Caernarfon / Caernarvon


"CARNARVON, (or Caernarvon), a market town, port, municipal and parliamentary borough, in the parish of Llanbeblig, hundred of Is-Gorfai, in the county of Carnarvon, of which it is the chief town. It is 235 miles to the N.W. of London by road, or 240 miles by railway. It is a post town, and is now connected with the Chester and Holyhead, and with the London and North-Western railways, by a branch line of about 9 miles from Bangor. Carnarvon is pleasantly situated on the E. side of the Menai Strait, where the river Seiont falls into it. Close by is the site of the Roman station Segontium, the most important in North Wales, and which was also named Caer Custeint, or "fort of Constantine," and Caer-yn-Arvon, from its situation opposite to Mona, the Isle of Anglesey. Watling Street connected Segontium with Deva (Chester)." [From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]


Archives & Libraries

Caernarfon Library Collection 1822-1988 - details of extant records on Archives Network Wales
"Caernarfon Town Library was opened in 1884 by the Borough of Caernarfon ........"




Business & Commerce Records

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Evan Jones & Son, Caernarfon, records 1869-1957 
    "The firm (Evan Jones a'i Fab) was an ironmongers, motor engineers and cycle agent, based in Caernarfon. Evan Jones also had business premises at Ebeneser and Penygroes, Caernarfonshire..."
  • Griffith Jones, Solicitor, Caernarfon, papers 1822-1947
    "The firm was primarily concerned with conveyancing, mortgages and leases, dealing with properties in Caernarfonshire and Anglesey...."
  • Poole, solicitors, of Caernarfon, papers 1521-1936
    "The firm of Messrs Poole, solicitors, was based in Caernarfon.It was established by Richard Poole (fl. 1771-1812) of Beaumaris, Anglesey......."


This unofficial census of Caernarfon was taken on 10 June 1794 by Richard Griffith - on the People's Collection Wales site


Church History

Church and chapel data from The Religious census of 1851 : A Calendar of the returns relating to Wales, Vol 11, North Wales. Ed. by Ieuan Gwynedd Jones, UWP, 1981. The names given towards the end of each entry are those of the informants.

  • Rees, Thomas & John Thomas. Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru (History of the Welsh Independent Churches), 4 volumes (published 1871+). Here is the entry from this book for Caernarfon   chapel (in Welsh )  - with translation by Eleri Rowlands (March 2010)              Also Salem chapel - with translation by Eleri Rowlands (June 2010)

Various items - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Capel Noddfa - yr hen gapel sinc  
  • Castle Square Presbyterian Church, Caernarfon
  • The First Methodist chapel called "The Foundry"

Church Records

Joyce Hinde has supplied a list of Parish Registers held at the Caernarfon Area Record Office.

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Records from the Calvinistic Methodist Bookroom, Caernarvon 1837-1977      "The Connexion as a whole met as a General Assembly. Caernarfon lay within the Arfon Prebsytery, and was the base of the Calvinistic Methodist Book Agency, printers and book distributors, and the Calvinistic Methodist Bookroom (Llyfrfa Methodistiaid). The Bookroom became the place of deposits for many papers relating to Calvinistic Methodism, including both church records and private papers ........"
  • Castle Square Presbyterian Church, Caernarfon, records 1844-1983    "..........built in c. 1882. It was a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, later known as the Presbyterian Church of Wales.....
  • Moriah Chapel (CM), Caernarfon, records  1800-1976
  • John Williams, Solicitor, Caernarfon Archive
    "Including; St. Mary's Church, Caernarfon papers, 1784-1831; Caernarfon Church Guild general administration and financial records, 1902-1911; Christchurch Sunday School, Caernarfon 1894-1904....."

Description & Travel

A Castle Wales site -  Caernarfon Castle

Journey to the past - Caernarfon & castle

People's Collection Wales site - Caernarfon Castle

Caernarfon - on Wikipedia

Various landscapes/seascapes and items below - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Extent of the Counties of Caernarfon, Anglesey (1352) and Merioneth (c. 1400)
You can see pictures of Caernarfon / Caernarvon which are provided by:





Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Owen, Evan, confectioner, of Caernarfon, family correspondence 1890-1964 
  • Papers of the Thomas Family, People's Café, Caernarfon [ c. 1730]-1971
    "Robert Thomas ([1842]-1906) was the son of John Thomas, a sailor. He himself was for many years a ship's carpenter. He married Margaret Ann Pritchard and returned to live in Caernarfon, working as a builder. The family lived at the People's Café, Castle Square, Caernarfon....."
  • Trevor Roberts, Solicitors: Jones, John, papers 1813-1951
    "John Jones (fl. 1876-1899), of Minafon, North Road, Caernarfon, was a wine and spirit merchant...."

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Caernarfon / Caernarvon has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



Carnarvon Traders -  this most useful site by Keith Morris contains complete transcriptions of the Caernarfon sections of over 20 Trade Directories dating from 1791 to 1948; full transcriptions of the 1794 Caernarfon Town Census and the 1841 Borough Election Canvass Book; and other miscellaneous items including a biographies section.

Jones, G. O., papurau (papers) 1842-1982  - details of extant records on Archives Network Wales
"G. O. Jones of Ael-y-Garth, Caernarfon  was the headmaster of Caernarfon Free School and of Maesincla Junior School, Caernarfon. He also researched the history of Caernarfon and churches in the parish of Llanbeblig, most notably St Mary's Church and Christ Church. He wrote pamphlets on their histories..........."

Various items   - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • News clippings about Unemployed March to Caernarfon and 2 photographs 1958
  • Account of costs regarding repairs to County Hall, Caernarfon, 1735
  • Investiture of Charles as Prince of Wales, Caernarfon Castle, 1969
  • 'Caernarfon Castle, Market Day' by J. J. Dodd, 1861
  • This news clipping from 1960 concerns Caernarvon Town Council's heated debate on whether married women should be employed at the Borough Council.

Law & Legislation

Various items  - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Bill of costs of the Carnarvon [Caernarfon] County Gaol, dated 5 October 1787
  • An Inventory of the County effects at the Caernarfon County Goal, 8 March 1852
  • Staff the County Goal, Caernarfon, c.1900
  • Rules etc. for the use of the Caernarfon County Police, 1857 
  • General Account and Statement of the Income and Expenditure of the Carnarvonshire Old Turnpike Trust, 1841
  • This letter, dated 27 March 1835, was sent to the sitting magistrates at Caernarfon from Owen Owens, a prisoner at Caernarfon Goal. Owens makes an application for a new pair of shoes since he has worn out his present pair working 'on the tread mill'.
  • Letter from Robert Arthur Jones, surgeon of the County Goal, Caernarfon, 27 May 1870 . This letter was sent by Robert Arthur Jones, surgeon at the County Gaol, Caernarfon, to the magistrates of the town. Jones refers to the proposed new dietary table at the gaol and the suggestion of Dr Briscoe, Inspector of Prisons for the Southern District, as to the need to increase the amount of meat which prisoners received in their soup.
  • Jury Panel with Presentment, n.d.
  • Presentment by the jurors of all Roman Catholics, or Papists within the County, and that Marmaduke Horshey 'is one of that sort', that the draw bridge in the town of Caernarvon is in decay; that some of them had taken a view of a pit or hole between Croes Beblig and Pont y Saint 'and doe find it in full repayre and lately well rectified that the causeway between Pont y Colomendy and Pont y Saint is in decay, and may 'indanger future travellers or men that passe that way'.dd 8 August 1652
  • Presentment of Robert ap David ap Grono of Caernarfon, yeoman, for stealing a pack of lime [or spurs] worth 10d. of Roger ap Griffith ap John, at Caernarfon. Appended [in another hand]: NOTE that R. ap D. ap G. is to be put in the stocks.
    Endorsed: NOTE: 'Billa vera'.dd 18 Dec 1563
  • Warrant for apprehension and for taking sureties for appearance at next sessions of Sybyll, wife of Hugh John ap Hugh of Caernarfon, smith, on the information of Jonett, wife of John Rowland of Caernarfon, weaver, that she stands in fear of assault from the said Hugh John ap Hugh.dd 28 Dec 1660
  • This list of persons unlawfully playing games reads as follows: 'John ap Ieuan ap Robert, David ap Ieuan ap Hywel, David ap Morgan ap David ap Hywel ap Ieuan, David ap Robert ap John, John ap Rhys ap Llywelyn Wethe, Hugh ap David ap Ieuan ap Rhys and Lewis ap Richard "qui luserunt ad cardes et tables etc". Footnote: irrotulatur.' dd c.1540-1550s
  • Warrant to the constables of the hundred of Iscorvair [Is Gwyrfai] and to the petty constables and churchwardens of the several parishes within Iscorvair [Is Gwyrfai], to summon and warn all persons who have sold either ale and beer to appear before the justices at Carn[ar]von on Monday 10 May. They are also to furnish a note of all alehouses within the parish.Endorsed: Note that the warrant has been executed.dd 1 May 1652
  • Return of alehouse keepers and of 'poore people that [brued] one measure of once or twise to relieve themselves being in debt', in parish of Dwygyfylchy [Dwygyfylchi]. dd 1652
  • Petition of Thomas Wyn[ne?] gent., imprisoned for refusing to take his oath that he is neither priest nor Jesuit. He appeals that he may be freed on the taking of this oath, and on the taking of the oath of abjuration.dd 1650s
  • There are many more similar documents available to view on the on the People's Collection Wales site


Gwynedd Family History Society have a diagram of the ecclesiastical parishes of Caernarfonshire (under Parishes)

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SH479628 (Lat/Lon: 53.140578, -4.275363), Caernarfon / Caernarvon which are provided by:


Merchant Marine

Caernarfon Harbour Trust

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Caernarfon Harbour Trust Records [ c. 1682]-1983 
    "The Caernarfon Harbour Trust was established in 1793 and is the authority responsible for the control of navigation and the provision and maintenance of navigational aids in the area from Britannia Bridge to Caernarfon Bay......"
  • Caernarfon Royal Naval Reserve & Coastguard Records 1856-1907 
    "....... the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) was formed in 1859, organised into units known as batteries. It comprised merchant seamen, both officers and ratings, and fishermen; it was later supplemented by retired naval seamen. The Coastguard Service was formed in 1822 and administered by the Admiralty from 1856 to 1923"
  • H.M. Customs and Excise Records 1793-1984   "HM Customs and Excise are responsible for the collection of duties payable to the Crown, on the import and export of goods and on their manufacture....."
  • Papers of Captain John Hughes, Brigydon, East Twthill, Caernarfon 1868-1939   "...he was master of the barques Altair and the Inverness during the early 20th century. The Inverness was lost while on a voyage to New Zealand in 1918, but Captain Hughes was absolved of blame. Following the incident he became master of several other vessels, including the S. S. Ravenspoint. He had a son, Jack Hughes, who was also a Captain"
  • Papers of Captain William Jones of the Albion Inn, Chapel Street, Caernarfon, later of the Castle Hotel, High Street, Pwllheli 1842-1905   "....he served on a number of ships including William Henry of Carenarfon, Telegraph of London, Lizzie Hobley of Liverpool, and Boaz of Caernarfon, between 1869 and 1875. Jones owned the Albion Inn, Caernarfon and, from 1887, the Castle Hotel, later the Castle Inn, Pwllheli ..."
  • Captain Thomas Papers 1757-1971   "Captain T. Rees Thomas (fl. 1921-1959) was Harbour Master of Caernarfon Harbour...."
  • Trevor Roberts, Solicitors: Caernarfon Harbour Trust records 1723-1949
    "The Caernarfon Harbour Trust was established in 1793 and is the authority responsible for the control of navigation and the provision and maintenance of navigational aids in the area from Britannia Bridge to Caernarfon Bay. It is also the competent Harbour Authority responsible for the provision of pilotage throughout the Menai Strait......"

Various items  - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Fort Belan, Caernarfon c1900 
  • Captain Rees Griffiths and his crew aboard the Wanlock, 1881. This ship used to sail between Bardsey island and the mainland.

Military History

Various items  - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Private Morris Hughes, 88 Pool St, Caernarfon on enlistment in 1915 with the Royal Garrison Artillery (Welsh Battery Caernarfon). He was a Butcher before enlisting and lost his leg during the war. 
  • A newspaper cutting from the Caernarfon & Denbigh Herald 22/9/1916is about Griffith Williams from Beddgelert who was taken POW by the Germans in WW1. He was in the Royal Field Artillery and held in poor POW conditions in Germany. He returned home to Beddgelert in 1919
  • Petition of Edward Edward, to the justices, that he be granted the allowance of a maimed soldier as he has a wife and three small children to support. He says he lately served under Colonel Thomas Massan, late governor of Caernarfon, until he was disbanded with the rest of the Company. Appended: Note that the petitioner is to be allowed £5 a year for his pension. dd 1652
  • Red Cross nurses during First World War parade at Caernarfon
  • WW1 Roadshow - Caernarfon
  • Caernarfon War Memorial
  • Numerous other WW1 items available to view  - on the People's Collection Wales site


A List of Trades - on the Carnarvon Traders site. A database of tradespeople extracted from directories published from 1791 through to 1965

Various items  - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Builders at Y Glyn, Caernarfon, c.1932 
  • Workers at Ty Coch foundry, Caernarfon, during the First World War
  • Workmen building the sea-wall at Caernarfon, 1919
  • The inside of Kaylor Compacts Factory with women at work, Caernarfon 1950s

Politics & Government

This is a 'Canvass Book' for the town of Caernarfon in the Caernarfon Boroughs Election of 1841 when William Bulkeley Hughes defeated Captain Charles Paget by 405 votes to 385. The canvasser was clearly campaigning on behalf of Bulkeley Hughes and some of his remarks - made after the polling - are interesting and, at times, piquant.  - on the People's Collection Wales site


Poor Houses, Poor Law

Carnarvon Workhouse - on Peter Higginbotham's site

Caernarvon Union records - details of extant records on Archives Network Wales
"Include ; Records of the Caernarvon Union, 1842-1946, comprising records of the Clerk to the Guardians, 1881-1931; Workhouse Master's records, 1842-1946; Relieving Officer's records, 1887-1940; records relating to births, marriages and deaths, 1871-1941 etc etc...."


Probate Records

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Miscellaneous papers in Caernarfon Probate Office 1709-1954
    "Caernarfon Probate Office was established in 1858, taking over responsibility for the proving of wills from the Diocese of Bangor..............."

Public Records

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Records and Papers of the Borough of Caernarfon 1468-1974
    "The Borough of Caernarfon was awarded its Charter of Incorporation by Edward I in 1284, following his conquest of Gwynedd................"
  • Trevor Roberts, Solicitors: Shrievalty records 1913-1914
    "Trevor Roberts (alive 1913-1946), Solicitor, of Caernarfon, was appointed Under-Sheriff of the county of Caernarfonshire in 1913...."


 Various items  - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Pages from Caernarvon British School Log Book, 1863-81 
  • National School, Carnarvon

Social Life & Customs

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Caernarfon Town Football Club, papers 1945-1962 
    "The first organised football team in Caernarfon was the Carnarvon Athletic Club, founded in 1876. The present Caernarfon Town Football Club (Clwb Pel-Droed Tref Caernarfon) ('The Canaries') was founded in 1937....."
  • Caernarvon Liberal Club records and collection of Caernarfon papers 1782-1951 (accumulated [1888]-[1951])
    "Caernarfon Liberal Club was established by 1888...."

Various items  - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Caernarfon National Eisteddfod Proclamation Ceremony in 1893. 
  • Cor Cwmni Crosville Caernarfon ac aelodau eraill o Ddyffryn Nantlle.
  • Caernarfon National Eisteddfod Poster, 1906
  • Talsarn Celts football team, 1922-23
  • Notice to the people of Caernarfon regarding a day of prayer for the ending of the cholera epidemic, 20 December 1866
  • Carnarvon Celts (football), 26 December 1903
  • Caernarfon Ironopolis football team, 1900 & 1890s
  • Caernarfon United, c.1900
  • A Hockey Team from the Caernarfon area, c.1920s
  • Carnarvon Rechabites Football Club, 1921