HOLYHEAD (/ˈhɒlɪhɛd/ ( listen ) HOL-i-hed ; Welsh : Caergybi ,
Cybi 's fort") is the largest town in the county of Isle of Anglesey
Wales . It is also a community and a major
Irish Sea port , serving
Despite being the largest town in the county, with a population of
11,431 at the 2011 census, it is neither the county town nor actually
on the island of Anglesey.
Holyhead is located on Holy Island , which
has a population of 13,659 at the 2011 census. It was originally
Four Mile Bridge , so called because the
bridge was four miles (6 km) from
Holyhead on the old turnpike Road .
In the mid 19th century, Lord Stanley , a local philanthropist, funded
the building of a larger causeway , known locally as "The Cobb", it
now carries the A5 and the railway line . The A55 dual carriageway
runs parallel to the Cobb on a modern causeway.
Prehistoric and Roman history
* 3 Industry
* 4 Climate
* 5 Notable people
* 6 Culture and sport
* 7 References
* 8 External links
PREHISTORIC AND ROMAN HISTORY
Caer Gybi (fort) View of
activities, stalls and Welsh dress
The town centre is built around St.
Cybi 's Church, which is built
inside one of
Europe 's few three-walled Roman forts (the fourth
boundary being the sea, which used to come up to the fort). The Romans
also built a watchtower on the top of
Holyhead Mountain inside Mynydd
y Twr, a prehistoric hillfort . Settlements in the area date from
prehistoric times, with circular huts, burial chambers and standing
stones featuring in the highest concentration in Britain. The current
lighthouse is on
South Stack on the other side of
and is open to the public.
Port of Holyhead has a busy ferry port .
Stena Line , Northern
Europe's biggest ferry company, operates from the port, as do Irish
Ferries . Ferries sail to
Dublin , in
Ireland ; this forms the
principal link for surface transport from central and northern England
Wales to Ireland. A view of Holyhead, c.1850
There is archaeological evidence that people have been sailing
Ireland for 4,000 years. Holyhead's maritime
importance was at its height in the 19th century with a 1.7 mile (3
km) long sea breakwater .
Holyhead Breakwater is the longest in the UK
and was built to create a safe harbour for vessels caught in stormy
waters on their way to
Liverpool and the industrial ports of
Lancashire . Holyhead's sea heritage is remembered in a maritime
The post road built by
Thomas Telford from London strengthened
Holyhead's position as the port from which the
Royal Mail was
dispatched to and from
Dublin on the
Mail coach . The A5 terminates at
Admiralty Arch (1822–24), which was designed by Thomas Harrison to
commemorate a visit by King George IV in 1821 en route to
marks the zenith of Irish
Mail coach operations.
In 2001, work was completed on the extension of the A55 North Wales
Expressway from the
Britannia Bridge to Holyhead, giving the town a
dual carriageway connection to North
Wales and the main British
motorway network. The A55 forms part of Euroroute E22 . The Anglesey
section was financed through a
Private Finance Initiative scheme.
With the opening of the railway from London to Liverpool, Holyhead
lost the London to
Dublin Mail contract in 1839 to the Port of
Liverpool . Only after the completion of the Chester and Holyhead
Railway in 1850 and the building of
Holyhead railway station did the
Irish Mail return to Holyhead, operated from
London Euston by the
London and North Western Railway .
Holyhead is the terminus of the North
Wales Coast Line and is
currently served by
Virgin Trains and Arriva Trains
Virgin Trains run direct trains to
London Euston and Arriva Trains
Wales operate direct trains towards Cardiff and Birmingham
International via Wrexham and Shrewsbury , and two direct trains per
day to Manchester Piccadilly . The rail and ferry terminals are
connected (for pedestrians and cyclists) to the town centre by The
Celtic Gateway bridge.
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Clock Tower commemorating the extension of the
between 1875 and 1880
Holyhead's main industry was aluminium -based until September 2009,
Rio Tinto Group 's
Aluminium subsidiary operating a
massive aluminium smelter on the outskirts of the town. A large jetty
in the harbour received ships from
Australia , and their
cargoes of alumina were transported on a cable belt rope driven
conveyor belt that runs underneath the town to the plant. The jetty is
now used by Orthios to dock cruise ships visiting from all over the
world. The jetty is wide enough for coaches to travel down to collect
and deliver passengers to the town and on local tours. The plant
relied for its electricity supply on the island's nuclear power
Wylfa , near
Cemaes Bay . However,
Wylfa is reaching the
end of its life and has permission to generate only into 2012, and
the ending of a low-cost electricity supply contract in 2009 impacted
on the financial viability of the smelting plant. Continuing
operations involve the remelting of aluminium scrap for re-use. The
site is subject to proposals by a development company called Orthios .
Holyhead Port is a major employer, most of the jobs being linked to
ferry services to the Republic of
Ireland operated by Stena and Irish
Ferries. Other significant industrial/transport sector employers in
Holyhead Boatyard ,
Gwynedd Shipping , and Eaton
Electrical, with the last of these having seen many job losses in
2009. New retail developments in recent years have been a major
source of new job creation.
Like the rest of the
British Isles and Wales,
Holyhead has a maritime
climate with cool summers and mild winters, and often high winds
exacerbated by its location by the Irish Sea. The nearest official
weather observation station is at
RAF Valley , about 5 miles South
East of the town centre.
CLIMATE DATA FOR VALLEY 10M ASL, 1981–2010
AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F)
AVERAGE LOW °C (°F)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES)
MEAN MONTHLY SUNSHINE HOURS
David Crystal , linguist and chair of the charity behind
Holyhead's arts centre , the
Ucheldre Centre , lives in Holyhead
* Francis Dodd , artist, born in the town in 1874
John Fox-Russell (1893–1917), winner of the
Victoria Cross , was
born in the town.
Dawn French , comedian and actor, born in the town in 1957
Glenys Kinnock , politician, was educated at
Holyhead High School
* Tony Roberts , Welsh international footballer, born in the town in
Alex Lynch , professional footballer who currently plays as
goalkeeper for Wycombe Wanderers, represented
Wales U-17 5 times,
Holyhead High School, from the town and born in 1995
* Captain John Macgregor Skinner, son of
Brigadier General Cortlandt
Skinner , an American
Loyalist during the American Revolutionary War
who moved to
Holyhead in 1793 and was a master on packet ships between
Dublin from 1799 until 1832, when he was washed
overboard. The town erected an obelisk in his honour, and his house
is an exhibit at the
Holyhead Maritime Museum .
Raymond Sweetman , bass guitarist , born in the town in 1948
R.S. Thomas , poet, grew up in Holyhead
* Ray Williams , weightlifting
Commonwealth Games gold medallist,
born in the town in 1959
* Gareth Evans , London Olympics 2012, lives in the town.
* Gareth Williams , employee of Britain's GCHQ signals intelligence
agency, found dead under suspicious circumstances in 2010
CULTURE AND SPORT
Help of Christians Church
Holyhead hosted the
National Eisteddfod in 1927.
Holyhead is the
start and finish point of the
Anglesey Coastal Path .
Holyhead's arts centre, the
Ucheldre Centre , is located in the
chapel of an old convent belonging to the order of the
Bon Sauveur .
It holds regular arts exhibitions, performances, workshops and film
Holyhead Maritime Museum is housed in what is claimed
to be Wales's oldest lifeboat house. The lifeboat station was
established in 1828.
According to the
United Kingdom Census 2001 , 47% of the residents in
the town can speak Welsh . The highest percentage of speakers is the
15-year-old age group, of whom 66% can speak the language. According
to the 2011 Census, of those in the community who were born in Wales,
only 52.2% of the population could speak Welsh.
The town's main football team is called
Holyhead Hotspur and they
play in the
Cymru Alliance , with their reserves playing in the
Gwynedd League . There is also
Holyhead Gwelfor Athletic who play in
Anglesey League .
Holyhead's cliffs are used for coasteering , a water sport which
involves jumping off cliffs at different heights.
Holyhead is home to one of the first churches of the Jedi Religion ,
founded by brothers Daniel and Barney Jones early in 2008.
Holyhead High School (previously County Secondary school) was the
first comprehensive school in the UK.
Holyhead was officially twinned with Greystones, County Wicklow on 20
January 2012, and this is celebrated on a new road sign.
* ^ "Parish Headcounts: Isle of Anglesey". Neighbourhood
Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
* ^ "
Wylfa to continue generating until 2012". Nuclear Engineering
International. Retrieved 2011-12-13.
* ^ "
Holyhead factory closure could put 265 jobs at risk". North
Wales Daily Post. 19 April 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
* ^ "Valley 1981–2010 averages".
MetOffice . Retrieved 11 Aug
* ^ Holyhead.com http://www.holyhead.com/captainskinner/index.html
Accessed February 15, 2015
Holyhead Maritime Museum
Accessed February 15, 2015
* ^ "RNLI: Holyhead". Retrieved 16 February 2016.
* ^ "O\'r rhai a anwyd yng Nghymru, % yn gallu siarad Cymraeg".
* ^ "BBC News article on Jedi church in Holyhead". 2008-01-28.
* ^ Everett, Cliff (23 January 2012). "Twinning Oath Signed".
Holyhead Town Council. Retrieved 8 February