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Grassholm (Welsh: Gwales or Ynys Gwales) is a small uninhabited island situated 13 kilometres (8 mi) off the southwestern Pembrokeshire coast in Wales, lying west of Skomer. It is the westernmost point in Wales and is known for its huge colony of gannets. Grassholm has been owned since 1947 by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, and is one of its oldest reserves.

Grassholm National Nature Reserve is the third most important site for gannets in the world. It serves as a breeding site for tens of thousands of the birds, and supports around 12 percent of the world population. The turbulent sea around Grassholm also provides good feeding ground for porpoises and bottlenose dolphins.

Boats sail to Grassholm from Martin's Haven on the mainland.

The island has been identified with Gwales, an island featured in the Mabinogion. In the Second Branch of the Mabinogi, Gwales is the site of a fabulous castle where the severed head of Bran the Blessed is kept miraculously alive for eighty years while his companions feast in blissful forgetfulness.[1][2]

References

  1. ^ The Mabinogi of Branwen. From mabinogi.net. Retrieved May 8, 2009.
  2. ^ The Mabinogion: Branwen the Daughter of Llyr, translated by Lady Charlotte Guest. Online at www.sacred-texts.com.

Coordinates: 51°43′52″N 5°28′47″W / 51.7311°N 5.4796°W / 51.7311; -5.4796

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