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The Cob at Portmadog

August 28, 2012

Now just another coast road

This tidal barrier was built by William Maddocks in 1811 primarily to create fertile farmland in the Glaslyn estuary by preventing inundation with salt water at high tides, but it also carried a road and the Ffestiniog light railway across the estuary. There are fine views of Snowden.


Quite reasonably Maddocks charged a toll.  The queues disappeared with the opening of a modern bypass higher up the estuary, but the Welsh Assembly saw votes in removing the tolls, and in 2003 persuaded the European Union to contribute to buying out the Rebecca Trust, which had bought them from Maddock’s descendants. Elsewhere in Wales they pay for traffic calming to slow down traffic. I suppose we should be grateful they are not doing that on the Cob – yet.

Here is the old toll house, and the original price list for various types of crossing.


Read more about the toll removal here.

Jim Thornton

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