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.

Literature and Literary Associations

David Owen (1794-1866)

" 'Brutus' was a native of Llanpumsaint, where his father was parish clerk. His career was chequered and unhappy; his gifts brought him fame, but left him in poverty, especially towards the end. He began as a schoolmaster in Lleyn (Caenarvonshire), where he served as a Baptist minister; after a while he became an Independent, and was editor of Yr Efangylydd, a denominational monthly, in 1831, having been already joint-editor of Lleuad yr Oes(1827-30). Finally he abandoned the Nonconformist ranks, and became a Churchman, as his father had been before him..........................He was editor of Yr Haul from its start in 1835.............. a volume of his 'selected compositions' in prose and poetry, named Brutusiana was published by subscription in 1855................"

Nonconformity and Methodism

Calvinistic Methodism

"Yet the process of crystallisation was not quite complete --- at Llanpumpsaint in 1748 there were still six Dissenters in the society; even in 1749....."

"In the great quarrel of 1750-62 though Harris frantically toured the county in 1750 to whip up supporters,.....only in one place (Llanpumsaint), as far as we know, did the Harrisian party feel strong enough to set up house by themselves, and that only for a while...."

Economic and Social Life

The Woollen Industry

Two major types of factory appeared. They may for convenience be classified as a) rural general factories, and b) non-rural factories. The rural factory, usually situated at the junction of highland and lowland at about 500 feet above sea-level, near a stream, had fairly good access to the surrounding highland and to the industrial south. A good example is Llanpumsaint. Such a factory was in a central position for receiving the local supplies of wool, and also at a convenient point for obtaining supplies of the finer English wool. Although these factories would usually produce a wide variety of products, such as blankets, quilts, carthenni, tweeds, and knitting-yarn, --- grey flannel for miners and industrial workers made up 75% of the output.


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, Llanpumsaint etc......"....."

Boundaries and Local 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 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...................."

Castles, Boroughs and Religious Houses

Monastic Lands and Revenues

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


  • Llanpumsaint.....

Castles/The Motte and Bailey Castle

"The site chosen was the forward slope of a spur rather than the summit of the hill. This is strikingly illustrated at Llanwrda, Pembrey and Pant Glas (Llanpumsaint) ....at Pant Glas too the crown of the hill is very much higher than the motte.... at Pant Glas however there is no trace of a bailey...."

Prehistoric and Roman Times

Carmarthenshire in the New Stone Age/List of Carmarthenshire Megaliths

A list of standing stones includes the following;

  • Pant-y-cerrig Stone, Llanpumsaint
  • Parciau Stone, Llanpumsaint
  • Bryn Cenau Stone, Llanpumsaint
  • Ffos-y-maen Stone, Llanpumsaint
  • Ffynnon Newydd Stone, Llanpumsaint
  • Dan-y-cerrig Stone, Llanpumsaint