Moel Trygarn and on the western flanks of Snowdon marine shells have been found in the drift up to an elevation of 1400 ft. above sea-level. Blown sand occurs along the coast near Conway, south-west of Carnarvon and on the south coast. Several hollows and pipes in the carboniferous limestone about Orme’s Head contain clays and sands of mixed origin, including Upper Carboniferous, Triassic and drift materials. The igneous rocks, especially those of volcanic origin, constitute one of the most striking geological features of the county; they comprise felsites, rhyolites, quartz porphyries, enstatite diabases, andesite tuffs, diabases and granite.
The climate is cold and damp in winter, except in the peninsula, Lleyn, and on the mild coast. Arable land, but a small proportion of the surface, is mostly in the Conwy valley or near the sea. Principal crops are oats, barley and potatoes, with some little wheat. The valley soil (alluvial) is often fertile, chiefly as meadow and enclosed pasture. Dairy and sheep-farming occupy most farmers. The small mountain ponies, especially of Llanbedr (Conwy Vale), are famous, and Welsh ponies were known for staying power even to Arrian (Cynegetics). Agriculture still too much follows the old routine, besides losing by the influx of labour into the towns or to the mining industry and “set works” (stone).
The county is served by the London & North-Western railway; its terminus is Afon Wen, within 4 m. of Pwllheli. Between these stations plies the Cambrian, which runs along the Cardigan Bay coast and terminates at Pwllheli. The North Wales Narrow Gauge line runs from Dinas, south of Carnarvon, to Snowdon Ranger, 4 m. from Beddgelert. The main line of the London & North-Western runs along the northern coast, with branches from Llandudno junction to Blaenau Festiniog, along the Denbighshire side of the Conwy stream; from Menai Bridge to Carnarvon (thence continuing to Llanberis, or, by another line, to Afon Wen). The chief ports are Portmadoc, Pwllheli, Carnarvon, Port Dinorwic and Bangor. Near Portmadoc is Criccieth, with a castle resorted to by visitors; Pwllheli is also a summer resort, and a tramway runs thence to within a short distance of Abersoch, another favourite watering-place. Nefyn (some 6 m. from Pwllheli), still unserved by rail or tram, was the scene of a royal tournament in the 15th century, and is another bathing resort; near are Carreg Llam and Pistyll farm (see Bardsey).
The area of the ancient county is 361,156 acres, with a population in 1901 of 126,883. The area of the administrative county is 365,986 acres. The inhabitants practically all speak Welsh (slightly differing, especially in Lleyn, from that of Anglesey). Over 80 is the percentage in Carnarvonshire, as against over 90 for Anglesey. The county is divided into two parliamentary divisions, south (Eifion) and north (Arfon).
The Carnarvon district of boroughs is formed of Bangor city, Carnarvon, Conway, Criccieth, Nefyn and Pwllheli. There are four municipal boroughs: Bangor (pop. 11,269), Carnarvon (9760), Conway (4681) and Pwllheli (3675). Other urban districts are: Bethesda (5281), Bettws y coed (1070), Criccieth (1406), Llandudno (9279), Llanfairfechan (2769), Penmaenmawr (3503) and Ynyscynhaiarn (4883). Carnarvon, where assizes are held, is in the north Wales circuit. Except a few parishes (in and near Llandudno) in St Asaph diocese, Carnarvonshire is in the diocese of Bangor, and contains sixty-one ecclesiastical parishes or districts, with parts of four others. Bangor, Carnarvon, Pwllheli and Llandudno are the principal towns, with Criccieth, Nefyn, Portmadoc and Tremadoc.
Carnarvonshire was occupied by the Segontiaci, with difficulty subdued by Ostorius Scapula and C. Suetonius Paulinus (Paullinus). From here Agricola crossed to conquer Anglesey. Relics of British forts and camps have been discovered. Caerhun (Caer Rhun) and Carnarvon (Caer Seint) are respectively the old Conovium and Segontium of Britannia Secunda. The county was part of Gwynedd kingdom, until Edward I. in 1277 restricted that to Snowdon proper. The early fortresses at Deganwy, Dinorwic, Dinas Dinlle, &c., and the later castles of Conwy (Conway), Carnarvon, Criccieth and Dolbadarn, bear witness to the warlike character of its inhabitants.
See Edw. Breese, Kalendar of Gwynedd (London, 1874).
CARNATIC, or Karnatak (Kannada, Karnata, Karnatakadesa), a name given by Europeans to a region of southern India, between the Eastern Ghats and the Coromandel coast, in the presidency of Madras. It is ultimately derived, according to Bishop Caldwell (Grammar of the Dravidian Languages), from kar, “black,” and nadu, “country,” i.e. “the black country,” “a term very suitable to designate the ‘black cotton soil,’ as it is called, of the plateau of the Southern Deccan.” Properly the name is, in fact, applicable only to the country of the Kanarese extending between the Eastern and Western Ghats, over an irregular area narrowing northwards, from Palghat in the south to Bidar in the north, and including Mysore. The extension of the name to the country south of the Karnata was probably due to the Mahommedan conquerors who in the 16th century overthrew the kingdom of Vijayanagar, and who extended the name which they found used of the country north of the Ghats to that south of them. After this period the plain country of the south came to be called Karnata Payanghat, or “lowlands,” as distinguished from Karnata Balaghat, or “highlands.” The misapplication of the name Carnatic was carried by the British a step further than by the Mahommedans, it being confined by them to the country below the Ghats, Mysore not being included. Officially, however, this name is no longer applied, “the Carnatic” having become a mere geographical term. Administratively the name Carnatic (or rather Karnatak) is now applied only to the Bombay portion of the original Karnata, viz. the districts of Belgaum, Dharwar and Bijapur, part of North Kanara, and the native states of the Southern Mahratta agency and Kolhapur.
The region generally known to Europeans as the Carnatic, though no longer a political or administrative division, is of great historical importance. It extended along the eastern coast about 600 m. in length, and from 50 to 100 m. in breadth. It was bounded on the north by the Guntur circar, and thence it stretched southward to Cape Comorin. It was divided into the Southern, Central and Northern Carnatic. The region south of the river Coleroon, which passes the town of Trichinopoly, was called the Southern Carnatic. The principal towns of this division were Tanjore, Trichinopoly, Madura, Tranquebar, Negapatam and Tinnevelly. The Central Carnatic extended from the Coleroon river to the river Pennar; its chief towns were Madras, Pondicherry, Arcot, Vellore, Cuddalore, Pulicat, Nellore, &c. The Northern Carnatic extended from the river Pennar to the northern limit of the country; and the chief town was Ongole. The Carnatic, as above defined, comprehended within its limits the maritime provinces of Nellore, Chingleput, South Arcot, Tanjore, Madura and Tinnevelly, besides the inland districts of North Arcot and Trichinopoly. The population of this region consists chiefly of Brahmanical Hindus, the Mahommedans being but thinly scattered over the country. The Brahmans rent a great proportion of the land, and also fill different offices in the collection of the revenue and the administration of justice. Throughout the country they appropriate to themselves a particular quarter in every town, generally the strongest part of it. Large temples and other public monuments of civilization abound. The temples are commonly built in the middle of a square area, and enclosed by a wall 15 or 20 ft. high, which conceals them completely from the public view, as they are never raised above it.
At the earliest period of which any records exist, the country known as the Carnatic was divided between the Pandya and Chola kingdoms, which with that of Chera or Kerala formed the three Tamil kingdoms of southern India. The Pandya kingdom practically coincided in extent with the districts of Madura and Tinnevelly; that of the Cholas extended along the Coromandel coast from Nellore to Pudukottai, being bounded on the north by the Pennar river and on the south by the Southern Vellaru. The government of the country was shared for centuries with these dynasties by numerous independent or semi-independent chiefs, evidence of whose perennial internecine conflicts is
- As a geographical term, Carnatic is not now applied to the district north of Pennar.