Llandudno inherits its name from the 6th century saint, Tudno or Dudno, who gave Christianity to the province: his cell on Great Orme, a hidden cave, still remains; Llan means parish, or ‘church of’. A church on Great Orme – Orme by the way is a Viking word meaning serpent – dedicated to Tudno was constructed in the 12th century, and extended in the 15th, and continues to be in use today.
In 1284 Edward I gave the Bishop of Bangor the Manor of Gogarth, governing a few settlements in the district where Llandudno eventually formed; the gift was out of gratitude for the bishop’s support in making Edward’s son the first English Prince of Wales.
During medieval times the area was of little note, the few villages performing fishing and agricultural activities, a state of affairs that persisted until the 19th century, though with the reopened mines gifting the place some renewed significance in the Industrial Revolution . This all changed in the middle of the 19th century.
In 1848 the local landowner, Lord Mostyn, was given visionary plans for a resort on the site by Liverpool architect Owen Williams. The 1849 Act of Enclosure supplied the Mostyn family the status required to modify the area with the Great Orme at one end and Little Orme at the other. The layout of the planned town was agreed upon in that same year. In 1857 another architect, George Felton, picked up the project, his hand certainly witnessed in the architecture in Llandudno’s centre.
The effort in building the resort, and readying for its visitors, came at the right moment, as in 1850 the copper mines were shut down, no longer economically viable.
Llandudno is a creation of the Railway Age. In 1848 the Chester – Holyhead line started, winding near the town that was growing out of three older settlements. Visitors from North West England could then reach the area with ease; in 1858 communications were further boosted by the branch from that line moving forward into the town.
The proceeding history of Llandudno is the story of its growth as a seaside resort. A pier opened in 1858, though it was soon damaged in a massive storm. Another was built in its stead in 1875, and is still to be witnessed today. In 1878 Marine Drive opened; nine years later the Mostyn family gave the town a no longer used quarry transformed into gardens called Happy Valley; in 1902 the Grand Hotel opened, another sign of the vision the Mostyns had of Llandudno as an elegant destination.
Llandudno’s transport infrastructure was modified through the 20th century. In 1902 the Great Orme Tramway was opened, making it practically effortless to attain the 678′ summit. The Llandudno and Colwyn Bay Electric Railway, a tram service thoughout the town, proceeded in 1936, though unexpectedly it closed in 1963; 1972 witnessed the opening of a cabin lift to the summit of the regal headland.
The town these days is among the big resorts in Wales. Look for b and b llandudno, still with an elegant air. That elegance was enhanced with the erecting of the North Wales Theatre in the 21st century. This building on the promenade, next to seaview hotels llandudno, provides a venue for musicals, concerts and plays, and is often the port of call for the Welsh National Opera.