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CONWAY (Conwy, or Aberconwy)

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Originally appearing in Volume V07, Page 70 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CONWAY (Conwy, or Aberconwy), a municipal borough in the Arfon parliamentary division of Carnarvonshire, N. Wales, 14 M. by the London & North-Western railway from Bangor, and 225 m.N.W. from London. Pop. (1901) 4681. The town is enclosed by a high wall, roughly triangular, about 1 m. round, with twenty-one dilapidated round towers, pierced by three principal gateways with two strong towers. The castle in the south-east angle, built in 1284 by Edward I., was inhabited, in 1389, by Richard II., who here agreed to abdicate. Held for Charles I. by Archbishop Williams, it was taken by General Mytton in 1646. Dismantled by the new proprietor, Earl Conway, it remains a ruin. It is oblong, with eight massive towers, and has, within, a hall 130 ft. in length, known as Llewelyn's. The parliamentary borough of Conway,returning, with five other towns,one member, extends over to the right bank of the stream Conwy (Conway). In 1885 the mayor of Conway was made a constable. Llandudno with Great and Little Orme's Heads are at some 4 M. distance. Two bridges, a tubular for the railway (40 ft. shorter than that of the Menai) and a suspension, designed by Stephenson (1846–1848) and Telford (1822–1826) respectively, cross the stream. St Mary's church is Gothic; the Elizabethan Plas Mawr is the locale of the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art. There are still some fragments of the 1185 Cistercian Abbey. There are golf links here and at Llandudno. The Conwy stream, on which a steamboat runs from Deganwy (2 M. below Conway town) to Trefriw, opposite Llanrwst, in summer, has some coasting trade in sulphur and slates. It is about 30 in. long, its valley (a haunt of artists) containing the towns last mentioned and Bettws y coed. Its pearls are mentioned in Drayton's Polyolbion and Spenser's Faerie Queene. Pearl fisheries existed at Conway for many centuries, dating back to the Roman occupation. Tacitus, Agricola, 12, says of Britain " gignit et Oceanus margarita, sed subfusca ac liventia," as are those found to-day. Diganhwy (Dyganwy, Deganwy) is mentioned in the Mabinogion (Geraint and Enid), if the reading is sound; it is certainly mentioned in the Annales Cambriae (years 812–822) and in the Black Book of Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen), xxiii. 1. Caer-hyn, 41 m. from Conway, is on the highroad from London to Holyhead, and is the Conovium of the Romans. The site of the camp can still be traced, consisting of a square, strengthened by four parallel walls, extending to a distance from the main work. The camp is on a height, with the Conwy in front and a wood on each flank. At the foot of the hill, near the stream, was a Roman bath, with walls, pavement and pillars. Camden's Britannia mentions tiles, with marks of the loth or Antoninus's legion, as being found here, perhaps mistakenly. Gleini nadroedd (possibly amulets) and vitrum have been found here. In Bwlch y ddwy faen (" two rock ravine "), on the way to Aber, are the remains of a Roman road and antiquities.
End of Article: CONWAY (Conwy, or Aberconwy)
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HENRY SEYMOUR CONWAY (1721-1795)

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