Eglwysbach (Maenan Abbey)


"A parish in the Union of Llanrwst, chiefly in the hundred of Isdulas, county of Denbigh, but comprising also the township of Maenan in the hundred of Llechwedd Isaf, county of Carnarvon. ..... Its length from north to south is seven miles, and its breadth, in a transverse direction, four: the surface is very hilly, which circumstance causes a great variety of soil, some being extremely barren, and some, on the contrary, tolerably fertile, yielding good crops of corn. The village is situated in a pleasing and fertile vale watered by the river Conway, and the vicinity abounds with agreeable and richly varied scenery." [A Topographical Dictionary of Wales, 1833 & 1849, Samuel Lewis]

EGLWYS-FACH, a parish partly in the hundred of Isdulas, county Denbigh, and partly in the hundred of Isaf, county Carnarvon, 7 miles N. of Llanrwst. It is situated on a small tributary of the river Conway, and includes the hamlets of Bodnod, Cefny-loed, Esgorebrill, Pennant, and Maenan. An abbey formerly stood here. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of St. Asaph, value £220, in the patronage of the Bishop of Llandaff. The church is dedicated to St. Martin. The parochial charities produce about £35 per annum, £25 of which is for education. Fairs are held on the 24th February, 11th March, 24th August, and 24th November." [From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]

The parish of Eglwysbach comprises the townships of Maenan (in Caernarfonshire); and Esgair Ebrill, Pennant, Cefn y Coed and Bodnod, in Denbighshire.


See also The Abbey in Caernarfonshire



  • Edwards, Eric.        John Evans, Eglwysbach       Cristion, (Medi/Hyd. 1993), p. 11-13
  • Evans, John.       Pulpud J. E. Eglwysbach       Treffynnon : Argraffwyd fros yr awdur gan P. M. Evans and Son, [1887]
  • Hughes,  John  et. al.     John Evans, Eglwysbach        Bangor: Samuel Hughes, Argraffydd, 45 High Street, Pendref, 1897.      
  • Roberts, J. Alun.     John Evans, Eglwysbach (1840-97)        Bathafarn. Cyf. 30 (1989-90), t. 27-29

Church History

Ordnance Survey reference SH 803705.
The church, which is dedicated to St. Martin, was mentioned in the Norwich Taxation of 1254. It was rebuilt in 1782, and restored in 1882.

The Clwyd FHS website has a photograph of the church.

Various items - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Church, Eglwys-bach  
  • Ebenezer chapel (W), Eglwys-bach


Nonconformist Churches

"Welsh Church Commission - County of Denbigh - The Statistics of the Nonconformist Churches for 1905" lists the following nonconformist places of worship in the Civil parish of Eglwysbach :

Name of Chapel Denomination Number of "adherents"
Bryn Seion Baptists 119
Bethania Calvinistic Methodists 160
Bryndaionyn Calvinistic Methodists 89
Gosen Calvinistic Methodists 54
Pwllterfyn Calvinistic Methodists 25
Ebenezer Wesleyans 150
Nebo Wesleyans 76

Church Records

Parish Registers

  • The following Parish Registers have been deposited at the Denbighshire Record Office, Ruthin.
    They may be viewed on microfilm at the Denbighshire and Flintshire Record Offices, at Conwy Archive Services, and at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth.
    These microfilms are not available elsewhere.
Baptisms Marriages Burials
1601 - 1872 1601 - 1837 1601 - 1929
  • Clwyd FHS has published full transcriptions of the registers (complete with indexes) for the following years :
Baptisms Marriages Burials
1601 - 1812 1601 - 1812 1601 - 1812

Bishop's Transcripts

  • Bishop's Transcripts for the years shown below have been deposited in the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth.
    Around the year 1951, most of the Bishop's Transcripts which had been deposited at that time were microfilmed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and the films are available on request at Family History Centres of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
    The films may also be viewed at the Denbighshire and Flintshire Record Offices and at the National Library of Wales.
    In general, the Bishop's Transcripts are less complete than the parish registers.
Deposited at the National Library of Wales Microfilmed copies
1666 - 1850 1670 - 1850


  • There are no official I.G.I. entries for St. Martin's, Eglwysbach.

Joyce Hinde has supplied a list of Parish Registers held at the Caernarfon Area Record Office.


Civil Registration

When Civil Registration was introduced (on 1 July 1837), the parish of Eglwysbach was assigned to the No. 1 ("Llanrwst") sub-district of the Llanrwst Registration District; which was co-extensive with the Llanrwst poor law Union.

In the GRO indexes to civil registration, entries for Eglwysbach are in the format :

  • Years 1837 - 1851: Llanrwst XXVII. nnn
  • Years 1851 - 1930: Llanrwst 11b. nnn

(GRO index references have no relevance at the local Superintendent Registrar's Office)


Description & Travel

Eglwysbach - on wikipedia

Various landscapes  - on the People's Collection Wales site

You can see pictures of Eglwysbach (Maenan Abbey) which are provided by:



Gazetteer extracts;

  • The transcription of the section for this parish from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.
  • Also from A Topographical Dictionary of Wales by Samuel Lewis, 1833

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Eglwysbach (Maenan Abbey) has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



A shop next to the church gates, Eglwysbach. A man, together with some women and a child are standing in the street - on the People's Collection Wales site



"North-East Wales Churches and Ancient Parish Boundaries" produced by Clwyd Record Office in 1994, published by Genuki with the permission of Flintshire Record Office and Denbighshire Archives

Kain, R.J.P., Oliver, R.R., Historic Parishes of England and Wales: an Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata [computer file]. Colchester, Essex: History Data Service, UK Data Archive [distributor], 17 May 2001. SN: 4348.   Here is a gazetteer/finding aid plus a set of overview maps to accurately identify the position of parishes within the county

Map of the townships of Bodnod, Cefnycoed, Esgairebrill, Pennant in Eglwysfach parish and County of Denbigh  - on the People's Collection Wales site

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SH809685 (Lat/Lon: 53.200074, -3.784747), Eglwysbach (Maenan Abbey) which are provided by:



  • In 1831- the population was 1460.
  • In 1901- the population was 1286.
    [ Royal Commission on the Welsh Church - October 1907]


  • Archdeacon Thomas gives the area of the parish as 9738 acres.
    [ The History of the Diocese of St. Asaph , 1908-1913, Ven. D.R. Thomas]