Penmon Priory, Dovecote and Well
This beautiful and very tranquil place can be found on the most eastern point of Anglesey. Remains of the priory date back to the thirteenth century, The origins of the site are traditionally associated with St. Seiriol in the sixth century. His remains are believed to be buried on Puffin Island known locally as Ynys Seiriol or Seiriol’s island.
The Monastery at Penmon
The monastery at Penmon Priory was originally founded in the 6th century by St. Seiriol.
The monastery is now just a shell and the two stone crosses that once stood outside at the entrance are now housed in the church next to the monastery.
During the early part of the 13th century the monastery was recognised as a priory of the Augustinian’s, or “Black Canons” as they were also known.
St. Seiriol’s Well
This beautiful ancient well was built by the monks of Penmon priory and was believed to have healing powers by some people that visited it. It is quite possible that St. Seiriol’s well is the oldest building in the Priory.
The lower stone walls that surround the well are believed to be part of St. Seiriol’s church during the 6th century. It has long been used as a wishing well and people still throw the odd coin in and make a wish.
The dovecote is a later addition to the priory, and although looks very much in keeping, it was actually built many years later around 1600 by Sir Richard Bulkeley to house pigeons and doves for their meat and eggs.
There is a central stone column which could be climbed and a ladder which went across to anyone of the four side to collect the eggs. The top of the roof has a dome so the birds can fly in and out. The dovecote would have originally had around a 1000 nests.
The first church that stood next to the monastery would have been of built of wood like many other churches built around that time and was around in the 10th century, but in 971 it was destroyed but was later rebuilt out of stone during the 12th century between 1120 and 1123.
The oldest parts of Penmon church date back to 1140. During the early part of the 13th century the church was enlarged. Originally during the 10th century two medieval crosses stood outside the monastery these still survive today and are both housed inside Penmon church, the larger of the two crosses was very badly weathered as it was moved and stayed in the nearby Deer park until 1977.
Like many other places on Anglesey the priory has been a setting for films and television programs. The Fever which was filmed in 2003, starred Vanessa Redgrave and Angelina Jolie used a shot of the priory and dovecote. Songs of Praise has also been filmed at Penmon Church and was also used for filming the television show Danger Man during the 1960’s starring Patrick McGoohan.
The Postcode for Penmon Priory is LL58 8RW