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"KENARTH (CENARTH), a parish, in the union of NEWCASTLE-EMLYN, higher division of the hundred of ELVET, county of CARMARTHEN, SOUTH WALES; comprising the market and post-town of Newcastle-Emlyn, from which the church is distant 2 1/2 miles (W.N.W.); and containing 2044 inhabitants. This parish is beautifully situated on the river Teivy, over which the turnpike-road from Carmarthen to Cardigan is here carried by a stone bridge; and comprises by admeasurement 6420 acres, which are almost wholly inclosed and in a good state of cultivation, and of which about 400 are woodland, and the remainder two-thirds arable and one-third pasture. . . a considerable number of cattle are bred in the parish, and the other produce comprises chiefly corn, butter, and cheese. . . Near the church is the celebrated salmon leap on the river Teivy . . The church, dedicated to St. Llawddog, is a neat edifice, about 50 feet long and 25 broad, containing 230 sittings . . . A church has recently been erected at Newcastle-Emlyn, containing 500 sittings, of which 400 are free . . The Independent and Calvinistic Methodists have each a place of worship, in addition to the meeting-houses for dissenters [in] Newcastle-Emlyn. There are five day schools in the parish . . ." [From A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (S. Lewis, 1844).]


Monumental inscriptions for Brynseion Independent Chapel, Cenarth, are available on microfiche from Dyfed FHS.

Church History

CENARTH, St. Llawddog 1868-1873  - on the Church plans online site

NEWCASTLE EMLYN, Holy Trinity 1829-1842  - 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 Newcastle Emlyn from The Welsh Church Year Book, 1929 (Cd by (Archive CD Books)).

Parish entry for Cenarth from The Welsh Church Year Book, 1929 (Cd by (Archive CD Books)).

Church Records

Dyfed FHS have photographs and data relating to various churches and chapels on their site

Parish registers: Christenings (1701-68, 1775-1909), Marriages (1701-1970), Banns (1824-60, 1934-35) and Burials (1701-68, 1775-1975) are at the National Library of Wales with copies of some dates at Carm.RO

Copy ts PR index C 1813-75  M 1701-1875 [Banns 1823-60, 1934-5] at NLW and Carm.RO

Bishops' Transcripts, covering the period (1676, 1678, 1680, 1682, 1684-9, 1699, 1704, 1799-1806, 1808-58, 1860-1) are at the National Library of Wales, and have been microfilmed by the LDS.

Marriage index for this parish - see Dyfed Marriages, 1813-1837, Vol. 15 - Elvet Hundred (Dyfed Family History Society, c1989)

See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg

Nonconformist Chapels:

Newcastle Emlyn/Castellnewydd [The chapel of ease to Cenarth built here c1780 seems to have been without separate PRs until the late 1830s. District assigned to new church 1843]
Christenings (1839-1915)    Marriages (1971-90)  Burials (1842-1957) at NLW with copy Christenings (1839-1915) Burials (1842-1957) at Carm. RO.  Marriages 1838-1970 with incumbent.
BTs ; 1874, 1885-8, 1890, 1898  NLW

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 are extracted from this book which in turn got them from the 1851 census itself;

Places, villages, farms etc within Cenarth as shown on the online parish map from the CD off  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 Merv Thomas)

Photographs and description of Newcastle Emlyn Castle on Castle Wales

National Coracle Centre  [and 17th Century Flour Mill] at Cenarth

Cenarth Falls - on Trek Earth

Newcastle Emlyn - on Wikipedia


" The noble river Teivi flows here, and abounds with the finest salmon, more than any other river of Wales; it has a productive fishery ( ? near Cilgerran), which is situated on the summit of a rock, at a place called Canarch Mawr*, the ancient residence of St Ludoc, where the river, falling from a great height, forms a cataract, which the salmon ascend, by leaping from the bottom to the top of a rock.... * (now known by the name of Kenarth, which may be derived from Cefn y garth - the back of the wear, a ridge of land behind the wear.) ' The church dedicated to St Ludoc, the mill, bridge, salmon leap, an orchard with a delightful garden, all stand together on a small plot of ground.' "
The Itinerary Through Wales and The Description of Wales by Giraldus Cambrensis (1188).
The text is that of Sir Richard Colt Hoare who published an English translation in 1806, chiefly from the texts of Camden and Wharton . This extract is mostly from the foot-notes in the Everyman's Library edition, (ed. Ernest Rhys) 1908.

Newcastle Emlyn Rural District, Carmarthenshire: the official guide, Home Publishing Co (1953) 28 p., ill.

Stephenson, Mary Jane. Dewch am Dro! (Come for a walk!) Written for Welsh learners it describes a collection of walks around Penrherber in Cenarth parish but also contains a history and geography of the area.  Mary Jane consulted census records, tithe maps, parish records and various books referring to Penrherber where there are local historical links going back as far as the Bronze Age


Pigot & Co. South Wales Directory for 1830. Here are Extracts relating to Newcastle-in-Emlyn and Atpar

Pigot & Co. South Wales Directory for 1844. Here are Extracts relating to Newcastle-in-Emlyn


Cradle from Cenarth, C19th - on the People's Collection Wales site

Report of the Carmarthen and Newcastle Emlyn Turnpike Trust, 1843 - on the People's Collection Wales site

Workers at the Weir, Newcastle Emlyn, c 1885 - on the People's Collection Wales site

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


Baker-Jones, Leslie Dr., JP. The Glaspant Diary 1896 . Cultural Services Section, Carmarthenshire CC., Dec 2001; chronicles Carmarthenshire country life around one of the lesser gentry houses in Capel Iwan, Newcastle Emlyn over a hundred years ago. Based on a diary that was amongst the Howell (Glaspant) papers, deposited at the National Library of Wales by Mr Harry Howell JP and which was kept by his father Henry Williams Lloyd Howell for the year 1896.

Davies, Cliff.  From Rags to Riches: Anna Maria Phelps' Bequest to the Trustees of Trewen Chapel, Cwmcou. Dyfed FHS journal vol 9/1, Dec 2005

Evans,Gruffydd. The Story of Newcastle Emlyn and Atpar to 1531, with a concluding survey. Cymmrodorion, 1923

Lloyd, Sir John E., (Ed.). A History of Carmarthenshire (2 vols.), Cardiff, London Carmarthenshire Society (1935, 1939). Extracts from this book can be accessed on some parish pages, see here for this parish.

Lloyd, T. H.    Cenarth's 17th Century Mill.   1960

Land and Property

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


Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

Ceredigion Archives holds records of the Newcastle Emlyn and Lampeter Poor Law Unions

Thomas, M.J. Poor Relief Around Newcastle Emlyn, 1883-4, J. of the Dyfed FHS, vol. 6, no. 2, (1997) pp.54-55. [Transcription of listing of recipients.]

Public Records

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

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[Gareth Hicks: 19 Dec 2012]

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