In my last post I argued that Conwy’s Victorian railway ‘colonised’ the medieval ruins of the 13th-century castle and town walls through its architectural interventions approaching, through, and restorations of the medieval ruins (the railway bridge and affirming the urban mural enceinte south-east of the railway station).
Here, I want to complement that discussion by introducing Conwy’s other ‘time tunnel’, the concrete pedestrian tunnel under the railway line between the Morfa Bach car park and the town. The car park constitutes one of the primary parking places for tourists and other visitors to leave their vehicles before exploring the World Heritage Site. Therefore, many experience entry and departure into Conwy, not only through medieval gatehouses of its town walls and castle, but via a 20th-century ‘time tunnel’ under the railway line.
This tunnel is rendered more than a utilitarian non-space by a particularly evocative mural on each wall. The tunnel is therefore a venue for a striking mural linking the history of the town to the myths, legends and history of the region. Four dragons frame the corners, one for each element: air, water, fire and earth.
Then we have a panorama of the river and town, with the old castle of Deganwy picked out on the horizon.
This colourful mural, depicting many to evocative images of Conwy’s natural landscape of sky, land and sea as well as fiery dimensions of the past – from Ceridwen and dragons to the English castle and town walls, from archers to fishing boats on the estuary – creates a striking sense that one is passing back in time as one moves into the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is another Conwy time tunnel!