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HOLYHEAD (/ˈhɒlɪhɛd/ ( listen ) HOL-i-hed ; Welsh : Caergybi , " Cybi 's fort") is the largest town in the county of Isle of Anglesey in Wales
Wales
. It is also a community and a major Irish Sea
Irish Sea
port , serving Ireland
Ireland
.

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
Holyhead
is located on Holy Island , which has a population of 13,659 at the 2011 census. It was originally connected to Anglesey via Four Mile Bridge , so called because the bridge was four miles (6 km) from Holyhead
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.

CONTENTS

* 1 Prehistoric
Prehistoric
and Roman history * 2 Transport
Transport
* 3 Industry * 4 Climate * 5 Notable people * 6 Culture and sport * 7 References * 8 External links

PREHISTORIC AND ROMAN HISTORY

Main article: Caer Gybi (fort) View of Holyhead
Holyhead
market; activities, stalls and Welsh dress

The town centre is built around St. Cybi 's Church, which is built inside one of Europe
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 Holyhead
Holyhead
Mountain and is open to the public.

TRANSPORT

The 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
Dublin
, in Ireland
Ireland
; this forms the principal link for surface transport from central and northern England and Wales
Wales
to Ireland. A view of Holyhead, c.1850

There is archaeological evidence that people have been sailing between Holyhead
Holyhead
and Ireland
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
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
Liverpool
and the industrial ports of Lancashire
Lancashire
. Holyhead's sea heritage is remembered in a maritime museum.

The post road built by Thomas Telford from London strengthened Holyhead's position as the port from which the Royal Mail
Royal Mail
was dispatched to and from Dublin
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 Ireland
Ireland
and 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
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
Dublin
Mail contract in 1839 to the Port of Liverpool
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
Holyhead
is the terminus of the North Wales
Wales
Coast Line and is currently served by Virgin Trains
Virgin Trains
and Arriva Trains Wales
Wales
services. Virgin Trains
Virgin Trains
run direct trains to London Euston and Arriva Trains Wales
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.

INDUSTRY

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Clock Tower commemorating the extension of the Holyhead
Holyhead
Docks between 1875 and 1880

Holyhead's main industry was aluminium -based until September 2009, with Rio Tinto Group 's Anglesey Aluminium
Aluminium
subsidiary operating a massive aluminium smelter on the outskirts of the town. A large jetty in the harbour received ships from Jamaica
Jamaica
and Australia
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 station at 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
Holyhead
Port is a major employer, most of the jobs being linked to ferry services to the Republic of Ireland
Ireland
operated by Stena and Irish Ferries. Other significant industrial/transport sector employers in Holyhead
Holyhead
include Holyhead
Holyhead
Boatyard , Gwynedd
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.

CLIMATE

Like the rest of the British Isles
British Isles
and Wales, Holyhead
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
RAF Valley
, about 5 miles South East of the town centre.

CLIMATE DATA FOR VALLEY 10M ASL, 1981–2010

MONTH JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC YEAR

AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F) 8.2 (46.8) 8.1 (46.6) 9.6 (49.3) 11.8 (53.2) 14.9 (58.8) 17.1 (62.8) 18.8 (65.8) 18.8 (65.8) 17.1 (62.8) 14.1 (57.4) 11.1 (52) 8.7 (47.7) 13.2 (55.8)

AVERAGE LOW °C (°F) 3.6 (38.5) 3.0 (37.4) 4.5 (40.1) 5.7 (42.3) 8.2 (46.8) 10.7 (51.3) 12.8 (55) 12.9 (55.2) 11.4 (52.5) 9.0 (48.2) 6.3 (43.3) 3.9 (39) 7.7 (45.9)

AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES) 75.5 (2.972) 54.8 (2.157) 62.8 (2.472) 55.2 (2.173) 48.4 (1.906) 53.5 (2.106) 54.0 (2.126) 69.9 (2.752) 71.5 (2.815) 101.4 (3.992) 103.5 (4.075) 90.6 (3.567) 841.1 (33.114)

MEAN MONTHLY SUNSHINE HOURS 62.3 86.5 123.1 177.8 231.8 207.8 201.1 189.5 146.7 109.7 63.6 51.6 1,651.4

Source: MetOffice

NOTABLE PEOPLE

* 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
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 1969 * Alex Lynch , professional footballer who currently plays as goalkeeper for Wycombe Wanderers, represented Wales
Wales
U-17 5 times, educated in Holyhead
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
Holyhead
in 1793 and was a master on packet ships between Holyhead
Holyhead
and Dublin
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
Raymond Sweetman
, bass guitarist , born in the town in 1948 * R.S. Thomas , poet, grew up in Holyhead * Ray Williams , weightlifting Commonwealth Games
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

St. Mary\'s Help of Christians Church

Holyhead
Holyhead
hosted the National Eisteddfod
National Eisteddfod
in 1927. Holyhead
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 screenings. The 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
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
Holyhead
Hotspur and they play in the Cymru Alliance , with their reserves playing in the Gwynedd
Gwynedd
League . There is also Holyhead
Holyhead
Gwelfor Athletic who play in the Anglesey League .

Holyhead's cliffs are used for coasteering , a water sport which involves jumping off cliffs at different heights.

Holyhead
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
Holyhead
was officially twinned with Greystones, County Wicklow on 20 January 2012, and this is celebrated on a new road sign.

REFERENCES

* ^ "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
Holyhead
factory closure could put 265 jobs at risk". North Wales
Wales
Daily Post. 19 April 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2017. * ^ "Valley 1981–2010 averages". MetOffice . Retrieved 11 Aug 2014. * ^ Holyhead.com http://www.holyhead.com/captainskinner/index.html Accessed February 15, 2015 * ^ Holyhead
Holyhead
Maritime Museum http://www.holyheadmaritimemuseum.co.uk/index.php/exhibits/captain-skinner Accessed February 15, 2015 * ^ "RNLI: Holyhead". Retrieved 16 February 2016. * ^ "O\'r rhai a anwyd yng Nghymru, % yn gallu siarad Cymraeg". Statiaith. * ^ "BBC News article on Jedi church in Holyhead". 2008-01-28. Retrieved 2008-10-19. * ^ Everett, Cliff (23 January 2012). "Twinning Oath Signed". holyheadtowncouncil.com. Holyhead
Holyhead
Town Council. Retrieved 8 February 2012.

EXTERNAL

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