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"SLEBECH, a parish in the hundred of DUNGLEDDY, county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, 4 1/2 miles (E.) from Haverfordwest, containing 353 inhabitants. This parish, which is delightfully situated on the banks of the Eastern Cleddy, and on the turnpike road from Haverfordwest to Narberth, comprises a large extent of arable and pasture land, which is all enclosed and in a good state of cultivation. The surface is pleasingly varied, and the soil generally fertile and productive: the rates are collected by the ploughland. . . A little above the village of Slebech the Eastern Cleddy river, on the northern bank of which it is situated, becomes navigable for vessels of considerable burden, and, about four miles below it, joins the Western Cleddy, these two then forming the magnificent haven of Milford. . . The church, formerly the conventual church of the commandery, and the only remaining portion of that ancient establishment, is a venerable and ancient structure, in the Norman style of architecture, pleasantly situated near the bank of the river, and embosomed in the luxuriant groves which surrounded it. . . There is a place of worship for Baptists. The commandery of the knights St. John of Jerusalem, according to Bishop Tanner, was established here prior to the year 1301 . . ." [From A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (S. Lewis, 1833).]

Monumental Inscriptions for this parish are available from the Dyfed Family History Society.


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

The 1891 census for this parish has been transcribed by G J Davies.

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

  • 1841 Census - 0464343
  • 1851 Census - 0104231
  • 1861 Census - 0543242
  • 1871 Census - 0850851
  • 1881 Census - 1342302
  • 1891 Census - 6099635


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

See Welsh Chapels and Churches for a photograph

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

  • Slebech Parish Church                 Erected in January 1848 in lieu of an old Parish Church            W D Landon, Perpetual Curate
  • Zion's chapel      [Baptist?]          Erected in 1833                      David Jenkins, Minister, Dollaston Wiston Parish

Parish entry for Slebech with Newton North from The Welsh Church Year Book, 1929 (Cd by Archive CD Books).

  • St John Baptist
  • &
  • (Church in ruins, Newton North)
  • Incumbent and Curates; W H Barnes
  • Rural Deanery of Dungleddy
  • Acreage 4,474 & 659 ; Population  386

Church Records

Parish registers: Christenings (1788-1806, 1813-1925), Marriages (1762-1957, 1960-71) Banns (1757-1810, 1874-5, 1941-3), Burials (1782-1807, 1813-1972) at NLW with Mf copies at Pem.RO

Copy ts BT (1799-1820) at Pem.RO

Bishops' Transcripts, covering the period (1799-1818, 1820-44, 1846-59, 1861-81) are at the National Library of Wales, and have been microfilmed by the LDS - Call Number: 0105190.

See Bap/Mar/Bur data on  FreeReg

Nonconformist Chapels:

  • Zion, near South Dairy  [Baptists, 1832]. Records ; See Bethesda, Moleston and Y Ffynnon         SN00091619         Built 1832, restored 189   Still open 1998    Coflein         On Dyfed FHS
  • Millin Cross, in Millin Cross [Calvinistic Methodists, 1866]                     On Dyfed FHS                       Millin Cross, Rhos, Hwlffordd       CM chapel - still open in 2006

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 Slebech which are provided by:

Places, villages, farms etc within Slebech 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 Barry Johnson)

  • Slebech (82); Arnold's Hill, Canaston Bridge, Castle Lake Camp (Antiquity), Church Ho., Clerkenhill, Coldblow, Cresborough, High Toch, Ladies Cross, Lower Toch, Millin Brook, Millin Cross, New House, Pickle Woods, Picton Fm., Picton Park, Picton Point, Rosehill, Slebech Park, South Dairy Mountain, The Rhos.

 Picton Castle. - on Castle Wales.


Transcript of complete entry in Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Wales of 1833.


Griffiths, Bill. PHILIPPS of Picton Castle. Dyfed FHS journal, Vol 5/344. In his article on gentlemen of Pembrokeshire, who changed their names in order to inherit a significant estate, the author looks at Richard Grant, the Rev. James Gwyther, and Sir Charles Fisher.

Shankland, Thomas[Rev]. Sir John Philipps of Picton, the SPCK and the Charity School Movement in Wales 1699-1737.   Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, . Session 1904-05.

Historical Geography

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


Charles, B G. The records of Slebech, The National Library of Wales Journal vol. v/3, Summer, 1948

Parry, John Meredydd. The Commandery of Slebech in Wales of the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem . [Slebech?] : Fairwinds Publications, [1996] viii,87p : ill, facsims,maps

Taylor, Clare.   The perils of a West Indian heiress: case studies of the heiress of  Nathanial Phillips of Slebech   (NLW's site)    Welsh History Review 12

Land and Property

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

  • Slebech estate, records  1292-1926  and [c. 1734]-1955    "Slebech was a preceptory or commandery (=grange) of the order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem in England. In 1546, following the suppression of the monasteries, Slebech was granted to Roger Barlow and Thomas Barlow,  ................"
  • Philipps family, of Picton Castle, manorial records    1588-1968          "Picton Castle, Slebech, Pembrokeshire, was built in early 12th century by William de Picton and his descendants still occupy the Castle today, carrying the name of Philipps since the 15th Century. .................."   
  • Picton Castle Estate papers       1848-1941  
  • Summers, James, collection of Picton Castle papers  1859-1945  "Picton Castle, Slebech, Pembrokeshire, was the seat of the Philipps families since 1469.........."

Held at the NLW ;

  • Estate and family records of Barlow, Phillips and de Rutzen of Slebech, co Pembroke, C13th-C20th ; include records of the Knights Hospitallers of the Commandery of Slebech, C14th ; ministers' accounts, 1355-1485 ; manorial records C16th-C19th. The estate was bought by Nathanial Phillips in 1792 ; there are records of the Phillips' Jamaica sugar plantations, 1760-1812. Other records at Pem Archives.
  • Estate and family records of Philipps of Picton Castle, Pembrokeshire, C13-C20; estates mainly in Pembrokeshire, also Carmarthenshire and Glamorganshire; manorial records and coal-mining records, C17-C19. Other records at Pembrokeshire Archives


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SN026156 (Lat/Lon: 51.804064, -4.864624), Slebech which are provided by:


Charcoal fired blast furnace site  in Canaston Wood, near Blackpool Mill, Pembrokeshire.  "The first evidence for iron smelting on the site is a document of 1635 granting ..........a lease of the 'decayed mill called Canaston Myll,' .........."

Social life and Customs

Cule, John. Some Early Hospitals in Wales and the Border. National Library of Wales journal. 1977, Winter Volume XX/2. Here is an extract relating to this parish;
"Information on Slebech, the only commandery solely concerned with Wales, is sadly lacking. The old hospice itself was completely destroyed and Slebech Hall built over the site of the commandery. Lewis Glyn Cothi, in the fifteenth century wrote a cywydd comparing pilgrimages to the healing altar of St. John at Slebech Church with those to Bardsey.These journeys were scarcely in the great tradition of those hospitallers who had arrived at Slebech shortly after Pope Paschal's recognition of the Order in 1113."


[Gareth Hicks:  28 Dec 2012]