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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 53°25′N 4°20′W / 53.41°N 4.34°W / 53.41; -04.34

Church Amlwch Anglesey bunker.jpg
Amlwch is located in Wales2

 Amlwch shown within Wales
Population 3,438 (2001 census)
OS grid reference SH439930
Principal area Anglesey
Ceremonial county Gwynedd
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town AMLWCH
Postcode district LL68
Dialling code 01407
Police North Wales
Fire North Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Ynys Môn
Welsh Assembly Ynys Môn
List of places: UK • Wales • Anglesey

Amlwch is the most northerly town in Wales. It is situated on the north coast of the Isle of Anglesey, on the A5025 which connects it to Holyhead and to the Menai Bridge. The town has no beach, but it has impressive coastal cliffs. Tourism is an important element of the local economy. At one time it was a busy port, with boats sailing to the Isle of Man and to Liverpool. A number of the houses date from the 19th century and add to the atmosphere of the town.

The local newspaper for northeastern Anglesey is Yr Arwydd ('The Sign').

The name Amlwch – a reference to the site of the town's harbour, Porth Amlwch – derives from Welsh am ("on, around") and llwch (an old word meaning "inlet, creek").[1]

According to legend in the Middle Ages the town developed on a site that had a harbour but was not visible from the sea, which helped to reduce the chance of Viking attacks.

It grew rapidly in the 18th century near what was then the world's biggest copper mine at the nearby Parys Mountain. By the late 18th century, Amlwch had a population of around 10,000 and was the second largest town in Wales after Merthyr Tydfil. It was at this time that its harbour was also extended to accommodate the ships needed to transport the ore. It is currently the fourth largest settlement on the island with 3,438 inhabitants.

When copper mining began to decline in the mid 1850s, shipbuilding became the main industry with many people also becoming involved in the ship repair and other maritime industries. Even after the decline of the copper mine some chemical industries remained and in 1953 a chemical plant to extract bromine from sea water (for use in petrol engines) was built but this closed in 2004. The imminent closure of nearby Wylfa Nuclear Power Station will have a further detrimental effect on the local economy.

At the peak of the copper mining, it is believed that Amlwch had a record of public house to person ratio, with there being one pub for every 4 people[citation needed]. Today the ratio is nowhere near that mark but you can find pubs such as the King's Head, the Queen's Head, the Mariner, the Dinorben Arms Hotel and the Market Tavern in the town, and the Liverpool Arms and the Adelphi Vaults down in the port area. It also used to have a station which was the northern terminus of the Anglesey Central Railway which was open between 1864 and 1993.

Attractions in Amlwch include its restored port, the Anglesey Coastal Path which passes through it, its watch tower containing a small heritage centre, and the reinforced concrete church Our Lady of the Sea. The town's leisure centre is one of the few on Anglesey and has a swimming pool, sports centre and squash courts.

The town also has two football teams, Amlwch Town F.C., who play in the Welsh Alliance League and the Adelphi Vaults F.C., a Sunday League pub team currently playing in the My Scaffolding League Division 1.

It is also home to the local secondary school, Ysgol Syr Thomas Jones.


  1. ^ BBC Wales: What's in a name?

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

AMLWCH (llwch = " lake"), a market town of Anglesey, North Wales, situated on slightly rising ground on the N. coast of the island, 15 m. N.W. of Beaumaris and 262 m. from London, by the London & North-Western railway. Pop. of urban district (1901) 2994. Originally it owed its whole importance to the copper mines of the Parys (probably, Parry's) mountain, as, before ore was discovered in March 1768, it was a small hamlet of fishermen. The mines once produced 3000 tons of metal annually, copper smelting being largely carried on, but have now almost ceased working. Though apparently not mentioned by Ptolemy, they were perhaps Roman. Robert Parys, chamberlain of North Wales under Henry IV., is often given as their godfather. The poor harbour called the "port," protected by a breakwater, has been cut out of the rock (shingle). Amlwch is the terminus of the branch railway from Gaerwen to Amlwch, formerly the Anglesey Central Railway Company. Porthilechog, or Bull Bay (so called from the Bull Rock), at a mile's distance, is a small but favourite watering-place. Beyond, on the coast, some 3 m. distant, are the remains of a British fort and of the Llanllaianau monastery, opposite the Middle Mouse islet and close to Llanbadrig old church and Cemmaes. Industries include slate quarrying, shipbuilding, iron and brass foundries, alum, vitriol, manure, guano and tobacco works. At Llanllaianau was found, in 1841, a stone coffin, holding a well-preserved skeleton of 71 ft. in length. The coffin was apparently of Aberdovey (Aberdyfi) limestone, much corroded. At Llangefni, not far from Amlwch, in 1829, and at Llangristiolus, 3 m. distant from Llangefni, about 1770, were found human bones of a high antiquity, between Glan Hwfa and Fron, and at Capel, respectively. The town has an old Anglican church (St Eleth's).

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