The town of Pwllheli lies within the former county of Caernarfonshire but is now within the modern county of Gwynedd in north Wales. The town has a permanent population of aroun 3,500 and is situated on the southern coast of the Llyn Peninsula. The name Pwllheli is Welsh for "salt water pool".
There are signs that the Romans mined copper nearby but little is known of Pwllheli's early history until the the town was granted its first charter by the Black Prince in the 15th century. In the 19th century Pwllheli became one of the main fishing and ship-building centres in north Wales and was a major port exporting granite sets for roads. But the gradual silting of the port, prevented the larger ships ships from gaining access to the harbour and rendered it unviable.
It was the arrival of the railway that allowed Pwllheli to develop as a tourist centre, taking advantage of its position as a coastal resort set against the backdrop of the spectacular mountain scenery of Snowdonia. Modern Pwllheli continues to rely on the tourist trade and is a popular destination for holidaymakers from the Midlands and the North West of England - the old harbour is now a pontoon marina called "Hafan Pwllheli" and features a newly built sailing club.
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