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Museums and Galleries of North-Western Wales

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Manylion a Disgrifiad y Llyfr | Book Details & Description

  • Author: Margaret Hughes
  • Publication June 2004
  • Format: Paperback, 183x123 mm, 128 pages

A very interesting, fully informative volume about the stories behind the establishing of museums and galleries in north-west Wales and of the rich treasures safeguarded by them. 41 black-and -white photographs.

Gwales Review
This 126-page guide book covers the area from Anglesey and Bangor down to Dolgellau and Barmouth. It is packed with information for visitors to North Wales and for local people to experience the many attractions, including museums and galleries, small and large, but also castles, caverns, mines, lighthouses and many more.

Margaret Hughes’s writing is clear and concise in her guidelines of the location of each venue. She has also added contact details and web sites where applicable, which allow the visitor to plan their trip ahead and check opening times and seasonal variations, thus avoiding disappointment.

Her detailed descriptions of each museum or gallery entice the would-be visitor to engage thoroughly with the history of each place. There are gems such as 'The museum of childhood memories' in Anglesey where she describes the various rooms and levels which will appeal to both adults and children – 'there are all manner of musical instruments here, from gramophones with their huge fluted sound reflectors to a minute toy piano in a wooden box'.

The history of Oriel Plas Glyn y Weddw at Llanbedrog, Pwllheli, makes enjoyable reading. One of the oldest public art galleries in Wales, 'a stately house superbly situated close to the shore', it apparently has a number of changing exhibitions including oil, watercolour, sculpture and 'one room houses a delightful and valuable collection of Swansea and Nantgarw porcelain'. The family history of the place is described in rich detail with an up-to-date reminder that it is now an arts centre with courses and full access for the disabled and a restored conservatory 'making an attractive setting for the first class restaurant'.

On a different scale, the South Stack lighthouse at Holyhead has a fascinating history of civil engineering. There is a guided tour of the lighthouse and a view of the thousands of sea birds which nest in the cliffs.

The more hidden venues, no less interesting for their size, are presented in style, such as the 'Teapot World Museum', Conwy and 'New York Cottages', Penmaenmawr. On the coastal theme there are the curious histories of the 'Moelfre Seawatch Centre', Anglesey and 'The Sailors' Institute', on the quay at Barmouth, and tucked away in Porthmadog is the Porthmadog 'Maritime Museum' at Oakeley wharf. We are also informed that there are four exhibitions under one roof at Penrhyn Castle, Bangor – The Countryside Exhibition, The Industrial Railway Museum, The Doll Museum and The Servants' Quarters – all richly presented in detailed and colourful prose.

Highly recommended as an informative guide and fascinating read, this is a book to keep for many years to come, very enjoyable and useful.

Clare Maynard