Llanddwyn Island

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Llanddwyn Island
Welsh: Ynys Llanddwyn


Ynys Llanddwyn old light.pg.jpg
Ynys Llanddwyn old lighthouse with Snowdonia behind
Grid reference: SH389630

Llanddwyn Island is a small, rocky, tidal island off the west coast of Anglesey. The nearest town is Newborough. It projects out at the south-western edge of Anglesey and provides fine views of Snowdonia and of the Llŷn Peninsula.

Geology and geography

The island is of geological interest with pillow lava, jasper formations and wind-blown sand deposits.

The island forms part of the National Nature Reserve of Newborough Warren which includes the extensive and floristically rich sand dune system.

Llanddwyn Island is a tidal island as it remains attached to the mainland at all but the highest tides.

Saint Dwynwen

The island is very rich in legends and in particular the association with Dwynwen. The name Llanddwyn means "The Church of St Dwynwen". Dwynwen is the Welsh patron saint of lovers, making her the local equivalent of St Valentine. Her Saint's day is January 25 and is often celebrated amongst some Welsh communities with cards and flowers. The remains of St Dwynwen's Church can be found.


More than 10 miles of footpaths cross Llanddwyn Island 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.

Llanddwyn Island, with the neighbouring beach, has been awarded Blue Flag beach status in recognition of the cleanliness of the sea and the beaches.


The lighthouse on the island marks the western entrance to the Menai Strait.

The tower is tapered in a manner characteristic of Anglesey windmills, it is 35 feet high and 18 feet in diameter. It may have been constructed by an Anglesey stonemason, and it is possible that the tower itself was originally used as a windmill.

The lantern and fittings cost £250 7s 6d, including the adaptation of an ‘earlier tower’. The north-east door is flanked by small windows, and the two floors above also have small windows, but the top does not. The conical roof is slated and has a flag pole.

The present lantern window is about 6' 6" by 2'. The optic, silver plated reflector and Fresnel lens were used into the 1970s and are dated 1861. The lantern was originally lit by six Argand lamps with reflectors.

A smaller, conical tower, with a domed top, can be found to the north-east, and may be an earlier structure. The walls are 6' 8" in radius and 3' thick with a door to the north-west and shows signs of cracking to the rubble-filled walls on the west.

Both towers do not show on the chart of Lewis Morris, of 1800, but do appear on the Ordnance Survey 1818-1823 2 inches/mile map and both probably originated as unlit markers.

The cottages nearby have been used as craft workshops, and the local community here once serviced pilot-boats and life boats.

Llanddwyn Island in film

  • Half Light (2004) used Llanddwyn Island as a filming location: Tŵr Mawr was used as a lighthouse which plays a key role in the film, while CGI was used to create the effect of a real light on top of the lighthouse.
  • Bryn Terfel filmed his video for Cavatina on Llanddwyn Island "a very beautiful romantic place"
  • Clash of the Titans (2010) had a scene filmed on Llanddwyn


Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Llanddwyn Island)


Hague, D., B., Lighthouses of Wales Their Architecture and Archaeology (Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, edited by Hughes, S., 1994) ISBN 1-871184-08-8