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"LLANDDERFEL, a parish in the hundred of Penllyn, county Merioneth, 5 miles N.E. of Bala, and 7 S.W. of Corwen, its post town. It is situated on the northern bank of the river Dee, which is here crossed by a bridge at the base of the Berwyn mountains. The parish includes the townships of Nantfrayer, Selwrn, and six others. The people are employed in flannel weaving and in agriculture. The hills afford good pasture for sheep. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of St. Asaph, value £260, in the patronage of the bishop. The church is a spacious stone edifice built about the reign of Henry VIII. It contains several stained-glass windows, and a remarkably good screen. It is dedicated to St. Derval Gadarn, of whom there was formerly a large wooden image, which was sent to London in 1538 and burned with Dr. Forest in Smithfield; the saint's horse and staff are still preserved, and used to be held in great veneration. The parochial benefactions produce about £46 per annum, part of which is paid to Raglan. Fairs are held on 17th August and 16th October for the sale of cattle and live stock." [From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]


The 1851 census of Llandderfel as enumerated - transcription provided by John and Doreen Jones.

The 1871 census of Llandderfel as enumerated - transcription provided by John and Doreen Jones.

The 1891 census of Llandderfel as enumerated - transcription provided by John and Doreen Jones.

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.

Parish statistics; Area 7794 acres; Population 477 males, 478 females, total 955

  • Llandderfel Parish Church         Attendance - morning 48 + 10 scholars, afternoon 27 + 9 scholars      Services in Welsh                John Jones, Rector
  • Cefndwysarn Chapel, Calvinistic Methodist      Erected 1822    Attendance - morning 102 incl 92 scholars, afternoon 108 scholars, evening 80     Ellis Davies, Deacon or Steward, Tynycoed, nr Bala
  • Llandderfel Chapel, Calvinistic Methodist        Erected 1813/14         Attendance - morning 148, afternoon 135 scholars + 31 teachers, evening 176          David Edwards, Elder, Tyisa, Llandderfel
  • Pensingryg, Independent               Erected 1829              Attendance - morning 33, afternoon 46 scholars, evening 60                   Michael Jones, Minister, Bala
  • Bethel, Independents              Erected 1816              Attendance - morning 42 scholars, afternoon 78 + 50 scholars, evening 58                  Michael Jones, Minister, Bala
  • Soar, Independents            Erected 1827            Attendance - morning 31, afternoon 32 scholars, evening 38              Michael Jones, Minister, Bala
  • Mynach Chapel, Llaithgwm Township, Welsh Calvinistic Methodist             Erected c1800       Attendance - morning 85, afternoon 111 scholars, evening 70      Robert Edwards, Deacon, Frongoch

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 Soar chapel (in Welsh ) - with translation          Also Bethel chapel (No translation)     Also Llandderfel chapel (No translation)

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Llandderfel which are provided by:



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

  • Evan Roberts Papers  "Evan Roberts, (1877-1958), from Llandderfel, was a local historian and a close friend of John Cowper Powys...."

Historical Geography

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


Three Saints, Two Wells, and a Welsh Parish [Llandderfel] by Tristan Gray Hulse

Land and Property

People's Collection Wales site - photograph of Bronwylfa House, Llandderfel c 1875

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

  • Bodwenni Estate Papers [13th century]-1953 (mainly 1540-1894)   "The Bodwenni estate, Llandderfel, Merionethshire, was owned by Ellis ap David in 1630............"  
  • Fronheulog Estate Records   "Deeds and documents, 1660-1922, from Bronwylfa, Llandderfel, partly relating relating to the Fronheulog estate and to the Williams family of Fronheulog and Menairafon, Angelsey....."


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 SH982370 (Lat/Lon: 52.920718, -3.515622), Llandderfel which are provided by: