"BEGELLY (BUGELI), a parish, in the union of and hundred of NARBERTH, county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, 5 miles (S. by E.) from Narberth, on the road to Tenby; containing, with the chapelry of Williamston, which supports its own poor, 1159 inhabitants. The substratum of the soil in this parish is coal, of excellent quality, and in great request for the drying of malt and hops by the proprietors of breweries and distilleries. . . The church is an ancient structure, in the early style of English architecture, with a lofty tower, and is pleasantly situated near Begelly Hall, by the trees surrounding which it is partly concealed. The chapel of Williamston is a rude structure without a tower, standing in the hamlet of that name. The parsonage-house is situated on part of a stratum of coal, which has been wrought all round it, and, if the excavation had been continued, it would have endangered the stability of the building. There is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists. Here is a day school, in which from 20 to 30 children are instructed at the expense of their parents; and there are two Sunday schools conducted gratuitously, and in one of which, in connection with the Established Church, are about 220 children; and in the other, which belongs to the Calvinistic Methodists, are about 25. . ." [From A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (S. Lewis, 1844).]





The 1851 census for this parish has been indexed by Dyfed Family History Society.

Census Returns for this parish have the following LDS Call Numbers:

  • 1841 Census - 0464344
  • 1851 Census - 0104232
  • 1861 Census - 0543242
  • 1871 Census - 0850852
  • 1881 Census - 1342301
  • 1891 Census - 6099636

Church History

Some church and chapel data from The Religious census of 1851 : A Calendar of the returns relating to Wales, Vol 1, South Wales. Ed. by I.G Jones, & D. Williams. UWP, Cardiff, 1976. The names are those of the informants

  • Begelly Parish Church Richard Burthby, Rector
  • Zion CM Erected in 1828 "Many of the Sunday Scholars attend a school in the adjoining parish...... " Thomas Ashford, Minister

Parish entry for Begelly with East Williamston and Coedcenlas from The Welsh Church Year Book, 1929 (Cd by Archive CD Books).

  • St Parish Church & Chapel of Ease (East Williamston) & (Church in ruins, Caedcenlas)
  • Incumbent and Curates; H Phillips
  • Rural Deanery of Narberth
  • Acreage 2,533 & 1,454; Population 828 & 87

Zion Calvinistic Methodist Chapel, Begelly on the People's Collection Wales site


    Church Records

    Parish registers: Christenings (1759-1934), Marriages (1771-1933), and Burials (1759-1934) are at the National Library of Wales with copy Mf at Pem.RO

    Copy ts PR/BT (1757-1800) at Pem.RO

    Bishops' Transcripts, covering the period (1685-6, 1799-1809, 1811-88, 1892, 1896-7) are at the National Library of Wales, and have been microfilmed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Call Number: 0105128.

    See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg

    East Williamston: An ancient chapelry whose PR are included in those of Begelly (see also under Williamston parish)


    Nonconformist Chapels:

    • Ebenezer, Bush, Begelly [Baptist]. 'The first Baptists met in nearby cottages and farmhouses before basing themselves in a room above a public house called Cold Inn - which had given its name to the tiny hamlet near Kilgetty. This was obviously far from satisfactory, so in 1861 a new chapel was built just up the road. Although officially called Ebenezer, locals still refer to it as Cold Inn Chapel.' (Pembrokeshire Life Magazine ). Cold Inn Cross, Broadmoor SN10420580 Built 1861 Still open 1998 Coflein On Dyfed FHS No data to hand re extant records, it does have a burial ground.
    • Moreton, at Williamston Chapelry [Wesleyan Methodist, 1850] Records ; births and baptisms Pembroke Circuit, 1847-68 ; Tenby Circuit, 1868-1961. Other circuit records including accounts, minute books, Sunday School papers, etc also deposited at Pem RO. SN11490484 Built 1850-5 Still open 2000 Coflein On Dyfed FHS (under East Williamston)

    Description & Travel

    You can see pictures of Begelly which are provided by:



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

    Transcript of complete entry in Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Wales of 1844.



    Morgan, W.R. A Pembrokeshire countryman looks back, Crymych, Dyfed, W.R. Morgan (1988) 223 p.Chapter headings ;-The Village; Farming; The Drovers; Coal Mining; Education; Religion; Village Water Supply; Postal Services; Roads and Toll Gates; The Coming of the Railway; The Union Workhouse. There is also an earlier book by the same author called Story of Begelly.


    Parish map (Kain/Oliver)

    You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SN099084 (Lat/Lon: 51.742146, -4.755578), Begelly which are provided by:


    Names, Geographical

    Places, villages, farms etc within Begelly parish 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 Barry Johnson)

    • Begelly (128); Begelly, Broom, Catershook Gate, Cowsland, Dawes Fm., Hacket, Langdon, Ramshorn Fm., Rock Fm., Shipping, Templebar, Thomas Chapel, Windberry Top.


    A Pembrokeshire Mining Community on Jon Mein's site - Some thoughts on the history of the coalmining community around Begelly and Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire.
    Including a feature on 'The Importance of the Thomas Chapel Colliery Disaster' - in 1838 6 miners were drowned at this pit nerar Begelly.