Micheal Duff Ashton Smiths.
Sometime in the 1850's he must have decided that they should set up home on their own and they moved into
a small cottage owned by the Michael Duff Ashton Smiths and called Ynysllecheiren bach.
The cottage is situated on the B4547 a few hundred yards from the cross roads with B4366, on the road to
The cross roads now has tea room located on the corner called the Ty Mawr Tea-rooms and just a few
hundred yards behind this is an old farm called Ty Mawr, this farm was where William would have received
his schooling, as it was the only local school around the time that William was a boy.
It was with a great deal of nostalgia that I visited the area in the autumn of 1992 and spent a night
in this farmhouse, in the evening I enjoyed talking about the Victorian period in the very room where
the school was located.
Although William was to spend most of his life working in the quarry his own son, ( also William ) who
was born in 1853 at Ynysllecheiren, was to spend only a short time in the quarry as he left the area some
time after 1871 and found his way via Liverpool to Southport.
William was the third son of 9 children, 5 boys and 4 girls, further details of the family are to be found
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