Historic Landscape Characterisation

Creuddyn and Arllechwedd – Area 2 Llandudno PRN 15824


SH 796805 looking north-west. Showing the low-lying, coastal town of Llandudno in the centre of the photograph, with the large enclosures characteristic of Creuddyn (area 6) in the foreground and the rising headland of the Great Orme (area 1) behind.



Historical background

The earliest settlement within the character area lies on the east-facing slopes of the Orme, where dwellings for miners and their families were established by the early nineteenth century, working for copper ore on the Orme itself, probably supplementing their income with fishing and farming. This area preserves a different character from the rest of the urban development of Llandudno, being distinguished by smaller dwellings, built from the local limestone along winding lines which follow the contours and natural topography of the hillslopes.

The greater part of the site of the present town of Llandudno was a marshland into the nineteenth century, when it was drained; an enclosure act of 1843, implemented in 1847, apportioned 832 acres out of 955 acres of parish common to Edward Mostyn of Gloddaeth, who resolved upon the creation of a seaside resort. The first auction of leasehold building plots took place in April 1849.

A policy of controlled leasing was adopted, in which the type of building that could be erected was determined by its locality. The street pattern was laid down by the estate, and leaseholders could submit proposed buildings for approval to the estate - which accounts for both the extraordinary variety of Victorian architecture in Llandudno, and its remarkable homogeneity as a town.

The substantial hotels along the North and South Parades were erected from the 1850s onwards, beginning with the Queen's Hotel in 1853. Smaller scale developments followed soon after on the streets inland from the sea-front. Mostyn Street , the main east-west commercial axis, was largely developed by the 1870s. The pier was built by John Dixon in 1876 to the designs of James Brunlees and Alexander McKerrow, 2295' long, in two sections, and whose desk is lined with four kiosks leading to three larger kiosks at the head.

Llandudno contains a number of outstanding examples of Victorian and early twentieth century places of worship, and parks and gardens. Other civic amenities include the Mostyn Art Gallery , a substantial glazed-brick structure, and the library on Mostyn Street .

Developments have continued into the late twentieth century but have not impinged on the town's character.

Llandudno was reached by a railway in 1858, consisting of a short branch line from the main Chester to Holyhead line. The growth of charabanc and other motor traffic in the early twentieth century led to the construction of the present principal road access, now known as Wormhout Road , from the east in the 1930s. This preserves its inter-war character, and contrasts pleasantly with the laid-out Victorian street pattern of the earlier part of the town.

Llandudno successfully attracted an élite clientèle in the 1850s and '60s, but by the end of the nineteenth century its appeal was directed more to the prosperous white-collar workers of the North of England and the Midlands , effectively much as it is at the end of the twentieth century.


Key historic landscape characteristics

Victorian architecture, planned layout, seaside resort

An outstanding example of a Victorian seaside resort, and also of a controlled townscape. Llandudno is remarkable for having retained its nineteenth century character, including decorative ironwork on the major hotels and hydro establishments and street furniture. A recent proposal for a lifeboat station on North Parade was rejected on aesthetic grounds.

Llandudno is particularly noted for the quality and consistency of its suburban architecture as it continues to develop and expand to the present day. Practically every style and development of housing is represented here, from Victorian railways workers' terracing, Arts & Crafts houses, 1920s and 1930s semi-detacheds and Art Deco right up to modern Barret and mock-Tudor developments.


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