About the Museum

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.

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Get in touch

Use the information below to get in touch with the museum before setting off.

Porthmadog Maritime Museum Office

  • Address: The Harbour, Porthmadog, Gwynedd
  • Postcode: LL49 9LU
  • Phone: 01766 512 153
  • URL: www.porthmadogmaritimemuseum.org.uk

Business Hours

  • 12 noon to 4 pm From Easter to mid September Every day except Mondays and Fridays Open all Bank Holidays

Porthmadog Maritime Museum

Within a radius (as the crow flies) of 3563 miles:

#3,555.9 miles   Barry Festival of Transport
#3,557.0 miles   Port Road Porthkerry [Sun]
#3,557.1 miles   Fonmon Castle Car Show
#3,561.3 miles   A.A.1 [Autojumble Salvage]
#3,561.4 miles   Cardiff Boat Jumble
#3,561.4 miles   Classics in Cardiff
#3,562.2 miles   Splott Car Boot Sale [Sat]
#3,562.2 miles   Splott Car Boot Sale [Thu]


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September's Historic Wales

Every September St Asaph hosts The North Wales International Music Festival, attracting world-class performers from all four corners of the globe.Archive WALESAUTOJUMBLE.CO.UK