Craig y Don History

This is a first attempt at mapping out a chronological history of Craig y Don. Website links are provided to sources of information. A lot of the other information has been taken from Llandudno: Queen of Welsh Resorts by Ivor Wynne Jones available from

This is very much work in progress, any anyone who can correct details or provide more information is asked to get in touch using the contact form on the right hand side of the screen.

Between 1,000 BC and 1,000 AD – First settlements in Coed Gaer on Nant y Gamar, overlooking Craig y Don.  The remains of ancient stone hut circles and burial chambers are still readily distinguishable.

1460 – First house built by the Mostyn Family in the area known as Gloddaeth (now St David’s College). The present house dates from the 16th century.

1618 – Sir Thomas Mostyn builds a windmill on land belonging to Gloddaeth.  Now known as Hen Dwr

1700 – evidence that a maze was planted.  In 1856, John Hicklen wrote in his Illustrated Hand Book of Llandudno ‘the maze is larger than the one at Hampton Court but that it is in need of restoration…’

1748 – A windmill was shown in Lewis Morris chart of Conwy Estuary as a navigation aid

1804 – Windmill taken over by the Crown for use as an invasion warning beacon during the Napoleonic Wars. Described as the Bodafon Mountain Beacon

1848 – Enclosure Act allocates Thomas Peer Williams 30 acreas of the Llanrhos Common and 28 acres in Llandudno. He names the area Craig y Don after his home near Beaumaris on Anglesey

1850 – Sand and clay mine on Nant y Gamar opens. Lime kilns in operation.

1870 – First building in Craig y Don, a large house on the eastern corner of what is now Carmen Sylva Road. Ascot House stood alone until 1884

1880 – Sand and clay mine on Nant y Gamar closes

1884 – Craig y Don estate sells freehold of 2,210 acres (Mostyn Estate retained Bodafon Fields)

1885 – Riddell & Jarvis tennis courts opened (site is now St David’s Church, Mostyn Avenue)

1890 – Queen Elisabeth of Romania (Carmen Sylva) visits Llandudno

1893 – Building starts of Church in Wales parish church of St. Paul on Mostyn Broadway. Memorial to Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence

1894 –Welsh Baptist Chapel in Queen’s Road opens (now the Evangelical church)

1899 – South aisle added to St Paul’s church, a gift of John Walker of Osborne House, North Parade.

1899 – Fire station housing a small horse-drawn manually operated pump built on Queen’s Road

1901 – Chancel added to St Paul’s Church, a gift of Lady Augusta Mostyn

1902 – Craig y Don school established

1902 – Lady Forester’s convalescent home built (now Blind Veterans UK, formerly St Dunstans)

1902 – Livery Stables built on Queen’s Road (now Llandudno Carpets and Furniture shop)

1907 – Several hundred Roman coins discovered whilst extended Mostyn Broadway

1907 – Trams start running through Craig y Don. Operated by Llandudno & Colwyn Bay Electric Railway, they ran up the main street and into fields leading to Penrhynside

1912 – J.C. Parke, a Llandudno solicitor who played tennis at the Riddell & Jarvis courts, plays for the British Tennis team that wins the Davis Cup

1914 – Revill Hall 1,000 seat marquee erected on site that is now Benard’s shop

1914 – Craig y Don Bowling Club founded

1922 – Sir William Letts buys the house named Eryl Fryn. He was a director of Crossley Motors and one of the founders of the Automobile Association.

1930 – Nant y Gamar Quarries Ltd. Formed

1931 – Riddell & Jarvis tennis courts close and moved to Queens Road

1953 – Nant y Gamar Quarries Ltd. Closes

1956 – Trams stop running

1959 – Sir William Letts dies

1962 – Ysgol Gogarth opens

1963 – National Eisteddfod held on Bodafon Fields

1969 – Bank clerk Richard Williams sets up an illegal printing press in the house named Dolarfon in Roumania Drive, printing Welsh money.

1972 – Nant y Gamar declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to it Limestone grassland.

1977 – School moves to current Ysgol Craig y Don site on Clarence Road

1977 – Lady Forester’s becomes North Wales medical centre, a private hospital.

1979 – Queen Elizabeth Court opens

1985 – Collection of Francis Chardon that formed the Rapallo House collection on Fferm Bach Road moved to form the core of the present Llandudno museum in Gloddaeth Street

1993 – Craig y Don flooded, along with much of Llandudno

1998 – Queen’s Road Pavilion burns down

2005 – Four Seasons Health Care buy the North Wales Medical Centre (formerly Lady Forester’s)

2005 – Friends of Queens Park formed to enhance the park and the wider community of Craig y Don

2006 – North Wales Medical Centre closes

2010 – New play equipment in Queens Park Craig y Don opens officially

2011 – St Dunstan’s centre for blind veterans opens in building formerly known as Lady Forester’s

2012 – St Dunstan’s charity renamed as Blind Veterans UK

One thought on “Craig y Don History

  1. Jill Scupham

    I’m loving hearing more about the Riddell & Jarvis tennis courts – our house on Victoria Street (opposite the bakery) is called Tennis Court. It is the only remaining piece of the Riddell & Jarvis tennis courts famed for being the home ground of the 1912 Davis Cup and 1914 Wimbledon Mixed Doubles winners. It was built around 1895 for the Pro. and was later used for many years as a guest house.

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