Dolanog is a very small village north-west of Welshpool and south-east of Llanwddyn on the B4382. It has a population of about 60, of whom the majority are Welsh speaking. It nestles between the hill called Allt Dolanog and the river Vyrnwy.
Dolanog is renowned for its association with the Welsh hymn writer Ann Griffiths, who died young and is buried with her two-week-old baby at nearby Llanfihangel. The Anne Griffiths Memorial Chapel is one of the principal buildings in Dolanog, stone for its building in 1904 having been quarried from a rocky outcrop near the river a few hundred yards away. Many people come to see her home, Dolwar Fach, and the chapel. To accommodate the influx of visitors, in the late 1960s the council built a sheltered car park and public conveniences.
The church, St John’s, was built in the 19th century together with a vicarage, school and schoolhouse. The Church of Wales sold the vicarage as a private house in 1987. The school closed in 1945 and is now the venue for all village functions. These include whist drives, sales of work, suppers for various occasions and a monthly meeting of a ladies group called Cymdeithas y Merched.
The name Dolanog comes from two Welsh words dol and eog which mean ‘the dale of the salmon’. Every autumn there is a wonderful display of salmon trying unsuccessfully to leap the waterfall on the Vyrnwy .Reluctantly, they spawn in the gravel a little downstream. The rapid water of the fall powers a turbine which once supplied electricity for the whole village but now only provides power for the Mill Farm. Until 1986 it was the sole source of energy for St John’s church.
Within less than a hundred yards of the village centre three bridges cross the turbulent Vyrnwy. The furthest is a private Bailey bridge to the Mill Farm. The other two, the ancient and modern, stand contrastingly side by side. The original stone, hump-backed bridge is so narrow that visitors never cease to wonder how large vehicles ever negotiated it. In 1984 the new stone-faced, concrete bridge was built to facilitate the passage of large modern lorries and agricultural machinery.
Some farms and private homes provide accommodation for the many visitors who come to enjoy Dolanog’s natural beauty and serenity .Many people fall in love with the area and holiday homes are much sought after.