History of Aberystwyth


August 3: Tabernacle #4

To cope with the increasing Calvinistic Methodist congregation the rebuilt Tabernacle chapel is opened with a seating capacity of 1200. (A fire destroyed the building in 2008)

The 4th Tabernacle Chapel
The 4th Tabernacle Chapel


Mines begin to close


As the town grows the water supply from the dingle under constitution hill becomes inadequate and work begins on a new water reservoir at Plynlimon (Pumlumon Fawr)


The men's baths opened in Newfoundland Street which was then renamed 'Bath Street'. (Later converted to a cinema, known variously as the Imperial, Forum and Celtic. The Commodore replaced the building in 1975.)[7]

Aberystwyth College c1880
Aberystwyth College c1880

Aberystwyth 1880 Marine Terrace
Marine Terrace in 1880


Electric Power Station

Worlds 1st Electric Power Station in Godalming, Surrey (England)



Mycobacterium tuberculosis is discovered by Robert Koch in Germany



Vibrio cholerae is discovered by Robert Koch in Germany


Plynlimon (Pumlumon Fawr) water now supplies town.


Part of the old town walls still visible on the shore


Black's Guide To England and Wales

It was once fortified with walls, a portion of which still remains on the shore
The town contains two churches and several meeting houses, assembly rooms, a chalybeate spring, a library, baths, a theatre, &c. Aberystwith has considerable coasting trade in corn, lead, oak, bark and butter. It is much frequented for sea-bathing. There are several lead miones in this neighbourhood, so rich in silver that the district is called by the Welch Potosi



University now has 132 students, which includes full time female students for the 1st time.

Aberystwyth Pier and Camera Obscura
Camera Obscura
(in the castle grounds where the war memorial now stands)
and the pier end.
Photo from around 1884


July 9: Fire

Fire this morning destroyed the northern wing, the library, the laboratory and the museum of the University College of Wales, in Aberystwith. The college building was originally intended for a hotel, and after £80,000 was spent on it it was bought by the University Committee for £10,000. The damage is £40,000. During the fire a floor fell with seven men on it. Five of them were rescued, fearfully burned, one of them fatally, and two perished. The contents of the library and museum were saved.

New York Times

Part of the Queen's Hotel is used to hold lectures until the old College is re-built


Abergeldie becomes the universities 1st hall of residence for women[17]


Architectural plans of Holy Trinity Church (1886)

Childrens Mission group on a trip to Aberystwyth


Official Chaperon

On the appointment of Miss AE Carpenter as the 'Lady Principal' of the university women's halls of residence:

the influence [as chaperon] of our Lady Principal will be of more value to her students than even the professors' lectures

TC Edwards (Principal 1872-1891)[9]

And a story in 1898 shows just strictly the college took their Victorian duites.

October 15-16: Flooding

Daily rain at Aberystwyth of 3.83 in[web] Great Flood - Trefechan bridge (designed by John Nash and opened in 1800) was destroyed and North Parade under 6 feet of water. (The present bridge was completed two years later.) [7]



Saturday, October the 16th, 1886, will be a day long remembered in the history of North Cardiganshire, and Aberystwyth in particular. A storm of peculiar violence, accompanied by excessively heavy rains, raged during the whole of Friday, but as the day advanced and evening and night drew on the wind increased in power and violence, so that it became dangerous for parties to be abroad, and the Literary Society and other meetings were consequently postponed. The wind blew inshore, and the sea was lashed into extraordinary fury, which increased as the hour for full tide drew on, and many people assembled on the Terrace to witness the grandly awful scene. At that time, however, it was not anticipated that any great damage would have been effected, beyond perhaps the flooding of the basements of the houses forming the lower part of the Terrace, an incident which is by no means unusual during the wintry storms and gales and high tides. The dawn of morning, however, disclosed a state of things which was truly appalling, and showed that while some were unconsciously and snugly sleeping throughout the hours of night, hundreds of others had been bravely battling with a powerful and unconquerable enemy in the form of a flood, the dimensions and force of which have been unequalled during the past forty or fifty years, and the havoc which it has created cannot be repaired without the expenditure of several thousand pounds. It is six years since Aberystwyth was visited by a flood of any magnitude, but that was far eclipsed by the volume of water which rushed down from the mountains early on Saturday morning, devastating everything in its path, even as a pestilential war. The first intimation that anything serious was about to happen appears to have been observed at the railway station, where a party of two or three hundred persons were waiting to proceed to London by an excursion train, announced to leave at 12.30. There seemed to have been some delay, which was then unaccountable, in getting away; but it afterwards transpired that the engine-shed was first flooded, and that there was a difficulty in procuring steam, so that the locomotive could not be coupled to the carriages. In the meantime the water was quietly but slowly making headway, until first the rails were covered, and then it rose with great rapidity, so that in the course of a few minutes it had not only covered the whole space where the trains run in, but the up and down platforms were immersed by several inches of water, which was increased with alarming celerity to a foot or two. Many of the passengers were much alarmed, and the scene was one which was both serious and comic; some were decidedly anxious to get away as quickly as possible, while others contented themselves to remain quietly where they were, and await the course of events. Their experiences must be somewhat similar to those described in The Tempest":—

We were crowded in the cabin,
Not a soul would dare to sleep-
It was midnight on the waters,
And a storm was on the deep.

This was literally true of the company who found themselves thus unceremoniously surrounded by so dangerous an element, because the gas suddenly went out, and the only light afforded was the fitful gleams of the moon, which, fortunately, was fairly bright at intervals. Railway trollies and other vehicles were quickly requisitioned, and many of the passengers availed themselves of these means in order to leave their prisons, while others chose to remain in their unenviable position, choosing rather to face their known difficulties than to go forth to meet Others which were unknown. In the meantime the cry had gone forth that the town was being flooded, and boats were brought from the shore in great haste, and a scene of much excitement and confusion ensued. Mr Rees Jones, the borough surveyor, was out at the time the water first came down, and he describes it as if it was a moving wall, rolling onward from the hills to the left of Llanbadarn in an immense volume, as if the very floodgates of some tremendous reservoir had been opened, and covering everything in its course. It came with a suddenness which prevented the people who live in the low-lying parts of the town making any more than hasty flights to the upper parts of their houses in order to escape with their lives, and consequently much loss and distress were occasioned. By twelve o'clock the whole of North-parade, the Queen's-road as far as the Town Hall, Thespian-street, Moor-street, Railway-terrace, and all the neighbouring streets and alleys were inundated to the depth of several feet, and the water still continued to rise with a rapidity which seriously imperilled the inmates of a number of the smaller houses, whose bedrooms are not raised many feet from the ground. We are glad, however, to be able to state that no human life was lost, and although the effects of the great flood will doubtless be felt for many days to come in the health of the sufferers as well as impoverishing them by the loss of so much of their household goods, yet all escaped, as if by a miracle, with their lives. The scene at the railway station may, without undue exaggeration, be described as terribly grand. As far as the eye could reach along the line and Flats water-nothing but water-was discernible, with here and there a cow, a horse, or some other animal struggling for its very existence to gain the highest eminence. Thus were matters proceeding-one long struggle of activity on the part of those who had yet time to save a few articles of furniture or dress, while others were already cooped up as prisoners in forced inactivity in their bedrooms, until between two and three o'clock on Saturday morning, when a catastrophe occurred which spread dismay all around. We have already attempted to describe the force with which the flood was now bearing down upon the luckless town, but the events which we have to narrate will convey a clearer idea of its strength. The wall dividing the Smithfield from the railway, as well as that which skirts the gardens in this vicinity, was broken through in several places; onward thence spread the waters, again breaking away the wall adjoining the Corporation fields, and separating them from the river Rheidol, and then mingling itself with the turbulent and angry waves caused by the heavy sea which was rolling in the harbour. It is believed that it was in consequence of the great force of water which came in the direction indicated that what we are about to relate happened. Trefechan Bridge has stood the test of many storms of wind and flood, but that of Saturday morning proved one too many for it. At this early hour-between two and three o'clock - there were a few people standing near, some of whom suspected that the structure was unsafe, and on examination it was found that there were serious cracks in one or two places; but those who resided at Trefechan and had business to do at the harbour passed over it to their homes-two or three only a few minutes before the ponderous structure was seen to tumble as if a living thing, and then sink with a fearful crash, which echoed for a great distance away. People who lived near were awakened from their sleep, and rushed to their windows, under the impression that a fearful thunderstorm was raging, or that an earthquake had befallen them, nor were their fears much allayed on learning the true state of things. Trefechan was thus cut off from the other part of the town by a yawning gulf of about one hundred yards in length, and an immense bulk of water, which carried destruction in its track and threatened to do still greater mischief. Thus the night wore wearily through, and people longed for light of morning, which at last came, dull and grey, rain still falling at intervals heavily, and thus adding to the many discomforts which had already to be borne. Rumours of all kinds were circulated, and it was feared that the loss of animals, such as horses, sheep, pigs, &c., was very great, but we are glad to say that in many cases the accounts were exaggerated, as the owners had, although at the risk of their own lives, succeeded in saving their poor suffering animals. A better notion of the true state of things could be obtained by daylight; but the flood was confined almost exclusively to the districts we have named, and doubtless covered an area of eight or nine miles, the average depth of which would be from four to five feet-in some parts being more and others less, according to the elevation. There were a large number of boats plying through the different streets, as well as carts and horses, which were being utilised to go to the relief of the beleagured; in some instances men were to be seen wading breast high through the thick, murky waters to go in search of the necessaries of life for those who were helpless and hungry at home. Foremost amongst those to remember the utterly powerless and pitiful condition of the poor in the back streets was Mr John Morgan, timber merchant, Little Darkgate-street, and we accompanied him in one of his excursions. He obtained food, firing, and matches, and we then drove through Lewis-terrace, Brewer-street, thence into Moor-lane, and an idea will at once be obtained of how matters stood when we say that the water poured into the cart in which we were seated, and was also within a few inches of covering a horse sixteen or seventeen hands high. The scene in these streets is indescribable; people were at their windows begging that food and firing should be sent to them, while the glimpses which we could catch of the state of things in the kitchens were sufficient to prove that when the waters would have abated it would be found that the losses to these poor people would be terrible. Shortly after this a relief party, headed by Mr George Green, mayor, was organised, whose operations were carried out from the ground floor of the Liberal Club, as being the nearest place to the scenes of the greatest needs and distresses. The soup kitchen was also set to work, and here Mrs Arthur Hughes, Miss Gilbertson, and Mr E. P. Wynne carried on a work which was gratefully appreciated by the poor sufferers, the excellent soup acting in the double capacity of appeasing appetites which had for hours been craving, and warming the enervated systems of the weak and delicate. Among those who joined the Mayor's relief party were to be found many ready helpers, all differences being sunk and forgotten in the desire to do what they could in the direful circumstances. We must specially mention Mr A. J. Hughes, town clerk, Mr B. E. Morgan, the Rev D. W. Jenkins, curate of Trinity, Rev Job Miles, RevT. E. Williams, Mr John Morgan, timber merchant, Mr D. C. Roberts, Rev T. A. Penry, MrC. M. Williams, Mr W. Thomas, coal merchant, Mr Rd. James, Mr G. Colquhoun, Mr R. Ellis, and there were others who also gave invaluable service. Cart loads of provisions, coals, and wood were taken through the streets for the relief of the beleagured, and thus much distress was alleviated. The Mayor also issued an appeal for subscriptions to enable the committee to make ampler arrangements for providing for the coming morrow (Sunday), and in this way a sum amounting to about £70 was secured. Everything was done that could possibly be done under the circumstances to meet the necessities so painfully created,and too much praise cannot be accorded to those whose humane feelings prompted them to untiring exertions on behalf of their neighbours. Mr Richard Morgan, grocer, Great Darkgate-street, although unattached to the relief committee, unostentatiously performed many acts of kindness, supplying food, and in some cases bedding, to those in need: During the day alarming reports were received as to the state of matters in the country districts. First came the intelligence that Penybont bridge had been swept away, then that Llanychaiarn had shared the same fate, and to add to the already many disasters reliable information was received that Rhiwarthen bridge and the bridge spanning the Rheidol near the Factory had also succumbed. It was believed that within a radius of a few miles seven bridges, all of which are maintained by the county, had gone. Railway communications with the outer world had also been interrupted both on the Cambrian and Manchester and Milford lines, the latter having suffered the more seriously of the two and to add to these inconveniences the telegraphic apparatus became deranged, so that we were altogether hemmed in, and, to use the words of one person, the town presented more the appearance of being in a state of siege by a powerful enemy than anything else. Passengers desirous of leaving were conveyed by road to Borth (which, fortunately, did not suffer so much as was expected), to which place the train service still remained intact, and towards evening trains were able to come in as far as Llanbadarn, where the passengers had to alight, and were compelled to wade knee-deep through water,the brook which passes through this village having overflowed its banks,and inundated a large space of land. The damage done to the Manchester and Milford line was of a much more serious character, and rendered it impossible that traffic could be resumed, so that communication with the southern districts was altogether impossible. Thus the day wore on, the waters slowly but surely ebbing, and by the time that the shades of night had again fallen, all imminent danger seemed past; but the rain fell in torrents, and great fears were entertained that there should be a repetition of the dreadful calamity. Before we quit this part of the narrative, we must not omit to mention the effects of the storm on the Terrace. They were not so marked as might have been expected, but still there were evidences that something more than usual had happened. The parade was strewn with sand, and here and there large stones had been thrown up in dangerous proximity to some of the houses. Seaweed and sand had been washed into the lower parts of the houses, and the kitchens were filled with water, so that much damage must have been wrought to furniture, &c. But the most complete evidence of the virulence of wind and waves was to be seen near the residence of Dr Rice Williams, where a large piece of the ponderous sea wall had been washed away, and a hole of several square feet cleft into the pathway. A small portion of the wall near Constitution Hill was also damaged. To add to the miseries of the situation, Saturday night was extremely dark, the rain fell pitilessly heavy, the wind raged terrifically, and the town was in complete darkness, the gas having completely failed, and a stranger and more dismal scene can scarcely be imagined. Some of the tradespeople closed their establishments early rather than attempt to carry on business under such adverse conditions, and only those who were obliged to leave their homes did so.

Sunday came, and with it a state of weather which afforded a striking contrast to that of the two previous days. The storm seemed to have completely spent itself, and having wrought so much mischief, to have given place to the warm, welcome, genial rays of the sun, and now some approximate idea of the havoc which had been worked could be gained. But an unlooked for event, which again disturbed the returning equanimity of those inhabitants residing in Penglais-road, Northgate-street, North-parade, and adjacent streets, had now occurred. A covered brook which runs down from Penglais had got choked up, and the stream had burst its bonds opposite the residence of Mr J. P. Lewis, from whence a large quantity of water gurgled up and filled almost the entire roadway, rapidly filling up the lower part of North-parade. The brook also burst in Llanbadarn-road, in front of Capt Rowland Jones' house, and at about ten o'clock Llanbadarn and Penglais roads, Pound-place, and Northgate-street were quite impassable, the water rushing down with great force through those streets, and into Thespian-street, Moor-street, Queen's-road and North-parade. Mr Rees Jones and his men did all that was possible to keep the drains clear, but so great was the volume of water rushing along for half-an-hour or so that their efforts seemed like child's-play, and several houses in Moor-street, as well as those of Mr W. J. Watkins, Mr Howse.and Mr D. T. Davis in North-parade were speedily flooded a second time. This, however, cleared off during the morning. It continued to partially flood Penglais-road and Northgate-street throughout the whole of the day, but no further damage was done. A visit to the scenes of the previous day's disaster proved how great had been the wreck; the huge articles of furniture had floated from one end of the rooms to the other, and valuable pieces of furniture were rendered almost valueless or utterly destroyed. Among those who have suffered most severely in North-parade are Mr W. J. Watkins, who was unfortunately not at home at the time, Mr Thomas, Mr D. T. Davis, Mrs Rees, Mr John Morgan, Mrs Marsh, the Rev T. E. Williams, Mr Williams, foundry, Mr Siviter, and those living at the lower end of the parade. In Moor-street, Thespian- street, Brewer-street, and the courts surrounding,the scenes were pitiable in the extreme. By dint of carefulness and thrift many of these families, who are all of the working class, had managed to get around them some of those articles which go to make a home comfortable, and which (to them) it will be hard to replace. But it was only the work of a few hours to destroy what had been perhaps the task of years to get together, and sad indeed was it to see these people anxiously surveying the wrecks. Tables, chairs, sofas, chests of drawers, pictures, and precious little knick-knacks, such as photographs of beloved relatives and friends, which had adorned the walls of their dwellings, were all piled together, and left as though nothing mere than worthless heaps of debris. It was not to be wondered at that the poor people seemed to lose heart, and stood by in almost helpless amazement; but the cheering words of friends who looked in to console with them in their distresses had the effect of soon putting new life and energy in to them, and then they would set to work to again put their tenements in order. It was a curious Sabbathday in Aberystwyth: the bells of the various churches clanged forth calling the people to worship, but many who were hitherto most regular in their attendance were compelled to forego the performance of this duty and pleasure, while others whose curiosity was excited, found it more congenial to their tastes to visit other scenes of interest. The description which we have given of the state of the homes already referred to is a fair sample of scores of others, and wretched indeed was the day which was spent by the inmates, but their condition would have been rendered doubly wretched had it not been for the timely succour rendered by the relief committee. Trefechan bridge, or rather the place where it had stood, was the object of great interest, hundreds visiting it during the day. Passing along the M. & M. line of railway one could but be reminded of the force of the flood; huge logs of timber, gate and other posts, lay in all positions and directions across the rails, gates had been forcibly swept from their hinges, walls had been broken down in various parts, and some of the land, especially the gardens near the Smithfield and the works of the M. & M. employes, still lay covered by several feet of water The debris of the bridge lay in the river, projecting piles of stone here and there being the only visible indications of where the buttresses had once stood. The whole of the bridge had been carried away with the exception of one arch at the town end, which was also considered to be unsafe. Returning back to the railway, as being the only means of again gaining the town, we must traverse the line a little farther south, and underneath the Dinas the rails had been torn up for a considerable distance, as well as a great quantity of earth having been washed away. Men were at work here on Sunday and Monday, repairing the damage done. Coming back to the town, we find that the individual losses to many have been very serious. Messrs Williams and Metcalf, of the Rheidol foundry, have reason to fear that £100 will not compensate them tons of coal and coke were swept away, and heavy blocks of timber lying in the yard on Friday have been found on the beach and other places. Mr Williams estimates that the flood was at least two feet higher on this occasion than that of six years ago, and his reason for believing this to be the fact is that the moulding shed was covered with water on Saturday, and great damage done there, a portion of the building which remained untouched six years ago. The flood evidently entered from the direction of the M. and M. Railway, carrying away with it a gate, and portions of the wall, and then breaking out again into Mr A. J. Grove's garden and lawn tennis ground, where much of the coals and debris from the yard were found as well as a huge iron trolly, weighing several hundred weight, which had been carried a distance of several yards. Mr Grove's loss is also very heavy, his paraphernalia for lawn tennis, archery, croquet, &c., having been completely spoiled. Mr Evan Hugh James's tannery also came in for a large share of spoliation, but he succeeded in rescuing his live stock from the adjoining premises, having to wade breast high in order to do so. Mr Whito's tallow chandlery establishment adjoining, the Corporation offices, and the gardens adjoining were all more or less injured. The Gas Company, besides being heavy losers owing to their being unable to supply public and private consumers for several nights, sustained great loss by the damage done to the works. The water rose here with but little warning, and all the fires in the retorts were quickly extinguished, besides which about 130 meters were much damaged. Mr Dougall, the manager, is also personally a great sufferer, much of his furniture being spoiled. In Lewis-terrace all the inhabitants more or less suffered, but those at the upper end escaped tolerably well. The Railway Inn, the Commercial, and the Terminus Hotels were probably most severely dealt with, as the cellars, rapidly filled with water, and the beer barrels, bottles, &c., were floating for several hours. Mr George Green, mayor, also sustained considerable loss, especially in the moulding shop, where much damage was caused. All the residents in Cambrian-place, and particularly Mr Davies, grocer, are sufferers; Mr Davies failed to save his flour and other commodities which are perishable, so that he has been very unfortunate. Messrs Jones and Morris, slate enamellers, estimate their loss at about £40; E. and R. Rees, coachbuilders, at £50; Morris and Son, car proprietors, at a considerable amount; Mr T. Hall, Mary-street, tailor, had much material damaged, and Mr Hoffman, pork butcher, Mr Jones, general merchant, Mr Stephenson, grocer, and Mr H. Jones, fancy toy dealer, are among the heaviest losers in this neigbourhood. Mr R. E. Jones, car proprietor, whose stables are in Mary-street, had a narrow escape of losing a valuable horse, but he and his man managed to save the animal,although in a half-drowned condition. Mr Jones had a valuable horse out grazing in a field near the Smithfield, which he did not hear of for several days, but the animal was eventually found near the Monument, having reached the top of Pen Dinas for safety. He also had a considerable amount of corn spoilt, and the door of his yard was carried away. Miss Morgan who carries on a shop in Mary-st., nearly lost her all - tea, potatoes, flour, &c., being completely spoiled. In Moor-street, Mr A. Perry, painter, is much to be commiserated with; in addition to the inconvenience and loss of having his house flooded in Brewer-street, he has also had large quantities of paints, fancy wall papers, and other things connected with his business, rendered completely useless;others who have sustained great loss in this street are Mrs Jones, grocer, Mr Jenkins, blacksmith, Mr Nelson, blacksmith (the roof of whose workshop was blown in), Messrs T. and R. Jones, blacksmiths, Mr G. A. Hoffman, baker, Mr Evans, builder, Mr Pulling, and Messrs James, Hosking, and Miller, slate enamellers. In Thespian street Mrs Rees, grocer, and Mr John Jones grocer, lost large quantities of flour, &c., which to them is a most serious matter. The cellars of the Weston and Fox Vaults, were also filled, whereby much inconvenience was occasioned. Beside those we have already mentioned in North-parade, Mr Edwards, grocer, was among the principal sufferers, the Misses Evans, Mrs Owen, greengrocer, Mr R.Griffiths, Mrs & Miss Rees, dressmakers, Mr Young, Mrs Capt Jones, Mrs Lumley, and Mr Owen, baker, Mr Hughes and Mr Wilkinson, greengrocers, Mrs Elias Davies and Mr J. E. Jones, shoemakers, also sharing a similar fate. The cellar of Mr Watkins' wine vaults was filled, and much damage was done. The carcases of sixteen sheep, belonging to different people, were found floating at the slaughter house, beside several pigs, but the loss in this direction was by no means so great as was at first anticipated. Mr Garner's bakery in Portland-lane was flooded, and a great quantity of flour, bread, and fancy stuffs were spoiled. The poor in this lane were also great sufferers, and the residents in Queen's-road sustained heavy losses. A movement is on foot to obtain funds to reimburse to some extent the poorer tradespeople and workpeople who have thus been so sorely visited; the streets have been mapped out into districts, and gentlemen, including Mr George Green, mayor, Mr B. E. Morgan, Mr E. P. Wynne, Mr C. M. Williams, Mr Richard James, Mr George Colquhoun, Mr Robert Ellis, and others, have undertaken to visit the houses to obtain something like an approximate idea of the probable loss to each. We hope to see this movement very successful, and should think that it is just such a cause which should be largely assisted from Downie's funds.

On Sunday, divine service was not held in the evening at St Michael's or St Mary's churches, the services being held in the afternoon; but service was conducted as usual at Trinity, where there was a crowded congregation. At nearly all the Welsh chapels the services were held earlier in the evening, and were over before dark.

Llanbadarn did not suffer to any very great extent by the floods; the brook, which runs through the village, overflowed, and consequently no service could be held at the Calvinistic Methodist chapel during the morning. Pwllhobi was rather worse off, but beyond the inconvenience suffered, the loss sustained was not great. Not so, however, with the neighbourhoods beyond, particularly from the Factory right up to Devil's Bridge, the whole of the bridges for a distance of about twelve or fourteen miles having been swept away, besides other great damage. About a quarter of a mile on the Aberystwyth side of the Druid village there was a large fall of timber land-said to be about 200 tons in weight-right across the highway, in addition to which, on the road which leads down to Goginan from Penbryn, there has also been a great fall of land-several tons, to the depth of ten or fifteen feet, so that the road is quite blocked up. Maesbangor factory bridge is so much injured as to render it quite unsafe for even foot passengers, but at the time of writing it was still standing. In consequence of the foundations having bulged, great damage has been done to the factory, and it is estimated that from £20 to £25 will be required to repair it, besides which the fulling works have also been materially affected. Penbont bridge, near Maesbangor mill, has been destroyed- it was a stone structure, well arched, and will cost a considerable sum to replace it. The bridges from Llanbadarn to Devil's Bridge which have disappeared are-Plwcka, Ffrwd-ddu, Felin Newydd (a substantial structure), Rhiwarthen, and Llanbadarn Factory. Nor is this all, a large quantity of land, belonging to Mr G. Hughes-Bonsall, Glanrheidol, from Glanrhydtinoeth to the lower part of Rhiwarthen-ucha, has been swept away, owing to which Mr Evans, the out- going tenant of Rhiwarthen, as well as the landlord, is a heavy loser. A portion of a field of swedes has been washed off, some of which were picked up in the neighbourhood of Llanbadarn. The Hon. G. H. Pugh-Evans, Lovesgrove, had, a few years ago, been to great expense in erecting an embankment from Pentre for the purpose of turning the Rheidol, and this has all now been washed away, entailing a loss of about £200. Captain Trevethan, of Maesbangor, must also be classed among those who will have good cause to remember this flood, owing to the overflowing of the Melindwr river.

In the parish of Llanychaiarn several gentlemen and farmers are great losers, but probably none to the same extent as Mr Jones, Tanycastell. The waters came like a deluge, carrying away the walls of his haggard, and clearing it of all manure and every thing which was movable, besides doing much damage to the crops which had been gathered in, and the drowning of ten pigs. The report that Pentrebont bridge had been carried away was untrue, but a smaller one close by was destroyed, and the Factory near Figure Four was blown down. An embankment on the Pengraig farm, which had been made at a cost of about £200 within the last four years was swept away, the principal sufferers in this respect being Mr Vaughan Davies, Tanybwlch, Mr Morris Davies, Ffosrhydgaled, Mr L. P. Push Abermaide, and Mr Powell, Nanteos.

The Aberystwith Observer

December 8-9: Storm

Less than 8 weeks after the great flood came the great storm.


From Galignani's Messenger of Paris

The towns and villages on Cardigan Bay have suffered severely from the late storm. The scene at Aberystwith is described as one of remarkable grandeur. The sea came in over the beach, dashed furiously against the walls in Victoria Terrace, and sent the spray flying right over the houses. The work of destruction then began in earnest. Abergeldie and Balmoral houses, which are semi-detached and situated at the very end of the parade, suffered the most. Nearly all the front windows were completely smashed; the basement windows and doors were firmly secured, and even barricaded, but the sea dashed them all to matchwood. In front of these houses was an ornamental solid brick wall two or three feet high. The sea attacked the wall, demolishing it, and then hurled the heavy stones through the windows into the houses.

New York Times


A storm of great violence broke over this town, in common with all parts of the United Kingdom, on Wednesday, and continued during the whole of Wednesday night and part of Thursday, which caused great damage to property as well as occasioning much inconvenience. It is also our sad duty to report that much sorrow has been brought into three homes at least in this town owing to the drowning of members of the families, and of which we give particulars below.

The storm of wind and rain was at its height during the afternoon and evening, when the force of the former was terrific, and as it blew inshore it was feared that it would be attended by fatal results at sea, a prediction which has been lamentably verified. It is not within the memory of the oldest seafaring man here that the weather glass stood so low as on Wednesday, and it is equally true that a more fearful gale is not remembered, and for some days to come reports of losses may be expected to be received. At one time great apprehension was felt that Aberystwyth would again have to submit to the miseries of a flood, as well as the dangers of the storm but, happily, this calamity was spared the inhabitants. The sea was lashed into fury, and the waves rolled in mountains high, the consequence being that towards six o'clock in the evening, when the tide was at its full, the river Rheidol became swollen to an alarming degree, and soon overflowed its banks, the flats and gardens adjoining being submerged with several inches of water. Fears were entertained that the new temporary wooden bridge, which had only been tested and handed over to the Corporation on the previous day (Tuesday), would be swept away, and at one time this seemed imminent, as the waves washed over it, and rendered it impassable. However, the structure stood the test, and sustained no damage, the traffic being resumed on Thursday morning. Property in all parts of the town suffered extensively, while the sea wall on the Terrace underwent a battering which could scarcely have been more destructive had it undergone a bombardment from a fleet in the bay. The large stones were torn from their places, and thrown about as though there were so many pebbles, and this has been the case from the Terrace road end to below Dr Pice Williams's residence. Thousands of tons of sand and stones were thrown up from the sea, and the Marine parade presented more the appearance of a shingle beach than a fashionable rendezvous for pedestrians or a carriage drive. In several instances the seats were torn up from the sockets into which they were firmly placed, and carried great distances, one indeed being placed sear the front door of Minydon, the residence of Mr Richard James. Mr James is a heavy loser by the storm, the iron palisading in front of his house were literally stove in, and portions were carried some distance down the Terrace. This gave the waves more scope for their work of destruction, and large quantities of sand and stones were poured into the area, and ultimately the door was unhinged, and great damage caused in the kitchen. All the houses to the end suffered more or less, especially the lower apartments, while from the roofs slates and chimney pots were flying about as if only very light things. The bastion near Dr Rice Williams' was greatly damaged, a large portion of it being swept away, and a hole of considerable dimensions caused in the footpath, wherein one of the seats was found on Thursday morning. The remaining portion of the sea wall was intact, although the force of the waves breaking over it must have been tremendous. The chimney stack at Waterloo House was almost entirely carried away, and the sea foam ran into Terrace-road. What we have enumerated above constituted the most alarming results of the storm on the Terrace but other parts of the town were scarcely less fortunate. In Terrace-road the chimney stack at Beach House was blown down, and tiles were brought to the earth in all directions. A window shutter belonging to Mr Hughes, green grocer, was carried by the force of the wind across the street, and struck the large plate glass window at the post-office, shattering it into a thousand pieces, and the shutter entered the premises. Fortunately, Mr Humphreys nor any of his employes were near the window at the time, otherwise they most have been seriously injured. In North-parade too, considerable damage was done, among the worst results being the destruction of a portion of the chimney stack on the house of Mr Metcalfe. Slates, &co, were also blown down, and much repairs will be required. Sandmarsh Cottage, the residence of Mr J. W. Szlnmper, was almost wrecked, a large portion of the roof, besides great quantities of bricks, being torn away, and workmen had to be employed early on Thursday morning to make the tenement habitable. In Bridge-street and High street chimney stacks were carried off, and other damages of a less serious nature are reported. The photographic studio, of Mr Gyde, in Pier-street, was much damaged by the falling of slates on to the glass roof, and it was feared at one time that the place would be totally demolished. As might naturally be expected, the college ruins afforded line play for the wind, and heavy stones were displaced from the walls, and hurled to the ground. Also, portions of the old Castle walls, although they have stood the test of hundreds of storms, were displaced and brought to earth. At the old pier head, the large stones were tumbled about, and now present a more confused mass than ever. House property at Trofechan was also very much damaged, and indeed, all parts of the town suffered to a more or less extent. We are pleased to be able to say that no lives were lost, nor have any accidents of a serious character being recorded. A concert in aid of the funds of the football club was postponed in consequence of the great storm.

Passenger traffic on the Cambrian Railways was considerably interfered with. The six p.m. train from this town proceeded as far as Borth, but could get no further, and the passengers were brought back. Similar inconvenience was experienced by those passengers coming to the town, as the train was unable to get beyond Ynyslas, owing to the rails being submerged, and they were taken back to Machynllyth, where they remained for the night. Telegraphic communication was interrupted, owing to several of the poles being blown down between Borth and Machynlleth. The railway station at Aberystwyth was considerably damaged. We have now to report much more melancholy and disastrous effects of the great gale. Intelligence reached here early on Wednesday of the loss of the schooner Ystwyth, Captain D. Jones, which went ashore and became a complete wreck off New Quay. She belonged to Capt David Thomas, and was homeward bound with a cargo of coals for the owner, and unfortunately, neither vessel nor cargo wore insured. The crew were saved. Early on Thursday morning came the intelligence that two other vessels from this port were wrecked, and, sad to say, all hands had found watery graves'. One of them was the Margaret Jane, concerning which news was received from North Berwick stating that on the 8th while bound from Aberdovey to Aberdeen with slates and slabs she had struck on the South Carr rocks and became a total wreck, the crew being all drowned. Her master was Captain Parry, of Sea View-place, a man who had previously weathered many a storm successfully, but had at last succumbed. He leaves two sons and two daughters behind, all of whom are grown up, but whose sorrow must be very deep owing to the untimely fate of their father, who was very highly respected in the town. The other ill-fated vessel was the schooner Jane and Ann, which was wrecked off Pwllheli. Her master was Captain Isaac Jones of Mary-street, and he and his crew were drowned. The mate was Mr John Thomas, of Penmaesglas-road. Mr Jones has left a widow and five children, the youngest of whom is two years of age, and the grief of the widow under this terrible trial can be more easily imagined than described. Much sympathy is felt throughout the town with the relatives of the deceased men. Other telegrams in respect to the crew of the Jane and Ann were received during Thursday, the latest being that the body of Captain Jones had been found, and that the mate and boy were saved. The remains of Captain Jones were brought home yesterday (Friday).

The Aberystwith Observer
(cf Storms in 1703, 1866, 1896, 1910, 1927, 1938, 1987, 2002 and 2014)



1st successful car produced by Daimler & Benz in Stuttgart



Aberystwyth University incorporated by Royal Charter, previously Aberystwyth candidates had to apply to the University of London for examination


Quad Topped

Roof built over old college quad[9]



Electric light introduced in Aberystwyth.[7]


Built in 1810 the bath house on the prom demolished


November 30th - Federation

The university colleges at Aberystwyth, Bangor and Cardiff were formed into a federation called The University of Wales. The new university was given a Royal Charter which allowed it to grant its own degrees. Although Lampeter had already been grated it's charter in 1822, its request to join the federation was turned down by the 3 colleges. (Aberystwyth seceded from the University of Wales and became an independent university on the 1st of September 2007)

Aberystwyth Prom 1893
View of Aber' from Consti' in 1893



Gas lighting gives way to electric street lighting in Aberystwyth


St Michael's #2 Church demolished. [7]


November 8: Deep Light

While experimenting on vacuum tubes Wilhelm Röntgen notices that they give off rays that can pass through cardboard. He temporarily names these X-rays.

December 22: Inner Frame

While experimenting on the penetrating power of X-rays, which he discovered a month earlier Wilhelm Röntgen finds an exposure strong enough to go through flesh but not bone and makes an X-ray of his wife's hand.

February: Cold



1st experiments that would go on to identify radioactivity made by Henri Becquerel in France


Alexandra Hall built at the north end of the promenade. (One of the 1st hostels in Britain built especially for female students.)


Pavilion on pier completed [7]

Aberystwyth Pier Pavilion
Aberystwyth Pier Pavilion (here shown about 1900)
Note the rail tacks in front. Horse drawn carts were
used to move stone quarried above Queens Road to back-fill
the prom as it was extended south of the pier

June 26: Chancellor, Gladstone, Degree

The Prince of Wales (Albert Edward of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha {AKA Bertie} - later to become King Edward VII) installed as the chancellor of the university.
The university issues its 1st degree - a Doctorate in Music to the Princess of Wales (Queen Alexandra) who also formally opened Alexandra Hall of residence and the pier pavilion on this day.
Prime Minister Gladstone receives honorary (Doctor of Letters) degree. [7]


His Highness Wore a Chancellor's Robes
Much Enthusiasm

ABERYSTWITH, Wales, June 26.- In honor of the visit to this port of the Prince and Princess of Wales, and their daughters, on the occasion of the installation of the prince as chancellor of the University of Wales, the town was brilliantly decorated and crowded with visitors. The royal party arrived by special train at noon and were received with a salute from the ships in the harbor. The installation took place in a large marquee where there was a great assemblage of university dignitaries authorities and others.

The Prince of Wales wore the robes of chancellor and the princess wore the gown and hood of doctor of music. They were both enthusiastically cheered as the prince was installed, and when the degree of doctor of laws was conferred upon the prince and the degree of doctor of music was conferred upon the princess.

The degree of doctor of laws was also conferred upon Mr.Gladstone, Earl Spencer, the duke of Devonshire, Lord Salisbury, Lord Hershell and Mr. A. J. Balfour.

Los Angeles Herald

August 1: Cliff Railway

Cliff Railway (costing £60,000) was opened. After 25 years it was converted to run by electricity but until then the 2 cars counterbalanced each other and had large water barrels which were filled or emptied to drive the cars in opposite directions by gravity.

October 6: School

Aberystwyth County School was opened. When it was closed in 1973 it had become Ardwyn Grammar School.

October 8: Gale

Powerful Gale causes much damage on the Welsh coast raising the tide by 21 feet in Aberystwyth and ruining many cottages in Borth. Between Aberystwyth and Machynlleth a mile of railway track was entirely destroyed and it was estimates that it would take 'fully a week' to get the line in running order.

(cf Storms in 1703, 1866, 1887, 1910, 1927, 1938, 1987, 2002 and 2014)



A new Slipway was built for the RNLI Lifeboat.

Lifeboat Slipway
Aberystwyth Lifeboat Slipway
here shown some time between 1892 & 1896

Fraternising 'Romeo' Sent Down

Because She Talked to Him From a Window

After a long and careful consideration the senate of Aberystwith college in Wales, have decreed that the girl student who was expelled from the ladies' hostel for talking to a boy student from the window shall return to the college, while the male student is to go away for two terms. The decision thus arrived at has been the cause of most remarkable demonstrations by the large body of students. Previous to his departure the students assembled in force, and forming up in funeral order, dressed in deep black, and wearing their black gowns in the form of cowls, the solemn procession started for the station. The leading file carried open books, and the proceedings throughout were of the most solemn character. "The Dead March" was sung, together with Welsh funeral hymns. Hundreds of spectators lined the streets and showed much sympathy with the students. "Romeo" was escorted to his carriage amid loud cheers.

The students decided to make the departing student a presentation to show their sympathy with him and disapproval of the decision of the senate, so, before their march to the station they gave him several articles, including a marble clock - no doubt as a hint to keep good hours - a handsome writing case - to enable him to write to his lady love - and a box of cigars - to console him in the solitude of his private studies. At the station thousands of persons had assembled, including many of the lady students, who evidently did not think it a sin for a young man to court his girl, even after past 10 at night - London Telegraph.

Los Angeles Herald quoting the London Telegraph

Meanwhile from his Paris apartments, the university's chancellor (Bertie), was being less puritanical - much, much less puritanical.


March 6: Synthetic Medicine

Aspirin, the 1st Synthetic chemical drug is patented