"LLANWNWS (LLAN-WNWS), a parish, comprising the townships of GWNNWS-ISÂV or Lower, and GWNNWS UCHÂV,or Upper, which separately maintain their own poor, in the upper division of the hundred of ILAR, county of CARDIGAN, SOUTH WALES, 11 miles (S.E. by S ) from Aberystwith, and 15 ( N.N.E.) from Lampeter, containing 919 inhabitants, of which number, 467 are in the higher division, which contains the church. This parish, which extends nearly fourteen miles in length, and, upon the average, three miles in breadth, comprises a wide tract nearly in the centre of the county, bounded on the north by the river Ystwith, and on the south by the Teivy..."
[From Samuel Lewis's A Topographical Dictionary of Wales 1833]


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

  • Gwnnws Parish Church (Lower Gwnnws Township) "The 30th of March was very rainy and boisterous" [to explain the attendance of 200 on census day against an average of 300] William Hughes, Minister, Tregaro

      Parish entry for Llanafan-y-Trawscoed with Llanwnnws (Gwnnws)from The Welsh Church Year Book, 1929 (Cd by Archive CD Books).

      • St Afan & St Gwnnws (Llanwnnws)
      • Incumbent and Curates; D A Thomas
      • Rural Deanery of Llanbadarn Fawr
      • Acreage2,610 & 9,414; Population 738

            St David's Church, Pontrhydfendigaid - photograph on Dyfed FHS

            St Gwnnws Church - photograph on Dyfed FHSn

            See Chapels database


            Church Records

            See Notes on Church/Chapel Records page

            Parish Register;
            Baptisms 1760-2, 1770-2, 1789-1991 . Marriages 1765-6, 1775-84, 1789-96, 1803-1969 [Banns 1823-81]. Burials 1789-98, 1812-1968 NLW and some dates at Cer.RO

            Bishops Transcripts;
            1811, 1813-62, 1864-78 NLW

            See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg

            I.G.I; Baptisms 1811-75. Marriages 1811-37

            Index to Burials from Parish Registers 1813-1837 available for purchase from Cardiganshire Family History Society Volume 2: Ilar (Upper) Hundred . Parishes covered: Eglwys Newydd, Gwnnws, Llanafan, Llanfihangel-y-Creuddyn, Llanilar, Lledrod, Rhostïe, Ysbyty Ystwyth, Ystrad Meurig

            Nonconformist Chapels; see Chapels database


            Description & 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 or chapelry are extracted from this book which in turn got them from the 1851 census itself;

            • Gwnnws Parish consisting of the townships of Lower Gwnnws and Upper Gwnnws
            • Area 17959 acres;
            • Lower Gwnnws
            • Population 263 males, 268 females, total 531
            • Upper Gwnnws
            • Population 322 males, 320 females, total 642
                    "GWNNWS-ISÂV, a township in the parish of LLANWNWS, upper division of the hundred of ILAR, county of CARDIGAN, SOUTH WALES, 10 miles (S. E.) from Aberystwith, containing 467 inhabitants. It is bounded on the north by the river Ystwith, the scenery on the banks of which is romantic and picturesque, and is situated on the road between Aberystwith and Trêgaron: the village consists only of a few scattered dwellings."
                    You can see pictures of Gwnnws which are provided by:


                    Emigration & Immigration

                    Suhm, Gary. The Llwyn y Mwn Emigration. Dyfed FHS journal 7/8, Aug 2002. The story of the Williams family of Llwyn y mwn farm, Gwnnws Uchaf parish, who emigrated to the USA in 1847


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

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



                    Cardiganshire Families

                    Held at Ceredigion Archives;

                    • Photographs of the Woosnam family of Pontrhydfendigaid and others including personnel of the Manchester and Milford railway.

                    Jones, Aidan. To North Wales Via India: Two Clerical Brothers from Cardiganshire. Cardiganshire FHS journal, vol 3/6 October 2003. The brothers are the Revs Morgan Davies (1793-1860) and Thomas Davies (1795-1873) originally from this parish. Follow up article in Cardiganshire FHS journal, vol 3/7 Feb 2004.



                    Meyrick, Sir Samuel Rush.(1783-1848) The History and Antiquities of the county of Cardigan. Collected from the few remaining documents which have escaped the ravages of time, as well as from actual observation. Longman: London ,1810. The history and antiquities of the County of Cardigan ... to which are now added a parliamentary history, list of High Sheriffs, some notes on the present county families, &c., &c. repr. Brecon: 1907. This 1907 print has now been reprinted. The brief section relating to this parish is on pages 267/8; the sacremental cup in the church bears the date 1574. The mine of Escair y mwn is in the parish. Tyrgwald is a hamlet, as is Llwynynwyn.


                    Land & Property

                    Documents held at the NLW :

                    • Cardiganshire Rentals ;
                      8-12. Lordship of Mefenydd, 1892-5 (Gwnnws Isaf, Llangwyryfon, Llanilar, Llanrhystud, Lledrod Isaf, Rhostïe).

                    Laws and Statutes VIII. Chronological Series George III. [1760-1820.]Title: [55 Geo. III. Private Acts, c. 81.] An act for inclosing lands in the parish of Gwnnws, and the several other parishes therein mentioned, and in the township of Llanrhystid Mevenidd, in the county of Cardigan. London: 1815



                    Map of Gwnnws, Cardiganshire in three parts and index plan  - on the People's Collection Wales site

                    Parish map (Kain/Oliver)

                    You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SN749691 (Lat/Lon: 52.3054, -3.836031), Gwnnws which are provided by:


                    Names, Geographical

                    Places, villages, farms etc within Gwnnws 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 Tony Morris)

                    • Lower Gwnnws (34); Banc Geufron; Coed Craig-yr-ogof; Drosgol; Geufron; GWNNWS ISSA; Hafod-gofaint; Mynydd Bach; Nant-byr; Pant-y-bontbren; Pant-y-ddafad; Pen-lan; Pen-y-bont; Tal fryn; Trefriw-fawr; Tyn-y-Bedw
                    • Upper Gwnnws (35); Afon Claerddu; Avon Meurig; Cae Garw; Claerddu; Cwm-Meurig; Dot-fawr; Esgair Hengue; Esgair-mwn Mines (lead); Esgair-y-Garn; Ffair-rhos; Gargoed; Graig Ty-arin; Llethr Lwyd; Lletr Brith; Llwyn-gronwen; Llwyn-gwyddet; Marchnant; Nant Rhydob; Pen y Bannau; Pen y wernhir; Pontrhydfendigaid; Rhos Maen-gwelw; Tan-y-rhydiau; UPPER GWNNWS


                          The People's Collection Wales site has material for this parish, use the onsite search box

                          Beynon, Oswald. Lead mining at Esgair y Mwyn in the time of Lewis Morris (1752-55). Transactions of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society Vol 11 1936 Welsh Journals Online


                          Public Records

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

                          • Gwnnws Upper and Caron Upper Bont Parochial Committee Records "Records of Gwnnws Upper and Caron Upper Parochial Committee relating to Bont water supply, 1895-1898 ......"