"NEVERN, a parish in the hundred of KEMMES, county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, 2 miles (E.N.E.) from Newport, and 8 (S.W. by W,) from Cardigan, which is the post town, containing 1558 inhabitants. . . This parish, which is very large, extending from the sea to the foot of the Precelly mountains, is situated on the shore of Cardigan bay, in a beautifully diversified and fertile district, and comprehends some of the most picturesque and romantic scenery in the county of Pembroke, being intersected by a deep wooded dingle, through which flows the Nevern, the banks of which are occasionally formed into rocks of fantastic character, while in the lower part, near Newport bay, stands the village: the prospects from the higher grounds are also pleasing and extensive. The high road from Newport to Cardigan passes near it, and by far the greater portion of the parish is enclosed and cultivated. . . The church is said to have been originally founded in the sixth century, by St. Brynach, or Byrnach, to whom it is dedicated, and rebuilt by some of the Norman lords of Kemmes: the present is an ancient and venerable structure, in the Norman style of architecture. . . In the hamlet of Kîlgwin[Cilgwyn], in this parish, there is a chapel of case, dedicated to St. Mary. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, and Calvinistic Methodists. . . " [From A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (S. Lewis, 1833).]



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 - 0464343
  • 1851 Census - 0104239
  • 1861 Census - 0543246
  • 1871 Census - 0850859
  • 1881 Census - 1342307
  • 1891 Census - 6099652

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

  • Nevern Parish Church See separate page for an extract of remarks from this return
  • Morva Room Independents or Congregationalists Rented in 1843 Samuel Thomas, Independent Minister
  • Gethsemane Welsh CM Erected in 1844 "The Welsh Calvinistic Methodists are on the Presbyterian sistem, and have no Stated Ministers, but supply their places of worship in rotation. Mr S Lewis of Hall supplied on the 30th March 1851" Thomas Jones, Manager, Trefach, nr Newport
  • Penuel Baptist Erected in 1824 John Gwynne, Deacon, Grasyforwyn, Cardigan
  • Glanrhyd CM Erected about 1807 Evan Morgan, Elder, Waensegur, St Dogmells
  • Brynberian Ind Erected in 1693, last erected in 1843 Evan Lewis, Minister
  • Caersalem Baptist Erected in 1841 David George, Minister, Trewern

Parish entry for Nevern with Cilgwyn and Bayvil from The Welsh Church Year Book, 1929 (Cd by Archive CD Books).

  • St Brynach & St Mary (Cilgwyn) & Parish Church (Bayvil)
  • Incumbent and Curates; D Davies
  • Rural Deanery of Kemes
  • Acreage 14,735 & --- & 1,351 ; Population 876 & --- & 71

See John Ball's site Welsh Churches and Chapels Collection for a photograph/data re St Brynach's Church

Church/chapel photographs on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Caersalem Baptist Chapel, Nevern 
  • Penuel Welsh Baptist Chapel, Cemaes
  • St Brynach Church

The Church of St. Brynach, Nevern, Pembrokeshire. Edition 3rd rev ed.Church of St. Brynach, 1960,1985 (printing) 16p

Morris, David, of Nevern. Where the cuckoo sings his song : [St. Brynach's Church, Nevern] . Country Quest 27/12 (1987), p. 22-3

Rees, Benjamin. Hanes Eglwysi Bedyddwyr yn Blaenywaun, Gerazim, Penuel Cemmaes a Tabernacl [A History of the Baptist Churches at Blaenywaun, Gerazim, Penuel Cemmaes and the Tabernacle]. W Williams,1899


Church Records

The earliest PR (1663-1710) is an early 19th century copy

Parish register: Christenings (1663-1992), Marriages (1663-1986), Burials (1663-1993) at NLW with Mf copies at Pem.RO

Copy ms PR (1663-1812) and ts PR [extracts] (1663-1850) at NLW

Bishops' Transcripts, covering the period (1634, 1674-6, 1678-80, 1682-7, 1689, 1702, 1799-1800, 1802-70, 1878-83, 1885-9) are at the National Library of Wales, and have been microfilmed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Call Number: 0105193.

See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg

Nonconformist Chapels:

  • Caersalem Welsh Baptist chapel, Cilgwyn SN07973670 Built 1841, restored in 1915 and 1948. Still open 1998 Coflein On Dyfed FHS (under Cilgwyn)
  • Penuel Cemmes, near Rhydymaen [Baptists, 1824]. Records ; See Blaenywaun SN11544115 Built 1824, rebuilt as present chapel 1860. Still open 1998 Coflein
  • Gethsemane [Calvinistic Methodists, 1844] On Dyfed FHS
  • Glanrhyd [Calvinistic Methodists, c 1808]. Records ; births and bapts, 1813-36, at PRO RG4/2577, and have been microfilmed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Call Number: 813551, IGI. SN14244225 Built c1807 (1851 Religious Census), rebuilt 1870 Coflein Glanrhyd CM chapel - still open in 2006
  • Brynberian , in Brynberian [Independents, 1690] On Dyfed FHS 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 Eleri Rowlands (Feb 2009)
  • Morva, in Morva [Independents, c1851-73]. Records ; See Ebenezer/Newport SN0839 A rented place of meeting since 1843 Coflein

Description & Travel

Nevern - on the People and Places of the World site

Various landscape photographs of the area and surrounds - on the People's Collection Wales site

    You can see pictures of Nevern which are provided by:



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

    Transcript of complete entry in Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Wales of 1833.



    Held at the NLW ;

    • Manuscripts of David Morgan Lewis [1851-1937], professor of physics and Congregationalist minister, incorporating small groups of the manuscripts of his father, Evan Lewis, Brynberian [1813-96], of J Lloyd James['Clwydwenfro', 1835-1919] and of other Congregational ministers.


    Jones, E D George Owen Harry (c1553-1614) The Pembrokeshire Historian vol 6 1979 Welsh Journals Online

    Jones, Francis Bowen of Pentre Ifan and Llwyngwair The Pembrokeshire Historian vol 6 1979 Welsh Journals Online

    Jones, Francis Warren of Trewern The Pembrokeshire Historian vol 5 1974 Welsh Journals Online

    Kirkwood, Bettye. Harriet Symmons (Mrs James Devonald). Dyfed FHS journal, Vol7/7 April 2002. Harriet was the daughter of Dorothy and William Symmons of Henllys, Nevern.



    Nevern Castle "...............there are other riches in West Wales most worthy of discovery. Nevern is one of these riches. A tiny village off the main A487 between Fishguard and Cardigan..........It is a charming village best known for its impressive church as well as its location......A fine motte and bailey castle may be located by climbing the short but winding road ."

    Hughes, Wendy. Nevern . Country Quest (May 1996), p. 52

    Jenkins, D. Islwyn. While the river Nevern flows : how Welsh charity came home. [William Rogers] Country Quest 30/5 (1989), p. 16-17

    Lewis, E.T. North of the hills; a history of the parishes of Eglwyswen, Eglwyswrw, Llanfair Nantgwyn, Meline, Nevern. (1973) 309 p.

    Miles, Dillwyn . A Book on Nevern .1998 Gomer Press. Listed on Gomer's 2002 Catalogue (1 85902 578 1);- "An accessible history of Nevern....from neolithic times to the present..................describes...........and those figures who left their name and mark upon this ancient settlement."

    Miles, Dillwyn. Llwyngwair. Gwasg Dinefr Press 2002 . About Llwyngwair and the Bowen family who lived there for five hundred years when Sir George Bowen died in 1940.

    Mytum, H. C. (Harold C.). Survey and excavation at Berry Hill Camp, Nevern, Dyfed .Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies 40 (1993), p. 198-211

    Turvey, R. K. (Roger Kenneth) . Nevern Castle : a new interpretation. The Journal of the Pembrokeshire Historical Society, No.3 1989 Welsh Journals Online


    Land & Property

    Nash, Gerallt D Pentre Ifan barn: the remains of a Tudor gentry house? The Journal of the Pembrokeshire Historical Society, No.3 1989 Welsh Journals Online


    Parish map (Kain/Oliver)

    You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SN091370 (Lat/Lon: 51.998873, -4.781971), Nevern which are provided by:


    Names, Geographical

    Places, villages, farms etc within Nevern 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 Tony Morris)

    • Nevern (22); Afon Cwmau; Afon Pennant; AVON NEVERN; Banc Du; Berry Hill; Blaen-meini; Bryn-berian; Careg y Drowy; Carnau Lladron; Carnedd Meibion-Owen; Castell-y-garn; Cerig Llandron; Cesig-duon; Coed-wynog; Cwm cenau; Dolau-bach; Eisteddfa; Fachongle; Ffos Dyrysienog; Ffos-felen; Ffynon Fyfan; Ffynon-y-ci; Foel Eryn; Foel fach; Foel Feddau; Foel Goch; Fron-goch; Gelli; Gelli fawr; Gernos; Glan dwr; Glastir; Godir-y-Rwch; Hagr-y-Coed; Llwyn-goras; Llwyni-hirion; Llystin; Morfa; Mynidd-du Commin; Nevern; Pen y Bal; Pen-lan-wynt; Pen-trisil; Pen-wern; Pen-yr-allt ddu; Pennant; Pentre Evan; Pwll Coch; Rhos farket; Rhos y Bryn; Rhwng-y-Ddwyffordd; Sychpant; Tavarn-y-bwych; Temple Bar; The Bennett; Tre-bwlch; Tre-dyrysi; Tre-fach; Tre-fach; Tre-gamman; Tre-llyffaint; Tre-Wrdan; Trewern; Trinant; Trwyn y Bwa; Ty-canol; Ty-gwyn; Ty-newydd; Ty-rhos; Tyr-dwr; Waun Maes; Waun Mawn; Ysgulor-wen
    • 22A (Unidentified on the map); Bronydd; Castell Henllys; Crugtau-cemmaes; Cwm Gloyne?; Cwn-eog; Glan Duad fawr; Glan-rhyd; Henllys; Rhos-fawr; Tre-wenfron;

    Social Life & Customs

    John, Brian. Beneath the mountain : tales and traditions of Newport and Nevern Newport,Greencroft Books, c1998. 48 p