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Anglesey from the Sea - An Armchair Journey

Manylion a Disgrifiad y Llyfr | Book Details & Description

  • Author: Margaret Hughes
  • Publication Date 2001 
  • Format: Paperback, 120 pages
 
An appealing and useful armchair guide to coastal locations around Anglesey, including interesting information about wildlife, notable buildings and personalities, maritime, social and political history, religion and folklore. 32 black-and-white photographs.

Gwales Review

The sea is an important element in the history of any island, and Anglesey, with its tales of shipwrecks, lifeboats, lighthouses and once-important ports, is certainly no exception. Anglesey from the Sea can be compared to a coastal guided tour of the island, with fascinating snippets of information about each port of call. A map is recommended for armchair voyagers who want to plot their voyage.

The journey starts at Menai Bridge, the traditional main point of entry into Anglesey. The hazards of crossing the Menai Straits made a bridge necessary, but although one was proposed as early as the 1770s, there were objections that it might obstruct ships. It was only in 1819 that work finally started on Telford's bridge, completed seven years later at the cost of £120,000 and the lives of four workmen.

In the mid-nineteenth century another bridge was built to carry the railway on to Anglesey and across to Holyhead, en route for Ireland. In 1970 the Britannia Bridge was so severely damaged by fire that it needed extensive repairs. By then the road traffic was too heavy for Telford's bridge alone to cope with, so to ease this problem the remodelled Britannia Bridge, reopened in 1976, had a new upper deck for road traffic.

A connection with Napoleon is not what one would expect in a remote corner of Anglesey, but the marble for the exiled emperor’s palace on Elba – Mona Marble – came from a quarry at Rhoscolyn.

No history of coastal Anglesey can ignore the rise and fall of the port of Holyhead, and the birth, growth and decline of Amlwch as it followed the fortunes of the Parys Mountain copper mines. These two towns now have an alternative source of wealth in Anglesey Aluminium and Octel.

Other ports of call include Aberffraw, capital of Gwynedd's princes, the seaside resort of Rhosneigr and RAF Valley, Cemlyn Bay, the home of aviation pioneer Vivian Hewitt, who also created a bird sanctuary, and the ancient monuments at Penrhoslligwy. Ynys Dulas had a tower built by Lady Dorina Neave, a practical act of compassion for shipwrecked sailors as it provided them with everything they needed for their comfort.

Anglesey's coastline has a very varied history, and Anglesey from the Sea will inform and entertain both tourists and locals.

Iolo Wyn Griffiths