Deganwy is a small town in Caernarfonshire with a population of 3,936 (2011). It lies in the Creuddyn Peninsula alongside Llandudno and Rhos-on-Sea. It is located south of Llandudno and to the east of Conwy, which is on the opposite side of the River Conwy. Indeed, the name Deganwy has been interpreted in modern times as Din-Gonwy, which would mean "Fort on the River Conwy", but the historical spellings make it impossible for this to be the actual origin of the name although mentioned in Domesday Book is "the territory of the Decanae tribe". The original wooden castle was rebuilt in stone after 1210. Deganwy is in the ancient and ecclesiastical parish of Llanrhos, and has a Victorian-era Gothic church dedicated to All Saints.
Deganwy's most notable feature is Deganwy Castle, situated 110 m above the town, which, in the 6th century was fortified as the stronghold of Maelgwn Gwynedd, king of Gwynedd. Deganwy appears to have been the capital of Gwynedd at this time, but this was later moved to Aberffraw on Anglesey. The hill on which the castle was built was fortified many times over the centuries. It was the site of a Norman castle built around 1082 and occupied by Robert of Rhuddlan, and later by Llywelyn the Great and Llywelyn ap Gruffudd. The castle was later demolished by Edward I when Conwy Castle was built opposite so that only ruins remain today.
Rail and sea
Deganwy has a railway station on the Llandudno branch line with an hourly train service, available on request, to and from Manchester Piccadilly and intermediate stations. The London & North Western Railway built at Deganwy a rail-connected riverside quay and wharfs, largely for the purpose of exporting slate by coastal steamer. The slate was brought by rail from Blaenau Ffestiniog. A marina with its accompanying housing and hotel accommodation was established on the site of the former slate wharves early in the 21st century.
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