Proud his­tory told in new book

Caernarfon Herald - - PUZZLES -

IT was a case of for­ever grow­ing, not blow­ing bub­bles, as a North Wales town be­came the base for mul­ti­ple world record at­tempts.

Caernar­fon Cas­tle was cho­sen as the venue to end the week­end’s Bub­ble Daze fes­ti­val, which brought bub­ble artists from all over the globe.

Within the cas­tle walls, two no­table world records were def­i­nitely suc­cess­ful ac­cord­ing to

THE story of Gwynedd’s main town – from its ori­gin as a Ro­man mil­i­tary and ad­min­is­tra­tive cen­tre, to its present char­ac­ter as a strong­hold of Welsh lan­guage and cul­ture – is the sub­ject of the lat­est book by Iolo Griffiths, who ed­its the Caernar­fon Her­ald’s Com­mu­nity News pages.

It might be tempt­ing to con­sider the build­ing of Ed­ward I’s cas­tle and its as­so­ci­ated bor­ough as the start of Caernar­fon’s story but, as Iolo’s book shows, this would be a very sim­plis­tic view.

The Ro­man fortress of Segontium, on the out­skirts of the present town, was at a strate­gic po­si­tion at the end of two ma­jor roads, and con­ve­niently lo­cated for con­trol­ling the cop­per mines on Parys Moun­tain, and con­tin­ued as an im­por­tant cen­tre un­der the Welsh ROBERTS Guin­ness World Record ad­ju­di­ca­tor Anna Or­ford.

She said: “One of the records at­tempted was for the largest in­door bub­ble but we will have to ex­am­ine that later with the aid of a com­puter.

“The record for the most peo­ple si­mul­ta­ne­ously mak­ing gi­ant bal­loons was bro­ken.

“There were 318 peo­ple within the cas­tle, beat­ing the pre­vi­ous record of 250.” princes. The town’s name is ac­tu­ally older than Ed­ward’s cas­tle, with a char­ter of Llewe­lyn ab Ior­w­erth be­ing dated from Caernar­fon in 1221.

The Ro­man con­nec­tion also in­flu­enced Ed­ward I’s de­sign for his cas­tle, with polyg­o­nal tow­ers and banded walls to echo those of Con­stantino­ple, which he had seen dur­ing his time on the Cru­sades, but a Welsh re­bel­lion un­der Madog ap Llewe­lyn forced a more de­fen­sive de­sign and, in­ci­den­tally, the build­ing of Beau­maris was an­other.

The town’s tur­bu­lent his­tory, through the Glyn­dŵr Re­bel­lion and the Civil War is also noted, as well as its days of glory as a slate ex­port­ing port, and a cholera out­break which led to some health re­forms.

A few quirky tales are also ex­posed, such as a former lock-up which is now a church and a choir’s Eisteddfod fod tri­umph which led to much ch bit­ter­ness be­tween the cho­ris­ters and their con­duc­tor.

His­tory of Caer­rnar­fon by Iolo o Griffiths is availa- ble as a Kin­dle ebook at £3, and in print from CreateS­pace and Ama­zon at £8.50, and also on many y other ebook k stores.

● Crowds at Caernar­fon Cas­tle broke two bub­ble world records Pic­tures: ARWYN ● Anna Or­ford from the Guin­ness Book of Records with the record cer­tifi­cate

● Iolo Griffiths’ss book traces the His­tory of Caernar­fon nar­fon

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