In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Aber like this:
ABER, a village and a parish in Bangor district, Carnarvon. The village stands on the coast, at the mouth of the Gwyngregyn rivulet, 4¾ miles E of Bangor. It has a post office under Bangor, a station on the Chester and Holyhead railway, and a comfortable inn. It is a charming place, and is much frequented by tourists. The views all round, and in the neighborhood, over sea and land, are rich and varied; and some of them are panora mic and extensive. The Lavan sands extend in front, dry for 4 miles at low water; and may be crossed on foot, with a guide, to the ferry of Beaumaris. ...
The glen of the Gwyngregyn, narrow and romantic, strikes about 2 miles inland flanked on one side by a well-wooded lofty hill,-on the other side by the stupendous rock of Maes y Gaer; and is blocked at the head by the dark, vast, concave precipice of the hill Bera, over which falls the famous cataract Rhayadr Mawr. The cataract is fringed with ash trees; and first breaks on the cliffs into three or four parts, then makes a sheer leap of more than 60 feet. An artificial conical mound, near the village, was the site of a Palace of the Welsh princes, where Llewelyn the Great received the summons to surrender his rights to Edward I. of England. A field, not far off, called Cae Gwilym Dhu, "Black William's Field," was the scene of the summary execution of the Norman baron, William de Braose, whom Llewelyn ap Iorwerth had taken prisoner, and whom he suspected of an intrigue with his princess. A well-known Welsh distich, alluding to this event, records the following question and answer:-
'Lovely princess,' said Llewelyn,
`What will yon give to see your Gwilym?'
`Wales and England, and Llewelyn,
I'd give them all to see my Gwilym.'
The parish of Aber comprises 8,833 acres; of which 1,515 are water. Real property, £2,454. Pop., 582. Houses, 116. The property is divided among a few. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Bangor. Value, £340.* Patron, the Hon. Col. D. Pennant.-The church is ancient, with a square tower, in moderate condition. There are chapels for Calvinistic Methodists and Wesleyans. There is also a free school, which was founded about 1719 by Dr. Jones, Dean of Bangor.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Aber has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Gwynedd. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Aber and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Aber, in Gwynedd and Caernarvonshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 27th August 2016
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