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Aberystwyth: recreating the early 20th century town from Visitor Guides

This collection is the result of a local history project begun to see how many of the places of interest for visitors 100 years ago have survived in the townscape today. By the early 1900s, Aberystwyth was being called the 'Biarritz of Wales' for its many fine natural advantages as a health and pleasure resort. The coming of the railway provided an impetus for tourism development.

In attempting to relocated the places and business featured in early visitor guides, it has become clear that many of the iconic buildings of the town are still with us today - even if the nameboards and usages of buildings have changed. There are some notable losses, such as the public baths in Bath Street, the infirmary and school in Queen's Road, the Tabernacle Chapel and Steam Laundry in Mill Street, the old rink in Portland Road, the Pleasure Grounds at the top of Constitution Hill, the Imperial Cinema, and the industries of Smithfield and Trefechan.

The two references used were the 'Borough Guide no 143' published by Edward J. Burrows Co around 1905 (National Library of Wales Collections XDA1345.A3.A14) and the 'Aberystwyth Official Guide and Souvenir' published by the British Publishing Company Ltd, Gloucester, in 1924. A facsimile edition of the latter was reprinted by Ceredigion Archives and Gwasg y Gors in 2015. Both have considerable charm in the reading and contain photographs of the town as it was then.

There are early tourist guides for other destinations around Wales. It is hoped that this collection will inspire others to access these guides in their local libraries and archives and take a similar exploration of towns they know and love.

There are 91 items in this collection

Photoscoot 2020: Railway Station, Aberystwyth

  • 87
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Photoscoot 2020: Old College, Aberystwyth

  • 90
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Photoscoot 2020: Meat Market, Aberystwyth

  • 75
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Photoscoot 2020: Lobster Pots Aberystwyth Harbour

  • 74
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Photoscoot 2020: Lion Royal Hotel, Aberystwyth

  • 81
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Photoscoot 2020: Library, Corporation Street,...

  • 65
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Photoscoot 2020: Garage, Queens Road, Aberystwyth

  • 72
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Photoscoot 2020: Garage, Queen's Road ...

  • 72
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Photoscoot 2020: Former Lifeboat Station, Queen...

  • 80
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Photoscoot 2020: Clocktower Aberystywth

  • 85
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Photoscoot 2020: Central Hotel, Aberystwyth

  • 84
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Photoscoot 2020: Belle Vue Royal Hotel,...

  • 96
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Photoscoot 2020: Alexandra Hall of Residence,...

  • 74
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Photoscoot 2020: Aberystwyth Beach

  • 74
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Photoscoot 2020: Aberystwyth War Memorial

  • 78
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Photoscoot 2020: Aberystwyth Harbour

  • 93
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Photoscoot 2020: formerly Victoria Boarding...

  • 66
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Photoscoot 2020: Tennis Courts and Bowling...

  • 61
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Photoscoot 2020: formerly Cambrian News,...

  • 62
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Photoscoot 2020: formerly B Taylor Lloyd,...

  • 60
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Photoscoot 2020: former Conservative Club,...

  • 68
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Photoscoot 2020: Downies Vaults, formerly...

  • 73
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Photoscoot 2020: Talbot Hotel, Market Street

  • 73
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Photoscoot 2020: St Michael's Church Hall

  • 86
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Photoscoot 2020: St Mary's Church, Grays...

  • 78
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Photoscoot 2020: Smithfield, Aberystwyth

  • 83
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Photoscoot 2020: site of National School,...

  • 76
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Photoscoot 2020: Rheidol Bridge, Aberystwyth

  • 61
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Photoscoot 2020: Railway Station, Aberystwyth

  • 86
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Photoscoot 2020: Public Conveniences,...

  • 67
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Photoscoot 2020: formerly The Strand Drapery...

  • 72
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Photoscoot 2020: formerly Owens, 19-21 North...

  • 74
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Photoscoot 2020: formerly Gyde, Photographer,...

  • 71
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Photoscoot 2020: Former site of the Infirmary,...

  • 69
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Photoscoot 2020: former Market Hall and Market...

  • 88
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Photoscoot 2020: former Brynawel Hotel, St...

  • 93
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Photoscoot 2020: Seion Congregational Church,...

  • 100
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Photoscoot 2020: Council School, Aberystwyth

  • 67
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Photoscoot 2020: Constitution Hill, Aberystwyth

  • 76
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Photoscoot 2020: Commodore Cinema, former site...

  • 79
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Photoscoot 2020: former site of Promemade...

  • 57
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Photoscoot 2020: former Post Office, Great...

  • 62
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Photoscoot 2020: former North Parade Hotel,...

  • 57
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Photoscoot 2020: former Lloyds Bank, Terrace...

  • 54
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Photoscoot 2020: English Congregational Church,...

  • 68
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Photoscoot 2020: English Baptist Church, Alfred...

  • 69
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Photoscoot 2020: Calvinistic Methodist Chapel,...

  • 61
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Photoscoot 2020: Bethel Welsh Baptist Chapel,...

  • 75
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Photoscoot 2020: Carnegie Libary, Corporation...

  • 65
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Photoscoot 2020: Assembly Rooms, Laura Place,...

  • 83
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Photoscoot 2020: ?former Police Station, Great...

  • 62
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Photoscoot 2020: Aberystwyth Castle

  • 99
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Photoscoot 2020: United Theological College,...

  • 80
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Photoscoot 2020: Town Hall, Queen's Road

  • 48
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Photoscoot 2020: The Queens Hotel, Aberystwyth

  • 88
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Photoscoot 2020: The Coliseum Aberystwyth

  • 94
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Photoscoot 2020: St Michael's Church and...

  • 58
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Photoscoot 2020: South Marine Parade, Aberystwyth

  • 77
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Photoscoot 2020: Shipbuilding, Aberystwyth Harbour

  • 60
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Photoscoot 2020: Royal Pier and Pavillion...

  • 83
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Photoscoot 2020: Roman Catholic Church, Queens...

  • 54
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Photoscoot 2020: Rea's Lounge, White Horse...

  • 57
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Photoscoot 2020: Holy Trinity Church, Stanley Road

  • 76
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Photoscoot 2020: formerly the National...

  • 53
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Photoscoot 2020: formerly St Paul's,...

  • 75
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Photoscoot 2020: formerly London and Provincial...

  • 51
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Advertisement for The Rink, Aberystwyth, 1917

  • 805
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Aberystwyth Pier and Pavilion

  • 1,814
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Photoscoot 2020: formerly J Walters, 4 Great...

  • 65
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Photoscoot 2020: formerly J Lewis Evans, 21...

  • 57
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Photoscoot 2020: formerly J H Gilberts, 10...

  • 61
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Photoscoot 2020: formerly J Barclay Jenkins, 23...

  • 61
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Photoscoot 2020: formerly H P Edwards & Son...

  • 67
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Photoscoot 2020: formerly H J Edwards, 58...

  • 67
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Photoscoot 2020: formerly Griffith Ellis, and...

  • 68
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Photoscoot 2020: formerly E. J. Morgan, 1 North...

  • 67
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Photoscoot 2020: formerly David James, 13 Pier...

  • 46
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Photoscoot 2020: formerly David Evans, Great...

  • 53
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Photoscoot 2020: formerly Daniel Thomas, 22-24...

  • 53
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Photoscoot 2020: formerly D. W. Evans, 17 Pier...

  • 62
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Photoscoot 2020: formerly D. Rowland Jones, 43...

  • 60
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Photoscoot 2020: formerly D Jones, 5 North Parade

  • 58
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Photoscoot 2020: formerly Chris Walton, London...

  • 56
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Photoscoot 2020: former J E Hughes, Great...

  • 43
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Photoscoot 2020: former Children's Lake or...

  • 43
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Photoscoot 2020: former Calvinistic chapel,...

  • 57
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Photoscoot 2020: Central Café, 10 North Parade,...

  • 47
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Photoscoot 2020: Boots the Chemist, 1-4 the...

  • 57
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Photoscoot 2020: Ashley's Coliseum Cafe...

  • 41
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Photoscoot 2020: Aberystwyth Golf Course

  • 56
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Owen's Caterers, Confectioners and Café,...

  • 121
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