Dwynwens Feast


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This, depending on which story you read, was either because she wished to remain chaste and become a nun or because her father wished her to marry another. She prayed to be released from the unhappy love and dreamed that she was given a potion to do this. However, the potion turned Maelon to ice. She then prayed that she be granted three wishes: 1 that Maelon be revived, 2 that all true lovers find happiness, and 3 that she should never again wish to be married.

Maritime History

She then retreated to the solitude of Llanddwyn Island to follow the life of a hermit. Dwynwen became known as the patron saint of lovers and pilgrimages were made to her holy well on the island. It was said that the faithfulness of a lover could be divined through the movements of some eels that lived in the well.

This was done by the woman first scattering breadcrumbs on the surface, then laying her handkerchief on the surface.


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If the eel disturbed it then her lover would be faithful. Visitors would leave offerings at her shrine, and so popular was this place of pilgrimage that it became the richest in the area during Tudor times. This funded a substantial chapel that was built in the 16th century on the site of Dwynwen's original chapel. The ruins of this can still be seen today. Llanddwyn Island is situated near the southern entrance to the Menai Strait.

As a result it became important as shipping of slate from the ports of Bangor, Caernarfon and Felinhelli increased. The older lighthouse has now returned to service after a modern light was placed on top. During this time cottages were built near the towers to house pilots who guided ships into the Strait. Two of these cottages have been restored, with one housing an exhibition about the local wildlife.

Santes Dwynwen Romantic 3 course dining

From a lifeboat was also stationed there. It was manned by the pilots as well as volunteers from Newborough; the cannon that was used to summon the lifeboat crew can still be seen near the cottages. During its time up to the closure in the lifeboat from here saved lives in 35 separate incidents. The dunes, mudflats and saltmarshes of the reserve support a wide range of plants and invertebrates.


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  • The flowers found on the Island include herb-robert Geranium robertianum , bird's-foot trefoil Lotus corniculatus , thrift Armeria maritima , bluebells Hyacinthoides non-scripta and yellow horned poppies Glaucium flavum. The cliffs around the island support a wide variety of nesting seabirds, including cormorants, shags and oystercatchers.

    Dwynwen - Wikiwand

    Ynys yr Adar Bird Rock , a small islet off the tip of Llanddwyn, throngs during the spring with one percent of the total British breeding population of cormorants. Waders such as turnstones and sandpipers are found along the coast and terns can be seen fishing in the bay. The mammal population is supplemented by a flock of the unusual Soay sheep that graze near the chapel. She fell in love with a young chieftain named Maelon, but rejected his advances.

    But whatever the reason, the outcome was the same: Dwynwen prayed to be released from her doomed love affair.

    Ora Pro Nobis Santes Dwynwen Part 4

    In answer to her prayer Dwynwen was visited by an angel, who instructed her to concoct a potion which would dispel all thoughts of love. She and her lover both drank the potion, at which point Dwynwen immediately forgot her love for Maelon. Maelon, unfortunately, fared rather worse: he was transformed into a block of ice. The angel appeared to Dwynwen again and granted her three wishes. Her second wish was that she herself should never again wish to marry, and her third wish was that all faithful lovers should find true happiness.

    She then retreated to what is now Llanddwyn Island and spent the rest of her life in isolation. It was said that a woman could test the fidelity of her lover by scattering breadcrumbs on the water then laying her handkerchief on the surface.

    More Saints

    If the handkerchief was disturbed by one of the eels living in the well, this foretold that the lover would be faithful. Sadly, the church fell victim to the Dissolution of the Monasteries in , but its remains can still be seen today. As to what happens on Llanddwyn Island in Never on Saturday , and why it is pivotal to the story, all will be revealed on 9 February Click here to find out more

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