kids encyclopedia robot

Beaumaris facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

Quick facts for kids
Beaumaris Castle (8074243202).jpg
Beaumaris Castle
Beaumaris is located in Wales
Population 1,938 (2011)
OS grid reference SH6076
  • Beaumaris
Principal area
  • Anglesey
Ceremonial county
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district LL58
Dialling code 01248
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament
  • Ynys Môn
Welsh Assembly
  • Ynys Môn
List of places
53°16′01″N 4°05′35″W / 53.267°N 4.093°W / 53.267; -4.093

Beaumaris ( bew-MAR-is; Welsh: Biwmares) is a town and community on the Isle of Anglesey in Wales, of which it is the former county town of Anglesey. It is located at the eastern entrance to the Menai Strait, the tidal waterway separating Anglesey from the coast of North Wales. At the 2011 census, its population was 1,938. The community includes Llanfaes.


...View of Beaumaris and of the new terrace buildings on the green
Beaumaris from the sea in the 1840s

Beaumaris was originally a Viking settlement known as Porth y Wygyr ("Port of the Vikings"), but the town itself began its development in 1295 when Edward I of England, having conquered Wales, commissioned the building of Beaumaris Castle as part of a chain of fortifications around the North Wales coast (others include Conwy, Caernarfon and Harlech).

The castle was built on a marsh and that is where it found its name; the French builders called it beaux marais which translates as "beautiful marshes".

Beaumaris Castle
The castle in 1852

The ancient village of Llanfaes, a mile to the north of Beaumaris, had been occupied by the Anglo-Saxons in 818 but had been regained by Merfyn Frych, King of Gwynedd, and remained a vital strategic settlement. To counter further Welsh uprisings, and to ensure control of the Menai Strait, Edward I chose the flat coastal plain as the place to build Beaumaris Castle. The castle was designed by the Savoyard mason Master James of St George and is considered the most perfect example of a concentric castle. The 'troublesome' residents of Llanfaes were removed en bloc to Rhosyr in the west of Anglesey, a new settlement King Edward entitled "Newborough". French and English masons were brought in to construct the castle itself and the walled town.

Beaumaris was awarded a royal charter by Edward I, which was drawn up on similar terms to the charters of his other castle towns in North Wales and intended to invest only the English and Norman-French residents with civic rights. Native Welsh residents of Beaumaris were largely disqualified from holding any civic office, carrying any weapon, and holding assemblies; and were not allowed to purchase houses or land within the borough. The charter also specifically prohibited Jews (who had been largely expelled from most English towns) from living in Beaumaris. A requirement that all trade in the immediate area be conducted at Beaumaris meant the town became the main commercial centre of Anglesey.

Beaumaris in 1610.

Beaumaris was the port of registration for all vessels in North West Wales, covering not only every harbour on Anglesey but also all the ports from Conwy to Pwllheli. Shipbuilding was a major industry in Beaumaris. This was centred on Gallows Point – a nearby spit of land extending into the Menai Strait about a mile west of the town. Gallows Point had originally been called "Osmund's Eyre".


Notable buildings in the town include the castle, a courthouse built in 1614, the 14th-century St Mary's and St Nicholas's Church, Beaumaris Gaol, the 14th-century Tudor Rose (one of the oldest original timber-framed buildings in Britain) and the Bulls Head Inn, built in 1472, which General Thomas Mytton made his headquarters during the "Siege of Beaumaris" during the second English Civil War in 1648. The hill leading north from the town is named Red Hill from the blood spilled in that conflict.

A native of Anglesey, David Hughes, founded Beaumaris Grammar School in 1603. It became a non-selective school in 1952 when Anglesey County Council became the first authority in Britain to adopt comprehensive secondary education. The school was eventually moved to Menai Bridge and only the ancient hall of the original school building now remains.

Beaumaris Pier, opened in 1846, was designed by Frederick Foster and comprises a masonry jetty on wooden and concrete pilings. The pier was rebuilt and extended to 570 feet (170 m) after storm damage in 1872, and a large pavilion was constructed at the end which contained a cafe. It was once the landing stage for steamships of the Liverpool and North Wales Shipping Company, including the Snowdon, La Marguerite, St. Elvies and St. Trillo, although the larger vessels in its fleet – the St. Seriol and St. Tudno – were too large for the pier and landed their passengers at Menai Bridge. In the 1960s, through lack of maintenance, the pier became unsafe and was threatened with demolition, but local yachtswoman and lifeboat secretary Miss Mary Burton made a large private donation to ensure the pier was saved for the town. Today, although the impressive old steamers have long since gone, but Beaumaris Pier is still a busy base for yachts and pleasure vessels of all kinds.

Beaumaris Courthouse
The Old Courthouse

A marina on the western shore of Gallows Point has been proposed, but at present all moorings at Beaumaris are tidal.

The Saunders Roe company set up a factory at Fryars (the site of the old Franciscan friary to the east) when it was feared that the company's main base on the Isle of Wight would be a target for World War II Luftwaffe bombers. The factory converted American-built PBY Catalina flying boats and, after the war, produced fast patrol boats, minesweepers and even buses for London Transport (RT Double deckers) and single deck buses for Cuba.


The first recorded rescue of people in difficulty at sea was in 1830 when 375 people were rescued from a foundered emigrant ship. A lifeboat station was established in 1891 and closed four years later when a neighbouring station was provided with a more powerful lifeboat. The station was reopened in 1914 and is operated by the RNLI.


Beaumaris, the suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia was named after the town. Beaumaris, the neighbourhood in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada was named after the castle.


Beaumaris is served by one primary school. Its 300-year-old grammar school moved to nearby Menai Bridge in 1963 and became the comprehensive Ysgol David Hughes.

Notable residents

  • Sir Richard Bulkeley of Beaumaris, Anglesey, and Lewisham, ex officio mayor (1561–1562) and mayor (1562–1563)
  • Richard Llwyd (1752–1835), author, poet and genealogist
  • Neil Sloane (born 1939), mathematician noted for compiling integer sequences
  • Wayne Hennessey (born 1987), Welsh international footballer

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Beaumaris para niños

kids search engine
Beaumaris Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.