Sculpture on headland, Llanbedrog

Sculpture on headland, Llanbedrog

llanbedrog_figurehead_and_landscapeThe sculpture on the headland south of Llanbedrog replaces the ship’s figurehead which was a landmark here in the 20th century.

Figureheads were carvings of people, or sometimes animals, traditionally fixed to the bows of ships from medieval times until the early 20th century. The Andrews family, which owned nearby Oriel Plas Glyn-y-Weddw, saved a figurehead from an old ship and placed it c.1920 here, on Mynydd Tir-y-cwmwd. It attracted visitors and local residents for about 60 years, until it was vandalised and burned.

Photo of ship's figurehead on headlandThe carving is shown in the upper photos, courtesy of Oriel Plas Glyn-y-Weddw. When attached to the ship, the figure would have leaned forwards at about 45 degrees, with its tilted-back head facing the horizon.

In the early 1980s, Llanbedrog Community Council commissioned a new sculpture for the same location from the artist Simon Van de Put, who lived in the village at the time. Shown in the lower photo, this sculpture was of metal and didn’t survive long in this exposed position.

Photo of 1980s sculpture on headland near LlanbedrogThe present sculpture was commissioned by the council as part of the celebrations of the new millennium. The artist Berwyn Jones and blacksmith Hugh Jones, both originally from Llanbedrog, produced the sculpture.

Mynydd Tir-y-cwmwd is common land. Its name signifies that the land belonged to the local commote. Quarrymen walked across it in Victorian times to their workplaces in quarries on the south side. By the early 20th century there were tramroads near the shoreline linking some of the quarries to two jetties.

With thanks to Iwan Hughes and to Oriel Plas Glyn-y-Weddw for the photos

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