Friday, 14 September 2012

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch - the town with the longest name

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is the name of a big village (around 3000 people)  on the island of Anglesey in Wales; it has the longest name of any populated place in the world.  The name of the village literally means "St. Mary's church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool of Llantysilio of the red cave" . But how did the village get this name? Was it through some ancient legend about a whirlpool? Or some local tradition? Or do they have a lot of places close to this church or the hazel or the whirlpool?
Actually the truth is much less impressive. The village got its name as a publicity stunt (as we can see even from this article - a rather successful one) in the late 1860-s, when, with the arrival of the train line to Anglesey the village council decided to give their place the honour of having the longest train-station name in Britain. So somehow they got this name (legends differ as to whether the actual inventor was a local cobbler or tailor) and put it around on some official places. However the place is usually referred to simply as Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, which is accidentally also the centuries-old name of the village. Currently the long name stands around only on the train station and some official documents, but it actually managed to help the tourism; otherwise noone would have ever heard of the place.

Coordinates: 53° 13′ 12″ N, 4° 12′ 0″ W
Google Maps:,-4.2&spn=0.1,0.1&t=h&q=53.22,-4.2
Wikipedia article:

Village webiite:

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