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.


History of the Cburch in the County

A Religious and Educational Movement

"The revival movement was also preceded by remarkable literary activity in and around Carmarthen and Newcastle Emlyn.  A man of considerable note in his time was James Davies (Iago ap Dewi), probably a schoolmaster and perhaps a parish clerk. He translated works by Beveridge, Bunyan, Webb, and Matthew Henry, and he was held in high esteem as a poet. He died at Llanllawddog in 1722...."

Economic and Social Life


"It often occurred that parishes would co-operate to erect a bridge which would contribute materially towards the economic development of a large area within the shire. In 1826, for instance, the vestry of Llanllawddog parish decided to contribute £7 towards the building of a bridge 'over the River Mere'. "

Secondary Education

"Madam Bevan's Charity schools remained until their abolition (c 1854), when they were nine in number .......(including) .... Llanllawddog ....."


"The first few decades of the 19th century witnessed the same attention paid to roads by the vestries and surveyors of many other Carmarthenshire parishes, e.g. Llanllwni and Llanllawddog ..."

High Sheriffs of Carmarthenshire, 1541-1900

The list includes;

  • 1590 & 1601, David Lloyd Griffith, Llanllawddog
  • 1609, John Lloyd of Llanllawddog
  • 1656, Thomas Lloyd of Llanllawddog

Nonconformity and Methodism


"Thus there existed in the same county, in the two decades from 1667 to 1687, with only the land between the northern bounds of Llannon and the southern reaches of Llanllawddog to separate them, two distinct groups of the most exclusive Baptists............."


The Baptists, like the Independents, had begun to see the inexpediency of having one church with its members spread over thirty parishes , stretching from Llanarth in Cardigan to Llanllawddog in Carmarthen........."


Physiographical Background

"To the north of this lowland, the high ground is formed by Ordovician and Silurian shales and mudstones, and may be said to form two roughly parallel ridges, separated from each other by a lowland divide, which follows the upper Cothi valley as far as Brechfa, and then passes through Llanllawddog, etc....."

Medieval Boundaries

"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.
About the time of the Norman conquest, Cantref Mawr was divided into 7 commotes; .............Farthest to the west of the commotes of Cantref Mawr was Widigada, a name which refuses to yield to any analysis. It comprised the parishes of Llanpumsaint, Llanllawddog, and Abergwili, with a considerable part of the parish of Llanegwad, which lies west of the Cothi...................."

The Age of the Native Princes

The Early Church: Rise of the Kingdom of Deheubarth

"There are not many examples in the county of the cult of the local saint, greatly honoured and revered within his own narrow domain, but unknown elsewhere. One conspicious instance, however, is afforded by Llawddog, who drew his origin from Nudd Hael, a sixth century prince of Northern Britain, and who was the patron saint of Cenarth Mawr, Penboyr and Llanllawddog ........................Llawddog was also the original patron of Cilgerran, so that his authority would seem at one time to have been paramount throughout the whole cantref of Emlyn..."

Castles, Boroughs and Religious Houses

Monastic Lands and Revenues

"The churches that came into possession of the religious houses were as follows.

Carmarthen Priory;

  • "and the chapels of ..... Llanllawddog ....."

Prehistoric and Roman Times

List of Carmarthenshire Megaliths, includes the following standing stones;

  • Meini Gwyr, Llanllawddog