Kenfig Nature Reserve
2 miles to the West of Porthcawl is the small village of Kenfig. Kenfig is principally known for the Kenfig Nature Reserve, Kenfig Pool and the sand dunes. This is an excellent place for bird watching (with a wide range of ducks, swans, oystercatchers, redshanks and other birds) and lovers of flora. It is also a very relaxing place to go and walk or laze by one of the pool in the Summer. The reserve has around 100 acres of dunes. The reserve is situated between the road and the largely empty Kenfig beach. The beach is long and sandy, due to its size it is often fairly empty, although its emptiness is appealing and attracts dog walkers and horseriders. It also has the last remnants of the wooden hull of a shipwreck.
Kenfig also has the Prince of Wales pub, on the main road, a popular destination for locals and for passing tourists. The Prince of Wales was originally built in 1605 (see history below)and is said to have a ghost! The pub serves a wide range of ales and good quality bar meals. It has a welcoming, homely feel to the interior and a nice outdoor area.
Another ½ mile to the West is the Angel, another pleasant public house that serves good food.
Pyle and Kenfig Golf Club, Http://www.pandkgolfclub.co.uk which is set either side of the main road out of Porthcawl to Kenfig is partially set in the sand dunes and is a great place to play.
In 1947, in a gale which was ferocious even by Bristol Channel standards, the SS Santampa was in serious trouble in Swansea Bay. The Mumbles lifeboat was launched and was lost to sight in heavy seas. She was never seen again. The Santampa went aground off Sker Point and began to break up. None of the crew of 31 survived. Four hundred and fifty yards away was the wreckage of the Mumbles lifeboat. The whole crew of eight had perished, too. There is a memorail stone on the rocks at Sker in memory of those who perished. It is very difficult to find though as it is black stone, it blends in well with the rocks. If you are looking for it, the nearest landmark is the farm wall, near Sker House. If youwalk out to the rocks from the end of the farm wall bearing right towards Sker, you may find it!!
Click here for more details on the Kenfig Nature Reserve
The Ancient Village of Kenfig
Sadly, the ancient village of Kenfig is now buried under the drifting sands and the pool. Despite this, it is still worth a visit. In former times it was a thriving walled town. The town was originally owned by Lord Iestyn ap Cwrgan, who was defeated by the Earl of Gloucester, who made it an important medieval town. Such was the importance of the town, it could levy its own taxes. During the 12th century, the Earl of Gloucester built Kenfig Castle, the remains of which can still be seen today in the sand dunes. In 1605 a new town hall was built to replace the one lost to the sand, this is now part of the popular Prince of Wales pub. Unfortunately with the movement of the sands, few residents remained by the 1600s.
Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015