• Gower Villages


The remote village of Llangennith, little served by local transport and now mainly the haunt of surfers, was once the liveliest and most notorious village on the Gower Peninsula. Weaving, music-making, prize-fighting and cock-fighting were all prevalent here and most people in the village were connected to smuggling in some form or another. Always first on the scene of any local shipwreck, especially on Rhossili Bay, the village seemed to be in perpetual feud with their neighbours over any booty that might have found itself wrecked along the shorelines here.

Life in such a remote area as Llangennith produced an independent, perhaps arrogant people who considered themselves apart, not only from the rest of the peninsula, but from the rest of Britain as well. During World War I, when the government decided to introduce the daylight saving measure of putting clocks forward an hour during summer months, the villagers here had to hold a public meeting to vote whether they should follow suit. The outcome was that they should, but only on a one month trial.

Up until fairly recent history, Llangennith used to hold the 'Mapsant' - a 3 day celebration commencing each July 5th, St. Cennydd's Day. Lighting a huge bonfire, people from all over Gower would gather to dance around its flames, singing and dancing and drinking 'white pot' - a local drink of flour, milk, currants and other ingredients boiled together in commemoration of the milk that nurtured St. Cennydd from his 'titty bell'.

Near the village, some 600 metres from the church, stands the ruined medieval village of Coety Green. Now abandoned and overgrown, the remains of at least 6 houses can be seen scattered around the green.

The Gower Nightingale, Phil Tanner, the famed singer who spent many an hour outside the King's Head public house practicing his art, is buried in the churchyard as well as St. Cennydd himself, whose remains are believed to lay somewhere beneath the church foundations.

The northern half of Rhossili Bay is referred to locally as the Llangennith Sands and is popular with campers and surfers alike. Offering a fabulous view over Rhossili, south to Worm's Head and north to Burry Holmes, this is the best area on the whole of Gower for both surfing and wind-surfing, and is the first place to pick up the swell of the Atlantic

Ocean before it drives through the Bristol Channel to the rest of the Gower beaches. The remains of the paddle steamer "City of Bristol" is a feature here - its metal carcass a continued memorial to the many who lost their lives aboard when the ship grounded here in 1840.

  • The Gower : Llangennith
    The Gower : Llangennith

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