May 31, 2021 4 min read
House names in Wales, in the Welsh language are part of a very distinctive, cultural and linguistic heritage within the United Kingdom. The Welsh language is one of the oldest living languages in Europe and many house names together with the names of farms, features in the countryside and other geographical landmarks form part of this rich heritage. Many of the names listed below appear in our home county of Pembrokeshire and nearby Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire.
Welsh house names are often related to the original use of the property, for example the Old Mill, the Bakery, or the Vicarage when the original use of the property has long changed into a domestic dwelling. They are also often related to the location or a particular geographic feature such as the location of the property, Glan yr Afon (Riverbank), Glan y Mor (Seaside) or Bryn Heulog (Sunny Hill). Lastly, many houses in Wales are named after a description or even an aspiration such as Heddfan (Peaceful place), Hyfrydle (Beautiful place) or Cludfan or Ty Clud (Cosy place or Cosy house) - Ty is Welsh for House..
In a recent survey carried out for FelinFach, the most popular house names in Wales are Cartref and Bwthyn (and its derivatives). Cartref means ‘home’ in Welsh and Bwthyn is Cottage. The name Bwthyn comes with many variations for example, Y Bwthyn (The Cottage), Y Bwthyn Bach (The small cottage), Y Bwthyn Pren (The Wooden Cottage), Y Bwthyn Gwyn (The White Cottage) or Bwthyn Onnen (Ash Cottage), Bwthyn y Bugail (Shepherd’s Cottage) or Bwthyn Derwen (Oak Cottage) – the variations are almost endless!
Firstly, a short explanation!!! The Welsh alphabet is different to the English version. In particular, some letters look like two (Ff, Ll, Rh) but they are one letter in Welsh. As an example, if you were completing a crossword with the word Llan, the Ll would go into one box - Llan is three letters in Welsh. (Click here for more on the Welsh Alphabet)
There can also be some debate as to exactly how many letters are in the Welsh alphabet, principally around the 'borrowing of letters from English, such as J. We have used the 28 letters of the alphabet excluding the latter J!!
These names are a mix of the common, the beautiful and the unusual some may even be cute Welsh house names. There are many, many alternatives but here is our first version of Welsh house names and their meanings, one for each letter in the Welsh alphabet.
|A||(ynys) Afallon||Avalon Island - island featured in the Arthurian Legend. Arthur's last resting place.|
|D||Derwen Gam||Crooked Oak - Derwen Gam was possibly the first village in Wales comprising of Holiday Homes only.|
|E||Esgair Llyn||Hill Ridge by a lake (song by Dafydd Iwan)|
|F||Fron Haul||Sunny Hillside|
|G||Glas y Dorlan||Kingfisher|
|H||Hafod and Hendre||Summer and Winter Dwellings as the livestock were moved from summer to winter grazing|
|I||Isgoed||Below the wood|
|Ll||Llwyn Onn||Ash Grove|
|M||Mumur y Coed||Whispering in the trees|
|N||Nant y Mynydd||Brook from the mountain - and also a famous Welsh nursery rhyme of the same name|
|P||Pentigili||All the way (name of house near St David's, all the way to the end of the land|
|R||Rallt (yr Allt)||Hill|
|Rh||Rhiwlas||Green hillside (Glas usually means Blue but when it is describing countryside or vegetation, it means Green!)|
|S||Swn y Mor||Sound of the sea|
|T||Ty, Ty Ni, Ty Mawr, Ty Gwyn||House, Our house, Big house, White house|
|U||Uwchgoed||Above the woods|
Our company, FelinFach Natural Textiles is located in the heart of the Preseli area of Pembrokeshire near to Boncath. We design Welsh blankets and the iconic Welsh Tapestry blankets which are traditionally woven at Welsh mills. We also design and make natural hand dyed yarn, cotton, silk and wool scarves and other handmade products. We also offer Welsh tartans, Sheepskin Rugs, Gift Cards and tools and books for crafters and knitters - Cocoknits, Laine, Amirisu and Making to name a few! Lastly, workshops on hand dyeing with 100% natural dyes in the purpose designed FelinFach Dye Studio. We are a proud supporter of the Campaign for Wool, All Things Wales and Global Welsh.
Last update 19th June 2021