The Places visited in the Story
The Home of the Druids
Mona as Anglesey was known, was the home of the Druids and an international centre of Druidism acknowledged by Caesar. It was - and still is - a fertile island that was difficult to attack which gave it a very special power.
Anglesey is rich in prehistoric remains with the first evidence of humans on the island comes from the Mesolithic period, about 7000 BC.
There are numerous stone burial chambers, (of which Bryn Celli Ddu pictured above is acknowledged as one of the best examples), standing stones, and hill forts, many of which survived the ages in good condition and can be visited today.
Of the Druids there is little evidence to be seen. The stone circles and burial chambers come from an earlier age, and most of our knowledge of the Druids and their centre on Mona comes from the writings of their enemies.
However, some important artefacts which do shed light on the Celts were found in Anglesey. As with the finds from Llyn Fawr some spectacular finds come from the lake at Llyn Cerrig Bach. In 1943, land was being cleared near this lake for the building of a runway and this uncovered a trove of scores of items ranging from iron spearheads, slave chains, parts of chariots and a bronze trumpet.
In AD 60 the Romans under Suetonius Paullinus decided that it was vital to invade Anglesey and destroy the power of the Druids, who were maintaining native resistance against the Romans. The Roman historian Tacitus gives an account of the ensuing battle on the shores of the Menai Straits:
By the shore stood an opposing battle-line, thick with men and weapons, woman running between them, like the Furies in their funereal clothes, their hair flowing, carrying torches; and Druids among them, pouring out frightful curses with their hands raised high to the heavens, our soldiers being so scared by the unfamiliar sight that their limbs were paralysed, and they stood motionless and exposed to be wounded.
The Romans eventually won the battle and claimed they destroyed the Druids on Anglesey and cut down their groves of sacred oaks evidence shows that the teachings of the Druids prospered elsewhere, most particularly in Ireland where the rule of Rome never reached.