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Location within Ceredigion
OS grid reference SN458628
Principal area
Ceremonial county
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district SA46
Dialling code 01545
Police Dyfed-Powys
Fire Mid and West Wales
Ambulance Welsh
UK Parliament
Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament
List of places
52°14′31″N4°15′33″W / 52.24204°N 4.25921°W / 52.24204; -4.25921 Coordinates: 52°14′31″N4°15′33″W / 52.24204°N 4.25921°W / 52.24204; -4.25921

Aberaeron, previously anglicised as Aberayron, is a town, a community and an electoral ward, situated between Aberystwyth and Cardigan in Ceredigion, Wales. Ceredigion County Council offices are based in Aberaeron. The name of the town is Welsh, translating to mouth of the Aeron , derived from the Middle Welsh aer, "slaughter", [1] which gave its name to Aeron, who is believed to have been a Welsh god of war. [2]


The population was 1,520 in 2001, [3] reducing to 1,422 at the 2011 census. [4]

History and design

County Hall, Aberaeron (known as Aberaeron Town hall until 1910) Aberaeron Town Hall (geograph 5527889).jpg
County Hall, Aberaeron (known as Aberaeron Town hall until 1910)

In 1800, there was no significant coastal settlement. [5] The present town was planned and developed from 1805 by the Rev. Alban Thomas Jones Gwynne. He built a harbour which operated as a port and supported a shipbuilding industry in the 19th century. A group of workmen's houses and a school were built on the harbour's north side, but these were reclaimed by the sea. [6] Steam ships continued to visit the harbour until the 1920s but, in later years, it evolved into a small half-tide harbour for recreational craft. The estuary is also crossed by a wooden pedestrian bridge.

Crafts were an important part of village life. Information recorded in trade directories shows that in 1830, although it was not yet fully developed as a port, there were in Aberaeron one woollen manufacturer, one bootmaker, one baker, one corn miller, one blacksmith, one blacksmith and shovel maker, two shipwrights, one carpenter and one hat maker. [7]

In the late 1890s, a hand-powered cable car, the Aeron Express, was built to ferry workers across the harbour when the bridge was demolished by floods. The structure was recreated in 1988 as a tourist attraction that ran until the end of summer 1994, when it was closed under health and safety regulations. [8]

The architecture of Aberaeron is unusual in this part of rural Wales, being constructed around a principal square of elegant Regency style buildings grouped around the harbour. This was the work of Edward Haycock, an architect from Shrewsbury. His designs also included the former Aberaeron Town Hall, which was completed in 1846 and became County Hall, Aberaeron in 1910. [9] Some of the architecture was of sufficient interest to feature on British postage stamps. [6]

Aberaeron Golf Club (now defunct) was founded in 1923. It continued until the Second World War when the course was turned over to agriculture to aid the war effort. Post-war attempts to reinstate the club failed. [10]

Castell Cadwgan

Castell Cadwgan, a 12th-century ringwork fortification around a probable wooden structure was located by the shore at Aberaeron, but has long since been claimed by the sea. Few traces remain today apart from some mounds of earth, the remains of the enclosure bank, most of the site having been eroded. [11] [12]

In Wales Illustrated in a Series of Views by Henry Gastineau, published in 1810, it states: "Near the town are some remains of an ancient fortress called Castell Cadwgan, thought to have been erected by King Cadwgan, about the year 1148." However, Cadwgan is recorded as having been killed in 1111. Welsh Minstrelsy: Containing the Land Beneath the Sea, published in 1824, states: "Just where Sarn Ddewi juts out from the shore is an old fort, called Castell Cadwgan."

Local government

Ceredigion County Council offices in Aberaeron Ceredigion-council-aberaeron.jpg
Ceredigion County Council offices in Aberaeron

Aberaeron is a relatively new settlement and lacked borough status like other towns in the county. In 1894, the town achieved the status of being an urban district until the local government reorganisation of 1974.

The first representative for Aberayron on the Cardiganshire County Council from 1889 was John Morgan Howell, who became a prominent figure in the political life of the county. Following his election in January 1889, bonfires were lit to celebrate his victory. [13] Since 1995 the Aberaeron ward has elected one councillor to Ceredigion County Council. Since 2008 the ward has been represented by Councillor Elizabeth Evans for the Welsh Liberal Democrats. [14] [15]


The town and surrounding areas are served by Ysgol Gyfun Aberaeron, a bi-lingual secondary comprehensive school. Although there is no provision for further education in the Town, The university towns of Aberystwyth, Lampeter and Carmarthen are all within easy travelling range.

Location and features

Aberaeron is located between Cardigan and Aberystwyth on the A487, at a junction with the A482 leading south-east to the university town of Lampeter. It lies on the Ceredigion Coast Path, part of the Wales Coast Path.

The shoreline consists of generally steep storm beaches of pebbles, although fine sand is visible at low tide levels. Aberaeron south beach was awarded the Blue Flag rural beach award in 2005. [16] It contains the Harbourmaster Hotel.

The climate is mild and temperate, largely conditioned by the proximity of the relatively shallow sea. However, Aberaeron can suffer from occasional winter frosts when cold air descends the Aeron valley from the upland parts of Ceredigion.

Dylan Thomas's links with Aberaeron, New Quay and Talsarn have been documented. [17] The Dylan Thomas Trail runs through Ceredigion, passing through Aberaeron and ending in New Quay. [18]

There are 248 listed buildings in Aberaeron community, most in the town itself. [19]

An annual festival of Welsh ponies and cobs is held on Alban Square Field every August. [20] A life-sized statue of a Welsh cob stallion, sculpted by David Mayer, was donated to the town in 2005 by the festival. An annual carnival takes place on the Monday Bank Holiday in August. A colourful procession of floats and a carnival queen moves from the Quay to Alban Square. [21] [22]

Public transport

In 1911, a branch line opened to Aberaeron Aberayron Light Rly.png
In 1911, a branch line opened to Aberaeron

In 1866, transport in Lampeter was greatly improved with the opening of the railway linking Carmarthen and Aberystwyth. In 1911, a branch line, the Lampeter, Aberayron and New Quay Light Railway, opened to Aberaeron. Following the nationalisation of the railways, the passenger service to and from Aberaeron ceased in 1951 and it closed to freight in 1965.

A regular bus service links the town with Aberystwyth, Lampeter and Carmarthen, with several daily through services to Swansea, Bridgend and Cardiff. [23] [24] Another service connects with New Quay, Aberporth and Cardigan from Monday to Saturday. [25]

Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

Ceredigion County in Wales

Ceredigion is a county in the west of Wales, corresponding to the historic county of Cardiganshire. During the second half of the first millennium Ceredigion was a minor kingdom. It has been administered as a county since 1282. Ceredigion is considered a centre of Welsh culture and more than half the population can speak Welsh. The county is mainly rural with over 50 miles (80 km) of coastline and a mountainous hinterland. The numerous sandy beaches and the long-distance Ceredigion Coast Path provide excellent views of Cardigan Bay.

Lampeter Human settlement in Wales

Lampeter is a town, community and electoral ward in Ceredigion, Wales, at the confluence of the Afon Dulas with the River Teifi. It is the third largest urban area in Ceredigion, after Aberystwyth and Cardigan, and has a campus of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. At the 2011 Census, the population was 2,970. Lampeter is the smallest university town in the United Kingdom. The university adds approximately 1,000 people to the town's population during term time.

New Quay Human settlement in Wales

New Quay is a seaside town in Ceredigion, Wales, with a resident population of around 1,200 people, reducing to 1,082 at the 2011 census. Located 19 miles (31 km) south-west of Aberystwyth on Cardigan Bay with a harbour and large sandy beaches, it lies on the Ceredigion Coast Path, and remains a popular seaside resort and traditional fishing town.

Ceredigion (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1997 onwards

Ceredigion is a parliamentary constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament. Created in 1536, the franchise expanded in the late 19th century and on the enfranchisement of women. Its boundaries remained virtually unchanged until 1983. From 1536 until 1885 the area had two seats : a county constituency (Cardiganshire) comprising the rural areas, the other the borough constituency known as the Cardigan District of Boroughs comprising a few separate towns; in 1885 the latter was abolished, its towns and electors incorporated into the former, reduced to one MP. The towns which comprised the Boroughs varied slightly over this long period, but primarily consisted of Cardigan, Aberystwyth, Lampeter and Adpar, the latter now a suburb of Newcastle Emlyn across the Teifi, in Carmarthenshire.

Ystrad Aeron Human settlement in Wales

Ystrad Aeron is a small village west of Felinfach on the A482 between Lampeter and Aberaeron, Ceredigion, Wales. It is part of the constituent community of Llanfihangel Ystrad.

Carmarthen railway station Railway station in Carmarthenshire, Wales

Carmarthen railway station is on is on the West Wales Line serving the town of Carmarthen, Wales, south of the River Towy. The station is operated by Transport for Wales. Great Western Railway also run a limited service between Carmarthen and London Paddington, usually one train each way daily with additional services on Sunday.


TrawsCambria was a network of medium and long-distance express bus routes in Wales sponsored by the Welsh Government.

Carmarthen–Aberystwyth line Former railway line in Wales

The Carmarthen–Aberystwyth line was originally a standard-gauge branch line of the Great Western Railway (GWR) in Wales, connecting Carmarthen and Aberystwyth.

The Lampeter, Aberayron and New Quay Light Railway was an independent branch line railway in south west Wales. It connected Aberayron to the former Manchester and Milford Railway line at Lampeter; New Quay was never reached.

Aberystwyth Coastal town in Wales

Aberystwyth is a university town and community in Ceredigion, Wales. Located in the historic county of Cardiganshire, Aberystwyth means "the mouth of the Ystwyth". In one form or another, Aberystwyth University has been a major educational location in Wales since the establishment of University College Wales in 1872.

The Ceredigion League is a Welsh football league for the county of Ceredigion. It is at the fifth level of the Welsh football league system. It was founded in 1921 as the Cardiganshire League in Lampeter. The ten founding teams were Aberaeron, Aberystwyth Battery, Conservative FC, College Reserves, Drefach, Lampeter, Llanybydder, Newcastle Emlyn, Padarn United and Parish Hall United. Newcastle Emlyn withdrew from the league without playing games.

Silian, originally Sulien, is a village in the valley of the River Teifi, Ceredigion, Wales. It is located approximately two miles north-west of Lampeter, on a minor road connecting Pont Creuddun on the A482, and Glan Denys on the A485.

Dylan Thomas Trail Trail in west Wales associated with poet Dylan Thomas

The Dylan Thomas Trail runs through places associated with the poet Dylan Thomas in Ceredigion, west Wales. It was officially opened by Aeronwy Thomas, Dylan's daughter, in July 2003. It also featured in the celebration in 2014 of the centenary of Dylan's birth.

Talsarn Halt was a small railway station in a very rural location on the Aberayron branch of the Carmarthen to Aberystwyth Line in the Welsh county of Ceredigion. Opened by the Lampeter, Aberayron and New Quay Light Railway, the branch to Aberayron diverged from the through line at Lampeter.

Felin Fach railway station

Felin Fach or Ystrad was a small railway station in the rural location between Ystrad Aeron and Felinfach, the intermediate station on the Aberayron branch of the Carmarthen to Aberystwyth Line in the Welsh county of Ceredigion. Opened by the Lampeter, Aberayron and New Quay Light Railway, the branch to Aberayron diverged from the through line at Lampeter.

Ciliau-Aeron Halt was a small railway station on the Aberayron branch of the Carmarthen to Aberystwyth Line in the Welsh county of Ceredigion serving the hamlet of Ciliau Aeron and the nearby estate of Tyglyn. Opened by the Lampeter, Aberayron and New Quay Light Railway, the branch to Aberayron diverged from the through line at Lampeter.

The first election to the Cardiganshre County Council was held in January 1889. It was followed by the 1892 election. The county was divided into numerous single member wards with two councillors elected to represent Cardigan, Lampeter, New Quay and Llandysul, and four to represent the town of Aberystwyth. 37 Liberals, 10 Conservatives and 1 Unionist were returned.

Talsarn is a hamlet in the community of Nantcwnlle, Ceredigion, Wales. It lies some 16 miles (26 km) south of Aberystwyth, 64 miles (103 km) north-west of Cardiff, and 178 miles (286 km) from London. It is situated almost half-way between the towns of Lampeter and Aberaeron on the Ceredigion coast. The River Aeron passes close to Talsarn as it makes its way to the sea at Aberaeron.

Ceredigion District Council was formed on local government re-organisation in Wales in 1974. Its boundaries were identical to those of the former Cardiganshire County Council which was abolished when that council, together with Carmarthenshire County Council and Pembrokeshire County Council were merged to form Dyfed County Council.

2022 Ceredigion County Council election Ceredigion County Council election

The 2022 Ceredigion County Council election took place as of 5 May 2022 to elect 38 members to Ceredigion Council. On the same day, elections were held to the other 21 local authorities and to community councils in Wales as part of the 2022 Welsh local elections. The previous all-council election took place in May 2017 and future elections will take place every five years.


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  2. p.144 A Wander Around the Coast of Wales by Steve Plant, FastPrint Publishing, 2014
  3. "Parish Headcounts : Ceredigion". Census 2001 . Office for National Statistics.
  4. "Community population 2011". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  5. Aberaeron Archived 2014-08-26 at the Wayback Machine at Ceredigion County Council website
  6. 1 2 Aberaeron 1807–2007: Aberaeron Town Trail, celebrating our heritage Archived March 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Heritage Treftadaeth, 2007 (under building 1 - General Storehouse)
  7. Jenkins, J. Geraint. Ceredigion: Interpreting an Ancient County. Gwasg Careg Gwalch (2005) pg. 83.
  8. Price M. R. C. "The Lampeter, Aberayron and New Quay Light Railway", Oakwood Press 2011, p.104
  9. Lloyd, Thomas; Orbach, Julian; Scourfield, Robert; Avent, Richard (2006). Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion (Buildings of Wales Series). Yale University Press. p. 394. ISBN   978-0300101799.
  10. “Aberaeron Golf Club”, “Golf’s Missing Links”.
  11. "Aberaeron". Cymru Hanes (in Welsh). BBC.
  12. Lewis, Samuel (1849). "Aberaeron, or Aberayron (Aberaeron)". A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. British History Online.
  13. "Cardiganshire County Council". Cambrian News . 25 January 1889. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  14. "Ceredigion County Council Election Results 1995-2012" (PDF). The Elections Centre. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  15. "Ceredigion County Council Election 2017: The Results". Cambrian News. 5 May 2017. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  16. Blue Flag website Archived October 22, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  17. Thomas, David N. "Dylan Thomas: A Farm, Two Mansions and a Bungalow". Seren 2000. Also see https://sites.google.com/site/dylanthomasandnewquay/
  18. Thomas, David N. "The Dylan Thomas Trail". Y Lolfa, 2002
  19. "British Listed Buildings: Aberaeron" . Retrieved 12 December 2019.
  20. www.aberaeronfesival.co.uk
  21. Aberaeron Carnival at aberaeron.info website
  22. Aberaeron Carnival 2009 pictures at BBC West Wales
  23. Arriva Cymru timetable [ dead link ]
  24. Aberystwyth to Cardiff four days weekly by coach Archived May 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine by Coach Travel Wales
  25. Arriva Cymru (ARR) - Brodyr Richards/ Richards Bros (RB)[ dead link ] at ceredigion.gov.uk