Point Lynas

Point Lynas

Here the Wales Coast Path crosses the headland known as Point Lynas. The lighthouse, visible in the distance from the path, has the same name.

The headland’s Welsh name is Trwyn Eilian, after St Eilian. In his honour, a church was established c.450 AD by a prince called Caswallon Lawhir in what’s now the village of Llaneilian (llan = enclosure or churchyard).

Eilian was given a Latin form, possibly by map-makers. Aelianus Point was recorded in 1748, Point Linas in 1781 and Point Ælianus in 1818.

From the 16th to 19th centuries, Eilian was sometimes confused with St Hillary. The headland was noted as Hyllary Point in 1573, for example.

There have been similar variations in the written name of Porth Eilian, the bay west of the headland. It was recorded as la baye sancte Elene in 1297.

A signal station was created on the headland in 1827 by the Liverpool and Holyhead Telegraph. Signalling arms were raised or lowered to send visual messages along a chain of stations, enabling shipping companies to prepare for their vessels’ arrival at Liverpool docks.

Point Lynas was the western end of the area of the Liverpool Corporation and later the Mersey Docks & Harbour Board. A pilot station was established here under the Liverpool Pilotage Act 1766, initially using a farmhouse as lookout post. Licensed pilots boarded ships to guide them safely to Liverpool.

The pilots were not immune from danger. In 1905, two pilot boats were exchanging crews off Point Lynas when one of them capsized, flinging eight men into the sea. James Bresen, a pilot from Birkenhead, drowned.

The present lighthouse, 11 metres tall, was erected in 1835 to replace a structure built c.1781. It was automated in 1989 and is now controlled from Essex. The first and last lighthouse keepers are buried outside St Eilian’s Church.

With thanks to Prof Hywel Wyn Owen, of the Welsh Place-Name Society

Postcode: LL68 9LT    View Location Map