Several visitors in the early
part of the twentieth century noted that there
were a variety of ancient remains on the island,
but no serious studies were made until the 1960s.
Many earth structures have been
identified, some of which may date back two or
three thousand years.
They consist of round huts and rectangular structures
and are situated mostly on a small sheltered
terrace on the mountain or in groups at Penrhyn
the northern end of the island. The latter are
thought to be agricultural buildings dating from
the middle ages.
The thirteenth century Abbey
tower is the most prominent ancient monument
on the island.
A carved stone, bearing an inscription and
dating from the ninth century, can be seen in the
Many burial sites have been found in the vicinity
of the Abbey, giving some credence to legend
that the island was the burial place of twenty
saints, although the number is surely exaggerated.
Near the site of the present
track, it is also possible to see ruins of former
One of these, Ty Newydd, was investigated by
Christopher Arnold in 1995, and it was found that
had been built on the site of several graves.
A coin - a silver penny dated to the 1070s
in the mouth of one of the skeletons unearthed
during the excavation.