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Latitude: 53.1227 / 53°7'21"N
Longitude: -3.9553 / 3°57'19"W
OS Eastings: 269252
OS Northings: 360183
OS Grid: SH692601
Mapcode National: GBR 5X.7CPB
Mapcode Global: WH54Q.6RSX
Entry Name: Garage at Helyg
Listing Date: 28 March 2018
Source ID: 87762
Location: On the north side of the A5, just to the east of Helyg, c 3.5km W of Capel Curig.
Community: Capel Curig
Community: Capel Curig
Traditional County: Caernarfonshire
Helyg originated as a small cottage, probably on the Penrhyn Estate, but was acquired on a long lease by the Climbers’ Club in 1925. The garage was also quickly provided – newly built on a site on the opposite side of the road, designed by Stewart McLoughlin and completed in 1927 – the garage allegedly cost more than the main building, and was paid for by another prominent mountaineer and founder member of the club, W.E.Corlett. The garage was deemed ‘very suitable… which owing to its low setting, local stone, and Capel Curig slates, snuggles down to the moorland like a native’.
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.
Garage. Single storey rectangular plan. Large coursed rubble stone masonry. Slate roof with gable coping stones. Wide entrance in E elevation, buttressed piers supporting projecting slate pentice on corbels. Double timber sliding doors, overlights with cast iron bars. Buttressed corners with kneelers and overhanging eaves. Long N and S walls with 3 windows, deep set with projecting sills, tripartite bottom hinged timber casements behind cast iron bars. Plain W wall.
Open space. Timber roof on close spaced rafters on girder truss purlins with ties. Timber lintels to windows. Small safe to right of door. Rough hard packed floor.
Included for its special architectural and historic interest as an early and rare example of a purpose built motor garage built as part of establishment of Helyg as a base for the Climbers’ Club. Helyg enabled the club to have a permanent base in Snowdonia, and it played a vital role in the development of climbing in Wales in the interwar period. The garage is an integral element of Helyg and its association with the Climbers’ Club. It reflects the distinctive ethos of climbing in the early C20 and the character of the individuals that were attracted to the activity in its pioneering days.
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