(1) Island off the northwestern coast of Wales; (2) a county, which included Holy Island, close to the western coast of Anglesey, until 1974; and (3) a unitary authority (as the ISLE OF ANGLESEY) from 1996.
Anglesey was conquered by the Romans in 61 AD. From c.500 it was one of the principal territories of the Kingdom of Gwynedd, being its granary and having at Aberffraw the principal residence of the Kings and Princes. It suffered from raids by the Vikings in the late 9th/early 10th centuries, and from the Norse settlements in Ireland at the end of the 10th. There was also trading with the Norse in Ireland, and it was they who gave it the name still used by English-speakers (ey = island, but what Angle means is not sure).
After the English conquest of Gwynedd, Anglesey became a county in the new Principality of Wales created by the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284. Of the 13 Welsh counties before 1974 only Flintshire had fewer acres, but five counties had fewer people.
In 1974 the county was reduced to the status of a district in the new county of Gwynedd, and was called Ynys Môn, the Welsh for Isle of Anglesey. In 1996 the Isle of Anglesey became a county again and a unitary authority.
It belongs to the diocese of Bangor.
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