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SOME ASPECTS OF THE HISTORY OF ABERYSTWYTH
II
'THE BRIGHTON OF WALES
REFERENCE has already been made to the rapid growth of Aberystwyth
during the late eighteenth century, growth which occurred almost
entirely within the boundaries of the old town. The first to go outside
the line of the old walls was Dafydd Jenkins y Nailer,' an ironmonger
and nailmaker who was granted a lease of a piece of ground 33 ft. by
51 ft. in 1797 for 99 years at 5s. per annum. 'John Williams Sadler'
was given the next piece and Evan Humphreys, Mariner, the third
plot. Once started, building proceeded rapidly but the name North
Parade was not given to the street until about 1815.2 Jenkins built his
house below the Old Gaer or old town wall on a site now occupied
by the National Provincial Bank. The reasons for the movement out of
the town were partly lack of suitable building sites inside the walls and
partly the desire of the well-to-do to move away from the dirt and
squalor that was Aberystwyth at that time. In 1804 town scavengers
were still being fined for allowing dunghills to be made in the streets
but in that year the town authorities seem to have made a determined
attempt to clean up the streets.3 John Davies of the Gogerddan Arms
was appointed scavenger with responsibility for a definite beat' and
three others were similarly appointed to ensure that other sections of
the town were kept clean.4 This was a great improvement on the old
practice of appointing as scavengers prominent men who were too
busy to see that the cleaning was done." In 1808 eight scavengers
were appointed and the town benefited accordingly.
Bridge Street and Weeg Street in time became handsome streets,'
the latter being the shopping centre, the 'Regent Street of Aberystwyth,'
and the former the street where the local gentry had their town houses.
At the corner of Bridge Street and Mill Street stood the Penglais house
occupied in the early nineteenth century by Roderick Richardes. No.
46 was owned by the Carrog family and was occupied at this period
by the Reverend Thomas Richards who did so much to establish both
the National School in 1819 and the Savings Bank in the town. Later
the occupant was a Dr. Snell who came to Hafod with the Duke of
Newcastle and worked successfully for years among the lead miners of
Pontrhydygroes. Across the road was Ty Dr. Rice Rice Williams,
a physician and surgeon and coroner for North Cardiganshire who
was said to be the last of Meddygon Myddfai,' a family of physic-
ians of very ancient lineage. The Gogerddan house is now the Welsh
Gazette offices and the Nanteos town house was further up the street.
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