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.


Nonconformity and Methodism

Early Puritanism/1620-60

"Others from the county were summoned before the High Commission: they were either adulterers from Kidwelly, or unscrupulous litigants like Richard Jones of Llanllwni, who had the courage (or the impudence) to appeal from the High Commission to the Court of Delegates.."


"By the end of 1669 the members had mounted up to 55; at the end of 1675 they were 80; by 1689 they were 113. These members ranged from Amroth by the sea to the wilds of Llanllwni and Pencarreg......."


"The people of William Jones speedily reacted to the new atmosphere of liberty. Between October 1678 and the end of 1687 no baptisms had been recorded in the church register, but early in January 1688, Margaret Evan was immersed at Perth y Berllan in lower Llanllwni, followed by three others in the next month....."

"...if Llandysilio declined, Llanllwni increased. In the Rhydwilym list of 1689, there were ten Baptists in that parish: in 1710 the Archdeacon reports forty persons there attending the Anabaptist meeting-house...."

Calvinistic Methodism

"The widening breach between Dissent and Methodism is revealed in some of the society reports. James Williams in 1745 has something to say on the matter. ........at Llanllwni the society 'is a mixture of Dissenters and Methodists --- there is little unity, and there is talk of separation. The reader will of course allow for James Williams's prejudices.."

Economic and Social Life


"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 ..."

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. About the time of the Norman conquest, Cantref Mawr was divided into the seven commotes of Mallaen, Caeo, Maenor Deilo, Cetheiniog, Widigada, Mabelfyw and Mabudrud.  To the latter belonged the parishes of Llanllwni, Llanfihangel Rhosycorn, Llanfihangel Ioreth and Brechfa.

Castles, Boroughs and Religious Houses

Monastic Lands and Revenues

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

Carmarthen Priory;

  • with a chapel at .... Llanllwni ..

"In 1330 the Prior (of Carmarthen) and canons accepted from Walter Wynter 2 acres of land in Llanllwni and advowson of a moiety of the church there, on condition that they employed two chaplains to celebrate mass daily etc etc ..............."

"Llanllwni too was divided between the Bishop of St David's and Walter Wynter. In the case of a messuage granted to this house in the vicinity of Llanllwni Church in 1291, the number of comportioners was 44......"

Castles/The Motte and Bailey Castle

"Eleven of the motte castles show trace of a baily.....................where nature provides a knoll,  as at Llangadock, Llanwrda and Llanllwni, the Norman contented himself with  heightening the site by throwing up the earth excavated from the ditch...."

"....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........"

Prehistoric and Roman Times

Carmarthenshire in the Early Iron Age/ Typical Forts of the Early Iron Age

(On page 78 in the book is a diagram showing Castell Pyr, Llanllwni - a Class I B  fort)

"A small plateau between 300 and 400 feet high with two naturally steep sides is present at the junction of the Teifi and a small northward flowing tributary.....................gap between ramparts and plateau edge......represents the entrance to the camp, and through it still runs the modern roadway to the farm that lies behind the entrenchments at the southern end.... steepness of plateau on northern side lessened by the building of the railway along its face....."