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THE ARCHITECTURE OF ABERAERON* THE architecture of Aberaeron is Late Renaissance, 1702-1830, commonly described as Georgian, and follows a period when English architecture was mainly civic and domestic with much embellishment externally, influenced by the Italian school. The writer Pope was moved to write in satirical fashion a little ode concerning this period 'tis very fine, But where d'ye sleep and where d'ye dine ? I find by all you have been telling, That 'tis a house, but not a dwelling. A general increase in wealth, a rise in the standard of comfort, improved social conditions, small as they appear measured by today's standards, are all seen in the large number of plain yet comfortable houses which line the streets of many of our country towns, including Aberaeron. Internally, the layout is simple, hall and staircase occupying the central position with rooms compactly disposed on either side. The design of the houses and the layout of the street system in Aberaeron has frequently been attributed to the distinguished architect Nash. As far as I know, there is no proof that Nash had anything to do with the town's architecture, but suffice it to say that whether he had or not, it is one of the best examples of a planned township of small scale in Wales. There is a wonderful sense of dignified urbanity here which appeals to me very much. I have frequently wandered through some of our newer towns and have noted how the designers have tried, quite un- successfully, to capture this sense. Alban Square is a very fine example of a planned square there is a wonderful sense of enclosure and intimacy with a most definite punctuation of terraces by larger buildings at both ends and in the centre. This square overlooks a large open space, another feature of Georgian layout where open areas gave dignity and scale to the houses. In Market Street, just outside this building, the inner harbour or safe anchorage is overlooked on two sides by houses. Again we have the open space, in this case with some fine mature trees. Quay Parade, which overlooks the outer or main harbour, is another fine tall terrace terminated by the Harbourmaster Hotel, which was the house of the harbourmaster when the port flourished. Almost all the buildings in the central area or main part of the town are listed as being of architectural importance. In almost all cases, listing has been due to what is called the group value of houses. You *An address delivered to the Society at Aberaeron, 18 July 1970.