Llandudno history



Llandudno is a small town on the Welsh seaside, famed as the British Naples. In the 19th-early 20th centuries it was a popular watering resort, and the magnificent Parade now reminds us of that time.

The history of Llandudno is rich enough to combine several important periods. The Great Orme hides the prehistoric origins of the town: the Bronze Age Copper Mines is one of the main visitor attractions. However, Llandudno actually means ‘parish of Tudno’ or ‘church of Tudno’, and it refers to St Tudno, a Welsh Christian missionary who indeed founded a church here in the 6th century.

Llandudno was conceived and developed into a watering resort in the 1840’s, and among of the town's patrons were Benjamin Disraeli, Otto von Bismark, and the Queen of Roumania who wrote under the pen name of Carmen Sylva that is now commemorated in one of the street names of Llandudno.

The Architecture of Llandudno
“Llandudno is a place of superlatives. Not just Wales’ pre-eminent Victorian seaside resort, nor just its pre-eminent planned town, it is a nineteenth century watering place of European ambition, and results from a single idea being pursued by its owners (the Mostyn family of Gloddaeth) and authorities for three generations. The bay between the limestone headlands of the Great Orme and Little Orme has natural splendours comparable with Mediterranean resorts like Menton or Palermo, and enjoys a sunny micro-climate despite facing North. Llandudno stands as a model of Victorian and Edwardian eclecticism.”
Gwynedd: The Buildings of Wales (pg 404)
Other aspects include:
Strikingly homogenous architecturally
Stucco terraces follow the curve of the esplanade, with Italianate Regency only to the first row
Iron arcading on wide pavements to the shops on Mostyn Street
Initial idea of layout often attributed to the Liverpool Surveyor, Owen Williams in 1846
The ‘Building Regulations for the Projected New Town’ were drawn up by Wehnert & Ashdown in 1855
A further ‘Design for laying out a further portion of the Estate’ was drawn up in 1894 by H&P Curry
Llandudno reached its zenith in the Edwardian period, with theatres, concert halls and picture palaces
Other Architects supported included George Felton, JA Chatwin, Abraham Foulkes, B Nelson, Edwin Turner, TB Silcock amongst many others.
Further details about Llandudno can be found in pages 404 to 422 of the Pevsner Architectural Guide Gwynedd: The Buildings of Wales; Haslam, Orbach & Voelcker (2009, Yale University Press)


However, for many people Llandudno is primarily associated with one of the best-known children books: The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. The family of Alice Liddell used to stay in Llandudno, particularly in what is now a small hotel St Tudno in the Parade, close to St George's Hotel and right opposite the wooden pier closest to the Great Orme. It is still disputed whether or not Carroll himself had ever visited Llandudno when Alice was there, and it is known that in Alice in Wonderland he refers to the Liddells home in Oxfordshire. Yet he would undoubtedly know that the Liddells had spent months in Llandudno, and some critics suggest that there are certain elements in Alice in Wonderland that can be regarded as references to this British seaside resort.

It was the British PM David Lloyd-George who claimed Llandudno's status as the inspiration for the fairy-tale, which claim was made at the opening of the monument to the White Rabbit.

When you have done enough walking up and down the Parade, breathed enough sea air, climbed and explored the Great Orme, you can use Llandudno as your base from where you can go explore North Wales.




North Wales

History, Culture & Tourism
www.iknow-wales.co.uk/tourist_information/north_wales_coast/llandudno/llandudno_tourism_guide.htm  www.llandudno.com/


Mostyn Family & Connections