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This article is about a village. For the hill of this name northwest of Merthyr Tydfil, see Penmoelallt.
Onllwyn is located in Neath Port Talbot
 Onllwyn shown within Neath Port Talbot
Population 1,194 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid reference SN842102
Principal area Neath Port Talbot
Ceremonial county West Glamorgan
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town NEATH
Postcode district SA10
Dialling code 01639
Police South Wales
Fire Mid and West Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Neath
Welsh Assembly Neath
Councillors Ali Thomas (Labour)
List of places
Neath Port Talbot

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Onllwyn (Welsh pronunciation: [ˈɔnɬʊɨn]) is a small village in Neath Port Talbot, Wales, near Seven Sisters.


First developed by the Romans, local village Banwen is confined to the Roman Road of Sarn Helen. There are two Roman forts and the remains of a Roman Road within the community.

Legend has it that St Patrick was born here and taken to Ireland[citation needed] after the area was raided by Irish raiders. A celebration and a march is held on March 17 to mark the event.

With over 200 years of coal mining behind it, the parish was once home to five pits that employed hundreds of men. Now all that remains is a coal washery and coal processing plant. On the route of the former Neath and Brecon Railway, a freight only routes exists to the coal washery from the South Wales Main Line at Neath.

Onllwyn was involved in several twentieth-century coal mining strikes which has brought the town media notoriety. The political, labour and cultural connections between Onllwyn and the American coal mining region known as Appalachia grew into an in-person cultural exchange in the 1970s. Musical acts were enjoyed at Onllwyn Miners' Welfare Hall in 1976, including a performance by The Strange Creek Singers featuring American musicians Hazel Dickens, Alice Gerrard, Mike Seeger, Tracy Schwartz, and Lamar Grier. The exchange was facilitated and filmed by Helen Lewis and John Gaventa.[2]

Onllwyn was also the setting for Pride, the award-winning 2014 LGBT-related historical comedy-drama film written by Stephen Beresford and directed by Matthew Warchus. The movie chronicles true story of a group of lesbian and gay activists who raised money to help families affected by the British miners' strike in 1984.


Commanding views of the Brecon Beacons, the now semi-rural location is a popular area for retired people to live. With a Community College "Dove Workshops" and village shop, Post office, Pub, Association football & Rugby union team, it offers a sense of community.

The area's residents often refer to the environs under the generic of Banwen, as it is easier to pronounce for non-Welsh language speakers.

Government and politics

The electoral ward of Onllwyn consists of some or all of the following settlements: Banwen, Dyffryn Cellwen and Onllwyn in the parliamentary constituency of Neath.

Onllwyn is bounded by the wards of Abercraf and Tawe Uchaf (both in Powys) to the north; Glynneath to the southeast; and Seven Sisters to the south west. The Onllwyn ward consists of open moorland and a band of woodland to the south. Mine workings are prominent in the north of the ward. There are only two A roads crossing the ward: the A4109 and the A4221. All of the settled areas in the ward lie around the A4109.

In the 2012 local council elections, the electorate turnout was 45.04%. The results were:

Candidate Party Votes Status
Ali Thomas Labour 328 Labour hold
Carolyn Edwards Plaid Cymru 96

Residents of note


  1. "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  2. Tom Hansell, Patricia Beaver and Angela Wiley, "Keep Your Eye upon the Scale,"

External links

Further reading