A view of Menai Bridge
Menai Bridge shown within Anglesey
|OS grid reference|
|Principal area||Isle of Anglesey|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||MENAI BRIDGE|
|UK Parliament||Ynys Môn|
Menai Bridge (Welsh: Porthaethwy) is a small town and community on the Isle of Anglesey in north Wales. It overlooks the Menai Strait and lies by the Menai Suspension Bridge, built in 1826 by Thomas Telford. It is the third largest settlement on the island, with a population of 3,376, and occupies the area of the former parish of Llandysilio, whose former church continues in use as a mortuary chapel (see below).
There is a range of buildings including the old court house, a number of old pubs and the buildings associated with the wood-yard (in the process of being converted to houses). There are many small islands near the town, including Church Island. The Menai Heritage Centre celebrates the two world famous bridges, the Menai Suspension Bridge - built by Thomas Telford and the Britannia Bridge - built by Robert Stephenson.
The town has existed as Porthaethwy for many centuries and it still has a house in current use which dates from the 17th century. It is likely that a community has existed at the location of Menai Bridge since Roman times simply because this is the shortest crossing of the Menai Strait.
At the eastern edge of the town is Cwm Cadnant Dingle which is now by-passed by a modern bridge constructed in the 1970s. The Afon Cadnant drains into the Menai Strait at this point and this small estuary provides a natural haven for small boats crossing from the mainland. This was the location of the landing stage for the Bishops of Bangor who had their residence at Glyn Garth on Anglesey but whose cathedral was in Bangor on the mainland.
There are a number of small islands in the Menai Strait some of which are connected to the town by causeways, including Ynys Faelog, Ynys Gaint and Ynys Castell east of the suspension bridge and Church Island (Ynys Tysilio in Welsh) west of the bridge. The Anglesey Coastal Path passes along the waterfront.
Menai Bridge has a wide selection of churches and chapels including an English and a Welsh Presbyterian church, and a Catholic church. The town also has a primary school, Ysgol y Borth, and a large bilingual comprehensive school, Ysgol David Hughes.
Menai Bridge is home to the School of Ocean Sciences, part of Bangor University. Their research ship, the Prince Madog, is based there when not at sea.
Attractions in Menai Bridge include the 14th-century Church of St Tysilio, St Georges Pier, a butterfly house – Pili Palas, and the Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens, a 200 acre estate origiinally developed as a Picturesque garden in the 1800s, now undergoing restoration.
Welsh-language production company, Rondo, has converted a disused garage into a fake row of shops in the centre of Menai Bridge as a film set for a soap opera, Rownd a Rownd, shown on the Welsh-language channel S4C. They also film the show in schools in the town, Ysgol y Borth and Ysgol Uwchradd Llangefni, and around the town itself.
The large car park to the north of the high street is the 'fair field'. This is a common piece of land set aside for the holding of an annual fair, which is called Ffair Borth. The fair comes to Menai Bridge on 24 October every year, unless it falls on a Sunday, in which case it is either held on 23 October or 25 October. It takes over the fair field and most of the other roads and streets in the town making passage through the town very difficult. This is an ancient tradition which attracts people from across the island who ignore the usually poor weather to enjoy the traditional fair rides.
Menai Bridge addresses include the linear development along Beaumaris Road , an area known as Glyn Garth. This was a favoured location for holiday houses for the wealthy from the Manchester and Liverpool areas in the late 19th Century, and many large houses of that period remain. This was also the area where the Bishop of Bangor had his palace. The Bishops Palace was demolished in the early 1960s and replaced by a block of flats , Glyn Garth Court , completed in 1966.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Menai Bridge.|
- Ysgol y Borth Website
- Menai Bridge Website Menai Bridge Town Partnership Website with details on the news, council, events and businesses of Menai Bridge
- Menai Heritage A community project and museum celebrating the two bridges and the town of Menai Bridge
- Photos of Menai Bridge and the surrounding area on Geograph
- University of Wales, Bangor : School of Ocean Sciences