Glanaethwy Papers

Scope and Content

The first group of papers contains both actual transcripts, note books and correspondence relating to H.R. Davies's work on the history of the ferries, namely at Abermenai, Caernarfon, Tal-y-foel, Moel-y-don, Porthaethwy, Beaumaris and Llanfaes, Conway and Tal-y-cafn. Also included are similar material relating to communications between London, Wales and Ireland as well as papers of family interest and local associations. More especially, relating to the devolution of Ty'ncaeau, Ynys Geint and Treborth Isaf, and to the sometime interests of the Prices of Plas Cadnant in some of these properties. There are deeds and leases, ranging from 1667 to the end of the 18th century, tracing the descent of Ty'ncaeau from the Lloyds of Llanwnda to the Bulkeleys (a younger branch of the Bulkeleys of Brynddu) and from them be marriage to the Prices of Cadnant. Cognate with these was Mr Davies's interest in the Enclosure Acts relating to the parish of Llandysilio, Anglesey; this accounts for the copy of the final award of the Commissioners in 1827 and the notes with map. There is also a Caernarfon shop book of 1837-1848 in which a well-known preacher, John Jones of Tal-y-sarn figures. Also papers which testify to Mr Davies's interests in public work and devotion to the University College of North Wales. Another group of papers includes a series of photocopies of documents in the Public Record Office, Ministers' Accounts mainly. The collection also includes a Sailings Book, 1848-1905.

Administrative / Biographical History

Glanaethwy in Bangor, Caernarfonshire was the home of Mr H. Rees Davies, one of the greatest friends and benefactors of the University of Wales Bangor, formerly known as the University College of North Wales, and a particularly good friend of the Library. He presented the Librarian, Mr Thomas Shankland with a blank cheque to secure the Goodwin Collection of Ballads; he paid Mr J.E. Griffith of Bryndinas, Bangor for a long run of the earliest issues of the North Wales Gazette, and the North Wales Chronicle and also paid for the cataloguing of the 50,000 manuscript Porth yr Aur Collection.

Mr H. Rees Davies was himself a skilled researcher, his particular study being the history of the ferries in the area between Abermenai, Anglesey and Tal-y-cafn, Denbighshire : the overt proof of this was his illuminating article in the Inventory of Anglesey Ancient Monuments. Collateral with this concentrated study of the ancient ferries were his researches into the history of the communications between London, Wales and Ireland. At Glanaethwy, he assembled a truly formidable collection of transcripts, Parliamentary Papers, maps and prints, bearing upon the variegated aspects of these two main interests of his later years. He went deep into the records of the Middle Ages, insisted on full details of Ministers' Accounts, brought to light obscure references in the Patent and Close Rolls, secured access to the records of the Office of Works and the Treasury. He had, from time to time, a small army of the best professional copyists at work in the Public Record Office - Mr Davies's letters to them are the best proof of how wide his range of interest, and how precise and exact his knowledge.


Five groups of papers received at different occasions and thus catalogued separately, arranged according to subject and then in some cases chronologically. They are incorporated into the General Collection of Bangor Manuscripts.

Access Information

Open to all users

Acquisition Information

Deposited by the executors of Mr H.R. Davies


Description compiled by Elen Wyn Hughes, July 2001.

Other Finding Aids

An item level word processed list is available at the Department of Manuscripts of the University of Wales Bangor. Reference numbers : General Collection of Bangor Manuscripts 3288-3506, 3534-3535, 3531, 3537-3565, 32394-32395.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright conditions apply. Reprographics are made at the discretion of the Archivist.


Davies, H.R., The Menai Ferries, Inventory of Anglesey Ancient Monuments. (London, 1937)

Personal Names