June 19, 2019 3 min read

Where is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch?

To give this little town it’s full name, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is situated on Ynys Mon (the island of Anglesey) in north Wales. It currently has a population of over 3,000 and is predominately a Welsh speaking part of Wales. It is situated near to the bridge, Pont Britannia which connects mainland Wales to the island of Anglesey over the Menai Strait.

It is often shorted in speech and in writing (for obvious reasons!) to Llanfairpwll or Llanfair PG. However, in the town itself, the name is often shown in full at, for example the train station and other commercial buildings.

What is the history of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch?

For centuries, Llanfairpwll was a small rural settlement on Ynys Mon. In the sixteenth century there were about 50 inhabitants. By the early nineteenth century, it had grown to about 400 inhabitants in what was becoming to be known as the old town Pentre Uchaf, or Upper Village and the village name became either Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch-isaf (lower town) or
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch-uchaf (upper town).

llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

The coming of the twentieth century brought major changes following the construction of Thomas Telford's new road in the 1820s and then the arrival of the railway crossing at Britannia Bridge at the beginning of the 1850s. This led to the development of a new part of the village, which became to be be knwon as Pentre Isaf or Lower Village around the railway station.

It is believed that originally, the village was called Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll. In the second half of the nineteenth century, at the beginning of the 1850’s  when a railway was being built between Chester and Holyhead, the village was renamed. 

A group of enterprising local people encouraged the railway builders to build a station at Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch to encourage travellers to sop at the village to develop commercial trade. It is believed that the name Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch was invented around this time by a cobbler from Menai Bridge who had the idea of combining the name of Llanfairpwllgwyngyll with that of neighbouring Llandysiliogogoch to create the longest name in the world. It is very unlikely that he had any idea as to  to how successful this name change would be as a tourist marketing plan it would be! Today the town is signposted as Llanfairpwllgwyngyll and is known locally as  Llanfairpwll or Llanfair. PG. 

What does Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch mean?

It means, "Saint Mary's Church in the hollow of the white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio of the red cave".

Is Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch the longest name in the world?

The long form of the name, with 58 characters has 51 letters in the Welsh language. This because the letters ll and ch are one letter in the Welsh language. It is certainly the longest place name in the UK and Europe.

There is a place in north island of New Zealand called, Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu, which currently is the longest known place name in the world. The English translation of this name is "the place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, who slid, climbed and swallowed mountains, known as 'landeater’, played his flute to his loved one." Most people in New Zealand simply call it Taumata Hill.

Taumata whakatangi hangakoauau o tamatea turi pukakapiki maunga horo nuku pokai whenua kitanatahu

So, whether Llanfair PG or maybe Taumatawhakatangi­hangakoauauotamatea­turipukakapikimaunga­horonukupokaiwhen­uakitanatahu is the longest place name in the world, they are both in the Guinness World Records!

The longest domain name in the world

Wherever is the longest place name in the world, in the modern world, the undisputed longest domain name in the world is: 
llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogochuchaf.org.uk 
This domain name has 70 characters (63 characters plus the .org.uk). The addition to the name of "uchaf" to Llanfairpwyllgwyngyll is the Welsh for "upper” and refers to the upper (old) part of the village. It can also be found at the domain name, www.longestintheworld.com

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch Toll Road

Just outside Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, is one of the three surviving toll house on the A5 road between Llanfairpwllgwyngyll and Holyhead. The last toll charged gere was in 1895 and the road was the last public toll road in Britain, until a congestion charge was introduced for traffic entering Durham in 2002.

 


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