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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 extracts from this book have been extracted by Gareth Hicks onto some parish pages, these snippets below are in random order.

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


Economic and Social Life

The Woollen Industry

"The 17th century saw a further consolidation and steady growth of the industry, but it could in no way be compared with the increasing prosperity of the trade in Western and Eastern England, for the Welsh woollen manufacturers lacked the enterprise shown across the border. At this period, the local records, church registers, and borough records yield the first glimpse of the distribution of the industry in the countryside beyond the confines of the boroughs. In a list of the king's mills in England and Wales drawn up in 1608, there is a reference to ........... a weaver at Llangyndeyrn (1679)......"

Political Affairs from 1536 to 1900

Political Life 1536 -1688

"Two acts were passed in 1648 and 1649 for South and North South Wales £20,500 was to be raised ....(by fines)...... Amongst those on whom fines were imposed were ...... John Lloyd of Ffrwd, Llangyndeyrn (£56)............................ a very interesting list sent the Committee for Compounding in 1648 contains the names of 44 additional delinquents who might form a source of income.....some were members of prominent county families, others --- such as Rowland Morgan of Llangyndeyrn, ' an ancient man, very often rode in the king's army into Pembrokeshire and brought from thence store of horses, cattle, and other goods' --- probably represent the less wealthy yeoman of the shire..."

History of the Church in the County

Puritan Domination: a Period of Depression

"The bishopric remained vacant until ...the appointment of George Bull.........the presentment of church wardens at his primary visitation in 1705 ..... supply evidence as to the state of the churches in the various parishes at the beginning of the 18th century.................the vicar of Llangyndeyrn had no glebe and but a small stipend. He had no other benefice or cure. He celebrated the Sacrament at the high festivals and on All Saints' Day. There was no assembly of Dissenters, but there was a certain Presbyterian who would not have his children baptized after the appointed form. A school was kept by a private person..."

The Reformation, the Early Stuarts

"Not one church in any part of the county of Carmarthen escaped from vandalism, and it is doubtful if any pre-Reformation plate has survived in any church in the county.....(it is thought that the base of a cup at Llangyndeyrn may be pre-Reformation).."

Nonconformity and Methodism

1620-1660/Early Puritanism

"The Percy rectories in South Carmarthenshire deserve special mention --- six rectories in the hands of Lord Henry Percy....all were given out by him to Sir Henry Vaughan for a lump sum of £750, out of which he allowed twenty nobles apiece to the poor curates who officiated at the six churches.........this sad state of things was reported to Parliament in 1644, not by a full-blooded Cymro of the county, but by a Hugh Grundy of Llangyndeyrn, who had some years before been put in the Star Chamber by the Vaughan family, and whose son Ralph was to become one of the most expert spies upon Carmarthenshire Cavaliers..........."

1620-60/The Propagation of the Gospel

"The three years' Propagation Act expired in 1653 and was not re-enacted......early in 1654 the Commissioners for Approbation of Public Preachers came into force (fortunately known for short as Triers)......who had the fullest powers to to review and revise all previous Puritan appointments...............the Triers also made a bold attempt to fill some of the vacant parishes by approving new ministers...........(the following name is in the list of the Trier nominees )

  • 1656, John Powell, Llangyndeyrn


" would be interesting, for instance, to know why David Williams of Llangyndeyrn, admitted to membership at Ilston in 1652, was allowed to remain on the register of the mother church, and not encouraged to help the cause at Carmarthen near his home. ...."

Arminianism, Arianism, Unitarianism

"A terrific war of pamplets ensued ...................... two Carmarthenshire churches, Priory Street and Llangyndeyrn, seceded bodily, others were more or less evenly divided....."

"The Baptists at Pant Teg, at the moment of the schism, had two pastors, Griffith Jones and William Thomas (of Llanfynydd)......each went his own way.....William Thomas removed in 1801 to Llangyndeyrn......"

Calvinistic Methodism

" .............a study of the place names in Welch Piety, confining ourselves to the period before 1761 (Griffith Jones's death), yields many instances of Methodist homes being used by Griffith Jones as school-houses, some of them  very well-known, such as...................... Cil y Carw in Llangyndeyrn..."

"Some two dozen Carmarthenshire exhorters of the early period are known to us by name, but most are mere names...........................A list of (less well known) early exhorters in Carmarthenshire includes;

  • David Williams (Llanfynydd, Llangyndeyrn, Llansaint, 1743)
  • John Williams (Llangyndeyrn, 1741)

"It cannot be said that opposition to Methodism in this county reached anything like the pitch of violence which the Revivalists had to encounter in some other parts of Wales --- where yet, curiously enough, the movement was ultimately far more successful. The mob gave trouble only in certain places: at Llandeilo Fawr, at Llanedi, at Llangyndeyrn .............."

Medieval divisions

In early medieval terms Carmarthenshire was made up of  Ystrad Tywi [without Gower], Emlyn Uch Cuch and Y Cantref Gwarthaf [without Efelffre]. At some point pre the Norman conquest  Ystrad Tywi itself was divided into Y Cantref Mawr and Y Cantref Bychan.......................In addition to these two cantrefs Ystrad Tywi was generally assigned a third (mentioned in the Mabinogion)........with the doubtful name of Cantref Eginog..............the names of the commotes into which this cantref was divided were undoubtedly well known..........hence it would appear as if Cydweli, Carnwyllion, and Gower had been at some time or other combined to make up a cantref which was not an ancient and recognised division of the country...............the names Gwyr (Gower) and Cydweli (Kidwelly) are to be found in Nennius and other ancient authorities, so that there can be no doubt that they go back to a remote past as descriptive of the tract between Carmarthen and Swansea......................the historic commote of Cydweli consisted of the six parishes of Llangynnor, Llandyfaelog, Llangyndeyrn, St Ishmaels, Kidwelly and Pembrey............"

The Later Middle Ages

The Lordships/Kidwelly

"The survey of 1610 mentions one fair in this, the Welshry of Kidwelly commote --- held on the 25th July, near Llangyndeyrn Church: at that date the 'bailiffs of Kidwelly direct and rule the fair and take the profits..."

Prehistoric and Roman Times

Carmarthenshire within the New Stone Age

"It is significant that with one exception all the examples (of stone artifacts) within the county are derived from parishes which abut on the rivers Towy and a list of examples of places where stone axes were found  is;

  • Llangyndeyrn parish, now at Carmarthen Museum (RCAM, 343)

The Great Stone Monuments

"Around the Carmarthenshire dolmens there has gathered much local folklore belonging to a period long after their erection.  The name Twlc-y-filiast is frequently applied to a dolmen in South Wales (Gwal-y-filiast occurs again as the name of a ruined dolmen in the parish of Llangyndeyrn each of the three instances where such names are applied to dolmens in Carmarthenshire the districts concerned are associated with Arthurian romance....."

The following is included in examples of meini hirion (standing stones) within  the county;

  • "A maen hir on Cae Carreg fawr in the parish of Llangyndeyrn (this stone stands 12 feet high)"

List of Carmarthenshire Megaliths/Standing Stones


  • Cae Carreg Fawr Maen Hir, Llangyndeyrn
  • W. of Parcymaen field, Llangyndeyrn
  • Y Garreg Goch, Llangyndeyrn
  • Near Danyrallt Farm, Llangyndyern
  • Near Halfway House, Llangyndeyrn