Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Llanbadrig Church

This afternoon I was out and about looking for some good seascapes for my wife to paint in oils for an art competition. However, I could not resist taking this photograph of a small Anglican church near Cemaes Bay which dates from the 5th Century.

The present church is not that old but stands on the site once occupied by a church built in the 5th century.

It is said that St Patrick was shipwrecked and found himself washed onto Middle Mouse, and island just off the Anglesey coast near here. Legend has it that Patrick swam the channel between Middle Mouse and Anglesey and founded a church here. The name, Llanbadrig, is Welsh, meaning Patrick's church.

Even the present building is of interest because it was provided by Lord Stanley who built the causeway that takes the road and the railway from Anglesey to Holy Island where stands Holyhead, the ferry port for Ireland. Lord Stanley's name is also used for the small hospital in Holyhead.

Unusually, Lord Stanley converted to Islam and this is why there are a number of typical Islamic devices which decorate Llanbadrig church. The Islamic colour, blue is used in some of the stained glass windows of the church and the chancel is tiled in Islamic tiles which makes the building unique.

The tiny church is used once a month in the summer for services. It possess a considerable churchyard which is bounded on one side by the Irish Sea. The other side of the cemetery is a steep cliff down to the sea. When I was there today I had to take care because a strong wind was blowing, making photography tricky with strong gusts apt to take one by surprise.

The reader may find it fascinating to know that close to the little church is Anglesey's only vineyard, owned by a former policeman from Manchester. I have tasted the wine and can report a very classy drink for the wine freak. The sparkling wine is the best I have tasted outside Champagne.

Just further along the coastline is Cemaes Bay, a popular village with beaches, a tidal harbour and a good pub, The Stag. When my family were young I took them to fish for small crabs at the end of the jetty (officially, the pier) at Cemaes. All you had to do was buy a fatty piece of bacon and tie it to a crab line. Then you could enjoy hours of fun, catching crabs and tossing them back into the harbour! In those days we referred to them as the "Kama Kasi Crabs of Cemaes Bay".

Close by is the nuclear power station at Wylfa Head. It is a major employer in Anglesey and has a contract to supply direct electricity to Anglesey Aluminium Co, anothe major employer on the island. As an old magnox power station it has only five years years left to supply electricity. However, there is a big lobby forming to retain it until a modern nuclear power station can be developed alongside the site. The fact is that if Wylfa Power Station is allowed to close the island will also lose Anglesey Aluminium. This would be an economic disaster. Posted by Picasa


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great picture of the church. Wendy and myslef have past here many times on our way to the rocks towards the left where we fish during the long hot summer days.

8:55 pm  

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