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Llddwyn Island


This island is connected by a sandy beach to Anglesey, and was home in the Dark Ages to a religious community, founded by the female Saint Dwynwen. St Dwynwen is a patron saint of Welsh lovers, and after her death the island became an important place of pilgrimage.

Legend suggests that in the 5th century she fell in love with a local Prince called Maelon, but his father refused their marriage. In his frustration he is said to have raped Dwynwen and abandoned her. She prayed to be cured of her love, and God appeared to her and gave her a potion to drink, this cured her of her love and turned the Prince into a block of ice.

She was then granted three wishes. Her first wish was to return the Prince to human form, her second wish was to be given the power to grant the wishes of true lovers, and her third wish was to never be inflicted with marriage and love again.

The island contains an air of sanctity, and there are several sites of magical and religious significance. A well on the island dedicated to St Dwynwen, is said to have the power to heal (especially warts) and is sited on a cliff above a sea cave called 'The Little Old Woman Churning'. This area itself can be seen as a typical Celtic sacred place.

The place of St Dwynwens death is marked by a split rock near the lighthouse, the rock was split by heavenly intervention so that St Dwynwen could see the sunrise one more time before she died.

Directions: Connected to the headland by a sandy beach to the South of the A4080. A footpath leads to the island through forestry at Niwbwrch.

Authorship
Author: 
Daniel Parkinson

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Simon Topham's picture
Simon Topham
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Re: Llddwyn Island

Dwynwen is the Welsh patron saint of lovers, making her the Welsh equivalent of Saint Valentine. Her Saint's day is January 25th and is often celebrated by the Welsh with cards and flowers. 

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Ian Topham
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Re: Llddwyn Island

British Goblins (1881) by Wirt Sykes

Of great celebrity in other days was St. Dwyn-wen's well, in the parish of Llandwyn, Anglesea. This saint being patron saint of lovers, her well possessed the property of curing love-sickness. It was visited by great numbers, of both sexes, in the fourteenth century, when the popular faith in its waters seems to have been at its strongest. It is still frequented by young women of that part of the country when suffering from the woes inflicted by Dan Cupid. That the well itself has been for many years covered over with sand does not prevent the faithful from displaying their devotion; they seek their cure from ‘the water next to the well.' Ffynon Dwynwen, or Fountain of Venus, was also a name given to the sea, according to the MSS; and in the legend of Seithenhm the Drunkard, in the ‘Black Book of Carmarthen,' this stanza occurs:

Accursed be the damsel,
Who, after the wailing.
Let loose the Fountain of Venus,
the raging deep.



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