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"PENMORFA, a parish in the hundred of Evionydd, county Carnarvon, 2 miles N.W. of Tremadoc, its post town, and 4 from Criccieth. The village is situated on the Criccieth road, under Hebog Hill, near Traeth Mawr. There is a Druid circle in the neighbourhood. The geology of the country round is interesting, as affording typical sections of the earlier rocks. The living is a rectory* with the curacy of Dolbenmaen annexed, in the diocese of Bangor, value 300, in the patronage of the bishop. The church is dedicated to St. Beuno. The interior contains a tomb of Sir J. Owen, of Clenenney, who was taken prisoner at the battle of Llandegai by the Parliamentarians under General Mytton. The parochial charities produce about 11 per annum. There are two places of worship for the Calvinistic Methodists. Fairs are held on the 6th March, 14th May, 20th August, 25th September, and 12th November." [From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson 2003]

Business and Commerce Records

Clenennau Mill Account Book 1877 July 2 - 1881 November 25 -  details of extant records on Archives Network Wales
"Account book of Clenennau Mill, in the parish of Penmorfa, consisting of the names and addresses of customers"

Penmorfa Shop Account Book  1792-1800 -  details of extant records on Archives Network Wales
" ............... Evidently, the general store served the surrounding community, and supplied the local people with a great variety of provisions ........."

Church History

The Friends of Friendless Churches - St Bueno, Penmorfa

Rees, Thomas & John Thomas. Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru (History of the Welsh Independent Churches), 4 volumes (published 1871+). Here is the entry from this book for Penmorfa   chapel (in Welsh ) - with translation by Eleri Rowlands (June 2009) 

Church and chapel data from The Religious census of 1851 : A Calendar of the returns relating to Wales, Vol 11, North Wales. Ed. by Ieuan Gwynedd Jones, UWP, 1981. The names given towards the end of each entry are those of the informants.

Penmorfa Parish; Statistics; Area 10157 acres; Population 516 males, 593 females, total 1109

Church Records

Joyce Hinde has supplied a list of Parish Registers held at the Caernarfon Area Record Office.

Description and Travel

Penmorfa - on the Celtic Inscribed Stones Project site


PENMORVA (PEN-MORVA), a parish in the hundred of EIVIONYDD, county of CARNARVON, NORTH WALES, 1 1/2 mile (W. N. W.) from Tremadoc, containing 982 inhabitants. The parish is situated in the south-eastern part of the county, and the village stands upon a gentle eminence beneath craggy mountains of considerable elevation, and on the turnpike road from Tremadoc to Carnarvon. The surrounding scenery is rather of bold and rugged character than of pleasing or picturesque appearance; and the views of the adjacent country, though comprehending some romantic features, are neither interesting nor extensive. Clenenny, the family seat of the Owens, is an ancient mansion, distinguished as the birthplace and residence of that independent royalist Sir John Owen, Bart., who commanded the king's forces in this part of the principality during the civil war in the reign of Charles I. He was defeated and taken prisoner near Bangor, in 1648, in the last effort which was made by the Welsh in that monarch's cause, and was conveyed to Windsor, where, being tried, he was, with the Duke of Hamilton and others, condemned to death ; but, through the intercession of some of the parliamentary commanders, he received a pardon, and returned to his patrimonial estate, where he died in 1666. Considerable deposites of copper-ore have been found in the parish, and several spirited attempts have been made, and large sums of money expended, in working them ; but the ore, when found, was so mixed with iron, that the difficulty and expense of separating it, and the depression in the price of the metal, induced the proprietors to discontinue their works, and the mines are for the present abandoned. Fairs are held in the village annually on March 6th, May 14th, August 20th, September 25th, and November 12th. The living is a discharged rectory, with the perpetual curacy of Dolbenmaen annexed, in the archdeaconry of Merioneth, and diocese of Bangor, rated in the king's books at 9. 12. 6., and in the patronage of the Bishop of Bangor. The church, dedicated to St. Beuno, is a small neat edifice, not distinguished by any architectural details : it contains a monument to the memory of Sir John Owen, Bart. There are places of worship for Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists. Mrs. Owen bequeathed 60, and Anne Lloyd, in 1783, 30 in money, to the poor of this parish; and there are also some smaller benefactions in money and land, the produce of which is annually distributed according to the will of the testators. On Bwlch Craig-wen are the remains of an extensive Druidical circle, consisting of forty-one upright stones, several of which are more than seven feet high ; and near the church is a smaller circle, some of the stones composing which have been broken and used as materials in constructing or repairing the neighbouring fences. In 1829, a curious ancient silver coin was dug up, in opening a grave in the churchyard : it was in good preservation, with the inscription, in rude ancient characters round the obverse, RADVLVS DEI GRA. DVX BVRG., and is supposed to be a coin of Rodolphus, Duke of Burgundy, who flourished at the commencement of the ninth century, and was a celebrated collector of sacred reliques. Sir Hywel y Vwyall is supposed to have been born in this parish, the greater portion of which belonged to him. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor amounts to 279. 13.  (A Topographical Dictionary of Wales by Samuel Lewis, 1833)

Land and Property

Wern Estate [Penmorfa] Papers 1754-1890 -  details of extant records on Archives Network Wales


Gwynedd Family History Society  have a diagram of the ecclesiastical parishes of Caernarfonshire (under Publications)  - with some links to photographs of parish churches


Penmorfa School Protest Papers  -  details of extant records on Archives Network Wales
"A collection of typed copies of correspondence and a petition, relating to the 1926-1927 protest against attempts to partly close Penmorfa School ..."


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