"KÎLYCWM (CÎL-Y-CWM), a parish, in the union of LLANDOVERY, higher division of the hundred of CAYO, county of CARMARTHEN, SOUTH WALES, 4 miles (N.N.W.) from Llandovery; comprising the Upper and Lower hamlets, and containing 1481 inhabitants, of which number 834 are in the Upper, and 647 in the Lower, hamlet. This parish, which is intersected by the river Towy, extends for nearly ten miles in length, and is in some parts five miles in breadth, being for the most part inclosed: copper and lead ores abound within its limits, and mines of both were formerly worked to a considerable extent, but they are not now in operation. . . The church is dedicated to St. Michael. There are three places of worship for Baptists, and one for Calvinistic Methodists. Rowland Pryse, Esq., bequeathed £5 per annum, in 1719, towards the support of a charity school . . . and there are five Sunday schools conducted by gratuitous teachers, in one of which, connected with the Established Church, are from 50 to 80 children, who are instructed in English and Welsh; the rest, appertaining to the dissenters, contain about 150 children, who are taught the Welsh language only. . ." [From A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (S. Lewis, 1844).]


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

  • Llanfihangel Cilycwm Parish Church "The parish is unfortunately about 17 miles in length and the parishioners from the extreme points cannot be expected to attend the parish church" John Williams, Vicar
  • Soar CM Erected in 1740 William Jones, Elder, Shoemaker
  • Smyrna Particular Baptist Erected in 1828 John Williams, Minister, Llandovery
  • Cwmsarnddu Particular Baptist Erected in 1812 David Jones, Minister, Cnwchdeiliog
  • Bwlchyrhiw Particular Baptist Erected before 1800 "This chapel is very old it is erected about the year 1711 and there is a worship in it ever since. But the congregation is very uncertain because it is situated among the Mountains, some time of the year it is Populous and some time not, at the present time it is very little because the weather is cold and wet." David Jones, Deacon, Bwlchyrhiw chapel
  • Sion Particular Baptist Erected in 1829 Morgan Lewis, Deacon

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

  • St Michael
  • Incumbent and Curates; E Jenkins
  • Rural Deanery of Llangadock
  • Acreage 18,191 ; Population 532

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

Bwlch-y-rhiw chapel (B), Cil-y-cwm - on the People's Collection Wales site


    Church Records

    Dyfed FHS have photographs and data relating to various churches and chapels on their site

    Parish registers: Christenings (1701-1882), Marriages (1701-1970), Banns (1755-1885) and Burials (1701-1876) are at the Carmarthenshire Record Office.

    Bishops' Transcripts, covering the period (1673, 1677-9, 1684, 1690-1, 1693-5, 1703, 1707-8, 1711, 1713, 1716-18, 1720-7, 1729-68, 1780-2, 1784-94, 1796-1800, 1802-4, 1806-48, 1850-80, 1882, 1887-1900, 1902) are at the National Library of Wales, and have been microfilmed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    Marriage index for this parish - see Dyfed Marriages, 1813-1837, Vol. 20 - Cayo Hundred (Dyfed Family History Society, c1989)

    See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg

    Nonconformist Chapels:

    • Bwlchyrhiw (Baptist, c1650), Bwlchyrhiw Register (1751-1857) NLW Mss 610, LDS 829076/4 and 829066/4, plus typescript copy with adds to 1875 NLW Mss 10875, LDS 929076/4; plus account books NLW    On Dyfed FHS 
    • Cwmsarnddu (Baptist, 1806), Cwmsarnddu Records with those of Bwlchrhiw (Cilrhedyn) and Aberduar (Llanybydder) On Dyfed FHS
    • Sion (Baptist, 1829), near Rhandirmwyn (but in Cilycwm parish) Records with those of Bwlchrhiw (Cilrhedyn) SN76754450 Built 1829, rebuilt/modified 1881. 1998 still open Coflein On Dyfed FHS under Ystrad Ffin
    • Smyrna (Baptist, 1828), Porth-y-rhyd [on border with Llanwrda parish] SN71023781 Built 1828 & rebuilt/modified 1837 & 1885 Coflein On Dyfed FHS under Llanwrda
    • Siloh (Calvinistic Methodist, c1860), Pentre Siloh SN74163708 Built 1860, restored in 1909/10. 2000 still open Coflein On Dyfed FHS under Llanwrda
    • Soar (Calvinistic Methodist, 1738), Cilycwm village Births and baptisms (1812-37) PRO RG4/3831, LDS 828108, IGI Tynewydd/Soar CM on Dyfed FHS Soar Cilycwm CM chapel - still open in 2006

    Cilycwm Church - photograph and basic information from Dyfed FHS


    Description & Travel

    The Religious census of 1851 : A Calendar of the returns relating to Wales, Vol 1, South Wales., byJones, 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 17300 acres; Population 721 males, 766 females, total 1487

    Dyfed (Wales) Cultural Services Department. Llandeilo, Llanymddyfri a rhan uchaf Dyffryn Tywi: mewn hen luniau. Stroud: Alan Sutton ar y cyd Cyngor Sir Dyfed a Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru, 1991. 159p: chiefly ill, ports. [ISBN 0862999758]

    Cilycwm community site

    You can see pictures of Cil-y-Cwm which are provided by:



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



    Carmarthenshire Families

    Loyd, Alwyn E. Lloyd and Loyd, 1690-1990. Dyfed Family History Journal 3/8 (1990), p. 279-85

    Jones, G. Defynog, A Den of Iniquity. Dyfed FHs journal Vol 7/4 April 2001. Centres on Rees Morgan who died in Wilkes Barre, Pa in 1910. Born in 1838 in Llanfairarybryn parish but the story revolves partly around Cil-y-cwm parish. Defynog is in Breconshire.



    Oak dresser dated c.1780, with brass and iron furniture.  This Georgian dresser is an imposing piece of furniture that once completely filled a wall in a farmhouse in Cil-y-cwm  - on the People's Collection Wales site

    Dale-Jones, Edna. Cilycwm: a village and its squire in the nineteenth century. Carmarthenshire Antiquary 30 (1994), p. 90-112 [The squire: William H. Campbell-Davys]

    Lloyd, Sir John E., (Ed.). A History of Carmarthenshire (2 vols.), Cardiff, London Carmarthenshire Society (1935, 1939). Extracts from this book can be accessed on some parish pages


    Land & Property

    This history of the farms and field-names of Blaenau Tywi (the Upper Tywi Valley) was undertaken by volunteers from the Blaenau Tywi/Upper Tywi Valley History Group during 2012-13. The project came about because it was felt that field-names of the locality were being overlooked and forgotten, due to the use of numbers instead of names in modern agricultural practice and by the increased migration of non-Welsh speakers into the area to whom the old Welsh names mean little. - on the People's Collection Wales site

    • A section that contains the front cover, maps of places recorded in the tithe apportionments of 1839 and 1843, content and preface.
    • A section that contains the introduction, acknowledgements, list of illustrations abbreviations and reader notes.
    • A section that contains the Maps and photographs of Cilycwm.
    • A section that contains the glossary of field-names
    • A section that contains the Map of Cil-y-cwm village, places and fields alphabetically from A to D. 
    • A section that contains the Map of Cil-y-cwm village, places and fields alphabetically from E to M
    • A section that contains the Map of Cil-y-cwm village, places and fields alphabetically from N to P
    • A section that contains the Map of Cil-y-cwm village, places and fields alphabetically from R to Y.
    • A section that contains the Blaenau Tywi ruins, cartouches from the John Campbell Mapbook, 1777, Blaenau Tywi datestones, maps of cottages including those not mentioned in the tithe apportionments of 1839 and 1843 and the back cover of the book.
    • Sections that refer to Llanfair-ar-y-Bryn village, places and fields.

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

    • Erryd estate, Cilycwm, papers "Deeds and documents, 1736-1816, relating mainly to the Erryd estate and other land in the parishes of Cil-y-cwm and Cynwyl Gaeo"
    • Onslow, Cil-y-cwm deeds "Glebe terriers of the parish of Llanllwchaiarn, Montgomeryshire, 1665-1749; and deeds relating to properties in Cil-y-cwm, Carmarthenshire, 1709-1758."

    Documents at the National Library of Wales:

    • Terriers, parish of Llanllwchaearn, Montgomeryshire, 1665-1749, and deeds, parish of Cil-y-cwm, Carmarthenshire, 1709-58, donated by A.R.Onslow.


    Parish map(Kain/Oliver)

    You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SN738422 (Lat/Lon: 52.063959, -3.842554), Cil-y-Cwm which are provided by:


    Names, Geographical

    Places, villages, farms etc within Cil-y-Cwm 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 Merv Thomas)

    • Cilycwm (2); Aber-Gwenlas, Banc Blaen dyffryn, Banc yr Esgair, Benlan, Blaen dyffryn, Bwlch-tre-banau, Cae-glas, Cefn-trenfa, Cilycwm, Cnwc-deiliog, Craig Ddu, Craig Rhosan, Cwm-beudy, Cwm-Fran-fawr, Cwm-saethe, Dinas fawr, Dol-Gynon, Dolach-ddu, Erryd, Esgair Ferchon, Gilwen, Glan-Gwenla, Henllys, Llwyn-cynhyrys, Nant-iwrch, Nant-rhyd Ifor, Neuadd Fawr, Pen Lifau, Pen-y-rhiw ???, Pen-y-banc, Pen-y-rhaglan wynt, Plas-newydd, Porth-y-rhyd, Rhiw Cilycwm, Rhiw-mallaen, Rhydwydd, Rhyd-Ddu, Talog, Tal-yr-yn, Troed-y-rhiw-hir, Wern-ddu, Y Foel, Ysgraffell

    Public Records

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

    • Cilycwm Parish Council and Community Council Records 1878-1992