Bangor, in north Wales, is one of the smallest cities
in the United Kingdom.
It is a university city
with a population of 13,725 at the 2001 census, not including around 8,000
students at BangorUniversity. Also
according to the census, 46.7% of the population speak Welsh (despite most of
the students coming from outside Wales).
The origins of the city date back to the founding of Bangor Cathedral by the
Celtic saint Deiniol in the early 6th century AD. The name 'Bangor' itself comes from a Welsh word for a
type of fenced-in enclosure, such as was originally on the site of the
cathedral. The present cathedral is a somewhat more recent building and has
been extensively modified throughout the centuries. While the building itself
is not the oldest, and certainly not the biggest, the bishopric of Bangor is one of the
oldest in the UK.
Another claim to fame is that Bangor
allegedly has the longest High Street in Wales. FriarsSchool
was founded as a free grammar school in 1557.
Bangor is largely contained to the south by Bangor
Mountain although the large housing estate of Maesgeirchen, originally built as
council housing, is to the east of the toe of the mountain near to Port Penrhyn.
The presence of Bangor Mountain casts a shadow across the High Street, Glan
Adda and Hirael areas such that from November through to March some parts of
the High Street in particular receive no direct sunlight as they lie in the
shadow of the mountain. Bangor
has two rivers within its boundaries. The River Adda is a largely culverted
watercourse which only appears above ground at its western extremities near to
the Faenol estate, whilst the River Cegin enters Port Penrhyn at the eastern
edge of the city. Port Penrhyn was an important port in the nineteenth century,
exporting the slates produced at the Penrhyn Quarry.
Bangor railway station, which serves the city, is
located on the NorthWalesCoast
Line from Crewe to Holyhead.
Radio stations Champion FM and Coast FM broadcasts to
the city in English and Welsh and Storm FM broadcasts from the University. The
BBC's Light Entertainment Department moved to Bangor during World War II and many classic
programmes (like ITMA) came from Bangor.
In 1967, the Beatles came to Bangor
(staying at Neuadd Reichel) for their first encounter with Maharishi Mahesh
Yogi, during which visit they learned of the death of their manager Brian
hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1890, 1902, 1915, 1931, 1940 (through the
medium of radio), 1943, 1971 and 2005, as well as an unofficial National
Eisteddfod event in 1874. Nightclubs in Bangor
include Time/Amser, Academi (the Student Union bar) and the Octagon &
is twinned with Soest, Germany.
Bangor has a pier, which is the second longest in
Wales and also the 9th longest in the British Isles, being 1,500 feet (or 472
metres). Its name is the Garth Pier, and was almost demolished in 1974 due to
the poor condition it was in at the time. However local support for the pier
ensured that it survived and gained a Grade 2 listed status, as it was
considered one of the three finest surviving piers at the time. Restoration
work began in 1982 and did not finish until 1988.
a successful football team, Bangor
City F.C. which competes in the national Welsh Premier League. Bangor City has won numerous cups and
championships, and has represented Wales in European competition on a
number of occasions. Bangor
is also home to rugby union team Bangor
RFC who play in the WRU Division Five North league.
Bangor lies at the western end of the North Wales
Path, a 60 mile long-distance coastal walking route to Prestatyn