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Help and advice for Cardigan

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"CARDIGAN, a sea-port, borough, market town, and parish, in the lower division of the hundred of TROEDYRAUR, county of CARDIGAN, SOUTH WALES, 232 miles (W. by N.) from London, containing 2795 inhabitants. This place, called by the Welsh Aberteivy, from its situation near the mouth of the river Teivy, was probably selected, at a very early period, as an eligible site both for habitation and for commerce, its maritime situation affording a facility of communication with distant parts of the kingdom. Little, however, is known either of its original foundation or of its primitive inhabitants; nor are there either traditionary or authentic records of its history, prior to the conquest of this part of the country by the Normans, who erected a fortress at this place, to defend the passage of the river, and to secure themselves in the possession of the territories which they successively wrested from the native proprietors...." [From Samuel Lewis's A Topographical Dictionary of Wales 1833]



Beynon, Daniel Islwyn. Eseia Williams : Aberteifi . Descriptor: Union of Welsh Independents Biography. Named Person: Williams, Eseia, 1889- Gwasg Ty ar y Graig, 1973

Bayliss, M.J. The Makeigs in Cardigan; The Parkypratt Family . Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol VII, No 2, 1973.

Baylis, M.J. A Portrait of Thomas Makeig IV [1772-1838] of Little Scotland and Park Y Pratt. Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society VolV/2, 1965.


Business and Commerce Records

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

  • Davies Brothers (Bonded Stores), records 1800-[1921]
    "The business of Davies Brothers was established around 1800 and sold bonded spirits, wines and beers to licensed premises in the Cardigan area. In 1896 the business was amalgamated with The Swansea Old Brewery and with Messrs R. George & Son of Pembroke to form The Swansea Old Brewery & Davies' (Cardigan) Bonded Stores Ltd., with branches in Swansea, Pembroke and Cardigan........."

Held at the NLW ;

  • Records donated by Idris Mathias largely relating to the Swansea Old Brewery & Davies [Cardigan] Bonded Stores Ltd, Cardigan, 1872-1921.

Held at Ceredigion Archives;

  • C19 and C20 sale posters from the Cardigan and Teivyside press at Cardigan.


Monumental inscriptions for St Mary's Church, Cardigan and Cardigan, Penparcau available on microfiche from  Dyfed FHS.



The Cardigan town 1851 census index has been published by  Dyfed FHS


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. The data comes from a section 'Cardigan Borough. St Mary Parish'

  • St Mary's Parish Church "There is no Vicarage House nor any Glebe" Griffith Thomas, Vicar of St Mary's
  • Additional School Room, Cardigan, St Mary parish. Licensed for public worship March 1850. " An additional church is very much wanted in this parish in order that Divine Service be conveniently performed both in Welsh and English at the same time...." Griffith Thomas, Vicar of St Mary's

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

      • St Mary
      • Incumbent and Curates; D M Jones (D J Davies)
      • Rural Deanery of Sub Aeron
      • Acreage 2,485 ; Population 2,613

          St Mary's Church - photograph on Dyfed FHS

          Various items  - on the People's Collection Wales site

          • St. Mary's Church And Vicarage, Priory Street, Cardigan

          See John Ball's site Welsh Churches and Chapels Collection for a photograph/data re St Mary's Church

          See Chapels database

          Peregrine, David John Morien. A Brief Historical and General Survey of St. Mary's Parish Church, Cardigan. [With plates.] [The Author:] Cardigan, 1954. 8o. [BM 7823.f.3]

          Pritchard, Emily M. Cardigan Priory in the Olden Days ... Illustrated. London, 1904.

          Bowen, E.G. The Teifi Valley as a Religious Frontier. Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol VII, No 1, 1972.


          Church Records

          See Notes on Church/Chapel Records page

          Parish Register;
          Baptisms 1654-1959. Marriages 1653-1971 [Banns 1823-75]. Burials 1654-1911 NLW/Cer.RO
          Typescript copies of PR CMB 1669-97, 1700 NLW
          Bishops Transcripts;
          1675-6, 1678-83, 1685-6, 1688, 1701, 1799-1801, 1803, 1806-10, 1812-75 NLW

          See parish register data and town cemetery data on FreeReg

          Nonconformist Chapels; see Chapels database


          Description and Travel

          The Religious census of 1851 : A Calendar of the returns relating to Wales, Vol 1, South Wales., by Jones, I.G. & Williams, D. UWP, Cardiff, 1976. These statistics for this parish are extracted from this book which in turn got them from the 1851 census itself;

          • Area 2517 acres; Population 1246 males, 1735 [?] females, total 2689 [?]
              • Description of Cardigan, Isle of, from Samuel Lewis's A Topographical Dictionary of Wales 1833

                "CARDIGAN (ISLE OF), an extra-parochial district, in the hundred of TROEDYRAUR, county of CARDIGAN, SOUTH WALES, 4 1/2 miles (N.) from Cardigan. This is a small island, at the eastern side of the mouth of the river Teivy, and only separated from the main land by a narrow channel: it comprises about forty acres, and yields good pasturage for cattle and sheep, chiefly for the market at Cardigan."

                  Cardigan - on Wikipedia

                  Various items  - on the People's Collection Wales site

                  • Various landscapes 
                  • CARDIGAN CASTLE
                  • Cardigan, various engravings
                  • Slide of RCAHMW colour oblique aerial photograph of Cardigan Island, taken by C.R. Musson, 26/7/1989.

                  Anon. Cardigan --- town and liberties. Bye-Gones, 1871-3

                  Cardigan and the Lower Teifi Valley in Old Photographs. Dyfed C.C. Gloucester, 1989. Re-published in 2000 by Budding Books. ISBN 1-84015-157-9. Here is an index and review by Mary Jane Stephenson. There is also an index on Ceredigion Library

                  Kramer, Zia. Cardigan and the River Teifi (NLW's site) Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol VII, No 1, 1972.

                  Mathias, Idris. Last of the Mwldan. Gomer, Llandysul. (1 85902 428 9).Gomer catalogue 2002;- "Mwldan lies on the lower side of Cardigan town. Once it was the home of sea captains, sailors, fishermen, foundrymen, poachers, preachers and sailmakers. It was the life and soul of Cardigan, those many years ago. " So begins this remarkable and moving memoir by Idris Mathias, one who calls himself the last of the Mwldan because he and his family were among the very last to leave their homes in Foundry Court in the slum clearance of 1937.

                  Peregrine, DJM. Cardigan's Ancient Borough. Ceredigion, Vol II

                  Price, M R C. The Whitland and Cardigan Railway. Oakwood, 1975

                  Sanders, IJ. The Boroughs of Aberystwyth and Cardigan in the early fourteenth century. B. Board. Celtic Stud, Vol XV

                  You can see pictures of Cardigan which are provided by:



                  Pigot & Co. South Wales Directory for 1830. Here are some Extracts relating to Cardigan

                  Pigot & Co. South Wales Directory for 1844. Here are some Extracts relating to Cardigan with the village of St Dogmells and Neighbourhoods



                  The transcription of the section for Cardigan from The National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.

                  Description of the parish of Cardigan from A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (1833) by Samuel Lewis.

                  Ask for a calculation of the distance from Cardigan to another place.

                  Click here for a list of nearby places.


                  Historical Geography

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



                  Griffiths, Ralph.A. The Making of Medieval Cardigan. (NLW's site) Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol XI, No 2, 1990

                  Harris, Silas M. Our Lady of Cardigan. Llawlyfr Cym. Cered. Llundain, Vol VIII (1952/3)

                  Lewis, W. J. Gateway to Wales : a History of Cardigan . Carmarthen, 1990. Includes over 120 illustrations, and street maps.

                  Lloyd and Turner. Cardigan. 1794

                  O'Mahoney, Cathy. Excavation and Survey at Cardigan Castle (NLW's site) Ceredigion Vol X

                  Peregrine, D J M Cardigan's ancient borough (NLW's site) Ceredigion Vol II

                  Roberts, D Hywel E. Almanac y Cymro (NLW's site) Ceredigion XII

                  Sampson, Aylwin Arthur. Aberteifi (Cardigan). [Buildings,structures.] Welsh/English parallel text. Aberystwyth,Cymdeithas Lyfrau Ceredigion,1972

                  Sanders. I J. The Boroughs of Aberystwyth and Cardigan in the Early Fourteenth Century. Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies, 1954

                  Those were the days : a history of Cardigan, the locality and its people. Vol.1 & 2. Cardigan : Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser, 1991/92. An online index to Vol 1 only by Gareth Hicks together with a list of contents of both. There are also commentaries based on some of the material in the books under Cardigan on Not everyone knows this.. There also is an index on Ceredigion Library

                   Various items  - on the People's Collection Wales site

                  • A Public Meeting Town Hall Cardigan 1858 
                  • Take Notice that the Cardigan Hiring Fair 1861
                  • Cardigan Gate 183. Toll gate tickets c.1830
                  • The Newcastle Emlyn to Cardigan stagecoach outside the Tivy-side Inn, Llechryd, in 1906.
                  • High St Cardigan, Shows a crowd of women in Welsh national dress and the shop of J. Clougher. c 1853
                  • The arrival of the first Ford Model T at Gwalia motors, Cardigan, 1915

                  Land and Property

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

                  • Kyle Deeds "Deeds relating to Cardigan and St Dogmaels, Pembrokeshire, 1537-1804, predominantly of the property of the Weilshe family, 1563-1676, and the Davies family, 1676-1804; ........."

                  Held at the NLW ;

                  • Deeds donated by Mrs M. Kyle, largely relating to the Cardigan area, C16-C17, and the Swansea area, C19.

                  James, Terrence. Excavations at Woolworths, Cardigan (NLW's site) Ceredigion Vol IX

                  Maynard, David. Excavations at Cardigan: Volk's Bakery 1975 (NLW's site) Ceredigion Vol VII


                  Merchant Marine

                  Various items  - on the  People's Collection Wales site

                  • Cardigan Quay, 1890 
                  • Cardigan Port collection
                  • Cardigan and Bristol ships in Cardigan, c. 1900
                  • Shipbuilding in Cardigan, 19th century
                  • Mercantile Wharf, Cardigan, c. 1860s
                  • MARGARET LLOYD lost Cardigan Island 25-26 October 1859
                  • Ships used for transporting lime, Cardigan, 19th century
                  • Photograph of the lifeboat 'Elisabeth Austin', Cardigan, 19th century

                  Records for the port of Cardigan are held at Pembrokeshire Archives.

                  The Port book of the Port of Cardigan in Elizabethan and Stuart Times . Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society Transactions. Vols. VII 1930, & IX 1933

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

                  • Shipping registers for Cardigan and Pembrokeshire 1824-1992 "The Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen was established by the Merchant Shipping Act 1872, when the Registrar General of Seamen took over responsibility for returns relating to the registration of ships from the Board of Customs' Chief Registrar of Shipping. In Pembrokeshire, the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen recorded merchant ships registered at the port of Cardigan and at the port of Milford Haven......"

                  Military History

                  Various items  - on the People's Collection Wales site

                  • The Band of the Cardigan Volunteer Corps waiting at Cilgerran station to welcome Lt. Colby of Ffynnone home from the Boer War, c.1902 
                  • A letter from the town clerk, on behalf of the mayor of Cardigan, inviting Daniel Horton Davies to lunch with him, 7 January 1919
                  • A telegram sent by Daniel Horton Davies from Koenbenhavn, Denmark, to his family at the Eagle Inn, Cardigan, 2 December 1918
                  • A notification form sent to Mrs G. Davies, The Eagle, Castle Street, Cardigan, 16 Feburary, 1918, stating that her husband, D. H. Davies has been reported missing in action 
                  • 407 Battery , 146 Regiment, Pembroke and Cardigan Yeomanry, Drill hall Cardigan 1939
                  • 408 Battery , 146 Regiment, Pembroke and Cardigan Yeomanry, Drill hall Aberystwyth 1939
                  • 407 Battery Aberteifi in Belgium during WWII, 1944  - and various other items
                  • An article from the Cambrian News and Meirionethshire Standard about the death of Harold Madoc Jones from Cardigan during The First World War.
                  • Peace proclamation in Cardigan, 1919
                  • A police/military procession through Cardigan[?], c. 1919

                  Names, Geographical

                  Places, villages, farms etc within Cardigan 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 Howard Thomas)

                  • Cardigan St Mary's (104); Banc-y-warren, Cae-morgan, Cardigan, Glan-llynan, Llwyn-piod, Llyn-y-felin, New Mill, New Town, Old Castle Farm, Pen-lan, Rockland Farm, Tre-Bared, Tre-cift, Tre-Giby, Ty-hen


                      Newspaper extracts

                      Ceredigion Library have online indexes of biographies from the Cardigan & Tivyside Advertiser 1866-1980

                      Various items  - on the People's Collection Wales site

                      • The Cardigan Observer Jan 5 1878 
                      • The Cardigan Bay Visitor Jun 24 1887
                      • Poster advertising the sale of newspapers at the Cardigan Mechanics' Institute, 30 December 1888


                      Various items  - on the People's Collection Wales site

                      • Conti Bros Cardigan, ice-cream van c. 1930s 
                      • David Wilson, fishmonger's delivery boy photographed in 1905. 
                      • Photograph taken from an 1894 copy of the Police Review -  Chief Constable Howell Evans of the Cardiganshire Constabulary.
                      • Round buddle and the Cardigan Foundry Water-wheel
                      • Man with his coracle on the banks of the Teifi, near Cardigan, 1 June 1952

                      Politics and Government

                      Edwards, Philip S. The mysterious parliamentary election at Cardigan boroughs in 1547 (NLW's site) Welsh History Review 8

                      Lloyd-Johnes, H.J. The Cardigan Boroughs Election, 1774 (NLW's site) Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol VII, No 1, 1972.

                      Thomas, Peter D.G. C18 Elections in the Cardigan Boroughs Constituency (NLW's site) Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol V, No 4, 1967.

                      Thomas, Peter D.G. The Cardigan Boroughs Election of 1741 (NLW's site) Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol VI, No 1, 1968.
                      "The legislation of Henry VIII creating the borough constituencies of Wales was a masterpiece of vagueness......... the presumed intention that the borough groupings were to consist of all the 'ancient boroughs' of each county was rarely, if ever, fulfilled...........In Cardiganshire the ancient boroughs were Aberystwyth, Adpar, Cardigan, Lampeter, Llanddewibrefi, and Tregaron........ Evidence (from 1604) of the early composition of the Parliamentary constituency ... shows that Cardigan, Aberystwyth, Tregaron, Trefilan, Lampeter and Adpar had then comprised the the late 17th century Trefilan had disappeared from the list......"


                      Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

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

                      • Cardiganshire Board of Guardians Records 1834-1936
                        "Records relating to the Cardiganshire Board of Guardians, including Cardigan Union, 1834-1935; Newcastle Emlyn Union, 1916-1925; Lampeter Union, 1871-1930; Tregaron Union, 1912-1929; Aberayron Union, 1854-1922; and Aberystwyth Union, 1878-1936."
                      • Cardigan Poor Law Union, records 1840-1948

                      Public Records

                      Held at the NLW ;

                      • Cardigan Borough Order Books, 1653-1907

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

                      • Cardigan Borough Council Records 1768-1974 (accumulated 1858-1974)
                      • Cardigan Rural District Council 1923-1934


                      Here is an extract from The Reports of the Commissioners appointed to enquire into the state of Education in Wales. 1847

                      Roberts, D Hywel E. Sefydlu ysgol ganolraddol yn Aberteifi, 1890-98 (NLW's site) Ceredigion XIII

                      Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi : canmlwyddiant ; 1898-1998 (Cardigan Secondary School ; centenary ; 1898-1998). Aberteifi : Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi, 1998


                      Social life and Customs

                      Held at the NLW ;
                      - Records of Gwyl Fawr Aberteifi, 1952-90.

                      Various items  - on the People's Collection Wales site

                      • The Cardigan Choir will hold A Concert 1858
                      • Town Hall Cardigan Herr Sommer 1852
                      • Guildhall Cardigan Dramatic Reading of Shakspeare's tragedy of Othello 1865
                      • Cardigan Scouts Fife & Drum Band
                      • Painted photograph of Mary Nicholas of Cardigan, wearing purses carrying prize money won for singing at eisteddfodau. She died at the age of sixteen from tuberculosis.

                      Aberteifi, y dref (Cardigan, the town). Cyngor Sir Dyfed, Adran Llyfrgell,Carmarthen, 1976. Social life and customs 1610-ca 1910

                      Baylis, M J. A most united fraternity (NLW's site) Ceredigion Vol VII (The Society of Sea Serjeants meets in Cardigan in 1761)