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"LLANWNWS  (LLAN-WNWS), a parish, comprising the townships of GWNNWS-ISĀV or Lower, and GWNNWS UCHĀV,or Upper, which separately maintain their own poor, in the upper division of the hundred of ILAR, county of CARDIGAN, SOUTH WALES, 11 miles (S.E. by S ) from Aberystwith, and 15 ( N.N.E.) from Lampeter, containing 919 inhabitants, of which number, 467 are in the higher division, which contains the church. This parish, which extends nearly fourteen miles in length, and, upon the average, three miles in breadth, comprises a wide tract nearly in the centre of the county, bounded on the north by the river Ystwith, and on the south by the Teivy..."
 [From Samuel Lewis's A Topographical Dictionary of Wales 1833]

Church History

St David's Church, Pontrhydfendigaid - photograph on Dyfed FHS

St Gwnnws Church - photograph on Dyfed FHS GWNNW'S, St. Gwnnws 1830-1832 - on the Church plans online site

Some church and chapel data from The Religious census of 1851 : A Calendar of the returns relating to Wales, Vol 1, South Wales. Ed. by   I.G   Jones, & D. Williams. UWP,   Cardiff, 1976. The names are those of the informants

Parish entry for Llanafan-y-Trawscoed with Llanwnnws (Gwnnws)from The Welsh Church Year Book, 1929 (Cd by Archive CD Books).

Church Records

See Notes on Church/Chapel Records page

Parish Register;
Baptisms 1760-2, 1770-2, 1789-1991 . Marriages 1765-6, 1775-84, 1789-96, 1803-1969 [Banns 1823-81]. Burials 1789-98, 1812-1968     NLW and some dates at Cer.RO

Bishops Transcripts;
1811, 1813-62, 1864-78 NLW

See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg

I.G.I; Baptisms 1811-75. Marriages 1811-37

Index to Burials from Parish Registers 1813-1837 available for purchase from  Cardiganshire Family History Society Volume 2: Ilar (Upper) Hundred . Parishes covered: Eglwys Newydd, Gwnnws, Llanafan, Llanfihangel-y-Creuddyn, Llanilar, Lledrod, Rhostļe, Ysbyty Ystwyth, Ystrad Meurig

Nonconformist Chapels;  see Chapels database


Description and Travel

The Religious census of 1851 : A Calendar of the returns relating to Wales, Vol 1, South Wales., byJones, I.G. & Williams, D.   UWP,   Cardiff, 1976.  These statistics for this parish or chapelry are extracted from this book which in turn got them from the 1851 census itself;

Places, villages, farms etc within Gwnnws as shown on the online parish map from the CD of  Historic Parishes of England and Wales: an Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata [computer file]. (Kain, R.J.P., Oliver, R.R.). (Extracted by Tony Morris)

Description of the parish of Gwnnws   from A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (1833) by Samuel Lewis.

Description of a Township in Gwnnws parish;

"GWNNWS-ISĀV, a township in the parish of LLANWNWS, upper division of the hundred of ILAR, county of CARDIGAN, SOUTH WALES, 10 miles (S. E.) from Aberystwith, containing 467 inhabitants. It is bounded on the north by the river Ystwith, the scenery on the banks of which is romantic and picturesque, and is situated on the road between Aberystwith and Trźgaron: the village consists only of a few scattered dwellings."

Kelly's Directory South Wales 1895

Emigration and Immigration

Suhm, Gary. The Llwyn y Mwn Emigration. Dyfed FHS journal 7/8, Aug 2002. The story of the Williams family of Llwyn y mwn farm, Gwnnws Uchaf parish, who emigrated to the USA in 1847


Cardiganshire Families

Held at Ceredigon Archives;


Jones, Aidan. To North Wales Via  India: Two Clerical Brothers from Cardiganshire. Cardiganshire FHS journal, vol 3/6 October 2003.  The brothers are the Revs Morgan Davies (1793-1860) and Thomas Davies (1795-1873) originally from this parish. Follow up article in Cardiganshire FHS journal, vol 3/7 Feb 2004.


Meyrick, Sir Samuel Rush.(1783-1848) The History and Antiquities of the county of Cardigan. Collected from the few remaining documents which have escaped the ravages of time, as well as from actual observation. Longman: London ,1810. The history and antiquities of the County of Cardigan ... to which are now added a parliamentary history, list of High Sheriffs, some notes on the present county families, &c., &c. repr. Brecon: 1907. This 1907 print  has now been reprinted. The brief section relating to this parish is on pages 267/8; the sacremental cup in the church bears the date 1574. The mine of Escair y mwn is in the parish. Tyrgwald is a hamlet, as is Llwynynwyn.

Land and Property

Documents held at the NLW :


Laws and Statutes VIII. Chronological Series George III. [1760-1820.]Title: [55 Geo. III. Private Acts, c. 81.] An act for inclosing lands in the parish of Gwnnws, and the several other parishes therein mentioned, and in the township of Llanrhystid Mevenidd, in the county of Cardigan. London: 1815


View maps covering the area of this parish and places within its boundaries


The People's Collection Wales site has material for this parish, use the onsite search box

Beynon, Oswald.     Lead mining at Esgair y Mwyn in the time of Lewis Morris (1752-55).     Transactions of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society    Vol 11  1936   Welsh Journals Online

Public Records

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;


Here is an extract from The Reports of the Commissioners appointed to enquire into the state of Education in Wales. 1847

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[Gareth Hicks: 11 Dec 2012]

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