The Anglesey Agricultural Society is the proud owner of the Anglesey Showground, a 160-acre site in the heart of the Island with easy access from the A55 and the nearby seaport of Holyhead. The Showground is a leading events venue, hosting a range of indoor and outdoor events.
The Society began hosting an annual show in 1872. Over the years, the Anglesey Show has developed, adapted and grown into the modern day agricultural show it is today, attracting up to 60,000 visitors across two days. More recently, it has been joined by the Winter Fair held in November.
The first Anglesey Agricultural Society was launched on May 12th and June 6th 1808. The mission of the society was to develop and foster agricultural reforms throughout the whole agricultural spectrum.
Two premiums for animals were offered for the first time in 1812, but no “show” as we think of today was held until 1820 when 15 premiums varying from 1-10 guineas were awarded.
By the mid-1840s agriculture had been paralysed by the potato blight and The Anglesey Agricultural Society had withered away by 1846.
After Sir Richard Williams-Bulkeley spoke of the good done by the original society, the new Anglesey and Caernarvonshire Agricultural Society were formed on October 13th 1851. It was decided to arrange and hold an annual show at Bangor, Caernarfon and Llangefni in turn.
By 1872 Anglesey farmers were protesting about paying bridge tolls for taking their animals to the mainland shows, and hey decided to break away and revert to the Anglesey Agricultural Society (take two).
On May 23rd 1872 a meeting was held to draw up a schedule for premiums and to elect officers for the new society, drawing support from a much broader social base than its predecessor. Between 1872-1902 the number of premiums offered had doubled in number.
During WW1 the show was adjourned, re-launching in 1920 but it struggled to get back to the same standard until the mid-1930s. After WW2 the show began to develop and adapt to the challenge of a changing society. By 1955 the show attracted 14,000 visitors.
The prosperous state of agriculture coupled with the leadership of J.Glyn Williams in the 1960s resulted in the show developing and growing further. Sheepdog trials were re-introduced and hair-dressing exhibitions were held for the first time. The 1967 show was the first to be held in Mona and attracted over 20,000 visitors.
By 1970 it had become a two-day event and had mirrored the changes in society, as well as the importance of catering to the tourist industry, but not at the detriment of the needs of the farming industry. When the rent on Mona airfield was increased, the Society invested £54,000 in Glan Gors Ddu, a farm on 136 acres near Gwalchmai and in 1975 the first show was held on the Society’s own site.
By 1976 the show was recognised as one of the best in Wales, attracting 50,000 visitors.