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Welcome To The Holy British Island With 20,000 Graves But Only Four Humans

Apr 15, 2016 05:51 AM EDT
Happy St David's Day from Bardsey
Remnants of religious activities on the island during the middle agaes
(Photo : Bardsey Island/Facebook)
Bardsey Island It was May 12th 2009, the wind was slight but the sky was rather dull making the light for such a photo difficult.
A view of the Holy Bardsey Island
(Photo : Shirley Roulston/ Wiki Commons)
Seals on Bardsey
Seals along the waters of Bardsey
(Photo : Bardsey Island/Facebook)

The Bardsey island in Wales' Llŷn Peninsula in Britain is home to 200 sheep, 300 seals, 20,000 graves and just four human beings.

The island viewed from afar
(Photo : Bardsey Island/Facebook) The island viewed from afar

Bardsey Island is located two miles across Lleyn Peninsula in North Whales. This tiny island is only 2.5 kilometers long and one kilometer across. Most of the land areas consist of farmlands. It is currently owned and managed by the Bardsey Island Trust in coordination with the Natural Resources Wales because the British island is also recognized as a National Reserve.

Sheep on the Bardsey Island
(Photo : Ynys Enlli / Bardsey Island/Facebook) Sheep on the Bardsey Island

According to BBC, the island doesn't have much signs of industrialization. There are no paved roads, electricity and even modern toilet. The population on the island holds the largest sheep-to-person ratio. BBC said, "The population includes 200 grey seals, 300 sheep and just four year-round humans - making the island's sheep-to-person ratio larger than even that of New Zealand." While the largest human population recorded were 140 residents during the 19th century.

Bardsey is also known as the "island of 20,000 saints." It is considered as a Holy island because of a monastery built on the island in the year 516 during the Medieval times. Since then, it has become a Christian pilgrimage site, especially during the middle ages.

In a report by the Daily Mail, they said that the name "island of the 20,000 saints" originated from folklores, which say that the island was a burial site of 20,000 "saints" and religious people during the middle ages.

There are also legends associated with the island, according to the same BBC report. They said, "Bardsey was sacred to Celtic druids, and that it was the real Avalon where King Arthur was buried." Other historical characters believed to be buried on the island include Welsh kings of Llŷn and St. Cadfan, the saint who built a monastery on the island. The folklore also states that during the middle ages, it is believed that anyone who died on the island will not go to hell. This is why the island is considered sacred up to this day.

Today, it is popular for tourists who want to witness the serenity on the island while surrounded by sheep. There is also one shop that tourists can visit when on the Holy Island. However, there's no shop attendant, only a lock box to deposit your cash. There's also fishing and bird watching on the island.

There is one operational farm on the island and a private boat operator, who services people who want to go to the island. The trips are regular but weather dependent during the winter.

Others might think there's not much to see in Britain's Holy island, but Richard Farmer, Chairman of the Bardsey Island Trust, said in an interview with BBC, "What Bardsey has that other islands don't have is they are wildlife islands, conservation islands." He also said that they are trying their best to keep the island as a living community.

The boat operator, Collin Evans, also believes in the beauty the island has to offer. Like the other admirers of the island, he believes that deserves to be maintained and preserved, "They may be comparatively remote today, but years ago they were in the world's traffic."

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