Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for BANGOR

BANGOR, a city, a parish, a subdistrict, and a district, in Carnarvon; and a diocese in Carnarvon, Anglesey, Merioneth, and Montgomery. The city stands adjacent to the Chester and Holyhead railway, on the rivulet Cegid, in a narrow fertile vale, near the Menai strait at its opening to the Lavan sands, 2¼ miles NE of the Britannia Bridge, 8¾ NNE of Carnarvon, and 59¾ W of Chester. Rocks and heights overlook it; and command magnificent views, over coast and mountain, away to Great Ormes Head and Snowdon. The environs include Beaumaris bay, the Menai and Britannia bridges, Penrhyn Castle and quarries, delightful promenades, and many picturesque attractions. The name is a corruption of Ban Chor, signifying "the high or white choir;" and, in contradistinction to Bangor-is-y-Coed or Bangor Monachorum, was formerly written Bangor-Fawr, signi fying Bangor the Great. A grit stone, 16 inches long, bearing an inscription in honour of Antoninus Pins, was found in 1806 at TyCôh, about 2 miles distant; and has suggested the probability that the Romans bad some settlement in the neighbourhood. The scattered remains of a British camp exist on the top of a hill on the N side of the city; and slight traces of a strong castle, erected in the reign of William Rufus, by Hugh, Earl of Chester, occur on the summit of a steep rock, opposite Friar's School. A college was founded, in 525, on the site of the cathedral by St. Deiniol or Daniel; and this, most probably, gave rise to the city. The place seems never to have acquired more than the bulk of a village before the early years of the present century; and then it had only 93 houses; but now, in consequence of the thorough fare to Holyhead, the forming of the Menai bridges, the opening of the railway, and the rush of strangers to en joy sea-bathing and the scenery of Wales, it has become a considerable and very thriving town, with crowded in flux of tourists and temporary residents.

The town consists chiefly of one narrow street, nearly a mile long, in a waving line, between two ridges of rock; and has, within these few years, been greatly improved, and for the most part rebuilt. Extensions of it are in progress; and a kind of suburb, designed to comprise terraces, crescents, and fine isolated villas, has been commenced on ground belonging to the Railway company, midway between the Menai and the Britannia bridges. The chief public buildings in the city, or connected with it, are the cathedral, the episcopal palace, the deanery-house, four dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, Glynn's free school, the workhouse for the district, the infirmary for Carnarvon and Anglesey, the market house, the assembly-rooms, a temperance hall, the railway station, two banking offices, two great hotels, and several respectable inns. The cathedral is small, and wants effect from the lowness of its site, yet contains some good architectural details. The original pile was destroyed in 1071 by the Anglo-Normans; destroyed again in 1211; dilapidated, about 1247, in the wars between Henry III. and the Welsh; burnt down in 1402, during the troubles which followed the revolt of Owen Glendower; and remained, for more than 90 years, in a state of ruin. The present pile is cruciform, with central massive tower 60 feet high; the nave and choir 233 feet long; the nave and side aisles, 60 feet broad; the transept, 96 feet long. The choir is perpendicular English, and was built in 1496; but its east window was put up, in the course of a general repair of the edifice. about 1826. The nave, the transept, and the tower were built from 1509 till 1532; and the windows of the nave retain some remnants of the previous pile in decorated tracery. The choir is used for the cathedral service; the north aisle of it for the chapter-house; and the nave for the parish church. The only monuments of interest are the tomb of Gruffydd-ap-Cynan, Prince of North Wales, and a recumbent stone effigies of his celebrated successor, Owen Gwynedd. The episcopal palace stands on a low secluded spot, a little N of the cathedral; and is an edifice of the early part of the 16th century, much altered, plain and commodious. The deanery-house adjoins the cemetery, and is a good building. Glynn's free school was founded in 1557, by Dr. Jeffrey Glynn, brother of Bishop Glynn; and has an income of £581. Jones' museum contains a large collection of rare and curious articles. The railway crosses the Cegid rivulet, on a via duct 200 yards long; approaches the station through a rock-cut tunnel, 1,000 yards long; and immediately afterwards enters another tunnel. The town has a station, telegraph station, and a head post office;‡ and publishes a weekly newspaper. Its chief trade consists in the export of slates, raised in quarries 6 miles distant, and brought on a railway to Port Penrhyn, at the mouth of the Cegid, and from another quarry to a newly formed shipping-place at Garth. Port-Penrhyn has a quay upwards of 300 yards long, and is accessible at all states of the tide, by vessels of from 200 to 300 tons; and adjacent to it is a good building, with hot and cold sea-water baths. A manufacture of slates is carried on into billiard tables, chimney-piers, and many other ob jects. Steam vessels ply to Liverpool, calling at Beaumaris and Llandudno. Markets are held on Fridays; and fairs are held on the second Friday of February, March, and April, the first Friday of May, the third Friday of June, the fourth Friday of Aug., the third Friday of Sept. and Oct., and the first Thursday of Dec. The town is a seat of petty sessions and a coastguard station; and it unites with the Carnarvon boroughs in sending a member to parliament. Pop. in 1831, 4,751; in 1861, 6,738. Houses, 1,331.

The parish includes also the village of Tynlon, and the places called Aberpwl, Garth, and Hirael. Acres, 7,543; of which 740 are water. Real property, £25,615. Pop., 10,662. Houses, 2,090. The living is a vicarage, in the diocese of Bangor; and includes the curacy of Pentir. Value, £838.* Patron, the Bishop of Bangor. A new cemetery is about a mile from the town; and two churches, for two new chapelries, were built in 1863-5.-The sub district contains also the parish of Llandegai. Acres, 23,643. Pop., 14,043. Houses, 2,779.—The district comprehends likewise the subdistrict of Llanllechid, contain ing the parishes of Llanllechid, Aber, and Llanfair-Fechan; and the subdistrict of Beaumaris, all elec torally in Anglesey, and containing the parishes of Bean maris, Llanfihangel-Esceifiog, Penmynydd, Llansadwrn, Llaniestyn, Llanfihangel-Tyn-Sylwy, Penmon, Llanfaes, Llandegfan, and Llanfair-Pwllgwyngyll, and the paro chial chapelries of Llanedwen, Llanddaniel-Fab, Llanffinan, Llangoed, and Llandisilio. Acres, 92,478. Poor rates in 1866, £18,948. Pop. in 1861, 36,309. Houses, 7,673. Marriages in 1866, 285; births, 1,078,-of which 60 were illegitimate; deaths, 1,005, of which 274 ere at ages under 5 years, and 41 at ages above 85 years. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60,2,619; births, 10,772; deaths, 7,096. The places of worship in 1851 were 24 of the Church of England, with 7,085 sittings; 16 of Independents, with 4,018 s.; 8 of Baptists, with 945 s.; 15 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 3,907 s.; 24 of Calvinistic Methodists, with 9,593 s.; 1 of Roman Catholics, with 200 s.;-and 1 of Latter Day Saints, with 80 attendants. The schools were 23 public day schools, with 2,755 scholars; 21-private day schools, with 735 s.; 76 Sunday schools, with 10,143 s.; and 1 evening school for adults, with 5 s.

The diocese comprehends all Anglesey, most of Carnarvon, about half of Merioneth, and part of Montgomery. Acres, 985,946. Pop., 195,390. Houses, 41,970. The see was founded in 550. The first bishop was St. Deiniol the founder of the precurrent college. The bishop, in the time of Edward I., was Anian; who baptized the young prince Edward, and wrote a folio volume, which is preserved in the cathedral library. A bishop in the time of George I. was Hoadley; who preached a sermon which gave rise to a long and famous dispute, known as the Bangorian controversy. Two other distinguished bishops were Sherlock and Herring. The cathedral establishment consists of bishop, dean, chancellor, two archdeacons, three canons residentiary, a prebendary, five honorary canons, and two minor canons. The income of the bishop is £4,200; of the dean, £700; of each of the canons residentiary, £350; of the prebendary, £318. The archdeaconries are Bangor and Merioneth; and the former comprises nine deaneries, the latter five. Some of the livings have recently been raised in status, and are named as they now rank in the separate articles on them in our work; but all will be named here as they ranked in 1861.

The deanery of Arvon contains the rectories of Llanael haiarn, Llanberis, Llanddeiniolen, Llandwrog, Llanllyfni, and Llanrug; the vicarages of Bangor, Llanbeblig, and Llanwnda; and the p. curacies of Bettws-Garmon, Carnarvon-St. Mary's, Llandinorwig, and Llanfairisgaer. The deanery of Arllechwedd contains the rectories of Aber, Llanfairfechan, Llangelynin, Llanllechid, and Trefriw; the vicarages of Conway, Dwygyfylchi, and Llanbedr; and the p. curacies of Bettws-y-Coed, Capel-Curig, Dolwyddelan, Glanogwen, Gyffin, Llandegai, Llandegai St. Ann's, Llandudno, and Penmachno. The deanery of Caedewen contains the rectories of Aberhafesp, Llandyssil, Llanmerewic, Llanwyddelan, Manafon, and New town; the vicarages of Berriew, Bettws, Kerry, and Llanllwchairn; and the p. curacies of Llanllugan, Mochtre, and Tregynon. The deanery of Llifon contains the rectories of Llanbeulan, and Llantrisaint; and the p. curacies of Bodedern, Llandrygarn, and Talyllyn. The deanery of Menai contains the rectories of Llangeinwen and Newborough; the vicarage of Llanidan; and the p. curacy of Llanfihangel-Ysceifiog. The deanery of Malltraeth contains the rectories of Aberffraw, Heneglwys, Llangadwal adr, Llangefni, Llangristiolus, and Trefdraeth; and the p. curacy of Llangwyllog. The deanery of Tyndaethwy contains the rectories of Llandegfan, Llanddyfnan, Llansadwrn, and Llanfairpwllgwyngyll; and the p. curacies of Llanfaes, Llangoed, Llanddona, Pentraeth, and Penmynydd. The deanery of Talybolion contains the rectories of Llanfachrath, Llanfaethle, Llanfechell, Llanrhuddlad, Rhoscolyn, and Llanddensant; the vicarage of Llanbadrig; and the p. curacy of Holyhead. The deanery of Twrcelyn contains the rectories of Llandyfrydog, Llaneilian, and Llanengrad; and the p. curacies of Amlwch, Bodewryd, Penrhoslligwy, and Llanerchy medd. The deanery of Evionydd contains the rectories of Criccieth, Llanfihangel-y-Pennant, Llangybi, Llanystum dwy, and Penmorfa; and the p. curacy of Beddgelert. The deanery of Ardwdwy and Estimanner contains the rectories of Dolgelly, Festiniog, Llanaber, Llandanwg, Llanenddwyn, Llanfair-near-Harlech, Llanfrothen, and Trawsfynydd; the vicarage of Towyn; and the p. curacies of Bryncoeadifar, Llanegryn, Llanellyd, Llanfackreth, Llanfihangel-y-Pennant, Llanfihangel-y-Traeth an, Pennal, Tallyllyn, and Aberdovey. The deanery of Arnsey contains the rectory of Penystowed; the vicarages of Llandinam, Llandloes, Llangirrig, Llanwnog, Llanidloes, and Trefeglwys; and the p. curacy of Carno. The deanery of Ceifiliog contains the rectories of Cemmaes, Llanwrin, Llany-Mowddwy, Mallwyd, Machynlleth, and Penegoes; and the vicarages of Darowen and Llanbrynmair. The deanery of Lleyn contains the rectory of Bodfaen, Edern, Llanbedrog, Llanengan, Llaniestyn, Meyllteyrn, and Rhiw; the vicarages of Aberdaron and Llannor; and the p. curacies of Abererch, Bryncroes, Ceidio, Llangwnadl, Nefyn, and Tudweiliog.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a city, a parish, a subdistrict, and a district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Bangor CP/AP       Bangor SubD       Bangor and Beaumaris PLU/RegD       Caernarvonshire AncC
Place: Bangor

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