Cynwyd is a small village on the bank of the River Dee some 3 km south from Corwen. Situated around a cross roads, the village is dominated largely by the impressive Ifor Williams Trailer factory and the 17th century Pont Dyfrdwy which with its four arches spans the River Dee close to where the station on the now closed Ruabon to Barmouth line used to stand.
It is possible that Cynwyd was a settlement built upon an important route through the Berwyn Mountains, crossing the Dee as it does today at Pont Dyfrdwy. Investigations would suggest that environmental factors would make this area the optimal point to cross the river. If this is the case, further investigation is required though the suggestion is appealing.
According to The Clwyd and Powys Archaeological Trust, Cynwyd was very probably a caput or a centre to the commote of Endeirmion sometime in the Middle Ages. And so it is mentioned in 12th century Welsh poetry, and accorded the status of a town by some, largely due to the fact that its 45 tenants paid the highest subsidy in the commote. However, despite Edward Lhuyd recording a village of nine houses and a mill at the end of the 17th century, the map makers Speed and Bowen did not feel the need to give the village much mind. It is entirely possible that this was due to the fact that Cynwyd did not have a church until the consecration of St John’s in 1856, built to replace the venerable church in nearby Llangar. It was a centre of flannel manufacture, a sizeable factory on the Afon Trystion visible on 19th century OS maps.
There is a local tradition that the original bridge that crossed the Afon Trystion could be traced back to Roman times, and while this may be wishful thinking, there is the fact that a Llewelyn ap Madog left money for the repair of the crossing in 1357. Today, the Pont Trystion is set back a little from the Pont Newydd which now takes traffic on to Llandrillo to the south.