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Conway;conwy, Medieval And Later Borough

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NPRN33013
Map ReferenceSH77NE
Grid ReferenceSH7805577527
Unitary (Local) AuthorityConwy
Old CountyCaernarfonshire
CommunityConwy
Type Of SiteTOWN
PeriodGeneral
Description
Conway, now known as Conwy, is a town in Conwy Community on the north coast of Wales, facing Deganwy across the River Conwy. The town formerly lay in the county of Gwynedd and prior to that in Caernarvonshire. Conwy is a market town and one of the most popular tourist destinations on the north Wales coast.

Conwy Castle (NPRN 121) and the town walls (NPRN 95280) were built on the instructions of Edward I between 1283 and 1289 as part of his conquest of Wales. Conwy was the original site of Aberconwy Abbey (NPRN 43768), founded by Llywelyn the Great. Plas Mawr (NPRN 16754), a historic house which has been extensively refurbished to its original sixteenth century appearance is also located in Conwy. Across the estuary is Bodysgallen Hall, which incorporated a medieval watchtower that was later used as a signal place for Conwy Castle. In 1826, Thomas Telford built the Conwy Suspension Bridge (nprn 43083), which spans the River next to the castle and in 1848 Robert Stephenson built the Conwy Railway Bridge (nprn 43084), a tubular bridge, for the Chester and Holyhead Railway.

M. Lloyd Davies, RCAHMW, 07 January 2009.

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This popular medieval walled town was originally the site of the Cistercian abbey of Aberconwy founded by Llywelyn ap Iorweth in 1199. In 1284, following his conquest of Wales in the English king Edward I established Conwy Castle and its associated walled town and the abbey became the Church of St Mary, the monks moving into a new site at Maenan in the Conwy valley. Five centuries later, the German Prince Herman von Puckler-Muskau visited the church and was amused by the gravestone inscription for Nicholas Hookes who was his father's forty-first child and had twenty-seven children himself. Under Edward I's rule, the town was settled by English merchants and craftsmen largely from Cheshire and Lancashire.

Dating from the fifteenth century, Aberconwy House is the only surviving example of the typical merchant houses built within the city walls. In 1401, two of Owain Glynd'r's cousins infiltrated the town and held it under siege for four months. During the occupation, they managed to destroy the bridges and gates along the town walls.

During the Tudor period, more Welsh families settled inside the city walls. Among them were the rich merchant Robert Wynn and his family. Over the course of three construction periods between 1576 and 1585 he built his great townhouse, Plas Mawr. Although it ceased to be used as a family house by the late seventeenth century, the building remained largely intact. For a time, Plas Mawr served as sublet tenement, as a girls? school and, by the 1880s, as the home of the Royal Academy of Art. When the adventuress and travel writer Sophie Dohner, from Hamburg, visited the exhibition rooms, she was full of praise for the quality of modern Welsh painting as well as the long history attached to the building.

Record updated as part of the AHRC-funded project 'Journey to the Past: Wales in historic travel writing from France and Germany'.
R. Singer (Bangor University) and S. Fielding (RCAHMW), 2017.
Resources
DownloadTypeSourceDescription
application/pdfGeneral Digital Donations CollectionDigital report entitled: 'The History of Education in Conwy Town' Researched and written by Ray Castle, Gill. Jones and Ann Morgan with advice from Robert Barnsdale, 2014
application/pdfGAT - Gwynedd Archaeological Trust ReportsGwynedd Archaeological Trust Report relating to ASIDOHL Assessment at Pinewood, Conwy. Project No: G2170. Report No: 925.
application/pdfGAT - Gwynedd Archaeological Trust ReportsGwynedd Archaeological Trust Report relating to ASIDOHL Archaeological Assessment at Pinewood Housing, Conwy. Project No: G2170. Report No: 919.
application/pdfCAP - Cambrian Archaeological Projects ArchiveDigital report entitled Archaeological Watching Brief Conwy Estuary Strategic Route Development produced by Roddy Mattison, Cambrian Archaeological Projects Ltd., Aug 2006. CAP report no 456, Project No 601
application/pdfCAP - Cambrian Archaeological Projects ArchiveRevised report entitled Archaeological Watching Brief Conwy Estuary Strategic Route Development produced by Roddy Mattison, Cambrian Archaeological Projects Ltd., Nov 2007. CAP report no 456, Project No 601
application/pdfCAP - Cambrian Archaeological Projects ArchiveDigital report entitled Conwy Estuary Strategic Route Development archaeological desk-based assessment produced by Phil Evans, Cambrian Archaeological Projects Ltd., Dec 2004. CAP report no 346, Project No 601
application/vnd.ms-excelGATP - Gwynedd Archaeological Trust Projects ArchiveExcel document recording details of archive deposition relating to the final archaeological watching brief text, project no. G2527, 'Benarth Retaining Wall Conwy,' conducted by Gwynedd Archaeological Trust. Form compiled on 23rd August 2017.
application/pdfETW - European Travellers to Wales ProjectDescription of a visit to Conwy by Albert Huet from 'Un tour au pays de Galles' (c. 1860). Text available in Welsh, English, French and German. Produced through the European Travellers to Wales project.
application/vnd.ms-excelGATP - Gwynedd Archaeological Trust Projects ArchiveExcel document recording details of archive deposition relating to the digital photographs from archaeological watching brief report, project no. G2527, 'Benarth Retaining Wall Conwy,' conducted by Gwynedd Archaeological Trust. Form compiled 23/08/2017.
application/vnd.ms-excelGATP - Gwynedd Archaeological Trust Projects ArchiveExcel document recording details of archive deposition relating to the digital photograph metadata from archaeological watching brief, project no. G2527, 'Benarth Retaining Wall Conwy,' conducted by Gwynedd Archaeological Trust. Form compiled 23/08/2017.
application/vnd.ms-excelGATP - Gwynedd Archaeological Trust Projects ArchiveExcel document recording details of archive deposition relating to archaeological watching brief, project no. G2527, 'Benarth Retaining Wall Conwy,' conducted by Gwynedd Archaeological Trust.