St Donats


"A village one mile east of Nash Point possessing a residential castle of great interest. In the churchyard is a fine medieval cross." [Glamorganshire, 1911]

"DONATT'S (ST.), a parish in the hundred of OGMORE, county of GLAMORGAN, SOUTH WALES, 6 1/2 miles (S. W.) from Cowbridge, containing 151 inhabitants.This place is distinguished as the site of an ancient castle, formerly of great strength and magnificence, which was one of the twelve fortresses erected by the Norman knights who attended Fitz-Hamon in his conquest of this part of the principality. The lordship of St. Donatt's was given by Fitz-Hamon to Sir William le Esterling, or Stradling, in the possession of whose descendants it continued without interruption for more than seven hundred years, and on the decease of Sir Edward Stradling, Bart., who died at Montpellier, in 1738, it passed, with the castle, to Mr. Fontaine Tyrwhitt, and both are now the property of Thomas Tyrwhitt Drake, Esq., grandnephew of that gentleman........ (more below)  [A Topographical Dictionary of Wales by Samuel Lewis 1833]



Here is a substantial reading list of books which relate to Glamorgan, either county or parish.



The Glamorgan Family History Society have produced a set of microfiche containing Monumental Inscriptions for the following burial grounds :-

  • Parish Church of St. Donat



Church History

Glamorgan Chapels Database - no records of any non-conformist chapels have been found in this parish apart from those shown below taken from  Dissent in the Counties of Glamorgan and Monmouth by Hywel D Emanuel, National Library of Wales journal, Vol VIII/4, Winter 1954.

  • St Donats; 1809, May 22; Calvinist; a barn-house in the holding of Evan Lewellyn, labourer; Thomas Lewellyn, Mathew Dunn, junior, William Lewellyn, John John
  • St Donats; 1843, May 9; Baptist; a dwelling-house in the occupation of Ann Vaughn, widow; Jabez Lawrence of the parish of Lantwit Major, Baptist Minister, Bassett E. Thomas, John John

Photograph of St Donats Church taken by Ronald Reynolds in the early 20th century. - on the People's Collection Wales site


Church Records

For full and up-to-date details of their holdings see the sites of Glamorgan Record Office and/or West Glamorgan Archives

See Bap/Mar/Bur data on  FreeReg

The church is dedicated to St. Donat, and is in the Benefice of Llantwit Major. Details of the present incumbent of this benefice can be found at the Church in Wales website. The church can be located at grid reference SS933681.

A transcription of the registers is available from the Glamorgan Family History Society for the years: Baptisms, 1572-1899, Marriages, 1570-1837, Burials, 1571-1899.

Anglican Parish Registers Held at the Glamorgan Record Office, Cardiff
Baptisms Marriages Burials Banns Bishops Transcripts
1572-1658, 1663-1987 1570-1655 1664-1729, 1743, 1747, 1755-1970 1571-1658, 1663-1987 - 1696, 1721, 1723-1742, 1745-1830, 1832-1834, 1836-1837

The following Religious Institutions are covered in the Mormon International Genealogical Index (IGI) :-

  • St. Donats, St. Donat - Christenings (BT's), 1696-1875

Description & Travel

Various landscapes - on the People's Collection Wales site

You can see pictures of St Donats which are provided by:



Transcript of complete name listing for Llantwit Major, with Llanmaes, St. Donats and neighbourhoods Slaters Directory for 1880.



The transcription of the section for St Donats from The National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.

Descriptions of the parish from
A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (1833) by Samuel Lewis.
A Topographical Dictionary of The Dominion of Wales by Nicholas Carlisle, London, 1811.


Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which St Donats has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



Description and image of St. Donats Castle at www.castlewales.com by Jeff Thomas

St Donats - on the Vision of Britain site

Various items  - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Various views of church and castle
  • 1828 engraving of St Donat's Castle.
  • The watch tower, near St Donat's castle, Glamorganshire

Land & Property

  • Nicholl-Carne family of St Donat's Castle
    • 19th cent: documents
      [Glamorgan Archive Service, Cardiff]
    • 16th cent-19th cent: records relating to St Mellons and Pont-y-Cath, Monmouthshire
      [Gwent Record Office, County Hall, Cwmbran NP44 2XH]
  • Tyrwhitt-Drake family of Shardeloes, Bucks: St Donat's Castle
    • 13th century 1846: deeds 13th-18th cent, estate papers 1754-1846, family papers 1439-1775
      [Glamorgan Archive Service, Cardiff - Reference: D/D TD]
    • 1378-1751: deeds 1378-1775, estate papers 1589-1668
      [Centre for Kentish Studies, County Hall, Maidstone ME14 1XQ - Reference: U488]

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Stradling-Carne of St Donats Castle papers         "Records of Stradling-Carne of St Donats Castle, including: papers relating to St Donats Castle estate, 1871-1962; the Nicholl and Stradling families, 1810-1890; Carne family, [19th century]; and transcripts of reports made by Sir Edward Carne and others at Rome on the divorce proceedings of Henry VIII, letters from Sir Edward Carne to Thomas Cromwell, Sir William Paget and others, together with poetry [19th century]."  
  • Tyrwhitt Drake of St Donats Castle Collection      "Papers relating to Neath Abbey, [c. 1260], 1343; deeds of the St Donats estate, 1378 and 1657-1845; and papers relating to the Stradling family, 1439-1442, 1641-1649, and [c. 1750]."


This diagram shows the position of this parish within the county of Glamorgan - click on this to see a full size diagram of the county



 St Donats in the County of Glamorgan - on the People's Collection Wales site

Parish map (Kain/Oliver)

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SS940693 (Lat/Lon: 51.412856, -3.526053), St Donats which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

Places, villages, farms etc within St Donats as shown on the online parish map from the CD of Historic Parishes of England and Wales: an Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata [computer file]. (Kain, R.J.P., Oliver, R.R.). (Extracted by Gareth Hicks)

  • St Donats (164); Capel; Castle; Cross; Donats Bay; Leechmoor; Parc Fm.; St Donats (village); Somerset Fm.; Splott; Tresilian Bay; Watch Tower;




The Population of St. Donats was as follows, and a more detailed breakdown is available.

1841 - 151 1851 - 132 1861 - 126 1871 - 138 1881 - 138 1891 - 123

Public Records

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • St Donats Civil Parish records         ".. comprising copy of tithe plan and apportionment, 1844 [copied 1980]"