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A History of Carmarthenshire

Lloyd, Sir John E., (Ed.). 2 vols., Cardiff, London Carmarthenshire Society (1935, 1939).

With the kind permission of the publishers sundry snippets from this book have been extracted by Gareth Hicks onto some parish pages, these below are in random order.

Here is a list of the book's contents and contributors.

High Sheriffs of Carmarthenshire, 1541-1900

  • 1738, James Lewis of Llanboidy

History of the Church in the County

Puritan domination, a period of depression

In 1672, Llanboidy  church is listed in a long list of Carmarthenshire churches  where "everything was out of repair" in the aftermath of the confusion of the previous 20 years.

Nonconformity and Methodism

The Independents, 1687-1715

".......Under the sunshine of freedom, fed by increasing numbers, reinforced with sound sense, the subsidiary meeting places became separate causes..........(but)........the historic church of Henllan refused to follow the general policy of decentralisation, and fixed the position of its new home as a central meeting ground for its outlying members in the parishes of Llanboidy and Cyffig. The ravishes of schism succeeded where the wisdom of the saints had failed; within ten years of the erection of the chapel, a large party had left the Henllan congregation to establish a new cause at Rhydyceisiad to the east..........."

The Older Dissent--Expansion and Organisation

"It may be well to exemplify this process (of expansion) by giving some detail of the 'life history' of one or two of the 'mother-churches'...............No better example could be chose than the historic Presbyterian-Independent church of Henllan Amgoed. Henllan meeting house itself (1696-7) was but the metropolis of a far flung community which straggled over the whole of Carmarthenshire west of the river Cynin, and even strayed across the eastern Cleddau and the Crunwear brook into Pembrokeshire. Its members had been worshipping at private houses, duly registered in accordance with the Toleration Act; such were Canerw in Llanboidy parish, ................"

" 1800, Canerw had been replaced by a chapel at Llanboidy, but here autonomy was delayed until 1879............."

" would be grossly unhistorical to fasten upon the date '1879' for the Independent church at Llanboidy, merely because it clung to Henllan until that year, for Llanboidy had its own chapel in 1800, and for that matter the congregation there was at least as old as the Henllan congregation itself...."

The Older Dissent ---  Church Life

"Some of the more prominent figures in the Dissenting ministry mentioned here...........of the older 'squarson' type, we may name among the Independents..................Rees Davies of Canerw in Llanboidy (at Penygraig 1757-84)....."


"Not all the monthly meetings, not all the apparatus of a finely strung organisation, not all the piety and good works, availed to attach Carmarthenshire to the Quaker faith. There is no gainsaying the churchwardens' 1684 they tell of..............a Quaker and his wife, also excommunicated, at Llanboidy, the James Thomas who was distrained for not paying tithes in that year....."

The Gouge Movement

There is a statement that in 1675 there were in Carmarthenshire a total number of pupils of 266 getting some schooling, not just via the Welsh Trust of Gouge and his friends though, a breakdown shows the number in Llanboidy as 30.

Prehistoric and Roman Times

New Stone Age

A list of stone axes found within the county includes;

  • South of Y Ddol Farm, Llanboidy (RCAM 226)

Middle and Late Bronze Age

".......the barrows are situated  near the hamlet of Crosshands, Llanboidy, on a broken plateau between 600-700 feet (site diagram in book) the first barrow, two secondary burials by cremation were found, but not the primary interment...........from one of these secondaries a large overhanging rim urn .......was obtained......... (more details in book)...........the second barrow also yielded two cremations, both had been ruined by the plough..............(remains of further urns described in detail in book, plus further diagrams).................."

The Great Stone Monuments

"Another fairly well preserved dolman is that known as Gwal-y-filiast (the lair of the greyhound bitch) in the parish of Llanboidy (RCAM 215), situated in a wood called Allt Cefn Llech, just south of Dolwilym House (photograph in book).......The land here overlooks the river Taf, and the site of the dolman is over 300 feet above sea level. It has an alternative name of 'Bwrdd Arthur' (Arthur's Table). There are references to this dolman at the end of the seventeenth century and in is suggested that a stone known as 'Llech-y-filiast' lying on the slope towards the Taf is probably one of the original supporters......"

List of Carmarthenshire Hill Forts, Hill Forts with Earthen Ramparts, includes;

  • Y Gaer, Whitland, Llanboidy (partially destroyed)

Native sites

"Coins, perhaps because they more readily attract the attention of the casual finder, are a little more widely distributed over the map of the county...........a first century coin-hord is recorded from an earthwork of native character in the parish of Llanboidy.."

  • a) a little north of Llanboidy village (technical description of coins in book)
  • b) Crug Hywel;  ' a curious collection of Roman silver coyns, consular, as well as Imperial' found in 1692
  • Y Gaer;  Hoard  ' buried in two very rude leaden boxes'

Castles, Boroughs and Religious Houses

Monastic Lands & Revenues

"The lands that fell into the possession of the monastic houses were carved into manors and vills and were administered precisely as any other lordship. On them were established granges or farms where conversi tilled the land, and, if they were situated at some distance from the abbey, were housed.........Whitland possessed Iscoed in the parishes of Llanboidy, Llangan and Henllan Amgoed.........."

The Motte and Bailey Castle

"Baileys are usually shaped like a horse-shoe or a shield, but at ................and Llanboidy they are square, sometimes with curved sides.....(diagram in book)........."

"....another interesting group --- Llanboidy, Llanllwni and Penboyr------------ stand along the ancient frontier of Dyfed...........a portion of the boundary dyke may still be seen on the way from Carmarthen to Penboyr........"


"Within each one of the major dialect divisions there are variations and local features which could be considered fully only in a comprehensive survey of the subject. A peculiar phenomenon of the dialect of Llanelly and the neighbouring villages of Llwynhendy, Llangennech, and Hendy is the use of the third person in familiar conversation. This practice also occurs, though less generally, in the west of the county around Llanboidy and Trelech........"

Gareth Hicks