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"BETTWS-GWERFYL-GOCH, a parish in the hundred of Edernion, in the county of Merioneth, North Wales, 5 miles to the N.W. of Corwen, its post and union town. It is situated on the river Alwen, which is crossed by a bridge of three arches. There is some good scenery in the valley of the Alwen. The inhabitants of the district are extensively employed in the knitting of hosiery. The living is a rectory in the diocese of St. Asaph, of the value of £124, in the patronage of the bishop. The church, an early English structure, is dedicated to St. Mary. Fairs for the sale of cattle, horses, sheep, &c., are held on the 22nd June, the 12th August (a large lamb fair), the 16th September, and the 12th December. The parish has an area of about 6 square miles." [From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]


Church History

Church and chapel data from The Religious census of 1851 : A Calendar of the returns relating to Wales, Vol 11, North Wales. Ed. by Ieuan Gwynedd Jones, UWP,   1981. The names given towards the end of each entry are those of the informants.

Area 2650 acres; Population 136 males, 120 females, total 256

  • Bettws Gwirfil Goch        Attendance - usual - morning 70, afternoon 40 + 30 scholars      Services in Welsh with monthly in English               Informant; W Hughes, Rector of Bettws

The church was in Merionethshire until 1974, then Clwyd until 1996 when it became part of Denbighshire.

Clwyd FHS site - photograph of St Mary Church

Denbighshire Churches Survey - Church of St Mary,  Betws Gwerfil Goch

Rees, Thomas & John Thomas Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru   (History of the Welsh Independent Churches), 4 volumes (published 1871+). The Bettws-Gwerfil-Goch  section (in Welsh) has been extracted - with translation by Maureen Saycell (Feb 2011)

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Bettws-Gwerfil-Goch which are provided by:


BETTWS-GWERVIL-GOCH, a parish in the hundred of EDEYRNION, county of MERIONETH, NORTH WALES, 6 1/2 miles (W. N. W.) from Corwen, containing 273 inhabitants. The village is situated on the road from Bala to Ruthin, and on the small river Alwen, over which there is a bridge of three arches. The vale of Alwen is pleasingly picturesque, particularly at Point Llyn y Gigvran, where the hills along the banks of the stream, from the base to the summit, are thickly clothed with trees : the Alwen is here crossed by a bridge of one wide arch. The parish is about ten miles in circumference, and not more than one-half is under cultivation : it forms part of the district which is noted for the knitting of woollen hose. A farm, called Bottegir, in the county of Denbigh, is within its limits, and was the residence of Col. William Sainsbury, who bravely defended the castle of Denbigh, for fourteen weeks, against a besieging body of parliamentarians under Major-General Mytton, and then surrendered only upon the most honourable terms. Fairs are held here. on June 22nd, August 12th, September 16th, and December 12th, for horned cattle, horses, sheep, and pigs; that in August is one of the largest lamb fairs in North Wales. The living is a discharged rectory, in the arch deaconry and diocese of St. Asaph, rated in the king's books at £5. 4. 7., and in the patronage of the Bishop, of St. Asaph. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is in the early style of English architecture : near the entrance there is a piscina. Close to the church is a well, called St. Mary's. It is in contemplation to erect a National school, for the benefit of poor children of this parish. The average annual expenditure for the maintenance of the poor is £ 107. 9." ( A Topographical Dictionary of Wales by Samuel Lewis, 1833)

Historical Geography

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


Gwynedd Family History Society  havea diagram of the ecclesiastical parishes of Merionethshire (under Parishes)  - with some links to photographs of parish churches

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SJ032465 (Lat/Lon: 53.007016, -3.444121), Bettws-Gwerfil-Goch which are provided by:

Public Records

Civil Parish Records 1894-1974 -  details of extant records on Archives Network Wales
Include ; ......... Bettws Gwerfyl Goch....