Cardiff MSS on Microfilm: Snowdon

Name of traveller

*J. Menard

Reason for travel

  • holidaying

Date of travel

two visits: 1876 and August 1879


  • agriculture:
    • describes difficulty of making hay from mountain vegetation
    • sees innumerable sheep and small, nimble cows on the slopes of Moel Siabod
    • watches sheep herding with the help of dogs
  • architecture: finds the form of small cottages bizarre
  • art: contains a many sketches surrounded by the written contents of the letter
  • customs: observes the use of corracles for fishing on the Conwy estuary
  • diet:
    • watches a coachman on duty drink beer during a break at Swallow Falls
    • purchase cheese, bread and ginger beer from the huts on the summit of Snowdon; wine is available, but too expensive
    • lists the varied menu options available for guests at Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel
  • industry: sees a disused copper mine near Nant Gwynant; on the whole the area is rich in copper, but not mined as too costly
  • language: staff of Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel only speak Welsh
  • people:
    • travels with the Revd. E. from Worcester
    • letter written for the benefit of a friend who was unable make the journey
    • warm welcome to Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel by the owners Mr and Mrs Owen and their hard-working daughter Annie
  • recreation:
    • letter written during his second journey through north Wales; frequent mentions of his previous visit
    • returns for a second stay at Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel and sets out on a number of round walks from there
    • on arrival, he encounters a wet bed in his hotel room, so he sleeps in the dining room for the night
    • enjoys going on a number of mountain walks during which he sketches the surrounding landscape; taxing climb of Snowdon from Pen-y-Pass via Crib Goch
    • inscribes the visitors' book of Pen-y-Gwryd and includes drawings
    • is shocked by the great number of tourists and horse-drawn cars
    • Capel Curig is beautifully situated and offers tourists fine views of the area
  • terrain:
    • generally enjoyable, picturesque views of the north Wales coast from the window of the train, but Ruabon area disappoints
    • finds the area around Llanrwst prototypical for Wales
    • describes various soundscapes he encounters during his journey; magical qualities of the sounds of wind and water torrents
    • finds rocks and boulders in the mountain uplands threatening; compares rocks to works by cyclops
    • varied and beautiful vegetation on upland terrain
    • many descriptions of waterfalls
    • scenery around Glyder Fach and Glyder Fawr is reminiscent of the Arabian Nights
  • transport:
    • modes of travel: horse-drawn car, on foot, train
    • enjoys the train travel from Chester along the north Wales coat

Nationality of traveller


Language of publication


Gender of traveller


Type of publication

illustrated letter; illustrated travelogue


*Menard, J. Cardiff MSS on Microfilm: Snowdon. [1879] 1929. Cardiff MS 3.402. Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru / National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth. Microfilm.