This pretty spa village has a story reaching back to Roman times. It was engineers from the 20th Legion, stationed at the fort of Canovium (modern Caerhun), who found the iron-rich waters while they were prospecting for metals. The spring was reopened in the eighteenth century and Trefriw became a popular spa with a pumphouse. You can see the Roman cave and the eighteenth-century pumphouse with its slate bath: if you are brave, you can even sample the water. It is rich in iron and sulphur.
The great Welsh ruler Llywelyn ab Iorwerth had a court near here. According to local legend, he and his household used to go to church at Llanrhychwyn but the climb up the hill was too steep for his wife Siwan. (She was the illegitimate daughter of King John of England - and presumably she was not used to Welsh mountains!) Eventually Llywelyn built a church nearer his house at Trefriw.
The powerful Crafnant river tumbling down from the forests to the Conwy has made Trefriw a centre for the woollen industry. At the Trefriw Mill you can view all the processes involved in converting rough fleeces into knitting wool, traditional Welsh tapestries and tweeds.