Gwynedd Archaeological Trust
Regional Historic Environment Record

Franciscan Friary, Site of, Llanfaes, Beaumaris

Primary Reference Number (PRN) : 2573
Trust : Gwynedd
Community : Beaumaris
Unitary authority : Ynys Mon
NGR : SH60927734
Site Type (preferred type first) : Medieval FRIARY
Status : Scheduled Ancient Monument

Description :
Site of St. Francis monastery. <1> <2>

Franciscan House Founded 1245, built by Llywelyn the Great for his wife Joan of England who died 1237. Dissolved 1535. <3>

In 1855 the only building at the Friars bearing any trace of having been contemporary with the original C13th house is the Conventual Church and is much mutilated and used as a farm building. This building, 108' x 32' was destroyed in the last quarter of the last century, the modern house 'Friars' may contain reused material. There are no visible remains but numerous fragments of encaustic tiles, grave slabs etc., some with Lombardic capitals (C14th) have been found on the site and are preserved in the 'Friars'. <4> (RCAHMW, 1937) <6> <8>

In 1952 human remains were found 2 feet below road level near the boundary wall of Friars. <6>

Site now falls within grounds of factory; no visible remains. <7>

Full description of finds. (RCAHMW, 1937)

1975. Planning permission given for construction of a factory in area of the Friary (and so-called lost town of Llanfaes) the belief is that the site lies nearer to the coast, around the port. No surface indications remain and area is possibly archaeologically sterile. <9>

Assessment in advance of possible sewerage works revealed the friary site. Interim report Archaeology in Wales. (Longley, 1991)

The importance of the site lies in its historical associations, the proven survival of ancillary features and the strong probability that the foundations of the church itself survive beneath the present ground surface. <11>

Archaeological remains were identified over part of the area. They are well preserved in trenches E and D to the west and east respectively of the concrete compass bay. The archaeological deposits involve a sequence of structural detail and associated graves relating to the 13th, 14th and 15th century Franciscan Friary and to later activity associated with the private houses of Friars (1623) and Fryars (1867). While there has been demolition and rebuilding over the area and some burials appear to have been disinterred, enough detail survives to reconstruct ground plans and a sequence of events. The terracing of the concrete circle into the natural slope of the ground may have destroyed archaeological remains over the western half of the circle (fig. 5) but foundations and graves were located in the undergrowth immediately to the west. (Longley, 1991)

Franciscan friary founded in 1245 by Llywelyn the Great. Burials, probable parts of the perimeter wall, and a road were revealed by excavation in 1991 (Longley 1998, 41). The foundations of both the church and of ancillary structures are thought to survive below ground. The site is not shown on the assessment map (fig 2). (LUAU, 2001)

The archaeological assessment in 1991 was able to demonstrate that the southern perimeter of the Friary was fronted by a road which led from the coast to St. Catherine's church. The present road lies some sixty metres south. The occasion of the re-alignment coincided with a similar re-routing of a road at Henllys and for similar reasons, the enhancement of privacy. At Fryars this was achieved by establishing a screen of trees between the new road and the house. The excavation was also able to establish that the old road may have been of some antiquity. It was re-surfaced and provided with new flanking drains on a number of occasions. (GAT, 1997)

The site of a Franciscan Friary founded by Llywelyn ap Iorwerth following the death of his wife Joan in 1237. (Berks and Davidson, 2006)

Sources :
, 1997 , Statement identifying results of archaeological evaluation at Llanfaes and significance of area between Henllys and St Catherine's Church ( © GAT)
Berks, T. & Davidson, A. , 2006 , Ports and Harbours of Gwynedd ( © GAT)
Haewood, R. , 2001 , Henllys Hall, Beaumaris, Anglesey: Assessment Report ( © Lancaster University Archaeological Unit)
Longley, D. , 1991 , Archaeological Assessment at Llanfaes ( © GAT)
The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales , 1937 , An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments in Anglesey
Ordnance Survey , 1888 , 25" , <1>
Ordnance Survey , 1973 , 1:10000 , <2>
Knowles, D. & Hadcock, R. N. , 1971 , Medieval Religious Houses , <3>
Jones, H. L. , 1855 , Archaeologia Cambrensis , <4>
Delaney, C. J. & Soulsby, I. N. , 1975 , Historic Towns in Anglesey , <6>
Ordnance Survey , 1979 , SH67NW 3 , <7>
Clapham, F. S. A. , Archaeological Journal , <8>
Delaney, C. J. , 1975 , PRN 2573 , <9>
Longley, D. , 1991 , Archaeology in Wales , <10>
McCormick, T. , 2010 , The Cathedrals, Abbeys & Priories of Wales , <12>

Events :
40073 : Archaeological Assessment at Llanfaes (year : 1991)
41445 : Henllys Hall, Beaumaris, Anglesey (year : 2001)
40428 : Archaeological Evaluation at Llanfaes (year : 1996)
40652 : Ports and Harbours of Gwynedd: A Threat Related Assessment (year : 2006)

Related PRNs : 300910

Compiled date : 11-12-1986


The above data are supplied by GAT in partnership with its Local Authorities (Anglesey, Conwy and Gwynedd County Councils, and Snowdonia National Park Authority), © GAT 2018 (and in part © Crown, 2018 - as indicated)
This information is supplied for the purposes of personal interest only and may not be used as part of a commercial project.

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