Caernarfon Royal Naval Reserve & Coastguard Records

Scope and Content

Records of Caernarfon Royal Naval Reserve, 1856-1907, comprising administrative records, 1863-1904, financial records, 1873-1904, records relating to stores, 1883-1904, drill registers and other personnel records, 1856-1907, and printed material, 1887-1897; records of Caernarfon Coastguard station, 1862-1904, comprising administrative records, 1863-1904, financial records, 1876-1894, and miscellaneous printed material, 1862-1904.

Administrative / Biographical History

The expansion of the Royal Navy and Britain's naval supremacy during the 19th century created a need for arrangements to expand naval manpower in times of emergency. To this end, the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) was formed in 1859, organised into units known as batteries. It comprised merchant seamen, both officers and ratings, and fishermen; it was later supplemented by retired naval seamen. The Coastguard Service was formed in 1822 and administered by the Admiralty from 1856 to 1923. During this period, its responsibilities included coastal defence, acting as a naval reserve force and protection of Customs revenue as well as lifesaving, assisting ships in distress, buoys and lighthouses and other duties. Caernarfon, Caernarfonshire, had both an RNR battery and a Coastguard station.


Arranged into the following: Royal Naval Reserve (Caernarfon Battery); and Coast Guard service (Caernarfon station).

Access Information

No restrictions


Compiled by Rhys Jones for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Caernarfon Record Office, Papers of the Royal Naval Reserve (Caernarfon Battery) and the Caernarfon Coastguard Station, catalogue; Royal Navy website (, viewed 8 July 2004; The National Archives, Research Guides (, viewed 8 July 2004.

Other Finding Aids

Hard copies of the catalogue are available at Caernarfon Record Office, the National Library of Wales and the National Register of Archives.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply

Appraisal Information

All records have been retained

Custodial History

No information found


Accruals are not expected

Geographical Names