infobox UK place
country = Wales
postcode_district = LL55
static_image_caption=Caernarfon town from
The name comes from Welsh "Caer yn Arfon" = "
castlein Arfon", referring to the Roman fort named Segontium. "Arfon" means " [region] opposite Anglesey". In Welsh it is pronounced|kaɨrˈnarvɔn (approximately "kire-NAR-von"), but it tends to be pronEng|kəˈnɑːvən in English.
Caernarfon is the traditional
county townof the historic county of Caernarfonshire. The town is best known for its great stone castle, built by Edward I of Englandand consequently sometimes seen as a symbol of English domination. Edward's architect, James of St. George, may well have modelled the castle on the walls of Constantinople, possibly being aware of the alternative Welsh name "Caer Gystennin"; in addition, Edward was a supporter of the Crusader cause. On higher ground on the outskirts of the town are the remains of an earlier occupation, the Segontium Roman Fort.
Caernarfon was constituted a
boroughin 1284 by charter of Edward I. The charter, which was confirmed on a number of occasions, appointed the mayor of the borough Constable of the Castle ex officio. [ [http://www.caernarfontowncouncil.gov.uk/eng/siarter.html "The Town Charter", Caernarfon Royal Town Council, accessed October 21, 2007] ] The former municipal boroughwas designated a royal borough in 1963. The borough was abolished by the Local Government Act 1972in 1974, and the status of "royal town" was granted to the community which succeeded it. [ [http://www.visitcaernarfon.com/features/royalstatus.htm] The Town's Armorial Bearings & Royal Status (Caernarfon Online)]
In the year 1221 a charter granted to the canons of Penmon priory, in Anglesey, by
Llywelyn the Great, refers to "Kaerinarfon" [http://www.cefnpennar.com/carnarvon/index.htm] , and " Brut y Tywysogion" uses the forms "Kaerenarvon" and "Caerenarvon". [Thomas Jones (ed.) "Brut y Tywysogion [:] Peniarth MS. 20" (Cardiff, 1941). It should however be noted that medieval orthography in every language varies considerably and variant spellings of a name or word often occur in the same manuscript text."Kaerinarfon", "Kaerenarvon" and "Caerenarvon" correspond to Caer-yn-Arfon in modern Welsh orthography. The letter "y" would naturally be lost in the spoken language, thus giving the standard Welsh name "Caernarfon" ("Caer 'n Arfon"). ] An early alternative name was "Caer Seiont". It is called "Caer Aber Sei(o)n(t)" ("the fort on the estuary of the river Seiont") in the medieval Welsh tale " Breuddwyd Macsen", and was also known as "Caer Gystennin" ("The Castle of Constantin") [See Sir Ifor Williams' notes in his edition of "Breuddwyd Maxen" (Bangor, 1920). The name appears for the first time in the work of Nennius. Pre-conquest medieval Welsh poets such as Hywel ab Owain Gwyneddsometimes use the name "Caer Gystennin".]
Demographically the populationof Caernarfon is the most Welsh-speaking community in all of Wales. 86.1% of the population could speak the Welsh languagein the United Kingdom Census 2001, with the largest majority of Welsh speakers in the 10-14 age group, where 97.7% could speak it fluently. The town is nowadays a rallying-point for the Welsh nationalist cause. A famous welsh nationalist Cara Francis has a property on the outskirts of Caernarfon. Its population, with nearby Y Felinheliand Penygroesis about 14,000.
Caernarfon residents are known colloquially as "Cofis" (pronounced|ˈkɒvi). The word "Cofi" is also used locally in Caernarfon to describe the local
dialect, which is a rather peculiar mixture of Welsh and English, swapping words and grammatical constructs somewhat haphazardly.Fact|date=October 2008
David Lloyd George, then Member of Parliamentfor the borough, conceived the idea of holding the investiture of the new Prince of Walesat Caernarfon Castle, believing that this would help pacify nationalist opinion whilst arousing a more British patriotic feeling. The ceremony took place on 13 July, with the royal family paying a rare visit to Wales, and the future King Edward VIII was duly invested.
1 July 1969the investiture ceremony was again held at Caernarfon Castle, the recipient on this occasion being Charles, Prince of Wales. Despite nationalist threats and protests, the ceremony went ahead without incident, except that two members of Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru(Welsh Defence Movement), Alwyn Jones and George Taylor, were killed when their bomb - intended for the railway line at Abergelein order to stop the British Royal Train- exploded prematurely.
Caernarfon is also home to the regimental museum of the
Royal Welch Fusiliers(archaic English spelling of the word "Welsh").
Culture and incidental information
Caernarfon railway stationin St. Helen's Road is the northern terminus of the narrow gauge Welsh Highland Railway. Caernarfon was at one time an important port, exporting slate from the Nantlle Valleyquarries. Caernarfon Airportis convert|4.5|mi|km to the south west, and offers pleasure flights and an aviation museum.
Caernarfon hosted the
National Eisteddfodin 1862, 1894, 1906, 1921, 1935, 1959 and 1979. Unofficial National Eisteddfod events were also held there in 1877 and 1880.
In 1955, Caernarfon was in the running for the title of
Capital of Waleson historical grounds. But the town's campaign was heavily defeated in a ballot of Welsh local authorities, with 11 votes compared to Cardiff's 136. Cardifftherefore became Wales' first official capital city.
Caernarfon has a small harbour and a
Blue Flag beachat Victoria Harbour.
public housein Caernarfon is the Black Boy Innwhich remained in the same family for over 40 years until recently sold to a hotel group.
The town is twinned with
It appears as a settlement under the name Caernarvon in the PC
Caernarfon (UK Parliament constituency)
George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon
* [http://www.caernarfon.com/index.html Official Website]
* [http://website.lineone.net/~cwinpenny/wales/caernarfon01.jpgView of Caernarfon Castle]
* [http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9018519/Caernarfon Encyclopaedia Britannica Caernarfon]
* [http://www.greatorme.org.uk/Caernarfon.html Visit to Caernarfon]
* [http://www.caernarfononline.co.uk Facts and news about Caernarfon]
* [http://www.gtj.org.uk/en/item1/11292 Aerial photograph of Caernarfon]
* [http://www.geograph.org.uk/search.php?i=3490920 www.geograph.co.uk : photos of Caernarfon and surrounding area]
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