1st postage stamps start to be used in May. Although popular, it soon became apparent that it was often difficult to notice if the 'penny black' had been cancelled or not. Within 10 months the same design was printed in red, and the 'penny red' remained in use for decades.
2nd Foundry built in Northgate St
The Cambrian traveller's guide, and pocket companion - G. Nicholson
ABERYSTWITH, a sea-port, borough, market-town, and chapelry, in the parish of Llanbadarn Vawr, Cardiganshire, is a delightful summer retreat, situated on the conflux of the rivers Ystwith and Rheidol. Of late, this watering-place has greatly improved, both in extent, convenience, and importance, forming at present the largest town in the county ; and the roads leading to it are equal to the best in England. The gentle inclination of the beach, situated in a noble bay, the clearness of the water, salubrity of the air and the neighbouring springs, have established its reputation as an excellent resort for invalids, who can here enjoy every luxury connected with sea-bathing. The houses are in general well built, many laige and handsome, and the streets regular, well-paved, and macadamised. Aberystwith is a borough by prescription. The government is vested in a mayor, recorder, chamberlain, and common burgesses, assisted by a town- clerk and subordinate officers. It is one of the contributary boroughs of Cardiganshire who return one member to parliament. The right of election is now in the resident burgesses, and all persons occupying a house or other premises of the clear annual value of ten pounds. The mayor of Cardigan is the returning officer. Aberystwith was once fortified with walls, a portion of which, stripped of its facings, still remaine on the shore. The Cattle, situated west of the town, on a bold eminence projecting into the sea,....
...On the N. w. is a tower about 40 feet high, in which an arched doorway still remains. This ruin is now the property of the Duke of Newcastle. The late proprietor, Mr. Jones, of Havod, granted a lease of it to Mr. Probert, an agent of Earl Powis, when an excellent promenade was formed, which commands a fine view of the whole of Cardigan Bay. This vast curve is formed by the projecting counties of Caernarvon to the north and Pembroke to the south; the coasts of Merioneth and Cardigan occupy the centre. No situation south of Caernarvon affords to advantageous a prospect of the Welsh Alps as this and the adjacent cliffs. The lofty hills which confine the estuary of the Dyfi, and elevate their broad ridges far above the Cardigan rocks are surmounted by Cader Idris and its subordinate eminences. These are overtopped by the gigantic mountains of Caernarvonshire, among which, in clear, weather, the sharp peak of Snowdon may be discerned, in sublime pre-eminence, towering above the adjacent crags. The boundary line becomes more uniform to the south. This magnificent bay is also agreeably diversified by the transit of numerous vessels in every direction. North of the castle is a level beach, to which succeeds a long range of lofty slate rocks, rendered cavernous by the action of the waves. At the base of these cliffs extends a reef of subordinate rocks, adorned with numerous beautiful corallines, fuci, and a variety of marine productions, valuable pebbles, agates, conglomerates, jaspers, moceos, trapstones, &c. These are set and mounted in gold, into brooches, bracelets, seals, &c., by working jewellers.
The Church is dedicated to St. Michael, and detached from the castle ruins by a stone wall. It was erected in 1786, but, being found too small for the convenience of a rapidly increasing population, it has been lately taken down, and superseded by a handsome new structure, in the modern Gothic style, after a plan by Mr. Haycock, at an expense of 3500l., affording accommodation for 1100 persons. The present incumbent is the Rev. John Hughes, a minister eminent for his talent, piety, and apostolical zeal. There are two full English services and one Welsh performed every sabbath, besides one in each language during the week. Mr. Hnghes is assisted in these arduous duties by a curate. It is in contemplation to build a new church here immediately, expressly for the Welsh service. A fine toned organ, by Robson, has recently been added to the church, at an expense of 350l., defrayed by voluntary subscription of the inhabitants. The new church now in progress at Llangorwen, in this vicinity, promises to be the best specimen of ecclesiastical architecture within that district.
The Harbour, notwithstanding considerable improvements, is still in so bad a state as to form a serious drawback to the commercial interests of the town. A new act of parliament was, however, obtained, enabling the trustees to borrow, on the credit of the dues, a larger sum of money than the old act empowered, in order to carry into effect the works recommended by the late Mr. Nimmo, and the present engineer, Mr. Bush. These works are now in progress, and are estimated to cost 14,000l. Part of these improvements, consisting of a substantial pier, has already been carried out to a considerable extent on the south side of the bar, and, when the whole shall be completed, an important increase in the trade of this port is confidently anticipated. A bridge, forming part of the harbour works has been thrown over the river Ystwith, which the visiters in the season avail themselves of to make excursions to the beach, rocks and heights on the south side of the town, abounding in attractions, but hitherto entirely inaccessible.
The Custom-house, erected in 1773, has been superseded by a new one, built conveniently for the shipping, and overlooking the harbour. A gateway at the south end of the terrace forms the entrance to the Castle-house, erected by the late Sir Uvedale Price, Bart., of Foxley, after designs by Mr. Nash. It is a singular structure, in the Gothic style and castellated form, consisting of three octagonal towers connected by ranges of apartments, having a light and elegant balcony facing the sea. It is now occasionally occupied by its present proprietor, Sir Robert Price.
The Assembly Rooms were erected in 1820, from designs by Mr. Repton, and comprise a ball and promenade room, which is used as a reading room, a card room, and billiard room. The season commences in July and ends in October, but many families come as early as April, at which period lodgings can he obtained remarkably cheap. From the great increase of buildings here of late years, lodgings have come down very much in price; entire twelve-room houses, furnished in the best manner, supplied with water-closets, and replete with every accommodation, can readily be had, from October to May as low as from 20s. to 40s. per week. Owing to this, and the well-known mildness of the winter months here, the 'number of permanent residents has been steadily on the increase. The recent introduction of a purer description of water, and the many other improvements lately effected and now in progress, have added considerably to its attractions as a place of winter residence. Concerts are frequently given during the season.
The Marine Parade, an elegant crescent, is situated on the margin of the sea. At the north end, is Craiglais, or Constitution Hill, and on the south are the castle ruins, both of which contain excellent walks. The Marine Terrace, which forms the east side of the parade, is a handsome range of modern buildings, affording every accommodation for private families. Most of these erections are let for lodgings during the summer. They command a fine marine view, including the sea and beach, from which pleasure-boats are constantly starting.
The Market-place. was erected in 1824, in the street leading to the castle, by a tontine subscription. The markets are held on Monday and Saturday, and are now entirely confined to butchers meat. Another general mart, upon a handsome plan, has been raised upon the site of the old Talbot inn, where an entire new street has arisen.
This attractive watering-place also contains a Town-hall and Theatre. The two Dispensaries have merged into one Infirmary, or general hospital, which is open to all the kingdom. Here are likewise a Grammar and a National School. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents and Wesleyan and Calvinistic Methodists. In 1834, an act of parliament was obtained for the general improvement of the town, under the authority of which several important improvements have been carried into effect, whilst others are in progress. Among the most prominent advantages derived may be mentioned a supply from springs in the neighbouring hills of the purest water, brought by means of pipes into every dwelling, house in the town. The works are constructed according to the plans of George Bush, Esq., civil engineer, at a cost of upwards of 6000l. In September, 1838, the town was lighted with gas by a company formed among the inhabitants. The gas-works were erected by the Messrs. Stears, of Stroud. The gas is of a very pure quality, and generally taken into the shops and dwelling-houses. The public lights are upwards of 100, and the lamp-posts, raised by public subscription, are after a most elegant design.
Aberystwith has for some time possessed the advantage of a daily mail from London via Cheltenham, -which arrives at half -past eight in the evening ; and, since the Birmingham Railway has been opened, an additional mail is about to be established via Shrewsbury, which will arrive some hours earlier.
Since the passing of the municipal reform act, there has been introduced a part of the London police force, which, under an active and efficient magistracy, preserves the town in the utmost good order.
The Bathing is well conducted : hot sea-water baths are provided, with every requisite accommodation, and bathing-machines are in attendance. From the convenient sloping of the beach, a facility of bathing is afforded at almost any state of the tide, within a very short distance from the shore. The beach being of pebbles, the water is always clear, and there is a good sandy bottom at all hours of the tide. The Marine Baths are at the north end of the Marine Parade, on an eminence projecting into the sea. Besides cold baths, there are a cold plunging-bath, a shower and vapour bath, with bedrooms for invalids. Near the centre of the terrace there is another warm bath, and others in different parts of the town. In addition to these advantages, Aberystwith possesses a chalybeate spring. It has lately been put in thorough repair, being supplied with a pump and other conveniences. It is situated a few hundred yards east of the town, almost at the commencement of a pleasant walk, leading by Plâc-crug to Llanbadern. It is not unlike the Tunbridge waters. It contains valuable medicinal properties, but should not be used without medical advice. It is simply chalybeate, neither acidulous nor saline to the taste, except when it has been mingled with the sea-water at high tides. It is generally taken at eight in the morning, and again between breakfast and dinner, gradually increasing the dose according to age and habit.
The Races held here occur about August, in a field near Gogerddan, 3 miles distant, and usually last two days. Archery and cricket clubs have been also established and conducted with spirit. As an angling station, the vicinity of Aberystwith presents to the votaries of that pursuit many attractions. The autumnal fishing for salmon and sewin is excellent, and within a day's excursion there is good sport on the lakes. A Fly-fishing Club has lately been established here ; and, owing to their praiseworthy exertions in preserving the river from poachers, the angling has become greatly improved. Fly-fishing in the sea for bass is also much practised, as many as from four to six fish of from 3 to 5 lb. each, being frequently taken in a morning in fine bright weather.