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Welsh place names

If you look at a map of Wales, you'll see a lot of similar place names. For example, Aber appears at the beginning of many of place names. There's Abertawe (Swansea), Abermawr, Aberfan, Aberystwyth... 
We've listed some other common prefixes below along with their meanings to help you understand the story behind them:

Aber: the mouth or confluence of a river or small stream. It is usually followed by the name of the river eg. Aberystwyth: mouth of the river Ystwyth

Betws: a house of prayer. Usually followed by the location of the prayer house or its founder’s name. eg. Betws-y-Coed: prayer house in the woods

Blaen: the source of a river, or the head of a valley. eg. Blaenau Ffestiniog: heads of the valleys in the land of Ffestiniog

Llan: a church or parish. Usually followed by the name of the saint to whom the church is dedicated. eg. Llandudno: Church of St Tudno 

Bryna hill
Bryncastellcastle hill
Bwlcha mountain pass
Capela chapel
Capel Dewichapel of David, the Patron Saint of Wales   
Castell Coch     red castle
Caer/Gaera fort
Coeda wood
Ffynnona well or spring
Ffynnon TafTaff’s well
Glana river bank or shore
Glyna glen
Hafoda summer dwelling or a summer pasture
LlanddewiChurch of St David
Llyna lake or pool
Mynydda mountain
Nanta stream
Pentop or end
Pentrea village
Ponta bridge
Trea homestead or town
a house


One of our best known place names is:

Phonetically: "Llan-vire-pooll-guin-gill-go-ger-u-queern-drob-ooll-llandus-ilio-gogo-goch"

It translates as;
The Church of St Mary in the hollow of the white hazel near the rapid whirlpool and the church of St Tysilio near a red cave. 


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