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Site Details

© Copyright and database right 2021. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 32986

Map Reference SH36NE

Grid Reference SH355689

Unitary (Local) Authority Isle of Anglesey

Old County Anglesey

Community Aberffraw

Type of Site TOWN


Period Multiperiod

Site Description Aberffraw is a small coastal town in Anglesey, situated on the banks of the river Ffraw. It is traditionally said to be the chief seat of the Early Welsh Kings of Gwynedd. The royal palace or Llys (Nprn 15012) at Aberffraw reflects the town's status as the administrative centre of one of three 'Cantrefi' or 'Hundreds' in which the island of Anglesey was divided in the post Roman period. The town is thought to have grown in importance during the early middle ages, and then, following the great storm of 1331, to have declined as a result of coastline alterations which affected what had been a busy sea port.

However, Aberffraw parish continued to be of importance, having land owned by many of the major Anglesey families, the Meyricks, the Owens (until 1808) then the Hughes (as Lord Dinorben), the Williams/Wynns (as Lord Newborough), the Pagets (as Earl of Uxbridge/Marquis of Anglesey) and Lord Bulkeley. Land and property in the parish was regularly changing hands between these landowners. In the early part of the 18th century the Owens appear to have owned a great deal of Aberffraw and made several improvements to the village. In 1729 a ruined church, Eglwys y Beili, was rebuilt as a school by Sir Arthur Owen for the instruction of poor children in the Welsh language. This property, known locally as "The Eagles" in Church Street (Nprn 15684), is said to be the oldest extant house in Aberffraw. In 1731 Sir Arthur commissioned the building of Aberffraw bridge.

Non-conformity came early to Aberffraw, with the Wesleyan movement becoming established the town in c.1800 followed by the Baptist movement, Independents and Calvanistic Methodism. There was much poverty in the town and working class dissent. Aberffraw was named the poorest village in Anglesey by 'Illustrated' magazine in 1949.

Local industry included the production of mats, brushes and ropes from maram grass growing on the sand dunes.

The town developed in the second half of the 20th century with new housing.

Reference: Aberffraw community website.
RCAHMW, 2009.

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