1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Aberystwyth

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Aberystwyth, a municipal borough, market-town and seaport of Cardiganshire, Wales, near the confluence of the rivers Ystwyth and Rheidol, about the middle of Cardigan Bay. Pop. (1901) 8013. It is the terminal station of the Cambrian railway, and also of the Manchester and Milford line. It is the most popular watering-place on the west coast of Wales, and possesses a pier, and a fine sea-front which stretches from Constitution Hill at the north end of the Marine Terrace to the mouth of the harbour. The town is of modern appearance, and contains many public buildings, of which the most remarkable is the imposing but fantastic structure of the University College of Wales near the Castle Hill. Much of the finest scenery in mid-Wales lies within easy reach of Aberystwyth.

The history of Aberystwyth may be said to date from the time of Gilbert Strongbow, who in 1109 erected a fortress on the present Castle Hill. Edward I. rebuilt Strongbow's castle in 1277, after its destruction by the Welsh. Between the years 1404 and 1408 Aberystwyth Castle was in the hands of Owen Glendower, but finally surrendered to Prince Harry of Monmouth, and shortly after this the town was incorporated under the title of Ville de Lampadarn, the ancient name of the place being Llanbadarn Gaerog, or the fortified Llanbadarn, to distinguish it from Llanbadarn Fawr, the village one mile inland. It is thus styled in a charter granted by Henry VIII., but by Elizabeth's time the town was invariably termed Aberystwyth in all documents. In 1647 the parliamentarian troops razed the castle to the ground, so that its remains are now inconsiderable, though portions of three towers still exist. Aberystwyth was a contributory parliamentary borough until 1885, when its representation was merged in that of the county. In modern times Aberystwyth has become a Welsh educational centre, owing to the erection here of one of the three colleges of the university of Wales (1872), and of a hostel for women in connexion with it. In 1905 it was decided to fix here the site of the proposed Welsh National Library.