Penmaenmawr, Aber Falls, & Gladstone’s Ghost


We saw this bust of Gladstone at the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight.

When my husband was a young history major in college, he wrote a thesis on William Gladstone (1808-1898), a British prime minister with a long and storied career. Over the years he has told me a lot about Gladstone’s politics. Was he a liberal? A conservative? I couldn’t tell you…For some reason, the only thing I can ever remember is that Gladstone had a somewhat suspect penchant for finding prostitutes on the street to “rescue,” and that he would engage in self-flagellation afterwards…each incident faithfully recorded with a drawing of a whip in his daily diary. On our trip to the U.K., the ghost of Gladstone kept dogging our steps.

In Wales, we drove through Hawarden and past the grand Hawarden Castle, the estate where Gladstone lived . My husband pointed out Gladstone’s Library, where he had spent a summer doing research for his thesis. Towards the end of our trip, we decamped for a few days to Penmaenmawr, a seaside resort town that became popular when Gladstone began spending time there. The Airbnb flat we rented happened to be in what was once Gladstone’s summer villa:


The view from our balcony was stunning from morning till night…IMG_4213IMG_0927On our first evening there, we took a short drive and had a lovely after-dinner stroll to Aber Falls:


Shortly after this picture was taken, the heavens opened and it started raining and thundering. Fortunately, we made it back to the car just in time!


2 thoughts on “Penmaenmawr, Aber Falls, & Gladstone’s Ghost

  1. Fascinating read. My childhood home in Wales was named after William Gladstone. It was called ”Gladstone villa” and it was in the former mining town of Bargoed, which is very near Caerphilly and Cardiff.

    I lived there with my family from 1969 to 1978 and we experienced things there that you wouldn’t believe but never the less this property that was in Cardiff road had activity that defied logic and left me, my family and our friends in no doubt that Gladstone villa was haunted, in fact, the Gladstone villa property actually convinced a skeptic and a non believer so this is indeed well worth looking into and really does need to be documented !

    If you’re interested you will find me talking about my own personal experiences if you search: ” THE GHOST OF GLADSTONE VILLA”. This was truly a genuine haunting that really did happen to us all those years ago, I wouldn’t share this if I couldn’t back it up.
    My childhood home of Gladstone villa dates back to the 1900, soon after William Gladstone died in 1898, but I don’t think it was Gladstone’s ghost that was haunting it, the place has quite a history with many residents that have come and gone.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s