Eastward view of Menai Strait, Menai Bridge
Use the photo below to identify landmarks visible from the shelter by the bowling green.
The landing slip here is Porth y Wrach. Porth refers to a ferry or cove. This was the Anglesey end of one of the Bangor ferry routes. Wrach (wrasse in English) is a fish found along rocky shorelines. Porth y Wrach and the adjoining historic warehouse and Porth Daniel are being renovated as a commercial, sailing and heritage site.
To hear how to pronounce Porth y Wrach, press play: Or, download mp3 (19KB)
Prince's Pier and Prince's Quay were built in 1838 for export and import. This area was mainly developed by the influential Davies family, of Treborth, which leased landing rights in 1860 to the City of Dublin Steam Ship Company, whose Liverpool terminal was at the Prince's Pier (or Prince's Landing Stage) and Prince's Dock. The Liverpool name was transferred to the Menai Bridge end of the route.
The ship in the photo is Prince Madog II, the research vessel of Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences (one of few such departments in Britain). The ship’s named after a 12th-century nobleman who reputedly founded a colony in North America.
St George's Pier was originally for the St George's Steam Packet Company Pier. Packet boats were coastal vessels, frequently acting as mail boats; one of the streets in Menai Bridge is called Stryd y Paced (“packet street”).
Gallows Point, near Beaumaris, is a spit of land where criminals were hanged before the Court House was built in 1614 and the later Beaumaris Gaol (1829). The older name for Gallows Point was Osmund's Ayre, a Scandinavian name meaning “Osmund's gravel or sand bank”. This reminds us that the name Anglesey itself is Scandinavian, Ongul's-ey meaning “Ongul's island”.
The Great Orme, at Llandudno, is another Scandinavian name. It means “serpent”, since the Vikings clearly saw the headland as a snake lying on the sea. Garth Pier (or Bangor Pier), stretching far into the Strait, is named after the Garth area of Bangor. Garth means “ridge or hill”.
With thanks to Prof Hywel Wyn Owen, of the Welsh Place-Name Society, and Menai Bridge Town Council