Angelsey – click here for sounds recorded from my walks Anglesey.
The island of Anglesey, Ynys Môn, the Mother of Wales, Mam Cymru.
They found a stone head on Anglesey some years ago. It’s made of sandstone and was carved most likely in the pre-Roman Iron Age. When I last visited the island I sat and waited for my lift from the pick-up point at the ferry terminus to Dublin. Young Irish men heading home sat in the sunshine on their luggage. Their faces had something of the look of the stone head found in the earth nearby.
When I first visited I thought this place was pure, untouched and that somehow I ‘knew’ this pureness, but it’s not like this at all. I’d had a sense of the place that wasn’t accurate to how history had shaped the island. Instead it’s landscape is layer on layer of labour, shifting and digging. I found brick works, mines, quarries, an old bromine producing factory, fields ploughed for generations, an abandoned aircraft hangar, a smelting plant stood right in the flight path of a major migration of Arctic and Sandwich Terns, a ruined mansion now filled with trees. The more I looked the more I found cave after cave tunneling into headlands, if you stood in their entrances you could face out to Ireland.
When I visited the neolithic site at Barclodiad y Gawres I took photographs of the inside of the tomb. I definitely wasn’t comfortable with this and instead lay on the grass and stared out to sea, an elevated view some 80 feet from the waves below. This chamber is filled with tilting stones covered with zig-zags patterns. I read later in a local history book that the bone fragments of toad, snake and shrew where found there amongst human bones. I’d heard that a key was kept in a local seaside shop, this key would take you further into the tomb, I went to get it but decided to carry on along the shore. Heading into Cable Bay I turned around some giant stones in the sand, and into a secret bay were somebody not long before had written DAD in the sand. The tide had yet to come in a wash it away. I scaled the cliff, onto the path and headed south.