History of Aberystwyth


Shocking Discovery

Electric Battery devised by Alessandro Volta in Italy

World Population

- 500
in Billions

Ireland United

Parliamentary Union between Britain and Ireland


New bridge opened to replace the one swept away in 1796

Aberystwyth Bridge
Aberystwyth bridge over the Rheidol
(Illustrated by Henry Gastineau in 1829)


Suspension Bridge

1st modern suspension bridge over Jacob's Creek in Uniontown Pennsylvania

Jacquard Loom

Jacquard's Loom was highly autonomous and used binary cards to change the pattern. Processing depending binary card data is regarded as a significant step in the development of computers.


Population in Aberystwyth 1758 in 350 houses.


Small pier built on the Weeg (Small rocky ridge at the end of Pier Street,) to help protect fishing boats. This proved much too small and quickly washed away.



Locomotive invented by Richard Trevithick in England

Travellers Guides

The scenery, antiquities and biography of South Wales: from materials collected during two excursions in the year 1803' by Benjamin Heath Malkin

The turnpike road from the Devil's Bridge to Aberiftwid is over a ridge of hills, exhibiting a general view of the vale, as the road by the Rydoll unfolds the fcenery in detail. The village of Efkynald excepted, there is little appearance of an inhabited country. About three miles from Aberiftwid, there is a fine fea view, agreeably broken by a promontory in front of the road. Other picturefque circumftances might be mentioned; but I haften to the defcription of Aberiftwid, which we approached by a turnpike gate, where arc a few houfes, known by the name of Piccadilly.

The building of the caftle is thus related. King Henry the Firft, about the year 1109, told Gilbert Strongbow, that as he had frequently petitioned to obtain fome lands in Wales, he might now win and poffefs the lands and inheritance of Cadwgan ap Blethin. Gilbert immediately collected his forces, and having landed in Cardiganfhire, reduced the country to fubjecion with little difficulty. He then built two caftles; one in the direction of Pembrbkefhire, perhaps at Kilgerran, and the other at this place, on I the river Rydoll, one mile from Lan Padern. It was of courfe the policy of this intruder, to embroil the native proprietors with,the King of England, that his own houfe might be aggrandized by conquefts and confifcations. About the year 1111, Gruffyth ap Rees came over from Ireland, where he had been brought up from his childhood. He had not refided more than two years in his native country, before he was accufed of aiming at the fovereignty of South Wales. King Henry made feveral attempts to poffefs his perfon; but the vigilance of his friends defeated every confpiracy. In the courfe of time, he was enabled to act on the offenfive. After many other bold and fuccefsful feats, in the year 1116, he encamped near the fortified manfion on the banks of the Rydol, between Aberiftwid and the town of Lan Padern, with the intention of laying fiege to the caftle of Aberiftwid on the following day. But a reinforcement from a caftle in the neighbourhood, with a fuperiority of military ftratagems on the part of the enemy, converted the aggreffion of the Welfh into a defeat. Prince Gruffyth ap Rees fought with better fortune in the year 1135; for he took and razed the caftle of Aberiftwid, and flew the Normans and Saxons that were fettled in Cardiganfhire. Some of thofe who efcaped fled over the fea to England. Gruffyth reftored to the Welfh their lands and habitations, of which they had been deprived. Others of the Normans and Saxons retreated with lefs precipitation from Gruffyth ap Rees; but they were unexpectedly attacked, near the vale of Neath in Glamorganfhire, by the fons of Caradoc ap Jeftin, who flew more than three thouland of them, and put the reft to flight. Some of them efcaped into Gower, where they found proteftion in the caftles, that had been erected there by Henry Beaumont. This caftle was reinftated by Cadwallader, fecond fon to Gruffyth ap Conan, and again deftroyed by Owen Gwineth, the eldeft fon and fucceffor, on account of his brother's contumacy. It continued to experience all the viciflitudes of a predatory warfare, alternately fortified and overthrown. Such fortifications, as were then in ufe were indeed eafily demoliflied; but in the courfe of time it owned a more powerful mafter, though even his formidable provisons were not effectual againft the defperate enthufiafm of expiring liberty. King Edward the Firft rebuilt it in the year 1277, and returned to England in high triumph. But the oppreffions exercifed by the rulers of the Marches did not permit the peace concluded between the Prince of Wales and the King of England to continue. Among the brief fuccefles of the Welfh, the year before their fubjction was fealed, is to be numbered the fplendid capture of this newly erected Englifh fortrefs. Many other caftles were taken in that diftrict, and the partifans of foreign domination were grievoufly haraffed throughout the country. This caftle, in the year 1404, was taken by Owen Glandwr, during one of his molt vigorous campaigns. The embattled houfe before mentioned, which now forms an interefting ruin, is reported to have been one of his refidences. What was the origin of this caftellated manlion, does not appear; but we have already feen that it muft be nearly coeval with the firft foundation of the neighbouring caftle; and one of the barda teftifies it to have been inhabited by the native princes. The common ftory prevails, of a fubterraneous communication with the caftle on the one hand, and the fanctuary of St. Padern on the other. The original extent may eafily be traced, and one of the towers is, nearly perfect. The apartments have evidently been numerous, and on a large fcale. The eftate now forms a part of Nanteos. The caftle ftands at the extremity of the town, overlooking a wide expanfe of fea. Little of it remains, except a folitary tower, lofty and weather beaten, which, with the ruin on the bank of the river, gives a pidurefque and dignified air to the approach. The town, though generally reprefented in the tours and direc- tories afr irregular and dirty, appeared to me rather above than below below the level of Welch towns in general. It is much frequented as a bathing place, efpecially by Shropfhire and Herefordfhire families. The coaft is grand, and the marine profpect particularly fine. The rocks are lofty, black, and excavated; the layers of flate in general dip downwards, and the cliffs are in every refpect of an oppofite charafter to thofe of limeftone, which linethe coaft of Pertibrokefhire and Glamorganfhire. The harbour is fufficiently comrriodiaus for the utmoft extent of trade, of which the place, from its fituation, is capable. That, indeed, is not inconfiderable; for lead, calamine, and oak-bark, are exported in fome quantity, as well as a few manufactured goods to Briftol and Liverpool. Should the north of Cardiganfhire ever rife into a ftate of high improvement, the poflibility of which recent experience can atteft, no dlfcouragement can be fuppofed to operate againft its interefts from want of a market, fince the intercourfe with large towns, and efpecially Liverpool, muft always be ready and advantageous from this port. But the town was in the plenitude of its importance, when the mines were worked to the immenfe profit which has been fet forth in the preceding chapter. The gratitude of Mr. Bufhel has already been recorded; the fpirit of the people was equally on the fide of royalty; and the caftle, though now a mere fragment, was even at that late period tenable for fome time, againft the forces of the parliament. It is a circumftance not altogether to be difregarded, that the town appears to have been mifnamed; as it really ftands on the northern bank of the Rydoll. Juft below the town, the two rivers mingle their waters with the ocean, nearly at the fame place.


March 13: Hafod Fire

This magnificent edifice, together with the greater part of its valuable contents, was totally destroyed by fire, on the morning of March 13th, 1807. It would be impossible to calculate the loss which literature has sustained in this conflagration, which consumed many very rare and expensive books, a collection of Welsh manuscripts, and other articles impossible to be replaced [21]



'James and Williams' run the 1st printing press in Aberystwyth - before then anything printed had to be sent away for.



Frenchman Nicholas Appert won a prize for his discovery that food cooked in a sealed jar did not spoil. In England Peter Durand received a patent for Nicholas Appert's method applied to any suitable vessel. Within a few years the tin plated can proved the most effective container.


'The Aberystwith and Tregaron Bank' opens on Bridge St. The design of the notes incorporates black sheep - apparently to help the local population understand the denomination. It is for this reason that the bank became popularly know as 'Banc y Ddafad Ddu' (The Black Sheep Bank) and not because it went bankrupt and was closed down in 1814

The £1 and £2 bank notes issued by the The Aberystwith and Tregaron Bank
The 10 Shilling, £1 and £2 bank notes issued by the
Aberystwith and Tregaron Bank

Day Trip

Travel to Shrewsbury takes a whole day by Stage Coach


Last recorded repairs to stocks


Located where the northerly shelter on the promenade now stands, work was started on Dr Rice's bath house called 'Penbryn House'.

The New Aberytwyth Guide - TJL Pritchard, 1824,[15]


At the northern extremity or the Terrace, adjoining the commencement of Craiglais, stand the Marine Baths. The building is erected on a rocky foundation, and projects right into the sea; being defended from the violent assaults of the ocean by a strong wall, as well as the more impregnable fortifications of strong black, or deep blue rocks, massive, and singularly romantic in their appearance. It is almost an injury to the Proprietor to proceed on a premature description of what, (considering his great projected improvements, which are even now commencing,) may be called a mere beginning; however, favoured as we are by his communications on the subject, we can safely acquaint the reader with the nature of those improvements. The Baths are erected on scientific principles suggested by an eminent Engineer, undermined by vast iron pipes, branching out many fathoms into the sea, and conveying from a rocky, sandless portion of the ocean, the pure saline stream; which is pumped, and by a conductor led, into an immense boiler, containing five hundred gallons. From the boiler are various pipes, leading to the different baths. These baths are each six feet long and two and a half wide, lined with Dutch tile, which being much less porous than marble, is more effectually cleansed from all impurities to which they are liable; and each occupies one end of a neat little room, with fire, where every desirable accommodation has been studiously considered; and there are two cocks attached to every bath, one conducting hot, the other cold water, which bathers can turn, and temper by an intermixture at their own pleasure. In addition to these, there is '


In another room, with its corresponding apparatus is


which is recommended on the score of bathers being less liable to the cramp, than when using the Cold Bath. In an apartment up stairs, with all its attendant necessaries, is


This is a comparative recent invention, and considered a discovery of so much import, as in all medical establishments to supersede the use of the Hot Bath: for the nature and properties of which, the reader is referred to 'Sir Arthur Clarke's Essay on Warm, Cold, and Vapour Bathing,' pages 100 and 106.
This building also contains bed chambers, for the accommodation of those whose health ' would render it dangerous to remove them: and a handsome sitting room, with a large bow window, looking over, and commanding an expansive view of the sea, as well as of the distant objects, and alpine wonders, before dilated on in the description of the Castle Ruins, which are also to be seen from this spot, as well as the whole Terrace, a great portion of the town, and, on the other side, a view over Craiglais, and its wild and rugged coast. In its finished state, this building will doubtless be an ornament to that part of the Terrace on which it stands

Aberystwyth Prom 1860's
Prom around 1860 showing the bath house to the right.
The mound on which it stood was supposed to be the site
of the town gallows.

This building was removed in 1892



British recession leads to machine-breaking by Luddites



Population 2264



The Ysgoldy built as a Church school, later becoming the private Aberystwyth Grammar School. The Parish Hall was built on the site in 1914. [7]



The Stethoscope is devised by René Laennec in France

London 48

Travel from London by Stage Coach takes 48 hours (28 hours to get from London-Kington, and another 13 hours from Kington-Aberystwyth)



Opening of the 'Aberystwith Provident Bank for Savings' on Bridge Street