Site of Caernarfon Pavilion

Site of Caernarfon Pavilion

The library occupies the site of Caernarfon’s Pavilion, which hosted large events. Winston Churchill and David Lloyd George were among the politicians who spoke there.

Drawing of Caernarfon Pavilion when newThe building was erected in time for the National Eisteddfod’s visit to Caernarfon in 1877. The Eisteddfod is held in a different place each summer, and returned several times to the Pavilion. The local Eisteddfod committee contributed £800 – the cost of the usual temporary pavilion – to the £7,000 cost of the permanent building.

The building was erected by the Caernarfon Pavilion Company. It was made of wrought, cast and corrugated iron with felt and wood linings. It accommodated audiences of about 7,000. It was 60 metres (200ft) long and 30 metres wide. The rooftop ventilator was 16 metres (54ft) above ground. The drawing shows it soon after completion.

One of many entertainers who performed in the Pavilion was French tightrope walker Charles Blondin. On successive days in 1878, he wowed the crowds with high-wire feats such as standing on his head, turning summersaults, cooking an omelet on a portable stove and carrying a full-grown man on his back! Slate quarrymen in Gwynedd named aerial ropeway devices “Blondins” in his honour – one is displayed in Llanberis.

When the First World War began in August 1914, the Pavilion was converted into barracks for volunteer soldiers from a wide area. The government requisitioned the Pavilion in the Second World War and kept it for a decade afterwards. The fabric deteriorated, and the building was demolished in 1961.

Postcode: LL55 1AS    View Location Map

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