Having visited Caernarvon twice in the last week, I can’t help but wonder why it is that a town with such a wealth of wonderful historic architecture, a well preserved medieval town plan, many good eighteenth and nineteenth century civic buildings, and one of the greatest medieval castles in Western Europe never feels quite as lively and economically energetic as it so easily could and should be.
The answer is fairly obvious. A lot of the life of the town has moved out to the main roads on the outskirts, with the big supermarkets, Tescos and Morrisons, lined up on the A487 which carved its way through the suburbs in the 1970s. There is one big new development of 2008, but it is 100% out of sympathy with the historic town, stands apart from it, and significantly damages the views of the Castle from across the Menai Straits.
But what, one wonders, could be done about it ? I am posting the memorial stone marking the opening of the Market Hall, which now houses a Thai restaurant:-