Candidate: Caernarfon
Location: Gwynedd, Wales
Category: The Great Town Award
Year: 2023

Other finalists in this category: Belper, Derbyshire and Stromness, Orkney Islands (winner)

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Judges' comments:

“There is a strong tradition in Caernarfon of civic and community service, and support for organisations and individuals keen to improve the town. Community interest companies, charities and the Town Council are active forces - providing support services, investing in the famous castle, enhancing the retail and cultural offer, and creating new social and open space. Much is being done to tackle the negative impacts of past road schemes, with creative aspirations to remove or repurpose redundant infrastructure.” - Tim Challans AoU, Great Town Lead Assessor


Caernarfon has a population of around 10,500 and lies along the A487 road, on the eastern shore of the Menai Strait, opposite Anglesey. Eryri (Snowdonia) fringes Caernarfon to the east and south-east, making it an ideal centre for tourism. The town is dominated by its castle and town walls that were built by Edward I of England in the 13th century as part of the English conquest of Gwynedd. From the 19th century Caernarfon expanded as a port for slate quarries in Eryri. Lloyd George’s promotion of the town, particularly by staging the first investiture of a Prince of Wales, is very significant. 

Thumbnail illustration of Caernarfon by David Rudlin AoU, Artist-in-Residence

The Academy of Urbanism (Number 2) Limited is a not-for-profit organisation limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales 0595604, 11c Milton Road, Cambridge CB4 IXE, United Kingdom.
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