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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:

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

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:

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

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)


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


Pembrokeshire Families


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.


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[Gareth Hicks:  28 Dec 2012]

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