Wednesday, June 29, 2016

ABC Wednesday:
Y is for Ynys Gored Goch

Ynys Gored Goch (Red Weir Island) also known as Whitebait Island sits in the Menai Strait between the two bridges that link Ynys Môn (Anglesey) to the mainland. The stretch of water is known as "The Swellies" due to whirlpools formed by the string tidal flow.

In 1590 the island belonged to the Diocese of Bangor who leased the island to Thomas Fletcher of Treborth who paid three pounds plus one barell full of herring. The island was used as a fishing trap. During high tides fish would swim into traps set near the island.

In the early 20th century, it was fashionable for visitors to cross to the island to enjoy whitebait teas. They would walk down to the shore by a footpath through the Coed Môr woods, ring a bell placed on the shore for the purpose, and a boat would put out from the island to collect them. The Gorad Whitebait Tea consisted of a pot of tea, brown bread and butter, and whitebait "fried in a basket", priced one shilling. During very high tides in the spring and autumn, the water sometimes reaches the outside of the houses on the front and west sides.

In more recent times the island has been privately owned and according to the details on the Wales Directory the two houses on the island are available for use as holiday accomodation, although this information may not be current.

Information sources:
Anglesey Today;
Anglesy Hidden Gems.

A contribution to ABC Wednesday and Wednesday Waters.


  1. Wonderful views... seems to be a quiet place to...

    Have a nice abcwednes-day / – week
    ♫ M e l d y ♫ (abc-w-team)

  2. Never knew there was an island just there. There's a blue boat moored at Caernarvon Castle quay takes visitors on an informative 45 minute cruise in the Menai Straits but it goes the other way, towards the sandy beaches of Newborough.

  3. It looks pretty and drawn out of the past.

  4. I can't tell you how many times I have gazed out of the car window at that island when crossing the Menai Straits (the safer option) via the Britannia Bridge, on my way to a favourite holiday spot, The Isle of Anglesey.
    Quite an interesting story to it, something I'm ashamed I have never thought to find out more about it.
    Knowing the perilous nature of the waters flowing through the straits, one would assume it would require an accomplished sailor to navigate them, particularly at high tide. Therefore, I would be hesitant in booking the property as a holiday destination!
    Thank you for this most interesting piece, I rather like the idea of a barrel of herrings, one of my favourite fish particularly when they are smoked and turned into Kippers...Yummy..
    Best wishes,
    ABCW team.

  5. Looks like a tiny island and certainly a secluded place for a holiday getaway. Fascinating story about this place.

  6. That sounded tempting. I have seen a couple of programs on BBC lately, and Wales looks promising.