Welcome to Ystradgynlais, a charming town located on the picturesque banks of the River Tawe, just outside the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park. Known for its stunning landscapes, community spirit, and rich history, Ystradgynlais offers a unique living experience that delights residents and visitors alike.

Ystradgynlais History

As a former mining and industrial town, Ystradgynlais has a rich industrial heritage. Coal mining and iron production played a major role during the industrial revolution. Many relics of that bygone era can still be seen throughout the local area, either hidden amongst years of undergrowth, or preserved for posterity such as the iconic Ynyscedwyn Ironworks in Glanrhyd (locally known as ‘the arches’).

It was not until the Industrial Revolution that Ystradgynlais began to grow. The Swansea canal ran right through Ystradgynlais before terminating in Abercrave. It was originally built in the 18th century to transport coal, iron and other goods from the upper Swansea Valley to Swansea Docks for export. The canal was operational until the mid-20th century, when it fell into disuse due to competition from rail and road transport, and it was filled in to create the Ystradgynlais bypass (A4067) in the mid-1970s. The part of Ystradgynlais where Pelican Street and Oddfellows street are was once known as ‘The Island’ due to being sandwiched between the Swansea Canal and the River Tawe.

In the early 20th century, the town’s population continued to grow, and a number of new housing developments were built to accommodate the increasing number of workers.

In the post-war period, Ystradgynlais continued to develop, with new schools, shops, and other amenities being built. However, the closure of many of the town’s factories in the latter half of the 20th century led to a decline in the local economy.

Ystradgynlais Today

Today, Ystradgynlais is a small but growing town. With a population of around of 10,585 according to the 2021 census it is the second biggest town in the county of Powys, yet it enjoys a semi-rural aspect and retains very much a village feel. With a growing population several new housing developments under construction Ystradgynlais is an up-and-coming place to live.

Who Wants to Live in Ystradgynlais?

Ystradgynlais has a magnetic charm that attracts a variety of people from different walks of life, ranging from young families to retirees. A family-friendly town, Ystradgynlais has excellent schools, open green spaces and a close-knit community. It’s also conveniently situated close to Swansea city, making it a desirable location for those who want the best of both rural living and urban amenities.

Retirees are drawn to Ystradgynlais for its peaceful atmosphere and scenic environs. There’s an abundance of walking routes, nature reserves and community events, ensuring that there is always something to keep retirees active and engaged.

Ystradgynlais is an ideal location for professionals who want to live in a rural area but still be within a reasonable commuting distance to work. The town’s proximity to Swansea and other neighbouring towns makes it an excellent option for those who want to experience rural living without sacrificing the convenience of living close to urban areas.

Outdoor enthusiasts are also drawn to Ystradgynlais, with its breath-taking countryside and diverse range of outdoor activities. From hiking and cycling to kayaking and climbing, there’s no shortage of things to do to keep the active residents entertained.

Ystradgynlais has something to offer everyone, with its stunning surroundings, close-knit community, and wide range of amenities. It’s no surprise that this charming town is becoming increasingly popular, attracting a diverse group of residents who are looking for a better quality of life.