Annie Bananie en Europe

A blog about travel, life, and everyday tidbits

Llanfairpwll…you know, that village with the really long name

The place with the longest name in the UK (in Europe as well, I believe) is a small village on the island of Anglesey in northwest Wales, named Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch. There was actually nothing there to see other than signs near the train station with the long name written, but as I was taking the train from Conwy to Holyhead and Llanfairpwll (the name of the village known to locals, but some call it LlanfairPG) was on the way, I thought I’d stop by for a short while to see this village and its claim to fame…

First impression of Llanfairpwll: just like any other small, quiet village. There was nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, the long name was created as a publicity stunt to attract visitors – and it worked! I was a walking example of the power of the success of this ploy.

Walking down the main street I was rather surprised to see…a Chinese take-out place?! Then again, where there is a community, you’re bound to find one or two Chinese restaurants. Whether it is run by Chinese people is another story.

My favourite thing about Llanfairpwll would have to be this huge red dragon on the wall. The Welsh love their dragon, which appears on their national flag, almost every Welsh souvenir or paraphernalia, and decorations here and there. I gotta say that it’s quite a badass-looking symbol!

And here we come to the real thing…one of the many times I’d see the name that has tested many brave ones who dared to try to spell or pronounce it, and of course I was one of them.

Another appearance of the name, and this time it was kind enough to tell us what it meant! So Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch is not just one word, but a group of words with the following meaning: The Church Of St. Mary In The Hollow Of White Hazel Trees Near The Rapid Whirlpool By St. Tysilio’s Of The Red Cave”…phew, that was a mouthful! Not sure if I’d rather say this or Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch…

Here it is again, in case you missed the last one. I’m actually quite curious where this Church of St. Mary is and the red cave are.

Sooooooooooooooooooo long that I probably wouldn’t even be able to take a selfie with the sign that would fit the entire thing.

Final one on the platform at the train station – and finally here it teaches you how to pronounce the name! Now I can say it fluently…or not! Maybe this, this, or this would help if you’d like to give it a try. I think I’ll just stick with good ol’ names like Glasgow or Toronto, thank you very much!

5 responses to “Llanfairpwll…you know, that village with the really long name

  1. Barron July 19, 2017 at 15:18

    Very interesting! And that dragon DOES look badass for sure.


  2. Ffinnisonn August 15, 2018 at 09:15

    I’m doing research on the history of the name itself and the place as a whole, and I cannot for the life of me find out why they needed publicity. Every site I’ve visited has said that it was a publicity stunt to name it such a long name, but why did they need publicity. It hasn’t been explained and I’m hoping you might know. Was it just because it was a rural area with such a low population and good land?? I couldn’t tell you, but I’m hoping you can… please help me


    • Ffinnisonn August 15, 2018 at 10:04

      Okay, after a lot more research and reading I’ve learned that it was because in 1850 they connected themselves to London by way of the Britannia Bridge and the North Wales Coast railway. You see, the railway station is in the Lower Village and that area is mostly shops as you saw, as opposed to the Upper area which is mostly older houses and farms. Basically, they just needed to make more money, so in the 1860s someone decided they’d make the name longer to attract attention. As a result they got more commerce and it worked, for the most part. I don’t even know if anyone will read this but that’s okay, just figured I’d clarify that I now know what I didn’t before, so I don’t need help anymore. Also, if anyone is reading this, and since there’s a chance someone is, I thought I’d share what I learned because I honestly find it really interesting for no apparent reason. 🙂


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