The appeal of Quaker radicalism in north Wales
Quakerism first emerged during the turmoil of the English (more properly British!) Civil War in the 1640s. A young man called George Fox, dissatisfied with the organised pomp and hierarchy of the Church of England, began advocating a direct relationship between the individual and God, thus eliminating the need for an intermediary priesthood.
The early Quakers considered themselves to be reverting to an earlier, uncorrupted form of Christianity. Many of their beliefs were radical departures from the accepted morality of the age.
It was this personal relationship with God that appealed to the independently minded folk of Dolgellau. Following a visit by George Fox himself in 1657, a thriving community was established here and many former Quaker homes survive.
In the wake of religious persecution, many Dolgellau Quakers, led by Rowland Ellis, emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1686-7. Their story is retold in Marion Eames’s 1969 novel, Y Stafell Ddirgel (The Secret Room).
Sound ethical principles in business were central to the Quaker way of life, especially as the Industrial Revolution began to affect people’s lives. Abraham Darby, a Quaker industrialist, planned a blast furnace in Dolgun in 1713, and local Quakers developed the idea. The nearby mines at Tir Stent, also run by Quaker families, supplied the iron ore. We know that the Dolgun furnace was in operation between 1719 and 1770.
Itinerary Bibles and Monastries
application/pdf / 3.38 MB
Panel Dehongli Dolgellau Interpretation Panel
application/pdf / 0.44 MB
Download Audio Tour
Power of the Bible - Track 1 - Cymer Abbey
audio/mpeg / 9.63 MB
Power of the Bible - Track 2 - St Mark's Church
audio/mpeg / 5.03 MB
Power of the Bible - Track 3 - Dolgellau
audio/mpeg / 8.24 MB
- Accessible by Public Transport
- Info Point
- Buggy Access
- Good Walks Nearby
- Children's Facilities
- Wheelchair Access
Follow the A470
Nearest train station is Barmouth - approx 10 miles
Bus stop at Eldon Square
Off-road cycle track links with Barmouth
Eldon Square is at the town centre
Full Figure Grid Reference: SH 728177
OS Landranger map sheet: 124
- 01341 422888
- Tourist Information Centre, Dolgellau, LL40 1PU