- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
With one of the longest names of any place in the United Kingdom the Welsh village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is unmistakable, which is exactly what the people who named the community wanted.
The tiny village on the isle of Anglesey that is now known as Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, (Llanfairpwll or Llanfair PG for “short”) has existed in some form or another since the Neolithic Era, but it not gain it unique name until the 1880s. The island community was originally known simply as “Llanfairpwll” but thanks to an enterprising local tailor with an ear for the absurd, the name was extended to its current length in order to make the village an attraction.
The name, which is printed on the village’s absurdly long train station sign translates from the Welsh as, “St. Mary’s Church in the hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio near the red cave.” However even in translation, very few people outside of the long-suffering tourist agents in the village consider the significance of the name.
While Llanfairpwllgwyngyll is a mouthful it is no longer the longest place name in the world as the tailor who came up with it had intended. That honor has been usurped by an even more ridiculously named town in Thailand, the name of which we don’t even have room for here.