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"KÎLYCWM (CÎL-Y-CWM), a parish, in the union of LLANDOVERY, higher division of the hundred of CAYO, county of CARMARTHEN, SOUTH WALES, 4 miles (N.N.W.) from Llandovery; comprising the Upper and Lower hamlets, and containing 1481 inhabitants, of which number 834 are in the Upper, and 647 in the Lower, hamlet. This parish, which is intersected by the river Towy, extends for nearly ten miles in length, and is in some parts five miles in breadth, being for the most part inclosed: copper and lead ores abound within its limits, and mines of both were formerly worked to a considerable extent, but they are not now in operation. . . The church is dedicated to St. Michael. There are three places of worship for Baptists, and one for Calvinistic Methodists. Rowland Pryse, Esq., bequeathed £5 per annum, in 1719, towards the support of a charity school . . . and there are five Sunday schools conducted by gratuitous teachers, in one of which, connected with the Established Church, are from 50 to 80 children, who are instructed in English and Welsh; the rest, appertaining to the dissenters, contain about 150 children, who are taught the Welsh language only. . ." [From A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (S. Lewis, 1844).]

Church History

CILYCWM, St. Michael 1905-1908  - on the Church plans online site

See John Ball's site Welsh Churches and Chapels Collection for a photograph/data re St Michael's Church

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

  • Llanfihangel Cilycwm Parish Church        "The parish is unfortunately about 17 miles in length and the parishioners from the extreme points cannot be expected to attend the parish church"               John Williams, Vicar
  • Soar   CM      Erected in 1740     William Jones, Elder, Shoemaker
  • Smyrna  Particular Baptist               Erected in 1828           John Williams, Minister, Llandovery
  • Cwmsarnddu   Particular Baptist      Erected in 1812          David Jones, Minister, Cnwchdeiliog
  • Bwlchyrhiw   Particular Baptist       Erected before 1800       "This chapel is very old it is erected about the year 1711 and there is a worship in it ever since. But the congregation is very uncertain because it is situated among the Mountains, some time of the year it is Populous and some time not, at the present time it is very little because the weather is cold and wet."             David Jones, Deacon, Bwlchyrhiw chapel
  • Sion      Particular Baptist              Erected in 1829      Morgan Lewis, Deacon


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

  • St Michael
  • Incumbent and Curates; E Jenkins
  • Rural Deanery of  Llangadock
  • Acreage 18,191 ; Population 532

Church Records

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

Parish registers: Christenings (1701-1882), Marriages (1701-1970), Banns (1755-1885) and Burials (1701-1876) are at the Carmarthenshire Record Office.

Bishops' Transcripts, covering the period (1673, 1677-9, 1684, 1690-1, 1693-5, 1703, 1707-8, 1711, 1713, 1716-18, 1720-7, 1729-68, 1780-2, 1784-94, 1796-1800, 1802-4, 1806-48, 1850-80, 1882, 1887-1900, 1902) 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. 20 - Cayo Hundred (Dyfed Family History Society, c1989)

See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg

Nonconformist Chapels:

  • Bwlchyrhiw (Baptist, c1650), Bwlchyrhiw        Register (1751-1857) NLW Mss 610, LDS 829076/4 and 829066/4, plus typescript copy with adds to 1875 NLW Mss 10875, LDS 929076/4; plus account books NLW                   On Dyfed FHS
  • Cwmsarnddu (Baptist, 1806), Cwmsarnddu               Records with those of Bwlchrhiw (Cilrhedyn) and Aberduar (Llanybydder)            On Dyfed FHS
  • Sion (Baptist, 1829), near Rhandirmwyn (but in Cilycwm parish)        Records with those of Bwlchrhiw (Cilrhedyn)             SN76754450    Built 1829, rebuilt/modified 1881. 1998 still open   Coflein   On Dyfed FHS  under Ystrad Ffin  
  • Smyrna (Baptist, 1828), Porth-y-rhyd    [on border with Llanwrda parish]           SN71023781       Built 1828 & rebuilt/modified 1837 & 1885        Coflein              On Dyfed FHS under Llanwrda
  • Siloh (Calvinistic Methodist, c1860), Pentre Siloh                 SN74163708       Built 1860, restored in 1909/10.                 2000 still open             Coflein          On Dyfed FHS under Llanwrda
  • Soar (Calvinistic Methodist, 1738), Cilycwm village              Births and baptisms (1812-37) PRO RG4/3831, LDS 828108, IGI                 Tynewydd/Soar CM on Dyfed FHS                          Soar Cilycwm CM chapel - still open in 2006
  • Chapel (Independent, 1852), Cilycwm village             Accounts (1879-1902) Carmarthenshire R.O.                   Capel-y-groes Ind, Cilycwm (village) on  Dyfed FHS       Capel-y-groes Ind, Cilycwm     SN75254003      Opened on 8 March 1860   Coflein        See John Ball's site Welsh Churches and Chapels Collection for a photograph/data        Bwlch-y-rhiw Ind chapel (no parish) shown as still open on the Union of Welsh Independents site (Dec 2006)
    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 this chapel (in Welsh )  - with translation by Gareth Hicks (Oct 2008)

Cilycwm Church - photograph and basic information from Dyfed FHS

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Cil-y-Cwm which are provided by:

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;

  • Area 17300 acres; Population 721 males, 766 females, total 1487

Places, villages, farms etc within Cil-y-Cwm parish  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 Merv Thomas)

  • Cilycwm (2); Aber-Gwenlas, Banc Blaen dyffryn, Banc yr Esgair, Benlan, Blaen dyffryn, Bwlch-tre-banau, Cae-glas, Cefn-trenfa, Cilycwm, Cnwc-deiliog, Craig Ddu, Craig Rhosan, Cwm-beudy, Cwm-Fran-fawr, Cwm-saethe, Dinas fawr, Dol-Gynon, Dolach-ddu, Erryd, Esgair Ferchon, Gilwen, Glan-Gwenla, Henllys, Llwyn-cynhyrys, Nant-iwrch, Nant-rhyd Ifor, Neuadd Fawr, Pen Lifau, Pen-y-rhiw ???, Pen-y-banc, Pen-y-rhaglan wynt, Plas-newydd, Porth-y-rhyd, Rhiw Cilycwm, Rhiw-mallaen, Rhydwydd, Rhyd-Ddu, Talog, Tal-yr-yn, Troed-y-rhiw-hir, Wern-ddu, Y Foel, Ysgraffell

Dyfed (Wales) Cultural Services Department. Llandeilo, Llanymddyfri a rhan uchaf Dyffryn Tywi: mewn hen luniau. Stroud: Alan Sutton ar y cyd Cyngor Sir Dyfed a Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru, 1991. 159p: chiefly ill, ports. [ISBN 0862999758]

Cilycwm community site


Carmarthenshire Families


Loyd, Alwyn E. Lloyd and Loyd, 1690-1990. Dyfed Family History Journal 3/8 (1990), p. 279-85

Jones, G.   Defynog, A Den of Iniquity. Dyfed FHs journal Vol 7/4 April 2001. Centres on Rees Morgan who died in Wilkes Barre, Pa in 1910. Born in 1838 in Llanfairarybryn parish but the story revolves  partly around Cil-y-cwm parish. Defynog is in Breconshire.

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Cil-y-Cwm has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


Dale-Jones, Edna. Cilycwm: a village and its squire in the nineteenth century. Carmarthenshire Antiquary 30 (1994), p. 90-112 [The squire: William H. Campbell-Davys]

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

Land and Property

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

  • Erryd estate, Cilycwm, papers   "Deeds and documents, 1736-1816, relating mainly to the Erryd estate and other land in the parishes of Cil-y-cwm and Cynwyl Gaeo"
  • Onslow, Cil-y-cwm deeds  "Glebe terriers of the parish of Llanllwchaiarn, Montgomeryshire, 1665-1749; and deeds relating to properties in Cil-y-cwm, Carmarthenshire, 1709-1758."

Documents at the National Library of Wales:

  • Terriers, parish of Llanllwchaearn, Montgomeryshire, 1665-1749, and deeds, parish of Cil-y-cwm, Carmarthenshire, 1709-58, donated by A.R.Onslow.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SN752401 (Lat/Lon: 52.045168, -3.821219), Cil-y-Cwm which are provided by:

Public Records

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

  • Cilycwm Parish Council and Community Council Records 1878-1992


[Gareth Hicks :  16 Dec 2012]