Church Island

Church Island and the church of St. Tysilio

Church Island is situated in the Menai Strait and is reached by crossing a small causeway from Belgian Promenade. It is something of an enigma amongst local people as there is no clear evidence as to its origins. The Welsh name for the island is Ynys Tysilio, meaning the Island of Tysilio. Tysilio was a sixth century Welsh saint and it is widely believed that he established a church on the island, however no record or evidence of this church has been found.

It is known that the present church on the island dates back to the 1400s. It is not known who built the church and why. It is however widely accepted that the church did replace an early church or chapel on the same site. The church on the island is small and has no electricity. Despite this services are still held in the church and it is very popular for weddings.

St. Tysilio Church altar
St. Tysilio Church altar

As with most churchyards, there is a great deal of historic interest amongst the graves on the island. The cross section of graves come mostly from local families, but there are graves of some of the workmen who worked on construction of the bridges who either died during construction or settled in the town after work was completed. Welsh bard Cynnan is buried on the island as are members of the Davies family, who were successful local entreupeners during the nineteenth century.

On top of the highest point of the small island is a memorial to the local men who died during the World wars. This is also the best place on the island from which to view the Menai Strait and the two bridges that cross it.

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