12 April 2017

Pilgrims

In medieval times, the idea of undertaking a pilgrimage was widespread. In The British Isles alone there were several well-trodden pilgrim routes that saw people walking for many days to pay homage to a saint, a holy well or a Christian martyr. Making such a pilgrimage would surely supplement the acquisition of holy merit and help to secure a pew in heaven itself.

One such pilgrimage site was Ynys Llanddwyn or Llandddwyn Island on the south west coast of Anglesey. It is rich in legends and is especially associated with St Dwynwen - the Welsh patron saint of love who lived during the fifth century.
Pilgrims would come from far and wide to pay their holy respects. January 25th is St Dwynwen's Day in Wales so of course it was especially propitious to visit the remote tidal island on that date.   

The pilgrimage habit was severely curtailed by Henry VIII's purges in the middle of the sixteenth century. Little did he know that in the twenty first century, new pilgrims would arrive in motor vehicles and pay £4 to park in the Newborough Forest car park before striding along the beach to Ynys Llanddwyn which also boasts two lighthouses, a row of coastguard cottages, a cross dedicated to St Dwynwen and the ruins of St Dwynwen's Church.
Yesterday we joined the holy daytrippers, eschewing the typical hardships of dedicated medieval pilgrims. No sleeping in hedgerows for us nor bleeding feet and no begging for food to sustain us on our journey. Llanddwyn Island is a lovely, atmospheric place, looking out over the mouth of the Menai Strait to Snowdonia.
It was a joy to go there. Today we pottered about in Holyhead before a visit to Llynon Mill - Wales's only working windmill. Tonight we shall have a farewell to Anglesey meal at "The Black Lion" in nearby Llanfaethlu. It's quite pricey but the food is excellent. We visited it on our first night here. A return visit will, I guess, be like a culinary pilgrimage.

21 comments:

  1. I love that final shot - the grasses, the path meandering, the crosses in the distance. Lovely altogether.

    How go the knees, YP? You have had a full schedule during your holiday.

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    1. If my right knee was in full working order with no pain I would have loved to walk a few sections of the Anglesey Coastal Path. I have had to limit the amount of walking to a mile here and a mile there.

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  2. I like the idea of a culinary pilgrimage.

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    1. They'd be knocking on your door for your famous cheese sandwiches.

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  3. I like the sound of this whole trip. Lucky you!

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    1. Slightly better than working in an American mall doing a job you don't like. Sorry for saying that Jennifer.

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    2. "Slightly better" ?

      Hahahahaha!

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  4. Beautiful! I love that second photo especially.

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    1. Any time one of my photos gets a thumbs up from you Steve, I'm happy. Thanks.

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  5. Unwanted advice, probably: get your knee sorted out and then go on your own pilgrimage! Nothing beats walking to Santiago de Compostela. Do it whilst you still can, because there will come a day when you can't!

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    1. At present I feel that day has already arrived Margaret.

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  6. the history is fascinating as it gives a good look at the way our ancestors lived.

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    1. Some our ancestors went on a pilgrimage across the ocean to discover the sacred land of the goddess Micromanagus.

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  7. Your knowledge and enthusiasm really do make these posts interesting YP...and the pics are smashing of course...sorry about the knee...enjoy your last supper.

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    1. The Last Supper was superb... but we had a helluva a long wait for it to arrive. I was squirming in my seat and Shirley was telling me to "Calm down" which made me more impatient.

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  8. Sorry to hear your knee pain is limiting your walks. I hope something can (and will) be done soon.
    All the pictures in this post are great (as they usually are on your blog). If I had to pick a favourite, I think it would be the first one, although I am very much drawn by the path in the last one.

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    1. Are you "drawn" metaphorically along the path to the cross and the holiness it represents?

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    2. Just along the path, not necessarily to the cross.

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  9. Top photo, top photo. And then the white cottages started jostling for first place...

    Alphie

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    1. Do I get to receive The Alphie Award? A big wet smacker full on the lips?

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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