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Penmaen Village

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Penmaen Village

Location:

9 miles west of Swansea on the A118, or a 10 minute walk from the B&B.

Amenities:

Car parking:

National Trust car park – Turn right at the brow of the hill when you see the church and green on your right. Drive 100m and cross the cattle grid - Parking is immediately on the right.

North Hills car park – Turn left at the brow of the hill when you see the church and green on your right. Follow the lane 200m until it ends at north hills farm. Car parking on the left.

Tor Bay car park- follow the A118 past the church to the western end of the village (nearly 1 mile.) You have a choice of 2 car parks - When you see a tarmac lane on the right there is a car park immediately after the cattle grid on the left. When you see this turning there is also a car park on the left 50m further along the main road, this car park does get full quickly though.

Things to Do and See:

Walk to Three Cliffs Bay:

You can begin a walk to Three Cliffs Bay from here. Park at the National Trust car park (see above.) Follow this link to our Gower walks page for a printable walk to follow.

Walk to Tor Bay:

You can begin a walk to Tor Bay from here. Park at Tor Bay car park (see above.)

More About Penmaen

The origins of the name are Welsh. Pen, meaning top, head, or maybe important; and Maen, meaning stone.

The area has a particularly rich archaeological past and some of the richest and most varied scenery in the peninsular.

In the Eastern part of the village is Penmaen church which is thought to have been built to replace an abandoned church located on Penmaen Burrows, which was besanded in the early 14th Century. The new church is dedicated to John the Baptist - Look out for the fine stained glass window depicting the Saint in the north wall and a second depicting Saint Paul . Also in the north wall is a gravestone dated 1623 which was discovered beneath the church altar during extensive restoration work In 1854. It reads:

“Here resteth the body of David the sonne of David the sonne of Richard the sonne of Nicholas the sonne of Rys the sonne of Leison the sonne of Rys the sonne of Morgan Ychan the sonne of Morgan the sonne of Cradocke the sonne of Iustin ap Gwrgan Sometime Lord of Glamorgan interred the 21 day of August in the year of our blessed redemption 1623.”

 If you take the time to walk to Penmaen Burrows, you will find the earth banks that are at the site of a Norman timber castle. Comprising a ringwork typical of the 12th century March, excavation in 1960 has revealed a drystone-walled hall with curved ends and evidence for a timber tower which at some time was burned down. There are other traces nearby of the Norman settlers such as that of a large artificial rabbit warren. Known as the Pillow Mound, built when rabbits were first introduced to Britain by Norman Invaders, the warrens provided the villagers with an important source of food. If you follow the paths into the centre of the headland, you will happen across the Megalithic Tomb known as Pen-y-Crug. It is a large communal tomb of, what is believed to be, the first community to settle on the peninsula some 5,500 years ago.

To delve back even deeper in time, high in the great spur of rock that forms Tor head are a small series of chambered passages that lead deep into the cliff. Known as Leather’s Hole, the bones of both Mammoth and Rhinoceros have been discovered here. Given that this cave is believed to have never possessed easy access, these bones must have been carried into this cave by scavenging wolves and hyenas.

If you fancy exploring Penmaen burrows why not follow this link to out Gower walks page for a good walking route which takes in all of the sites.