• Gower Beaches
  • Gower Beaches
  • Gower Beaches
  • Gower Beaches

Pwlldu Bay

Pwlldu is one of Gower's more remote and sheltered beaches. Protected from rough currents by the curious rock formation, the Needles, at the western end of the bay, Pwlldu possesses one of the safest bathing environments on the peninsula. That said, its maritime history records as heavy a toll of shipwrecks and nautical disasters as any of Gower's more notoriously treacherous stretches of coastline.

One wreck in particular is worth mentioning in detail here. The Caesar, wrecked here on November 28th 1760, had such and impact on the area that both the name of the ship and the tragic fate of it's crew are recorded on Ordnance Survey and other detailed maps of the area for posterity.

During the mid 18th Century, it was not uncommon for the Navy to scour Gower and other rural communities around the British coast with the aim of press ganging labourers, farm workers and quarry men into its service - a practice that the Government actually encouraged as a secure method of recruiting men into the naval forces. This involved the virtual legal kidnapping of men by officers of the Navy. These poor souls would then be secured by battening them below deck of the naval ship, ready to be taken off to war. The Caesar was an Admiralty tender ship on such a mission, en route from Bristol to Plymouth when rough sea

conditions on the channel drove it against the headland of Pwlldu. Although a few officers of the ship escaped with their lives, around 90 press ganged men all imprisoned below deck on the ship, were not so lucky.

The following morning, news of the incident spread through Pwlldu, Bishopston and Pennard, attracting hundreds of villagers to the spot, now known as Caesar's Hole, in the hope of salvaging some precious cargo from the wreck. Despite their rather mercenary reason for attending the wreck, the villagers did drag the wretched bodies of the press ganged men from the ship's hold to give them a Christian funeral in the nearest gully where the soil had enough depth to commit such a large-scale burial. The communal grave was then marked with a ceremonial circle of limestone rocks, which remains to this day. The site is today known as Grave's End.

Grave's End is reputed to possess an unwelcoming atmosphere, as though it were haunted by the awful fate of the poor men who, having first lost their freedom, then lost their lives in the most dreadful of circumstances. The area is not often visited, it's cheerless ambience and its difficulty of access both vying for responsibility for this being one of the most lonely spots on the Gower Peninsula.

  • Gower Beaches : Pwlldu Bay
    Gower Beaches : Pwlldu Bay

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