Over the Menai Bridge, through the winding Welsh lanes, down a bumpy track that barely qualifies as a road and under an archway of trees lies Cerig Mawr, my favourite place in the world. Located on the isle of Anglesey this old farmhouse has been a bastion of the Bryning family for literal generations (well, four generations) and is host to countless cherished childhood memories.
I’ve been visiting Cerig Mawr for as long as I can remember, spending numerous Easters, Christmases and summers there with family and friends. Highlights of childhood visits included exploring the surrounding wilderness, climbing to the top of the world (which was, in reality, a moderately sized hill at best), and making a den out of an abandoned, hidden cottage. A particularly vivid memory included collecting berries for my nana to make a crumble, which resulted in my cousins and I sneaking into the kitchen to test the finished product, only for nana to chase us out wielding her wooden spoon in jest.
These childhood visits to Cerig Mawr were a time when our whole extended family would come together under one roof. This meant big family dinners and the amount of people meant that children were forced to sit on their own table, safely away from the adults. What seemed like isolation was actually an escape from prying adult ears and boring grown-up conversation, meaning we could deal with important matters like whose turn it was to play Super Smash Bros. after dinner.
Outside of these meals, some of my best memories were trips to the seaside. At the beach, we would partake in very sandy games of cricket, play King (or, in my case, Queen) of the sand dunes, scramble and explore the rock pools, and rush into the eternally cold (even during summer) sea. We would also visit the local town of Beaumaris for extremely competitive games of mini golf. These tense tournaments took place in the shadow of Beaumaris Castle, where cousin was pitted against cousin, sibling against sibling and father against daughter (it truly embodied the spirit of a Medieval tournament). When we weren’t re-enacting the War of the Roses on the mini golf course, we would go to the end of the pier to fish for crabs using cheap cuts of meat from the butchers. Don’t worry, no crabs were harmed in the making of this blog; all crustaceans were promptly released back into the sea.
Now that I am, allegedly, all grown up I still visit Cerig Mawr. It’s still the place for family gatherings but these have taken the form of more adult celebrations, including my brother’s post-wedding barbecue and the location for my cousin’s wedding (the picture above). Recently, the farm has also become a place for friends as I have started to share my favourite place and to create brand new memories that will sit alongside my ones of girlhood.
Girl Museum Inc.