Brithdir Mawr

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Brithdir Mawr
Brithdir Mawr is located in Pembrokeshire
Brithdir Mawr
Brithdir Mawr
Brithdir Mawr shown within Pembrokeshire
OS grid reference SN073373
Principal area
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Police Dyfed-Powys
Fire Mid and West Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
List of places
52°00′N 4°49′W / 52.00°N 4.81°W / 52.00; -4.81Coordinates: 52°00′N 4°49′W / 52.00°N 4.81°W / 52.00; -4.81

Brithdir Mawr is an Intentional Community in Pembrokeshire, Wales.


The community is based on a 85-acre (0.34 km2) farm. It is currently home to 10+ adults and 5 children who live in individual family flats around the farmyard.[citation needed] The land is farmed organically and the community is off-grid for supplies of water, electricity and wood for fuel. People work both locally and on-site to manage the farm and earn a living. The aim of the community is to live an environmentally sustainable and ethical lifestyle.


The community had been quietly set up by architectural historian Julian and wife Emma Orbach in 1993 in the foothills of Mynydd Carningli (Angel Mountain), near Newport, Pembrokeshire within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park without planning permission or publicity. The Orbachs initially renovated a rundown farmhouse and moved in with their three children. Other buildings including a roundhouse, later to become known as That Roundhouse with a turf roof, a wooden marquee, wood store and workshop had been built. The community in 1998 consisted of 12 adults and 10 children who were mainly vegetarian, grew their own crops and lived off the land.[1] The settlement of five straw bale buildings and one wooden geodesic dome was spotted from the air in 1998 and was reported to the authorities.[1] The authorities identified fourteen infringements of planning regulations, including the lake, the cycle shed, the Dome, and the roundhouse. All infringements, except those relating to the Roundhouse, were solved or resolved. The cycle shed is still without planning permission.[2]

In about 2001 the land was split in three parts, with ownership of the land around the disputed roundhouse being transferred to the Roundhouse Trust. Julian moved into town, but retained ownership of about 80 acres (320,000 m2) including the old farmhouse and outbuildings, which was leased to the Brithdir Mawr Housing Co-op. Emma adopted the rest, which is known as Tir Ysbrydol (spirit land), which also became involved in planning negotiations in relation to new and existing strawbale round huts and structures.[3]

In 2015 Emma featured in an episode of Ben Fogle: New Lives in the Wild.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Secret village to be pulled down". BBC News. 1998-10-23. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  2. ^ "The story so far - Part 1". That Roundhouse. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  3. ^ "History". Brithdir Mawr. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 

External links[edit]