Gower Granary is built on the strong foundations of many generations of Welsh family farming. Originally from Carmarthenshire, the family moved to Gower in the 1960s when it bought and fell in love with Paviland Farm. Its rich soils and coastal location, lying within sight of Worm’s Head, proved captivating, and so the family has lived and farmed in south Gower ever since.
As a family with its roots planted firmly in farming, it is fitting that the farm too has a rich farming history. Records for Paviland can be traced back to the 1500s when it was farmed by the monks of Margam Abbey for growing tithes for the poor. In 1823, the ‘Red Lady of Paviland’, the oldest human skeleton ever to be found in Britain, was found in Paviland Cave, which is believed to be the site of the oldest ceremonial burial in Western Europe.
Fast forward to the 1960s and the farm became part of the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and its cliff land was declared a habitat of European importance thanks its rare collection of flora and fauna.
Over recent generations, and with the help of many locals who recall working on the farm, the family has taken advantage of the mild, wet Gower microclimate and grown top-quality fruit, vegetables and arable crops, which have been sold across the UK and abroad. It has also bred award-winning cattle and sheep, and been home to many much-loved horses, including Superted, the scruffy Welsh Mountain pony, who grazes the farm today.
Today, with trained agronomist Chris Harry Thomas at the helm, the farm is moving towards regenerative, organic, and low impact practices, which will nourish the land for future generations.
Its stunning cliff land, which is crossed by the Wales Coast Path, is conservation grazed with heritage Welsh Black cattle, and is managed in conjunction with Natural Resources Wales. The cattle play a vital role in improving habitat management and increasing biodiversity, as well as creating delicious and nutritious pasture-fed beef.
The farm also works with the National Trust to manage much if its farmland on Gower, including the historic Vile land at Rhossili, which is now famous for its sunflowers, and other wild flowers. These sunflowers were originally planted by the farm to encourage wildlife, but today have become a popular tourist attraction and magnet for photographers, families and naturalists.
Creating natural, sustainable Welsh products, which support the wellbeing of both humans and animals, is now the next chapter in this Welsh farming story.