Sir Llewelyn Turner memorial, The Institute, Caernarfon

button_lang_welshSir Llewelyn Turner memorial, The Institute, Caernarfon

caernarfon_llewelyn_turnerSir Llewelyn Turner was a man of his time, and his period was the reign of Queen Victoria. He is commemorated by a plaque at the Institute, a building he often visited as a town councillor and mayor. The photo of him on the right is from his portrait in the Institute.

He was the last of William and Jane Turner's 11 children. The family lived at Parkia, Bangor Road. William was a partner in the Dinorwig slate quarry company, which was key to the town's economy.

The young Llewelyn became a lawyer with an office in Market Street, but his greatest interest was sailing his yacht and competing in regattas across Britain. In 1847, at the age of 24, he founded the Royal Welsh Yacht Club. He volunteered with the Lifeboat Association for many years. He was a member, and later chair, of the town’s Harbour Trust. He was also instrumental in establishing the Royal Naval Reserve Force in The Battery, where the Yacht Club is today.

He was elected as mayor at the age of only 36 and held office for 11 years (1859-1870) – the longest period for any Caernarfon mayor.

The years of his youth and up to middle age were exciting in the history of Caernarfon, Wales and Britain. The Industrial Revolution reached its peak and thousands moved home, from the country to towns. Caernarfon's population swelled from 3,626 in 1801 to over 9,500 in 1861. There was no clean water supply or sewerage system at the time, and in 1866 c.400 residents were infected by cholera. Almost 100 of them died.

As mayor, Llewelyn persuaded the council to borrow £10,000 to fund a new water system. It supplied Caernarfon’s famous fountain, which you can see today at the top of Pool Street. A plaque on the Maes records this historic event. Llewelyn, who was knighted in 1870, continued with other plans to improve the town and residents’ standard of living.

He died in 1903, aged 80, and is buried in the cemetery of Llanfairisgaer, beside the Menai Strait.

With thanks to Rhiannon James, of Caernarfon Civic Society

Postcode: LL55 1AT    View Location Map