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Waterloo Hotel, Pillgwenlly - geograph.org.uk - 666381.jpg
The Waterloo Hotel
Pillgwenlly is located in Newport, Wales
 Pillgwenlly shown within Newport
Population 7,318 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid reference ST315875
Principal area Newport
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town NEWPORT
Postcode district NP20 2
Dialling code 01633
Savoy exchange
Police Gwent
Fire South Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Newport West
List of places

Coordinates: 51°34′56″N 2°59′24″W / 51.58218°N 2.99001°W / 51.58218; -2.99001

The West of England Tavern in the shadow of the Transporter Bridge

Pillgwenlly (Welsh: Pillgwenlli) is an electoral district (ward) and coterminous community parish in the city of Newport, South Wales. The area is governed by the Newport City Council.

Origin of the name[edit]

Its name may come from 'Pwll' the Welsh language word for a water inlet, harbour or pool, and 'Gwenlly', a corruption of the name of Saint Gwynllyw, the name meaning Gwynllyw's harbour. Supposedly it derives from the period when Gwynllyw was a pirate and he based his ships in this area.[2]


The ward is bounded by the River Usk to the east and southeast, the Ebbw River to the southwest, the Great Western Main Line to the west and Cardiff Road to the north.

Heart of Newport[edit]

It is an inner-city district to the south of the city centre and the built-up area is commonly shortened to "Pill". It contains the Newport Docks and the western ends of the Newport Transporter Bridge,[3] City Bridge and George Street Bridge.

Pill is known for its close-knit community spirit and for its ethnic diversity. Pill has most of the residents of foreign descent within the city, due largely to the location of the Old Town Docks, where a large influx of English and Irish immigrants, among others, came to work.[citation needed] The streets of Pill also host the annual Pill Carnival, on the last weekend of August. The Old Town Dock area is currently undergoing a huge mixed-use regeneration to bring the derelict dock lands back into use. A lively market takes place on a Saturday morning at the Newport Auctions site.

Portland Street in Pill was the birthplace, in 1871, of the famous "Tramp Poet" W. H. Davies and the nearby Church House Inn, where he was brought up by his grandparents, has a commemorative blue plaque.

The opening line 'Libraries gave us power' of the 1996 song A Design for Life, by Blackwood band Manic Street Preachers, was inspired by the legend above the entrance to the former Carnegie Library.

In 2012 the TV drama series Being Human featured internal and external cafe scenes filmed in Pill near the Transporter Bridge.

Sporting traditions[edit]

Pill Harriers RFC is a successful rugby union team affiliated to the Welsh Rugby Union, whose membership was historically made up from the local dock workers. In its past it supplied many players to both Newport and Wales. Tony Pulis, manager of West Bromwich Albion F.C., was born in Pill.[4]

Plan for designated area for prostitution[edit]

In July 2015, Gwent Police proposed a plan to develop a designated area for prostitution within the boundaries of Pill. The proposal follows a similar pilot scheme in the north of England, and a police spokeswoman said enforcement alone was "not an effective solution". Officers stated that no decision would be made until they had looked at evidence from other initiatives and consulted with residents, businesses and the council. Officers commented that similar schemes had increased the reporting of offences against prostitutes, and allowed other agencies to work with women to help them leave the sex industry.[5] Monmouth MP David Davies, who has debated prostitution on the Council of Europe, was cautious about the proposed area, and said that it "should not become like Amsterdam."[6]


External links[edit]