SHORT PICTORIAL HISTORY
of
Y MAES
or
CASTLE SQUARE
[ Created in 1817/21 ]

by

T.MEIRION HUGHES

Y MAES, CAERNARFON circa 1855,
J Fagan's lithograph of painting by J.J.Dodd

Prior to 1817 there was a flat topped green hill [ Y Maes Glas ] on the square. This was physically removed in cartloads down Castle Hill and used as a foundation for the Slate Quay when the harbour was extended. The work was completed by 1821 and is believed to be the earliest form of Job Creation Scheme making use of the town's unemployed, which included ex-servicemen of the Napoleonic Wars. It is surprising how little the square has changed since those early days. Note the building under Queen Eleanor's Gate. The Public Reading Rooms were situated there.

SIMILAR VIEW of Y MAES
BUT DATED c 1885

Note the fountain which was erected in 1868 is to the left of the picture and that the Pater Noster Buildings on the right c1883, are shown but that Sir Hugh Owen's statue is missing. This means that the photo was taken prior to 1888. Possibly 1885.

AT THE UNVEILING OF
SIR HUGH OWEN'S STATUE

Extremely rare photo. The date was October 26. 1888

CATTLE MARKET ON Y MAES c 1900

This photo shows both the fountain and Sir Hugh Owen's statue and also the 3 houses in front of the castle. These were demolished prior to the 1911 Investiture so that the public could see Queen Eleanor's Gate.
The land was presented to the town by the late [then Mr] C.G. Duff Assheton-Smith.

 (c) T. Meirion Hughes

Welsh

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