Waunfawr shown within Gwynedd
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Waunfawr (English: large moorland/heathland) is a large village and community on the outskirts of the Snowdonia National Park, Gwynedd, in Wales, south of Llanrug. The community had a population of 1,427 at the 2011 census. The ward had a population of 1,676 at the 2011 census, and includes Caethro near Caernarfon.
Waunfawr railway station on the Welsh Highland Railway between Caernarfon and Porthmadog adjoins the Snowdonia Park Brewpub and Inn at the southern end of the village. The brewpub is a recent winner of the CAMRY award for a number of its beers and voted best pub in the region for 2012.
The name Waunfaur was spelled 'Waenfawr' an anglicized version of the Welsh name, corrected by common consent in 1994 to align with the aims of the Welsh Language Society's aims to maintain the Welsh language in its proper form throughout public signage and usage.
The Waunfawr landscape certainly reflects the village name and is absolutely stunning with the surrounding mountains Mynydd Mawr and Moel Elio, with views of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales possible from some locations. There are a number of tourist locations for camping in Waunfawr and there is the opportunity to enjoy trekking and other Snowdonia National Park activities such as canoeing and mountain climbing.
Glan Gwna is a grade II* listed country house, which stands in the 200 acre Glan Gwna estate within the community of Waunfawr on the banks of the River Seiont. The estate is now the Glan Gwna Holiday Park.
In 1893 the estate was bought by the wealthy slate quarry owner John Ernest Greaves, who also owned Bron Eifion, near Criccieth. He knocked down the old hall and rebuilt it. On his death in 1945, Glan Gwna was left to his granddaughter Dorothy, who had married a cousin, William Flower of the brewing family, and the estate farms were subsequently sold. In the 1950s the estate was bought by a local businessman as a caravan park. During the 1970s, under new ownership, the estate became a holiday park, with 45 of the 200 acres dedicated to lodges, bungalows and cottages.
The local social enterprise, Antur Waunfawr, among its many initiatives, has three sites, with the Bryn Pistyll site at Waunfawr housing the organisation's head office. This site has proved to be a popular attraction for local people and tourists alike, as it includes a 7-acre nature park, gardens, Blas Y Waun cafe, a crafts shop and a children’s play area. Antur provides work and training opportunities to adults with learning difficulties, and operates a green agenda, with their other sites (Warws Werdd and Caergylchu on the Cibyn Industrial Estate in Caernarfon) recycling everything from cardboard to curtains!
The Marconi Company built a large high-powered Long Wave Wireless Telegraph transmitting station on the hilltop above the village in 1914 which worked in association with its receiving station at Tywyn. The station initiated commercial transatlantic wireless service from London to New York in 1920. It replaced Marconi's transatlantic wireless service from Clifden, Ireland to Canada, after the Clifden station was destroyed in the Irish Civil War in 1922. The building was until recently used as a climbing centre called Beacon Climbing, which has since relocated to Caernarfon town.
There are many recreational facilities available in Waunfawr, from playing snooker to playing football on the all-weather pitch. There is also a youth club and a junior football club. The village has its own school teaching local children up to the age of 11. The village has a number of interesting church buildings, some of them dating back over 150 years and possessing classic forms of masonry and architecture.
Notable people from Waunfawr
John Evans (explorer) (April 1770 - May 1799) was born in Waunfawr and produced an early map of the Missouri River in North America.
Big Leaves - A Welsh rock band.
Waunfawr was also the name of a village which now forms a northern suburb of Aberystwyth and is not recognized anymore geographically.
- Antur Waunfawr website
- A Short History of the Marconi Long Wave Transmitting Station
- Chamois Mountaineering Club
- www.geograph.co.uk : photos of Waunfawr and surrounding area
- Map sources for Waunfawr
- Williamns, Hari, Marconi and His Wireless Stations in Wales (Llanrwst: Carreg Gwalch, 1999). ISBN 0-86381-536-7