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Onllwyn is located in Neath Port Talbot
Location within Neath Port Talbot
Population1,194 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid referenceSN842102
Principal area
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townNEATH
Postcode districtSA10
Dialling code01639
PoliceSouth Wales
FireMid and West Wales
EU ParliamentWales
UK Parliament
Welsh Assembly
  • George Cawsey (Labour)
List of places
Neath Port Talbot
51°46′42″N 3°40′48″W / 51.77845°N 3.67994°W / 51.77845; -3.67994Coordinates: 51°46′42″N 3°40′48″W / 51.77845°N 3.67994°W / 51.77845; -3.67994

Onllwyn (Welsh pronunciation: [ˈɔnɬʊɨn]) is a small village and community in Neath Port Talbot, Wales, near Seven Sisters.


EWS Class 66 shunts empty coal wagons towards the coal washery

First developed by the Romans, the local village Banwen is confined[clarification needed] to the Roman Road of Sarn Helen. There are two Roman forts and the remains of a Roman Road within the community.

Legend has it that St Patrick was born here and taken to Ireland[citation needed] after the area was raided by Irish raiders. A celebration and a march are held on March 17 to mark the event.

With over 200 years of coal mining behind it, the parish once had five pits that employed hundreds of men. Now all that remains is a coal washery and coal processing plant. On the route of the former Neath and Brecon Railway, there is a freight only line to the coal washery from the South Wales Main Line at Neath.

Onllwyn was involved in several 20th-century coal mining strikes which brought the town notoriety. The political, labour and cultural connections between Onllwyn and the American coal mining region known as Appalachia grew into an in-person cultural exchange in the 1970s. Musical acts were performed at Onllwyn Miners' Welfare Hall in 1976, including a performance by The Strange Creek Singers featuring American musicians Hazel Dickens, Alice Gerrard, Mike Seeger, Tracy Schwartz, and Lamar Grier. The exchange was facilitated and filmed by Helen Lewis and John Gaventa.[2]

Onllwyn was also the setting for Pride, the award-winning 2014 LGBT-related historical comedy-drama film written by Stephen Beresford and directed by Matthew Warchus. The movie chronicles the true story of a group of lesbian and gay activists who raised money to help families affected by the British miners' strike in 1984.


Commanding views of the Brecon Beacons, this now semi-rural location is popular for retired people. There is a Community College, "Dove Workshops", village shop, post office, pPub, and Association football and Rugby union teams.

The area's residents often refer to the environs under the generic of Banwen, as it is easier to pronounce for non-Welsh language speakers.

Government and politics[edit]

The electoral ward of Onllwyn consists of some or all of the following settlements: Banwen, Dyffryn Cellwen and Onllwyn in the parliamentary constituency of Neath.

Onllwyn is bounded by the wards of Abercraf and Tawe Uchaf (both in Powys) to the north; Glynneath to the southeast; and Seven Sisters to the south west. The Onllwyn ward consists of open moorland and a band of woodland to the south. Mine workings are prominent in the north of the ward. There are only two A roads crossing the ward: the A4109 and the A4221. All of the settled areas in the ward lie around the A4109.

In the 2017 local council elections, the electorate turnout was 4.2%. The results were:

Candidate Party Votes Status
George Cawsey Labour 273 Labour hold
Peter Westall Independent 248

Residents of note[edit]


  1. ^ "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  2. ^ Tom Hansell, Patricia Beaver and Angela Wiley, "Keep Your Eye upon the Scale,"

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]