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Anglesey Churches

Manylion a Disgrifiad y Llyfr | Book Details & Description

  • ISBN: 9781845270896
  • Author: Geraint I. L. Jones
  • Publication April 2006
  • Format: Paperback, 209x147 mm, 132 pages

An account of the history of all the Anglican and Catholic churches on the isle of Anglesey, many of which were founded by dark-age Celtic missionaries whose names still appear constantly in the island's place-names and religious sites.

Gwales Review
It is perhaps a bizarre thing to read from cover to cover a book describing the appearance, contents and history of more than a hundred churches. This, however, is what I have just done and I regret not a moment of the endeavour. In fact, my copy is now littered with crosses in its margins marking the churches on Anglesey that I should particularly like to visit – and I might be tempted to make a special trip to do so. Geraint Jones’s book is a must for anyone with an interest in churches who is visiting or living on Anglesey.

Jones begins with an excellent introduction, giving a brief but clear account of pertinent historical events from the Romans right up to the twentieth century. This is followed by a glossary of technical terms, which is written in good, plain language and accompanied by simple line drawings to illustrate specific features. Jones is clearly highly knowledgeable but assumes relative ignorance on the reader’s part – this he does in the nicest possible way, avoiding both bafflement or the sense of being patronised.

The main body of the book comprises descriptions of Anglesey’s 110 churches, listed alphabetically and including ones that have become redundant and been sold, often for conversion into private dwellings. It seems sad that the Bull Bay Mission Room in Amlwch, for example, is now ‘barely recognisable as a former church building’, but great that it is still listed here. Other entries attract by some fascinating peculiarities: St Edwen’s (Llanedwen) has a pair of oak dog tongs dating back to times when dogs were regularly taken along to church services and might need to be separated if they started to fight; at St Mary and St Nicholas in Beaumaris, there is still the watchman’s box used during the body-snatching scare of the early nineteenth century; and St Mary’s (Bodewryd) and St Patrick’s old church (Llanbadrig) both incorporate features of Islamic design because restoration work was funded by the third Baron Stanley of Alderley, who was a Muslim. Plenty here to intrigue, delight and whet the curiosity.

Suzy Ceulan Hughes