Gower is a country of contrasts: magnificent cliffs and seascapes, some of the finest beaches in the UK, hidden valleys, wind-swept uplands and a unique place in history.
History of Gower
Gower is located on the South Wales coast, just a stone’s throw away from the city of Swansea.
The name Gower was adopted in Norman times, when the lordship of Gower was created from the earlier Welsh area of Gŵyr. Today that area covers almost all of the City and County of Swansea and parts of Neath Port Talbot.
Many people are unaware of the larger extent of the lordship and tend to think of Gower as just the peninsula. The Society’s interest covers all of the lordship, an area bounded by the rivers Tawe, Llwchwr, Cathan, Amman and Twrch.
The Lordship of Gower
Gower's history stands strong today. It has the oldest formal human burial in Europe at Paviland, Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments and burial sites, Iron Age fortifications, Roman remains, Norman churches and castles and eighteenth-century houses.
Outstanding natural beauty
Much of Gower was designated as the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1956. It narrowly beat The Quantocks to this honour, thanks largely to effective lobbying by The Gower Society.
The peninsula includes:
- Burry Inlet, a Ramsar Site and Special Protection Area
- 5 Special Areas of Conservation
- 3 National Nature Reserves
- 25 other reserves
- 25 Sites of Special Scientific Interest
- 67 Ancient Woodland Sites
- 5 Historic Gardens or Parks.
Landscape, nature and history… all in a compact package less than 25 miles by 5.
“Gower is a happy accident of geological forces, climatic conditions and human enterprise: a harmonious blend of landscape, nature and history. This ‘rare patch of the earth’s surface’, as Wynford Vaughan Thomas called it, is a rich mix of natural scenic beauty, farmed landscape and diverse flora” - A Guide to Gower