Place Names and Field Names

For information on Llanllwni place names and field names contact:


Place-names are essentially labels which distinguish one part of the earth’s surface from another. Place-names are the most meaningful information on any map: the only elements that cannot be identified by a symbol or from imagery.

And place-names do not exist in a vacuum. In the modern world place-names affect the business community, property, planning, the environment, the emergency services, tourism, the national census – as well as local and national politics. Place-names record our very being and identity and as such should be treated with respect and added to only after careful and meaningful consideration.

Only the arrogant and insensitive would ever consider breaking the bond of belonging which pertains to a place-name. But it is a lack of sensitivity which can even be discerned locally. It is part of our duty of care to ensure that our own community does not become a repository for frivolous and irrelevant forms.

Field-names express our cultural crafting of the land and of our community. Field-names are our unwritten history, the accumulation of practical experience, experimentation, care, invention, innovation, subtlety and even upheaval extending over many generations.

‘Milltir sgwar’, ‘bro’, ‘cynefin’ are all part of the lexicon used to define the places that are a part of our identity, that belong to us and which have influenced our being. Part of our overall responsibility to conservation is a duty of care to ensure the survival of place-names and field-names. Milltir Sgwâr provided an opportunity to explore some of the labels which reflect the long and fruitful association of the parish of Llanllwni, with the land, topography and toponymy of our community.

Llanllwni Primary School realises the importance of regular formal sessions for pupils on local place-names and local history. These areas have been successfully integrated into the curriculum and the school’s achievement has been recognised nationally. Any community project of this sort derives great benefit from the support of the local school. Many of the pupils come from an agricultural background and live with names that reflect the work done in the classroom. Receipt of the Schools Heritage Award was national recognition for this area of the school’s activity.

A further national award has followed – this time sponsored by the Eisteddfod – and the work was part of a national display exhibited at the National Eisteddfod of Wales. The work in Llanllwni was also supported by the Ordinance Survey who provided detailed maps for the school as the work progressed in the classroom.

Some names

Y Wig
Gwig and wig derive from English (as in Chiswick), meaning ‘farm, settlement’. It’s probable that ‘village’ was the original meaning of wig and gwig in Welsh too, and that coedwig was the woodland around the village.