Porthmadog is a harbour town situated on the Glaslyn Estuary, within the former county of Caernarfonshire but now part of the modern county of Gwynedd in north Wales.
Porthmadog is a comparatively modern town, built in the early 19th century by one W.A. Maddocks after whom the town was named - Maddocks is an English version of the Welsh name "Madog", and "porth" is Welsh for port - and therfore sometimes called "Port Madoc" in English.
The building of the port was linked to the construction of a railway from Porthmadog to nearby Ffestiniog which was one of the main centres of the slate industry - Porthmadog therefore becoming a busy shipping port for the international slate trade. This position lasted until the 1880's when the slate industry went into decline, after which Porthmadog ceased to be a port of any commercial significance.
The Ffestiniog Railway survives to this day although it carries little commercial traffic and relies on the tourist trade and ferries passengers up the Glaslyn valley to Blaenau Ffestiniog.
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