ANGLESEY (/ˈæŋ.ɡəl.siː/ ; Welsh : _Ynys Môn_ ) is an island
off the north-west coast of
Wales . With an area of 276 square miles
Anglesey is by far the largest island in
Wales and the
seventh largest in the British Isles .
Anglesey is also the largest
island in the
Irish Sea by area , and the second most populous island
Isle of Man
Isle of Man ). The population at the 2011 census was
69,751. Two bridges span the
Menai Strait , connecting the island to
the mainland: the
Menai Suspension Bridge
Menai Suspension Bridge , designed by Thomas Telford
in 1826, and the
Britannia Bridge .
A historic county of
Wales and later administrated as part of Gwynedd
Anglesey today makes up the ISLE OF ANGLESEY COUNTY along with Holy
Island and other smaller islands. The majority of Anglesey's
inhabitants are Welsh speakers and Ynys Môn, the Welsh name for the
island, is used for the UK Parliament and National Assembly
* 1 Name
* 2 History
* 3 Geography
* 3.1 Industry and energy
* 3.2 Rivers, lakes and climate
* 4 Ecology and conservation
* 4.1 A living and working landscape
* 5 Culture
* 7 Geology
* 8 Other places of interest
* 9 Notable people
* 9.1 Born in
* 9.2 Lived in
* 10 Government
* 11 Schools
* 13 Sport and leisure
* 13.2 Rugby Union
* 13.4 Athletics
* 13.5 Motorsport
* 13.6 Cricket
* 13.8 Swimming
* 13.9 Walking
* 14 See also
* 15 Notes
* 16 References
* 17 External links
"Anglesey" is derived from
Old Norse , originally either _Ǫngullsey_
"Hook Island" or _Ǫnglisey_ "Ǫngli's Island". No record of such
an Ǫngli survives, but the place name was used in the Viking raiders
as early as the 10th century and was later adopted by the Normans
during their invasions of
Gwynedd . The traditional folk etymology
reading the name as the "Island of the
Angles (English)" may account
for its Norman use but has no merit, although the Angles\' name
itself is probably a cognate reference to the shape of the Angeln
peninsula. All of these ultimately derive from the proposed
Proto-Indo-European root _*ank-_ ("to flex, bend, angle"). Through
the 18th and 19th centuries and into the 20th, it was usually spelt
ANGLESEA in documents.
_Ynys Môn_, the island's Welsh name, was first recorded as Latin
_Mona_ by various Roman sources. It was likewise known to the
Saxons as _Monez_. The Brittonic original was in the past taken to
have meant "Island of the Cow". This view is untenable, however,
according to modern scientific philology, and the etymology remains a
Poetic names for
Anglesey include the
Old Welsh _Ynys Dywyll_
("Shady" or "Dark Isle") for its former groves and _Ynys y Cedairn_
("Isle of the Brave") for its royal courts; Gerald of
Wales ' _Môn
Mam Cymru_ ("Môn, Mother of Wales") for its productivity; and _Y
fêl Ynys_ ("Honey Isle").
John Speed's map of Anglesey, 1607
Numerous megalithic monuments and menhirs are present on Anglesey,
testifying to the presence of humans in prehistory . Plas Newydd is
near one of 28 cromlechs that remain on uplands overlooking the sea.
Welsh Triads claim that
Anglesey was once part of the mainland.
Anglesey has long been associated with the druids . In
AD 60 the Roman general
Gaius Suetonius Paulinus , determined to break
the power of the druids, attacked the island using his amphibious
Batavian contingent as a surprise vanguard assault and then
destroying the shrine and the nemetons (sacred groves ). News of
Boudica 's revolt reached him just after his victory, causing him to
withdraw his army before consolidating his conquest. The island was
finally brought into the
Roman Empire by
Gnaeus Julius Agricola , the
Roman governor of Britain, in AD 78. During the Roman occupation, the
area was notable for the mining of copper . The foundations of Caer
Gybi as well as a fort at
Holyhead are Roman, and the present road
Llanfairpwllgwyngyll was originally a Roman road .
The island was grouped by
Hibernia ") rather
than with Britain ("
British Iron Age
British Iron Age and Roman sites have been excavated and coins and
ornaments discovered, especially by the 19th century antiquarian ,
William Owen Stanley . Following the Roman departure from Britain in
the early 5th century, pirates from
Anglesey and the
Llŷn Peninsula . In response to this,
Cunedda ap Edern , a
Gododdin warlord from
Scotland , came to the area and began to drive
the Irish out. This was continued by his son Einion Yrth ap Cunedda
Cadwallon Lawhir ap Einion ; the last Irish invaders were
finally defeated in battle in 470. As an island,
Anglesey was in a
good defensive position, and so
Aberffraw became the site of the
court, or _Llys_, of the Kingdom of
Gwynedd . Apart from a devastating
Danish raid in 853 it remained the capital until the 13th century,
when improvements to the English navy made the location indefensible.
Anglesey was also briefly the most southern possession of the
Norwegian Empire .
After the Irish, the island was invaded by
Vikings — some of these
raids were noted in famous sagas (see
Menai Strait History ) — and
Saxons , and
Normans , before falling to Edward I of
England in the
13th century. See also:
List of Scheduled Monuments in Anglesey
Britannia Bridge from the east along the
Anglesey is a relatively low-lying island, with low hills spaced
evenly over the north of the island. The highest six are: Holyhead
Mountain (220 metres (720 ft));
Mynydd Bodafon (178 metres (584 ft));
Llaneilian (177 metres (581 ft));
Mynydd y Garn (170 metres
Bwrdd Arthur (164 metres (538 ft)) and MYNYDD LLWYDIARTH
(158 metres (518 ft)). To the south/south-east the island is separated
from the Welsh mainland by the
Menai Strait , which at its narrowest
point is about 250 metres (270 yd) wide. In all other directions the
island is surrounded by the
Irish Sea . It is the 51st largest island
There are several small towns scattered around the island, making it
quite evenly populated. The largest towns are
Menai Bridge , and
Beaumaris (Welsh: _Biwmares_),
in the east of the island, features
Beaumaris Castle , built by Edward
I as part of his
Bastide Town campaign in North
Beaumaris is a
yachting centre, with many boats moored in the bay or off Gallows
Point. The village of Newborough (Welsh: _Niwbwrch_), in the south,
created when the townsfolk of
Llanfaes were relocated to make way for
the building of
Beaumaris Castle, includes the site of
Llys Rhosyr ,
another of the courts of the medieval Welsh princes, which features
one of the oldest courtrooms in the United Kingdom.
located in the centre of the island and is the island's administrative
centre. The town of
Menai Bridge (Welsh: _Porthaethwy_) (in the
south-east) expanded when the first bridge to the mainland was being
built, in order to accommodate workers and construction. Until then,
Porthaethwy had been one of the principal ferry crossing points from
the mainland. A short distance from this town lies
Bryn Celli Ddu , a
Stone Age burial mound. Also nearby is the village with the longest
purported place name in the
United Kingdom ,
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch . Nearby is
Plas Newydd , ancestral home of the Marquesses of
Anglesey . The town
Amlwch is situated in the northeast of the island and was once
largely industrialised, having grown during the 18th century
supporting the copper mining industry at Parys Mountain. Ordnance
Survey map of
Trwyn Du Lighthouse Anglesey
Other villages and settlements include
Malltraeth , and
Rhosneigr . The
Anglesey Sea Zoo
is a local tourist attraction, providing a look at and descriptions of
local marine wildlife from common lobsters to congers . All the fish
and crustaceans on display are caught around the island and are placed
in reconstructions of their natural habitat . The
Anglesey Sea Zoo
also breed commercially lobsters, for food, and oysters , for pearls,
both from local stocks. Sea salt (Halen Môn, evaporated from the
local sea water), now produced in a modern facility nearby, was
formerly produced at the Sea Zoo site.
The island's entire rural coastline has been designated an Area of
Outstanding Natural Beauty and features many sandy beaches, especially
along its eastern coast between the towns of
along the western coast from
Ynys Llanddwyn through
Rhosneigr to the
little bays around Carmel Head. The northern coastline has dramatic
cliffs interspersed with small bays. The
Anglesey Coastal Path is a
200-kilometre (124 mi) path which follows nearly the entire
coastline. Tourism is now the most significant economic activity on
the island. Agriculture provides the secondary source of income for
the island's economy, with the local dairies being amongst the most
productive in the region.
INDUSTRY AND ENERGY
Major industries are restricted to
Holyhead (Caergybi) which, until
30 September 2009, supported an aluminium smelter , and the Amlwch
area, once a major copper mining town. Nearby is the Wylfa Nuclear
Power Station and a former bromine extraction plant. In 1971 the Wylfa
reactors began producing electricity. With one reactor decommissioned
in 2012 and the other expected to end production in 2015, the site is
a strong possibility for a replacement reactor, planned by
Horizon , a
Hitachi , to start production in the 2020s. The
replacement has been enthusiastically endorsed by
Anglesey Council and
Welsh Assembly members, but protestors have raised doubts about the
economic and safety claims made for the plant.
Anglesey also has 3
windfarms on land, and more than 20 offshore wind turbines
established near the north coast. There are plans for the world's
first Tidal Flow turbines, near The Skerries , off the north coast,
and for a major biomass plant on Holy Island (Ynys Gybi). Developing
such low carbon energy assets to their full potential forms part of
Anglesey Energy Island project.
When the aluminium smelting operation closed down in September 2009,
it reduced its workforce from 450 to 80; this has been a major blow to
the Island's economy, especially to the town of Holyhead. The Royal
Air Force station
RAF Valley (Y Fali) is home to the
RAF Fast Jet
Training School and also 22 Sqn Search and Rescue Helicopters, both
units providing employment for approximately 500 civilians.
is now home to the Headquarters of 22 Sqn Search and Rescue.
There is a wide range of smaller industries, mostly located in
industrial and business parks especially at
These industries include an abattoir and fine chemical manufacture as
well as factories for timber production, aluminium smelting, fish
farming and food processing. The island is also on one of the major
routes from Britain to
Ireland , via ferries from
Holyhead , off the
Anglesey on Holy Island, to
Dún Laoghaire and
RIVERS, LAKES AND CLIMATE
There are a few natural lakes, mostly in the west, such as Llyn
Llywenan , the largest natural lake on the island, Llyn Coron, and
Cors Cerrig y Daran, but rivers are few and small. There are two large
water supply reservoirs operated by
Welsh Water . These are Llyn Alaw
to the north of the island and
Llyn Cefni in the centre of the island,
which is fed by the headwaters of the afon Cefni .
The climate is humid (though much less so than neighbouring
Gwynedd ) and generally equable, being influenced by the
Gulf Stream . The land is of variable quality and it was probably much
more fertile in the past.
Anglesey is the home of the northernmost
olive grove in Europe and presumably in the world.
_See the list of places in
Anglesey for all villages, towns and
List of Anglesey towns by population for populations_.
ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION
Anglesey is used for relatively intensive cattle and sheep
farming. However, there are a number of important wetland sites which
have protected status. In addition the several lakes all have
significant ecological interest, including their support for a wide
range of aquatic and semi-aquatic bird species. In the west, the
Malltraeth Marshes are believed to support an occasional visiting
bittern , and the nearby estuary of the
Afon Cefni supports a bird
population made internationally famous by the paintings of Charles
Tunnicliffe , who lived for many years – and died – at Malltraeth
on the Cefni estuary. The
RAF airstrip at Mona is a nesting site for
skylarks . The sheer cliff faces at
South Stack near
nesting sites for huge numbers of auks including puffins , razorbills
and guillemots together with choughs and peregrine falcons . Three
Anglesey are important for breeding terns – see Anglesey
tern colonies . There are significant occurrences of the _Juncus
subnodulosus_-_Cirsium palustre_ fen-meadow plant association , a
habitat characterised by certain hydrophilic grasses, sedges and
Anglesey is home to several species of tern, including the
roseate tern .
Anglesey is home to two of the UK's few remaining colonies of red
squirrels , at
Pentraeth and Newborough .
Almost the entire coastline of
Anglesey is designated as an Area of
Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) to protect the aesthetic appeal and
variety of the island's coastal landscape and habitats from
inappropriate development. The coastal zone of
Anglesey was designated
as an AONB in 1966 and was confirmed as such in 1967.
The AONB is predominantly a coastal designation, covering most of
Anglesey's 125 miles (201 km) coastline but also encompasses Holyhead
Mountain and Mynydd Bodafon. Substantial areas of other land protected
by the AONB form the backdrop to the coast. The AONB is about 221 km2
(85 sq mi) and it is the largest AONB in Wales, covering one third of
A number of the habitats in
Anglesey are afforded even greater
protection through both UK and European designations because of their
nature conservation value: these include:
Special Areas of Conservation (cSACs) 4 Special
Protection Areas (SPAs) 1 National Nature Reserve 26 Sites of Special
Scientific Interest (SSSI) 52 Scheduled Ancient Monuments (SAMs)
These protected habitats support a variety of wildlife such as
harbour porpoises and marsh fritillary .
The AONB also takes in three sections of open, undeveloped coastline
which have been designated as Heritage Coast. These non-statutory
designations complement the AONB and cover about 31 miles (50 km) of
the coastline. The sections of Heritage Coast are:
Anglesey 28.6 km (17.8 mi)
Holyhead Mountain 12.9 km (8.0 mi)
Aberffraw Bay 7.7 km (4.8 mi)
A LIVING AND WORKING LANDSCAPE
Anglesey is mainly based on agriculture and tourism. In
a number of instances the local produce is also organic.
The most popular forms of recreation include sailing, angling,
cycling, walking, wind surfing and jet skiing. These all place
pressures and demands on the AONB ; but these activities contribute to
the local economy.
Ynys Llanddwyn , old lighthouse with
Snowdonia in background.
Anglesey hosted the
National Eisteddfod in 1957, 1983, and 1999.
Anglesey will also be hosting it for a fourth time, in 2017, in
* The island is a member of the International Island Games
Association . Its most successful Games were the 1997 Island Games
Jersey , (11th in the medals table, with two gold, three
silver and nine bronze medals) and the
2005 Island Games on the
Shetland Islands , (again 11th, with 4 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze).
* The annual
Anglesey Show is held on the second Tuesday and
Wednesday of August: farmers from around the country compete in
livestock rearing contests including sheep and cattle.
Anglesey has featured in the
Channel 4 archaeological television
Time Team _ (series 14) – episode transmission date 4
Anglesey is home to Gottwood, an electronic music and arts
festival held each summer at the Carreglwyd estate.
Anglesey has historically been a stronghold of the
Welsh language ,
and according to the 2011 census it was the second most Welsh-speaking
local authority area in Wales. The historical proportions of residents
who could speak Welsh are as follows:
* 1901: 90.7%
* 1911: 88.7%
* 1921: 87.8%
* 1931: 87.4%
* 1951: 80%
* 1961: 75%
* 1971: 66%
* 1981: 61%
* 1991: 62%
* 2001: 60%
* 2011: 57%
Today, Welsh is less widely used on the island, but it is still the
dominant language in certain areas, particularly in the centre,
including the town of
Llangefni , and some areas of the south coast. A
notable example is the village of
Llanfairpwll . The island's five
secondary schools vary widely in the percentage of their pupils who
come from predominantly Welsh-speaking homes, as do the percentages
who can speak Welsh:
Ysgol David Hughes (in
Menai Bridge ): 33% come from
Welsh-speaking homes; 90% "can speak Welsh."
* Ysgol Gyfun
Llangefni ): 68% of pupils speak Welsh
as their first language ; 87% of pupils take their exams through the
medium of Welsh.
Ysgol Syr Thomas Jones (in
Amlwch ): 34% of pupils come from
Welsh-speaking homes; 82% sit the Welsh First Language General
Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE).
* Ysgol Uwchradd
Bodedern ): 67% of pupils come from
Welsh-speaking homes; "a majority" speak Welsh fluently.
* Ysgol Uwchradd Caergybi (in
Holyhead ): 14% of pupils speak Welsh
at home; 11% are taught the "Welsh First Language" curriculum.
The geology of
Anglesey is notably complex and is frequently used for
geology field trips by schools and colleges. Younger strata in
Anglesey rest upon a foundation of very old
Precambrian rocks that
appear at the surface in four areas:
* a western region including
* a central area about
* an eastern region which includes Newborough ,
* a coastal region at Glyn Garth between
Menai Bridge and
Precambrian rocks are schists and phyllites , often much
contorted and disturbed. The general line of strike of the formations
in the island is from north-east to south-west. } A belt of granitic
rocks lies immediately north-west of the central
Llanfaelog near the coast to the vicinity of
Llanerchymedd . Between this granite and the
Precambrian of Holyhead
is a narrow tract of
Ordovician slates and grits with Llandovery beds
in places; this tract spreads out in the north of the island between
Dulas Bay and Carmel Point. A small patch of
Ordovician strata lies on
the northern side of Beaumaris. In parts, these
Ordovician rocks are
much folded, crushed and metamorphosed, and they are associated with
schists and altered volcanic rocks which are probably Precambrian.
Between the eastern and central
are found. The
Carboniferous Limestone occupies a broad area south of
Lligwy Bay and
Pentraeth , and sends a narrow spur in a south-westerly
Malltraeth Sands . The limestone is
underlain on the north-west by a red basement conglomerate and yellow
sandstone (sometimes considered to be of Old Red
Limestone occurs again on the north coast around Llanfihangel and
Llangoed ; and in the south-west round
Llanidan near the Menai Strait
. Puffin Island is made of carboniferous limestone.
is occupied by Coal Measures, and a small patch of the same formation
appears near Tal-y-foel
Ferry on the
Menai Strait . A patch of
rhyolitic/felsitic rocks form
Parys Mountain , where copper and iron
ochre have been worked. Serpentine (Mona Marble) is found near
Llanfair-yn-Neubwll and upon the opposite shore in
Under the name _
GeoMôn _, and in recognition of its extraordinary
geological heritage, the island gained membership of the European
Geoparks Network in spring 2009. and the Global Geoparks Network in
OTHER PLACES OF INTEREST
South Stack lighthouse
Rhosneigr , for its beach, boat launch and surfing facilities.
* The Skerries
Lighthouse which can be found at the end of a low
piece of submerged land, north-east of
* The working windmill at Llanddeusant
Ynys Llanddwyn – Lovers' island_
* The sea zoo near Dwyran
* The _church in the sea_ on
Anglesey Motor Racing Circuit
* Stone Science, near
Pentraeth – a journey through 650 million
King Arthur 's seat near
Penmon Priory and dovecote
* The town and castle of
Red Wharf Bay ,
Llanddona and many other beaches
* Cemlyn Bay for its ternary
* Elin\'s Tower (Twr Elin) RSPB reserve and the lighthouse at South
Stack (Ynys Lawd) near
* Moelfre , the fishing village
Malltraeth , noted centre for bird life and home of wildlife
* Swtan longhouse, owned by the
National Trust and managed by the
local community of Porth Swtan
BORN IN ANGLESEY
* Tony Adams – actor (Anglesey, 1940)
Stu Allan – radio and club DJ
John C. Clarke – politician
Grace Coddington – creative director for US _Vogue_, born 1941
Charles Allen Duval – artist and writer (Beaumaris, 1810)
Dawn French – actress, writer, comedian (Holyhead, 1957)
Huw Garmon – actor (Anglesey, 1966)
Hugh Griffith – Oscar-winning actor (Marianglas, 1912)
Meinir Gwilym – singer and songwriter (Llangristiolus, 1983)
Gwynedd – prince (Anglesey, c. 1100)
Hywel Gwynfryn – radio and TV personality (Llangefni, 1942)
* John Jones – amateur astronomer (Bryngwyn Bach,
Dwyran 1818 –
Bangor 1898); a.k.a. Ioan Bryngwyn Bach and Y Seryddwr
* William Jones – mathematician (Llanfihangel Tre'r Beirdd, 1675)
Glenys Kinnock – politician (Holyhead, 1944)
Julian Lewis Jones – portrays Karl Morris on the Sky 1 comedy
John Morris-Jones – Welsh grammarian and poet (Llandrygarn,
* Edward Owen – 18th-century artist, notable today for his letters
documenting life in London's art scene
* Goronwy Owen – poet (
Llanfair Mathafarn Eithaf , 1723)
Osian Roberts – association football player and manager
Hugh Owen Thomas – pioneering orthopaedic surgeon (1833)
Owen Tudor – grandfather of Henry VII (Henry Tudor), who married
the widow of Henry V to give the Tudor dynasty a tenuous claim on the
Kyffin Williams RA – landscape painter (Anglesey,
Andy Whitfield – actor (Amlwch, 1972–2011)
* Gareth Williams , employee of Britain`s GCHQ signals intelligence
LIVED IN ANGLESEY
Rachel Davies (Rahel o Fôn) – preacher
Henry Austin Dobson – poet and essayist (Plymouth, Devon 1840)
Gareth Glyn – composer and broadcaster (has lived on Anglesey
Wayne Hennessey – footballer – currently goalkeeper with
Crystal Palace and
Wales (Bangor, 1987)
Aled Jones – singer and television presenter (Bangor, 1970)
* Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister – heavy metal bass player and singer
* The Marquesses of
Anglesey – noble family from Plas Newydd ,
Matthew Maynard – cricketer (Oldham, Lancashire 1966)
George North –
Wales rugby union international (born King's
Lynn, 1992; family moved to
Anglesey in his early childhood)
Gary Pritchard – sports journalist -webkit-column-width: 30em;
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* _ This article incorporates text from a publication now in the
public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911), "Anglesey", Encyclopædia
Britannica _, 2 (11th ed.), Cambridge University Press, p. 17–18
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