The old Semaphore station on Puffin Island
Photo : Tim Snow

Anglesey Semaphore Stations

The semaphore stations along the coast of Anglesey and the North Wales Coast played a vital role in communicating to the ship owners in Liverpool that their ships where arriving home.

In 1825 the board of the Port of Liverpool obtained a private Act of Parliament to construct a chain of “Popham” optical semaphore stations which would run from Holyhead to Liverpool.

In 1827 the system came into service which had been designed and was partly owned by Barnard L. Watson, a reserve marine officer.

Anglesey hosted the first of four semaphore stations along the North Wales coast. Holyhead, Llysfaen, Point Lynas and Puffin Island.

Holyhead Semaphore Station

There is very little left of the first semaphore station on Anglesey. The foundations are all that is left to see at Holyhead unfortunately.

Llysfaen Semaphore Station

The station at Llysfaen

Point Lynas Semaphore Station

The old semaphore station on Puffin Island

Puffin Island Semaphore Station

The old semaphore station on Puffin Island still has 3 walls and the traditional oval “observation room” which faces out to sea. Built out of local limestone, very likely from the quarries at Penmon Point

Still marked on the OS 1:50000 and 1:25000, it is located at the OS grid ref SH654823 or if use what3words /// typically.danger.slipping. The square building and oval observation room can still be clearly seen on Google earth.

This feature seems to be similar to the other semaphore stations on Anglesey and along the North Wales coast.

Puffin Island which is part of the Bulkeley estate can only be accessed with special permission.

North Wales Semaphore stations retired

In 1860 the North Wales semaphore stations were retired. With the development Chester to Holyhead railway and the invention of the electrical telegraph it was no longer required.