Thursday, 6 February 2014


Bangor in the county of Gwynedd is a small university city on the Menai Strait facing Anglesey.  The city dates from AD 548 when the Cathedral was founded by St Deiniol.  The cathedral's location in a low-lying site, making it difficult to discern from a distance, is thought to have been a deliberate attempt to avoid attracting the attention of raiders coming from the sea.  Continuing the religious theme, there is a Bible Garden next to the Cathedral, so called because it was created with plants referred to in the Bible.  The GwyneddMuseum and ArtGallery covers the history of North Wales from prehistoric times.  Out in the strait, an ornate pier named Garth Pier sticks out over halfway across this body of water, a length of 1,500 feet, making this grade II listed structure the second longest pier in Wales and the ninth longest in the British Isles.  There are a couple of little shops on the pier and a cafe at the end.   Just to the east of Bangor is Port Penrhyn, or Porth Penrhyn in Welsh, which was built in the 19th century for the export of slate, but is now used by pleasure craft.

File:Bangor Pier (1).jpg
Garth Pier. Photo by Talsarnau Times, via Wikimedia Commons

On a hill just outside Bangor, and occupying a commanding position overlooking the Menai Strait, is Penrhyn Castle, run by the National Trust.  Visitors who expect to see a crumbling medieval stronghold will be disappointed, since the 'castle' was only built in the 19th century.  The neo-Norman pile was designed in 1820 by Thomas Hopper for the Pennant family.  The interior of the building includes elaborate stone carvings and there are paintings by artists including Rembrandt and Canaletto.  The stables have been given over to a railway museum and a doll museum.  In the sloping grounds are a ruined medieval chapel and a pet cemetery, not to mention the wonderful views along the coast to the Great Orme and the stunning Snowdonia backdrop.

View from Penrhyn Castle

Map of the area.

1 comment:

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