Puffin Island lies of the eastern tip of Anglesey, in the Menai Straits, and is currently uninhabited. Made of Carboniferous limestone, it is the ninth largest Island off the Welsh Coast, is 58m above sea level at its highest point and is surrounded by steep cliffs. The island is owned by the Baron Hill estate, and no landings are allowed without permission.
St. Seiriol, who established a monastery in the Island in the 6th Century, is said to be buried there. It is known that a Monastery still existed on the Island as late as the 12th Century from Giraldus Cambrensis, who visited there in 1188.
It is said that King Cadwallon ap Cadfan of Gwynedd sheltered here in the year 630, while fleeing from an Invasion from Northumbria.
There are still several ecclesiastical buildings are still visible on the Island, as well as a disused Telegraph station on the northern tip.
There is one identified Shipwreck also, that of the Steam ship The Pioneer, which ran aground when the tow lines to it broke after it was rescued from engine failure. The ship was carrying a cargo of Iron Bars.
The Island is now a Special Protection Area (SPA), mainly because of the large Great Cormorant colony which inhabits the Island, with over 750 pairs it is one of the largest int he UK. The puffins, from which the Island gets its name, once numbered over 2,000 pairs, however Brown Rats which were introduced accidentally to the Island and reduced the puffin population to very few pairs. The numbers of Puffins on the Island is rising again however, after the Countryside Council for North Wales initiated a programme of poisoning the rats which appears to have eradicated them.
During the summer months, pleasure cruses are run from Beaumaris so tourists can view the Island, the Seal colony and birdlife.