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Machynlleth
Victorian transport
 
  The end of Derwenlas as a port  
 

The River Dyfi between Aberdyfi and Derwenlas was often a very busy waterway when the tide was up in Victorian times.
One account said that up to eighty boats with their sails up could Engraving of Derwenlasbe seen on that stretch of the river at the same time. There could be traffic on the river at Derwenlas by day and by night, depending on the tide.
Derwenlas also had three boat-building yards, and 36 wooden vessels of up to 75 tons were built there from local oak up to 1869. Most of these were used for coastal trade around Britain.

An early engraving
showing sailing boats
on the River Dyfi
at Derwenlas.
Derwenlas
as shown
on a map
of the
early
1900s

The building of the new steam
railway between Machynlleth
and Aberystwyth was to put an
end to the use of Derwenlas as

a trading port.
The railway line cut through the
main river dock and the river
was diverted in
1862 by the new
embankment.
Only four more boats were built
there after the railway arrived.
 

The map above shows Derwenlas, the diverted River Dyfi, and the railway line in the early 1900's. One of the original loops in the course of the river was completely cut off by the railway.
The railway took over most of the commercial trade from the river boats, and the boat-builders and sailors left the area for good. The lime kilns near the port which were used to burn limestone to produce lime for use as a fertiliser also closed down.

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