On the corner with Ambrose Street. facing the foreshore. Shown on John Wood's 1834 Map: Late georgian 2-storey structure with 3-window rubble elevations, symmetrical to main front. Slate roof and brick chimney stacks; 12-pane sash windows, some horned. Modern shop front canopies to main elevation and central 6-panel door with voussoir lintel below slate plaque. This states that John Richards, composer, lived in this house (1834-1901); the plaque was unveiled on August 5 1943. 6-panel door to Ambrose Street with diamond panelled fanlight.
University of Wales Bangor- Isalaw Papers Reference code(s): GB 0222 BMSS ISAL
Held at: University of Wales Bangor Archives
John Richards, better known by his bardic name Isalaw , was born in this house (called King's Head) in Hirael, Bangor. His father, Richard Richards came from Aberdaugleddau, Pembrokeshire and his mother, Mary, came from Llangwnadl in Llyn. He was educated at the British School in the Garth area of Bangor, Caernarfonshire and then went to Shoreland Road school, Birmingham, England for two years where his interest in music began under Mr Andrew Deakin, organist. When he returned to Bangor, he, and a Thomas Williams, started the first Sol-fa class in Bangor.
John Richards wrote immaculately and assisted a number of composers in transcribing and correcting their work. He also wrote a number of articles on music in various journals. He was a prolific composer and published Caneuon Isalaw. Much of his work appears in the hymn books of various denominations. "Isalaw " died on 15 September 1901. The papers consist mainly of musical manuscripts and printed copies of melodies and tunes, anthems, solos and duets etc. composed by John Richards and others. Also included are manuscript copies of odes; exercise books, scrap books of newspaper cuttings and original bardic compositions in various hands; certificate of the Tonic Sol-fa College to John Richards, 1869; a list of subscribers to "Isalaw's " testimonial, 1894.
Isalaw died on 15 September 1901 and was buried at Glanadda Cemetery, Bangor.