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Constitution Hill Pleasure Grounds

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Map ReferenceSN58SE
Grid ReferenceSN5847282821
Unitary (Local) AuthorityCeredigion
Old CountyCardiganshire
PeriodPost Medieval
The pleasure grounds on Constitution Hill were laid out in 1895-6 by the Aberystwyth Improvement Company and are depicted on the 2nd edition OS County series (Cardigan. VI.5/9 1905). Craig Las has been known as Constitution Hill since the early nineteenth century when visitors came to view the 'frightful precipices'. However, the hill was extensively quarried through the rest of the century, spoiling its Romantic appeal.
The Cliff Railway (NPRN 34675) climbs the 130m hill from the ornate red brick terminus at its base. On the summit were 'summer houses, shelters, refreshment rooms, bandstand, gardens containing thousands of plants and flowers, winding walks, terrace walks and a charming greensward'. A camera obscura and switchback railway are also shown in 1905.
The site was largely derelict by 1959 when RAF oblique APs show only one intact building, a pavilion not depicted in 1905 (NPRN 406177). The present camera obscura and cafe are modern and only slight traces remain of the hill's late Victorian splendour. Some landscaping was undertaken by the council in the 1970s.

Source: Jones in Ceredigion VIII.4 (1979), 408-13

John Wiles 12.03.08