Welsh Journals

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Holyhead Church and Harbour, 1819. (by 11. Hughes.) THE ANTIQUITIES OF HOLYHEAD AND DISTRICT. V llwybr u lie gynt bu'r gan Yw lleoedd y ddalihuau."—Ieuan Buydydi> Hut. II OLYHEAD may perhaps not reach ■*- •* the ideal of the modern tourist, though it has charms of its own that are not unworthy of record. I am, however, now concerned only with its claims upon the antiquarian visitor, and from this point of view there are few more interesting spots in North Wales, though they have been too much overlooked by scientists. First, of course, comes the parish church of St. Cybi, which stands within a fortified enclosure supposed to date from the period of the Roman occupation, or a little later. The present building does not go back beyond the sixteenth century, though the chancel arch may be of any precedent period. Its principal feature is the fine Perpendicular porch. Buck's view of the site towards the close of the last century shows the churchyard as extending to the water's edge, and the walls of the ancient fortification reaching to the same point, where they terminated on each side in two drum towers. The building in the churchyard was once a small chapel, called, in a document of the twenty first year of Queen Elizabeth, " Eglwys y Bedd," and described as " within the cemetery of the church." It is conjectured to have obtained this name from having been the place of sepulture of the Irish rover Serigi who, according to a late chronicle, was de¬ feated here by Caswallon, in the fifth century. The church was much befriended by Giuffydd ab Cynan, as well as by the chiefs of the great tribal families of Llywarch ab Bran, and Hwfa ab Oynddelw, and it is quite probable that a member of the princely house of North Wales was buried in a small chapel hard by the edifice that his ancestors had endowed. Mr. Lewis Morris, the antiquary, in a letter to Browne Willis, printed in the second volume of the Cambrian Journal, states that at a res¬ toration of the church in the year 1713 the tomb of Rhodri ab Owen Gwynedd was discovered,—a by no means improbable circumstance,—and also a small brass bell curiously wrought with network,no doubt of the character of several Irish and Welsh ecclesiastical bells that have been discovered here and there. But of these there is now not a trace, not even the lino-erinp- echo of tradition. St. Cybi's well, now crowned by a prosaic pump, is a little distance from the church. I have been unable to gather any fragments of folklore in relation to it;