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Llangrannog from the west
Llangrannog is located in Ceredigion
Llangrannog shown within Ceredigion
Population 775 (2011)[1]
OS grid reference SN316540
Principal area
Ceremonial county
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town Blaencelyn
Postcode district SA44
Dialling code +44 1239 654
Police Dyfed-Powys
Fire Mid and West Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament
Welsh Assembly
List of places
52°09′31″N 4°27′47″W / 52.1587°N 4.4631°W / 52.1587; -4.4631Coordinates: 52°09′31″N 4°27′47″W / 52.1587°N 4.4631°W / 52.1587; -4.4631
Statue of St Carannog in Llangrannog
The coastal path above the village

Llangrannog (Welsh: Llangranog) is a small, coastal village, community and seaside resort in Ceredigion, Wales, 6 miles (10 km) southwest of New Quay. It lies in the narrow valley of the River Hawen, which falls as a waterfall near the middle of the village, and is on the Ceredigion Coast Path.

Llangrannog's population was 775, according to the 2011 census;[2] a 2.6% fall since the 796 people noted in 2001.[3] The 2011 census showed 46.5% of the town's population could speak the Welsh language, a fall from 51.8% in 2001.[4]


Llangrannog village was established around the church during the 6th century, although there is evidence of an early Celtic settlement at nearby Lochtyn. The church is dedicated to Caranog or Carantoc, son of Corun ab Caredig ab Cunedda, a sixth-century saint and founder of several churches in Wales. It was originally built of wood about 500AD, though the present building dates from 1885, albeit containing earlier features; it consists of a nave and chancel connected through a pointed arch. On either side of the entrance to the chancel is an ornamental pew. The left one bears the date 1674 and belonged to Pigeonsford, a local mansion. The right one is dated 1718 and belonged to Moel Ivor and Cwmowen.[5]

The 'church village' is hidden by a twist of the valley and cannot be seen from the sea. This protected it from the attention of sea marauders, the Vikings and the Irish. After the mid-eighteenth century the sea became safer and a 'beach village' and small seaport developed. By 1825 Llangrannog commercial activity was largely concerned with the sea, including the shipment of coal. A number of ships were built on the sands, the largest being the "Ann Catherine" a brig of 211 tons. The most recent developments, in the 1860s, were the 'ribbon village' which connected the beach and church villages and an extension of the beach village onto the southern slopes of the valley.

St Mary's Well (Welsh: Ffynon Fair) was a popular destination for pilgrims who would take the water for health purposes.

The waterfall on the River Hawen used to drive a woollen mill situated a few yards away. Examples of cloth manufactured here are on display at the museum at Drefach Velindre near Newcastle Emlyn.[citation needed]


The large rock between Llangrannog and Cilborth Beaches is Carreg Bica, a stack of Ordovician rock weathered by the sea, one of many along the coastline. A large piece of Carreg Bica fell away some years ago.

Llangrannog's beach has received Blue Flag beach status.[6] An RNLI lifeguard service is provided. Two streams flow down the beach to the sea - the Hawen and the smaller Nant Eisteddfa. There is a waterfall on the Hawen, known as Y Gerwn.

The Urdd camp[edit]

The summer camp (Gwersyll) of the Urdd - a Welsh Youth Movement - is located near the village of Llangrannog. The first camp held here was in 1932, in a field on nearby Cefn Cwrt farm. In its early days the camp consisted of wooden huts for the girls and tents for the boys, and catering was basic, being provided by the campers themselves. The field was rented by the movement until 1968 when the whole farm was put up for sale. The Urdd movement purchased the farm, together with 160 acres of land, constructing permanent buildings on the site to provide a quality leisure and educational facility. Also on site is a dry ski slope, a go-kart track and a swimming pool; horse-riding is also offered. Catering today is provided professionally.[7][8]

Local legends[edit]

According to legend Carreg Bica (Bica's rock), a large sea-weathered stack of Ordovician rock on the beach, is the tooth of the giant Bica who lived in the Ceredigion area, and was forced to spit his tooth onto the beach following a bad toothache[9] In some versions of the story Bica has been romanised as Neptune.

Notable persons[edit]

Edward Elgar once spent a holiday in Llangrannog. Welsh artist Christopher Williams visited and painted here. His painting "Holidays - Village Girls at Llangrannog" is in the collection of the National Library of Wales.

Dylan Thomas visited Llangrannog whilst he was living in New Quay in 1944-45. He came to the Ship Inn with Tommy Herbert, the Aberaeron vet, and with Ira Jones, the World War One fighter ace.[10]

Sarah Jane Rees was born in Llangrannog and is buried in the church yard. A precocious child, by the age of 15 she had learned navigation from her sea captain father and went on to obtain her Masters Certificate. She taught navigation in a school she founded to help local seamen better themselves. In 1865 she won the crown in the Aberystwyth National Eisteddfod under the bardic name of Cranogwen. She became a popular lay-preacher and eventually gave up school teaching to concentrate on preaching and on establishing the South Wales Women’s Temperance Union in 1901 to counter the harm done by alcohol among the working classes.[11]

Sport and leisure[edit]

Llangrannog also has a football team called Crannog, who play in the Ceredigion League.

Panorama, looking back from the beach


  1. ^ "Community population 2011". Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  2. ^ "Area: Llangrannog (Parish)". Office for National Statistics. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  3. ^ Davies, John; Jenkins, Nigel (2008). The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. p. 497. ISBN 978-0-7083-1953-6. 
  4. ^ "2011 Census results by Community". Welsh Language Commissioner. 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2015. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Meyrick, Samuel Rush. (1907) The History of Cardiganshire. Stephen Collard.pg. 230.
  6. ^ Copyright The Beach Guide. "Llangrannog Beach". UK Beach Guide. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  7. ^ The Story of Llangrannog, by Mervyn Davies, Gomer Press, 2003
  8. ^ Llangrannog, by J. Geraint Jenkins, Llangrannog Community Council, 1998
  9. ^ http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMACXW_Bica_Tooth_Carreg_Bica_Llangrannog_Ceredigion_Wales.
  10. ^ The Dylan Thomas Trail by D N Thomas, Y Lolfa (2002), pp.123-24
  11. ^ "Cranogwen". llangrannog.org.uk. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 



  • Jenkins, J. Geraint. Llangrannog. Llangrannog Community Council. 
  • Davies, Mervyn. The Story of Llangrannog. 

External links[edit]

  1. ^ "Welcome to Llangrannog". llangrannog.org.uk. Retrieved 25 August 2015.