Trefriw Wells Spa

Healing Waters of Wales

 

 

 

 

 

This established Pagan sacred spring, pouring out of a cave mouth, was first documented by the XXth Roman Legion whilst prospecting for minerals. However a landslide blocked the cave and it was not reopened until the 18th century, by the landlord, Lord Willoughby de Eresby, who built a small bath house in 1743, using cyclopean dry walling techniques. Initially bathing had been done in the pools in the Grotto.

 

The bath house consists of two room, each originally containing slate baths. But because water was not available fast enough to keep pace with the clientele, one room was converted into a reservoir to feed the other, allowing it to be filled over night. This has resulted in large deposits of minerals on the inner walls, in various hues of red and yellow.

 

Bathing was mixed in the one room, until visitors got too prudish, and a door was knocked back into the second room in order to separate the sexes. The treatments were for many ailments including skin problems, stomach ailments, rheumatism, and nervous disorders.

 

As within the Grotto are in fact three springs, two of sulphur, and one with a high iron content. A sulphur one was used for drinking, and the other two for bathing. At a later date the supplies were all put together.

 

For a full body emersion of four minutes clients were charged four shillings during the 1930s, a considerable amount at that time. Afterwards mouth washing was recommended as the waters blackened the teeth.

 

As Trefriw's fame spread, water was bottled and shipped across the world, and steamers sailed up river from the sea side resorts of north Wales bring people to the spa.

 

 

Bathing Equipment used over the years.

A Victorian bath, slate bath

and sedan chair.

 

   

The Bathhouse Today

 

The 1743 Bathhouse

 

Mineral Stains on the Reservoir Walls

 

Original Roman Bathing Within the Cave

 

Mineral Pools

 

 

 

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