Porthmadog Wales

View from the Ffestiniog Railway near Porthmadog

View towards Snowdon from the Ffestiniog Railway at Porthmadog

The Porthmadog Maritime Museum

Maritime Museum Logo

The museum, situated in the last remaining slate shed on the harbour, has a large collection of artefacts depicting the seafaring activities of the area - the development of the port, the shipbuilding, the ships, and the lives of the seafarers.

Porthmadog did not exist before William Madocks, in 1811, built a sea wall, the Cob, to reclaim a large proportion of Traeth Mawr from the sea for agricultural use. The diversion of the Glaslyn river caused it to scour out a new natural harbour and the first wharves were built in 1825.

The rapidly expanding cities of England and northern Europe needed high quality roofing slate, which was transported from the quarries to the new port by tramway. The Ffestiniog Railway opened in 1836, followed by other tramways.

Shipbuilding was a major industry with nearly three hundred vessels built at Porthmadog and Borth-y-Gest including, latterly, the famous Western Ocean Yachts.

The local ships engaged in other deep-sea trade, carrying phosphates from the West Indies and salt cod from Newfoundland and Labrador. The outbreak of WWI brought a halt to shipbuilding and the start of an acceleration of the decline in slate exports. The last cargo was loaded in 1948.

Ships continued to call at the port up to the 1980s. The Florence Cooke was a regular caller to load explosives and unload general cargoes. Heavy equipment was brought in for building Trawsfynydd and other power stations in the 1960s and 1980s.

Porthmadog Maritime Museum welcomes visitors from Easter until the end of the Autumn half term. Why not come along and explore our local heritage? Use the adjacent link for details of our opening times.


  • Snowdon Lodge

    North Wales' premier hostel. Sleep between the sea and mountains of Snowdonia in the birthplace of Lawrence of Arabia!

  • Plas Tan-yr-Allt

    Perched high on a hills and nestled in 40 acres of ancient woodlands sits the first Regency Villa in North Wales built by William Madocks.

  • Tudor Lodge

    Four-star quality guest house/B&B located its own mature gardens, with single, twin, double and family en-suite rooms.

  • Portmeirion Hotel

    …and Castell Deudraeth overlooks the beautiful Dywryd Estaury on a private peninsula. With a spa and wellness centre.

  • Royal Sportsman

    The only hotel in Porthmadog with full-service and a 2 AA Rosette winning restaurant.

  • Bwlch-y-Fedwen

    A 17th-century building in the local village of Penmorfa. With free WiFi, a sun terrace and free parking.


Copyright © 2017 Ian King - MSS Studios

Designed by Website.Wales

If you are looking for accommodation, there are B&Bs and Hotels on the Porthmadog section of the Booking.Com Website.