Croeso gan Y Maer
(Y Cyng. John MacLennan)
Fe hoffwn groesawu'r ymwelwyr i gyd i wefan Cyngor Tref Abergele. Fe fydd honno, gobeithio, yn ffynhonnell werthfawr o wybodaeth am Gyngor Tref Abergele a'n cymuned yn gyffredinol.. Mwy
To see more historical photos of Abergele - click here
Abergele is an old Roman town situated on the north coast of Wales between the resorts of Colwyn Bay and Rhyl in the county borough of Conwy. The town itself lies on the A55 and is surrounded by woodland covered hillsides. Aber denotes the mouth of a river, and Gele, originally Gelau, meant in Old Welsh the blade of a sword or the tip of a spear. Gelau would be an admirable name for a narrow, clear swift stream.
Abergele’s most distinguished son described his homeland thus:
‘This town of Abergele is situated on the edge of the Vale of Clwyd, in North Wales, near the junction of the mountains and the sea. From where it is possible at a glance to see a chain of wooded hills, a wide sea with many a vessel on it, and a wide plain which in August is like a coloured map. A navigable river divides the plain like a parting in a fine head of hair. The town itself is neither very pretty nor very large, but its position is very delightful and its surroundings very beautiful, with many new and extensive houses built to cater for the visitors who are attracted every summer by the variety of scene, and especially by its renowned beaches’.
That was in 1870, and the new houses referred to had been built main in Pensarn immediately after the coming of the railway in 1848. Otherwise the town would still have merited Dr Johnson’s description of it one hundred years earlier: ‘A mean little town in which little but Welsh is spoken and divine service seldom performed in English’. As a marketing centre it was effectively a one street town, with that street of sufficient width and length to accommodate fairs and markets, running as it did the length of Market Street and Bridge Street, from the Bee Hotel to Plas Newydd Buildings.
Although it grew to be an important market town, Abergele boasts of no birth certificate in the form of a charter. Nor can we date exactly the foundation of the church. This also applies in the case of the church at St George. However, we do know that Bishop Elfod of Bangor gave a piece of land to the church on the banks of the Gele as early as the eighth century. How long before Elfod’s time the church had been established here is a matter of guesswork. Town attractions would encourage settlement here, namely a supply of fresh water from the Gele River and the security from the ravages of the sea given by its slight elevation.