For those of you who want to find out more about Aberystwyth, there is plenty of free material available on our website in our history section.
However, for those of you who like the feel of a book in your hands, there are plenty of great one available.
Here are some of my personal favourites:
1. Aber: Essays On Aberystwyth – by Keith Morris
Local freelance photographer Keith Morris, who has lived and studied in Aberystwyth for most of his life present a striking photographic full-colour hardback book which celebrates the “Brighton of Wales”; a historic university town sat on the edge of the sea, which considered by many to be one of, if not the most iconic towns in Wales. Six of the best Welsh authors, well known for their association with Aberystwyth complement Keith’s wonderful and often breath taking photography with a series of short essays. The essaysists range from Aberystwyth locals to former students and others who have made their home in this famous Welsh town.
2. Real Aberystwyth – by Niall Griffiths
Niall Griffiths is an award winning author, regular reviewer for The Guardian and a member of those who have come to Aberystwyth and never managed to leave. In this book Niall mixes part autobiography with topography, and contrasts the regular with the downright odd that is in abundance in this vibrant and colourful town. The town which gave us the Welsh Language Society, a number of Welsh Saint’s, and a hotbed of alternative living amongst many other things, Aberystwyth and the surrounding areas are as remarkable as they are beautiful. Niall’s book presents an enthralling and detailed picture of this world famous university town.
3. Aber Prom: A Pictorial History – by Peter Henley
A friend of mine bought this as a wedding present for my wife and I, and it is a great book for those who want to revel in the past glories of Aberystwyth as a seaside resort. This book presents an illustrated history of Aberystwyth as one of Wales’ favourite seaside towns, and centres around the special place the towns promenade played in helping develop Aberystwyth and its tourist economy. It also details a history of the music and entertainment on offer in Aberystwyth, illustrating the pivotal role played by the promenade, beach, bandstand, pier and of course Aberystwyth Castle, alongside photographs of some of the crowd pleasers of yester year, along with popular entertainers that plied their trade in the town. The book also looks back over Aberystwyth’s naval history and the role of the local RNLI in saving lives on the coast.
4. Aberystwyth Through Time – by William Troughton
This books provides a unique insight into long and at many times illustrious history Aberystwyth and the surrounding area. Complete with full colour reproductions, this is an in depth and often exciting examination of Aberystwyth, including the town’s famous streets and famous faces, and what they meant to the people who called this area home throughout the 19th and early 20th Century. It looks beyond the grand exterior of these well-kept photos so that readers have the benefit of being able to see the historical context in which they are set, and through the author’s factual captions for every picture, and carefully-selected choice of images, you can really get to grips with the town’s history, and its development over time. When you read you are following a timeline of events, whilst observing watch the changing face of the town. It is also a great resource for those who want to see how the art of photography has changed over time.
5. Aberystwyth And North Ceredigion In Old Photographs – by Dyfed Cultural Services Dept
This is my personal favourite of all the books on Aberystwyth that I have ever had the good fortune to come across. This excellent book contains hundred’s of old photo’s of Aberystwyth, detailing the changing face of the town from the advent of photography in the victorian period through to the early 1900′s. The book also looks at the surrounding areas including Borth, Ynyslas, Bow Street and many more of the surrouding towns. I still personally enjoy going around the town and looking at the buildings knowing what they once were, or what once stood in their place. It also provides a great insight into the old businesses which have long since left us in Aberystwyth, along with the towns people that frequented them. It is a look back into a way of life that sadly has long since passed us by, and provides you with a sense of self satisfaction that you now know something more about Aberystwyth’s past, and what has made this town the way it is today.