Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Down by the Menai Strait




It was on Sunday afternoon, 2nd March that we decided to go out and find a sheltered spot away from the westerly wind. "Where shall we go?" was the problem. Then I remembered my friend, Richard Butler, telling me that there was access to the Menai Strait for walkers near the Co-op in Menai Bridge. We drove over and found the car park which was actually near the Chinese Restaurant. We got out of the car and walked slowly down the path through the trees to the Anglesey bank of the Menai Strait.
The tide was out so many pools existed for an Egret and an Oystercatcher to walk around in search of food. As we dropped down to the level of the strait we found ourselves approaching the causeway over to the church of St Tysilio on its small island. We walked across and strolled through the little churchyard where many graves spoke of the hard life known by people from the earlier part of the 20th century. There were parents and children sharing graves. Often the children had only lived for about 6 months. Some graves told the visitor that the deceased had drowned in the Menai Strait.
The tiny church of St Tysilio had a door which could only be described as ancient and above it was a sign telling us it was a first century church. In fact the island was the site for the saint's cell since about 630AD.Surrounded by many slate gravestones the church is to be found on its island just by the Menai Suspension Bridge. Its name forms part of the full name of the village we call Llanfairpwll. The full name is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. Part of the long description talks about the church being in a hollow by a whirlpool. This is born out by its location below the general level of the surrounding land and adjacent to a part of the strait known as the Swellies where all sorts of water movement happens, including a circular motion. The present church is mediaeval but was restored like many others in the 19th century. This was usually the kiss of death in terms of architectural beauty but as the door was locked I say no evidence one way or the other.
The photographs show the bridges and the tiny church that appears to float on the Menai Strait when the tide is high. It was both beautiful and peaceful down on the footpath that leads round to the base of the Menai Suspension Bridge. Neither of us ventured that far because Pauline had back trouble and my chest condition was active that day. Both of us had to climb the footpath back to the car park so we saved our energy for the steady climb. But these pictures show another view of a very beautiful island which is now our home.

6 Comments:

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Blogger Keith Alexander said...

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11:12 am  

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