Housing near Pwllheli town centre
Pwllheli shown within Gwynedd
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Pwllheli (Welsh pronunciation: [pʊɬˈhɛlɪ]) is a community and the main market town of the Llŷn Peninsula (Welsh: Penrhyn Llŷn) in Gwynedd, north-western Wales. It had a population of 4,076 in 2011 of which a large proportion, 81 per cent, are Welsh speaking. Pwllheli is the place where Plaid Cymru was founded. It is the birthplace of the Welsh poet Sir Albert Evans-Jones (bardic name Cynan).
The town's name means salt water basin. The pronunciation of Pwllheli includes a sound not found in the English language, the voiceless alveolar lateral fricative [ɬ], but is (very) approximately pu-HLEL-ee.
The town was given its charter as a borough by Edward, the Black Prince in 1355, and a market is still held each Wednesday in the centre of the town on 'Y Maes' (="the field" or "the town square" in English).
During the 1890s, the town was developed by Solomon Andrews, a Cardiff businessman. This work included the Promenade, roads and houses at West End. A tramway was built linking the town to Llanbedrog. The trams ran until 1927 when the section of track between Carreg-y-Defaid and Tyddyn-Called was seriously damaged by a storm. Andrews ran the Cardiff Road section in 1928, and offered to sell the tramway to Pwllheli Corporation at the end of the season, but they did not take up his offer. He then sold the assets, and the Corporation removed the tracks during the winter of 1928/29.
For many years a holiday camp run by Butlins operated a few miles from Pwllheli at Pen-y-chain. During the Second World War it became a naval camp, HMS Glendower, and it operated a hospital for wounded servicemen at Brynberyl on the Pwllheli to Caernarfon road two miles out of town. After the war, Butlins reestablished the holiday camp. The camp, now renamed Hafan y Môr ("Haven of the sea"), has been redeveloped and is now run by the Haven group.
Pwllheli is the main town of the Llŷn Peninsula, and has a range of shops and other services. As a local railhead with a market every Wednesday, the town is a gathering point for the population of the whole peninsula.
Ysgol Glan y Môr was formed by the merger in 1969 of the former Pwllheli Grammar school and the Frondeg Secondary Modern School, at Penrallt and Upper Ala Road, respectively, to form a comprehensive school based at two separate sites in the town.
The junior pupils (year 1 and year 2) were located at the Penrallt site and the senior pupils (year 3 and upwards) at a new complex in Cardiff Road. This new school was subsequently expanded to accommodate all pupils under the Ysgol Glan y Môr name.
The Penrallt site was later redeveloped as the Pwllheli campus of Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor. The façade of the main building of the old grammar school was retained and incorporated into the design of the current college buildings. Thus the 'old school' is readily seen from the town square (Y Maes) as it has been since the former Pwllheli County School moved to Penrallt in the early 20th century.
- Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor (Mostly Welsh medium)
Pwllheli railway station is the terminus of the Cambrian Coast Railway running to Machynlleth with services continuing to Shrewsbury and Birmingham. The station is operated and served by Arriva Trains Wales. The rail link to Caernarfon via the Carnarvonshire Railway was axed under the Beeching cuts and closed in December 1964.
Bus services in the town are operated by Arriva Buses Wales and Nefyn Coaches and serve most of the town as well as the rest of the wider Llŷn Peninsula area. Clynnog & Trefor run services to Caernarfon where connections can be made to Bangor and the wider North Wales area. Pwllheli bus station is situated in the town centre.
Pwllheli has a large section of the Wales Coast Path along its shoreline.
- Plas Bodegroes, formerly a Michelin starred restaurant
- Two Blue Flag beaches
- Penarth Fawr a 15th-century house
- Hafan y Môr, a former Butlins holiday camp now operated by Haven
- Pwllheli Market
- Clwb Golff Pwllheli - a par 69 links and parkland golf course
- Pwllheli Sailing Club - frequently hosts national and international events
- Neuadd Dwyfor - theatre and cinema located in Penlan Street
Pwllheli hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1925 and 1955, as well as an unofficial National Eisteddfod event in 1875.
According to the United Kingdom Census 2001, 80% of the population speak Welsh, with the highest percentage of Welsh speakers in the 10-14 age bracket, 94%.
Sport and leisure
The town has two beaches, South Beach and Glan-y-Môr. South Beach stretches from Gimblet Rock, across the Promenade and West End, towards Penrhos and Llanbedrog. Glan-y-Môr Beach is located on the eastern side of the river mouth and runs for 3 miles from behind the marina workshops and out towards Penychain (holiday camp).
- Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Parish Headcounts : Gwynedd Retrieved 14 January 2010
- Cyngor Gwynedd
- Davies, John; Jenkins, Nigel (2008). The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. p. 719. ISBN 978-0-7083-1953-6.
- "A glance back at history with Luned". BBC. 2006-01-17. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
Another relaxing place in Pwllheli is Gimblet Rock. It is a rock which stands on the Southerly side of the town. It was once a huge rock, but was used to make setts for the streets in England.
- Narrow Gauge Railways in North Caernarvonshire, Vol 1 - West, (1981), J. I. C. Boyd, pp 211-221, Oakwood Press, ISBN 978-0-85361-273-5
- "Hafan-Y-Môr, Haven website". 2009-11-26.
- walesonline news
- Pwllheli.info from the Croeso Group of Websites
- Your online guide to the Llŷn Peninsula, of which Pwllheli is the unofficial capital
- Marina website
- Memories of Butlin's at Pwllheli
- www.geograph.co.uk : photos of Pwllheli and surrounding area
- www.cimwch.com The Pwllheli sections of this site offer a collection of old postcards and photographs of Pwllheli and its fishing fleet
- www.heneb.co.uk Contains much information on local Welsh history and development. The link takes you to the Pwllheli, Deneio and Penmaen page
- list of ships built at Pwllheli at Rhiw.com