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"DINAS, a parish in the hundred of KEMMES, county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, 5 miles (N.E. by E.) from Fishguard, containing 741 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated on the coast of St. George's channel, and intersected by the turnpike road from Fishguard to Newport, is of small extent, and probably owes its name, which signifies "fortress," or "city," to the bold promontory of Dinas Head, which forms one side of Fishguard bay, and was fortified on the land side by an agger, now nearly demolished. The living is a discharged rectory, in the archdeaconry of Cardigan, and diocese of St.David's, rated in the king's books at £8, and in the patronage of Thomas Lloyd, Esq. The church, dedicated to St. Brynach, occupies a remarkable situation on the beach, and at spring tides the walls of the churchyard are washed by the sea: but it is probable that this was not the site of the original structure, from a place called Bryn Hênllan, " old church hill," in the vicinity. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, and Calvinistic Methodists. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor is £106. 2." [From A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (S. Lewis, 1833).]


The 1851 census for this parish has been indexed by Dyfed Family History Society.

Census Returns for this parish have the following LDS Call Numbers:

  • 1841 Census - 0464343
  • 1851 Census - 0104239
  • 1861 Census - 0543245
  • 1871 Census - 0850859
  • 1881 Census - 1342307
  • 1891 Census - 6099652


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Dinas area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

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

  • Dinas Parish Church               "*Dinas Church is situated on an isthmus. The Chancel was washed away by an encroachment of the sea in November last  and it has not been rebuilt. It is greatly desired in the Parish if there were funds for the purpose to transfer to a new site"       Watkin William Thomas BC, Rector, Dinas Rectory
  • Tabor         Baptist             Erected in 1792, rebuilt in 1842        David Davies, Minister, Dinas
  • Brynhenllan   CM             Erected before 1800       David Evans, Deacon, Parc gwin bach
  • Gideon    Ind                  Erected in 1830                John Davies, Minister, Newport

 [*NB. The church was ultimately inundated by a bad storm,  the roofless remains are still there in Cwm yr Eglwys. A new St Byrnach's was eventually built in the village (ie. up on the hill away from the beach)

Here is an extract from The History of Little England beyond Wales and the non-Kymric colony settled in Pembrokeshire, by E. Laws (1888);

"The ill-omened expedition of Welshmen who expatriated themselves to aid Magnus Maximus is supposed to have set sail in the year 383, and very soon afterwards an Irish chieftain known as Nial of the Seven Hostages, at the head of an army of Gwyddel Ffichti occupied the whole of North Wales and the Counties of Pembroke, Carmarthen and Cardigan. From this unlooked for source Welsh Christianity seems to have sprung.  A rover, indifferently known as Anlach son of Coronac, or Anlach Mac Cormac Mac Cairbre, either a member of Nial's force or an independent pirate settled with a body of Gaels on the river Isgaer near Brecon, married Marchell a princess of the country, and started his son Brychan in life as a respectable regulus,. This eponymous chieftain from whom Brecon takes its name came to his throne about 410, according to Rees;  he was a notable Christian and was blessed with a family of twenty four sons and twenty six daughters, most of them saints.  The second of these sons Cledwyn was a warrior as well as a priest, and seems to have made an expedition either to assist his kinfolk in Pembrokeshire or to conquer them, which, it is impossible to say.  He was accompanied by his brother Dogvan and his sisters Mechell, Clydai, Cymorth and her husband Brynach the Irishman.
This campaign or warrior priests and priestesses seem to have proved a success.  Their leader Cledwyn founded the church of Llangledwin on the borders of Carmarthenshire.  Dogvan was slain at some unknown place in Pembrokeshire where a lost church was dedicated to Merthyr Dogvan.  Mechell married a chieftain Gyner of Caer Gawch near St Davids. Clydai founded the church of Clydai in Emlyn.  Cymorth, Cledwyn's sister and Brynach's wife, seem to have been contented with naming the mountain in Emlyn after herself, but her husband made up for any deficiencies.  He founded seven churches: Dinas, Nevern, Henrys Moat, Pontfaen, Kilymaenllwyd, Llanboidy and Llanfirnach."


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

  • St Brynach
  • &
  • Parish Church (Llanllawer)
  • Incumbent and Curates; W G Williams
  • Rural Deanery of Kemes
  • Acreage  2,545 & 1,245; Population 692

Tabor, Dinas 1792-1992 . Tabor, Capel y Bedyddwyr, 1992. 24p .

Church Records

Parish registers: Christenings (1676-1972), Marriages (1676-1804, 1813-1970), Burials (1676-1973) at NLW

Mf copies Christenings (1804-12), Marriages (1755-91), Burials (1804-12) at Pem.RO

Copy ms PR CMB (1676-1812) at NLW

Bishops' Transcripts, covering the period (1675-6, 1678, 1680, 1682-6, 1688-9, 1699, 1702-3, 1799-1809, 1811-37, 1839-45, 1848-58, 1865, 1867-81) are at the National Library of Wales, and have been microfilmed by the LDS - Call Number: 0105139.

See Bap/Mar/Bur data on  FreeReg

Nonconformist Chapels:

  • Tabor [Baptists, 1792], Dinas Cross             Records ; See Llangloffan/Granston parish                SN00543851       Built 1792, extended 1815, rebuilt 1842 - fabric renewed 1882 or 1887 & modifications 1921   Still open 1998     Coflein                 On Dyfed FHS
  • Bryn Henllan, in Bryn Henllan [Calvinistic Methodists, 1770]. Records ; 1. Births and baptisms, 1812-35, PRO RG4/3605  and have been microfilmed by the LDS - Call Number: 813550, IGI. 2. Early society accounts for this chapel transcribed in the Journal of the Historical Society of the Presbyterian Church of Wales Vol 51, 1966.            On Dyfed FHS
  • Gideon [Independents, 1830], Dinas Cross              Records ; See Ebenezer/Newport             SN01973876    Built c 1830, improvements post-1843          Coflein              On Dyfed FHS                  Gedeon  Ind chapel  - Shown as still open on the Union of Welsh Independents site (Dec 2006)
    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 this chapel (in Welsh ) - with translation by Maureen Saycell (Jan 2009)

Dyfed FHS have published a series of indexes of baptisms, marriages and burials from Pembrokeshire hundreds for various periods.

There is at the NLW  [ Ref Titus and Eliz. Evans MSS 38] a transcription made by John Thomas Evans, Rector of Stow on the Wold, styled The White Book of Dinas, being a true copy of the Church registers Nos 1,2 & 3 of the aforesaid parish from the year 1676-1812. Which is a period the parish registers and BTs are either incomplete or missing.

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Dinas which are provided by:

Places, villages, farms etc within Dinas parish as shown on the online parish map from the CD o 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 Tony Morris)

  • Dinas (24); Allt-wen; Bryn-henllan; Bwlch-mawr; Cafnau; Carn Enoch; Carn Sefyll; Cerig Duon; Crug glas; Cwm Fforest; Cwm-yr-Eglwys; Dinas; Dinas Cross; Dinas Head; Dinas Island; Fagwyr Meredith; Feidr fawr; Fforest; Ffynon-avy; Fron; Garn Fawr; Needle Rock; Pen Clawdd; Pen-mynydd; Pen-sidau; Pig-y-Baw; Pwll Glas; Pwll Gwaelod; Rhos Isaf; Soar Hill; Trwyn Isaac; Wern-dew; Y Bryn;

Dinas Cross - on Wikipedia

Historical Geography

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


Miles, Dillwyn. The last of the traditional storytellers, 1851-1930 [ Daniel Thomas (Daniel y pant), Dinas]  (NLW's site)  Pemb Historian XIII


[Gareth Hicks: 2 Oct 2013]

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SN013389 (Lat/Lon: 52.012828, -4.896895), Dinas which are provided by: