The Meaning of Grawen

by Carl Llewellyn

Although there is a farm in Cwmtaf called “Grawen”, most residents living in Merthyr Tydfil would recognise the name being associated with the area around the Quar, Brecon Road, known as the “The Grawen”.

The Welsh word for “rough” is “garw”, and in the old Welsh language meadow is “gwaen” or “waen”. If these two words are combined we have Garw-waun, drop one “w” and the “a” in waen we have “Grawen”. In the old Welsh the “r” frequently changes its position  and so “Garwen” would become “Grawen”.

This is conjectural – the word “garw” (rough) combined with “nant” (a valley or a brook), gives us “turbulent brook” with the word “rough” associated with water – hence Nantgarw, Pontypridd, and an area near Cwmtaf is known as “Garwnant”. In Dewi Cynon’s history of Farm names the word “garw” or “rough” refers to the bed of the brook being “coarse” hence “rough brook”.

The ‘Round House’ in the Grawen, Brecon Road


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