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Pen Pumlumon Fawr
Pumlumon Fawr.jpg
The northern slopes of Pumlumon Fawr
Highest point
Elevation 752 m (2,467 ft)
Prominence 526 m (1,726 ft)
Parent peak Pen y Fan
Listing Marilyn, Hewitt, Council top, Nuttall
English translation five tops, five beacons
Language of name Welsh
Location Ceredigion, Wales
Parent range Cambrian Mountains
OS grid SN789869
Topo map OS Landranger 135
Listed summits of Plynlimon
Name Grid ref Height Status
Pen Pumlumon Arwystli SN815877 741 m Hewitt, Nuttall
Pen Pumlumon Llygad-bychan SN815877 727 m Hewitt, Nuttall
Y Garn SN775851 684 m Hewitt, Nuttall
Pumlumon Fach SN787874 664 m Nuttall
Pumlumon Cwmbiga SN830899 620 m Deleted Nuttall
Carnfachbugeilyn SN826903 622 m Unclassified

Plynlimon (anglicised from Pumlumon in Welsh) is the highest point of the Cambrian Mountains in Wales (taking the more restricted definition of the Cambrian Mountains, excluding Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons), and the highest point in Mid Wales. It is a massif that dominates the surrounding countryside and is the highest point (county top) of Ceredigion (both the modern council area, and the historic county, also known as Cardiganshire).

The highest point of the massif itself is Pen Pumlumon Fawr, which is 752 metres (2,467 ft) above ordnance datum. Its other important peaks are Pen Pumlumon Arwystli, Y Garn, Pen Pumlumon Llygad-bychan and Pumlumon Fach.

The longest river in Britain, the River Severn, has its source on the mountain, as do the rivers Wye and Rheidol.

Folklore says there is a sleeping giant in Pumlumon.


Plynlimon is anglicized from the Welsh name Pumlumon, which is thought to mean "five tops" or "five beacons". The first element is Old Welsh pimp, meaning "five" (Modern Welsh pump), and the second is llumon, "beacon", an element whose Brittonic equivalent underlies the Scottish hill-names Lomond Hills and Ben Lomond.


The Pumlumon area is the largest watershed in Wales and is the source of the rivers Wye, Severn and Rheidol. Since 2007 the Wildlife Trusts of Wales have been working to improve the habitat as a "living landscape" project. This watershed area has been affected by loss of biodiversity, erosion of the peaty soils' structure, and accelerated drainage. Some believe the drainage issues have contributed significantly to flooding in areas some distance downstream, though this cannot be clearly proved.

Like most of the uplands across Wales, intensive land use activities have resulted in many habitats being either lost or degraded. Over-grazing of sheep has induced soil compaction, which has resulted in increased flooding of the lowland areas. The principal land cover within the project area is dominated by a complex mosaic of locally, nationally and internationally important habitats and species, such as dry and wet dwarf-shrub heathland, blanket bog, unimproved acid grassland and a number of oligotrophic lakes. Agriculturally improved grassland, broadleaved woodlands and forestry plantation are also characteristic features of the area.

The Pumlumon area is also important for breeding, wintering and feeding bird fauna particularly hen harrier, merlin, short-eared owl and red and black grouse, and a number of Red Data Book and UK BAP invertebrates. The red kite also frequents the area. Golden Plovers have declined by 92% since 1992.

Severn Way

The Severn Way runs for 210 miles (337 km) along the River Severn between the mouth of the Severn at Bristol, England, and its source at Plynlumon, Wales.

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