Ynys Llanddwyn

Ynys Llanddwyn (also known as Llanddwyn Island) is a small tidal island off the west coast of Anglesey (Welsh: Ynys Môn), northwest Wales. The nearest settlement is the village of Newborough.

Ynys Llanddwyn
Ynys Llanddwyn old light.pg.jpg
Tŵr Bach lighthouse with Snowdonia in background
Ynys Llanddwyn is located in Anglesey
Ynys Llanddwyn
Ynys Llanddwyn
Location within Anglesey
Area0.3 km2 (0.12 sq mi)
• Density0/km2 (0/sq mi)
OS grid referenceSH 3884 6288
  • Rhosyr
Principal area
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLlangefni
Postcode districtLL61
Dialling code01248
PoliceNorth Wales
FireNorth Wales
UK Parliament
Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament
List of places
Coordinates: 53°08′15″N 04°24′45″W / 53.13750°N 4.41250°W / 53.13750; -4.41250

Geology and geographyEdit

The island is of geological interest with pillow lava, jasper formations and aeolian sand deposits. The island forms part of the National Nature Reserve of Newborough Warren which includes the extensive and floristically rich sand dune system.

Ynys Llanddwyn is a tidal island; it remains attached to the mainland except at high tide. It provides views of Snowdonia and the Llŷn Peninsula. Tŵr Mawr lighthouse marks the western entrance to the Menai Strait.

Saint DwynwenEdit

The ruins of St Dwynwen's Church, Llanddwyn

The island is rich in legends, in particular in its association with Dwynwen. The name Llanddwyn means "The church of St. Dwynwen". Dwynwen is the Welsh patron saint of lovers, making her the Welsh equivalent of St. Valentine. Her Saint's day is 25 January and is often celebrated by the Welsh with cards and flowers. The island bears the ruined remains of St Dwynwen's Church (Welsh: Eglwys Santes Dwynwen).[1] Unusually for churches in that region it has a cruciform floorplan.

In 2011 archaeologists excavated the nave of the ruined church of St Dwynwen's. In October 2021 archaeologist Dr George Nash and SLR Consulting were given permission from Cadw, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Isle of Anglesey County Council to return to the island. They uncovered the remains of several buildings beneath the ruin, including what may have been a medieval priory. Nash, who made the discovery along with geophysicists Les Dodd and Phil Dell, said the priory was "probably converted into a parish church some time after Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries during the late 1530s."[2]

Visitors and footpathsEdit

Newborough National Nature Reserve & Forest, of which Ynys Llanddwyn is part, received 478,204 visitors in 2018.[3]

There are more than 10 miles (16 km) of footpaths crossing Ynys Llanddwyn and Newborough Warren, including the Anglesey Coastal Path, and it is a very popular place to visit. The island provides a worth-while goal after the mile-long walk along the beach from the nearest car park. Ynys Llanddwyn, with the neighbouring beach, has been awarded Blue Flag beach status in recognition of the cleanliness of the sea and the beaches.

Time lineEdit

  • 1873 – Construction of lighthouse on Ynys Llanddwyn.
  • 1903 – Closure of the lifeboat station on Ynys Llanddwyn.
  • 1911 – RSPB establishes its first reserve in Wales at Ynys Llanddwyn [4]
  • 3 December 1920 – Five crew members from the Rhoscolyn lifeboat are lost off Llanddwyn, Anglesey.

In filmEdit

  • In 2004, Ynys Llanddwyn was used as a filming location in Demi Moore's romantic thriller Half Light. Tŵr Mawr was used as a lighthouse which plays a key role in the film. CGI was used to create the effect of a real light on top of the lighthouse.
  • Bryn Terfel filmed his video for Cavatina (arranged by Chris Hazell) on Ynys Llanddwyn "a very beautiful romantic place" (Bryn on BBC Breakfast)
  • In 2009, a scene for the Hollywood blockbuster Clash of the Titans was filmed at Llanddwyn.
  • BBC Wales show ‘’The 1900 Island’’ was filmed on the island the show was broadcast nationally in 2019.[5]



  1. ^ "ST DWYNWEN'S CHURCH, LLANDDWYN ISLAND". Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.
  2. ^ Prior, Neil (16 October 2021). "Llanddwyn Island: Archaeologists unearth building remains". Retrieved 19 October 2021 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  3. ^ "Evaluation of Tourism Attractor Destinations: interim report". GOV.WALES. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  4. ^ Bird charity born 100 years ago at Llanddwyn Island, BBC, 10 January 2011
  5. ^ David Hughes (13 June 2019). "The 1900 Island filming location: the history of Llanddwyn, and the cast of families on the BBC documentary series". i. Retrieved 16 January 2020.

External linksEdit