Archive of the month

The Archive of the Month feature raises awareness amongst students and staff about the variety of material that we hold. In particular, the old Bangor photographs appear to spark a lot of interest and debate on the University’s Facebook pages.

Every month, an item is selected to be showcased. The item is scanned and a short piece of text written about its history.

April 2017

School exercise book belonging to Sir John Morris-Jones, when he was a pupil at Friars School, Bangor.

Morris-Jones was in attendance at Friars School from 1876-1879. He later became a scholar, poet and Professor of Welsh at UCNW (Bangor University).

The book features his student translation of Book II, Chapter I of Xenophon’s Anabasis. Detailed is a hand-drawn frontispiece featuring figures from the work.

Friars School was founded in 1568 ‘for the better education or bringing up of poor men’s children’ as stipulated in the will of the lawyer Geoffrey Glynne. Glynne had acquired Bangor friary in 1552-3, after it had been seized by the Crown in 1538-9, and bequeathed it, along with additional land and funds, specifically for the purpose of housing a grammar school.

The original site of the school is noted in John Speed’s 1610 map of Bangor, a copy of which is held at Bangor University archives. The school buildings, having fallen into disrepair, were relocated in 1789. A plaque, made in commemoration of the move, describes them as having once ‘stood near the river, but in course of time, being nearly in ruins, […] were removed and happily restored’.

In 1882, the city of Bangor underwent a typhoid epidemic, prompting the governors to temporarily relocate the school at Penmaenmawr. It soon resumed its place in Bangor, but the incident attracted greater scrutiny upon its facilities, and the governors were convinced that they had become unsuited for the requirements of a modern public school.

The premises was relocated to Friddoedd Road in 1900, where it was to remain unchanged until 1971 when the school adopted a co-educational policy and expanded its premises to an additional site on Eithinog Road. In 1999, the Eithinog site underwent renovation and the school was moved there exclusively, where it remains to this day. 

The school exercise book will be on display in Storiel until 29 April 2017 in an exhibition on the "Memories of Ysgol Friars".

This "Archive of the Month" was created by Callum Parry.

Click on the links below to view all our showcased documents.









  • April 2013
  • May 2013
  • June 2013
  • July 2013
  • August 2013
  • October 2013
  • November 2013
  • December 2013