Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

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.

November 2016

A photograph showing Belmont, home of Sir Henry Lewis, weeks prior to its demolition in 1967.

A prominent figure in Bangor’s history, Lewis, a flour merchant by profession, played a variety of roles in local politics, serving on the city council for thirty-three years, and acting as mayor from 1900-02.

Being a principled, socially conscious man, he was an active participant in the issues of his day. Nora, his daughter, was involved in the Suffragette movement. A fact which, no doubt, influenced Lewis in his decision to entertain one Mrs Pankhurst at Belmont, and host numerous garden parties in support of her cause – accounts of which can be read in his journal, held by the Bangor University Archives in their Belmont collection.

Having suffered a disrupted and often unhappy education in his boyhood, Lewis was acutely aware of the failings of the local school system, and its reformation proved to be one of the main preoccupations of his life. He served as chairman of the Bangor district elementary schools, chairman of the governing body of Friar’s school, and was one of the founders of the Bangor school for girls.

Chosen as secretary of the Committee formed to present the city of Bangor’s case as location for the University College of North Wales, Lewis played an integral role in the founding of the institution.

Sir Henry Lewis

When the original site of the university – the old Penrhyn Arms building – proved unsuitable to house both the arts and science departments together, the future of the university was called into question.  Lewis, who recognised its social and cultural value, fought to persuade the city councillors not only to provide six acres of land, but to purchase an additional plot of land – the Penrallt site - from Lord Penrhyn, thus enabling the university to expand and ensuring that its future remained with the city.



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