In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Abergele like this:
ABERGELE, a village, a parish, and a subdistrict on the coast of the district of St. Asaph, Denbigh. The village stands near the Chester and Holyhead railway, 7 miles WNW of St. Asaph, and 34¼ W of Chester. It has a station, with telegraph, on the railway, a head post office,‡ and two hotels; and it is a seat of petty sessions, a seaport, and a watering-place. ...
It consists chiefly of one wide, irregular street, along the highway, about ½ a mile from the shore. A weekly market is held on Saturday; and fairs are held on 2 April, on the day before Holy Thursday, on 18 June, 20 Aug., 9 Oct., and 6 Dec. The beach is excellent bathing-ground; and the surrounding scenery, of coast and mountain, is magnificent. Limestone is extensively shipped; lead, copper, and manganese occur in the neighbourhood; and some fine studies for the geologist, in varieties of rock, are near. Castell-Cawr, on a high rock about a mile inland from the church, is one of the most perfect Roman camps in Wales; and Gorddyn-Mawr, on Coppa'r Wylfa, or "the mount of the watch-tower," a mile further W, is a large, strong, British hill-fort. Gwrych Castle, the seat of L. H. B. Hesketh, Esq., under a high hill on the coast, about a mile W of the village, is a modern castel lated edifice, with a frontage of 480 yards, a tower 93 feet high, and 17 turrets; and the grounds around it command delightful views, but they are not open to the public. Cave hill, in the vicinity of Gwrych, is a cal careous rock, pierced with several curious caverns; and one of these, called Cefn Ogo, has an entrance-arch 30 feet high, makes a brilliant display of stalactites and stalagmites, goes very far into the bowels of the hill, but cannot be safely explored beyond 40 yards, and was the place where Richard II. lay concealed, when betrayed to Bolingbroke by Percy. Brynffanigle, within Abergele, was the residence of Marchudd ab Cynon, Prince of North Wales; and an old mansion, now demolished, was the home of some of the early life of the poet, Mrs. Hemans. The parish includes the townships of Abergele, Bodorryn, Botegwel, Brynffanigle, Dolganned, Fowyn-Isaf, Garth-Gogo, Gwrych, Hendre-Gyda-Isaf, Hendre-Gyda-Uchaf, Nant, Sirior, and Twyn-Isaf and Uchaf. Acres, together with the parish of St. George, 1,998 of land, and 2,055 of water. Real property, £9,386. Pop., 3,308. Houses, 727. The property is not much divided. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of St. Asaph. Value, £400. Patron, the Bishop of St. Asaph. The church is a neat good structure, of the time of Henry VIII There are Independent, Bap tist, Calvinistic-Methodist, and Wesleyan chapels, and charities £13.-The subdistrict comprises five parishes. Acres, 22,145. Pop., 6,543. Houses, 1,455.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Abergele, in Conwy and Denbighshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 27th April 2017
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