Claims of ‘cultural vandalism’ as Anglesey holiday home given new English name

The property on Gwel yr Wyddfa has now been renamed Sandy Retreat Credit: Twitter

People have reacted with anger after a holiday home on Anglesey was advertised with a new English name, replacing its original Welsh name.

Anglesey Homes said its Gwel Yr Wyddfa development, translating as ‘view of Snowdon’, has been renamed ‘Sandy Retreat’.

The property is one of nine completed in the village of Llanfaelog in 2019.

However, all nine properties were sold to third parties including the home at the centre of the controversy.

On Monday, June 23, the Cheshire-based Anglesey Homes tweeted: ”We've renamed our Gwel yr Wyddfa property!

“It is now known as 9 Sandy Retreat - available for 8 guests, pet friendly, and in the beautiful village of Llanfaelog.”

In a social media backlash, the company was accused of “cultural and linguistic vandalism.”

Author Claire Mackintosh said: "Giving English names to Welsh houses (something which happens A LOT) shows appalling disrespect for the local language and culture."

Former Anglesey MP, Albert Owen, called the decision “simply wrong”.

The backlash saw a number of people giving Anglesey Homes poor reviews online, prompting broadcaster Huw Edwards to tweet:  “You *almost* feel sorry for them. Quite apart from the epic awfulness of 'Sandy Retreat'. Surely 'On the rocks' is better?”

Anglesey Homes has since released a statement saying the decision was made by the new home owners.

In response to the backlash, the company said: “The owners of this property have independently decided to attach a plaque to their house ‘Sandy Retreat’ in addition to their official address, this remains the same and will always be ‘Gwel Yr Wyddfa’.

“They have given their house this name as they feel with the amazing views of Snowdonia, a stone’s throw away from beautiful beaches, the wonderful community and the environment means they feel the house is a retreat to them.

“As the owners of the property, they are entitled, like anyone else, to put a plaque on their property and give it a name.”

Local Plaid Cymru Welsh Senedd member Rhun ap Iorwerth called it a “non-apology” by the firm. He insisted it was right to “publicly call out something that I feel is wrong”.