Llanfechell

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Llanfechell
Approaching Llanfechell - geograph.org.uk - 158121.jpg
Llanfechell is located in Anglesey
Llanfechell
Llanfechell
 Llanfechell shown within Anglesey
Population 1,532 
OS grid reference SH369912
Principal area Anglesey
Ceremonial county Gwynedd
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Amlwch
Postcode district LL68
Police North Wales
Fire North Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Ynys Môn
Welsh Assembly Ynys Môn
List of places
UK
Wales
Anglesey

Coordinates: 53°23′26″N 4°27′04″W / 53.390637°N 4.451118°W / 53.390637; -4.451118

Llanfechell (Welsh: Llanfechell llan church + Saint Mechell) is a village in Anglesey, North Wales, UK. It is the largest of several small villages and dispersed settlements that make up Mechell Community Council area. It is 11 miles (18 km) east of Holyhead, and 5.6 miles (9.0 km) west of Amlwch, on the north of the island.

The Community (which also includes Mynydd Mechell and Carreglefn) has a 2001 population of 1,532.[1] Village services include a church, a primary school, a pub and two chapels. It is an agricultural area, and has been a local centre for markets, livestock fairs, and had both a watermill and windmill. The area round about has many prehistoric monuments.

History[edit]

The many prehistoric remains close to the village indicate the area has been lived in for thousands of years. The first written mention of Llanfechell itself is in 1291.[2] However the name Lanfechell means Church of St Mechell (The 'M' becomes 'F', pronounced v.[3]). Mechell appears to have been a 6th-century missionary, possibly from Brittany, who founded a monastery here. A 17th-century manuscript, (Llanstephan MS. 125)[4] records a Welsh poem, "Cywydd i Fechell Sant". This describes how St Mechell was offered a gift of land in gratitude for a miraculous healing, to be demarked by the route of a released hare. The hare, under divine guidance, marked the full extent of what is now the parish of Llanfechell, on which he then founded the monastery.[4]

18th century life in Llanfechell was described in great detail by William Bulkeley (4 November 1691 - October 1760). From 30 March 1734 to September 1760 he kept a daily diary recording Anglesey life, social customs, personal and family dealings, farming practices and the weather.[5] William Bulkeley lived at Brynddu as Squire of Llanfechell. His daughter married Fortunatus Wright, a brewer from Liverpool whose colourful life included periods as a privateer.[6]

Llanfechell was one of a network of market towns on Anglesey. During the 18th century and following, in addition to its weekly market day the village held a fair several times a year, for the sale of livestock and produce. The Llanfechell Fair (Welsh: Ffair Mechell) no longer includes livestock and agricultural sales, but continues as a horticultural show and family fun day at Llanfechell Community School in late July.[7]

A war memorial in the village square records those from the village who died in both world wars, including, in the Great War, three sons of Brigadier-General Owen Thomas of Brynddu, who headed Lloyd George's Welsh Army.[8]

Community activities[edit]

'Menter Mechell' is an umbrella community venture, which helps facilitate a variety of activities and interest groups in the village. Areas of activity include the History Group, a Hobbies Group, the Maes Martin playground and sports project and an Allotment Group.[9]

Church and chapel[edit]

Llanfechell Parish Church

St Mechell's Church includes features that date back to the 12th century. It is a grade II* listed building[10] in the centre of the village (location:53°23′35″N 4°27′13″W / 53.3930°N 4.4536°W / 53.3930; -4.4536 (St Mechell Church), SH369913 ). St Mechell's Day is 15 November and tradition claims that he was buried in Llanfechell.[11] The thick stone walls are whitewashed externally, while the stone tower has a single bell, and is topped by an unusual cupola. The church is part of the Anglican Church in Wales, in the diocese of Bangor, and holds bilingual services at 10.00am each Sunday.[11]

Facing the church across the village square is Libanus Chapel (Welsh: Methodistiaid Calfinaidd, Welsh Calvanistic Methodist). Founded in 1832, it was rebuilt in 1903.[12] Ebenezer Chapel, a Welsh Independent chapel, is near the school on Mountain Road. Built in 1862, it replaced a chapel built soon after 1800.[13] Both chapels are listed grade II.[10]

Buildings[edit]

In addition to the three churches, there are six other listed buildings within the village (all grade II):

Ancient sites[edit]

There are four scheduled monuments close to the village:

Baron Hill Maen Hir[edit]

Baron Hill Maen Hir, a standing stone north-east of Llanfechell

The standing stone 440 yards north of Llanfechell Church, known as Baron Hill Maen Hir, is a prehistoric standing stone (one of many such on Anglesey). The stone is 6.6 feet (2.0 m) high, with a further 19 in (0.5m) below ground, and weighs 4.6 tons. In 2009 it had keeled over, and in 2010 it was lifted and re-set in position by Gwynedd Archaeological Trust under the guidance of Cadw. When removed from its socket, some 20 packing stones were found around its base, one of which had two 'pecked' engravings, a cupmark and a Cup and ring mark.[18] The engraved stone is now at Oriel Ynys Môn Museum, Llangefni. Such rock engravings are very rare in North Wales, and its use as part of the construction of the standing stone implies a particular, if unknown, significance.[19] It is Located at 53°23′47″N 4°27′11″W / 53.3964°N 4.4531°W / 53.3964; -4.4531 (Standing Stone east of Llanfechell), grid reference SH369916.[20]

Llanfechell Triangle[edit]

The Llanfechell Triangle

The Llanfechell Triangle Standing Stones are a group of three prehistoric standing stones at 53°23′48″N 4°27′43″W / 53.3966°N 4.46204°W / 53.3966; -4.46204 (Llanfechell Triangle Standing Stones), grid reference SH363916. They are all around 6.6 feet (2.0 m) high with their long axis aligned NW-SE. They are thought to date to the Bronze Age.

Pen-y-Morwydd Barrow[edit]

Pen-y-Morwydd Barrow, is a burial mound, probably from the Bronze Age, on the top of a hill between Llanfechell and Bodewryd. It is 27 yards (25 m) across, and 6.6 feet (2.0 m) high, crossed by a modern wall.[21] A footpath from Rhosbeirio crosses the mound. (Location: 53°23′36″N 4°25′50″W / 53.3933°N 4.4306°W / 53.3933; -4.4306 (Pen-y-Morwydd Barrow), grid reference SH385913)

Llifad enclosure[edit]

Llifad enclosure is a later prehistoric pentagonal enclosure, 49 yards (45 m) across.[22] It is a possible defended settlement a few hundred metres south of Pen-y-Morwydd Barrow, on the same hill, towards Carreglefn. Location: 53°23′29″N 4°25′49″W / 53.3915°N 4.4302°W / 53.3915; -4.4302 (Llifad enclosure), grid reference SH384910

Other archaeological sites[edit]

In addition to the scheduled sites, a range of other archaeological and historic sites are known:

Hilltop enclosure at Carog
This has Neolithic settlement evidence with a circular defensive ditch dated to 800BC. Also 800-900AD house and domestic artifacts, excavated in 2010.[23] Location: 53°24′04″N 4°26′57″W / 53.4012°N 4.4491°W / 53.4012; -4.4491 (Hilltop enclosure at Carog), SH373922
Burial chamber at Foel Fawr
or Stones near Cromlech Farm (It may just be a 'suggestive natural feature').[24] Location: 53°23′57″N 4°28′03″W / 53.3993°N 4.4675°W / 53.3993; -4.4675 (Foel Fawr Buriel Chamber), SH360920
Mynydd Groes Earthwork
a field enclosure, largely cleared.[25] Location: 53°23′38″N 4°28′54″W / 53.3940°N 4.4818°W / 53.3940; -4.4818 (Mynydd Groes Earthwork), SH351915
Pen-y-Morwydd Pillow Mound
a medieval constructed rabbit warren. Up to 7 are recorded at this site, most no longer visible.[26] Location: 53°23′34″N 4°25′49″W / 53.3927°N 4.4304°W / 53.3927; -4.4304 (Pen-y-Morwydd Pillow Mound), SH385912
Enclosure
north-west of Llanfechell, roughly square, 16 yards across.[27] Location: 53°23′48″N 4°27′44″W / 53.3967°N 4.4622°W / 53.3967; -4.4622 (Square enclosure), SH364917
Tai Hen Cropmark Enclosure
An irregular rectilinear enclosure some 50 yards across[28] Location: 53°23′45″N 4°25′57″W / 53.3957°N 4.4325°W / 53.3957; -4.4325 (Tai Hen Cropmark Enclosure), SH384915
Melin Mechell Windmill
Pont-y-Plas Bridge
a road bridge with square headed arches and steps to the water.[29] Location: 53°23′37″N 4°27′17″W / 53.3937°N 4.4546°W / 53.3937; -4.4546 (Pont-y-Plas), SH36889135
Meddanen Water Mill and Melin Mechell Windmill
(also known as Minffordd Mill and Melin Maen Arthur). Location: 53°23′00″N 4°27′51″W / 53.3832°N 4.4642°W / 53.3832; -4.4642 (Melin Mechell Windmill), SH362902 (these two Medieval mills are close together so could have been worked by the same miller, depending on wind or water supply). The windmill fell out of use in the early 20th century and was converted into a house in the late 1970s.[30]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ UK Neighbourhood Statistics, 2001 Census returns accessed 30 April 2012
  2. ^ Rev. Dafydd Wyn William, record of a talk given to Llanfechell History Society
  3. ^ Omniglot.com
  4. ^ a b Baring-Gould, S. & Fisher, John (1911), The Lives of the British Saints, Vol III p.433 us.archive.org
  5. ^ William Bulkely (1691-1760), by Thomas Richards, D.Litt., (1878-1962), Bangor. Welsh Biography Online, The National Library of Wales
  6. ^ Brynddu and the Privateer, Fortunatus Wright, Menter Mechell History Society.
  7. ^ Mechell Fair - Llanfechell.info
  8. ^ Llanfechell War Memorial
  9. ^ Lanfechell.info: Menter Mechell
  10. ^ a b c d e British Listed Buildings accessed 7 May 2012
  11. ^ a b Menter Mechell: Inside the Church
  12. ^ Wales Directory. Libanus Chapel
  13. ^ History Society. Llanfechell Chapels
  14. ^ British Listed Buildings: Bryn-ddu
  15. ^ Robin Grove-White lives the wild life, Andrew Forgrave, dailypost.co.uk 8 Jan 2008. (Accessed 21 May 2012)
  16. ^ Coflein record for Crown Terrace
  17. ^ Coflein record for The Old Rectory
  18. ^ Rock Art Wales, April 2011 Accessed 5 May 2012
  19. ^ Archaeological News on Llanfechell Standing Stone. George Smith, September 29, 2010
  20. ^ Coflein record, Standing stone Llanfechell
  21. ^ Coflein record, Pen-y-Morwydd Barrow
  22. ^ Coflein record, Llifad
  23. ^ Llanfechell History Society: Cropmarks Accessed 5 May 2012
  24. ^ Coflein record, Foel Fawr
  25. ^ Coflein record, Mynydd Groes
  26. ^ Coflein record, Pen-y-Morwydd Pillow Mound
  27. ^ Coflein record, Square enclosure
  28. ^ Coflein record, Tai Hen Cropmark Enclosure
  29. ^ Coflein record for Pont-y-Plas
  30. ^ Menter Mechell History Society: Windmills

External links[edit]