On Saturday 21st June 2018, a small but dedicated band of History of Deganwy Group members (some of whom had come from as far away as Cheshire!) made their way to Oriel Ynys Môn for a guided tour focussing on archaeology. This was led by Ian Jones, the Collections Manager, who explained that whilst Anglesey is rich in archaeology, Oriel Ynys Môn does not currently have extensive collections as it has only been open since 1991. Previously to this, artefacts went to the British Library, the National Museum in Cardiff, or to the Gwynedd Museum in Bangor (now Storiel). However this has now changed, and collections have a fitting home on Anglesey.
Ian told us about the current excavation at Wylfa Newydd, which has so far turned up a lot of remains ranging from the Mesolithic period to the Middle Ages; the site is similar to that at Din Lligwy, but larger and better preserved. Artefacts and replicas from Bryn Celli Du, Barclodiad y Gawres and Llyn Cerrig Bach are displayed at Oriel Ynys Môn, as well as finds from lesser known Anglesey sites such as Bedd Branwen, Capel Eithin, Porth Dafarth and Merddyn Gwyn. A highlight of our visit was Ian’s production of items for us to handle, including a genuine axe-head – found on Anglesey, but originating from the Graig Lwyd neolithic axe factory at Penmaenmawr.
We strongly recommend that you visit Oriel Ynys Môn, where exhibits are well-curated in a welcoming environment. There is also a permanent display of Charles Tunnicliffe pictures, and a Kyffin Williams Gallery. Entry is free, and there is a great café and a well-stocked shop. Our thanks go to Ian Jones, for facilitating an extremely interesting and worthwhile visit.
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