Croeso i Gemaes Welcome to Cemaes
… the most northerly village in Wales
… y pentref mwyaf gogleddol yng Nghymru
The name of the river which flows into the sea at Cemaes is the River Wygyr. It starts its journey to the sea at the foot of Parys Mountain, Amlwch and meanders its way past the old Shell Tank plant at Rhosgoch where it is joined by another small stream from the Fodol Lake. The name Wygyr means where two rivers meet.
The Klondyke Brickworks, near to the bypass on the outskirts of the village, began manufacturing bricks in 1907 in a Hoffman type kiln. The bricks were transported by horse drawn truck on the rail track down to the harbour and returned full of coal to fire the kiln.
Until 1914, clay and quartzite was quarried at Porth Wen brickworks from the nearby cliffs and used to make silica bricks for the steel industry and glazed bricks for domestic use.
IN EARLIER DAYS Cemaes was known as Porth Wygyr and is referred to as one of the busiest ports in medieval Wales. Today it is a peaceful harbour, but at one time it was a bustling industrial port exporting china clay, bricks and ochre and importing everything a rural community needed but could not supply itself.
Cemaes was originally an ancient fishing village - herring was guaranteed to be the catch of the day. Later, during the 18th and 19th Centuries, Cemaes Bay developed into a thriving port. Limestone and marble quarried from White Lady Bay, bricks, corn, lime and ochre were exported in ships from here. Imports included coal and flour. In the 1830’s shipbuilding employed many local people who built 100 to 400 ton vessels in the shelter of the harbour.
History & Heritage
See also …
Iron Age Fort at Cemaes
Cemaes High Street at the turn of the century