Coed Y Bleiddiau : a halt on the Blaenau Ffestiniog Railway

smart new roof

High in the breathtaking scenery of the Snowdonia National Park, this charming little cottage was built in 1863 for Henry Hovendon, Superintendent of the Ffestiniog Railway. Today, it is decaying; the lathe and plaster ceilings have collapsed from water penetration, and the floors and joinery are rotten. Abandoned for nearly a decade and recently listed Grade II, Coed y Bleiddiau’s remote setting has left it impractical for modern daily life.”

Thus begins the Landmark Trust‘s appeal for donations to the fund to save Coed Y Bleidiau. This little cottage in the woods has a fascinating history.

approaching CyB

The property “Wood of the Wolves” was built by the Railway in 1863 for its manager Henry Hovenden who lived here with his wife and 7 children. By 1913 it was no longer required by the railway and was let as a holiday home initially to a bank manager and in 1922 to the composer Granville Bantock who co-founded the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Sir Thomas Beecham and Joseph Chamberlain and counted amongst his friends Richard Strauss, Sir Henry Wood and Edward Elgar.

Caroline explains

Caroline Stanford

The Landmark’s Historian, Caroline Stanford, told us several interesting stories connected with Bantock’s visitors and subsequent leaseholders.

Inside the house Richard Burton, Landmark’s Project Manager, showed us around and explained the Trust’s proposals for the house and its rooms.

slate tiles

The Rear Extension added soon after the house was built will stay. Note the heap of slate tiles.

outside cloaks

Re-roofed Outside Toilet


The Solid Fuel Stove will be cleaned up but possibly not used

kitchen sink

A new kitchen sink will be installed

kitchen wall cupboards

Shelves will replace the 1950s cupboards

grd floor dble bedrm

Ground Floor Double Bedroom

below CyB

Amazing 19th century railway construction work

Access to the property will be by rail, naturally. There is a 25 foot platform immediately outside the front gate but parking is 400m away downhill in the valley. Luckily, there is electricity and running water.

CyB platform

CyB sign

Slate was the raison d’etre of the Ffestiniog Railway – and it is all around

our vintage train

What a way to arrive at … and leave your holiday home


Please shut the gate when leaving



6 comments on “Coed Y Bleiddiau : a halt on the Blaenau Ffestiniog Railway

  1. It was raining in the valleys and snowing on the mountain tops, when I drove this area several years ago on a visit to Wales. Hay-on-Wye has always being my destination but exploring the Wales was a big part of my trip, too. In the snow, the houses and walls all looked a shiny black. It gave an astonishing appearance to these visitng eyes. Love your posts. Thank you. I miss not coming to Great Britain.

    • I think its all the slate that gives the black/grey appearance. Especially when it’s wet – which it is a lot of the time! Thank you for enjoying my little blog here. Nice to think you are reading it and enjoying it.

  2. queenbreaca says:

    Brilliant building, and I think it’s not far from Rhiwddolion and Betws-y-coed where I spent an unforgettable Landmark holiday in Ty Capel. Have just made a donation and hope to stay in it one day – even with an outdoor toilet 😦

    • Great to hear from you, QB (and thanks for the Lundy Letter!). Yes I thought of you being at Rhiwddolion as I was in the area. I also made a donation … there will be an indoor loo but the outside one stays as the building is Grade 2 listed. (Not sure if it works). If you need a companion during your stay ……

  3. Fran says:

    What a place it will be to stay in….bet you have it on your list myladysbourdoir!

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