The Reverend Alban Thomas Jones Gwynne was the wealthy local entrepreneur who, 200 years ago employed a prominent London architect to design a small harbourside town on what was then the marshy estuary of Afon Aeron and surrounding farmland.

Work on the stone walled harbour began in 1807 with the surrounding houses and buildings that were part of the original plan being mostly completed by the 1850’s

The first building to be completed that is still in existence is the Harbourmaster Hotel, then called the Red Lion and the first of over 20 pubs. Other early buildings a little further out were soon lost to the sea.

North of the river is known locally as the Liverpool Side, harking back to the old sailing ship days when many local seamen often sailed to that then busy Atlantic port. It followed that south of the river was the Birkenhead Side and on that side of the river most of the early development was devoted to the commercial life of the harbour. There were timber stores, coal yards, building yards and the south beach was a boat building area from which many of the local boats came, the last of which was the “Cadwgan”.

If you look around carefully you can still see the occasional building that predates the “new” town development. You may look out for the 3 toll houses that used to operate the toll gates before the “Rebecca Riots” and also spot some oddities. For instance why does Pengarreg the large house at the southern edge of town stand with it’s back to the main road and what was the little house for on the edge of the car park outside of the yacht club. Also why does Masons Row bear that name. For most of the 19th century Aberaeron Harbour was a centre for local trade and commerce and the town thrived. Things began to change with the opening of the railway in 1916 and for a while the town slipped into obscurity.

Today the town’s delightful harbour, natural elegance and serene 19th Century atmosphere attracts many visitors from near and far proving that Aberaeron’s national recognition for it’s Georgian architecture is well earned. The Welsh language features strongly in everyday life and will be heard on the street, in the shops and bars where you will find the local people friendly and obliging.

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