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18 Oct 2012
Llandudno inherits its name from the 6th century saint, Tudno or Dudno, who brought Christianity to the province: his cell on Great Orme, a sunken cave, still exists; Llan means parish, or 'church of'. A church on Great Orme – Orme by the way is a Viking word meaning serpent - dedicated to Tudno was erected in the 12th century, and extended in the 15th, and continues to be in use today. In 1284 Edward I gifted the Bishop of Bangor the Manor of Gogarth, governing a few settlements in the district where Llandudno eventually formed; the gift was out of gratitude for the bishop's support in making Edward's son the first English Prince of Wales. Through medieval times the district was of little note, the various villages performing fishing and agricultural activities, a state of affairs that persisted until the 19th century, though with the restarted mines giving the place some particular significance in the Industrial Revolution . This all changed in the middle of the 19th century. In 1848 the local landowner, Lord Mostyn, was presented with visionary architectural plans for a resort on the site by Liverpool architect Owen Williams. The 1849 Act of Enclosure gave the Mostyn family the powers required to change the area with the Great Orme at one end and Little Orme at the other. The layout of the planned town was decided upon in that same year. In 1857 an architect and gentleman, George Felton, took on the project, his hand significantly seen in the architecture in Llandudno's centre. The effort in building the resort, and catering for its visitors, came at the right moment, as in 1850 the copper mines were closed, no longer economically viable. Llandudno is a place of the Railway Age. In 1848 the Chester – Holyhead line opened, running near the town that was forming out of three older settlements. Visitors from North West England could then reach the town with ease; in 1858 communications were further boosted by the branch from that line directly into the town. The following history of Llandudno is the story of its growth as a seaside resort. A pier opened in 1858, though it was soon destroyed in a massive storm. Another took its place in 1875, and is still to be seen today. In 1878 Marine Drive opened; nine years later the Mostyn family gave the town an old quarry altered into gardens called Happy Valley; in 1902 the Grand Hotel opened, another sign of the vision the Mostyns had of Llandudno as an esteemed destination. Llandudno's transport infrastructure was added to through the 20th century. In 1902 the Great Orme Tramway was opened, making it practically effortless to attain the 678' summit. The Llandudno and Colwyn Bay Electric Railway, a tram service through the town, followed in 1936, though sadly it closed in 1963; 1972 saw the opening of a cabin lift to the summit of the regal headland. The town today is among the largest resorts in Wales. Look for hotels in llandudno, still with an elegant air. That reputation was added to with the construction of the North Wales Theatre in the 21st century. This building on the promenade, next to hotels llandudno, serves as a venue for musicals, concerts and plays, and is normally the port of call for the Welsh National Opera.


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