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Holyhead Motto:Pass This Way With A Pure Heart

Updated on July 20, 2010
A tourist of its kind in the city of Holyhead, Wales, U.K. 31July09
A tourist of its kind in the city of Holyhead, Wales, U.K. 31July09

Holyhead pictures by Bernard Wellings

Holyhead allotments with the ferries at the background
Holyhead allotments with the ferries at the background
Holyhead Captain Skinner Memorial
Holyhead Captain Skinner Memorial
Holyhead Celtic Gateway Bridge
Holyhead Celtic Gateway Bridge
Holyhead Lighthouse
Holyhead Lighthouse
Holyhead St. Cybis Church
Holyhead St. Cybis Church
Holyhead Stanley Arms
Holyhead Stanley Arms
Holyhead Stanley Street
Holyhead Stanley Street

What a 'Holyhead' feeling!

I've mistaken the city of Holyhead as part of Liverpool, England. The foreman from the port corrected me that it's part of the northern side of Wales. I've been there last July 26th until August 1st, 2009, being one of the crew of a Norwegian commercial vessel.

One day after the ship was started discharging our cargo at the port, I went ashore together with my two Filipino colleagues. The city proper was quite far from our location, so the procedure, was to notify the guard on duty at the ferry terminal (passenger ships are coming to and from Ireland which is just six to ten hours away from the city).

In short, we've been fetched at the jetty from the port by the guard's service car going to the main gate of the city terminal. From there, I did saw the Edinburgh castle and entering the ferry terminal (always thronged with people coming from Ireland and other tourists), we walked at the bridge connecting the city proper.

The Welsh, the locals, are always ready to greet us when passing the bridge. While taking photos and videos of the magnificent sceneries of the city, I was caught offhanded by the words or rather sentence that was engraved at the circular red marble's surface at the center of the bridge: ' Pass This Way With A Pure Heart'!

Whew! I was blown away with those words, filled with an exhilirating feeling of contentment. The happy faces of the bystanders, those people who were passing by inspired me to do the same: Clean My Heart Away From Unholy Feeling.

Despite the hurly burly of the city life, people and visitors of Holyhead were always ready to cleanse their hearts from any aches as they pass the bridge.

Just Like Summer (Marvin Gaye)

Areal view c/o
Areal view c/o

Getting Closer to Holyhead

Recounting my Holyhead experience really gave me an idea to dig dipper into the county's history. So if you'll have time going into this place in U.K. you'll not have a hard time finding in on the map.

The people are so accomodating. You'll not have a hard time finding the place you want to visit in the county, because they'll give you a helping hand.

I bought some fresh provisions from the street market. All the vegetables were locally produced so it's really worth your money.

Now let's go back to the History 101 of the place...

Holyhead, Welsh: (Caergybi "the fort of Saint Cybi") is the largest town in the county of Anglesey in the north west of Wales.

Although it is the largest town in the county, with a population of 11,237 (2001 census), it is neither the county town nor actually on the island of Anglesey. In fact, it is located on Holy Island which is connected to Anglesey by Four Mile Bridge, so called because it is four miles (6 km) from Holyhead on the old post road from London, and a causeway (known locally as "the cob") built by local philanthropist Lord Stanley in the 19th century. The causeway now carries the A5/A55 road and the railway line to Chester, Crewe and London.

The town centre is built around St. Cybi's Church, which is built inside one of Europe's only three-walled Roman forts (the fourth wall being the sea, which used to come up to the fort). The Romans also built a watchtower on the top of Holyhead Mountain inside Mynydd y Twr, a prehistoric hillfort. Settlements in the area date from prehistoric times, with circular huts, burial chambers and standing stones featuring in the highest concentration in Britain. The current lighthouse is on South Stack on the other side of Holyhead Mountain and is open to the public. The area is also popular with birdwatchers.

The Port of Holyhead has a busy ferry port handling more than 2 million passengers each year.Stena Line, Europe's biggest ferry company, operates from the port as do Irish Ferries. Ferries sail to Dublin and Dún Laoghaire in Ireland and this forms the principal link for surface transport from central and northern England and Wales to Ireland. There is archaeological evidence that people have been sailing between Holyhead and Ireland for 4,000 years. Holyhead's maritime importance was at its height in the 19th century when the two and a half mile (4 km) breakwater, widely acknowledged to be one of Britain's finest, was built, creating a safe harbour for vessels caught in stormy waters on their way to Liverpool and the industrial ports of Lancashire. Holyhead's sea heritage is remembered in a maritime museum.

The post road built by Thomas Telford from London strengthened Holyhead's position as the port from which the Royal Mail was dispatched to and from Dublin on the Mail coach. The A5 terminates at Admiralty Arc (1821), which was designed by Thomas Harrison to commemorate a visit by King George IV en route to Ireland and marks the zenith of Irish Mail coach operations. In 2001, work was completed on the extension of the A55 North Wales Expressway from the Britannia Bridge to Holyhead, giving the town a dual carriageway connection to North Wales and the main British motorway network. The A55 forms part of Euroroute E22 and was funded in the main by money from the European Union. The Anglesey section was financed through a Private Finance Initiative scheme.

Today, Holyhead's main industry is aluminium-based, with Rio Tinto Group's Anglesey Aluminium subsidiary operating a massive aluminium smelter on the outskirts of the town. There is also a plant that refines bauxite near the site. A large jetty in the harbour receives ships from Jamaica and Australia, and their cargoes of bauxite and aluminium ores are transported on a cable belt rope driven conveyor belt that runs underneath the town to the plant.

The plant relies on its electricity supply from the island's nuclear power station at Wylfa, near Cemaes Bay. As this power station is due to close in 2010, there is speculation that the financial viability of the plant is at risk.(Source: Wikipedia)


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    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 8 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      If you really want it, you can do it once set a goal and work for it. You'll gonna reach the place, I tel you. Thanks, bacville.

    • bacville profile image

      bacville 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Nice hub about Holyhead. Someday I want to do to the place, travel_man. Thanks for sharing.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 8 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Holyhead is the destination of tourists, especially from Northern Ireland because ferries have daily schedules to choose from, then dropping by to the city.


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