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A History of Carmarthenshire

Lloyd, Sir John E., (Ed.). 2 vols., Cardiff, London Carmarthenshire Society (1935, 1939).

With the kind permission of the publishers sundry snippets from this book have been extracted by Gareth Hicks onto some parish pages, these below are in random order.

Here is a list of the book's contents and contributors.


Nonconformity and Methodism

Independents, 1650/87

"The Act of Uniformity was followed by the first Conventicle Act and the Five Mile Act.....these days of bitter and prolonged persecution were to test to the utmost the endurance of Nonconformists, be they preachers or followers........ Under these stresses of the Clarendon Code, .............. while David Jones, a minister ejected from Llanbadarn in Cardigan in 1662, came down to settle at Pencarreg on the northern border...."

"Only three Independent preachers applied for licences in 1672; ........ (inc) David Jones, of Pencarreg, who for some mysterious reason was granted the doubtful privilege of a general licence..."

"........the records of the time leave no doubt regarding the weakness of Independency. 1684 --- when persecution was at the hottest, it is true --- the churchwardens have very few schismatics to present in the districts where Independency would naturally be expected to have made some ground --- none in Trelech, one in Pencarreg, three families in Henllan ..."

Independents; 1687-1715

"The Indulgences of 1687 and 1688, for all their cunning words and ambigious policy, had opened doors that were never to be closed again. The Dissenters of the county reacted to this new world in a wonderfully dramatic manner; five of its preachers were ordained in 1688 ........... of the ministers ejected at the Restoration, only two were left ......and David Jones of Pencarreg, who now lived at Cellan across Teify and bestowed most of his care upon the tanners and weavers of that lively parish..."

"....the Archdeacon (Tenison) reports the existence of meeting houses in the parishes of Pencarreg etc .......but in the absence of the words 'built' or 'set-up' it would not be wise to make the Archdeacon responsible for too many Nonconformist chapels............a strict interpretation of the Archdeacon's phraseology will safely give a dozen Independent chapels dotted over the county by 1715....."

".....under the sunshine of freedom, fed by increasing numbers, reinforced with sound sense, the subsidiary meeting places became separate causes ......... Crugybar representing the south-easterly energies of Pencarreg ......Rhydybont rose to meet the convenience of those who lived too far west of Pencarreg, much too far east of Pencader...."

The Lists of Dr John Evans

"The Lists add new testimony to the fact that the gathered churches of early Congregationalism paid as little heed to the boundaries of counties as to the bounds of parishes. About 1690, for instance, nothing was more natural than that David Jones of Pencarreg-Cellan should find his best helper in David Edwards of Cae'ronnen across the border in Cardigan........"


"By the end of 1669 the members had mounted up to 55; at the end of 1675 they were 80; by 1689 they were 113. These members ranged from Amroth by the sea to the wilds of Llanllwni and Pencarreg ......."

"And there is no way to account satisfactorily for the Baptists of Bwlchyrhiw, on the slopes of Mynydd Mallaen, except through the missionary enterprise of the Baptists of Llanllwni and Pencarreg, unless we are to believe that straggling free communionists climbed up to this lofty divide from the western glens of Cilycwm, (indeed Bwlchyrhiw chapel is itself in that parish, within two yards of the Caeo boundary)."

The History of the Church in the County

Puritan Domination; A period of Depression;

In 1672, Pencarreg is listed in a long list of Carmarthenshire churches  where "everything was out of repair" in the aftermath of the confusion of the previous 20 years.

Medieval divisions

In early medieval terms Carmarthenshire was made up of  Ystrad Tywi [without Gower], Emlyn Uch Cuch and Y Cantref Gwarthaf[without Efelffre]. At some point pre the Norman conquest  Ystrad Tywi itself was divided into Y Cantref Mawr and Y Cantref Bychan.
About the time of the Norman conquest, Cantref Mawr was divided into 7 commotes,................... one of these was Mabelfyw which comprised the parishes of Pencarreg and Llanybydder, with the hamlet of Fforest in the parish of Llanycryws.

Castles, Boroughs and Religious Houses

Monastic Lands and Revenues

"This is not the only instance of the head of a house serving as incumbent.....(in) 1440 Henry VI pardoned David ap Res, Abbot of Whitland, for having obtained from the Pope, without the king's licence, a bull, ....... four days later the same David was presented to ..... and (in) the same year to the parish church of Pencarreg ..."

Prehistoric and Roman Times

Topographical Index


  • Pencarreg. Sarn Elen. Tan yr Allt House. On the road. Coin (AV) of Arcadius (394-408 AD) (RCAM,605,693,698)


[Gareth Hicks  13 July 2003]