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© Copyright ~ 2020

The Bagot’s of Blithfield in Staffordshire had acquired Pool Parc through marriage. Charles Salesbury, son of the indominable Royalist, William Salesbury took ownership of much of his father’s estate, his older brother largely disinherited by his father for an ill-advised marriage and support for Parliament during the Civil War. Charles' sole remaining heir, his daughter Jane, married Walter Bagot in 1670.  The Bagot’s owned wide swathes of land, and during the 19th century, Lord Bagot created huge plantations stretching through to his lands at Clocaenog.  During this process, he created for his wife what became known as, Lady Bagot’s Drive along the River Clywedog, a three mile carriageway drive linking Pool Parc and Bontuchel.  During the First World War, much of the timber was felled and a new forest planted by the Forestry Commission in 1930.  There is a memorial on the site of the original planting, celebrating the completion Lord Bagot’s forest in 1830.

The carriageway was a favourite of Lady Bagot’s, who having attended the Sunday morning service at St Mwrog and St Mary’s at Llanfwrog, would take the ride before returning to Pool Parc for lunch.  The Drive survived the planting of the Clocaenog Forest and is now a nature trail, clearly signed and full of wonders, including strange rock formations, caused by the erosion of the sides of the gorge by the waters of the Clywedog.

At the end of the 19th century, the London and North Western Railway Company, one of the largest companies in the world at the time, gained permission to lay a railway line between Ruthin and Cerrigydrudion, along the route of Lady Bagot’s Drive, and while work was begun, it was never completed.  Gordon Emery in ‘Curious Clwyd 2’, tells us that while the work on the railway was cancelled, one workman continued toiling for some time afterwards.

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