|Location Map ( geo)|
The old bridge at Llanelltyd spans the Afon Mawddach and dates back to the middle of the 18th Century. However, there are much earlier references to a bridge at the site, so it presumably replaced an earlier crossing, whose construction and indeed fate goes unrecorded. The old bridge has itself now been replaced by a new structure a little downstream, but the old bridge remains open as a footbridge.
The Old Bridge
Dating from the middle of the 18th Century, the bridge consists of 5 stone arches across the river, although at low water only the southern span is clear of shingle! There are additional, very small, flood culverts on the southern bank, where the approach is slightly causewayed. The bridge has substantial triangular cutwaters, tapering to the parapets, which are only decorated by the capstones. The arches themselves are wide and shallow as seems to have been common in mid Wales at the time. The bridge seems to have been little altered since it was built, offering a narrow S2 roadway with only a slight crest at the centre. Today it remains open as a footbridge, with a car park at the southern end making it a popular spot for picnics and fishermen.
The New Bridge
Replacing the old bridge is the newer bridge carrying the A470, and presumably constructed around the same time as the Dolgellau Bypass scheme to the south. The bridge consists of two wide spans, although only the northern one normally spans the river, supported on girders and carries a wide S2 roadway. There are pavements on either side, however as with the bypass bridge these have been lined with interlocking concrete block barriers, presumably to protect substandard parapet railings on the crossing itself.
Immediately to the north of the new bridge, the road reaches the 3-arm roundabout junction with the A496, Barmouth Road. This replaces the former T junction which sat further up the hill at the end of the now closed-up road from the old bridge. In order to reach the new roundabout, the A496 follows a new line, effectively bypassing much of the village of Llanelltyd.