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FOR TIME TRAVELLERS Grave encounters Peek into Anglesey’s distant past at Barclodiad y Gawres. This partially reconstructed Neolithic burial chamber occupies a spectacular spot overlooking the sea on the headland between Porth Trecastell and Porth Nobla. It’s worth visiting for the views alone, but the tomb’s dark interior offers the biggest highlights, where stones decorated with spirals, zigzags and chevrons by Anglesey’s ancient people can be seen. On the other side of the island you’ll find Lligwy Burial Chamber. Dating back to the third millennium BC and topped by a massive capstone weighing about 25 tons, it’s a mighty monument to Anglesey’s early architects. Historic Holyhead Our bustling port town of Holyhead has lots to offer history hunters. St Cybi’s Church, on the site of a Roman fort, is still encircled by the walls built by our former occupiers. Things are a little more recent at Anglesey Maritime Museum, which explores our long relationship with the sea. Based in the former lifeboat station (the oldest in Wales), its collection tells a seafaring story of shipwrecks, sailors and submarines. There’s even the jawbone of a 30,000-year-old woolly mammoth, discovered in Holyhead’s harbour in 1864. Back to your roots Does your family have a past on Anglesey? Trace your own island connections at Anglesey Archives in Llangefni. Amateur genealogists and history buffs can delve into a fascinating collection of maps, newspapers, pictures and census records that tell the story of Anglesey’s inhabitants over the centuries. Castles and criminals Beautiful Beaumaris is a real historical heavyweight. The concentric walls and sturdy towers of Beaumaris Castle – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – dominate the town. Constructed towards the end of Edward I’s medieval campaign of Welsh castle building, it’s one of the most advanced fortresses of its age. You can also experience some classic crime and punishment at the Courthouse and Gaol. See where criminals were sentenced for more than 400 years before getting a taste of life behind bars in a haunting Victorian prison. New for old Plas Newydd (‘The New Mansion’) near Llanfair PG is no newcomer. This magnificent National Trust historic house dates from the 18th century. Standing in lovely grounds on the shores of the Menai Strait, it’s one of Wales’s most elegant 31


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