Fridays are usually my favourite day of the week, apart from the weekend of course, because on a Friday I get to spend the whole day reading and writing about hillforts and playing with maps. Today, however, this has to be put on hold for a couple of hours as I have unfinished business…
I am very fortunate to be able to work a compressed week in my “day job”, so working my full time hours over four (very long) days so I can have the fifth to work on my PhD (on hillforts, if you hadn’t already guessed). This week I have a few notes that I need to finish writing up before moving on, including exciting new projects at a couple of really magnificent castles, a hidden gem of a Cistercian abbey ruin, and lots of fascinating sites on Holy Island following a rare day’s site visit to this small island to the west of, but linked to, Anglesey, best known to the general public for also being the home of Holyhead ferry terminal to Ireland.
If you have never been to Anglesey, let alone Holy Island, you are in for an archaeological treat! The island is home to a number of different period monuments, but really excels when it comes to prehistory. Burial mounds, standing stones, hut-groups, hillforts- the list goes on and on. All of these site types can also be found just on Holy Island itself which is just over 15 square miles in size. I recently spent the whole day there visiting monuments, 9am-5pm, 15 square miles. There are not many places you can achieve that!
Many sites are in the guardianship of Cadw, and you can explore our interactive map here: cadw.gov.wales/daysout/maps-and-itineraries/
Almost the entire coastline of Anglesey is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty- you may have seen some of it on the BBC’s Coast programme last night? If not, you can catch up here: bbc.in/1SF0rrY
But, alas, although I do have a pretty excellent job, watching Coast is not in my job description! So it is back to my notebook and my keyboard now to write up my own thoughts on these truly spectacular sites instead.
Before getting back to hillforts, of course… 😉