a sketch by Robert Davies
Welcome to the
website for Gwersyll Cwmwrdu!
you require any additional information please telephone Barbara and
Dorothy Hughes on (01685) 872775
or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
is a permanent self-catering hostel and camping centre, mid way between
Brechfa and Gwernogle, in
a forestry area fringing Llanybyther
Mountains (Ordnance Survey ref: SN
Cwmwrdu is a registered
charity (regd. charity no.: 525067).
Cwmwrdu is situated
in an area of great historical interest,
which is probably why it has inspired poetry
to be written about it by at least two well-known
Bardic figures. One of these, William
Thomas (Bardic name: Gwilym Marles) was
the great uncle of Dylan Thomas.
Here is an extract
from his poem, 'Mynwent Cwmwr Du' (published
in the Oxford Book of Welsh Verse):
grwydra haf awelon pêr
lathraidd dderw'r allt sy draw,
dalen yn cyd-odli'n fwyn
gainc pob llwyn â'r ffrwd
Ac weithiau yn y gaeaf
Ysguba'r corwynt trwy
sweet breezes of summer wander
the stately oak trees over there
leaf harmonising gently and
tune of each branch of the torrent
And sometimes in the
depth of winter
wind brushes through the vale
The other of these
is Rev. D. Jacob Davies. As well as
being a Unitarian minister and poet, he
was a broadcaster on TV and radio, and was
well known for being a great humorist.
he visited Cwmwrdu in August 1961 a 'mysterious'
list of commandments appeared on one of
the walls. Its humorous content makes
it likely that he was the author!
The first of these
Thou shalt not walk on ye paving brickes
to ye Soakage Pit, as the worms as do live
and have theyre abode thereunder do object.
How he acquired
this 'inside information' from the worms
we cannot comment on; however, this is definitely
a place where nature, in all its wonder,
cannot be ignored. There is an unspoilt
natural beauty to this area; it is a place
where, when you stand outside and close
your eyes, nature seems to speak to you.
The sound of the wind in the trees,
the birds and the nearby Cloidach (Clydach)
river lull your mind into a feeling of tranquillity.
The author of the
40th Anniversary book for Gwersyll Cwmwrdu,
Robert Davies, sums up this feeling with
say that we create the world with our minds.
For many now part of their world are
the dreams they dreamt in the great dark
valley of Cwm mawr du.
Cwmwrdu means in
English 'the Great, Dark Valley'. As
you will see when you look at the photographs
of Cwmwrdu there is nothing dark about it;
the phrase is more likely to imply that
it is a place for restful retreat. We
would not argue with that! But it
is also a place where you are free to indulge
in less restful activities. It is
ideally situated for walkers, families who
'just want to get away from it all' (you
won't get a mobile phone signal!), with
the added advantage that, if you crave the
company of other people, the nearest general
store is less than a mile away in Brechfa,
where you will also find a pub, some houses
and a public telephone!
The centre itself
has all the basic facilities. The
bunkbed accommodation consists of two dormitories
(sleeping 8 and 10 respectively) with room
for another 4 adults in the gallery above
the dining area. An electric fan heater
is available to provide heating for both
dormitories. There are two shower-and-toilet rooms
(i.e. ladies and gents) and a large open
kitchen/dining area. Guests are required
to bring their own bedding and towels, first
aid equipment, and £1 coins for the
The meter supplies the
power points for any electrical equipment
the centre has as well as any equipment
you may wish to bring with you. However,
the centre's lighting is free.
The centre provides
cooking utensils, plates, cups and cutlery.
The kitchen has a Calor Gas cooker,
microwave, kettle and a large worksurface
for food preparation. The dining area
has a table which will easily accommodate
8-10 people. This communal dining/cooking
area is heated by an electric fan heater
and a wood/coal-burning stove.
due to fire regulations we cannot store
fuel for the fire at the centre when it
is unoccupied, so guests are asked to purchase
fuel for the stove and bring it with them
if they wish to make use of the stove.
fee is £4.50 per person per night;
however a minimum charge of £20 may
be payable. To make bookings and check
payment arrangements, please contact Barbara
and Dorothy Hughes on (01685) 872775.