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Menai Bridge ( ) is a small town and community on the Isle of Angleseymarker in north Walesmarker. It overlooks the Menai Straitmarker and lies by the Menai Suspension Bridgemarker, built in 1826 by Thomas Telford. It is the third largest settlement on the island, with a population of 3,146, and occupies the area of the former parish of Llandysiliogogo, whose former church continues in use as a mortuary chapel (see below).

It has existed as Porthaethwy for many centuries and it still has a house in current use which dates from the 17th century. It is likely that a community has existed at the location of Menai Bridge since Roman times simply because this is the shortest crossing of the Menai Straitmarker. There is a range of buildings including the old court house, a number of old pubs and the buildings associated with the wood-yard (in the process of being converted to houses).

The large car park to the north of the high street is the 'fair field'. This is a common piece of land set aside for the holding of an annual fair, which, to the locals, is called "Ffair Borth.". When the fair comes to Menai Bridge on 24 October every year (unless it falls on a Sunday, in which case it is either held on 23 October or 25 October) it takes over the fair field and most of the other roads and streets in the town making passage through the town very difficult. This is an ancient tradition which attracts people from across the island who ignore the generally inclement weather to enjoy the traditional fair rides.

A television company has converted a disused garage into a fake row of shops in the centre of Menai Bridge as a film set for a children's programme Rownd a rownd shown on the Welsh-language channel S4C. They also film the show in the schools in the town, Ysgol y borth and Ysgol David Hughesmarker

Menai Bridge Rugby Club (www.menaibridgerugby.co.uk) was established in 1975 and played at numerous pitches in the area until, in 1999; the club found its home at Llyn-Y-Felin (opposite the Shell Garage), one of the most picturesque pitches in Wales. The Club plays in the newly formed division 4 North after having promotion form the Gwynedd League in 2008. It also sports a ladies team and a junior tag team. The clubs most famous former player is Robin McBryde, former Llanelli captain, Welsh international, 2003 Lion and current Wales’s forwards coach. The team is coached by Darren Owen (a qualified UKCC Level 3 coach) and is assisted by Huw Percy (backs coach) and Andrew Brogden (forwards coach). Training is held every Thursday night at 7p.m and there is always welcome to new players at any age and skill!

On 12 November 1918 Air Marshal Sir Thomas Elmhirst flew airship SSZ73 under the Menai Bridge following the armistice at the end of World War I.

At the eastern edge of the town is Cwm Cadnant Dingle which is now by-passed by a modern bridge constructed in the 1970s. The Afon Cadnantmarker drains into the Menai Strait at this point and this small estuary provides a natural haven for small boats crossing from the mainland. This was the location of the landing stage for the Bishops of Bangor who had their residence at Glyn Garth on Angleseymarker but whose cathedral was in Bangormarker on the mainland. Regrettably, the Bishop's palace has been destroyed in recent years and replaced by a block of flats.

There are a number of small islands in the Menai Strait some of which are connected to the town by causeways, including Ynys Faelog, Ynys Gaintmarker and Ynys Castellmarker east of the suspension bridge and Church Islandmarker (Ynys Tysilio in Welsh) west of the bridge. The Anglesey Coastal Pathmarker passes along the waterfront.

Menai Bridge has a wide selection of churches and chapels including a most unprepossessing catholic church. The town also has a primary school, Ysgol y Borth, and a large bilingual comprehensive school - Ysgol David Hughesmarker.

Attractions in Menai Bridge include the 14th-century Church of St Tysilio, St Georges Pier and a butterfly house - Pili Palas.Image:Menai_Bridge_High_street_Jan_2005.jpg|Menai Bridge High Street looking eastImage:Cadnant_dingle_Jan_2005.jpg|Cadnant Dingle January 2005Image:Smallest house menaibridge.jpg|Smallest house in Menai BridgeImage:IMG_0396.JPG|2.5 second exposure of the Menai Suspension Bridge in the eveningImage:Menai_Suspension_Bridge.jpg|The Menai Suspension Bridge from a viewpoint on the A4080 near the Britannia Bridge

References

  1. Office for National Statistics : Neighbourhood Statistics : Census 2001 : Isle of Anglesey


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