Llandudno inherits its name from the 6th century saint, Tudno or Dudno, who brought Christianity to the province: his cell on Great Orme, a sheltered cave, still persists; Llan means parish, or ‘church of’. A church on Great Orme – Orme incidentally is a Viking word meaning serpent – dedicated to Tudno was constructed in the 12th century, and extended in the 15th, and remains in use today.
In 1284 Edward I gifted the Bishop of Bangor the Manor of Gogarth, including a few settlements in the district where Llandudno eventually developed; the gift was out of respect for the bishop’s aid in making Edward’s son the first English Prince of Wales.
In medieval times the area was of little note, the various villages undertaking fishing and agricultural activities, a state of affairs that remained until the 19th century, though with the re-established mines giving the place some certain significance throughout the Industrial Revolution . This all shifted in the middle of the 19th century.
In 1848 the local landowner, Lord Mostyn, was presented with visionary plans for a resort on the site by Liverpool architect Owen Williams. The 1849 Act of Enclosure supplied the Mostyn family the authority required to change the area with the Great Orme at one end and Little Orme at the other. The layout of the new town was decided upon in that same year. In 1857 an architect and gentleman, George Felton, took on the project, his hand particularly seen in the architecture in Llandudno’s centre.
The energy in erecting the resort, and catering for its visitors, came at the right moment, as in 1850 the copper mines were shut down, no longer economically sound.
Llandudno is a town of the Railway Age. In 1848 the Chester – Holyhead line started, passing near the town that was forming out of three older settlements. Visitors from North West England could then reach the area with ease; in 1858 communications were further increased by the branch from that line straight into the town.
The following history of Llandudno is the story of its formation as a seaside resort. A pier opened in 1858, though it was soon destroyed in a huge 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 granted the town a no longer used quarry altered into gardens named Happy Valley; in 1902 the Grand Hotel opened, another sign of the vision the Mostyns had of Llandudno as a refined destination.
Llandudno’s transport infrastructure was modified through the 20th century. In 1902 the Great Orme Tramway was opened, making it almost effortless to reach the 678′ summit. The Llandudno and Colwyn Bay Electric Railway, a tram service amidst the town, proceeded in 1936, though unexpectedly it closed in 1963; 1972 witnessed the opening of a cabin lift to the summit of the grand headland.
The town nowadays is one of the big resorts in Wales. Look for hotels in llandudno, still with an elegant air. That elegance was improved with the erecting of the North Wales Theatre in the 21st century. This building on the promenade, next to hotels llandudno, serves as a venue for musicals, concerts and plays, and is normally the port of call for the Welsh National Opera.