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Ruins of St. Brynach's Church
Cwm-yr-Eglwys is located in Pembrokeshire
Cwm-yr-Eglwys shown within Pembrokeshire
  • Dinas Cross
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°01′N 4°53′W / 52.02°N 4.89°W / 52.02; -4.89Coordinates: 52°01′N 4°53′W / 52.02°N 4.89°W / 52.02; -4.89
St Brynach's church prior to 1831 painted by Henry Gastineau
An old postcard picture of Cwm-yr-Eglwys (c.1910)

Cwm-yr-Eglwys (Valley of the church) is a hamlet located at a picturesque cove on the south-eastern side of the Dinas Island peninsula in the community of Dinas Cross between Fishguard and Newport, Pembrokeshire, in southwest Wales. The hamlet takes its name from the ruined church by the beach.[1]

Beach and facilities[edit]

There is a small beach with safe bathing, and it has earned a Seaside Award and a Green Coast Award (an award similar to a Blue Flag beach Award but for rural beaches).[2] There is a narrow slipway for launching small boats, limited car parking (small charge applies at certain times), and a public toilet.[3] There are also some holiday cottage lettings available.

Dogs are allowed on the beach.[4]

From here there is access to the Pembrokeshire Coast Path which runs round Dinas Island peninsula to Pwllgwaelod, a cove on the western side. Alternatively, Pwllgwaelod can be reached by a popular short direct walk (a little over a mile in length) through the valley that almost divides Dinas Head from the mainland. This is level and suitable for disabled access.[5]


Cwm-yr-Eglwys is a popular location for holiday makers, and every year the Cwm-yr-Eglwys boat club reunites for the first two weeks of August to have sailing events and regattas. The annual inshore regatta is always a crowd puller with families taking part in a whole day of events of swimming races, rowing races, sandcastle competitions and many other activities throughout the day. There are regular in shore diving competitions and lots of activities for the children too. However it can be disruptive so if you prefer a quieter holiday avoid visiting within factory fortnight.

Church of St. Brynach the Abbot[edit]

The church of St. Brynach is on the site of an ancient llan, and the dedication is pre-Norman. The building suffered storm damage in 1850 and 1851 when the chancel was destroyed by the sea, the church footings left hanging over an abyss. The graveyard was severely damaged, the level being reduced by at least three feet, exposing human remains in large quantity. The great storm of October 1859 (the Royal Charter Storm) removed the church roof and damaged the walls, the building was abandoned immediately. The ruins stood until 1880 when they were demolished to the present west end only and a new sea wall built to protect what was left of the graveyard. Another storm in 1979 caused damage to the sea wall; repairs by Preseli District Council and rearrangement of the gravestones converted it into a most pleasant public space. The ruins of the church are now a popular tourist attraction.[6] By the gate is a scale model of a Cwm Trader - the type of coastal trading vessel that would have plied these waters at the time of the storm.[7]

Dinas Island showing Pen-y-fan, its highest point, Dinas Head and the small settlements of Cwm-yr-Eglwys and Pwllgwaelod. Inset: location within Pembrokeshire


Sheltered from prevailing winds, Cwm-yr-Eglwys has its own microclimate, being a few degrees warmer and dryer than other parts of the Pembrokeshire coast.[8] This allows the growth of trees and shrubs of almost Mediterranean luxuriance.[9]


  1. ^ Walking in Pembrokeshire, by Dennis & Jan Kelsall, Cicerone Press, 2007 (p.93)
  2. ^ Visit Pembrokeshire
  3. ^
  4. ^ Dogfriendly
  5. ^ Cwm-yr-Eglwys to Pwllgwaelod walk
  6. ^ The church of St Brynach the Abbot, John Hughes, 2013
  7. ^ Description from plaque placed by model.
  8. ^ What To Do in Pembrokeshire
  9. ^ Pembrokeshire Coast Path, by Brian John, Aurum Press, 2008

External links[edit]