The candle-making business at Cilgwyn was started by Inger and Brian John when they moved to the area from County Durham. Inger has always been the candle-maker, and Brian has provided the moral support as well as humping tonnes of wax about and building display stands for craft fairs etc. Partnership is the name of the game.
At first, the business was run from a lock-up garage across the yard from the house, but in 1982 the garage was demolished and a new building put up in its place. This building now houses the workshop and the mini-museum downstairs and the gallery upstairs. Space is very tight, and there is only room for one person to make candles at a time.
The essential items of candle-making equipment in the workshop are a boiler for holding water and molten wax, a simple rack which can be lifted up by a pulley when candles need to be trimmed, and lots of metal coat-hangers from the dry cleaners. There is also a small heating ring for melting small quantities of wax in a saucepan. That is all! Not exactly high-tech, but candle-making is a craft, and the candles which Inger makes are successful and very beautiful because she has a steady hand, an instinct for colour combinations, and an encyclopaedic knowledge of how molten wax behaves.
In the early days of the business, Inger sold most of her dipped candles through the trade, supplying to craft shops and gift shops all over the UK and further afield. Gradually, however, the workshop began to attract visitors, and after many years of building up the business over 10,000 people call at the workshop each year.
The Pembrokeshire Candle Centre is now one of the prime visitor attractions in North Pembrokeshire, and most of the annual output of candles is sold straight from the premises to new visitors and faithful “regulars” who call again and again and again.......
One of the most beautiful things about candles is that they are meant to be destroyed. And once they have brightened up somebody’s life and have faded away, they need to be replaced!
Pembrokeshire Candle Centre
Trefelin, Cilgwyn, Newport,
Pembrokeshire SA42 0QN
Tel 01239 -- 820470
THE PEMBROKESHIRE CANDLE CENTRE's 40th ANNIVERSARY YEAR
THE PEMBROKESHIRE CANDLE CENTRE, LOCATED IN THE HAMLET OF CILGWYN ABOUT TWO MILES FROM NEWPORT (PEMBS), IS THE HOME BASE OF CILGWYN CANDLES, A SMALL BUSINESS SET UP BY INGER JOHN AND HER HUSBAND BRIAN IN 1976.
In 2016, WE CELEBRATED THE 40th ANNIVERSARY OF THE BUSINESS, HAVING PROVIDED A UNIQUE SHOPPING AND VISITOR EXPERIENCE FOR MORE THAN 10,000 PEOPLE EACH YEAR.
ON THE SITE WE HAVE A WORKSHOP WHERE INGER MAKES HAND-DIPPED AND OTHER TYPES OF CANDLES, A MINI-MUSEUM WITH DISPLAYS RELATING TO CANDLE-MAKING OVER THE CENTURIES, AND AN UPSTAIRS GALLERY DEVOTED TO CANDELABRAS AND COMMISSIONED ITEMS.
New! Candle-making courses for small groups. Click here for more information:
How to find us
We are at Cilgwyn bridge, about 2 miles from Newport. Follow the brown signs from A487 at the east end of Newport, or from the B4329 at Tafarn-y-Bwlch.
Your visit to the Pembrokeshire Candle Centre will also give you a chance to discover one of Pembrokeshire’s most beautiful secret valleys. The hamlet of Cilgwyn lies in a sheltered hollow at the entrance to Cwm Gwaun and beneath the rocky peak of Carn Ingli -- right at the heart of Bluestone Country.
Inger John provides a warm welcome to all visitors, who can see hand-dipped candles being made without any mechanical aids. Her candles are created with unique graded colours and with exotic scents including specially blended essential oils.
The workshop is a real “Aladdin’s Cave” packed with candles of all shapes and sizes; most are made on the premises, and others are imported from all over the world. Also in stock are candlesticks of many types, snuffers, lanterns, oil burners, accessories, candle-making kits, and books of local interest. We try to keep a constant eye on the latest trends, so there is always something new when you next call.
Next to the workshop is Britain’s smallest museum, with fascinating displays relating to the history and traditions of candle-making right back to Roman times.
Upstairs is a gallery featuring larger and unique items designed for enlightenment -- candlesticks, candelabra, wall sconces, floor-standing candle holders, and specially-commissioned items from local craftsmen and artists.
Opening times: Easter - end of October, 11 am - 5 pm, Monday to Friday. Closed on Saturdays and Sundays, unless we just happen to be open! Ring 01239-820470 to check.
Please Note: Over the winter months, we are closed for most of the time, but if we are at home we will be happy to open up the workshop for you. Please ring 01239-820470 to check on opening times, if travelling far.