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"LLANFAIR, (or Llanfair juxta Harlech) a parish in the hundred of Ardudwy, county Merioneth, 1 mile S. of Harlech, and 8 miles N.E. of Barmouth, its post town. It is situated on the western coast, looking over St. George's Channel. It is a small agricultural village. The tithes were commuted in 1839. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Bangor, value £165, in the patronage of the bishop. The church is dedicated to St. Mary. The charities amount to about £5 per annum." [From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]


Lloyd, Lewis. The Pugh family of Llanfair and Llanbedr, 1775-1900. Journal of the Merioneth Historical and Record Society 11/1 (1990), p. 59-93

Llanfair is my dwelling place : the story of a small village in Meirionnydd. Harlech : Llanfair Women's Institute, c1999. 206p

Lloyd, Lewis. Recollections of Captain John Evans (1858-1933), Junior, of Bryngoleu, Llanfair, near Harlech. Maritime Wales 17 (1995), p. 57-76

Lloyd, Lewis. The Pugh family of Llanfair and Llanbedr, 1775-1900. Journal of the Merioneth Historical and Record Society 11/1 (1990), p. 59-93

Lloyd, Lewis. The rise of a native middle class : the Pugh family of Llanfair and Llanbedr, 1775-1900. Second stages in researching Welsh ancestry, p. 253-275

Wynne, Ellis. Dauganmlwyddiant Ellis Wynne : llawlyfr y dathliad yn eglwysi Llanfair a Llandanwg, ac yng ngholeg Harlech, Gorffennaf 17, 1934. Aberystwyth : Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru a phwyllgor yr Wyl Goffa, 1934. 26p


Church History

See Welsh Chapels and Churches for a photograph  of Engedi Baptist Chapel, Penrhiwgoch

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 5196 acres; Population 231 males, 243 females, total 474

  • All the returns for Festiniog District are missing

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Llanfair which are provided by:

Llanfair Slate Caverns - data and access details


LLANVAIR (LLAN-VAIR), a parish in the hundred of ARDUDWY, county of MERIONETH, NORTH WALES, 1 1/2 mile (S.) from Harlech, containing 385 inhabitants. This parish is situated in the western part of the county, on the road from Barmouth to Harlech, and upon the shore of Cardigan bay, over which it commands a fine and extensive view, and was visited, towards the latter part of the twelfth century, by Archbishop Baldwin, accompanied by Giraldus Cambrensis, in his tour to preach the crusades through the principality, who passed one night at this place in his way from Towyn to Nevin. In 1810, an act of parliament was obtained for enclosing the common and waste lands in the parish, under the provisions of which two thousand six hundred and fifty-nine acres have been enclosed, and of this extent a great part has been brought into cultivation. The surface of the parish is strikingly varied with mountainous eminences, but the scenery is marked rather with features of bold grandeur than of pleasing or picturesque beauty. The distant views present several objects of interest and variety, among which, as seen from the higher grounds, are the remains of Harlech castle, occupying a commanding eminence overlooking the fine open bay. The living is a discharged rectory, in the archdeaconry of Merioneth, and diocese of Bangor, rated in the king's books at £6. 10. 10., endowed with £200 private benefaction, and £200 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Bishop of Bangor. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is an ancient edifice, romantically situated in a very retired spot under the shelter of some precipitous mountains, which rise immediately behind it to a considerable height. Samuel Pool, in the year 1664, bequeathed a portion of land ; Griffith Rowlands, in the year 1732, bequeathed £ 20 in money ; and William Wynne, in the year 1761, and William Morgan, in the year 1778, bequeathed £ 10 each, to the poor, for whose benefit also several smaller charitable donations and bequests have been made. On the farm of Gwerneinion, in this parish, are the remains of a cromlech. The poor are supported by an average annual expenditure amounting to £216. 11.( A Topographical Dictionary of Wales by Samuel Lewis, 1833)


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

  • Argoed estate papers 1768-1942 (mainly 1768-1900)   "The Rev. William Pugh (1750-1845) became curate of Llanfair-juxta-Harlech, Merionethshire, in about 1774. He became the tenant at Argoed farm, Llanfair, part of the Caenêst estate, Llanbedr............."  
  • Pugh family, papers  1698-1914       "Papers of the Pugh family of Argoed, Llanfair, Merioneth, including deeds, 1698-1914; manuscripts (NLW MSS 17692-3, 17698-708, 17711-13), 1706-1893, mainly relating to the Reverend William Pugh, curate and rector of Llanfair-juxta-Harlech, ............"
  • Ellis, A. Cadnant, papurau (papers) [20th century]  " including ....... a brief history of the Calvinistic Methodist cause in Harlech and Llanfair..........."

Historical Geography

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

Land and Property

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

  • Crafnant and Ceilwart, deeds 1647-1892   "Crafnant, Llanfair, Merionethshire, was owned by Rhydderch Owen (fl. 1639-1647) and his descendants.........."


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 SH576294 (Lat/Lon: 52.843211, -4.115790), Llanfair which are provided by:

Public Records

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

  • Llanfair Merioneth Rate Book     "Rate book, parish of Llanfair, Merioneth, 1846-1855. Includes names of occupiers, owners, acreage, rateable value etc."

Social life and Customs

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

  • Llanfair Women's Institute Records and Correspondence 1921-1967