This store requires javascript to be enabled for some features to work correctly.


Llandudno Before the Hotels

  • £12.00
  • £0.00
  • Llandudno Before the Hotels
  • ISBN: 9781845240950
  • Christopher Draper
  • Publication: March 2023
  • Format: Paperback, 210x147 mm, 302 pages

This volume reveals the long and dramatic history of one of Wales's most popular towns, from the arrival of its first visitors, twelve thousand years ago, until the nineteenth century eviction from their 'tai unnos' of over a hundred people to make way for hotels and holidaymakers. Reprint; first published in 2007.

In this lively account of Llandudnos history long before it became the Queen of the Welsh Resorts, the author takes us as far back as the first fossilised organisms found in the area, dating approximately 350 million years old. In his introduction he sets out the scheme of the book: the first section aims to give a broad account of the earliest human habitation of the area, and the last nine chapters focus on the specific period 17611854, when the transformation of Llandudno into a seaside resort took place. During this time he writes: As holidaymakers arrived old Llandudno departed. A way of life evolved over millennia was swept aside by rapacious property developers.

n chapters 19, he takes us on a twelve thousand year journey, highlighting the archaeological and historical importance of the Creuddyn peninsula from its first human visitors during the period of Stone-Age hunter gatherers, through to its first farmers (60002000 BC); its Bronze Age Copper mines; Roman occupation; Maelgwn and the Age of Saints (400825), including the establishment of the three llans of Tudno, Eleri and Cystennin; the Viking raiders and Norman colonisers between 8251284; mediaeval life; Glynd?rs revolt; the Act of Union in 1536, and up to the critical period from 1761 with the reopening of the copper mines.

From here he traces the establishment of a different version of the Tai Unnos settlement on Llandudno Morfa: Since time immemorial traditional Welsh communities accepted that if someone erected a house overnight (T? Unnos One-night house) on land not already enclosed, farmed or claimed by someone else then they had the right to stay. Those attracted by employment in the copper mines came to establish their houses following in this tradition and by the mid 1800s a substantial community had developed. The last few chapters then argue how that community was finally evicted and pulled apart through the role played by the powerful Mostyn family in realizing the potential development of the area into a bathing resort and the Enclosure Act of 1843 which sealed the fate of old Llandudno.

Although, he records, the village continued for another ten years, 1853 was a turning point with the closure of the T? Gwyn Mine, the strike at the Old Mine, the decision to apply to Parliament for a local Improvement Act, and the building of the first seafront hotel. The author concludes: Thousands of years of history created Llandudno village, its unique culture and close-knit community. A single Act of legalised robbery transformed Llandudno into the playground of the fashionably rich. Some villagers welcomed Llandudnos social elevation whilst others regretted their close-knit community had given way to the materialistic values of the marketplace. Covering such a vast time-scale, Draper offers a detailed, challenging, and moving history of the lost village of Llandudno.

Jane MacNamee