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St. Beuno's Church, Aberffraw - geograph.org.uk - 156921.jpg
St Beuno's Church, Aberffraw
Grid reference: SH354689
Location: 53°11’31"N, 4°27’51"W
Postcode: LL63
Local Government
Council: Anglesey
Ynys Môn

Aberffraw is a small village with a big history, standing on the south west coast of the Isle of Anglesey, by the west bank of the River Ffraw.

Aberffraw has a population of 599 of which 79.8% are able to speak Welsh (2001 Census).

The Court of Aberffraw

In the early Middle Ages Aberffraw was the capital of the Kingdom of Gwynedd from c.860 AD until c.1170. Under the Aberffraw Dynasty, Aberffraw came to be the most important political centre in mediæval Wales. The Court of Aberffraw remained the symbolic throne of the Kings of Gwynedd from the 9th century to the 13th century. The Royal Annals of Edward I of England show the princely court complex was dismantled in 1315 to provide building materials for nearby Beaumaris Castle.

An archaeological study has found of the court:

...appeared to demonstrate the presence of a two-phase, round-angled, rectangular enclosure, at least 70m NNE-SSW, thought to represent a Roman military work, refurnished in the early mediæval period as a princely hall (a llys); although a radio-carbon date centring on the period 27-387AD, appears to support this thesis, the identification of a Roman work is currently out of favour: the site of the llys, whose (partial?) dismantling is recorded in 1317, is regarded as uncertain: two sculptured heads, of apparent C13 style, are known from the village (White 1978): the putative curving angle of the enclosure has been suggested to hint at the former presence of a motte: excavations at the traditional site of the llys, about 650m to the WSW, recorded only C18 remains. Excavation, 1973-4 (White 1979) [1].

About the village


Attractions near Aberffraw village include Llyn Coron (a lake), Barclodiad y Gawres, a Neolithic burial chamber and the island of Cribinau with the 7th century church of Saint Cwyfan perched on top. The church still holds services in the summer and is sometimes used for weddings, with access by boat. The village has a sandy beach, which was awarded the Blue flag rural beach award in 2005, and is on the Anglesey Coastal Path. There is a post office in the village.

St Beuno's Church dates from the 12th century and is a Grade II* listed building.[1]

In mythology

In Welsh mythology, Aberffraw features as the site of Branwen and Matholwch's wedding festival, where Efnysien maimed Matholwch's horses.[2]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Aberffraw)


  1. Cadw listing (5270) - Church of St Beuno
  2. Mabinogion|The Mabinogion: Branwen the Daughter of Llyr, translated by Lady Charlotte Guest. Online at www.sacred-texts.com.


  • Davies, John. A History of Wales.