Richard Lewis and Son logo, Monumental Masons in Blaenau Ffestiniog



Richard Lewis hailed from Llanildan, nr Pentre Berw, Anglesey, he moved to the Ffestiniog area prior to the first World War to work as Manager, Graig Ddu Quarry. He married Jane Ann Lewis (Penmachno) and set up home in Manod. He decided to leave the Quarry and set up a monumental workshop during 1914/18 period.
At this time the Quarries employed thousands of men as the population of Blaenau Ffestiniog was at its peak. They were hard times for families as most lived on the low wages of the quarries especially if they had to buy their relatives a headstone. Richard Lewis soon realised this so he offered an easy payment scheme, he arranged for them to pay on a monthly basis in line with the Quarry's 'Tal Mawr'. Understandably it took some months to clear debts !!

In the thirties he was appointed on to the local Council (Manod Ward) as Manod was very close to his heart. He represented the Ward for twenty years, he was made Mayor of Blaenau ffestiniog for two years and his contribution to the Ward involved a School and a community Centre. Many other Blaenau organisations gained projects from his knowledge and experience being on the Council.

In those days all headstones were hand engraved and he taught many apprentices the craft, they soon became Monumental masons in their own right serving the local community.

At the end of the Second World War his son Gwilym came into the business, he ran it succesfully until his retirement in 1985. Richard Lewis died in 1948, seventy one years old. His obituary in the local 'Rhedegydd' newspaper referred to his funeral - On Monday Richard Lewis' funeral was held, it was one of the most respectful that Manod had ever seen, the Church at Tyddyn Gwyn was full overflowing outside.

Today, some hundred years on, the business is still carried on by his grandson - Richard Thomas.