Abergele English Pensarn and St George

Abergele St  George Village 1910S

History

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Bridge Street Abergele C1875 National Library Of Wales
Pensarn Beach Bathing
Abergele High Street 1900
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WHY WE'RE CALLED ABERGELE, PENSARN & ST GEORGE

ABERGELE began as a Roman town. Aber means the mouth of a river. Gele, originally Gelau, meant the blade of a sword or the tip of a spear in old Welsh. So Gelau could refer to a narrow, swift stream.

Modern Abergele and Pensarn grew with the coming of the railway in 1848 – but it is much older than that. The hills above are studded with Iron Age forts, and it later became a Roman trading town and medieval marketplace. There has been a Christian church here since at least the eighth century and Abergele was home to an important Celtic monastery.

PENSARN means 'end of the causeway' in English. The crossing of Morfa Rhuddlan was facilitated by a causeway near the sea, located at this point.

ST GEORGE is a village west of Abergele, named after the saint. Nearby is the hamlet of Bodtegwel.

Abergele History 1981 2
Abergele St  George Village 1910S
St Michael S Church Abergele
St George Church

HISTORY BOOKLET & WIKIPEDIA

History Guide - Read and download the History of Abergele, written in 1981.

Roman Balkans

WHAT DID THE ROMANS EVER DO FOR US?

Recent genetic sampling revealed that 38.97% of Abergele men had genes in common with people in the Balkans – probably because the Roman legions based here nearly 2,000 years ago were from what used to be Yugoslavia.

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The 1868 Rail Disaster Memorial   Geograph Org Uk   377402

THE GREAT ABERGELE RAIL DISASTER

The 1868 Abergele Rail Disaster killed 33 people – the worst on record at the time. There is a memorial to the victims in St Michael's churchyard. More on Wikipedia.

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THE OTHER ABERGELE

There's another Abergele - in Ethiopia's Tigray Region, North Africa. But the name is pure coincidence! See Wikipedia.

Gwrych Castle 3
Gwrych Castle 2
Gwrych Castle View From Pentre Mawr Park 1

GWRYCH CASTLE - INSPIRATION & RESTORATION

Abergele's magnificent castle and grounds are steadily being restored. It's open all year and hosts numerous events. Well worth a visit.

More on Wikipedia.

Visit Gwrych Castle History page.

See Gwrych Castle on our Worth Visiting page.

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1932 Kinmel School Abergele Denbighshire Headmaster Mr R A Gordon Cane Advert

KINMEL HALL - A TRAGEDY

Grade 1 listed mansion east of St George, once called 'The Welsh Versailles'. The largest surviving great house in Wales - but only just surviving. Recently ranked as one of the 10 most at risk Victorian and Edwardian buildings in Britain by the Victorian Society. Locked up and increasingly looted and dilapidated. Visiting not allowed. Immensely sad. See Wikpedia.

See more about the hall's history as a spa, school (twice), convalescent home and Christian centre.

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Endeavour 1

ENDEAVOUR SHIPWRECK

This haunting wreck appears and disappears with the shifting sands of Pensarn Beach. It is probably the Endeavour - caught in gale force winds and blown inshore, at Abergele, on 4 October 1854. The Endeavour was a wooden sloop built at Chester in 1817 - 35 tons, 45ft length x 13.5ft beam. See Daily Post report.

Eagle Wreck
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EAGLE SHIPWRECK

Lost off Pensarn Beach, the EAGLE was one of the vessels wrecked during the gale which sank the Royal Charter (pictured) on, 25-26 October 1859. Most poignantly, the consequences of the loss were recorded in the master's own words in a letter he wrote to the editor of the Caernarvon and Denbigh Herald, thanking the people of Abergele and Llandrillo yr Rhos for their generosity and kindness towards his shipwrecked crew. Read the letter here.

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THE MAN WHO LIVED 3 MILES NORTH OF ABERGELE?

Did a man really live three miles north of Abergele - out towards today's windfarms - as this commemorative stone in St Michael's Churchyard claims? The coast of Pensarn and Belgrano has certainly retreated over the centuries. Occasionally old tree stumps can be seen at low tide and there was at least one cottage on what is now the beach.

Read more about the mystery here:

Lost To The Sea

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Download Lost To The Sea

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