Gower Peninsula


Pwll Du Bay




Pwll Du ( Black Pool) is the favourite place of many Gower people. As it is one of Gower’s most inaccessible bays its enchanting beauty remains unknown to the majority of visitors to the Peninsula.

The poem “Ballad of the Equinox” by Vernon Watkins hints at the atmosphere!

Pwll Du – an eternal place!
The black stream under the stones
Carries the bones of the dead,
The starved, the talkative bones.


A walk through the Bishopston Valley starting at St,Teilo’s church Bishopston leads through shady meadows and woodland to the bay of Pwll Du. Here the stream widens and curves as it reaches the sea.

Two alternatives routes are by way of the east and west cliff paths both involving a steep descent, but for those who are able it is well worth the extra mile!

Starting at the National Trust car park follow the path passing the bungalows on the left and Hunts Farm until the road ends. Turn right to descend a steep woodland path which leads to two large houses and a few cottages in a most idyllic if isolated location. Cross the wall of smooth grey pebbles to see the sea!

Alternatively starting at Pyle corner Bishopston continue on foot through Pwll Du lane which soon becomes a single track road until you reach the National Trust sign and a gate on your right. Follow the cliff path which descends steeply. This route offers stunning views over the bay.


Pwll Du with its natural harbour and secluded location was the ideal location for Smugglers. In the eighteenth century armed vessels smuggled tobacco and tea from Ireland and brandy and wine from France. The next small bay along the coast is tellingly called Brandy Cove! The contraband was carried by horses through the Bishopston Valley up to Great Highway and Little Highway farms in nearby Pennard. By the 1850’s the law enforcement officers finally managed to eliminate smuggling and the industries of Limestone quarrying, fishing and farming became the main sources of income in the area. Lime was used extensively in the area for whitewashing and damp proofing local cottages and also cleaning outdoor chamber pots!

Lime from the quarry at Pwll Du was exported to Devon and with the number of ships landing at the bay rising to dozens per day the need for accommodation and refreshment meant that there were now two inns at Pwll Du – The Ship and The Beaufort. As theses industries declined the Inns lost customers and became private houses. They have changed hands several times over the years as their sheer inaccessibility sometimes outweighed their appeal. From time to time one or other of the houses is advertised for sale with a local estate agent!


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