Rhoscolyn Bay: Borth Wen or Rhoscolyn Bay as it is more commonly called, affords good shelter in all but South and South-East winds.  A large proportion of the head of the bay dries at low water. The anchorage lies in the south-western corner of the bay, in the angle formed by the promontory upon the eastward side of which stands the old Lifeboat House, and Ynys Traws, an island, sometimes referred to as Rhoscolyn Island (now more commonly known as Rat Island, because of its shape). Ynys Traws possibly means the island across the bay, or which it is possible to get across to at low water springs.
Owain swimming 2

The Beacon Rocks: About two cables south-westward from Rhoscolyn Point lie the Beacon Rocks, or Ynysoedd Gwylanod (Islands of the Seagulls), consisting of a number of small stacks.  On the highest point of the Windward Group of these rocks stands a tall, round tower or beacon (no light), painted in red and white horizontal bands (no longer, sadly, the case)(Pevsner notes that the tower has internal stairs).

Beacon_+_Christopher's_cave_edited-1Photograph by Donald Ricketts

St Gwenfaen’s Church:
St Gwenfaen, the daughter of Pawl Hen and sister of Saint Peulan, founded her church at Rhoscolyn in the 6th century. She was probably a member of the order of religious devotees known as the Colidei, and her wake is commemorated on 5 November (note: this day is still commemorated with a special service in St Gwenfaen’s church, usually on the nearest Saturday – see for details).


Old Chapel & Chapel House:
According to Pevsner’s Buildings of Wales – Gwynedd, by Richard Haslam, Julian Orbach & Adam Voelcker (published 2009): “The Calvinistic Methodist Chapel (1906) is in a railed yard.  It has an entertaining facade in cement and pebble-dash with corner piers topped with flaming vases and a parapet, echoing the line of the arched triplet windows, with name panel and an urn.  On the left, Ty Capel, an early 19C farmhouse used as a chapel and later as schoolroom and stable, and on the right, the cottage where the cause began. (Note: all these building are now in private ownership; but the chapel graveyard is still used).

Old chapel and chapel house (Ty Capel) . Photograph by Humprhrey Knowles
Old chapel and chapel house (Ty Capel) .
Photograph by Humphrey Knowles

 White Arch Photograph by Eleri Roberts

The remarkable feature of the coast of Penrhos Bay known as the White Arch was once the scene of industrial activity, to which the old grindstone on its summit remains as witness. The rock of which the arch is composed is Holyhead quartzite, and weathering and chemical action have led to the production of china clay rock, which was at one time quarried here and carried away in boats. 

Millstone by CaroPhotograph by Caro Wilson