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Unit One Research: ‘Markings on the Land’

Eric Wong and Tom Jenkins

Task 1: Collation of Precedent and Existing ‘Markings on the Land’ Research Anglesey, Holyhead and surrounding environs for existing ‘land markings’, earth works, man-made interventions, reservoirs etc together with some research into any precedents. Anglesey is an island off the north west coast of Wales. Two bridges span the Menai Strait, connecting it to the mainland. Menai Suspension Bridge

The Menai Suspension Bridge lies between the island of Anglesey and the mainland of Wales. Designed by Thomas Telford, it was the first modern suspension bridge in the world. Before the bridge was completed in 1826, the island had no fixed connection to the mainland and all movements to and from Anglesey was by ferry (or, with difficulty, on foot at low tide). The main source of income in Anglesey was from the sale of cattle, in order to move them to the markets of the inland counties or London, they had to be driven into the water and swum across the Menai Straits. The Act of Union 1800 increased the need for transport to Ireland, and with Holyhead as one of the principal terminals to Dublin it was decided to build a bridge.


Unit One Research: ‘Markings on the Land’

Eric Wong and Tom Jenkins

Britannia Bridge

The increasing popularity of rail travel necessitated a second bridge to provide a direct rail link between London and the port of Holyhead, the Chester and Holyhead Railway.


Unit One Research: ‘Markings on the Land’

Eric Wong and Tom Jenkins

Numerous megalithic monuments and menhirs are present on Anglesey, testifying to the presence of humans in prehistory. Cromlechs

This usually refers to dolmens, the remains of prehistoric stone chamber tombs. 28 cromlechs remain on uplands overlooking the sea.


Unit One Research: ‘Markings on the Land’

Eric Wong and Tom Jenkins

Anglesey is a relatively low-lying island with low hills such as Parys Mountain. Parys Mountain

The mountain was mined for copper ore in the early Bronze Age. Parys Mountain is one of the few sites in Britain where there is evidence for the prehistoric beginnings of the British metal mining industry. The 18th century miners recognised that they were following in the steps of much earlier workers, an observation that was then linked to the local discovery of copper ingots bearing Roman inscriptions. Parys Mountain dominated the world's copper market during the 1780s, when the mine was the largest in Europe. The copper from the mine was used to sheath the British Admiralty's wooden ships of war, to prevent the growth of seaweed and barnacles and to protect the wood from attack by shipworms. This increased the speed and maneuverability of the vessels, and enabled them to remain at sea for longer as there was less need to return to port for maintenance. The bare, heavily mined landscape gives the mountain a futuristic appearance.


Unit One Research: ‘Markings on the Land’

Eric Wong and Tom Jenkins

Holyhead Mountain

is the highest hill on Holy Island and the highest in the county of Anglesey. Holyhead Mountain also has an Iron Age Stone Circle settlement and the material for the Breakwater was quarried from the Mountain too. It is the first sight of land people have when travelling from Dublin to Holyhead.


Unit One Research: ‘Markings on the Land’

Eric Wong and Tom Jenkins

There is a late Roman watchtower, called Caer y Tŵr (Tower Fortress) on the east side of Holyhead Mountain. Caer y Twr

The hillfort, which is situated among rocky outcrops, is ideally placed for defence and likely served as a watchtower and possibly as a signal tower. Some have speculated that it was built to alert a small fort situated in the town of Holyhead in the case of raiders coming in from the Irish Sea, while others have suggested that it may have been a lighthouse. The hillfort is now mostly rubble, but its walls can still be made out, including a large stone rampart on the north and east sides which reaches 3 metres at points. The entrance to the fort was through a rocky gully. The footings of a tower were discovered when the site was excavated; its stones are believed to date from the 2nd to the 4th centuries. Nestled below Caer y Twr is a group of several enclosed huts, named Ty Mawr, that also date from the 3rd to the 4th centuries, some of which still contain the accoutrements of life, such as hearths and shelves.


Unit One Research: ‘Markings on the Land’

Eric Wong and Tom Jenkins

Holyhead Mountain attracts many visitors, and it is also located close to South Stack lighthouse. South Stack is famous as the location of one of Wales' most spectacular lighthouses. South Stack Lighthouse

The South Stack Lighthouse has warned passing ships of the treacherous rocks below since its completion in 1809. The 28 m (91 ft) lighthouse was designed by Daniel Alexander and the main light is visible to passing vessels for 28 miles, and was designed to allow safe passage for ships on the treacherous Dublin - Holyhead - Liverpool sea route. It provides the first beacon along the northern coast of Anglesey for east-bound ships. Visitors can climb to the top of the lighthouse and tour the engine room and exhibition area. The lighthouse is open seasonally. The descent and ascent provide an opportunity to see some of the 4,000 nesting birds that line the cliffs during the breeding season.


Unit One Research: ‘Markings on the Land’

Eric Wong and Tom Jenkins

Beaumaris Castle

was built as part of Edward I's campaign to conquer the north of Wales after 1282. Despite forming part of a local royalist rebellion in 1648 the castle escaped slighting and was garrisoned by Parliament, but fell into ruin around 1660, eventually forming part of a local stately home and park in the 19th century. In the 21st century the ruined castle is managed by Cadw as a tourist attraction. Historian Arnold Taylor has described Beaumaris Castle as Britain's "most perfect example of symmetrical concentric planning". The fortification is built of local stone, with a moated outer ward guarded by twelve towers and two gatehouses, overlooked by an inner ward with two large, D-shaped gatehouses and six massive towers. The inner ward was designed to contain ranges of domestic buildings and accommodation able to support two major households. The south gate could be reached by ship, allowing the castle to be directly supplied by sea. UNESCO considers Beaumaris to be one of "the finest examples of late 13th century and early 14th century military architecture in Europe", and it is classed as a World Heritage site.


Unit One Research: ‘Markings on the Land’

Eric Wong and Tom Jenkins

Bryn Celli Ddu

is a prehistoric site on the Welsh island of Anglesey located near Llanddaniel Fab. Its name means 'the mound in the dark grove'. It was plundered in 1699 and archaeologically excavated between 1928 and 1929. During the Neolithic period a stone circle and henge stood at the site. An area of burnt material containing a small human bone from the ear, covered with a flat stone, was recovered. The stones were removed in the early Bronze Age when an archetypal passage grave was built over the top of the centre of the henge. A carved stone with a twisting, serpentine design stood in the burial chamber. It has since been moved to the National Museum of Wales and replaced with a replica standing outside. An earth barrow covering the grave is a twentieth century restoration; the original was probably much bigger. Norman Lockyer, who in 1906 published the first systematic study of megalithic astronomy, had argued that Bryn Celli Ddu marked the summer solstice. This was ridiculed at the time, but research by Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas in 1997- 98 showed this to be true. Knight and Lomas also claimed year round alignments allowed the site to be used as an agricultural calendar. Steve Burrow, curator of Neolithic archaeology at Amgueddfa Cymru (National Museum of Wales), has more recently supported the case for summer solstice alignment. This alignment links Bryn Celli Ddu to a handful of other sites, including Maes Howe and Newgrange, both of which point to the midwinter solstice.


Unit One Research: ‘Markings on the Land’

Eric Wong and Tom Jenkins

Wylfa Nuclear Power Station

is situated just west of Cemaes Bay on the island of Anglesey. Its location on the coast provides a cooling source for its operation. Following the closure of Trawsfynydd in 1991, Wylfa is the only nuclear power station in Wales. Wylfa houses two 490 MW Magnox nuclear reactors, "Reactor 1" and "Reactor 2", which were built from 1963 and became operational in 1971. These were the largest and last Magnox-type reactors to be built in the UK. Wylfa provided employment to the local area and electricity to the north of Wales. In March 2006 the local council voted to extend the life of Wylfa A and to support the construction of Wylfa B, citing the potential loss of employment in the smelter works and nuclear station. The ONR 2011 Q3 report states Reactor 1's lifetime will be extended to September 2014, but it is anticipated that remaining fuel will be used up before the end of the operator’s allocated extension period. Reactor 2 ceased generating on 25 April 2012. The British government announced that Wylfa was one of the eight sites it considered suitable for future nuclear power stations.


Unit One Research: ‘Markings on the Land’

Eric Wong and Tom Jenkins

Wind Turbines

There are three wind farms; two are situated near the north coast while the third is close to Llyn Alaw (Lake) in the centre of the island. The wind turbines near Llanbabo village and Llyn Alaw (Lake) were completed in 1997. Operated by NWP Limited, this farm has thirty four turbines. The towers are about 31 metres high and each three blade rotor has a diameter of 44 metres. Experts claim that Llyn Alaw wind farm has a capacity of 20.4 MW and can produce an average 60,000 kilowatt hours each year. This is enough to provide electricity for 14,000 homes in the local community. With the whole world beginning to wake up to the serious threat of global warming because of greenhouse gas emissions, wind power is an excellent source of carbon free energy. Llyn Alaw farm prevents about 43,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year. To the north of Llanbabo, through the village of Carreglefn towards Rhosybol is the next farm at Trysglwyn. It has 14 turbines and an installed capacity of 5.6 MW. Our atmosphere benefits by avoiding the production of 12.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. A special trust set up when these farms were built provides over £5,000 each year from revenue towards local projects.


Unit One Research: ‘Markings on the Land’

Eric Wong and Tom Jenkins

Malltraeth Marsh

located northeast of Malltraeth village, north of Llangaffo and south of Rhostrehwfa. The marsh measures 1,366.5 hectares (3,377 acres) in area. The area is recognized as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and has a range of reedbeds, marshes, wet grassland and small pools/lakes. During World War I, improvements were made due to the concern of farmers. However. the reclamation became neglected and by the end of the war it had fallen into a bad state and was subject to numerous heated conflicts between the drainage engineer. In March 1942 an unusually high rainfall during the harvest in the following year devastated most of the cereal crops in the area. Some £100,000 was allocated to developing what was about 50% derelict marsh during the war and by 1947, £147,000 had been spent on the scheme.


Unit One Research: ‘Markings on the Land’

Eric Wong and Tom Jenkins

Afon Cefni

is one of the major rivers on the island of Anglesey. It is 16.9 kilometres long. The river starts at the Llyn Cefni in the centre of the island and then runs south through the county town of Llangefni. Just north of the A55 the river turns and flows south-west. It passes through the flatlands of the Malltraeth Marshes, where the river course was altered into canal in 1824. Finally it flows under a bridge carrying the North Wales Coast Railway Line at Malltraeth Sands in the south-west of the island and into the Irish Sea. In February 2007 one of the most bizarre moments in the river's history took place. A local cheese making company was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £1,585 in costs after some 100 litres (22 imp gal) of cream was discharged into the Afon Cefni via their surface water drainage system. In August 2007 toxic algae was found in a stretch of the river flowing through The Dingle near Llangefni.


Unit One Research: ‘Markings on the Land’

Eric Wong and Tom Jenkins

The Skerries Lighthouse

was established on the highest point of the largest island after 1716. The builder was William Trench. Nearby are castellated dwellings having cobbled yards and entrance stairs, along with symmetrically sited privies, a garden, a stone bridge connecting two islets, and a unique stone well-head building. An axial corridor leads from the dwellings to the lighthouse tower's base. For a number of summers, they have been used by wardens working for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.


Unit One Research: ‘Markings on the Land’

Eric Wong and Tom Jenkins

Llanddeusant Windmill

The Mill, which now regularly produces flour, is a popular visitor attraction on Anglesey, and the addition of some authentic Iron Age Huts has added to the visitor numbers. Llynnon Windmill boasts to be the only working Windmill in Wales.


Unit One Research: ‘Markings on the Land’

Eric Wong and Tom Jenkins

Cribinau

is a small tidal island off the south west coast of the isle of Anglesey in Wales between Porth China and Porth Cwyfan. The nearest village is Aberffraw. The island, which can be reached on foot at low tide, is notable for the 13th-century church of St Cwyfan, known locally as eglwys bach y mor (the little church in the sea) or simply as Cwyfan. The church remains in use and is popular for weddings and christenings. Seventeenth-century maps show the church standing on the mainland of Anglesey but erosion by the sea of the boulder clay cliffs has created the island. To prevent the church falling into the sea, a protective wall was built in the nineteenth century around the island.


Unit One Research: ‘Markings on the Land’

Eric Wong and Tom Jenkins

Anglesey Circuit

is a motor racing circuit located in Aberffraw, Anglesey, Wales. It plays host to a variety of motorsport events, including rallycross. In 2006, the motorsports venue saw a major overhaul, with the majority of its 1.067 miles (1.72 km) circuit being scrapped in favour of a radical new development that will include four different track layouts: a 2.1 miles (3.4 km) International GP circuit, a 1.55 miles (2.5 km) Coastal Circuit, a slightly shorter National circuit and a Club Circuit that will cover under a mile. The TV motoring programme Fifth Gear regularly used the Anglesey circuit for the 'Shoot Out' segment of the show. Since the new track configuration, Fifth Gear has opted to use the Coastal layout. The Coastal layout appears to be the most popular among track day enthusiasts because of the difficult downhill corkscrew segment.


Unit One Research: ‘Markings on the Land’

Eric Wong and Tom Jenkins

Penmon Priory

is located on the eastern most tip of Anglesey, where the Menai Strait returns to the Irish Sea. The Priory sits comfortably in a pastoral location together with St Seiriol's Church, the Dovecote, and the ancient Holy Well of St Seiriol. The monastery was founded by the 6th Century celtic Saint, Seiriol, but Viking raids have destroyed the remains of the original structure. There are however two stone celtic crosses that date from around 900 to 1000 A.D. housed within the present church. The church and the conical tower were built in the middle of the 12th Century under the authority of Gruffudd ap Cynan and Owain Gwynedd, and it remains to this day as the finest example of a 12th Century church in Gwynedd. A new chancel with richly carved arches and pillars was added in the 13th Century and Penmon became an Augustinian Priory during the reign of Prince Llywelyn ap Iorwerth. The dilapidated three storey stone buildings to the south of the church contained the monks' dining hall and dormitory and, although roofless, the building is still an impressive structure to this day. Considerable renovations were carried out to the priory in the 19th Century but the atmosphere of early Christianity still pervades the interior.


Unit One Research: ‘Markings on the Land’

Eric Wong and Tom Jenkins

Penmon Dovecot

The dovecot standing near the church was built in the 1600’s by Sir Richard Bulkeley for housing pigeons for their eggs and meat. It has a large domed roof with a cupola on top so birds could fly in and out. Inside the dovecot were 1,000 nesting boxes, with a pillar in the centre supporting a revolving ladder so people had access to the nesting boxes. The central pillar remains, but the ladder is now gone. (There is also a dovecot existent on one of our 10 sites.)


Unit One Research: ‘Markings on the Land’

Eric Wong and Tom Jenkins

Traeth Coch

is a wide sandy bay and an area of outstanding natural beauty on the east coast of the island of Anglesey in Wales. The bay is also known in English as Red Wharf Bay and lies between the villages of Pentraeth and Benllech. Each year the Red Wharf Bay Sailing Club Anglesey Offshore Dinghy Race takes place from Beaumaris to Traeth Bychan. The race over 14 miles up the Menai Strait and down the Anglesey coast is an exhilarating sail. There was once a railway line which terminated at the bay, the Red Wharf Bay branch line, which left the Anglesey Central Railway at Pentre Berw.


Unit One Research: ‘Markings on the Land’

Eric Wong and Tom Jenkins

Cemlyn Bay

is a bay on the northwest coast of Anglesey, North Wales, approximately 2.5 km west of Wylfa nuclear power station, within the parish of Llanfairynghornwy. On islands at the western end of the lagoon, there is an important tern colony, with the only breeding Sandwich Terns in Wales. The numbers of breeding Sandwich Terns have increased to around 1,500 pairs in recent years, making Cemlyn the third-largest colony in the United Kingdom.


Unit One Research: ‘Markings on the Land’

Eric Wong and Tom Jenkins

Llyn Alaw

is a man-made reservoir on Anglesey, North Wales. It is used to supply drinking water to the northern half of the island and does so at a rate of 35 million litres a day. Filling began in November 1965 on existing marshland and was completed in January 1966. It was officially opened on October 21, 1966. The catchment is largely agricultural and few notable rivers feed into the lake. The storage capacity is largely generated through trapping winter rainfall and drawing down the level in the summer months. The reservoir itself is 4.3 kilometres long with a surface area of 3.6 km² making it the largest body of water on the island. It does however only ever reach a depth of 5.2 metres. Recent developments have included the provision of nature conservation facilities and way-marked walks around the margin.


Unit One Research: ‘Markings on the Land’

Eric Wong and Tom Jenkins

Salt Island

is an island joined to Holy Island, itself an island joined to Anglesey in North Wales. It is a natural provider of shelter for the towns Old Harbour from the Irish Sea and is also part of the Port of Holyhead where the ferries to Dublin sail from. The island gained its name by a factory located on it which processed sea water in order to extract sea salt. By the early 18th century the sea salt was often mixed with rock salt (often smuggled onto the island) to increase the quality of the factory's product. The factory ceased production in 1775.


Unit One Research: ‘Markings on the Land’

Eric Wong and Tom Jenkins

Anglesey Aluminium

Its aluminium smelter, located on the outskirts of Holyhead, was one of the largest employers in North Wales, with 540 staff members, and began to produce aluminium in 1971. Until recently it produced up to 142,000 tonnes of aluminium every year and was the biggest single user of electricity (255 MW) in the United Kingdom. Alumina and coke shipped from Jamaica and Australia would berth at the company's private jetty in Holyhead harbour. This jetty is linked by a series of conveyor belts passing through tunnels to the plant. A spur rail link from the main Holyhead to London rail line runs into the plant and was used for both receipt of raw materials and despatch of aluminium. The plant was powered from the National Grid and received most of its electricity from Wylfa nuclear power station 15 miles away. AA was used as a base load for Wylfa and saved the grid the cost of keeping a power station on standby. The power contract terminated in 2009, and the aluminium smelting operation was shut down as no new contract was negotiated. The company has announced tentative plans for a biomass plant on the site, but smelting operations have been halted and the plant mothballed until 2016. Near the smelter the Aluminium Powder Company (ALPOCO) produces aluminium powder, which is used in pastes, pigments, chemicals, metallurgy, refractory, propulsion, pyrotechnics, spray deposition and powder metallurgy.


Unit One Research: ‘Markings on the Land’

Eric Wong and Tom Jenkins

Others There is a wide range of smaller industries, mostly located in industrial and business parks especially at Llangefni and Gaerwen. These industries include an abattoir and fine chemicals manufacture as well as factories for timber production, aluminium smelting, fish farming and food processing.


Markings on the Land