"ABERYSTWITH(ABER-YSTWYTH), a sea-port, borough, market town, and chapelry, in the parish of LLAN BADARN-VAWR,locally, in the lower division of the hundred of GENEU'R, GLYN, county of CARDIGAN, SOUTH WALES, 38 miles (N.E.) from Cardigan, and 208 (W. N.W.) from London, containing 4128 inhabitants. This place, from its having been fortified at a very early period, and also forming part of the ancient parish of Llanbadarn Vawr, was originally called Llan-Badarn Gaerog; whilst the small ancient village of Aber-ystwith was situated to the west of it, on ground now covered by the sea, and on the bank of the Ystwyth, into which river the Rheidol probably emptied itself, at some distance from the ocean...." [From Samuel Lewis's A Topographical Dictionary of Wales 1833]


Although Aberystwyth is a chapelry within Llanbadarn Fawr parish it has its own content below


Archives & Libraries

Various items  - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • National Library of Wales
  • Black and white, oblique aerial photograph of the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth. The photograph shows the view from the South East, before the main West facade was built and also showing the library's allotment gardens, now covered by a car park.
  • Llyfrgell Ceredigion, Aberystwyth

Business & Commerce Records

Held at the NLW ;

  • Aberystwyth Corn and General Market Co., records covering the period of its existence, 1870-1922.
  • Records of Messrs Thomas & Roberts, later Richard Roberts & Sons, timber merchants, Aberystwyth, 1855-1916.

Held at Ceredigion Archives;

  • Papers of John Morgan, printer of Aberystwyth and others 1850-1923.

The Queen's Hotel, Aberystwith  - on the People's Collection Wales site

Darlington, Elizabeth. High Street Photographers in Aberystwyth 1857-c 1900. National Library of Wales journal, Vol XXV, No 4 [Winter 1988].

Lewis, W J. The Anchor Smelting Company, Aberystwyth 1786-1792. Ceredigion, iv 2 : 129-35 (1961) Rees, Eiluned. The Sales-Book of Samuel Williams, Aberystwyth Printer.Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol X , No 3, 1986.

Rees, Eiluned. The sales book of Samuel Williams, Aberystwyth printer  (NLW's site)   Ceredigion X   Also Part 2



The Benjamin Indexes
These are held at Ceredigion Archives who are prepared to carry out a reasonable search , they are transcripts (& indexes) of the census for Aberystwyth and North Cardiganshire, prepared by the late Mr.Benjamin, and deposited at various locations including that office. They are very good transcripts, and represent a massive amount of work - inevitably there are a few small mistakes, but they are generally useful and accurate. They cover the period 1841-1881 and include the parishes of Llanbadarn Fawr, Llanfihangel y Creuddyn, Llanfihangel Geneu'r-glyn, Llancynfelyn, (bits of ) Llanbadarn y Creuddyn, Lanychaearn, Llanafan and others.
Also, the 1891 census for Aberystwyth only has been transcribed by William Howells, the County Librarian, and is also available at Ceredigion Archives .

Benjamin, E. Alwyn.   Aberystwyth Borough : A demographic study of the 1841 census (NLW's site) Ceredigion, ix 2 : 135-49 (1981)



There are more than 30 churches identified in this place. Please click here for a complete list.

Church History

Some church and chapel data from The Religious census of 1851 : A Calendar of the returns relating to Wales, Vol 1, South Wales. Ed. by   I.G   Jones, & D. Williams. UWP,   Cardiff, 1976. The names are those of the informants. The coverage is for 'Aberystwyth Borough Chapelry' being part of Llanbadarn Fawr parish

  • St Michael's Chapel, Aberystwyth    Rebuilt & enlarged in 1833     Average attendance -  morning (English) 700 + 60 scholars, afternoon (Welsh) 320, evening  (English) 450 "The English and Welsh congregations are quite distinct"      J Hughes, Vicar of Llanbadarn Fawr
  • A Licensed School House, Chapelry of Aberystwyth      "It is neither church nor chapel, therefore no person is consecrated cause to be Licensed Because the Welsh part of the population had no place to assemble for divine worship on Sunday evenings.  It was erected above 50 or 60 years of age.........."   J Hughes, Incumbent of Aberystwyth

Parish entry for Aberystwyth St Michael from The Welsh Church Year Book, 1929 (Cd by Archive CD Books).

  • St Michael & St Mary
  • Incumbent and Curates; D Williams (A J Bartlett, A T Richards)
  • Rural Deanery of Llanbadarn Fawr
  • Acreage 845 ; Population 6,027
  • Parish entry for Aberystwyth Holy Trinity from The Welsh Church Year Book, 1929 (Cd by Archive CD Books).

  • Holy Trinity
  • Incumbent and Curates; T A Roberts (E G Jones)
  • Rural Deanery of Llanbadarn Fawr
  • Acreage ---; Population 4,748

Aberystwyth St Michael parish was formed out of Llanbadarn Fawr in 1787, and Aberystwyth Holy Trinity from Llanbadarn Fawr in 1886.

Holy Trinity, Aberystwyth - photograph on  Dyfed FHS

St Anne, Penparcau - photograph on  Dyfed FHS

St Michael's Church, Aberystwyth - photograph on  Dyfed FHS

See  Chapels database

Various items  - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Black and White photograph showing St Pauls Welsh Methodist chapel, Great Darkgate Street, Aberystwyth. 
  • A list of trustees of the new Welsh Wesleyan Chapel, Aberystwyth, 31 October 1878
  • Sunday and weekly schedule of the Weslyan preachers in the Aberystwyth circuit, 1878-9
  • Poster advertising the laying of the memorial stones at the new Welsh Chapel, Aberystwyth on Thursday, 31 October 1878
  • 'The Methodist Recorder', 13 September 1878
  • 'Yr Eugrawn Wesleyaidd', October 1878 
  • 'Y Winllan', October 1878 
  • The Tabernacle, Aberystwyth
  • Holy Trinity Church, Aberystwyth
  • St. Michael's Church
  • St Michael's church interior, Aberystwyth

Butler, Noel. You are my witnesses : a history of St. Michaels and All Angels Church Aberystwyth.1990

Jones, Ieuan Gwynedd. Religion and Politics; The Re-Building of St Michael's Church, Aberystwyth (NLW's site)   Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol VII, No 2, 1973.

Jones, Janet. Holy Trinity Church Aberystwyth : the first one hundred years 1886-1986.Aberystwyth, 1986

Machin, G I T.  A Welsh Church Rate fracas, Aberystwyth 1832-3   (NLW's site)    Welsh History Review 6

Morgan, TO. Our Lady's Mill and the demolished Chapel of St Mary, Aberystwyth. Arch Camb, 1854

Ross, Jane. A light upon the road. Named Person: Hughes, John, 1787-1860. Geographic: Aberystwyth Church history 19th century (Methodist).   1989.

Samuel, David. Old churches of Aberystwyth.   Wales, Vol III

Taylor, Clare. Brief Aspects of the History of St Michael's, Aberystwyth (NLW's site)   Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol VI, No 4, 1971.


Church Records

See Notes on Church/Chapel Records page

Parish Register;
Baptisms 1788-1961 [St Mary 1908-91]. Marriages 1804-6, 1861-1971 [Banns 1861-1942] and [St Anne 1971-92]. Burials 1791-1906, 1911-20 NLW. Copies of main dates at Cer.RO

Bishops Transcripts;
1811, 1813-14, 1816-19, 1822-74, 1876, 1878-80, 1882, 1885-7  NLW

I.G.I; Baptisms 1811-74

Nonconformist Chapels;      See Chapels database

See parish register and borough cemetery data on FreeReg

Aberystwyth, Holy Trinity parish [formed out of Llanbadarn Fawr 1886]
Parish Register;
Baptisms 1886-1976. Marriages 1887-1974. Burials 1886-1928 NLW/Cer.RO

Held at the NLW ;
Records of St Michael's Church and  St Mary's Welsh Church, within period 1762-1933.

Index to Burials from Parish Registers 1813-1837 available for purchase from  Cardiganshire Family History Society
Volume 1: Genau'r Glyn Hundred. Parishes covered: Aberystwyth St Michael, Eglwys Fach, Llanbadarn Fawr, Llanfihangel Genau'r Glyn, Llangynfelyn, Ysbyty Cynfyn.

Cardiganshire Family History Society - Index to deaths and burials in Cardiganshire from non-conformist records is available on fiche. Check details on their site, for this parish includes ; Bethel (Baptist,1798-1810); Portland St (Ind., 1877-1969); St Paul (Wes.Meth., 1906-1932); Salem (Cal.Meth., 1930-1954); Seilo (Cal.Meth., 1921-26); Tabernacl (Cal.Meth., 1827-96); Wesleyan, Queen's Rd (Wes.Meth., 1870-1949).


Description & Travel

The Religious census of 1851 : A Calendar of the returns relating to Wales, Vol 1, South Wales., by Jones, I.G. & Williams, D. UWP, Cardiff, 1976. These statistics for this parish are extracted from this book which in turn got them from the 1851 census itself;

  • Aberystwyth Borough: Chapelry; Area 734 acres; Population 2284 males, 2905 females, total 5189

Aberystwyth, St Michael parish was formed out of Llanbadarn Fawr in 1787

Postcards and photographs, Penparcau and Rhydyfelin; On Ceredigion Archives/Catalogues with photographs, postcards

Photograph of an Aberystwyth shop in 1910; On Ceredigion Archives/Catalogues with photographs, postcards

Postcards of Aberystwyth and surroundings; On Ceredigion Archives/Catalogues with photographs, postcards

Journey to the past - Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth Castle - on Castle Wales

Aberystwyth Castle - on Wikipedia

Aberystwyth Today - Cambrian News site

Various items  - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Various landscapes
  • Multiple railway/train related items
  • Aberystwyth Castle

Aberystwyth. [Archive Photographic Series]. Aberystwyth Postcard Club, 1996

Aberystwyth a Gogledd Ceredigion : mewn hen luniau .(Aberystwyth and North Ceredigion: in old photographs) Collected by Dyfed Cultural Services Department. Stroud , 1992 . Here is an index by David Rowlands.

Barber, Jill . Aberystwyth history trails, Vols1-3 Aberystwyth , 1988

Beynon, Oswald. Old Aberystwyth: a century of change, 1782-1882. Welsh Gazette 1937(24 June, 1 July, 15 July)

Carter, H. Aberystwyth: the modern development of a medieval castle town in Wales. Trans. Inst. Brt. Geographers, 1958

Dobson, M R. The Aberystwyth District. Geologists' Assoc, 1995

Evans, Evan. Old Aberystwyth. Trans. Cards. Antiq. Soc. V, 1927 Welsh Journals Online

Fleure, HJ. An outline story of our neighbourhood. Aberystwyth Studies, Vol IV

Harris, Marise. Old town Aberystwyth. Aberystwyth , 1994

Heywood, John. John Heywood's Illustrated guide to Aberystwyth . 1891 [?]

Hunt & Co.'s Directory & Topography for the cities of Gloucester & Bristol, and the towns of ...... Aberystwith, ........Lampeter.............. London, 1849

Lloyd, T Alwyn "Aberystwyth of the future" Trans. Cards. Antiq. Soc. V, 1927 Welsh Journals Online

Morgan, Thomas Owen. New Guide to Aberystwyth and its Environs. 3rd ed. Aberystwyth, 1858. pp177, 9 p of adverts.

Prichard, T. J. Llewelyn. The new Aberystwyth guide ... Aberystwyth : Lewis Jones, 1824

Samuel, David. Old Aberystwyth.(Reprinted from the "Aberystwyth Observer). Aberystwyth: 1890

Sanders, IJ. The Boroughs of Aberystwyth and Cardigan in the early fourteenth century. B. Board. Celtic Stud, Vol XV

So, C.L. Background to Coastal Changes around Aberystwyth (NLW's site) Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol VI, No 3, 1970.

The Rheidol valley. Aberystwyth, Devil's Bridge. [With illustrations.]. Jarrold & Sons: Norwich, 1967

Troughton, William. Aberystwyth . Publication: 1989. Series: A Portrait in old picture postcards

Troughton, William. Of Maranhao and chattering monkeys (NLW's site) Ceredigion XIV

Troughton, William. Aberystwyth Voices Tempus Oral History Series 2000. The book is very much a recollection of life in Aberystwyth during the first half of the 20th century and full of anecdotes by and about, people and life in Aber during that time. Here is an index by Lynne Kleingertner.

You can see pictures of Aberystwyth which are provided by:



Aberystwyth 1816 directory ; searches within  their Research Service from   Cardiganshire Family History Society

Pigot & Co. South Wales Directory for 1830. Here are some Extracts relating to 'Aberystwith with Llanbadarn Fawr and neighbourhoods'.

Pigot & Co. South Wales Directory for 1844. Here are some Extracts relating to 'Aberystwith with Llanbadarn Fawr and neighbourhoods'.


Emigration & Immigration

Held at the NLW ;
-Letters home from Jack Edwards, later a bookseller in Aberystwyth, most written from Cincinnati, Ohio, 1880-7.[MS 20995, see also MSS 14741-96]



The transcription of the section for Aberystwyth from The National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.

Description of the parish of Aberystwyth from A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (1833) by Samuel Lewis.



Cardiganshire Families

Photograph album belonging to the Rowlands family who kept a butcher's shop in North Parade, Aberystwyth between the two World Wars;  On Ceredigion Archives/Catalogues with photographs, postcards

Photograph album of the Hallworth family.  On Ceredigion Archives/Catalogues with photographs, postcards

  • "The Hallworths had a draper's shop at 22 Bridge Street, Aberystwyth (now the Wash'n Spin'n Dry launderette), and the Eagle Garage at the top end of nearby Gray's Inn Road, the doors of which still remain. The drapery business is listed in Kelly's Directory of 1922."

Held at Ceredigion Archives;

  • Items relating to the life of Frank Evans of Aberystwyth, a Cardiganshire man imprisoned by the Japanese in WWII and who later wrote a book called Roll Call at Oeyama and forged links of friendship between Aberystwyth and Japan.
  • Documents and ephemera concerning the late Laura Roberts of Aberystwyth C20.
  • Lady Visitors' Book for the Joseph and Jane Downie's Bequest 1889-1957

Davies, J R. Two Aberystwyth Benefactors (Henry Benson & Joseph Downie)  (NLW's site) Ceredigion Vol II

Mattes, Glenda. The Killing Family in Wales; Part II . [partly Aberystwyth]. Cardiganshire FHS journals Vol  2 no 2/3  June/Oct 1999.

Rowlands, John. Aberystwyth and the King's Shilling; A Study of a Local Family.   Cardiganshire FHS journal, Vol3/1, Feb 2002. A study of a family named Warrington in the Aberystwyth/Llanbadarn fawr area.

Watts, Ann. Tomos. Dyfed FHS journal Vol 8/1, Dec 2002. About William Thomas (1874-1935), college porter of Aberystwyth.



Film 'Unveiling of Aberystwyth War Memorial' a film by G A Cheetham 1923 - on the People's Collection Wales site

A chronological summary of the chief events in the history of the Castle of Aberystwyth. Compiled by a member of the Aberystwyth Town Council . Fourth edition.. Aberystwyth: Philip Williams, 1858

Benjamin, E. Alwyn. Footprints on the sands of time : Aberystwyth 1800-1880 . Dyfed County Council, 1986. Contains an in depth analysis of the census returns 1841-1871 for the borough, plus census details for various families.Also extracts from the 1816 Aberystwyth guide, and also Worrall's Directory of 1875, both of which include lists of residents. The book's personal name index totals some 1000 names.

Browne, David & Toby Driver. Bryngaer Pen Dinas Hill-fort: a Prehistoric Fortress at Aberystwyth.  Aber, 2001

Burnham, Helen (on behalf of Gifford and Partners) .  Test Pits at Aberystwyth Castle, Dec 1989  (NLW's site)   Ceredigion XI

Cowell, Ron. Early History of the Aberystwyth Post Office. (NLW's site) Ceredigion, xiii:4, 44-58 (200)

Davies, Jeffrey L and T G Driver. The Discovery of a Roman coin hoard at Salem, Trefeurig, Aberystwyth. (NLW's site) Ceredigion, Vol XIII/3 1999.
"The sharp eyes and perspicacity of a young man on a bicycle has been responsible for the discovery of as hoard of Roman coins; a welcome addition to an all too rare class of archaeological finds in the county...."

Davies, Jeffrey L. Some recent archaeological discoveries in the Aberystwyth district.  (NLW's site)   Ceredigion XIII

Evans, George Eyre. Aberystwyth and its court leet. Welsh Gazette, 1902. There is a review of the book in the Cardiganshire FHS  journal vol 2/8, June 2001.

Evans, T.  Electricity comes to Aberystwyth    (NLW's site)   Ceredigion XIII

Freeman, M.  'Aberystwyth : A History and Celebration',   Francis Firth Collection, 2005       

Hauge, D B.   The Aberystwyth Town Walls  (NLW's site)   Ceredigion Vol II

Hill, Godfrey.  History on the Pavements (NLW's site)   Ceredigion XI

Houlder, C H. Recent excavations in old Aberystwyth   (NLW's site)   Ceredigion Vol III

Jones, Howard C. Aberystwyth Cliff Railway (NLW's site)   Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol VIII, No 4, 1979

Jones, Howard C. Aberystwyth Yesterday. Stewart Williams, Barry, 1980. This is a superb collection of over 200 photographs (from about 1860 forward) including a large number of characters from the town's past

Jones, Ieuan Gwynedd. Aberystwyth 1277-1977. Eight lectures to celebrate the seventh centenary of the foundation of the borough. 1st ed., Gomer Press,1977

Jones, Marian Henry.   Hungarian Sufferings - An Aberystwyth public meeting in 1850   (NLW's site)   Ceredigion Vol VIII

Jones, Tegwyn.   Erlid yn Aberystwyth 1914-17: Achos Hermann Ethe. (NLW's site)    Ceredigion, 2001

Lewis, W J.   Born on a perilous rock : Aberystwyth past and present. Aberystwyth : Cambrian News, 1980. Here is an index by Lynne Kleingertner.The book contains a list of Mayors of Aberystwyth Borough from c1450-1980.  

Lewis, WJ. Some aspects of the history of Aberystwyth (NLW's site) Ceredigion, Vol III & Vol IV

Lloyd, John Edward.  Aberystwyth.   Arch Camb, 1931

Meyrick, Sir Samuel Rush.(1783-1848) The History and Antiquities of the county of Cardigan. Collected from the few remaining documents which have escaped the ravages of time, as well as from actual observation. Longman: London ,1810. The history and antiquities of the County of Cardigan ... to which are now added a parliamentary history, list of High Sheriffs, some notes on the present county families, &c., &c. repr. Brecon: 1907. This 1907 print  has now been reprinted. The section relating to Aberystwyth town is on pages 315/19 under Llanbadarn fawr parish.

Roberts, Norman.  A town and its library  (NLW's site)   Ceredigion Vol III

Rowlands, John. A Most Unusual Memorial. Cardiganshire FHS  journal vol 2/9, Oct 2001. A little known memorial to 53 of the dead of two World Wars sited in the Old Welsh School, Alexandra Rd, Aberystwyth.

Sanders. I J. The Boroughs of Aberystwyth and Cardigan in the Early Fourteenth Century.     Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies, 1954

The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth. A description of the permanent building, the foundation stones of which were laid by Their Majesties King George V and Queen Mary, July 15, 1911. Aberystwyth, 1914

Thomas, H J. Excavations at Princess St, Aberystwyth.  (NLW's site)   Ceredigion  Vol VI

Trysorfa cenedl : hanes Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru (A nation's treasury : the story of the National Library of Wales). Aberystwyth, 1982

Walker, R F. Two fourteenth century surveys of Aberystwyth Castle   (NLW's site)   Ceredigion XII

Various items - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Aberystwyth Promenade 24th August 1913 
  • Post Card. Terrace Road, Aberystwyth c. 1910
  • Post Card. Fishing and pleasure boats, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion c. 1910
  • Promissory note, Aberystwyth & Tregaron Bank, 1814
  • Welsh Church Bill demonstration, Aberystwyth, c.1912
  • Aberystwyth Southgate Tollhouse at St Fagans National History Museum. This tollhouse was originally built in 1772 and was the Aberystwyth South Gate (Penparcau).
  • Photograph of opening ceremony, Neuadd Goffa Memorial Hall, Penparcau, Aberystwyth. 10th October 1928.
  • Trefechan Bridge Protest, 2 February 1963 (multiple)

Land & Property

Held at the NLW ;

  • Davies family. Letters and papers relating mainly to the Charles family of Carmarthen and the Davies family of Aberystwyth and Cwrtmawr [ NLW MSS 10549-50 & 12894]
  • Records of the Ffosrhydgaled estate , mostly in the parish of Llanychaearn, and Aberystwyth, 1733-1920, with some shipping records.
  • Records accumulated by John Parry, Glan-Paith, during his practice as a solicitor in Aberystwyth in the early C19; comprise deeds, largely relating to the Penglais estate in the Aberystwyth area, 1555-1918, and Aberystwyth borough records, 1759-1813.
  • Deeds donated by James R. John relating to Aberystwyth, Cardiganshire, 1810-92.
  • Deeds Aberystwyth, 1834-1902
  • Deeds relating mainly to Llanbadarn Fawr and Aberystwyth, Cardiganshire, 1762-1848, including co-partnership in a bank, 1806.
  • Estate and family records of Lovesgrove, near Aberystwyth, mainly 1850-1950 ; include papers deriving from the service in India of Sir Griffith Humphrey Pugh Evans (1840-1902), papers of Brig.-Gen. Lewis Pugh Evans (1881-1962) and deeds, 1774-1907. Other records at Ceredigion Archives.

Colyer, R.J. The Gogerddan Demesne Farm 1812-22. Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol VII, No 2, 1973.

Lewis, Roy & Sandra Wheatley. Exploring the residential structure of early modern Aberystwyth . Ceredigion : Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol XII, No 4, 1996

Palmer, Caroline.  A history of Tanybwlch Estate, Aberystwyth   (NLW's site)    Ceredigion XIV

Richardson, Gudrun.  Plas Crug   (NLW's site)    Ceredigion XIII


Language & Languages

Smith, Robert.  'Aberystwyth, Cardiganshire' in Gwenfair Parry & Mari Williams The Welsh Language and the 1891 census, 1999


Law & Legislation

No Police!! Well Done Aberystwyth Boys 1850  - on the People's Collection Wales site



Parish map (Kain/Oliver)

Lewis  Morris (1743?) map of 'Aberystwyth Bay Bar and Harbour in Cardigan Shire' - on the NLW's Maps' pages

Aberystwyth Borough Building Control Plans . "Aberystwyth underwent a period of expansion and rebuilding in the late 19th - early 20th century. Even though planning laws were less stringent then than now, one still had to submit an application, accompanied by a plan (usually drawn by an architect) to the planning authority - Aberystwyth Borough's Building Control Department - for approval. Many of these plans have survived and a list is now available." On Ceredigion Archives/Catalogues with photographs, postcards

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SN588809 (Lat/Lon: 52.407704, -4.077773), Aberystwyth which are provided by:


Medical Records

Evans, Barbara. Small Pox in the Aberystwyth Area. Dyfed FHS journal, vol 8/3 August 2003

Evans, D.I. Hospital Services in Aberystwyth before 1948  (NLW's site) Ceredigion: Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society. Vol V, No. 2 (1965).
 "In the early nineteenth century Aberystwyth was still a somewhat primitive community beginning to extend beyond the town walls, with a population of 1,738 but rapidly increasing............(It) was a time of great depression and according to David Samuel ( Address to the Radical Club, 1917) .....'the streets of Aberystwyth were narrow and winding, flanked by straw-thatched, overhanging houses with outside stone steps giving access to higher regions. There were no sanitary provisions or schemes for disposal of refuse, but yawning archways leading to narrow courts, which were a medley of small, badly ventilated cottages inhabited by a motley assemblage of humanity........'  Poverty, poor food, and almost complete lack of amenities were typical ..... it is not surprising therefore to find that the care of the sick, the aged, and the infirm was not good......."


Merchant Marine

Aberystwyth Lifeboat site

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

  • Aberystwyth Harbour Records, and Additional Deposit    "Records relating to Aberystwyth harbour, Cardiganshire, mainly to the Aberystwyth and Aberdovey Steam Packet Company and ships owned by the company, 1893-1979, including ships' manifests relating to the Countess of Lisburne, 1903-1908; ships' manifests relating to the S.S. Dora, 1908-1911; ships' manifests relating to the S.S. Grosvenor, 1908-1914; financial harbour records; 1900-1965; correspondence 1893-1909; legal and administrative papers, 1885-1914; records relating to shipping, 1926-1972; logbook of Aberystwyth harbour, 1929-1950; and meteorological registers, 1938-1979"
  • Cardiganshire Shipping Records     "Including; ...... port book of Aberystwyth, 1854-1901; records of the Customs and Excise Office, Aberystwyth, 1824-1990, including records of wrecks, salvage and disposal, ............"
  • Aberystwyth Shipping Records     "Including; .......... Crew agreements and crew lists, 1863-1913, for merchant ships registered at the port of Aberystwyth. ................."

Held at the NLW ;

  • Crew lists and agreements for the port of Aberystwyth, 1863-1913
  • Documents relating to shipping at Aberystwyth, 1816-63

Held at Ceredigion Archives;

  • Port Book for the port of Aberystwyth 1858-1901 [ with gaps].

Photographs and other items relating to Aberystwyth Harbour, the RNLI, the University, and the history of shipping; On Ceredigion Archives/Catalogues with photographs, postcards

Photograph of the crew of Aberystwyth lifeboat, apparently taken after the rescue of the ship Arklow of Nova Scotia 'off Towyn in a fearful storm on the 7th of October 1889'. This print was presented to Capt. Richard Edwards, who is in the photograph. All men are identified. On Ceredigion Archives/Catalogues with photographs, postcards (under  Miscellaneous images )

Photographs of ships associated with Aberystwyth. Originally mounted on paper album pages (retained).
The photographs were the property of Arthur Sansbury who grew up at Penroc on Aberystwyth seafront and whose father was a partner in the Galloways bookshop. Mr. Sansbury was a keen photographer but the photographs predate him. Their source is not known but many are captioned on reverse by A.J. Lewis. On Ceredigion Archives/Catalogues with photographs, postcards

Various items  - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Aberystwyth Lifeboat, with brief history 
  • Great Storm 1859: Aberystwyth Harbour Inquiry

Hamer, Joy. Mother's Aberystwyth Mariners in the 19th century. 2002 Describes the members of the Clayton and Thomas families of Aberystwyth, mostly mariners, and the ships they sailed in which included the Credo which made several trips to the USA and Canada. Copies of the book are not for sale but a copy is accessible at Ceredigion Archives.

Harry, John. The maritime heritage of Cardigan Bay. Book 1, ; Book 2, ; Through the ages. ; From Abereiddi to Aberystwyth. Aberystwyth: Dyfed County Council , 1988

Lloyd, RJH. Aberystwyth fishing boats. Mariners' Mirror, 1955

Merchant, T H. Aberystwyth Harbour since 1925. Ceredigion, Vol IV/3 1962.

Merchant, TH.  Shipping in Aberystwyth harbour since the 'twenties.   Trident, Vol XIX

Morgan, Gerald.    The Wrecking of Aberystwyth Ships and Other Disasters.   Maritime Wales 16, 1994

Morgan, Gerald.    Thomas Jones of Aberystwyth, Shipowner.    Maritime Wales 17, 1995

Troughton, William. Aberystwyth harbour : an illustrated history. Aberystwyth : National Library of Wales, 1997

Troughton, William. Barque Hope of Aberystwyth.  (NLW's site) Ceredigion, xii:3, 85-101 (1995)

Williams, M I. A note on ship-building in Aberystwyth, 1800-1816  (NLW's site)    Ceredigion, Vol III


Military History

Group photograph of 6 ITW Initial Training Wing Aberystwyth, No.1 Squadron, 'A' Flight, November 1940. All men depicted are identified below the image, and about a quarter signed the back. On Ceredigion Archives/Catalogues with photographs, postcards

Various items - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Aberystwyth War Memorial 
  • An article from the Cambrian News and Meirionethshire Standard about the death of J. H. Edwards from Aberystwyth during The First World War.
  • Bravery Recalled' Aberystwyths Men in Russian Convoy Epic, July 19--
  • Christmas Cards from the armed forces during The First World War

Names, Geographical

Places, villages, farms etc within Aberystwyth town/chapelry as shown on the online parish map from the CD of Historic Parishes of England and Wales: an Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata [computer file]. (Kain, R.J.P., Oliver, R.R.). (Extracted by Gareth Hicks)

  • Aberystwyth (13?); Camp; College; Crugiau; Lifeboat Sta.; Mont; Pen Dinas; Pen-parcau; Piercefield; Plas-crug; The Bar; Trefechan
    ( NB - This section of the map is un-numbered but by default is number 13 which, in the gazetteer, is included in Llanbadarn fawr parish)

Names, Personal

Held at  the NLW ;
- Papers of Thomas Charles Edwards, 1837-1900, principal of the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth.
-Deeds and papers donated by Lady Edwards , some relating to Hugh Hughes [1790-1863] of Aberystwyth, artist, and his wife Sarah, daughter of the Rev. David Charles, Carmarthen.

Benjamin, Alwyn. A Statistical Comparison of the Principal Surnames in Use in Penarth(Gla), 1881 with those in use in Aberystwyth, 1871 (NLW's site)     Ceredigion, Vol IX/3 1982.   Despite the different dates used the two places in this comparison had roughly equal population totals and both were then active sea ports. Interesting to note that the top 12 names in Aberystwyth covered 58.9% of the total whilst in Penarth they only covered 16.9% (Jones was first in both cases).



Newspaper extracts

The Cambrian News was published from 1860 to date

The Aberystwyth Observer was published between 1858 and 1915.

Jones, Aled. Sir John Gibson and the Cambrian News. Ceredigion, Vol XII/2 1994.
 "Nearly eighty years after his death in 1915, Sir John Gibson, first editor and proprietor of the Cambrian News in Aberystwyth, curiously remains both a familiar and unfamiliar figure. His newspaper has been  an integral part of this community for a hundred and twenty years......."

Various items - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • The Aberystwith Times Oct 2 1868 
  • The Visitor's List and Guide June 22 1887


Darlington, Elizabeth A. High Street Photographers in Aberystwyth 1857 - c1900, National Library of Wales journal. 1988, Winter. Volume XXV/4

Evans, G Eyre.      The Royal Mint, Aberystwyth.           Card. Antq. Soc. Trans, Vol II/1   Welsh Journals Online

Jenkins, Dafydd. Crefftwr o Aberystwyth yn NE Affrica. (NLW's site)    Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol XIII, No 2, 1998.

Lewis, W J. The Anchor Smelting Company, Aberystwyth, 1786-1792  (NLW's site) Ceredigion, Vol IV

Phillips, Llewelyn. Aberystwyth and District. J.R.Welsh Agric. Soc, Vol XXV

Williams, Shirley. Aberystwyth Photographers of Yesterday. Cardiganshire FHS journal , vol 2/5 June 2000.

Scanned photographs of David John Mathias, who served as a police officer in Aberystwyth;  On Ceredigion Archives/Catalogues with photographs, postcards

Various items  - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Ladies and Gents Tailor in Penparcau, Aberystwyth
  • North Road Hospital Staff, Aberystwyth c.1920
  • Aberystwyth pop-up shop
  • Post Card. Edwardian shops on the corner of Terrace Road and Alexandra Road, Aberystwyth, 1910
  • Evan Thomas's milk round in Aberystwyth blizzard 1933
  • RCAHMW colour transparency showing view of Police Station, Aberystwyth
  • Rheidol Boot Repairing Factory, Alexandra Rd.
  • Dairy school, Llanbadarn Road, Aberystwyth
  • Evan Thomas Coach Builders, Southgate, Aberystwyth (collection)

Poor Houses, Poor Law

Aberystwyth Workhouse - on Peter Higginbotham's site

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

  • Cardiganshire Board of Guardians, Aberystwyth Union, Records 1869-1937

Jones, Dot. Pauperism in the Aberystwyth Poor Law Union 1870-1914 (NLW's site)   Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol IX/1 1980.
"The changing picture of pauperism in the Aberystwyth Poor Law Union is investigated for the 45 year period 1870-1914............................The Aberystwyth Poor Law Union covered the whole of Cardiganshire northward from Llanrhystud except for the parish of Yscybor-y-coed which was included in neighbouring Machynlleth...."

Williams, Peter. The Aberystwyth Union Workhouse in 1891 . Cardiganshire FHS journal  Vol 2/3 Oct 1999, p 63-5. This is a list of inmates of the said place on the 1891 census.

Various items - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Bronglais Work House, pre 1940 
  • An essay on childbirth amongst the poor of north Cardiganshire, c. 1837

Public Records

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

  • Aberystwyth Borough Council Records 1835-1974
  • Aberystwyth Rural District Council Records 1881-1975
  • Aberystwyth Borough Records 1693-1929   "Aberystwyth became a town and a borough in the 13th century (there is a charter of 1277). Until 1834, when the borough was reconstituted, the town was governed by a court leet, which met twice a year......................"

Held at the NLW ;

  • Aberystwyth Borough records C17-C20, including court leet records,1693-1882.
  • Aberystwyth Harbour records, 1780-1906

Held at Ceredigion Archives;

  • Aberystwyth Borough records, documents which came from the old Town Hall at re-organisation. Include the Aberystwyth Corporation Minute Book 1847-1875 ; Town Council Minute Book 1875-1887; Aberystwyth Cemetery Burial Registers 1877-1973 ; expired lease of the Borough Council C19 & C20.
  • Building Control Plans for Aberystwyth c 1890-1920 [plans of buildings erected in the Borough in that period].
  • Ephemera relating to the erection of the Aberystwyth War Memorial.
  • Electoral register for Aberystwyth Borough 1865-1866

Samuel, David.   Records of the Old Court Leet of Aberystwyth.   Wales, Vol II



Here is an extract from The Reports of the Commissioners appointed to enquire into the state of Education in Wales 1847 .  It is listed under Llanbadarn Fawr parish but includes schools in Aberystwyth.

University of Wales, Aberystwyth - on Wikipedia

Notes on the 'Old College', Aberystwyth - on the Early Modern site

Held at the NLW ;

  • Records of the Students Representative Council and various societies of the University College of Wales,1892-1948.
  • Records of 'Ysgoldy', Aberystwyth and the National Schools of Aberystwyth and Penparcau, within period 1762-1933.

Held at Ceredigion Archives;

  • Records of Ardwyn Grammar School, Aberystwyth.

Calendar of the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, 26th Session, 1897-8. 338pp. + cxliv pp. of examination papers. gives info. such as names of Governors, the Council, College officers, officers of College Clubs and examination lists.

Ellis, E.L. The University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, 1872-1972.Cardiff , 1972.

Jones, Emrys Wynn. Fair may your future be : the story of the Aberystwyth Old Students' Association 1892-1992 . Aberystwuth : University College of Wales,1992

Lloyd, Huw Spencer. The history of Aberystwyth County School (Ardwyn) :1896-1973 .Aberystwyth : The Ardwynian Association,1996

Samuel, TJ. A famous Aberystwyth School (The Mathematical and Commercial School). Transactions of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society    Vol 13  1938  Welsh Journals Online

The College by the Sea; Aberystwyth. Edited by Morgan, Iwan. Aberystwyth, 1928

Trott, AL. Aberystwyth School Board and Board School, 1870-1902 (NLW's site) Ceredigion, Vol II

Trott, AL. Church day schools in Aberystwyth during the nineteenth century (NLW's site) Ceredigion, Vol II

Vincentelli, Moira. The UCW Museum and Art Collection, 1872-1918  (NLW's site)   Ceredigion Vol VIII   Part 2 Vol IX

'Welsh Correspondent'. The new Welsh schools: experiment at Aberystwyth. Times Ed Supp, 26 Feb 1949

Various items - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Aberystwyth University Students around 1948 - 1950 
  • "Old College" - Aberystwyth University of Wales was founded in 1872. It was the first university institution to be established in Wales. Originally based on the sea front in the "Old College", it is now situated on Penglais hill.
  • Aberystwyth University College Wales c1914
  • Form V Ardwyn Grammar School, Aberystwyth Summer 1924
  • Photograph: Ardwyn Grammar School, Aberystwyth netball team, 1960s
  • A photograph of the Aberystwyth University 1st XI, taken in 1909 at the Vicarage Fields ground.

Social Life & Customs

Selection of items from the collections of the School of Art, University of Wales, Aberystwyth - on the People's Collection Wales site

Held at Ceredigion Archives;

  • Records of the Aberystwyth Civic Society 1977-1989, including minutes, campaign notes and photographs.

Jones, Edgar. A brief history of St. Padarn Lodge, Aberystwyth, No.5472 on attaining its 50th anniversary.
( Freemasons, St. Padarn Lodge). Aberystwyth?, 1985

Jones, Enoch. ( Isylog). Eisteddfodau Aberystwyth. Llawlyfr Cym Cered Llundain, Vol VII(1951/2)

Jones, Peter Ellis. Council house building in Aberystwyth 1900-1974.  (NLW's site) (The Local Implementation of National Policy). Ceredigion Vol XIII, No 1, 1997.
"In December 1900 tenants were selected for the first of six houses built by Aberystwyth Borough Council; at the 1971 census  ............ 26% of householders in the Borough rented Council property....."

Jones, Tegwyn.    Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Aberystwyth 1865.   Aber, 1992

Lile, Emma. Friendly Societies in Aberystwyth and their contribution towards cultural and social life. (NLW's site) Ceredigion Vol XIII, No 1, 1997.
"Voluntary associations known as friendly societies emerged in Wales during the eighteenth-century and offered invaluable forms of self-help in a period where poverty was rife and the working-classes were unable to afford medical provision. Acting as a protection against sickness or death long before the existence of any government-funded national insurance schemes, these organisations encouraged the low-paid to save by regularly contributing a small amount of money to a common fund......."

Lile, Emma. Menywod a chwaraeon: athletwragedd yng Ngholeg Prifysgol Cymru, Aberystwyth c 1880-1914    (NLW's site)   Ceredigion XIII

Lloyd, T Alwyn.  Abertswyth of the future.   Card. Antq. Soc. Trans, Vol V

Oliver, R C B. Holidays at Aberystwyth, 1798-1823 (From the Diary of Captain Frederick Jones)  (NLW's site)   Ceredigion X

Parry, Peter & Brian Lile.    The Old Black and Green: Aberystwyth Town F.C. 1884-1984.  Aber, 1987

Roberts, Norman. A town (Aberystwyth) and its library. Ceredigion, Vol III

The Aberystwyth Welsh interpreter: containing a sketch of the history of the principality; explanatory introduction to the language; copious lists of names of places, creatures, relations, divisions of time, artisans, sciences, coins, weights and measures, colours, victuals, &c. With familiar dialogues, of general and local interest; and other useful and entertaining instructions. Third edition, revised and corrected. Publication: Aberystwyth : printed and sold by Philip Williams. [Entered at Stationers' Hall], Year: 1867

Thompson, Steven. Without any distinction of sect, or creed, or politics ? : Charity and Hospital Provisions in Nineteenth Century Aberystwyth. (NLW's site)   Ceredigion, 2003

Varley, Robin A.   All that could be desired: a History of Cricket in Aberystwyth 1830-1997.   Aber, 2004

Walker, R F.           Entertainment in Aberystwyth 1780-1977              Cardiganshire County History, vol III

Walker, R F. The College Theatre at Aberystwyth   (NLW's site)    Ceredigion Vol VII  and Part 2 in Vol VIII

Walker, R F.    The Little Theatre, Aberystwyth, 1946-61   (NLW's site)   Ceredigion XI

 Various items  - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Aberystwyth Boys Brigade, 1909
  • Aberystwyth University Women's Rowing Club
  • Aberystwyth Auxiliary Temperance Society: a plan of the society's public meetings, 1837
  • 1920 - 4 women on beach at Aberystwyth,
  • On the occasion of the Mayor & Mayoress' treat 23.8.1922
  • Actors in the Aberystwyth Amateur Operatic Society, early 1900's
  • A huge crowd watching a ceremony in the Gorsedd Circle, in the Castle grounds, Aberystwyth, either during the Proclamation Ceremony, 1914 or during the Eisteddfod week itself, 1916.
  • An undated photograph of a woman in Welsh dress taken by John Edwards, 25 Pier Street, Aberystwyth.
  • Coronation 1911. .....Outside Aberystwyth Station
  • Invoice from dental practice, 1932
  • Advertisement for The Rink, Aberystwyth, 1917
  • Advertisement for the Little Theatre, Aberystwyth from the 1950s.
  • The Royal Welsh Show - Past & Present
  • Aberystwyth British Legion c.1920
  • British Legion rally, Aberystwyth nd
  • Conway Cinema, Aberystwyth
  • Membership card of Aberystwyth Literary Society, 1856
  • Welsh Costume: Aberystwyth, 1849
  • Theatre Play Bill, Aberystwyth - 'The Stranger', 9 September 1839
  • Theatre Play Bill, Aberystwyth - 'Rent Day', 20 July 1835
  • Theatre Play Bill, Aberystwyth - 'School for Scandal', 10 August 1840
  • Theatre Play Bill, Aberystwyth - 'The Welsh Girl', 14 July 1834
  • Theatre Play Bill, Aberystwyth - 'A cure for the Heartache', 15 July 1835
  • Theatre Play Bill, Aberystwyth - 'A Quarter to Nine!', 19 July 1844
  • Programme of the Aberystwyth Tabernacle Choral Society's first concert, 1 January 1852
  • Post Card. ‘Bathing machines’ Aberystwyth, north beach, Ceredigion c. 1910
  • Isolation Hospital at Tanybwlch
  • Poster for the Montgomery C.M. Chapel Sunday School excursion to Aberystwyth, 1895
  • Aberystwyth Literary Society Programme, 1883-4 
  • Programme of a competitive meeting to be held on Christmas day, 1863, in Aberystwyth Town Hall