Tuesday 3 November 2015
Rhosneigr to Malltraeth
The Bulkeley Arms, Menai Bridge
It was a grey day and I struggled to leave Elise’s. Finally, after my 2nd cup of tea, at 10.30, I decided it was now or never and I headed out.
I had gathered from mentioning Rhosneigr to a few people that it has a reputation as a nice place, and there were certainly a few large houses. The best thing though is the lovely beach with dunes behind it, not that it was great beach weather.
I followed the path around the headland and stopped to look at Barclodiad-y-gawres, a Neolithic chambered cairn from circa 2500BC. It is secured behind a locked gate due to vandalism but what I saw reminded me of Skara Brae in Orkney, except this was apparently a community burial chamber rather than a house.
There is a motor racing circuit on the next headland before Porth Cwyfan with a small, stony promontary that hosts St Cwyfan’s 12th Century Church.
I walked up the River Ffraw to Aberffraw, once the capital of N Wales.
Between the 9th and 13th centuries Aberffraw was the seat of the Princes of Gwynedd and Anglesey was the power base of Gwynedd. In 1230 Llywelyn The Great declared himself Prince of Aberffraw and Lord of Snowdon. There was once a Llys (palace) here that was dismantled by King Edward I and its timber was used to help build Caernarfon Castle. This was after the Last Prince had been killed in war against Edward’s England in 1282. Fascinating history for a small town that is nestled in sand dunes.
I wandered around the town and then crossed the old bridge (built 1731) to the large expanse of dunes the other side of the Afon Ffraw.
There was a small road through the dunes and then I headed inland to Malltraeth; another interesting place. It lies alongside the Afon Cefni, another river with a big flood plain. The 1km long Malltraeth Cob was built to prevent tidal flooding and reclaim approximately 4200 acres of land. It was completed in 1812 and the Afon Cefni was canalised.
Thomas Telford designed the clever tidal doors, built with Green Heart Timber, and one set is still in use, hardly worn at all.
I wandered a little way along the Cob and was disappointed that the grey light meant I didn’t get any sight of the mountains that should be visible from from here.
It was already after 3 pm and my feet were sore so I decided to stop here and catch the bus. I could only find accommodation in Menai Bridge.