Moelfre, Anglesey

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Moelfre, Anglesey
MoelfreShore.jpg
The harbour-front and seawall
Moelfre, Anglesey is located in Anglesey
Moelfre, Anglesey
Moelfre, Anglesey
Moelfre, Anglesey shown within Anglesey
Population 1,064 [1]
OS grid reference SH5186
Principal area
Ceremonial county
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town MOELFRE
Postcode district LL72
Police North Wales
Fire North Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament
Welsh Assembly
List of places
UK
Wales
Anglesey
53°21′13″N 4°14′08″W / 53.35351°N 4.2356°W / 53.35351; -4.2356Coordinates: 53°21′13″N 4°14′08″W / 53.35351°N 4.2356°W / 53.35351; -4.2356

Moelfre (Welsh pronunciation: [ˈmɔɨ̯lvrɛ]) is a village, community and (until 2012) electoral ward on the north-east coast of Isle of Anglesey in Wales. As well as the village and harbour, the community area covers several small settlements in a dispersed pattern. There are six scheduled Iron Age hut groups and many other sites of archaeological interest. The harbour was formerly a centre for local fishing; a lifeboat station has been based here since 1854. Among many shipwrecks off the coast is that of the Royal Charter in 1859. Near the modernised lifeboat station is the RNLI Seawatch Centre. The coastline includes a rocky headland north of the village and a large sandy beach at Lligwy Bay, all traversed by the Anglesey Coastal Path.

Location[edit]

The village of Moelfre wraps around a small harbour sheltered from the north by a substantial headland and the rocky island of Ynys Moelfre. Also within Moelfre Community are the more dispersed settlements of Marian-glas, Llanallgo, Brynrefail and Mynydd Bodafon. It has a population of 1,064 as of the 2011 UK census.[2] The village today has 502 households and 5 per cent unemployment. The Royal Mail postcode begins LL72. The main road through the community is the A5025, which is a five-minute drive from the village. The nearest mainline railway stations are in Bangor and Llanfairpwllgwyngyll. These can be reached in under half an hour by bus services which run through the village.

Heritage[edit]

The meaning of the Welsh name is "bald" or "barren hill", which refers to the land behind the village, as seen from the sea. The name has the same origin as that of the Malvern Hills.[3]

Archaeology[edit]

Map of Moelfre Community, showing the location of the Scheduled Monuments. The three in the care of Cadw are shown as Property in the care of Cadw.
Lligwy Burial Chamber
Part of the Din Lligwy hut group
The ruins of Lligwy Chapel
Fish trap built near the low-tide mark of Lligwy Bay.

The Community of Moelfre has 14 Scheduled Ancient Monuments, which is more than any other in Anglesey. The majority are pre-historic and include a neolithic burial site and a standing stone. However six of them are Iron Age settlements suggesting a well-settled landscape by the time the Romans arrived. Three of the monuments are in the care of Cadw (shown with Property in the care of Cadw in the list and map). These are signposted from the road, have public access and explanation boards at the site. Other scheduled monuments may or may not be visible from roads or footpaths, and have no automatic right of access.

Name Site type Location Details
Lligwy Burial Chamber Property in the care of Cadw Chambered tomb 53°21′00″N 4°15′10″W / 53.3499°N 4.2529°W / 53.3499; -4.2529 (Lligwy Burial Chamber),
SH501860
Neolithic stone monument with a huge capstone supported by 8 side stones, all of locally occurring limestone. Described in 1781, excavated in 1909, it contained numerous Neolithic flints and pots, along with 15-30 human burials. An East, West and South alignment of stones suggests possible astronomical purposes.[4]
Ogof Arian Cave Cave 53°22′07″N 4°16′41″W / 53.3686°N 4.2781°W / 53.3686; -4.2781 (Ogof Arian Cave),
SH485881
Cave with an inner chamber that runs some 25m into the hillside. Neolithic flint tools have been found. It is also known locally as Ogof Ladran (smugglers cave).[5]
Plas Bodafon standing stone Standing stone 53°20′40″N 4°17′27″W / 53.3444°N 4.2907°W / 53.3444; -4.2907 (Plas Bodafon, standing stone to WNW of),
SH476855
In woodland west of Plas Bodafon, the prehistoric stone is 1.3m high, of an unusual quartzite.[6]
Bwlch-y-Dafarn Enclosed Hut Group Enclosed hut circle 53°20′47″N 4°15′55″W / 53.3463°N 4.2654°W / 53.3463; -4.2654 (Bwlch-y-Dafarn Enclosed Hut Group),
SH492856
Roughly rectangular walled enclosure. Within it a well defined roundhouse, 6m across with paved floor, had Roman pottery finds. There are also two large rectangular buildings.[7]
Glan'r Afon Hut Circle Unenclosed hut circle 53°20′41″N 4°15′13″W / 53.3448°N 4.2536°W / 53.3448; -4.2536 (Hut Group N of Glan'r Afon),
SH500854
Hut circle of 8m diameter with rubble-filled 1.3m thick walls, up to 0.8m high. Now in thick woodland, rectangular buildings alongside have also been recorded.[8]
Marian-glas Hut Group Unenclosed hut circle 53°20′16″N 4°15′06″W / 53.3379°N 4.2516°W / 53.3379; -4.2516 (Marian Glas Hut Group),
SH501846
A roundhouse settlement, also called Cae Marh, with several huts with thick walls, some standing up to 1.4m high. Some of the hut walls are now obscured by a thicket, while others are visible as wall lines in the lawns of Marianglas caravan park. A sign by the Ministry of Public Building and Works (1962–70) indicates the location.[9]
Parc Salmon Hut Group Unenclosed hut circle 53°21′03″N 4°15′19″W / 53.3509°N 4.2552°W / 53.3509; -4.2552 (Parc Salmon Hut Group),
SH500861
Circular hut and a nearby mound of discarded shellfish, with pottery and other items including half of a bronze ring. The hut had flooring of cobbles set in the earth, and a mortar stone set into the floor.[10]
Coed Newydd Smelting Hearth Burnt mound 53°20′51″N 4°16′17″W / 53.3475°N 4.2715°W / 53.3475; -4.2715 (Coed Newydd Boiling Mounds & Smelting Hearth),
SH488858
The schedule describes this as Boiling Mounds and a Smelting Hearth, referring to a probably Bronze Age feature with a flooring of fire-crazed cobbles in a sunken enclosure beside a small tributary of the Afon Lligwy. It featured in an article in Archaeologia Cambrensis of 1913, and is assumed to relate to either cooking or metalworking activities.[11]
Din Lligwy Hut Group Property in the care of Cadw Enclosed hut circle 53°21′03″N 4°15′33″W / 53.3508°N 4.2592°W / 53.3508; -4.2592 (Din Lligwy Ancient Village),
SH497861
Stone foundation walls of a group of Iron Age houses and workshops, surrounded by an enclosing wall.[12]
Bodafon Mountain Hut Groups Enclosed hut circle 53°20′22″N 4°17′54″W / 53.3394°N 4.2983°W / 53.3394; -4.2983 (Bodafon Mountain Hut Groups),
SH470849
Three groups of Iron Age hut circles have been identified on a terrace of the 168 metres (551 ft) hill called Bodafon Mountain. The area is now open heathland, allowing some access from the footpath that runs nearby. Excavations in the 1950s identified sherds of Samian ware, indicating occupation well into the Roman period.[13]
Capel Lligwy Property in the care of Cadw Chapel 53°21′08″N 4°15′23″W / 53.3523°N 4.2564°W / 53.3523; -4.2564 (Capel Lligwy),
SH499863
A ruined chapel standing in a field near Rhos Lligwy, dating back to the first half of the 12th century. It contains a 16th-century side chapel with a vault beneath, and at some point became a private place of worship for a nearby house, then later fell into disrepair and now has no roof, but stands as a picturesque ruin.[14]
Ffynnon Allgo (St Allgo's Well) Holy Well 53°20′19″N 4°15′21″W / 53.3385°N 4.2559°W / 53.3385; -4.2559 (Ffynnon Allgo),
SH498847
Medieval Well associated with St Gallgo, whose church is at Llanallgo. The well is now within a caravan park.[15]
Traeth Lligwy Fish Weir Fish trap 53°21′38″N 4°15′20″W / 53.3606°N 4.2555°W / 53.3606; -4.2555 (Traeth Lligwy Fish Weir),
SH500872
Fish trap built as a crescent of rocks near the low-tide mark of Lligwy Bay, near Moelfre, Anglesey. It is of uncertain date but thought to be medieval. At high-tide it is completely covered, and was used to trap fish in the pond it creates at low-tide.[16]

Maritime history[edit]

The headland north of Moelfre was the site of the wreck in 1859 of the steam clipper The Royal Charter near the end of its voyage from Australia to Liverpool.[17] A memorial on the headland and an obelisk in Llanallgo Churchyard commemorate the 400 lives lost. On July 30th, 1862, the screw sloop Enrica, soon to be commissioned as the Confederate States of America warship CSS Alabama sheltered in Moelfre Bay while evading both British customs authorities and the USS Tuscarora, which had been sent to capture or sink her. [18]

The difficulties posed by the east-facing shore and limited seaway to sailing ships resulted in many ships being wrecked off the Moelfre Coast. As well as the Royal Charter, there is the wreck of the Princess Amelia (1868) on Lligwy beach, and the Kate caught fire off Moelfre harbour in 1933. Many ships, like the Royal Charter and, 100 years later, the Hindlea II, ended up driven by autumn or spring gales onto the shore. On the 500m of coast south of Moelfre there are the wrecks of the Brothers (1826), the Sarah Davison (1881), the Riviera (1892), the Dart (1888), the Alexandrina (1890), the Margaret Elizabeth (1906), the Dinas (1907), the Jewess (1910) and the William Henry (1915).[19]

The maritime historian Aled Eames (1921–1996) lived in the village for a long period.[20]

Lifeboats[edit]

The Lifeboat station and Seawatch Centre

Moelfre RNLI Lifeboat Station has a distinguished history, including the Hindlea rescue in 1959, when all the crew were rescued. There has been a lifeboat in Moelfre since 1854.[21] The Lifeboat Station is open to the public, and houses the Tamar-class lifeboat Kiwi and the inshore inflatable D-class lifeboat (IB1) Enfys.

Actress Jennifer Ellison was rescued in August 2013.[22] off Moelfre.

A statue of Richard Evans, lifeboatman, was unveiled in 2004 by Prince Charles.[citation needed]

Nature[edit]

This area is by the large sandy beach Traeth Lligwy and the ancient stone homestead of Din Lligwy. Nearby Ynys Moelfre is a haven for birds, and seals and porpoises may also be seen. There are more details on the village website.[23]

Amenities[edit]

Memorial stone in Moelfre commemorating the street lighting, installed as memorial to those who died in World War II

St Galgo's Anglican Church dates back to the 7th century. Carmel Congregational Chapel was built in 1829. Both have weekly services in Welsh and English. Paradws Chapel is Calvinistic Methodist.[24]

The village has a school with a hall that can be used for public events. Ysgol Gymuned Moelfre (Community School) teaches in Welsh. There were 63 pupils at all levels in 2013. The local library is in the same building.[25] The village also has a football club.[26]

There were no street lights in the village until well after the Second World War, when they were installed as a memorial to the village's war dead.

In the village there is a bakery, restaurants and a fish and chip shop. The RNLI Gwylfan Moelfre Seawatch Centre has a small museum, shop and book store.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2011 UK census. Office for National Statistics : Neighbourhood Statistics : Census 2011 : Isle of Anglesey
  2. ^ Office for National Statistics : Neighbourhood Statistics : Census 2001 : Isle of Anglesey
  3. ^ Smart, Mike (2009). Malvern Hills. Frances Lincoln ltd. p. 15. ISBN 0711229155. 
  4. ^ coflein NPRN: 95532. GAT PRN: 3594. Historic Wales Map with link to Cadw ID: AN009, Lligwy Burial Chamber
  5. ^ coflein NPRN: 275604. GAT PRN: 2125. Historic Wales Map with link to Cadw ID: AN106, Ogof Arian Cave
  6. ^ coflein NPRN: 402228. GAT PRN: 2115. Historic Wales Map with link to Cadw ID: AN151, Plas Bodafon, standing stone to WNW of
  7. ^ coflein NPRN: 302483. GAT PRN: 2127. Historic Wales Map with link to Cadw ID: AN104, Bwlch-y-Dafarn Enclosed Hut Group
  8. ^ coflein NPRN: 302510. GAT PRN: 3595. Historic Wales Map with link to Cadw ID: AN095, Hut Group N of Glan'r Afon
  9. ^ coflein NPRN: 302509. GAT PRN: 3611. Historic Wales Map with link to Cadw ID: AN093, Marian Glas Hut Group
  10. ^ coflein NPRN: 302484. GAT PRN: 2131. Historic Wales Map with link to Cadw ID: AN102, Parc Salmon Hut Group
  11. ^ coflein NPRN: 406616. GAT PRN: 2117. Historic Wales Map with link to Cadw ID: AN103, Coed Newydd Boiling Mounds & Smelting Hearth
  12. ^ coflein NPRN: 95541. GAT PRN: 2132. Historic Wales Map with link to Cadw ID: AN023, Din Lligwy Ancient Village
  13. ^ coflein NPRN: 302466, coflein NPRN: 400740, coflein NPRN: 400746, and coflein NPRN: 400747. GAT PRN: 1552 and GAT PRN: 5524. Historic Wales Map with link to Cadw ID: AN040, Bodafon Mountain Hut Groups
  14. ^ coflein NPRN: 11544. GAT PRN: 8104. Historic Wales Map with link to Cadw ID: AN056, Capel Lligwy
  15. ^ coflein NPRN: 32151. GAT PRN: 2202. Historic Wales Map with link to Cadw ID: AN068, Ffynnon Allgo
  16. ^ coflein NPRN: 406352. GAT PRN: 7228. Historic Wales Map with link to Cadw ID: AN144, Traeth Lligwy Fish Weir
  17. ^ Holden, Chris and Lesley (2009). Life and Death on the Royal Charter. Calgo Publications. ISBN 978-0-9545066-2-9. 
  18. ^ Long, Renata Eley (2015-06-15). In the Shadow of the Alabama: The British Foreign Office and the American Civil War. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. pp. 104, 106. ISBN 9781612518367. 
  19. ^ "Map of Moelfre showing the National Monuments Records for Wales". historicwales.gov.uk. Retrieved 20 September 2017. 
  20. ^ Moelfre village website Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  21. ^ "RNLI: Moelfre". Retrieved 16 February 2016. 
  22. ^ "Jennifer Ellison rescue". dailypost.co.uk. Retrieved March 24, 2015. 
  23. ^ Village website Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  24. ^ Village website Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  25. ^ Estyn reports Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  26. ^ Village website Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  27. ^ Moelfre Seawatch Centre[1]

External links[edit]