View From Llanmadoc Hill
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|List of places: UK • Wales •|
Gower (Welsh: Gŵyr) is a peninsula within the county area of Swansea on the south west coast of Wales, containing over twenty villages and communities. Gower was part of the ancient lordship of Gower.
The village of Bishopston is 6 miles (9.5 km) west-southwest of the centre of Swansea. Forming part of the Bishopston ward, it is one of the largest villages on Gower. Bishopston has its own rugby club, South Gower RFC, and its own primary and comprehensive schools. Local beaches include Brandy Cove, Caswell Bay and Pwll Du.
Bishopston Church, located at the head of Bishopston Valley is dedicated to St Teilo who gives the village its Welsh name.
The village of Gowerton is about 4 miles north west of Swansea city centre. It is referred to as the gateway to Gower. Gowerton's original name was Ffosfelin. The village falls within the Gowerton electoral ward of Swansea.
In 1980, the Welsh National Eisteddfod was hosted on the 'Elba' area of the village, the Eisteddfod stone (Gorsedd stones) is located on the round-about opposite the garage on the road to Penclawdd.
Ilston has its own community council. The population of the community in the United Kingdom Census 2001 was 538. The name of the village is thought to have originated from Saint Illtud. The village is home to a brook, parish church and a National Trust limestone quarry. The community is surrounded by common land used as grazing land, woodlands and fields. Coordinates:
See also Ilston Book
Llangennith has a scattering of houses and one pub - the Kings Head. It sits at a crossroads in northwest Gower. Moor Lane, departing westwards, leads to a caravan park adjacent to Rhossili Bay; and Burrows Lane, departing to the north, leads to a caravan park overlooking Broughton Bay.
Llanmadoc is in the north west of Gower. St. Madoc's Church lies in the village. Madoc, a Celtic saint, is believed to have founded a church in the 6th century. The 13th century building was restored in 1865.
Llanmorlais is in the Penclawdd ward of Swansea. The name Llanmorlais is not a true Llan place name. The village was previously known as Glan Morlais which refers to the banks of the Morlais Stream.
Llanrhidian is in the Gower ward.
The village church is the St. Rhidian & St. Illtyd Church. The church is a 13th Century building with the present chancel and tower added in the 14th Century. The village gets its name from St. Rhidian. Rhidian is probably a corruption of 'Tryrulhid', who was St. Illtyd's wife.
Parkmill is midway between the villages of Penmaen and Ilston, lying to the north of the A4118, the main South Gower road between Swansea and Port Eynon, in a wooded area, at the bottom of a valley. Parkmill once lay within a Medieval deer park, Parc le Breos, which was established in the 1221–32 CE by John de Braose, Marcher Lord of Gower.
Penclawdd is in the north of the peninsula, within the Penclawdd electoral ward. It is one of the larger villages on the Gower Peninsula. Part of the village is perched on a high location, enjoying panoramic views over the Loughor estuary and surrounding Gower countryside, while the main part of the village stretches along the edge of the estuary. Being so close to an estuary, Penclawdd is thriving with wildlife. It is plentiful in birdlife and with wild horses that roam the estuary. Penclawdd is most famous for its local cockle industry which goes back for many years to Roman times.
Pennard is about 7 miles south west of Swansea city centre. Pennard falls within the Pennard ward of Swansea. It has a church, a primary school and a golf course. It contains the ruins of Pennard Castle.
Penmaen is a scatter of houses around the A4118 road at the foot of the slopes of Cefn Bryn. There are a number of archaeological sites in the area. It contains Parc-Le-Breos, a 19th century hunting lodge that was once the deer park of William de Breos, Lord of Gower, but today serves as a hotel and pony trekking centre.
Penmaen Castle began as a small timber castle. Later on, it was replaced by a stone structure. The dates of the structures are not known but the ringwork and timber gateway is accepted as being Norman. The timber gateway was destroyed by fire and later replaced by a drystone walled gate tower. It is believed that the replacement could either have been built by a Norman or the Welsh lord Rhys Gryg ap Rhys, who had destroyed all the castles in Gower in 1217.
A neighbouring village, Overton, is to the north west of Port Eynon and footpaths from Overton lead to Overton Mere, a stony and rocky beach. Also, the village of Horton is at the east end of the main beach, approximately half a mile from Port Eynon.
Reynoldston has its own elected community council. It has one of the longest functioning community broadband schemes in the UK, which has started in 2003, and has continued despite the availability of ADSL. 
Rhossili is on the southwestern tip of the peninsula. Since the 1970s it has fallen within the boundaries of Swansea. The village has a community council and is part of the Gower parliamentary constituency, and the Gower electoral ward.
Slade is situated north-west of Oxwich Bay. Points of interest include Eastern Slade Farm, a dairy farm and campsite. The nearby Slade Bay includes a small beach and is a breeding ground for fish such as rays, dogfish, Common dab and bass.
Three Crosses (Welsh: Y Crwys) is at the north-eastern end of the peninsula. Situated at a crossroad on the road from Swansea city centre (10 km) to Penclawdd (5 km), it grew up in the early 19th century to serve small shallow collieries in the area. These collieries disappeared by the early years of the 20th century, and since then Three Crosses has developed as a large dormitory village for Swansea. For administration, it is part of Llanrhidian Higher community, in the City and County of Swansea.
Upper Killay has its own elected community council. The Clyne Valley cycle track passes though the village. Upper Killay is considered the gateway to the Gower Peninsula when coming from the east. The main road through the village passes over a cattle grid to the west, which marks the start of Fairwood Common. The village has its own rugby team called Swansea Uplands RFC. Their clubhouse and playing fields are located to the south of the village on Fairwood Common. Notable residents include Welsh filmmaker Andrew Jones.