Our self catering holiday cottages are a mile from the village of Alltwen. The name Alltwen means “white slope”. The white refers to the May blossom of the native hawthorn, recognised as the herald of warmer weather. The village lies under Craig Alltwen, which gives fine views in all directions and is clearly visible from the fields behind the self catering cottages. You may wish to walk from our holiday cottage accommodation over Craig Alltwen where there are great views of the valley below.
Until local industry developed in the 19th century, there were only a few scattered cottages and farmsteads, but by the mid 19th centruy growth was rapid and the population had increased markedly. In addition to coal mining, stone was quarried for flags and roofing and transported by tramway.
David Thomas, the “Father of the Anthracite Iron Industry” was educated in Alltwen as a child in about 1800. Thomas later worked at Ynyscedwyn iron works and in 1837 pioneered the use of anthractie instead of bituminous coal usually used. Later he went to the USA and founded the Thomas Iron Company which became the largest anthracite iron producer in the USA. The process accounted for half the prodcution in the USA in 1856, amounting to 826,000 tonnes.
Much later, the poet Gwenallt (D. Gwenallt Jones) was also educated here and wrote later of the enforced idleness of men between the two World Wars.
The author J.E. Morgan (“Hirfryn”) who wrote one of the two histories of Pontardawe and District in 1911 also lived here.
Alltwen was also the home village of Ronnie James, British Lightweight Champion in the 1940s and world title challenger in 1946.
The T.V. mast to the left of Pontardawe marks the high ridge of Craig Alltwen, the name given to the hill that shelters Alltwen from northerly winds. At its top is a TV transmitter, clearly visible from the fields behind our self catering holiday cottages.
The Rev. D.G. Jones, a Calvinistic Methodist Minister in Pontardawe and Trebanos, wrote:
Craig siriol, uwch creigiau sieryd – a swyn
Am ser pell a glanbryn:
Craig Alltwen, uwchben y byd,
I niwloedd yn anwylyd.
Cheerful crag, above talking rocks, casting enchantment
On far stars and pure hills:
Alltwen crag, above the world,
The beloved in mistiness.
The Saints Pulpit (“Pulpud y Sant”) once stood on the top of Alltwen crag. This was loose rock onto which a Mormon would climb and preach at half past ten at night, frightening the local residents and persuading the more supersticious that the Day of Judgement was approaching.
Alltwen Self Catering Holiday Accommodation
If you are seeking a hotel, bed and breakfast or self catering holiday cottage accommodation in or near to Alltwen, then please take a look at our holiday cottages which are situated on a farm just outside the village of Alltwen. Gellinudd, Rhos and Pontardawe are also within easy reach. Our cottages are within a mile of these three villages. If you are working in the area, you will be pleased to know that our cottages are ideal for the business traveller and are equipped with free wireless interent.