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"TALLEY, otherwise TÀL-Y-LLYCHAU, a parish, in the union of LLANDILO-VAWR, lower division of the hundred of CAYO, county of CARMARTHEN, SOUTH WALES, 7 1/2 miles (N.) from Llandilo-Vawr: containing 1068 inhabitants, of whom 418 are in the Lower, and 650 in the Upper, division. This place, of which the name, signifying "the head of the lakes," is derived from two large pools, near the church, of about fifty acres in extent, was originally of much greater importance than at present, and the seat of one of the most extensive and venerable ecclesiastical establishments in this part of the principality. The parish . . . comprises by admeasurement 7167 a. 2 r. 19 p., of which the arable proportion may consist of about two-thirds in relation to the pasture, and nearly 200 acres are woodland, and 290 a. 8 p. a common. The surface displays a continued succession of hill and dale, sideland and mountain top, and is rather woody . . . The seat, Edwinsford, stands in the north-west on the confines of the parish, of about half of which the owner of the house is the landed proprietor . . . The church, dedicated to St. Michael, having fallen into decay, was rebuilt in the Grecian style, in 1773 . . . principally from the ruins of the ancient abbey . . . There are places of worship for Baptists and Calvinistic Methodists . . . In the parish are two day schools . . . There are also three Sunday schools . . ." [From A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (S. Lewis, 1844).]

Church History

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

  • St Michaels Tally Parish Church                  "The weather being very raw and cold the attendance on 30th was below average"                               David Lewes Jones, Curate
  • Eskernant   CM            Erected before 1800               David Walters, Elder, Pantyresker. Nr Talley
  • Providence Cwmdu chapel,  Particular Baptists      Erected in 1789, rebuilt and enlarged in 1839     "The attendants having lately decreased through the want of a minister being elected by the chapel "       Thomas Griffiths, Secretary. Ffosyhwyad, Nr Llandilo


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

  • St Michael
  • Incumbent and Curates; J Price
  • Rural Deanery of  Llandilo
  • Acreage 7,198 ; Population  506

Photograph and history of Talley Abbey - on Castle Wales

Griffiths, G. Milwyn. A Visitation of the Archdeaconry of Carmarthen, 1710   National Library of Wales journal. 1974, Summer Vol XVIII/3. Includes the parish of Tal y Llychau

O'Neil, B.H.S.J. and Smith, J.B. Talley Abbey, Carmarthenshire, London, H.M.S.O. (1967) [1], 12 p. p., 5 plates, illus., plan.

Robinson, David M. Platt, Colin. Strata Florida Abbey; Talley Abbey. Edition 2nd rev ed. Cardiff: Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments, 1998. 56p: ill(chiefly col), facsims, geneal table, maps, plans, ports; 25cm. [ISBN 1857601068]

Church Records

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

Parish registers: Christenings (1685-1979), Marriages (1685-1968) and Burials (1685-1976) are at the Carmarthenshire Record Office.

Copy ts C (1685-1846) M (1687-1968) B (1686-1893) at NLW and Carm.RO

Copy ts PR index C (1813-75) M (1687-1875) at NLW and Carm.RO

Bishops' Transcripts, covering the period (1671, 1675, 1677-8, 1694, 1719, 1732, 1734-9, 1747-9, 1751-3, 1755-1800, 1802-54, 1873-4) 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)

An index to Marriages (1687-1837) is included in the South And West Wales Genealogical Index CD-ROM - details under Genealogy on Carmarthenshire county page.

See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg

Nonconformist Chapels:

  • Providence (Baptist, 1789), Cwmdu            Records with those of Aberduar (Llanybydder)                On Dyfed FHS  
  • Esgairnant (Calvinistic Methodist, bef 1743), Esgairnant             Minutes (1899) NLW Ms 16114; members (1922-45) NLW Ms 16115               On Dyfed FHS              Esgairnant Talyllychau CM chapel - still open in 2006
  • Ebenezer  English Evangelical church, Halfway          SN64733370           Built c.1900?;    Still open 1998     Coflein           On Dyfed FHS  

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Talley 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 7167 acres; Population 484 males, 521 females, total 1005

Places, villages, farms etc within Talley 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 Mary Greatorex)

  • Talley (12); Abbey, Afon Anell, Afon Cothi, Blaen-cwm-yr-efail, Blaen-nant, Bryngwyn-mawr, Coed-hirion, Craig-y-bwch, Cross Inn, Cwm-byr, Cwm-cerig, Cwm-du, Cwm-gwiddyfa, Cwm Ifor, Cwm-y-gigfran, Disgwylfa, Dolau-gleison, Ford, Glan-yr-Annell Park, Gors-yr-hwch, Halfway, Inns, Lan, Llwyn-cynhwyr, Mynydd Cynross, Mynydd Figyn, Parc-mawr, Parc-y-dilfa, Pistyll-gwyn, Talley, Tir-pant, Tre Wern, Ty-Hywel

Talley Castle - on Castle Wales


Carmarthenshire Families


Drummond, F.D.W. Annals of Edwinsford, Clovelly and Hawthornden [Notes on the Wiliams family and its estates. With illustrations], Rhydedwyn, Privately printed (1924) 59 p.

Historical Geography

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


Arblaster, Kate. Walking through Time, a Study of Cwmdu 1850-1920. This book on the village of Cwmdu near Talley grew out of the author's Ph.D thesis. Published by the author, 2001.

Griffiths, C. The village remembered: [Talley]. Country Quest 31/5 (1990), p. 44

James, Brenda M. Perlau bro Talyllychau. Lerpwl; Llanddewi Brefi: Cyhoeddiadau Modern Cymreig, c1993. vi, 57p: ill, map, ports; 22cm.

James, Brenda M. Fond memories of Talley. Liverpool: Modern Welsh Publications, c1994. 80p, [16]p of plates: ill, ports; 22cm. [ISBN 0901332399]

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

Price, David L., and Willson, Jack D. Talley House. Carmarthenshire Historian 20 (1985), p. 22-3

Price, F.S. History of Talley and Talley Abbey, Swansea, Printed by B. Trerise (1934) 36 p., illus. (incl. port.)

Richards, G.M. The Carmarthenshire possessions of Talyllychau. In Camarthenshire studies, pp.110-121, [County Hall, Carmarthen], Carmarthenshire County Council, (1974).

Land and Property

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

  • Douglas J. Elliott Collection of Jones of Glanyrafon-ddu Papers  1767-[20th century]    "David Jones (d. 1771) was a member of the Jones family of Glanyrafon-ddu, in the parish of Talley ......"

Documents at the National Library of Wales:

  • Records of the estate of the family of Williams, later Williams-Drummond, of Rhydodyn, otherwise Edwinsford, Carmarthenshire, including deeds, 1472-1811, records of the manor of Talley, 1617-1744, correspondence, 1580-1863. Other records at Carmarthen Archives.
  • Deeds and documents donated by Douglas J. Elliott, 1767-1875, of the family of Jones of Glanyrafon-ddu, parish of Talley, Carmarthenshire, relating to properties in Carmarthenshire and Breconshire.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SN635327 (Lat/Lon: 51.975916, -3.988767), Talley which are provided by:

Public Records

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

  • Talley Parish Council and Community council records  1773-1994 (accumulated 1894-1994)


Rawlins, Jose. Talley School. Dyfed FHS journal  Vol7/6 Dec 2001. An article about the Board school just outside Talley village which opened in 1874 with Dafydd Evans as the schoolmaster. References to the School Log Book (1874-96) and Admissions Register (1874-1940) which are held at Carmarthen Archives.

(Gareth Hicks : 17 Dec 2012)