Welsh Place Names

A drive in the hills

Welsh Place Names

Have you ever wondered what the Welsh place names around the Brecon Beacons mean? Many of the place names have common beginnings which have a particular meaning.

  • Aber
    • Means ‘river’ or ‘estuary’ including our very own Aberyscir
  • Betws
    • An Anglo-Saxon , Old English word for a prayer house. Betws-Y-Coed is probably the best known though it is in the other Welsh Mountain National Park Snowdonia.
  • Caer
    • Means ‘fort’ or ‘castle’. Caerleon is a town in Newport. It is of archaeological importance, being the site of a notable Roman legionary fortress, Isca Augusta, and an Iron Age hillfort.
  • Cwm
    • Means ‘valley’  and the Welsh name for Crickhowell is Cwmdu
  • LLan
    • Denotes a place where there is a church. Llanfihangel Nant Bran is the next valley actually contains 2 examples as the other is ‘Nant’ or steam.
  • Nant
    • Means ‘stream’. As you can imagine there are quite a few of these around here.
  • Pont
    • Means ‘bridge’. So our own little ancient bridge is called Pont Y Yscir.
  • Rhyd
    • A place with a ford.
Aberyscir Coach House
Aberyscir Pont Y Yscir Bridge

Some of our place names are quite difficult to pronounce even if you can spell them.  Also Aberyscir can be pronounced in 2 slightly different ways.

There is a helpful website where you can listern to the place names being spoken. It is being added to all the time but amazingly Aberyscir is already on there.


Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottage

Aberyscir Coach House – Brecon Beacons Guide