On the 21st June we met up with some friends and parked up in Menai Bridge in Wales where I live, and walked down to the Strait, the water surrounding the island. Despite living on Anglesey for two years, we hadn’t been down this way. It was so picturesque and the houses had beautiful balconies with views over the water.
One of the biggest thrills was walking under the bridge. I had travelled over it many times, but never underneath.
When the tide is in, all of this is underwater. The bridge is one of two connecting the island to North Wales. The other bridge is called The Britannia, and I’ve yet to walk under that one.
We continued down the path and came across a small garden area with standing stones. There are many standing stones on Anglesey and it seemed appropriate to be the sacrificial lamb as it was Summer Soltice after all. At least it gave everyone a laugh!
We soon found ourselves on the Belgian Promanade, built by refugees during the war as a thank you for the town for their hospitality. If you want to read more, follow the link.
This led to a walk way over to an island. I could imagine it splashing up at the walls, and on a windy day and if you wanted to pass through, you could easily get very wet!
The first thing we saw was a magnificent Yew tree. I don’t think I’ve seen one as large. It was a shame about the gardener’s van spoiling the photograph. He was strimming away at the bushes and folliage, so what should have been a peaceful area was anything but.
The island consisted of a tiny church and a graveyard. It is known as The Island Church and part of the parish of Llandysilio.
As we approached the entrance, we were again taken by the tree and its many branches. They told of all the years it had been standing there. As we read the gravestones , it was easy to imagine how people of old would have known the tree well, and maybe they called it the tree of sorrow.
There were many graves, too many to read all of them. It made us wonder about the people who had gathered around, standing where we were now standing, as they listened solemnly and tearfully to the burial ceromony. We found ourselves looking for the oldest ones and reading them out loud. Many were dated between 1700 and 1800.
Finally we went into the ancient church of St Tysilo. It was dark and cool inside making us feel inclinded to whisper. The pews were set facing the alter and a wooden organ was set to the side. I couldn’t resist lifting the lid to press a key to hear their sounds, but it wasn’t working.
As I sat in the pew at the front, I felt as if I’d gone back in time. If the walls could have talked I would have loved to relive the services of old. Beautiful wood and a tiled floor all added to the atmosphere of reverence. Sitting in quiet contemplation (apart from the high pitch whining sound), I could almost imagine the people who filled the pews with their heads bent in prayer.
This was the oldest gravestone was part of the floor inside the church. There were three lying next to each other. The oldest being 1696, belong to a two and half year old child.
We made our way slowly back admiring everything and wondering about the lucky people who owned the houses overlooking the Strait. It’s likely that many were holiday homes where a premium rental would be involved. A three storied appartment block was in construction and that had also had great views. I’m sure they’ll sell very quickly.
Hungry, we made our way to a pub called The Liverpool Arms. It was in a back street and off the beaten track. As I stood looking at it, I wondered whether to go in. It would either be a little gem, or a right dive. Luckily it turned out to be a gem. We enjoyed a lovely lunch. Inside was pleasent and comfortable and the service and staff were all that you would want after a long walk – including a large glass of white wine, which went down very well!