The earliest record of a community in Barmouth is in a survey commissioned by Queen Elizabeth I in 1565 saying:
“Abermowe, being likewise a haven having no habitation, but only foure howses whereof there are owners Res ap Res; Haryy ap Eden; Thomas ap Edward and John ap Howard Goche…”
Little else is know about Barmouth prior to the early years of the 18th Century. Coastal shipping expanded between 1770 and 1820 and the River Mawddach became a major boat building centre. Records show that a total of 138 vessels were built on the river between 1770 and 1790. Meirioneth was becoming one of the major centres of the wool industry and this was shipped out of the port of Barmouth.
Barmouth expanded as a coastal town during these years with the early development centred around the harbour and on “the rock”. Ruskin’s Cottages date from 1875. Ty Gwyn y Bermo, on the quay, was built between 1460 and 1485. Ty Crwn (the roundhouse) was built in 1834 as the town’s lock-up. Its walls are 2ft thick.
The Cambrian Railway and the Viaduct were build in 1867 and heralded a new era for Barmouth as a seaside resort. The popularity of Barmouth grew as the area enjoys a relatively mild climate and is surrounded by the stunning scenery of southern Snowdonia.