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Iron Age Homesteads – Anglesey

About 18 months ago Jude and I were in search of trees bent by the wind from the sea, shaped and pruned by mother nature herself. I wanted the photos for a new garden talk I was writing. We found ourselves in the area of Anglesey near the lighthouse at South Stack, where so many times in the past, we had noticed a sign pointing up through a field where Iron Age homestead remains were to be found.

As we had enjoyed exploring so many other pre-historic remains during our week on Anglesey we decided to follow the trail up the hill to see what was to be found. It surpassed all our expectations.

The stone circles were a mix of homes, stores and workshops. Local flora has established itself producing miniature rockeries, homes to alpines which seem happy to grow there.

Anglesey is so full of prehistoric sites we keep finding more to discover and explore. This island never fails to surprise however many times we visit.

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Discovering Anglesey’s ancient places – Lligwy Part 1

We visited some prehistoric sites in early autumn when we enjoyed a short family break and I reported what we found in an earlier blog post. We returned again to the island this spring with more of the family and decided to find more of Anglesey’s ancient sites.

We visited the village of Lligwy to enjoy the beach and explore its historic ruins. We had high expectations and when we got there we discovered ruins of stone buildings and they were so fantastic they surpassed all our expectations. The ancient site is known as Din Lligwy and was home to romano-british peoples.

As we passed over fields of pasture we spotted an ancient church to our right which we decided to look at on our return journey. Our path climbed slowly uphill until we reached a wood of mixed trees with so much colour underneath provided by wildflowers especially Bluebells and Red Campions. The contrasts of light and shade spotlighted beautiful areas of colour and scent filled the shadows. A group of inquisitive young heifers tried to come with us and they took a lot of dissuasion.

On exiting the woodland we burst out into the light to see an ancient village set out before us, far better preserved than we ever expected. We set off to explore the stone walls and enclosures. The group of buildings were a fortified group of hut circles, including the more impressice chieftain’s hut, which boasted a stone pillared entranceway.


As a family we have always enjoyed exploring such sites together and as this was a family holiday with Jude and I, our daughter and son, son-in-law and daughter-in-law and our granddaughter, we could appreciate this amazing place together. Even our 18month old granddaughter was captivated by the place and explored along side us.


Mother nature added her own sense of mystery to the site by establishing plants on the stones, in cracks and fissures, adding a layer of green.


As we left the village we made our way back towards the lane where we had parked up and walked via the old church. From there we intended to find a cromlech nearby. We will lok at both of these in the follow up post to this.




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Anglesey Part 2-ancient places

One of the aspects of Anglesey we love so much is its long, long history with signs of man’s influence on the island going back to pre-historic times. As a family we have always enjoyed visiting historic sites, castles, cromlechs, burial mounds etc.

Anglesey has plenty to offer in this field and during our short early September break we took advantage of a few almost dry days to discover a few places of neolithic significance. We set off to find a cromlech and a burial mound, which are not the easiest of places to come across.

The burial mound, called Bryn Celli Ddu which means the Mound in the Dark Grove  was 5000 years old and was a passage tomb built to align with the rising sun on the longest day of the year, the Summer Solstice. We wandered along a zig-zagging path between fields, with hedges hanging over us giving the impression of a dark tunnel. We seemed to have been walking a long way before a view sudden opened up before us, much lighter and open. There sat the barrow! We were amazed how good a condition it was in and the fact it was partly open to explore the passageway into the centre.


Once inside we waited a while until our eyes became used to the light and explored further, discovering beautiful carvings and offerings left by modern day visitors, a beautiful link to the past.


We could look back out towards today and daylight. We felt deeply moved by this experience and couldn’t wait to drive off to find our next magical prehistoric place.


The cromlech was very close to our holiday cottage so did not take long to find. On  the walk to the ancient stones we noticed this stand of wind-pruned stunted trees, a feature of this windswept island.