Fort Belan is a coastal fortress in North Wales. Situated at the tip of the Dinlle Peninsula, the windblown, north-westernmost point of the Welsh mainland, the fort is cut off twice a day by the incoming tide.
The fort was built in 1775 by Thomas Wynn, then MP for Caernarfonshire and later to become Lord Newborough. He was worried about the vulnerability of Britain's coastline to attack, particularly because of the recently begun American War of Independence. Fort Belan was the only purpose-built fort of the American Revolution on the eastern side of the Atlantic Ocean.
In the late 1780s, the barracks were used to ward off raiding American privateers from the Irish Sea. In the 1820s, the Wynn family turned it into a private fort for themselves, adding a small harbour for Spencer Wynn's steam yacht. Major construction works took place between 1824 and 1826. The watchtower was built in the 1890s by Freddie Wynn, and it housed a telescope.
In 1907, Sir Ralph Payne-Gallwey described seeing a dock, workshops for repairing vessels, marine storehouses, winches, and cranes. During World War II, the fort was again used for military purposes as the base for the Home Guard and two rescue launches. In the 1950s it was owned by Colonel Robert Vaughan Wynn. The Wynn family sold the property in 1992 to the Blundells as a base for marine biology exploration.
The fort's innermost buildings are slightly taller than the 6.1 m stone walls. In the centre of the fort is a sheltered quadrangle; at one time, there were peacocks there. Fortified towers are located at either end of the courtyard. Each of the towers displays the two-headed eagle of the first Lord Newborough. Small two-storey houses that were used as officer and privates' quarters line the flanks, commodious barracks for the Caernarvonshire county militia. Approximately 24 cannons form a gun battery along the walls. One of the inner corridors is said to be the haunt of a phantom nursemaid.
Fort Belan formerly housed a maritime museum and a pottery, before being re-purposed as a self-catering holiday complex. Notably Princess Margaret stayed at the fort for the investiture of Prince Charles in 1969.References:
The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches of Rome. The basic floor plan and wall structure of the church date back to the 340s, and much of the structure to 1140-43. The first sanctuary was built in 221 and 227 by Pope Callixtus I and later completed by Pope Julius I.
The inscription on the episcopal throne states that this is the first church in Rome dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, although some claim that privilege belongs to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. A Christian house-church was founded here about 220 by Pope Saint Callixtus I (217-222) on the site of the Taberna meritoria, a refuge for retired soldiers. The area was made available for Christian use by Emperor Alexander Severus when he settled a dispute between the Christians and tavern-keepers.
The church underwent two restorations in the fifth and eighth centuries and in 1140-43 it was re-erected on its old foundations under Pope Innocent II.