Bangor - Gazetteers


The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

National Gazetteer (1868)

"BANGOR, a parish, city, borough, and market town, in the hundred of Uwch-gorfai, in the county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 9 miles to the N.E. of Carnarvon, and 238 miles by railway from London. It is situated on the north coast of the county, at the head of the bay of Beaumaris, and at the entrance to the Menai Strait, and is a station on the Holyhead railway, which is carried across the strait by the great Britannia Tubular Bridge, not far from the city. This place has existed from a very early period; but the precise time of its foundation is not known. It is the oldest see in Wales, except Llandaff, its first bishop having been appointed about A.D. 560. King Edgar confirmed the privileges of the bishopric, and added to its endowments.

The original cathedral was destroyed in 1071 by the English army, and was not rebuilt till, after 1102, when contributions were made for that purpose at a synod at Westminster. When King John invaded the principality, in 1211, he captured the bishop at the altar, and only released him on payment of a large ransom. The city suffered greatly from the wars in the reigns of John and Henry III. Edward I. restored the endowments of the see, and granted further privileges. The cathedral was again destroyed during the insurrection under Owain Glyndwr, and lay in ruins nearly a century; being then restored by Bishop Dean.

The city, which formerly consisted chiefly of one long street in a beautiful valley, protected on the south by rocks and mountains, is now considerably enlarged, and is divided into Upper and Lower Bangor. Since the formation of the Holyhead railway many new residences have been built, and the city has grown in population and prosperity. Its situation near the sea and the mountains, the fine views, and the beautiful scenery of the neighbourhood, make it an attractive watering-place. The bay of Beaumaris, the Isle of Anglesey beyond it, the Snowdon range of mountains, and the two marvellous bridges over the Menai, combine to make it a spot of more than common interest.

Within 8 miles of Bangor are the great slate quarries of Llandegai, the property of the Pennants, which employ above 2,000 hands, and yield a gross annual revenue of £250,000. The principal trade of the city and port depends on these mines. There are several manufactories, in which various articles, useful and ornamental, are made of slate; but the larger part of the produce of the mines is exported. There are several shipping places, the chief of which is Port Penrhyn. The city contains a market-house, assembly rooms, a museum, several banks, and some good hotels.

The borough, with three others, is contributory to Carnarvon in returning one member to parliament. It comprises within its limits, which nearly coincide with those of the parish, 1,336 inhabited houses, with a population of 6,795, according to the census of 1861, against 6,338 in 1851, showing an increase of 457 in the decennial period. It is the seat of a County Court district, and of a Poor-law Union. The Union house is about half a mile from the city. The diocese of Bangor, which is in the province of Canterbury, comprises Carnarvonshire, Merionethshire, Anglesey, and part of Montgomeryshire. It includes the two archdeaconries of Bangor and Merioneth, and about 130 benefices.

The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Bangor, value with the chapelry of Pentir, which is annexed to it, of £800, in the patronage of the bishop. It consists of undivided moieties, shared by two incumbents, who, though in receipt of all the tithes of the parish, both small and great, are called vicars. The cathedral is dedicated to St. Deiniol, or Daniel, by whom it was founded; and a portion of the building is appropriated and used as the parish church. It is a plain structure, in the form of a cross, with a low tower at the west end, and is chiefly in the perpendicular style of architecture. It is 233 feet in length, and 96 feet in breadth through the transepts. The interior is simple and unadorned, but it contains a few monuments. The most interesting are those of the two princes, Ap Cynan and Owain Gwynedd. In the library is preserved the missal of Bishop Anian, a curious folio volume of the year 1291.

The cathedral has been recently restored, and a handsome stained window placed at the east end. The bishop's palace stands near the cathedral. Among the Bishops of Bangor have been Hoadly, Sherlock, Herring, Moore, Randolph, and Bethell. This diocese was prospectively united with St. Asaph by order in council, dated 12th December, 1838; but the arrangement was annulled by Stat. 10 and 11 Vict. c. 108. Arrangements have been made to build two new churches in this place-one in Upper, the other in Lower Bangor. The latter has been recently commenced, and is in the geometrical Gothic style of architecture. The parish has also, for ecclesiastical purposes, been divided between the senior and junior vicars into two districts-Upper and Lower, with that of Pentir shared jointly by both.

The population of the Lower district, according to the last census, amounts to 5,574; Upper, 3,966; Pentir, 953, total, 10,493. A free grammar school was established here, in 1557, by Dr. Geoffry Glynn, advocate, which has a revenue from endowment of about £580. It has two scholarships in Jesus College, Oxford. There are also three National schools, one Wesleyan, and one British school, in the parish. The Baptists, Independents, Roman Catholics, and Wesleyans have chapels here. An almshouse for six men was founded by Bishop Rowlands in the 17th century, the revenue of which is now £216. In 1809, the Carnarvonshire and Anglesey Royal Dispensary was founded on the 50th anniversary of the accession of King George III.; it has been converted into an infirmary. Near the city is Penrhyn Castle, the fine seat of the Pennants. There are many handsome residences in the neighbourhood. From Garth Point is a ferry to Anglesey, and there is regular communication by steam with Liverpool and other ports. Friday is the market day. Fairs are held on the 5th April, the 25th June, the 16th September, and the 28th October."

"ABERPWL, a village in the parish of Bangor, hundred of Uwchgorfai, in the county of Carnarvon, North Wales, not far from Bangor."

"GARTH, a village in the parish of Bangor, county Carnarvon, 2 miles from Bangor. It is situated near the ferry."

"HIRAEL, a village in the parish of Bangor, county Carnarvon, 2 miles from Bangor."

"PENRHYN CASTLE, a demesne in the parish of Bangor and hundred of Uwchgorfai, county Carnarvon, 1 mile E. of Bangor, and 9 miles N.E. of Carnarvon. This mansion, which is now the seat of the Hon. Colonel Pennant, M.P., is situated on an eminence embowered in trees near the river Ogwen, at the northern mouth of the Menai Strait, and is surrounded by a park 7 miles in circumference, fenced round with slate. The present edifice was built for the late Lord Penrhyn by S. Wyatt, after designs by Hopper, in the Norman castellated style, with towers and turrets, on the site of the ancient seat of the Griffydds, once the palace of King Roderic Malwynog.

It is built of Mona marble, and is said to have cost no less a sum than half a million, and took fourteen years in building. At a distance its massive grandeur produces an imposing aspect, but on a nearer approach, and after entering within its walls, the effect is far less agreeable. The interior is embellished with painted glass, sculptured chimneypieces, oak carving, and panelling. In one of the rooms is a bedstead entirely formed of slate, and amongst the antiquities a hirlas, or drinking-horn, of Piers Gruffydd, who fought under Drake against the Spanish Armada. From several spots within the park a panorama is obtained, embracing in the distance the Menai Bridge and the heights of Snowdon."

"PENTIR, a hamlet in the parish of Bangor, county Carnarvon, 3 miles S.W. of Bangor. It once formed a separate parish. The living is a curacy united with Bangor."

"TYNLON, a village in the parish of Bangor, county Carnarvon, near Bangor."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]

A Topographical Dictionary of Wales Samuel Lewis, 1833

BANGOR, a city, port, and parish, in the hundred of ISGORVAI, county of CARNARVON, NORTH WALES, 9 miles (N. E.) from Carnarvon, and 243 (N. W. by W.) from London, on the great road to Holyhead, containing 4751 inhabitants. The origin of this small, but ancient, city is involved in very great obscurity. Leland, on the authority of the Chronicle of John Harding, states that, prior to the establishment of Christianity in Britain, Condage, a prince of the early Britons, erected in this place a temple, which he dedicated to Minerva. Upon the correctness of this testimony alone rests the supposition of its having existed during the continuance of the Roman empire in Britain, and the sole evidence of its having been occupied by the Romans is derived from a hewn block of gritstone, three feet four inches in length, and eighteen inches broad, found at Tycoch, a short distance from the city, bearing a Latin inscription of undoubted antiquity, and which is the only relic of the Romans known to have been discovered in the neighbourhood.

The earliest authentic account of this place occurs in the history of the first religious establishment founded here, which, according to some authorities, originated with Deiniol, or Daniel, son of Dynawd, or Dunothus, abbot of the monastery of Bangor Iscoed, in the county of Flint, who is said to have built a college for the instruction of youth, and for the support of the clergy, in this part of North Wales, about the year 525. This college continued to be dependent on the parent establishment at Bangor Iscoed, from which it is supposed to have derived its name, till the year 550, when Maelgwyn Gwynedd, King of North Wales, called by Gildas "Maglocunus," endowed it with lands and divers privileges, and erected it into a see, of which Daniel was consecrated first bishop, by Dubricius, Archbishop of Caerleon. Daniel died about four years after his consecration, and was buried in Ynys Enlli, or Bardsey isle, at that time the usual place of interment for men of distinguished sanctity. According to other authorities, it appears that Dunothus, abbot of Bangor Iscoed, who, in the year 597, headed a deputation of seven bishops and a great number of learned men, to meet St. Augustine, whom Pope Gregory had sent into Britain to propagate the Christian faith, founded a small establishment on or near the site occupied by the present cathedral, as a cell to the abbey of Bangor Iscoed, and placed in it monks from that establishment. This small monastery afterwards became the asylum of the few brethren that escaped the subsequent massacre of the monks of Bangor Iscoed, by Ethelfrith, King of Northumberland, who, in 607, advancing to Caerlleon ar Ddyvrdwy, now Chester, against the Britons, whose army he defeated in a decisive battle, fell with fury upon the monks of Bangor Iscoed, who had assembled near that place to assist their countrymen with their prayers, and put twelve hundred of them to death. About fifty only saved themselves by flight into the mountains, and afterwards united with the brethren at this place in forming a religious establishment, to which they transferred the name of their ancient monastery, then reduced to ruins, and which afterwards, from its increasing importance, obtained the appellation of Ban cor the "chief society," or Bon cor, the " good choir."

Notwithstanding the uncertainty of the original foundation of the religious fraternity at Bangor, it appears that it was erected into a see about the year 550, and that Deiniol Was the first bishop : it continued, no doubt, to be a suffragan bishoprick to the archiepiscopal see of Caerlleon, though no regular succession of its bishops is recorded for a space of nearly three hundred years. The first of Daniel's successors, of whom there is any mention, is Elvod, who, according to the Annales Menevenses, died in 811 ; and the see is said to have been endowed with additional lands by Rhodri Mawr, and also by his son and successor, Anarawd, in gratitude for his victory over the Saxons, on the banks of the Conway. In 925, Sisylt ab Clydauc gave some lands to the church, and King Athelstan is stated in the archives of the cathedral to have been a benefactor to the see. Mordav, Bishop of Bangor, in 940, together with Chebur, Bishop of St. Asaph, accompanied Hywel Dda, King of Wales, to Rome, in order to obtain from the pope. a confirmation of that monarch's celebrated code of laws.

In 973, Iago, sovereign of North Wales, having been expelled from his dominions by a rival prince, named Howel, applied for assistance to Edgar King of England, who, desirous of fomenting the quarrel, advanced with an army to Bangor, and compelled Howel to allow him an equal share in the sovereignty. The English monarch, during his continuance in this city, assumed a sovereign authority in Wales : he confirmed the privileges of the see, and augmented its possessions with lands and other gifts, erecting also, on the south side of the cathedral, a church, which he dedicated to St. Mary, and which, according to Browne Willis, was used as a parochial church till the reign of Henry VII.  

In 1071, the city suffered material injury, and the cathedral was destroyed, by an English army which invaded this part of the principality ; and about the year 1080, Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester, in order to assist his descent upon the Isle of Anglesey, and to secure the conquests which he had already made in North Wales, erected a castle, about a quarter of a mile to the north of the city, on the ridge of hills which bounds the vale. Of this castle, no particular event is recorded in the history of the principality : probably, after the restoration of Grufydd ab Cynan to the throne from which the earl had expelled him, it was either destroyed immediately, or suffered to fall gradually into ruins. The city recovered from its devastation, but the cathedral remained in a ruinous state till 1102, when a synod was held at Westminster, for the reformation of the church, at which Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, presided, assisted by Girard, Archbishop of York, Roger, Bishop of Salisbury, and others, and at which also Herve, or Herveus, Bishop of Bangor, the first Welsh prelate that had ever attended a council in England, and who was consecrated in 1093, by Thomas, Archbishop of York, was present. The members of this synod, lamenting the decay of religion in this part of North Wales, which they attributed in a great degree to the destruction of the cathedral, gave large sums of money towards its restoration.

Giraldus, who accompanied Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury, in his circuit to preach the crusades through Wales, relates in his Itinerary, that they visited Bangor in 1188, and were well received by the bishop of that diocese, with whom they remained one night ; and on the following day, after the celebration of mass by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Guianus, Bishop of Bangor, was compelled by his importunity to take the cross, to the infinite regret of all his people.

From this time Bangor appears to have remained in a flourishing state till the year 1211, When King John, invading North Wales, encamped his forces on the banks of the river Conway, and detached a portion of his army to burn the city, which they accomplished ; and, entering the cathedral, took Robert the bishop (who had succeeded to the see upon the death of the prelate elected in place of Giraldus, who declined the office) from before the high altar, and made him prisoner, but afterwards liberated him, on the payment of a heavy ransom. During this reign, Bangor suffered great devastation in the wars that were carried on between King John and Llewelyn; and, in the reign of Henry III., it was dreadfully ravaged by the continued struggles for empire between that monarch and David ab Llewelyn, whom Richard, at that time bishop of Bangor, and a partisan of the King of England, excommunicated. In these wars, the cathedral was again destroyed, and the bishop, taking refuge in England, was honourably entertained for nearly twenty years in the monastery of St. Alban's.

On the final invasion of Wales by Edward. I., the neighbourhood of Bangor became the scene of several engagements, and, in particular, of that disastrous conflict in which fifteen knights, thirty-two esquires, and one thousand soldiers, were slain by the Welsh forces under Richard ab Walwyn, after crossing the Menai strait, at low water, by a bridge of boats. At this time Anian, Bishop of Bangor, being in high favour with Edward, obtained from that monarch the restoration of its various endowments, which had been confiscated during the preceding reign, together with many additional grants and extended privileges : he procured also a grant of Bangor House, in Shoe-lane, London, as a town residence for the prelates, when attending their duties at court. For the better maintenance of the episcopal dignity, he obtained by letters patent from the crown the return of all writs, with all waifs and estrays, in his several manors, and also in the villages of Tregaian, Abydon, and Bodychan. In 1284, having had the honour of baptizing the young prince Edward, who was born that year in. Carnarvon castle, he received a grant of the ferries of Porthaethwy and Cadnant, and the manors of Bangor, Castell-Mawr, and Garthgogo in the county of Carnarvon, with the cantred of Trefos, in the Isle of Anglesey, and, two years afterwards, a confirmation to himself and his successors of a third part of the tithes issuing out of the king's demesnes, mills, and lead mines, in England and Wales. When Edward I. made his extent, or survey, of the revenues of the Prince of Wales, the Bishop of Bangor procured a commission from Chancery, to enquire into the tenures of his see, which survey, called the Bishop's Extent Book, is still preserved among the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum.

In 1329, Matthew de Englefield obtained for the inhabitants the grant of an annual fair, on the eve, day, and morrow of St. Luke, and of another on the eve, day, and morrow of St. Trillo. During the reign of Henry IV., John Swaffham, having written a book in confutation of the doctrines of Wickliffe, was advanced to the see, as a recompense for his services ; and during the rebellion of Owain Glyndwr, Llewelyn Bifort, a Welsh-man, having been promoted to the bishoprick by that chieftain, without the sanction either of the king or of the Archbishop of Canterbury, his name appears, in 1406, among the chief persons who were outlawed for the part they took in that rebellion : this prelate was taken prisoner, in 1408, by the king's troops, in the battle fought in Yorkshire, in which the Earl of Northumberland was slain ; but not having taken any active part in the engagement, nor having borne arms against his sovereign, his life was spared. The conspiracy excited by Owain Glyndwr against the authority of Henry IV., is said to have been contrived chiefly in the house of David Baron, Dean of Bangor, who was also outlawed by that monarch. During this insurrection the city was devastated, and the cathedral destroyed ; the latter continued in a state of ruin for nearly ninety years, till Bishop Dean, or Denny, rebuilt the choir, and, on his subsequent translation to the see of Salisbury, left his mitre and crosier, which were of considerable value, to his successor at Bangor, on condition that he should complete those other parts of the building which he had already begun.

In the reign of Richard III., Dean Kyfin, who was instituted about the year 1480, was a zealous and active partisan of the Earl of Richmond, the success of whose enterprise he materially contributed to promote, and from whom, after his accession to the throne by the title of Henry VII., he obtained a grant of lands, and permission to endow a chantry in the south transept of the cathedral, at the entrance of which he was interred.

During the civil commotions in the reign of Charles I., the city became the scene of great desolation; the services of the church were suspended, and the cathedral was used as a stable for the horses of the parliamentarian troops ; the monuments, shrines, and other decorations of this venerable structure were defaced and mutilated, and the revenue of the see was alienated and appropriated to the use of the parliament. It was, however, restored to the see after the interregnum ; and, in the first of James II, Humphrey Lloyd, bishop of the diocese, obtained an act of parliament for augmenting the revenues of the see, providing for the repair of the cathedral, and for the maintenance of the choir. The same act annexes to the bishoprick the archdeaconries of Bangor and Anglesey, and to the chapter the sinecure rectory of Llanrhaiadr yn Kinmerch and two-thirds of the comportionate rectory of Llandinam. The celebrated Bangorian Controversy originated in this city, from which it took its name, between Dr. Benjamin Hoadley, who presided over the see from 1715 to 1721, when he was translated to Salisbury, and Dr. Thomas Sherlock, who succeeded him in this diocese, and was also translated to Salisbury in 1738, on the advancement of Dr. Hoadley to the see of Winchester.

The city is delightfully situated in a pleasing vale, bounded on the south by lofty and precipitous rocks, and having at the eastern extremity a fine opening towards the adjacent straits of the Menai, and commanding an extensive view of the beautiful bay of Beaumaris, bordered on the opposite side by the rocky shores of Anglesey and the town of Beaumaris. It consists principally of one main street, from which others branch off on the north side, and of some smaller streets on the acclivity of an eminence near the sea : it is neither lighted nor paved. The neighbourhood comprehends a variety of pleasing and picturesque scenery, and in many parts is characterised by features of striking grandeur. At the distance of a few miles, on one side, are the lofty and rugged mountains of Snowdonia, and on the other the wide expanse of waters in the bay of Beaumaris ; and in the immediate vicinity of the town are extensive and varied walks and rides through a tract of country abounding with objects of romantic interest. The vast sums expended by government in the improvement of the Holyhead road, and the stupendous works which have been raised in prosecution of that object, have, from their partial locality, contributed to the importance of the city, which, combining with the natural advantages it possesses, might elevate it to a very prominent rank among the commercial towns of the principality.

Bangor; which is a member of the port of Beaumaris, carries on little or no trade of importance : coal and the common necessaries of life are the only goods brought to it, and are landed from the ships upon the coast, and conveyed away in carts at low water, without the aid of quays or wharfs. The coast is accessible to ships of three hundred tons' burden, which can enter the bay at all states of the tide ; and all vessels, however large, can ride securely in the channel, well sheltered from storms, except in violent easterly gales, to which only they are exposed : steam-packets ply regularly between Bangor and Liverpool.

The market is on Friday, and, during the summer, a market is also held on Tuesday; they are well supplied, but provisions of all kinds are dear. The fairs are on April 5th, June 25th, September 16th, and October 28th ; and there are also large cattle fairs, called " Borth fairs," held at the Menai bridge, in this parish, on August 26th, September 26th, October 24th, and November 14th, to which a greater number of cattle is brought than to any other fairs in North Wales.

By the late act for amending the representation of the people in England and Wales, Bangor has been constituted one of the six contributory boroughs within the county, which unite in the return of one member to parliament : the right of election is vested in every male person of full age occupying, as owner, or as tenant under the same landlord, a house or other premises of the clear yearly value of not less than ten pounds, provided he be capable of registering as the act directs : the number of tenements of this value within the limits of the borough, which are minutely described in the Appendix of this work, is about one hundred and seventy. The bailiffs of Carnarvon are the returning officers. The town-hall and shambles are situated nearly in the centre of the town.

Prior to the union of England and Ireland, a variety of plans was suggested for conducting the great road from London to Dublin over the Menai strait, in lieu of the ancient ferry; but it was not until the increased communication between the two countries, subsequently to the union, had invested the subject with so much additional importance, that it obtained the consideration of government ; and in consequence of this, official instructions were given, in 1801, to Mr. Rennie, to survey the strait, and to propose a plan and estimate for a bridge. Pursuant to these, that eminent engineer prepared four designs, two for crossing, by means of a cast-iron arch, or arches, with others of stone at each extremity, at the rock called Ynys y Moch, or " Pig's Island," about one hundred yards from the ferry, where the present suspension bridge has since been erected ; and two for crossing at the Swelly rocks, half a mile further southward. But, though no objection was offered to the plans, they were not at that time carried into execution ; and nothing further was done regarding the measure until the year 1810, when a parliamentary committee was appointed to enquire into the state of the roads from Shrewsbury and Chester to Holyhead. This committee having reported that no injury would result to the navigation of the Menai by the construction of a bridge across that strait, as proposed by Mr. Rennie, notwithstanding the propagation of contrary opinions, by meddling or interested persons, instructions were issued from the Treasury to Mr. Telford, the engineer, to survey the above-named roads, and to take into consideration the best lines that could be adopted, and the best mode of crossing the strait, This gentleman proposed two designs, one applicable to the Swelly rocks, and the other to Ynys y Moch : the latter, which was intended to consist of a cast-iron arch, five hundred feet in the span, was accompanied with his decided preference, and both were transmitted by the Lords of the Treasury to the parliamentary committee again appointed, in 1811, to enquire into the state of these roads ; but, although the erection of a bridge on one of the plans furnished by that able engineer was strongly recommended by the committee, no means were then adopted for carrying it into effect. In 1815, the state of the Irish road through Wales having been again brought under the consideration of parliament, an act was passed appointing a commission to direct the accomplishment of the proposed improvements, and authorising a grant of money from the Treasury. The commissioners appointed Mr. Telford their principal engineer, who, in 1817, was requested to state his opinion regarding the erection of a bridge, on the principle of suspension, across the Menai, and, if he deemed it practicable, to prepare a plan and estimate. Early in the following year, therefore, this gentleman presented to the commissioners a report, design, and estimate, fixing upon Ynys y Moch as the most proper situation. This is a mass of solid rock, rising steeply from the edge of the water, and situated nearly adjacent to the Anglesey shore, with which it is connected by a narrow reef, dry at low water. The opposite, or Carnarvonshire, shore is composed of clay, shale, sandstone, &c., lying in strata much resembling coal measures ; and rises from the surface of the water perpendicularly to the height of about forty feet, above which the ground still rises to the ridge separating the valley of the strait from that of the city of Bangor : the breadth between the shores, at high water, is three hundred and six yards, and at low water one hundred and sixty. Mr. Telford proposed that the distance between the centres of the supporting pyramids should be five hundred and sixty feet, the roadway to be preserved uniformly one hundred feet above the reach of spring tides, and the height of the pyramids to be fifty feet above the level of the roadway : the main chains were to be sixteen in number, With a deflection of thirty-seven feet; and their extremities were to be secured in a mass of masonry built over stone arches between each of the supporting piers and the adjacent shore, four on the Anglesey side, and three adjoining the Carnarvonshire shore, each arch to be fifty feet in the span. The road-way was divided into a carriage-way on each side, twelve feet wide, with a foot-path between them, four feet in width. This design having been approved of by the commissioners, a report was made to the Lords of the Treasury, which was laid before parliament, and a grant of £20,000 was obtained for commencing operations, which took place in July 1818. Quarries of limestone, both of a dark and mottled colour, 'were opened at Penmon Point, the north-eastern extremity of Anglesey, for the erection of the piers, &c. ; railways of small extent, for conveying the stone, carpenters' and smiths' shops, a storehouse, office, kiln for burning lime, and quays for the vessels to unload, were soon completed ; barracks were erected for the accommodation of the men employed in the quarries ; and, notwithstanding that the opposition to the erection of the bridge was revived, on the alleged ground of injury to the navigation, the most active measures were adopted for prosecuting the undertaking. In 1819, the commissioners, in spite of considerable opposition, obtained another act of parliament, which not only empowered them to build the bridge, levy tolls, and purchase Bangor ferry, but to make a new road from the bridge across the Isle of Anglesey to Holyhead. All these preparatory objects having been accomplished, and a considerable quantity of limestone procured from Aber-thaw, in Glamorganshire, to be burnt into lime for mortar, the first stone was laid on August 10th, at which period the number of men employed amounted to upwards of two hundred, and of vessels occupied in bringing stone from the quarries, five. In the early part of 1821, it was determined, in lieu of securing the chains over stone arches, to carry them through tunnels, and fasten them to the solid rock that lines the shore : this alteration in the original plan allowed the arches to be sprung at the distance of sixty-five feet above high water mark, those next the main piers being made semi-circular, and those towards the land gradually diminishing segments, the crowns of the whole being parallel with the superincumbent roadway. Thus, there is only as much masonry over the arches as is necessary for a proper entablature and cornice ; and the small piers being tapered from ten feet to seven and a half in thickness at the spring of the arches, whereby the latter were increased from fifty feet to fifty-two and a half in the span, a greater degree of lightness and elegance has been imparted to the structure.

At this period, about four hundred men were employed on the work; and the first cargo of iron-work was delivered on the 3rd of August, the whole having been contracted for to be made of the best hammered iron at Shrewsbury, whence it was conveyed by canal to Chester, and from that port hither by sea; and a machine was subsequently constructed for proving its quality by actual straining. In 1822, application was made to parliament for an act to extend the period for completing the bridge, which, as stated in the former act, would have expired in July 1823 ; and the number of workmen, owing to the forwardness of the work, was gradually reduced towards. the close of this year. The new act, which received the royal assent on the 7th of July, 1823, besides extending the time for completing the bridge to July 1825, invested the commissioners with additional powers ; and the Lords of the Treasury were authorised to issue £ 108,498. 18. for completing the bridge, and for payment of the sum awarded by a jury for the purchase of Bangor ferry, viz., £26,394. The fixing of the main chains was commenced on October 24th; and, to prevent the road-way sinking in the middle below a horizontal line, by their expansion, it was determined that the road-way and side railing should have a rise of two feet towards the middle ; and, in order that the deflection of the main chains might not be lessened to the same extent, it was also resolved to increase the height of the pyramids, so as to make their elevation fifty-two feet above the level of the roadway under the archways. Experiments having been made to prove the lateral tension of the chains with various degrees of deflection, in order to ascertain what strain would be exerted in stretching the main chains to their required curvature, a plan was adopted for putting up the main chains, by building the central portion of each upon a raft, then floating it to the bridge, and raising it into its proper place by capstans and other suitable machinery : the first main chain was hoisted on the 26th of April, in presence of a great concourse of spectators. The two middle lines of chains having been suspended, a pathway was formed between them by resting joists on the lower chains of each series, and placing planks upon them parallel with the chains, the three upper chains on each side. forming the parapet. The last chain was raised on the 9th of July, and the whole of their suspended parts having been connected by the end of August, the suspension of the roadway bearers was commenced, and a passable roadway was formed by the 24th of September, on which day many of the gentry and other inhabitants of the neighbourhood crossed the bridge. The roadway is formed of deal planks, resting upon sleeping rods, and consists of two carriage-ways, each twelve feet in breadth, with a footway, four feet wide, secured by iron railings running the whole length between them : these roads are formed of two tiers of deal planks, three inches thick, lying longitudinally, with a third, and upper tier, placed transversely, and secured at each end by guards of oak, to prevent the carriage wheels injuring the vertical rods. The approaches to this stupendous structure were next undertaken, and it was determined that the bridge should be opened on January 30th, 1826 ; and, as the expense of the work had been defrayed by a loan from the public, the first vehicle allowed to cross it was the London and Holyhead mail, on its way downward, about half-past one in the morning, which was followed by the Chester and Holyhead mail, about half-past three; and during the whole day there was a crowd of carriages, horses, and foot passengers on the bridge, whilst the roads leading to it in every direction presented a busy and animated scene. Very soon after its completion the bridge sustained considerable damage from a very violent tempest, owing to the motion of the main chains ; to remedy which, four sets of transverse braces were introduced between each series of chains, to prevent them from coming closer together. Between each two lines of braces, consisting of cast-iron tubes, there is a diagonal lacing of wrought-iron, which, with the tubes and bolts, forms a stiff frame, between each series of chains. The completion of the bridge was considerably retarded by gales during the spring ; but the additional securities suggested in consequence of the late storms were carried into effect in the early part of the summer, and have served the intended purpose ; this magnificent work having braved, uninjured, the storms of succeeding years.

The see, of which the origin and history have been anticipated in the account of the city, with which it is almost identified, is perhaps  the most ancient in the  principality. It comprises the whole of the Isle of Anglesey ; the whole of the county of Carnarvon, with the exception only of four parishes in the hundred of Creuddyn ; about one-half of the county of Merioneth ; the deanery of Dyfryn Clwyd, in the county of Denbigh ; and seven parishes in the county of Montgomery ; and is divided into the three archdeaconries of Anglesey, Bangor, and Merioneth, of which the two first were annexed to the see by an act of parliament passed in the 1st of James II.

The ecclesiastical establishment consists of a bishop, dean, chancellor, precentor, treasurer, archdeacon, two prebendaries, three canons, two vicars choral, an organist, lay clerks, choristers, and other officers. The cathedral church, dedicated to St. Daniel, and, after repeated demolitions, principally rebuilt and restored by the liberality of Bishops Dean and Skeffington, is a handsome cruciform and embattled structure, principally in the later style of English architecture, displaying portions in the early and decorated English styles, With a low massive square embattled tower at the west end, crowned with pinnacles. The whole of the edifice, though not highly enriched with architectural embellishment, has a pleasing symmetry in its proportions, and an appropriate simplicity of character, which is much improved by its situation in a spacious open area, on one side of which is a fine avenue of trees, forming in summer a pleasant promenade. The interior is extremely well lighted by ranges of six windows, in the later English style; in each of the aisles of the nave and transepts, and at the extremities of the latter, as well as at the east end of the choir, are larger windows of elegant design and lofty dimensions. The nave is one hundred and forty-one feet in length, sixty feet wide, including the aisles, and thirty feet high ; the roof is supported by ranges of six obtusely pointed arches, resting on octagonal fluted columns, on square plinths, and ornamented with annular capitals, which separate it from the aisles, and is lighted by ranges of circular-headed clerestory windows. Between the eastern extremity of the nave and the choir, and also forming entrances into the transepts, is an area, of which the roof, of loftier elevation, is supported by four obtusely pointed arches, resting upon corbel heads, originally intended to sustain a central tower. The choir, which is a well-proportioned Latin cross; is of the same height as the nave, and is sixty-three feet in length to the altar screen, above which rises to the roof the large east window, twenty-seven feet high, and thirteen feet and a half in width, which was put up about forty years since. The transepts are ninety-six feet in length, from north to south, and thirty-two feet and a half in width, and are partly in the decorated and partly in the later style of English architecture. The present internal arrangement, which is rendered necessary from the want of a parish church, differs materially from that of cathedrals in general. The organ screen is placed across the nave, nearly in the centre, dividing it into two portions, of which the eastern is connected with the choir, and contains the bishop's throne and family pew, and the prebendal stalls, which are of highly enriched tabernacle work. The prebendal stalls are ranged in this portion of the nave, twelve on each side, commencing from the organ screen, and the remainder, together with the choir and the transepts, is regularly pewed and fitted up for divine service. The western portion of the nave is appropriated to the performance of morning and evening service, every Sunday, in the Welsh language, according to the usual ceremonies of the church; in addition to which there are two full cathedral services in the choir, which are performed in the English language. The whole length of the cathedral is two hundred and fourteen feet, and its breadth along the transepts ninety-six feet ; the tower is sixty feet high, and, but for the premature death of Bishop Skeffington, would have been raised to the height of one hundred and twenty feet. There are few monuments of importance, either for their antiquity or for their architectural character; the tomb of the renowned Grufydd ab Cynan, King of North Wales, on the left side of the altar, was formerly surmounted by a shrine, which was destroyed during the parliamentary War ; and under an arch at the south end of the transept is the effigy, in stone, of his successor, Owain Gwynedd, recumbent on a sarcophagus ornamented with a cross fleury. Several of the bishops have been interred in the cathedral, but there is nothing worthy of notice in the small monuments whch have been raised to their memory. A gravestone marks the place of interment of William Wynne, M. A., author of a history of Wales, chiefly compiled from the chronicles of Caradoc of Llancarvan. The north aisle of the choir has been separated from the remainder, to serve the purposes of a chapter-house, consistorial court, and library : in the last is preserved a manuscript of Bishop Anian, forming a folio volume of moderate size, entitled Liber Pontificalis Dni Anniani Bangor Episcopi, containing a missal, which, in addition to the rubric, includes thirty-two offices and numerous anthems set to music for the use of the cathedral of Bangor and other churches. This volume appears to have been drawn up by the bishop about the year 1291, and to have formed one of those provincial diversities in the mode of performing the service of the church, which were prohibited by the statute of Uniformity, in the preamble of which it is expressly named. During the commotions in the time of Owain Glyndwr, this volume was lost, but was restored to the church by Bishop Ednam, in 1485 ; and during the occupation of the cathedral by the parliamentary troops, in the reign of Charles I., it was again carried away, but was afterwards recovered by Bishop Humphreys. The episcopal palace, in which Mr. Pennant, in 1770, observes that "the prelate is indifferently lodged," was, after its previous demolitions, almost entirely rebuilt by Bishop Skeffington, in the early part of the sixteenth century ; it was much improved by Bishop Warren, and other alterations and additions have since been made by his successor, Dr. Majendie. The deanery, a handsome building to the north-west of the cathedral, and adjoining the cemetery, was erected towards the close of the seventeenth century.

The parish of Bangor, of which the city forms but a small portion, was united with that of Pentir previously to the year 1402, when the latter was wrested from it by the abbot of Valle Crucis, who, in 1444, was compelled to restore it, and they were re-united, but again separated at the Reformation : in an action tried at Shrewsbury, however, in 1657, they were again re-united, and have ever since been reputed to form one parish, of which Pentir is considered only a township, and to which its church is now deemed a chapel of ease. The tithes of the whole are equally divided between the vicars choral, who perform the parochial duty, previously to which arrangement, the vicars were accustomed to begin the service in the choir, and, after proceeding to the first lesson for the day, in the English language, to retire to the nave and finish the service in the Welsh language. The living is thus a consolidated comportionate vicarage, not in charge, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Bangor, and in the patronage of the Bishop.

Of the ancient parochial church, founded. by Edgar, and dedicated to St. Mary, not a single fragment is remaining. The site of an old chapel was sold, some years since, and the money applied to the redemption of the land-tax : a house has been built near the church on another plot of ground, as a vicarage-house, in which one of the vicars resides. There are places of Worship for Baptists, Independents, and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists.

The free grammar school was founded in 1557, by Geoffrey Glynn, L.L.D., advocate of the court of Arches, and brother to Dr. William Glynn, Bishop of Bangor, who bequeathed the friary house, with all its appurtenances, and all his lands in North Wales, or elsewhere, in trust to the bishops of Bangor and Rochester, and their successors for its foundation and endowment, and also £ 400 in money, to be invested in the purchase of land, of the yearly value of £20, to be divided equally among ten poor scholars on the foundation. The trustees dying before the intentions of the testator could be carried into effect, the completion of the design devolved upon Sir William Petre and others, who, with the concurrence of the bishop, determined upon the statutes and regulations for its government, which were drawn up by Dr. Alexander Nowell, Dean of St. Paul's, and the school was established by letters patent in the third year of the reign of Elizabeth. The revenue arising from the endowment is £230. 13. 10.; there are at present about forty day pupils, but the school is free for one hundred boys, being " poor men's children ;" and the master has the privilege of taking boarders. Two scholarships were founded in Jesus' College, Oxford, by Bishop Rowlands, in 1609, to which, after his own kindred, the scholars of Bangor and Beaumaris have the preference. The ancient friary was formerly appropriated to the use of this establishment, but early in the present century it was taken down and a hand-some brick building erected upon its site, comprising a good house, with twenty acres of land adjoining it, for the head master, a house with land for the usher, and a commodious school-room, to which a play-ground is attached.

Bishop Rowlands also bequeathed an estate for the endowment of an almshouse, which he had founded during his lifetime, for six single men, of whom one was to be of the parish of Penmynydd, two from those of Aberdaron and Meylltyrn, and the rest from the town and parish of Bangor, and the parishes of Llangrystiolys and Amlwch, to each of whom were allowed two shillings per week, and six yards of frieze annually for clothing: these almshouses have been re-built, upon an enlarged scale, on the south side of the cemetery of the cathedral, and afford two rooms to each of the inmates, who, from the increased value of the land, receive each seven shillings per week, with a suit of clothes annually, and a proper supply of bedding, linen, and coal. In addition to these, the same benefactor bequeathed £100 for the repair of the cathedral; and Dean Jones, in 1719, gave £ 100 for purchasing an altar-piece, the whole of his books to the chapter library, and £ 100 towards the establishment of a permanent parochial school for poor children. A National school for boys, and another for girls, were erected in 1822, by subscription, aided by a grant of £ 90 from the society in London : in these schools, which are adapted to the reception of three hundred children, one hundred and fourteen boys, and one hundred and nine girls, are at present gratuitously instructed. Another National school, in which seventy-five children are taught, was built at Vaenol, in this parish, in 1816, by subscription, aided by a grant of £30 from the society; and a third has been erected at the village of Pentir, near the church, containing about sixty scholars. An infant school has been recently established, which is well supported and promises to be highly beneficial.

At a short distance from the town, on the London road, is the Carnarvonshire and Anglesey Loyal dispensary, instituted in 1809, in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the accession of George III. to the throne, as a testimony of loyalty and affection to their sovereign, by a party of gentlemen, who had determined to celebrate that day by the establishment of some permanent charity, and finally resolved upon building a dispensary for gratuitously supplying the poor with medical and surgical assistance. A substantial and commodious building has been erected for the purpose, and the benefits of the institution, under the conduct of proper officers, are extensively and advantageously administered. The whole expense of the establishment is liberally defrayed by subscription among the gentry resident in the neighbourhood.

A house of friars preachers was founded here prior to the year 1276, and was probably enlarged or rebuilt about the year 1299, by Tudor ab Gronow, Lord of Penmynydd and Trecastle, who, from that circumstance has been commonly regarded its founder, and who was interred in the chapel of that establishment, in 1311: in the seventh of Edward VI., the site was granted to Thomas Brown and William Breton, and it subsequently became the property of Dr. Geoffrey Glynn, who bequeathed it, with other possessions, as above related, for the endowment of the free grammar school.

Of the castle erected near the city, by the Earl of Chester, there are only some slight vestiges : a few traces of the walls may be discerned, which appear to have extended one hundred and twenty yards on the south-east, and about sixty-six yards on the south-west, terminating in a precipice ; on the north-east they appear to have extended for more than forty yards, and on the north-west the natural strength of its situation rendered any other defence unnecessary. The average annual expenditure for the maintenance of the poor is £ 1438. 12.



PENTIR, formerly a parish of itself, now consolidated with that of Bangor, to which it has become a township, in the hundred of ISGORVAI, county of CARNARVON, NORTH WALES, 4 miles (S.) from Bangor. The population is returned with Bangor. This place, which is situated among hills, after being repeatedly united to, and separated from, the parish of Bangor, was at length finally consolidated with it by the result of an action tried at Shrewsbury, in 1657, at the suit of Meredith v. Maurice. The living, formerly a vicarage not in charge, is now annexed to that of Bangor, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Bangor : the tithes belong to the vicars choral of Bangor cathedral. A National school was established here in 1812, and is supported by subscription : about fifty children are gratuitously instructed, and, as there is no school-house, are taught in the church.

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