Have you ever wondered what the name of your local village or town means? This is the place to find out.
Many place names have existed for hundreds of years and often the reasons why the names exist have been forgotten. Welsh place names are often made up of a geographical description of their location, or relate to a church or some other significant building in the area.
Place names in the County Borough can be roughly divided into
four "classes" or "types" of names in terms
of their English and/or Welsh names. The first three types are
relatively straightforward, the final type is a little more
Welsh name onlyIn cases such as Ynys-ddu, Llanbradach or Ystrad Mynach there are no English versions of the place name in existence or in common usage;
English name onlyThe opposite is true for Oakdale, Markham or Crosskeys for example where there are no Welsh versions of the place name in existence, or a Welsh name is no longer in common usage;
English and Welsh namesThis third group are settlements where there are names in common usage in both languages such as Blackwood/Coed Duon or Newbridge/Trecelyn;
The 4th classificationincludes all those settlements where the English “version” is not a translation as in 3 above, but is rather a corrupted spelling of a Welsh name - these include Caerphilly/Caerffili, Crumlin/Crymlyn and Abertysswg/Abertyswg. In many cases, early mapmakers attempted to spell Welsh words using phonetic English and English grammar, which has resulted in these forms of names appearing all over Wales.
In no case however, does the County borough council translate a settlement name, either way, where none existed previously - this would only be done after some form of consultation exercise was held with the residents of an area to allow them to decide for themselves. To date, no such exercise has ever taken place. Some organisations and individuals do translate place names and some of their suggestions are listed in the relevant entry.
The settlement list is the most up-to-date one that the council has regarding place names and their meanings, but there are some gaps in the information the council holds. If we have omitted your settlement, if you think we have made a mistake or if you have any further information regarding these place names, please contact us and we will update the information.
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