Gwyddelwern is a small village of about 400 residents, situated approximately two miles north of Corwen in North Wales. Historically the village was part of the Edeirnion district of the traditional county of Merioneth. Edeirnion (more recently Edeyrnion) was part of the Glyndwr district of Clwyd from 1974 to 1996, when the area came under the administration of the principal area of Denbighshire. The village straddles the A494 trunk road.
The name is often "poetically" translated as "The Irishman's Alder Grove." "Gwyddel" being irishman, "wern" usually referring to a damp or swampy area arising from run-off from surrounding hills.
In colloquial speech the village is often referred to simply as Gwyddel.
The outlook to the west of the village is dominated by the hills Mynydd-Rhŷd-Ddu and Bryn Gwenallt. To the south the view extends over the Dee Valley to The Berwyn Mountains and Arenig Fawr near Bala.
Besides farm work, local employers include a saw mill in the village and light manufacturing in Corwen and Cynwyd, further south.
The nearby hamlet of Bryn Saith Marchog, features in the story of Branwen, daughter of Llyr - part of the Mabinogion and is so named after Bendigeidfran, aka Bran the Blessed, stationed seven princes or knights there (the Saith Marchog) to watch over his lands while he was away in Ireland.
Quarrying was industrially important to the village. The two local quarries being the Dee Clwyd Granite Quarry and Graig-Lelo Quarry. There is still activity at Graig-Lelo, which plays host to a vehicle breakers and a granite and marble finishing business.
The Coming and Going of the Railways
Gwyddelwern became the first fully operational station in the Vale of Edeyrnion, when services started on September 22, 1864 with the opening of the Denbigh, Ruthin and Corwen railway. The station generated much income from the two quarries, which both had their own sidings. The station also had a coal yard, horse loading bay and cattle pens with a weighing machine. There was a freight loop at Gwyddelwern, on the otherwise single track line.
Passenger services ended on February 2, 1953 and goods traffic on December 2, 1957.
Gwyddelwern's historic architecture includes the much-rebuilt high spire of the Church of St Beuno. The churchyard is circular, an indication of the age of the site, possibly to pre-Christian times.
Which shares a boundary with the local inn - Tŷ Mawr, formerly the Rose and Crown. Parts of Tŷ Mawr date back to the 11th Century and, during extensive renovation, a rare jetton or 15th century gaming token was found in one of the wall spaces.