The village of Pontyates offers a local garage, its own fire and rescue station, two bilingual primary schools, a post office, a fish and chip shop, public houses, a barbers and places of worship. The village is situated on the banks of the Gwendraeth Fawr river. It sits adjacent to the B4309 that runs between the towns of Carmarthen and Llanelli which are both about 10 miles from the village. The village is primarily Welsh-speaking. Pontyates is set in a rural area which hosts impressive views of the surrounding valleys from the top of the hill. It is known to have two sides to the village, the Carmarthen side and the Llanelli side, known locally as "pentre hyn" (this village) and "pentre draw" (that village), depending on which side the speaker stands. The population was around 4000 in 1929 according to the parish entry of that year (Sourced from 'The Welsh Church Year Book, 1929').
(According to National Statistics Online)
- Average Age - 42
- Average Commute - 12.8 (miles)
- Gender Ratio - 1.06 (female/male)
- Population in Good Health - 58.3%
- Students - 3%
Pontyates used to have its own railway station run by the Burry Port and Gwendraeth Valley Railway company. Pontyates was one of the stations that lay between Llanelli and the coal mine at Cwmmawr. The fact that the line was built down the old canal route meant that it was prone to flooding. The station at Pontyates was closed in 1953. Despite it being no longer in use, the railway line still runs across the road today and can be walked across as part of the mining heritage trail.
Origin of name
According to the BBC Wales programme 'What's in a name'. 'Pontyates' is said to have been named after an English family, Yates. 'Pont' translates as 'bridge' in English and the Welsh word 'Y' means 'of'. This would mean the literal translation of Pontyates is Bridge-of-Yates. However, due to the name's similarity to the local word 'iet' meaning 'gate' the village is more commonly referred to as 'Pontiets'. A testament to this is the fact that both names appear on the welcome sign when entering the village.
Pontyates is home to the rugby club Pontyates R.F.C. which plays in the Welsh Rugby Union, Division Five West League.
- Mandy Rice-Davies - Famous for her role in the Profumo Affair.
- Harvey Thomas - Author and artist.
- Neville Goodwin Duggan - Swansea rugby union player.
- June Brown - Famous for her role as 'Dot Cotton' in EastEnders. Although not born in Pontyates, Brown was evacuated there during the Second World War.