Records and Papers of the Borough of Caernarfon

Scope and Content

Records relating to the Borough of Caernarfon, 1468-1974, including charters, 1468-1577; court records, 1684-1835; burgess rolls, 1757-1837; financial records, 1781-1835; legal papers, 1732, 1820-1823; records relating to properties and amenities, 1728-1844; papers relating to Parliamentary elections, 1766-1845; petitions, 1708-1821; council, committee and other minutes, 1860-1974; rate books, 1862-1967; Town Clerk's records, 1835-1972; records of the Borough Treasurer, 1837-1974, including correspondence, financial records and mortgages; records of the Borough Engineer and Surveyor, 1775-1972, including deeds, 1775-1923, and correspondence, 1871-1929; records relating to public health, sanitation and regulation of nuisances, 1872-1960; Caernarfon and Anglesey ferry committee records, 1888-1939; records relating to amenities such as the market, fire brigade and gas supply, 1868-1942; records relating to wartime matters, 1911-1950; records relating to the 1911 and 1969 Investitures and other ceremonial occasions, [1840]-1973, including tape recordings, 1950-1973; maps and plans, 1885-1971; records relating to other local authorities, bodies and societies, 1616-1944; and museum objects, [18th century]-1905.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Borough of Caernarfon was awarded its Charter of Incorporation by Edward I in 1284, following his conquest of Gwynedd. The Corporation thus formed remained largely unchanged until 1835, comprising a mayor (in practice the constable of Caernarfon Castle, appointed by the Crown), bailiffs, recorder and constables. During the early 19th century, the Corporation began to make some improvements to the town's infrastructure, including the introduction of a water supply and gas. The Municipal Corporations Act 1835 resulted in the borough being reconstituted. It was subsequently run by a town council, including a Mayor and Aldermen, elected by the ratepayers. The Council also employed officials such as a Clerk, Treasurer and Surveyor. Caernarfon Borough Council was eventually abolished following local government reorganisation in 1974, with its responsibilities being assumed by the new Arfon District Council.


Arranged into the following: records of the pre-1835 Borough of Caernarfon; records of the Borough, as reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835; and records of miscellaneous or uncertain provenance.

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, Cofnodion a Phapurau Bwrdeisdref Caernarfon/Records and Papers of the Borough of Caernarfon, catalogue; Dodd, A. H., A History of Caernarvonshire (Wrexham, 1990).

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. The catalogue is available online.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply

Appraisal Information

All records have been retained

Custodial History

During the Second World War, the Council submitted many papers for salvage. Kenrick Evans, local historian, sorted through this material and retained many important items.


Accruals are not expected

Related Material

Pictorial materials deposited by the Town Council are Caernarfon Record Office, XS/1525. Further Town Council records, including minutes, 1835-1864, are in Caernarfon Record Office, XD11.