The parish of Nefyn is co-terminous with the former borough which was dissolved in 1882, its history having been similar to that of the borough of Pwllheli.1 The town stands on fairly level ground at about 1oo ft. above O.D., roughly a quarter of a mile inland from the clay cliffs which overlook the sheltered bay forming the natural harbour of Porth Nefyn. Building has extended along the coast in modern times, but the greater part of the area is pasture, mostly low-lying but backed on the S.E. by Garn Boduan and adjacent hills.

The borough emerges late in the 12th or early in the 13th century on what must have been one of the largest manors of the princes of Gwynedd,2 and work on manorial buildings is recorded in 1306-7.3 The only surviving structure earlier than the 18th century, however, is the mutilated motte (No. 1682). The town-plan shows none of the regularity of layout associated with Edwardian boroughs such as Conway or Caernarvon, and there is no evidence that it was ever fortified.

It was visited by Edward I in 1284, and was the scene of a ‘Round Table’ or tournament celebrating his conquest of Gwynedd.3 A group of fields extending from below lorwerth Villa towards Capel Seion (about 300 yds. N.-S. by 80 yds., with a steep bank on the W., centre at SH 30774027) is now known as Cae Iorwerth (‘Edward’s Field’) and are accepted locally as the scene of the tournament. In the Tithe Award Schedule of 1838-42 these fields formed part of a larger area named Cae Thomas (T.A. Nos. 622-3, 626) and contained a rope-walk. which may have been the cause of artificial levelling. That Schedule contains no name which can be associated with the tournament. In 1833 its supposed location was given as a circular earthwork near the Edern road, but no trace of this remains.4

The parish contains no important monument.


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