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"PUNCHESTON, a parish in the hundred of KEMMES, county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, 12 miles (N.N.E.) from Haverfordwest, containing 326 inhabitants. This parish, which is also called "Castell Mael," probably from an ancient encampment, of which there are still some remains, comprises a considerable tract of arable and pasture land, the greater portion enclosed and in a good state of cultivation. The surface is boldly undulated, in some parts rising into mountainous elevations and the soil is various, but in the low grounds fertile and productive. The living is a discharged rectory, in the archdeaconry of Cardigan, and diocese of St.David's, rated in the king's books at £5. 6. 8., and in the patronage of the Rev. James Williams James. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is not remarkable for any architectural details. There are places of worship for Baptists and Calvinistic Methodists; and the Society of Friends had formerly a place of interment in this parish. The remains of the ancient encampment above noticed occupy the summit of a rocky eminence, inaccessible on one side by the precipitous steepness of the acclivity, and defended on the other sides by a deep intrenchment. The Rev. --- Gambold, father of Bishop Gambold, and the compiler of a Welsh, Latin, and English Dictionary, was for some years rector of this parish. The average annual expenditure for the maintenance of the poor amounts to £51. 13." [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 - 0104238
  • 1861 Census - 0543245
  • 1871 Census - 0850858
  • 1881 Census - 1342306
  • 1891 Census - 6099651


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Puncheston 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

PUNCHESTON, St. Mary   1896-1899    - on the Church plans online site

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

  • Puncheston Parish Church               William Davies, Curate
  • Smyrna    Baptist             Erected in 1824        D W Morris, Minister               with another return        Erected in 1827  Ebenezer Williams, Deacon, Llysdref, Puncheston
  • Bethel   Welsh CM             Erected in 1827                   Henry Evans, Deacon


Parish entry for Puncheston with Little Newcastle from The Welsh Church Year Book, 1929 (Cd by Archive CD Books).

  • St Mary
  • &
  • St Peter (Little Newcastle)
  • Incumbent and Curates; D Morgan
  • Rural Deanery of Fishguard
  • Acreage 1,788 & 2,758; Population 325

Church Records

Civil register (1653-9) at Cardiff Central Library with Mf at NLW.

PR M 1813-37 recorded in 1933 apparently lost

Parish registers: Christenings (1789-1807, 1813-1985), Marriages (1797-1810, 1838-1967), Burials (1789-1807, 1813-1974) at NLW with Mf copies at Pem.RO

Bishops' Transcripts, covering the period (1675-6, 1678-83, 1686, 1688, 1799, 1801-4, 1806-7, 1809-11, 1813-43, 1845-8, 1852-9) are at the National Library of Wales, and have been microfilmed by the LDS - Call Number: 0105185.

See Bap/Mar/Bur data on  FreeReg

Nonconformist Chapels:

  • Smyrna , in Puncheston village [Baptists, 1828]. Records ; See Beulah                    On Dyfed FHS
  • Bethel, in Puncheston village  [Calvinistic Methodists, 1827]                               On Dyfed FHS                    Bethel Casmael CM chapel - still open in 2006
  • Quakers Burial Ground & Meeting House, Puncheston               SM99452925     Meeting house existed by 1700, discontinued in 1725, no remains.   Burial ground was first mentioned in 1683 (ref., The Quaker Meeting houses of Britain, Vol. ii)          Coflein   

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

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Puncheston which are provided by:

Places, villages, farms etc within Puncheston 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 Rosemary St.Leger-May)


Aerial photograph of Summerton Iron Age hillfort, Puncheston, 1990  - on the People's Collection Wales site

Historical Geography

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


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SN008297 (Lat/Lon: 51.930038, -4.898831), Puncheston which are provided by:

[Gareth Hicks: 27 Dec 2012]