Former ironmonger’s shop, Llanfairpwll
This shop and the one next door were built in the 1850s by the enterprising Pritchard brothers and have remained in the same family ever since. Oriel Ger-y-Fenai, the art gallery in this shop, is run by the great grandson of William Pritchard, one of the businessmen who built the shop.
At that time, Llanfairpwll had only recently (in 1848) been transformed by the arrival of the railway. For two years, while the Britannia Bridge was completed, it was the terminus for trains to and from Holyhead. To give passengers a reason to alight in the village once the bridge had opened, the place name was lengthened to become the longest in the world. The W&O Pritchard shop, on Thomas Telford’s main road through the village, was opposite the station.
Among the traders’ many wares were postcards, exclusive to this shop, depicting local scenes. The business primarily served local farmers and other residents. The sign over the shop read: “Grocers, ironmongers &c”.
Three doors further west, a large sign at roof level of what is now the Menai Cleaning Services building read: “W&O Pritchard. Builders, contractors and general merchants”. The central opening allowed vehicles to reach the yard behind. The window above that opening was then a doorway where goods could be lifted up for storage on the first floor or dropped into waiting carts.
Later this shop specialised in ironmongery until the retirement in 1969 of Emyr Williams, son of William Pritchard’s daughter. Subsequently the shop sold gifts until his son, Geraint, established Oriel Ger-y-Fenai in 2009. The gallery displays and sells work by c.40 artists, most of whom live on Anglesey.
Postcode: LL61 5YQ