Cwm Gwaun

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Cwm Gwaun
Autumnal view, Cwm Gwaun - - 277896.jpg
Cwm Gwaun is located in Pembrokeshire
Cwm Gwaun
Cwm Gwaun
Cwm Gwaun shown within Pembrokeshire
Population 313 (2011)[1]
Principal area
Ceremonial county
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Fishguard
Postcode district SA65 9
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament
Welsh Assembly
List of places
PembrokeshireCoordinates: 51°58′08″N 4°52′00″W / 51.968814°N 4.866606°W / 51.968814; -4.866606

Cwm Gwaun (English: Gwaun Valley) is a village and community in northern Pembrokeshire. Located just to the west of Pontfaen hamlet (which is part of the community), it lies 4.3 miles east of Fishguard (Welsh: Abergwaun).


In 2008 the community was reported to have an area of 3,870 hectares and have a population of 266 inhabitants.[2] The Companion Guide to Wales describes Cwm Gwaun as "one of the most important meltwater channels from the last ice age to be found in the British Isles." [3] The River Gwaun rises in the Preseli hills near the village and its tributaries have carved heavily-wooded steep, narrow side-valleys. To the northwest are hills such as Mynydd Dinas and Mynydd Melyn and the valley forms a notable wetland.[4] Trees found in the valley include sessile oak, beech, alder, rowan, ash and willow.[3] The highest point of the Preseli hills is Foel Cwmcerwyn at 535 metres.[5] The area is a notable 5.2 mile (8.32km) nature walk area of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.[6] The Rough Guide to Wales says of the community, "Cwm Gwaun and the inland hills Cwm Gwaun, the valley of the burbling River Gwaun is one of the great surprises of Pembrokeshire – a bucolic vale of impossibly narrow lanes, surrounded by the bleak shoulders of bare mountains."[7]

New Year celebrations[edit]

Cwm Gwaun Primary School

The locals continue to follow the tradition of the pre-1752 Julian calendar and celebrate New Year (Welsh: Hen Galan) on 13 January.[3][7] Children walk from house to house, and sing traditional Welsh language songs. In return, householders provide gifts, or calennig, of sweets and money. In 2012, it was reported that most children from the local primary school would be absent that day to take part in the celebrations.[8]

Notable landmarks[edit]

The Dyffryn Arms, Pontfaen

The community (Pontfaen) contains a primary school and a pub of considerable local renown named the Dyffryn Arms, known locally as Bessie's and run by Bessie Davies's family since 1845.[9] The pub was originally called Llwyn Celyn (Holly Bush) and in 2015 it featured in the Good Beer Guide for a 40th successive year.[10] The Gwaun Valley also contains a brewery at the Kilkiffeth Farm.[11]


  1. ^ "Community population 2011". Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  2. ^ Davies, John; Jenkins, Nigel; Baines, Menna (2008). The Welsh Academy encyclopaedia of Wales. University of Wales Press. ISBN 978-0-7083-1953-6. Retrieved 20 September 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Barnes, David (2005). The companion guide to Wales. Companion Guides. p. 240. ISBN 978-1-900639-43-9. Retrieved 20 September 2011. 
  4. ^ British wildlife. British Wildlife Publishing. 2006. pp. 35–36. Retrieved 20 September 2011. 
  5. ^ Else, David (2007). Great Britain. Lonely Planet. p. 688. ISBN 978-1-74104-565-9. Retrieved 20 September 2011. 
  6. ^ "Cwm Gwaun". BBC. Retrieved 20 September 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Nevez, Catherine Le; Parker, Mike; Whitfield, Paul (28 April 2009). The Rough Guide to Wales. Rough Guides. p. 211. ISBN 978-1-84836-050-1. Retrieved 20 September 2011. 
  8. ^ BBC South West Wales, Gwaun Valley children mark old New Year, 13 January 2012
  9. ^ Rough Guides Ltd. (COR) (2 May 2011). Rough Guides Make the Most of Your Time in Britain: 500 Great British Experiences. Rough Guides. p. 78. ISBN 978-1-84836-685-5. Retrieved 20 September 2011. 
  10. ^ "Bessie's famous beer recognised for 40th year". Western Telegraph. 16 November 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015. 
  11. ^ "Microbrewery in Pembrokeshire, Wales". Gwaun Valley Brewery. Retrieved 20 September 2011.