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Holyhead - The most informative Holyhead site on the internet.

Holyhead Railway Station, Virgin Train, Stena House and Clock in July 2009

Holyhead Railway Station, Virgin Train, Stena House and Clock in July 2009

Holyhead, on the Island of Anglesey in North Wales is the largest of the county's towns, with a population of circa 13,000. Holyhead is primarily a ferry port, and has been for hundreds of years. Sailings to Dublin and Dun Laoghaire are frequent, and on the fast ferry ship takes just 99 minutes.

Like most places, Holyhead has a town shopping centre that is all but dead, with the majority of trade and shopping being carried out on the periphary of town in the national brand name supermarkets and other large non food supermarkets.

The Town Council appear to have shot themselves in the foot by pedestrianising the town centre, meaning that most people would have to first find parking, then pay for it; so many people just drive to the larger shops where there are lots of parking spaces, and it is free! Reversing the pedestrianisation would undoubtedly help the town centre shoppers and shops

Holyhead grew to the size that it is primarily based around the need for a reliable Royal Mail service from London to Ireland, and to facilitate that mail service the A5 and the Menai Suspension Bridge were built by Thomas Telford, and also the Conwy Suspension Bridge. These measures ensured a speedy journey to Holyhead, both by rail and by road.

Anglesey, Holyhead Breakwater c1890

Holyhead Breakwater and town from Holyhead Mountain taken c1890

Holyhead Breakwater from Holyhead Mountain

Holyhead Breakwater and town from Holyhead Mountain taken in 2005

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My latest project is recording the Anglesey War Memorials, of which Holyhead War Memorials is my biggest task. I not only research some of the casualties listed on Holyhead's main memorial, but also tell the stories and show you high resolution images. I share with you the memorials in the schools, chapels and churches, and also the graves of our brave service men and women that are buried in Maeshyfryd, St Seiriol's Church and St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery. You will find some of the stories both heart rending and unbelieveavble. There is the story of an 18 year old Holyhead lad who was on a ship in the Java Sea, only to experience his ship being sunk by a mine. He is taken prisoner of war by the Japanese, and subjected to horrendously cruel conditions, and reduced to eating maggots and rats. As I have been taking photographs of Holyhead for years I have an amazing computer collection of them, and where appropriate I will share these with you. I will show you war memorials from a chapel in Holyhead that has now been demolished, so they will never be seen again. To go to Holyhead War Memorials pages now please click here

Since the late 1960's, following the building of an aluminium smelter by Rio Tinto Zinc and the Kaiser Corporation at Anglesey Aluminium, and a nuclear power station at Wylfa, the prosperity of Holyhead and Anglesey was ensured, at least for a number of years. In 2008, with the prospect of the closure of Wylfa Power Station in 2010, and the expected knock on effect this may have for Anglesey Aluminium, the future looks less certain. These two employers are probably the last on Anglesey to be able to offer non professional workers excellent wages. Update: Anglesey Aluminium has now all but closed, but the future of Wylfa power station relies on the building of 'Wylfa B' power station.

The shopping centres of Holyhead - such as they are - are now mostly on the periphery of the town, but efforts to re-vitalise the town centre seem to be ongoing.

You will not find a more in depth history of Holyhead on the internet than on these Holyhead pages.

If you are interested in old photographs of the United Kingdom generally you may like to visit my website at Old UK Photos - it is the largest of its' kind in the UK.

House and business oppportunity click here

Boston Street Holyhead

Boston Street Holyhead

Anglesey, Holyhead Freightliner Terminal and St Seiriols' Church

Anglesey, Holyhead Freightliner Terminal and St Seiriols' Church

Anglesey, Holyhead Market 1908

Anglesey, Holyhead Market 1908

Anglesey, Holyhead, Market Street 1930's

Anglesey, Holyhead, Market Street 1930's - showing a busy town scene

Anglesey, Holyhead, Crew of the SS Hibernia

Anglesey, Holyhead, Crew of the SS Hibernia, which sailed to Ireland in the early 20th century

Anglesey, Holyhead, Penrhos Bay - before Morawelon was built

Anglesey, Holyhead, Penrhos Bay - before Morawelon was built

Anglesey, Holyhead, St Seiriol's Church

Anglesey, Holyhead, St Seiriol's Church - sadly now demolished

Anglesey, Holyhead, Soldiers Point 1910's

Anglesey, Holyhead, Soldiers Point 1910's

Anglesey, Holyhead, Admiralty Pier

Anglesey, Holyhead, Admiralty Pier - showing Customs House

The port is just a short walk from the town centre and bed and breakfast establishments. Of particular interest is the church, built on land which at one time housed a roman garrison. Nearby is the well known South Stack Lighthouse, beautiful to see, and the cliffs there are a haven for many species of birds.

Holyhead St Cybi's Church

Holyhead, St Cybi's Church

Holyhead's First School - in the grounds of St Cybi's Church

Holyhead's First School - in the grounds of St Cybi's Church

Holyhead Roman Wall St  Cybi's

Holyhead, Roman Wall around St Cybi's Church

An old Holyhead street that you once would have seen through the same arch as above

An old Holyhead street that you once would have seen through the same arch as above coming out of St Cybi's

The area around Holyhead is dotted with many sites of historical interest, like ancient burial mounds etc. Many of the town's oldest buildings have been given a facelift, but there is much to be done to restore it to the former glory.

The George Hotel, Holyhead

The George Hotel, Holyhead

 

The Empire Cinema - Holyhead. Sadly in 2008 the cinema showed its' last film

The Empire Cinema - Holyhead. Sadly in 2008 the cinema showed its' last film

The Ucheldre Centre is not only a permanent art gallery, but it is also much more. Lots of exhibitions, plays, and lectures take place in this wonderful old building which was previously part of the old Convent (now demolished). The original convent church adjoins the Centre. Well worth a visit.

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City of Dublin Steam Packet Company

Chronological List of Holyhead Ships

The Sinking of H.M.S. Tara

The Sinking of R.M.S. Leinster

The Sinking of H.M.H.S. Anglia

The Sinking of HMS Scotia

The Sinking of S.S. Connemara

The Sinking of the Primrose Hill

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