History

The Royal Welsh Yacht Club

Porth-Yr-Aau (The Golden Gate)

The Royal Welsh Yacht Club is the senior yacht club of Wales. It was established in 1847 under the patronage of the Dowager Queen Adelaide, the widow of King William IV.

The Royal Patronage was continued by Albert Edward, Prince of Wales whilst only 18 years of age, and confirmed by him when he acceded to the throne as King Edward VII.

The present patron of the Club is His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

The first Commodore of the Club was Henry Paget K.G, the first Marquis of Anglesey, who commanded the cavalry under the Duke of Wellington in the Battle of Waterloo, and who lost his right leg in that battle.

The first Vice-Commodore was Robert Stephenson the famous engineer who, in 1830 with his father George Stephenson, constructed the world’s first passenger railway, running from Liverpool to Manchester.

The first Rear-Commodore was Llewellyn Turner. As a young Attorney of Caernarfon, he was the prime mover in forming the Club in 1847.

The headquarters of the Club are situated in Porth-Yr-Aur (the Golden Gate), built in or around 1284 as the historic West Gate, or Watergate, of the walled Royal Town of Caernarfon – we lay claim to the building being the oldest yacht club premises in the world.

The Western gate to the town was constructed in or about 1285 as a seaward facing twin-towered gatehouse with a small projecting barbican, and taking its name from its position facing the setting sun.  It was the only entrance in medieval times for the commerce into the town from the Quay side; the entrance was originally protected by a portcullis, and would also have had massive wooden doors within.  In the late 18th century it housed a battery of seven cannon’s against possible invasion from Napoleon’s forces, and today retains at least one starter cannon for sailing Regatta’s.  Our Headquarters at Porth-yr-Aur is probably the oldest and most unique premises owned by any Yacht Club in the world.

Our endeavours this year will be to maintain and improve these premises – your support will be both necessary and invaluable.