What’s in a name…?

At the Joint PCC meeting there were suggestions for a Ministry Area name: SA2, Hendrefoilan, Olchfa, Clyne 1, Gwyr…

After the meeting another response was received from David Morgan, Lay Reader in Killay parish.

“Eileen Neilson contacted me mid of this last week suggesting that I give some possible names for the newly-to-be-formed Ministry Area. So here are some possibilities with my considered favourite at the list’s conclusion. They are written in no particular order and are names which have historical connotations to the area.

Place names:

The oldest name that I have come across is Gwyr , that is the commote of Gower stretching from Rhossilli to (roughly) Ystrydgynlais  ….with the death of the last native ruler, Hywel ap Goronwy in 1106 the area became part of a marcher lordship overseer Earl of Warwick, Henry de Newburgh, and was known as Wallicana (the Welshry) and more particularly Wallicana subboscus (Welshry below the wood).

By the early 13th century it reverted to the crown and a number of families were associated with the area down through the ages… De Breos, Mowbray, Herbert , Somerset and finally the Earls of Worcester and the Dukes of Beaufort.

In his book ‘The town and manor of Swansea’ 1924 W.Ll.Morgan places the area in the manor of Milwodsketty.

There are a number of place names associated with large houses or farms from the past that are still used today in various situations… I am thinking of Bloomfield, Glan yr Avon, Pen-yr-heol, Wimmerfield, Hendrefoilan and indeed Hendre, the area of Tycoch was known as Garn-las , Goetre figures in a number of farms, and Rhydydefed has a certain charm….Llanerch also appeals but is too far to the west of the area. Likewise I disregarded Singleton being too far south and east. There is also Parc Wern.

Another train of thought threw up the names Vivian ( I disregarded Hussey for an obvious reason!) and also Dillwyn…. two prominent recent families…. unfortunately Sir Percy Morris was overlooked, as, too, was his brother but Armine has a charm of its own.

I am sure there are others which I have not considered, but thinking of the new parish area I go for the central feature and that is Nant y Olchfa and so I think Olchfa is a most apt name for the proposal. It has so much going for it…the healing power of water is central to Christian thinking and is used as a symbol of purity and cleansing in our Christening service…indeed there is a powerful sermon to be preached at the very first joint service which might be held within the Olchfa Ministry Area in Swansea.”