The tower was only used three times, in 1825, 1839, and 1842 before better maritime aids eventually rendered it unnecessary. The tower still stands on Dulas Island today.
1 Building the tower was a cover story for a greater purpose: the construction of a great ward, protecting Anglesey from invasion. Colonel Hughes was a member of the secretive Order of the Unseen Crown, who regard Anglesey as sacred.
The great ward is made up of a number of individual smaller wards (the exact number is known only by the Order). On Dulas Island, the ward was carved into a stone slab that was placed in the floor of the tower, with tiles then laid over it.
Other wards placed around Anglesey’s coast include the South Stack lighthouse and Church Island.
2 A sea-troll has recently taken the tower as its home. For most of the time it stays on Dulas Island, but two or three times a month is steals ashore and takes a sheep in the night, leaving behind nothing but a ravaged carcass.
The attacks are being blamed on a big cat, but no cat has been found and farmers are getting restless.
3 An old, mostly forgotten legend describes Ynys Island as being the site of an ancient shrine to a fertility god. These days the legend is mostly forgotten, except for a persistent story that couples who are having difficulty becoming pregnant should visit Ynys Island on a full moon. Colonel Hughes’ tower provides all the privacy that couples need.
It is all a story of course, although it is also striking quite how many of the local children are quiet, have dark curly hair, and sea-blue eyes.
© Steve Hatherley