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Skinner’s Monument

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Turkey Shore Road, Holyhead, LL65 2FF Visit Site
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Skinner’s Monument

Born in 1760 in New Jersey, USA, Captain John Macgregor Skinner fought for the British, as a member of the Royal Navy, in the American War of Independence – losing an arm in process; he would also later lose an eye while serving in the Caribbean. Upon leaving the navy, Skinner moved to Holyhead where he became master of packet ships crossing the Irish Sea. In a report from around the date of the 1832 sinking of one such vessel, Escape, during which Skinner lost his life, a post-script is often added recounting a story of his maritime skill:

In 1807, he astonished seasoned mariners by successfully bringing his ship into Holyhead harbour during an exceptionally severe gale; Captain Skinner had to navigate, under sail, past numerous rocks and small islands to enter the harbour which was, at that date, much less well protected.

While we haven’t been able to find any original supporting evidence of this tale, there is no doubting the affection the people of Holyhead had for the man whose monument carries the words:

This monument was erected by his numerous friends to the memory of John Macgregor Skinner, R.N., and for 33 years captain of one of the post office packets on this station, in testimony of his virtues, and their affectionate remembrance of him in his public capacity. He was distinguished for zeal, intrepidity and fidelity. In private life, he was a model of unvarying friendship, disinterested kindness and unbounded charity. MDCCCXXXII (1832).

There is a permanent exhibition dedicated to Captain Skinner at the Holyhead Maritime Museum.

Bryn Celli Ddu, Anglesey, one of the finest prehistoric passage tombs in Europe

Where is it?

Skinner’s Monument is accessible via a winding footpath that begins a short way from the southern end of Turkey Shore Road – a position from which the monument can overlook the whole of the port and out to sea. You can find the monument by proceeding on to Victoria Road at the end of the North Wales Expressway, then taking London Road, Llanfawr Road and then Turkey Shore Road. However, there is minimal parking near the site, so it’s often better to park at either Blackbridge Car Park (expensive but closest) or attempt to find on-street parking on or around Ffordd Tudur at the other end of Turkey Shore Road. The steps for the monument are signposted and difficult to miss on foot.

Bryn Celli Ddu, Anglesey, one of the finest prehistoric passage tombs in Europe

Opening times

Accessible year round
The site is open and accessible year round.

Small waterfalls, The Dingle Nature Reserve Llangefni. Long expo


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