Rhos On Sea History

The 'Cayley flier'

The Cayley family was prominent landowners in Rhos on Sea, as well as in Yorkshire. There are several areas and roads with their name such as; the Cayley Promenade, the Cayley Arms pub, and the roads Brompton and Ebberston which were the estates in Yorkshire owned by the Cayley family.
The Wright brothers 'Wright Flyer' was the first powered flight ever in 1903. But in 1853, 50 years before them, a member of the Cayley family designed the 'Cayley Flier' which is said to have paved the way for the Wright brothers. Sir George Cayley, in his 80's, designed the 'Cayley Flier' which flew for 275 metres above Yorkshire, before crashing down. It was the first recorded flight in history.

Rhos Pier

The Rhos on Sea pier was initially built in 1869 in Douglas, Isle of Man. But in 1892, the 1400ft long pier was de-assembled and moved to Rhos, owned by a group of businessmen. It initially didn't have a landing stage for steam boats, so it didn't do as well as they thought and the company went bust in 1896. William Horton obtained ownership in 1897 and planned for Rhos to be a high class holiday resort, he added a landing stage. The Act from Parliament which allowed the pier to be built had a specific line in which it was allowed to be and the long victorian pier extended way past that, Horton dismissed that fact for many years but finally in 1911, 13 years after having it, he obtained it.
During 1914 a lot of the steamers went to work in the war, although some still used it. In 1917 a big storm took away the landing stage so it wasn't as useable. Years later, in 1944, Horton died and the ownership of the pier was passed around until 1952 when the council obtained it and demolished it a year later.

Rhos Fynach

Six Roman coins that are from the time of Constantine the Great, were found in the Rhos Fynach. It is believed that the site would have been used by a Cistercian monastery in the Conwy valley, and that monks would have made a round trip collecting fish from the fishing weir close by and stayed the night. There are stories of a monk wearing a white cloak and brown habit (similar to a tunic) who haunts the area.
Ednyfed Fychan, who also owned the mansion on the Bryn Euryn, bought the Rhos Fynach in 1230 and had to pay two shillings every year (around 10p now).
It is now a popular pub and restaurant in Rhos

Alvin Langdon

Alvin Langdon was a successful photographer and technical innovator. He was born in America but spent a lot of his life in Rhos on Sea and around Wales. He photographed many famous people such as; Sibelius, Holst, Mark Twain, and George Bernard Shaw who called him "one of the most sensitive artist-photographers now living". He died in 1966 after spending his last 19 years living in Rhos on Sea. Some of his autographed books and testimonies of the famous people he took portraits of can be found in Colwyn Bay library.


The 3'6" gauge electric tramway ran from Colwyn Bay via Rhos to Llandudno. It was operating between 1907 and 1956. Between the years of 1915 and 1930 there was a section of the tramway that led to Old Colwyn but was closed after 15 years. The tram was very popular with holidaymakers as there used to be open-top double-deck trams, and there would be some amazing views on the way to Llandudno. The 1950's ended the tramway industry because double decker buses were starting to be introduced. The Llandudno and Colwyn Bay Tramway Society restored one of the trams in 2007, they now run local events which involve driving the tram (now with wheels) and people can see it.

Bryn Euryn

200 years ago Bryn Euryn would have been surrounded by countryside with small hamlets at Mochdre, Rhos, Llysfaen and Colwyn. The Summit Trail takes you by the 13th century mansion of Llys Euryn. It is now in ruins but still preserved enough where you can see how it might have looked. It was built by Ednyfed Fyhcan. He was an important part of Welsh History, one of his descendants was Henry VII's Grandfather (Owain Tudor). According to writing people would go to the mansion and were treated very well, holding banquets etc.
The summit was used as a Romano British hill fort. It was probable chosen as it would be a great vantage point as you can see so far from the top. It is thought to have been built by Cynlas the Red in the 5th or 6th century. He was often described as "the Bear" or "Red Butcher". He was accused of inciting Civil War and he also dragged his sister-in-law from a nunnery and married her. During the war the RAF used the summit. In 1940 it became an observation post and a wireless station. It was used to alert Liverpool of German bombers.

St Trillo

St Trillo's Chapel can be dated back to the 6th century, the exact date is unknown. The tiny 11 by 9 foot church can only hold 6 people. During its use there was a small well or spring in the chapel which provided fresh drinking water for St Trillo, as well as being used for baptisms and its healing properties. It has had lots of repairs during the years and is now gates, but still a massive glimpse into the past! St. Trillo was a saint from Brittany. His father was Kin Ithel Hael. He came to the site around 570 AD as a missionary with his two brothers, St Twrog and St Tegai. He was a student of Saint Cadfan. When he passed away he was buried at the holy land of Bardsey of the coast of Wales.