Cemaes is a village on the north coast of Anglesey in Wales (grid reference SH369933), on Cemaes Bay, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which is partly owned by the National Trust. It is home to both a wind farm and a nuclear power station (Wylfa). It is also a fishing port and is known for its beach. The village also has a football team, Cemaes Bay FC, that play in the Welsh Alliance League, but once got as high as the League of Wales, becoming the first team on Anglesey to do so.
Cemaes is the most northerly village in Wales and its development has been shaped by the natural resources available to it. Cemaes Bay is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, some of which is owned by the National Trust. The village includes a sheltered natural harbour that looks north to the Irish Sea and is a site of an ancient settlement that in more recent centuries has become a centre for maritime activities.
Since Victorian times, the picturesque character of Cemaes and the natural beauty of the island has attracted many artists. They have responded to the sea and sky as it changes with the weather, the superb sunsets, the multicoloured rocks and sands exposed on the cliffs and beaches as well as the charm of Cemaes village.
Fore more than a hundred years, Cemaes has attracted holiday makers and tourists including Lloyd George. Cemaes is located on the Anglesey Coastal Path and is quite popular with walkers. One popular path which runs behind the high-street called Valley of the Otters (Welsh: Nat y Dyfrgi) is very peaceful. It is surrounded by woodland, wild-flowers and the sounds of the river. The river itself is called the River Wygyr which flows from just below Parys Mountain to the sea at Cemaes. It is joined along the way by the Afon Meddanen on Carrog Farm. The name Wygyr itself in Welsh means 'where two rivers meet'.
Those who make the pilgrimage from Cemaes to the headland to the east, where the church stands will be well rewarded – as well as the fascinating history of the church, the views are spectacular. On a clear day it is possible to see the Isle of Man, the hills of the Lake District and the Mountains of Mourne in Ireland. The Welsh name Llanbadrig means ‘Church of St Patrick’. There are three Churches in Wales with dedication to St Patrick, although Llanbadrig church, founded in 440 AD, is probably the only one with a direct link to the patron saint of Ireland. We know that Patrick, then Bishop, was sent by Pope Celestine I to Ireland to convert the Irish to Christianity during the 5th Century. Local legend insists that Patrick was shipwrecked on Ynys Badrig (Patrick's Island which is also called Middle Mouse because of its shape). This is the island that can be seen deom the stile in the church-yard wall. He succeeded in crossing to Anglesey, landing at Rhos Badrig (Patrick's Moor) and finding refuge in Ogof Badrig (Patrick's Cave). This cave, below the church yard, has a freshwater well – Ffynon Badrig (Patrick's Well). Legend states that this fresh water allowed Bishop Patrick to recover from his ordeal and he founded the church as thanks to God.
The rocks exposed by coastal erosion in North Anglesey belong mainly to what geologists call the Mona Complex, which is among the oldest rock units seen in Wales. It underlies, and is therefore older than the slates of the North Wales quarrying industry, but is probably not very much older on geological terms. Since the remains of fossilized remains have been found in the rocks, it is does not predate the origins of life and is therefore probably about 600 million years old.
The locality is well-known to geologists following the enthusiastic description by Edward Greenly, in is pioneering book on the geology of Anglesey dated 1919 : ‘a many coloured mélange that is really indescribable, and must therefore be seen in the field to be envisaged’.