In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Caernarvonshire like this:
Carnarvonshire, a maritime co. of North Wales, having the Irish Sea on the N., Denbighshire on the E., Merioneth and Cardigan Bay on the S., and on the W. Carnarvon Bay and the Menai Strait, which separates it from Anglesey; extreme length, NE. and SW., 53 miles; extreme breadth, NW. and SE., 23 miles; average breadth, 9 miles; coast-line, 95 miles; area, 369,477 ac.; pop. 119,349. The surface is grandly mountainous. About the centre of the co. rises Snowdon (3571 ft.), the loftiest mountain in Wales and England. ...
Several other summits are from 1500 to 3000 ft. high. There are fine sea-views along the N. coast, while the interior abounds in grand lake and mountain scenery. A bleak upland peninsula extends from the Snowdon group about 20 miles to the SW., terminating in the prom. of Braich-y-Pwll, off which is Bardsey island. The river Conway flows N. along the E. boundary. The soil in the valleys and along the N. and S. coasts is productive of good crops of oats and barley. (For agricultural statistics, see Appendix.) Slate is extensively quarried at Penrhyn, Llanberis, and Bethesda. The co. comprises 10 hundreds, 74 pars., with part of 1 other, the Carnarvon Boroughs (Bangor, Carnarvon, Conway, Criccieth, Nevin, and Pwllheli -- 1 member), and the mun. bors. of Carnarvon, Conway, and Pwllheli. It is in the dioceses of St Asaph and Bangor. For parliamentary purposes it is divided into 2 divisions, viz., Southern or Eifion, and Northern or Arfon, 1 member for each division.
Vision of Britain presents long-run change by redistricting historical statistics to modern units. However, none of our modern units covers an area close to that of Caernarvonshire. If you want trends covering a particular location within the county, find it on our historical maps and then select "Tell me more".
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Caernarvonshire | Map and description for the county, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 26th May 2013
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