Wednesday 22nd November 2017

Llanfairpwllgwyngyll

 

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch - (short form Llanfairpwllgwyngyll), also spelled Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll and commonly known as Llanfair PG or Llanfairpwll, is a village and community on the island of Anglesey in Wales, situated on the Menai Strait next to the Britannia Bridge and across the strait from Bangor. The village is best known for its name, the longest place name in Europe and one of the longest place names in the world.

Llanfair PG Station

 

The name means: St Mary's Church (Llanfair) in a hollow (pwll) of white hazel (gwyngyll) near (goger) the swirling whirlpool (y chwyrndrobwll) of the church of St Tysilio (llantysilio) with a red cave ([a]g ogo goch).

 

Visitors stop at the railway station to be photographed next to the station sign, visit the nearby Visitors' Centre, or have 'passports' stamped at a local shop. Another tourist attraction is the nearby Marquess of Anglesey's Column, which at a height of 27 metres offers views over Anglesey and the Menai Strait. Designed by Thomas Harrison, the monument celebrates the heroism of Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey at the Battle of Waterloo.

 

The village's long name cannot be considered an authentic Welsh-language toponym. It was artificially contrived in the 1860s to bestow upon the station the honour of having the longest name of any railway station in the United Kingdom: an early example of a publicity stunt. The village's own web site credits the name to a cobbler from the local village of Menai Bridge. According to Sir John Morris-Jones the name was created by a local tailor, whose name he did not confide, letting the secret die with him.

 

The village was originally known as 'Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll' "St Mary's church in the hollow of the white hazel." 'Pwllgwyngyll' was the name of the original medieval township where the village stands today. Although when written and read in English, the name has 58 letters, in Welsh it has only 51 because ll and ch are each regarded as a single letter.

 

The name is celebrated in the song "Red Cave" by the American band Yeasayer, which features the band repeating the lines "Mary's house in the hollow of the white hazel rapid whirlpool and the church of the red cave."

 

The name was also used in the movie Barbarella as the password for the headquarters of Dildano, the comical revolutionary.

 

The village is split into two smaller villages, Llanfairpwllgwyngyll-uchaf (Upper Llanfairpwllgwyngyll) the original part of the village and Llanfairpwllgwyngyll-isaf (Lower Llanfairpwllgwyngyll) the newer area nearer the railway station. These are occasionally referred to as Pentre Uchaf and Pentre Isaf (Upper Village and Lower Village) respectively.

Coach outside Pringles in LlanfairPG