Welcome to the Criccieth Town Council website

The Pearl of Wales on the Shores of Snowdonia

traeth-min-y-mor-tua-1900Cricieth is a town in the Eifionydd area of Gwynedd in Wales. The town lies 5 miles west of Porthmadog, 8 miles east of Pwllheli and 18 miles south of Caernarfon. It has a population of 1,753 according to the 2011 census.


The first mention of the town was when Llywelyn Fawr built the first castle there in the 13th century on the rock named Cruciaeth. The next, and most official, is written in the charter making the town a borough and signed by Edward I at Cardigan on 22 November 1284 when the place is identified as Crykyth.

In medieval times the "township" was known as Treferthyr. (Martyr's Town). It is suggested, but not definitely proven, that this refers to St Catherine for whom the parish church is named. Today the primary school is known as Ysgol Treferthyr.


Criccieth Castle and Marine Terrace

In the 19th century the area became important with the building of Portmadoc (now Porthmadog). From this small port Welsh slate was exported all over the world. Many of the small schooners and brigs and larger square riggers (out of Liverpool) were owned, commanded and crewed by men from the Criccieth area.

At this time the turnpike road was built through the area. This was an attempt at making a direct route through to Porthdinllaen where a ferry port for the Irish trade was planned. (It did not materialise).

This road passed half a mile to the north of the seashore and it gradually shifted the centre of the town away from beneath the castle.

In1867 the Cambrian Coast railway came to Criccieth and the town expanded (though there's still a population of less than 2,000 today) to become a Victorian seaside resort. This is how it still appears. The seafront houses on the west side of the castle at Marine Crescent were built around this time, quickly followed by the main Marine Terrace in the 1870s and 80s.

Criccieth has always been a popular place with many families returning year after year for their holidays. It has always been a tranquil sleepy place, well loved by its inhabitants.