History in Structure

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Outbuilding at Helyg

A Grade II Listed Building in Capel Curig, Conwy

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Latitude: 53.1227 / 53°7'21"N

Longitude: -3.9566 / 3°57'23"W

OS Eastings: 269162

OS Northings: 360176

OS Grid: SH691601

Mapcode National: GBR 5X.7CCH

Mapcode Global: WH54Q.6R4Z

Plus Code: 9C5R42FV+38

Entry Name: Outbuilding at Helyg

Listing Date: 28 March 2018

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 87761

Building Class: Recreational

Location: On the south side of the A5, c 3.5km W of Capel Curig.

County: Conwy

Community: Capel Curig

Community: Capel Curig

Locality: Helyg

Traditional County: Caernarfonshire


Helyg probably originated as a small cottage on the Penrhyn Estate and was possibly the ‘wretched hovel’ mentioned by George Borrow in ‘Wild Wales' (chapter XXV). It is shown on the 1st ed OS map as a small N-S building, with a small extension on its N end (possibly the existing coal store) and a smaller separate building to its S. An irregular enclosure to the SW is shown attached to the building.

Helyg was thought to have been a road-mender’s hovel before it was acquired on a long lease by the Climbers’ Club in 1925 and purchased a few years later. The Climbers’ Club itself was conceived in 1897, and aimed to encourage mountaineering, particularly in England, Wales and Ireland (it was preceded by the Alpine Club, and by the Scottish Mountaineering Club). At its formal establishment the following year, Charles Edward Matthews became its president. It almost immediately attracted 200 members, largely professional gentleman climbers. Early members included Winthrop Young and George Mallory, who as president in 1923-4, set up ‘the de-moribundisation sub-committee’ in an effort to revive the fortunes of the club, whose membership had been decimated during WWI. The committee recommended the establishment of a club hut for north Wales.

The club already had a strong Welsh bias, evolving as it did from the Society of Welsh Rabbits, and initially using the Pen-y-Gwryd hotel as a base. Helyg was found thanks to the efforts of Herbert Carr and Raymond Greene. They considered that the ‘adjacent rough shed could form an admirable coal store or wine cellar’. This ‘old ruined outhouse’ was duly converted for use as coalshed and store in 1930.


Immediately to rear of Helyg, single storey lean-to pitched roofed outbuilding structure incorporating massive bedrock boulders at E and W ends. Stack (addition of 1920s?) at E end. N wall with rough cock and hen capping. Boarded door on S side, adjacent toilet catslide extension (1920s?).


Single room with additional lean-to on front (not inspected), full torching of slates, fireplace inserted across the angle of the NE corner with large stone lintel spanning two massive bedrock boulders.

Reasons for Listing

Included for its special architectural and historic interest as an important component of the group of buildings at Helyg, a vernacular building of highly distinctive character, which shares the special historic interest of the main building for its connection with the history of climbing in Wales.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

  • II Helyg
    On the south side of the A5, c 3.5km W of Capel Curig.
  • II Garage at Helyg
    On the north side of the A5, just to the east of Helyg, c 3.5km W of Capel Curig.
  • II Milestone
    Situated approximately 2.5km NW of Capel Curig in the mountainous Afon Llugwy valley; on the roadside, set against a low rubble wall.
  • II Milestone
    On the roadside in the mountainous Afon Llugwy valley, some 5km NW of Capel Curig and about 1km E of Llyn Ogwen; set against a low rubble wall.

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