Llandewi Velfrey


"LLANDEWI-VELVREY (LLAN-DDEWI-VEL-VRE), a parish principally in the hundred of NARBERTH, but partly in that of DUNGLEDDY, county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, 2 miles (E. N. E.) from Narberth, containing 710 inhabitants. This place is situated in a rich and fertile vale, watered by the river Tâf, which separates the parish from that of Llangan in the county of Carmarthen. The lands are wholly enclosed and in a good state of cultivation, and the soil is eminently fertile. The neighbourhood abounds with pleasing and interesting scenery, and is enlivened with several gentlemen's seats, of which the principal are Trewern, the residence of John Thomas Benyon, Esq.; and Hênllan the seat of John Lewis, Esq. The living consists of a rectory and a vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Carmarthen, and diocese of St. David's: the former, which is a sinecure, is rated in the king's books at £8, and in the patronage of the Principal and Tutors of St. David's College, Lampeter: the vicarage, which is discharged, is rated at £7. 9. 4 1/2., and in the patronage of the Crown: the tithes of the entire parish are equally divided between the rector and the vicar. The church, dedicated to St. David, is remarkable for the simplicity of its architecture, and displays evident features of a very remote antiquity: an elegant mural tablet of white marble, to the memory of the late David Lewis, Esq., of Hênllan and his youngest daughter, has lately been put up in the chancel by his widow. The vicarage house has been nearly rebuilt on an enlarged scale by the present incumbent, under the provisions of an act of parliament, commonly called Gilbert's Act. A schoolhouse, built at the expense of the parish in 1828, is at present occupied by one of Mrs. Bevan's circulating charity schools. The average annual expenditure for the maintenance of the poor amounts to £331. 3." [From A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (S. Lewis, 1833).]



Monumental Inscriptions for Ffynnon Baptist Chapel and Trefangor have been indexed by the Dyfed FHS.

Trefangor Baptist Burial Ground, Llanddewi Velfrey       SN131170      Believed to be still open (2013)

  • "The establishment of the cause is attributed to William Jones who was dismissed as the vicar of Cilmaenllywd in 1660, became a Baptist and began a new ministry in the region, performing some 30 adult baptisms in 1667. Early meetings may have been held at Rushacre, near Narberth, the seat of Griffith Howells, one of the first local converts from the Independents. The first chapel at Rhydwilym was built in 1701: in the same year that some members emigrated to found Baptist Churches in America. ........... Rhydwilym chapel did not have an attached burial ground. In 1667 before the chapel was built, Griffith Howells donated land at Trefangor, Llanddewi Velfrey, and this became the principal resting place for many of the Baptists in the region. Memorials to Howells, his son John, and several early Rhydwilym ministers may still be seen in this cemetary..........."   (Rhydwilym and the Baptists; The Landsker Borderlands- Its History & Landscape" 1992, Dyfed Archaeological Trust.)
  • For further background on this burial ground see also this article of 1908, DECHREUAD A CHYNNYDD Y BEDYDDWYR YN SIR BENFRO, from Greal (Llangollen) on Welsh Journals Online and also  this article of 1862, A Welsh Charon (From the Examiner) from the Sydney Morning Herald on Trove Digitised Newspapers


The 1851 census for this parish has been indexed by the Dyfed FHS.

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

  • 1841 Census - 0464344
  • 1851 Census - 0104231
  • 1861 Census - 0543242
  • 1871 Census - 0850851
  • 1881 Census - 1342302
  • 1891 Census - 6099634

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

  • Llandewi Velfrey Parish Church                       D Jones, Minister
  • Bethel, Llanddeyvelfrey   Ind            Erected in 1824, rebuilt in 1849       Thomas Thomas, Deacon, Gwindy, Narberth
  • Ffynnon Chapel, Landewy Velfrey                 Particular Baptists       Erected before 1800, rebuilt near the old site in 1850              John Edwards, Minister

Parish entry for Llanddewi Velfrey with Crinow (R D of Narberth) from The Welsh Church Year Book, 1929 (Cd by Archive CD Books).

  • St David & Parish Church (Crinow)
  • Incumbent and Curates; J Williams
  • Rural Deanery of  St Clears
  • Acreage 4,028 & 356 ; Population 443 & 40

Griffiths, G. Milwyn. A Visitation of the Archdeaconry of Carmarthen, 1710   National Library of Wales journal. 1974, Summer Vol XVIII/3. Includes the parish of Llan Ddewi Welffri


    Church Records

    Parish registers: Christenings (1727-70, 1778-1992), Marriages (1727-1970), Burials (1727-70, 1778-1990) at NLW with Mf copies at Pem.RO

    Bishops' Transcripts, covering the period (1676, 1680-7, 1689, 1697-9, 1702-3, 1705-8, 1713, 1717, 1724-6, 1728-30, 1732-85, 1790-6, 1798-1800, 1802-3, 1806-7, 1809-39, 1841-73, 1876-8, 1880) are at the National Library of Wales, and have been microfilmed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Call Number: 0105161.

    See Bap/Mar/Bur data on  FreeReg

    Nonconformist Chapels:

    • Ffynnon , in Ffynnon [Baptists, 1720]. Records ; a petition by 90 members of this chapel to incorporate Blaenconyn Baptist Chapel, 1846, at NLW Ms 12041C     SN13651690   Built 1720, modified, altered or rebuilt 1787, 1831-2 and 1850.        Still open 1998         Coflein            On Dyfed FHS   
    • Trefangor Baptist Burial Ground, Llanddewi Velfrey - see above under Cemeteries
    • Bethel [Independents, 1824]. Records ; See Henllan Chapel                  On Dyfed FHS           SN159169       Shown as still open on the Union of Welsh Independents site (Dec 2006)
      Rees, Thomas & John Thomas. Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru (History of the Welsh Independent Churches), 4 volumes (published 1871+). Here is the entry from this book for this chapel (in Welsh ) - with translation by Maureen Saycell (Jan 2009)

    Description & Travel

    You can see pictures of Llandewi Velfrey which are provided by:



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


    Historical Geography

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



    Lewis, T.E., Jones, J.T. and Lewis, H. Local heritage from Efailwen to Whitland: comprising the history of the parishes of Climaenllwyd, Hellanfallteg, Llanboidy, Llandysilio, Llanddewi Velfrey, Whitland 2 vols), Clunderwen, The Author (1976).

    Land & Property

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

    • Lewis of Henllan papers  1581-1920    "The Lewis family have owned Henllan, and other properties in the Llanddewi Velfrey area, Pembrokeshire, since at least 1637................."


    Parish map (Kain/Oliver)

    You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SN151171 (Lat/Lon: 51.821771, -4.684725), Llandewi Velfrey which are provided by:


    Names, Geographical

    Places, villages, farms etc within Llanddewi Velfrey 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)

    • Llanddewi-Velfrey (118); Afon Marlais, Bryn, Caerau Gaer (Antiquity), Ca'rmaenau-fawr, Commercial, Cwmmau Wood, Droslyn, Ffynnon, Fron, Gwyndy, Hendre, Henllan, Llanddewi Gaer (Antiquity), Llanddewi-Velfrey, Pant-teg, Pen-blewyn, Pen-gawse, Pen-troydin, Plas-crwn, Tre-wern, Waen-dwrgi.