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Llanfaes Town Defences

In the community of Llanfaes.
In the historic county of Anglesey.
Modern authority of Anglesey.
Preserved county of Gwynedd.

OS Map Grid Reference: SH604779
Latitude 53.27930° Longitude -4.09450°

Llanfaes Town Defences has been described as a probable Urban Defence.

There are no visible remains.


Llanfaes, N of Beaumaris, was one of the principal settlements of Anglesey during C13th expanding to 120 tenements with perhaps 600 or more persons. The re-occupation of N Wales by Edward I after the failure of the rebellion of Madoc ap Llywellyn 1294, halted prosperity. The establishment of Beaumaris necessitated the compete destruction of the town and by 1303 all the inhabitants had been evacuated, some to Beaumaris, but majority to the newly founded Newborough. The church, St. Catherine's, survived, and in 1563 there were about eight households, presumably mainly farm buildings (Delaney and Soulsby 1975)
In 1283-4 there was a flourishing wine trade to Conwy and Caernarfon and the township may have centred on trade rather then religion and was possibly situated near where the stream reaches the sea, rather than near the church. The shell pipeline cut through this area finds include some from C13th and a small ditch contained stones, oyster shells and potsherds (OS record).
Llanfaes was an important urban and trading centre before Edward founded Beaumaris. Details come from Edwardian Anglesey Sheriff's Accounts, which refer to a fair, market place, bakehouses, brewers and shoemakers. Actual site of town unknown but possibly near present-day church in Henllys Park, a name that indicates site of the native princes' residence (Barnie and Robinson 1973).
1975. Planning permission given for construction of a factory in area of Llanfaes township. The belief is that the site lies nearer to the coast around the port, wherever that was. No surface indications remain and area is possibly archaeologically sterile.
One of the principal settlements of thirteenth century Anglesey, this proto-urban settlement comprised at least 120 tenements and 600 people. Originating as a maerdref, it developed to become a major trading centre, before declining in the last decade of the thirteenth century. Findspots of coins and pottery, geophysical surveys, and trial excavations have combined to suggest that the settlement was focused around St Catherine' s Church. The site can not be reliably located and is not shown on the survey map (LUAU, 2001). (Gwynedd Archaeological Trust HER)

Said to have medieval defences, possibly earthworks, of deserted town now vanished. The town was a foundation of Welsh princes in the early to mid C13 but was effectively dismantled at the begin of the C14 when the burgesses were moved, mainly to Newborough. The newly founded town of Beaumaris took over the overseas and fishing trade that Llanfaes had enjoyed. Although short lived the town was of the substantial size of 120 tenements.
The actual evidence of defenses is unclear.
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This record last updated before 1 February 2016