Caernarvon, County of, a maritime county of North Wales, having Beaumaris Bay on the N., the Irish Sea and Menai Straits on the W., and Cardigan Bay on the S.W., and bounded on the E. and S.E. by Denbigh and Merioneth, 55 miles long by about 23 miles broad, and having an area of 579 square miles. Nearly one-half of it forms a spur of from 5 to 9 miles wide, projecting into the Irish Sea and forming Caernarvon Bay on the N, and Cardigan Bay on the S. It is the most mountainous county of Wales, and its mountain scenery is the grandest to be found in South Britain. The Snowdon range occupies the centre of the county, and there are many lofty and well-known peaks varying in height, from Snowdon itself (3,570 ft.) to the Drum (2,527 ft.). The valleys, too, are very beautiful, some of them being rugged and wild, like the gorge at Pont Aberglaslyn, and others soft and peaceful like Nant Gwynant. The vale of the Conway, and those of Beddgelert and Llanberis have a world-wide reputation. Great Orme's Head is the bluff and bold termination of a narrow belt of carboniferous limestone, which runs along the coast of the Menai Strait. Among the minerals of Caernarvon are lead, copper, and a certain amount of gold, while the slate quarries are of great extent and value. The rivers of Caernarvon are not of great importance, the chief being the tidal Conway, which, after separating Caernarvon from Denbigh, flows into the sea at Conway, and is navigable for about 10 miles above that town. The lakes and mountain tarns of the county are numerous, and some of them of considerable size. The climate, except on the coast, is severe in the winter; and agriculture, partly owing to the nature of the country, partly to the great mining industries, is in a backward state. Dairy and sheep-farming are the chief pursuits of those not engaged in mining, and on the mountains is reared a breed of ponies which are much sought after. The Chester and Holyhead railway line runs along the northern coast, and crosses the Menai Strait to Anglesey by the celebrated tubular bridge, called the Britannia Bridge. The county returns one member to Parliament. The principal towns are Bangor, Caernarvon, Pwllheli, and Llandudno. The mountainous nature of the county eminently fitted it to be what it was - the great stronghold of the inhabitants against their invaders, from the time of the Romans down to that of Edward I.