Anglesey's Five Towns
Visitors will also enjoy exploring the island's towns. Many of the towns'wonders are well known: a pioneering suspension bridge, a breakwater that was 28 years in the making, and a `state of the art' medieval castle.
The natural beauties of Anglesey are justly famous.
Youll make some surprising discoveries too: a wooded nature reserve in a river valley just a few footsteps away from the centre of a market town, a little harbour that once exported the bulk of the worlds copper ore, a perfectly preserved Victorian
gaol, and an ancient parish church built
inside the high walls of a Roman fort.
None of the towns are too large. All off er
good shopping and pleasant places to eat
and take refreshment.
Amlwch: The historic former copper-exporting harbour, Porth Amlwch, is set in a sheltered creek. Parys Mountain, the source of the valuable ore, lies a mile inland. Amlwchs town centre around Queen Street and its shops includes the
Georgian Church of St Eleth, a sprinkling of nonconformist chapels, and public houses. Westwards along the coast is the village of Bull Bay with a seaside golf links.
The Industrial Revolutions Copper King. Th e man responsible for Amlwchs development, Thomas Williams (17371802),was an Anglesey lawyer
who reopened the copper workings on Parys Mountain. By the end of his lifehe controlled half of all copper productionin the British Isles.Unusually for a successful capitalist in that age,Williams was
reckoned to be a straight dealer and fair employer, and was known locally as Twm Chwarae Teg Tom Fair Play.
Menai Bridge: Walk from the shopping centre along narrow side-streets, following the shoreline under the worlds first large iron suspension bridge towards Church Island for views over the whirlpools of the Menai Strait to Robert Stephensons rail bridge. Return along a woodland path that leads to a former schoolroom,where a
heritage display (open seasonally) tells the
story of the two bridges.
The 250th anniversary of the birth of an engineering genius. The Suspension Bridge is an International Civil Engineering Landmark, designed by the Scottish engineer Thomas Telford (1757-1834). Opening in 1826, it carried his A5 road over the Strait. The link between London and Holyhead,
the port for Dublin, was thus completed: the first vehicle to go across 100ft above the
waterline was the London to Holyhead mail coach,whilst tall ships made their passage beneath.
Holyhead: The towns Welsh name, Caergybi, commemorates Saint Cybi, whose church was founded within the walls of a remarkable Roman fort.The attractions of Angleseys largest town include a maritime museum (open seasonally), a Country Park, the sight of ferryships berthing in a
modern port terminal, the Ucheldre Arts Centre, and the regions widest choice of shopping.
The Captain and his Raven. An obelisk
overlooking the harbour commemorates John Skinner (17601832). Born in America he was a Royal Navy officer during the War of Independence. Entering the Post Office shipping service, he then served for 33 years as a respected captain of the
Holyhead to Dublin steam packet boats. His pet raven would fly out from Holyhead to meet its returning master. Captain Skinner met his end when he was washed overboard in stormy seas off North Stack.
Llangefni: Angleseys small capital town has twice-weekly markets, traditional stores and modern supermarkets. Follow the boardwalks of the Dingle nature reserve along the banks of the river Cefni
through trees and past environmental sculptures. Nearby,Oriel Ynys MÔn,which has become one
of Waless top regional art galleries, off ers the
best introduction to the islands heritage.
Beaumaris The town became a fashionable watering place in Victorian times,
boasting everyones idea of a romantically crumbling moated castle and incomparable views
from a pier reaching out into the Menai Strait. Its range of fascinating buildings include
an oak-panelled Dickensian courthouse, a grim gaol, and some well-appointed hotels.
The English Princess who became Lady of Wales. Joan was the daughter of King John of
England. In 1205 she married the Welsh prince, Llywelyn the Great. Becoming known as Siwan, she gained respect for her cool head and political
skills. After her death in 1237, a Franciscan friary was founded at Llanfaes in her memory. Siwans coffin and its splendidly carved coverstone
eventually ended up in the porch of Beaumaris Church,where it may be seen today.
MÔn Mam Cymru the guide to Anglesey is a comprehensive and fascinating 264-page book about
the island, its history and ancient sites, its language and culture, its natural habitats and wildlife, its towns and villages, its famous
The guidebook is illustrated in full colour throughout and includes a gatefolded map. Many special sections describe everything from the medieval harpists of Anglesey to the experimental popular music of the 21st century, and a Directory rounds up all of the up-to-date information needed
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