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"WISTON, or WIZTON, a borough and parish, in the hundred of DUNGLEDDY, county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, 5 miles (E.N.E.) from Haverfordwest, 15 (N. by E.) from Pembroke, and 259 1/2 (W.) from London, containing 745 inhabitants. . . The parish lies only a short distance to the north of the main road from Narberth to Haverfordwest: the church can only be approached by very bad roads, which, in unfavourable weather, are even dangerous. It is of very considerable extent, but the land is generally poor, the only portion of tolerably good soil being about six hundred acres near the church. . . The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a plain Norman edifice, with a small tower, and, from its retired situ-ation in the bosom of a plantation, by which it is partly concealed, has a pleasing and picturesque appearance. There is a place of worship for Welsh Calvinistic Methodists. A school for the gratuitous instruction of poor children, in which at present there are about forty of both sexes, is supported by Earl Cawdor and the other proprietors of land in the parish. . . " [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 - 0104236
  • 1861 Census - 0543244
  • 1871 Census - 0850856
  • 1881 Census - 1342305
  • 1891 Census - 6099647


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

  • Parish Church of the Parish and Borough of Wiston                James Philipps, Incument
  • Wiston chapel   CM           Erected in 1813            James Hughes, Elder, Froghall, Spittal parish, nr Haverfordwest


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

  • St Mary Magdalene
  • Incumbent and Curates; J Ll Williams
  • Rural Deanery of Dungleddy
  • Acreage 7,186 ; Population 629

Church Records

CMB (1653-66) entered in PR Llawhaden

Parish registers: Christenings (1653-66, 1715-1993), Marriages (1653-66, 1715-1970), Burials (1653-66, 1715-1921), at NLW with Mf/fac copies at Pem.RO

Bishops' Transcripts, covering the period (1799-1806, 1808-82) are at the National Library of Wales, and have been microfilmed by the LDS - Call Number: 0105215.

See Bap/Mar/Bur data on  FreeReg

Nonconformist Chapels:

  • Penuel , in Clarbeston Road [Calvinistic Methodists, 1866]          Penuel CM / Bethany Evangelical, Clarbeston Rd        SN01512085    Built 1886, rebuilt 1960    Still open 1993       Coflein                 See Bethany below
  • Wiston, in Chapel Hill [Calvinistic Methodists, 1813]. records ; births and bapts 1820-37 at PRO RG4/3607 , and have been microfilmed by the LDS - Call Number: 819967, IGI.   The Wiston area baptism register for 1921-1930 is at Pem.RO                  SN02211923    Built 1813, modified, altered or rebuilt 1867, 1873 and 1911  Coflein            On Dyfed FHS                 Wiston CM chapel - still open in 2006
  • Bethany Evangelical Free Church, Clarbeston Rd                  See Penuel above          On Dyfed FHS under Clarbeston

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

MacDonald, R W. The Parish Registers of Wales, National Library of Wales journal. 1976, Winter. Volume XIX/4. Here is an extract relating to this parish;
"The Act of 1653 authorised justices of the peace to unite a number of small parishes 'which shall be accompted one Parish as to matters onely within this Act; and one Register to serve for such Parishes and places so united'...... The parishes of Bletherston, Llawhaden and Wiston in co. Pembroke were similarly united. The entries for these three parishes for the period 1653-7 were recorded in three separate sections within one register volume. The appointment of Griffith Twyning as Register for the three parishes is recorded at the beginning of the volume. In this register a number of marriages which took place before Sir Erasmus Phillipps at Picton Castle and before Richard Castle at Narberth Castle are recorded. The following examples of entries are from the Wiston section of this register:
-'Jon Mirriman & ffrancis Nash widd' were published in wiston church 3 sev[er]all lords daies / To witt / the last of Aprill the 7th & the 14th of May 1654 & were Maried at Picton Castle by Sir Erasmus Phillipps barr' the 15th day of May 1654. Henry the sonn of Jon Eynon & Mary his wife was borne the 27th of october 1654. Judith Baker widd' was buried the 8th of november 1654. '  "

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Wiston which are provided by:

Places, villages, farms etc within Wiston 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)

  • Wiston (77); Church Hill, Clarbeston Road, Clover Hill, Colby Moor, Conkland Hill, Corner Fm., Crundale Hook, Dollaston, Fenton, Fenton Brook, Hengoed, Hobbin's Hill, Hooks Hill, Lamborough, Lamborough Camp (Antiquity), Longlands, Lower Hill,  Manor Fm., Merryborough, Millbrook, Mountjoy, New Ho., Northumberland, Orton, Scourfield, Selvedge, Valley Fm.,West Dairy, Wiston, Wood Barn.


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

Historical Geography

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


Wiston Castle - a  Castles of Wales  site." Wiston must rank as one of the best-preserved motte and bailey castles in Wales. It was named after, and probably built by, an early Flemish settler with the improbable name of Wizo (in Latin) or Gwys (Welsh)...."


Murphy, Kenneth. The castle and borough of Wiston, Pembrokeshire. Archaeologia Cambrensis 144 (1995), p. 71-102

Turner, Rick. Wiston Castle. Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments, 1996. 1 sheet : ill., facsims.,plans ; 25x50 cm folded to 25x17 cm.

Vyner, Blaise. Woodbarn, Wiston : a Pembrokeshire rath .Archaeologia Cambrensis 135 (1986), p. 121-33 Subject Hill Forts.


[Gareth Hicks:  28 Dec 2012]

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SN023181 (Lat/Lon: 51.826408, -4.870396), Wiston which are provided by: