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Bala, Merionethshire

Historical Description

Bala, a small town, the head of a poor law union, in Merionethshire. The town is in Llanycil parish; stands at the foot of Bala Lake, 12 miles SW by W of Corwen, and has a station on the Ruabon and Dolgelly section of the G.W.R.; there is a branch line to Festiniog. An artificial mount called Tomen-y-Bala, supposed to be of Roman origin, adjoins it; and two anciently fortified hills, called Caer-Gai and Castell Cam Dochan, the former believed to have been occupied by the Romans, are in the neighbourhood. The town consists chiefly of one wide street, with a few handsome houses. It has a post office (R.S.O. Merionethshire), a free grammar-school, a fine Calvinistic Methodist college of 1866, town hall, workhouse, and two banks, A manufacture of woollen hose and gloves was at one time flourishing. A weekly market is held on Saturday, and annual fairs for the sale of cattle, &c. The town has a local board, is a seat of petty sessions, and the seat of quarter sessions in April and October. The church is a modern handsome Gothic building. There are chapels for Baptists, Calvinistic Methodists, and Congregationalists. The Rev. Thomas Charles, one of the founders of the British and Foreign Bible Society, lived here till his death in 1814, and a marble statue has been erected in front of the Welsh Methodist chapel in his memory. Bhiwaedog Hall, an old castellated mansion, is within 2 miles of the town, which has a population of 1622.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Registration districtBala1894 - 1935
Registration districtMerioneth East1935 - 1974

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Bala from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Merionethshire is available to browse.

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers online: