Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, known more commonly as Llanfairpwllgwyngyll or Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll and shortened to Llanfairpwll or Llanfair PG, is a large village and local government community on the island of Anglesey in Wales.
The village is a popular tourist attraction because of its extraordinary name which is made up of 58 characters split into 18 syllables. It is widely purported to be the longest place name in Europe and the second longest one-word place name in the world.
Today, a few thousand local residents welcome around 200,000 visitors per year to the village, with the most popular site being the Llanfairpwll railway station that features the plate with the full name of the village.
History of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch
There has been human settlement and activity in the area since the Neolithic era (4000-2000 BC), with fishing and agriculture being the main occupations for most of the village’s early history. It was captured by Roman forces and held until the end of Roman Britain.
Though it has been a site of some religious activity, the rural nature of the settlement meant that in 1563, the population was only around 80 people. However, when Anglesey was connected with the rest of Wales via Thomas Telford’s Menai Suspension Bridge in 1826, the population increased. When the Britannia Bridge and North Wales Coast railway line was constructed in 1850, the population increased yet again. Today, the population stands at just over 3,000.
The village’s name translates to ‘St. Mary’s Church in the hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio near the red cave.’
It is thought that longer versions of the name were first introduced in 1869 as a way of improving tourism in the area. According to Welsh linguist and poet Sir John Morris-Jones, the name was created by a local tailor whose name he never divulged.
From 1900-1910, a local shopkeeper devised “An English, Irish and Scotchman’s cure for Lock-jaw”, which comprised a sealed envelope with instructions inside.
Today, the village is certainly most well-known for its unusual name. However, there are other sites in the area such as Anglesey Sea Zoo, Bryn Celli Ddu Burial Chamber, St Tysilio’s Church, Menai Bridge and Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens.
The area is also known for its natural beauty: Anglesey is included on the northern section Lôn Las Cymru trail, Wales’ long-distance cycling route, which translates to ‘Wales’ Green Lane’.
Getting to Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch
The village is located in the Welsh Isle of Anglesey, just over the Menai Strait from Bangor on the mainland and easily accessible by train. If you are travelling from London, there’s an hourly train service from London to Chester which offers a connection to the village along the way.