Y Gegin Fawr, Aberdaron

Y Gegin Fawr, Aberdaron

aberdaron_gegin_fawrThis building, now home to Y Gegin Fawr café, is thought to date from the 17th century. A large fireplace is a surviving early feature (shown in the old interior photo).

The name means “The Large Kitchen”, and legend has it that from the 13th century onwards pilgrims could claim a meal here before crossing the water to Ynys Enlli (Bardsey). Three pilgrimages there equalled one to Rome. Some Christians went to Enlli to die and were known as saints. It’s said that 20,000 saints are buried on the island.

In 1900 licensing magistrates were told the inn lacked any accommodation for travellers, having only two rooms upstairs and two downstairs. There was one table and a bench for customers.

The Rev Robert Williams, Ynys Enlli’s first Nonconformist minister, was brought up here. He was described as a committed teetotaler who had seen the evils of drink in his father’s tavern. He once gave a temperance sermon in nearby Penycaerau before returning to Enlli. News soon reached his father – who gave him a beating at the first opportunity! Robert died in 1875, aged 81.

aberdaron_y_gegin_fawr_interiorWilliam Jones of the Gegin Fawr Inn was lauded for his bravery in boating emergencies. Aberdaron had no lifeboat station. He brought ashore the bodies of two men during a storm in December 1883, when the appearance of multiple shoals of herring off Aberdaron had encouraged many locals to set out with fishing nets. Herring was a major element of the Llŷn Peninsula’s economy.

In August 1887 a fishing party of three men and two boys got into trouble when the weather turned nasty. Hurrying to the rescue, William Jones and two companions found one of the fishermen dead but saved the other four.

Cries for help were heard in Aberdaron in October 1888. Again William dashed out to sea. He found two local men in a boat which was sinking rapidly. Other men also went to help. The press said they all deserved praise, but particularly William because he was alone in his boat.

With thanks to Rhiw.com for the old photos

Postcode: LL53 8BE    View Location Map

More old photos of Aberdaron – Rhiw.com website