AN ancient legend involving Twmbarlwm hill has been brought to spectacular life in a nearby pub.

A mural painted on the walls of the Cwmcarn Hotel in Cwmcarn depicts the legend of the chieftain Bran, who is said to be buried in Twmbarlwm.

South Wales Argus:

Vinny Francis and artist Paul Shepherd with the completed mural in Cwmcarn Hotel

Cwmcarn Hotel owner Vinny Francis said: “We chose this particular piece as we feel it necessary to stay connected with our nation’s colourful past whilst staring wide-eyed into our vibrant future. Wales has so much to offer.

“This area was central within Cymru for millennia and is fast becoming a centre again.

“Cymru is once again finding its identity, its voice, its colour, its story, its community, and is starting to brag about who we are and what we represent. We’re stoked to be a solid part of this groundswell.”


Legend has it that Bran is buried in the cairn on top of Twmbarlwm, and that anyone who disturbs the site will be attacked by swarms of bees.

South Wales Argus:

The mural of Chieftain Bran in Cwmcarn Hotel. Picture:

Twmbarlwm is depicted in the background of the mural, in which a raven is seen landing on Bran's arm as he rides a majestic horse.

South Wales Argus:

The raven mural in Cwmcarn Hotel

The raven is a nod to the trails around Cwmcarn and pays particular homage to the Forest Drive and Twmbarlwm - where you can see the birds circling above as you walk.

The mural was created by Caerphilly-based artist Paul Shepherd.

Mr Shepherd, who is a part time mural artist, who said he was asked to create it by Mr Francis after he had seen some of his other work.

“I did a bit of research on Bran and decided to depict him in a fantasy art type of way, with the local landmark of Twmbarlwm in the background," said Mr Shepherd.

“The whole piece took about three evenings and is a combination of spray paint and acrylic paint.

“It’s pretty cool to be part of what they are doing with Cwmcarn Hotel and I’m glad they asked me to be involved. I hope my artwork will be a talking point in the pub and gets people interested in local history.”

Mr Francis hopes the mural will become a talking point for visitors and locals alike.

“With artwork such as this, we create a focal point for the many tourists and encourage the locals to teach and tell stories of their history," he said.

"We welcome local artists to plaster our walls with creativity - after all its not all about us. It’s a pub re-invented. Come along, there will be a warm welcome.”

Mr Francis and his family took over Cwmcarn Hotel in 2017 and in July last year they unveiled The Fork & Tune Restaurant as part of the redevelopment.

The pub has proved a hit with locals and even people from abroad.