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Bed and breakfast availability
Aberdaron b&b, guesthouse and hotel accommodation

Aberdaron in Gwynedd

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Visit Aberdaron and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:

Aberdaron, Gwynedd. This still remote and very attractive village is set in the curve of the last hook of Lleyn, the western peninsula of Gwynedd reaching out to Ireland. It is in a bay with the name of Aberdaron, separated from the greater bay of Porth Neigwl, commonly called Hell's Mouth, by the head of land called Trwyn y Penrhyn and its small scatter of islands, Ynys Gwylan-Fawr and Gwylan-Fach. Once lost in the Land's End of Wales, it has now been rediscovered. This restores some of the importance it had in the Middle Ages, when it was the point of embarkation for the pilgrims to Bardsey Island, a place of many buried saints. The rest-house they used in Aberdaron is still shown - a small whitewashed cottage, probably a genuine relic of the times. The bridge over the Daron stream, a narrow curve of stone between arched parapet walls, is also probably the original one.

The church had an older foundation than the one seen now, though the earlier plan can still be made out. With Bardsey, it shares its origin in the “Celtic” expression of Christianity that claims precedence over the mission of St Augustine to Britain in the late 7th century. It has been described as forming with the church on Bardsey Island a centre of faith as important as the Scots Iona with which it formed part of the same missionary movement. Bardsey Island is believed to have been the place of refuge for the monks of the great Christian college at Bangor-Is-Coed, not far from Chester, after the decisive battle of A.D. 615, when the armies of Northumbria severed the Britons of what is now Wales from those of Strathclyde and all the territory lying between Chester and Carlisle. The existing church at Aberdaron has a door of Norman style to show how even in this westernmost refuge, the early faith was overtaken. But it always kept a position of special sanctity, and was the scene of an incident in which the politics of medieval Wales was curiously concentrated. For in the 12th century the Prince of South Wales, Gruffydd the son of Rhys, fled there for sanctuary from the diplomatic intrigues of Gruffydd son of Cynan, Prince of the North, who proposed to hand him over to Henry I of England. The military force sent to take him was met by the united clergy of Aberdaron and Lleyn and dared not set foot within the holy place. The young Prince of the South escaped by night and found refuge in his own territory.

Aberdaron has always fished the deep waters, and its engaging old inn can provide crab and lobster of remarkable size. The streets are narrow; all the lanes, rising steeply from the place, are narrow and winding. This is entirely proper. The width of view over sea and mountain is more than compensation, and the nearness of the houses to one another gives, against that background, a sense of human community. The countryside surrounding the village is rich with the colours of gorse and heather, and the cliffs of the promontory cut into it with stark contrast. From Aberdaron the crossing can be made by boat over Bardsey Sound to Bardsey Island, whose Welsh name Ynys Enlli (Island of Tides) is a warning of very real dangers, even though an alternative meaning is possible for Enlli as a place of good provender.

About 1 mile from Aberdaron, on the road to Pwllheli, Bodwrdda was built as a farmhouse in the 15th century; about 2 miles North the old quarries of stone, once much in demand for their blood-red jasper and pink marble, lie abandoned: but evidence of their output can be seen here and there in the local roadways. South West for just over 2 miles is the route to the cape stretching from the arm of land curved over the pool of sea. Braich y Pwll. Here the cliffs, notably the Parwyd (Great Wall), are at their best: and the holy water of Ffynnon Mair (Marys Spring) justifies its sanctity by keeping itself always fresh, however often overrun by the strength of the salt tides.

A local worthy, still remembered as Dic Aberdaron. was one Richard Robert Jones, who died at St Asaph in 1845. He is respected as a self-educated man who contrived to learn at least fourteen languages. He put this effort to little further use, content to be possessed so widely of the world without wishing to change it in any way. The spirit of the Dark Age monks, who worshipped God in the works of nature they chose to live among, was perpetuated in him.

Nearby towns: Criccieth, Nefyn, Pllwelli

Nearby villages: Abersoch, Boduan, Botwnnog, Bryncroes, Dinas, Edern, Llanbedrog, Llandudwen, Llandygwnning, Llanengan, Llanfaelrhys, Llangian, Llangwnadl, Morfa Nefyn, Penllech, Pistyll, Rhiw, Rhos-y-Llan, Sarn Meyllteyrn, Tudweiliog

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