"WHITCHURCH, a parish in the hundred of DEWISLAND, county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, 12 Miles (N. W. by W.) from Haverfordwest, containing 1028 inhabitants. This parish, which contains the small sea-port town of Solva, described under its own head, is situated on the coast of St. Bride's bay, and on the turnpike road from Haverfordwest to St. David's. It comprises a considerable tract of good arable and pasture land: the surface is abruptly varied, and the scenery, being pleasingly diversified with hill and dale, is in some parts, especially near the town, highly picturesque. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in agriculture, in the burning of lime, for which there are some kilns near the entrance of the town of Solva, and in the trade of the port. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of St. David's, rated in the king's books at £5. 15. 7 1/2., endowed with £200 royal bounty, and £800 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Precentor and Chapter of the Cathedral Church of St. David's. The church, dedicated to St. David, is not remarkable for any architectural details of importance. There are places of worship for Baptists, Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists, and Presbyterians. Caervoriog, in this parish, is the birthplace of Adam Hoton, Bishop of St.David's, at one time ambassador to the Court of France, and Lord High Chancellor of England. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor amounts to £304. 19." [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 - 0464342
  • 1851 Census - 0104237
  • 1861 Census - 0543245
  • 1871 Census - 0850858
  • 1881 Census - 1342306
  • 1891 Census - 6099649

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

  • National School Room, Solva Licensed as a place of worship by the Lord Bishop of Saint David's in the month of February 1841 Circumstances of License: On account of the inconvenient distance of the Parish Church of Whitchurch from the village of Solva, where the mass of the population reside. Peter Beynon, Churchwarden Solva - Duplicate return Erected as a School room in 1836 J P Williams, Vicar of Whitchurch
  • Whitchurch Parish Church "Remarks: Having answered the above queries according to the best of my belief, I may perhaps be permitted to observe that with reference to the census of the population they are quite impertinent, and not being authorized by the Act to which they pretend to refer they are disingenuous. The Registrar General no doubt will be able to assign a satisfactory reason why no enquiry as to Endowments has been inserted in the Returns for Dissenting Places of Worship." James Propert Williams, Vicar, Whitchurch
  • Treffgarn Owen Ind Erected in 1686, enlarged in 1753, rebuilt in 1833 John Evans, Sunday School Secretary, Trefgarn Owen, Brawdy
  • Pavan Ind Erected in 1841 B & I Griffiths, Ministers, Trefgarn, Solva
  • Midlemill Particular Baptist Erected before 1800 Thomas Morris, Local Preacher, Merchant, Solva
  • Welsh CM, Solva Erected in 1823 in lieu of another building "From the result of the memorable 'Blue Books' inquiry the writer will be disappointed any favourable report of the present" John Williams, Steward. Solva
  • Wesleyan Methodist Erected in 1812 Isaac Jenkins, Minister, St David's
  • Old Meeting House, Solva Ind Erected before 1800 John David Jones, Minister, Solva
  • Sion 'Peculiar' Baptists Erected in 1819 Thomas Morris, Local Preacher, Solva

Parish entry for Whitchurch with St Elvis and Solva from The Welsh Church Year Book, 1929 (Cd by Archive CD Books).

  • St David & St Aidan (Solva)
  • Incumbent and Curates; B Evans
  • Rural Deanery of Dewisland
  • Acreage 3,177 & 440 ; Population 759

    Church Records

    Diocesan records suggest that c1790 the registers went back to 1731

    Parish registers: Christenings (1753-1974), Marriages (1772-1969, 1973-89) Banns (1772-1874, 1877-94) Solva (1908-85), Burials (1752-1957) at Pem.RO

    Copy ts PR C (1753-94) M (1772-1812) B (1752-94 and extracts CMB to 1907) at NLW

    Bishops' Transcripts, covering the period (1799-1800, 1802-7, 1809-82, 1886, 1889-91, 1898-9, 1902-4) are at the National Library of Wales, and have been microfilmed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Call Number: 0819967.

    See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg

    Held at Pem.RO

    • Whitchurch Solva Parochial Church Council minute books 1941-1981

    Nonconformist Chapels:

    • Middlemill [Felinganol], near Felinganol [Baptists, 1756]. Records ; See Llangloffan for the years before 1794 On Dyfed FHS [Capel y Felinganol]
    • Sion, in Solva village [Baptists, 1819]. Records ; See Felinganol On Dyfed FHS [Capel Bach]
    • Mount Pleasant Baptist, High St, Solva SM80122431 Built 1862-3 Still open 1993 Coflein On Dyfed FHS
    • Hen Gapel, Chapel Lane, Solva (Baptist) SM80042428 Built pre 1800, by 1905 a Sunday School. Not still open 1994 Coflein
    • Chapel, in Solva village [Calvinistic Methodists, 1815]. Records ; birth and bapts 1798-1837 at PRO RG4/3854, and have been microfilmed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Call Number: 819967, IGI On Dyfed FHS
    • Capel y cwm CM chapel, Main St, Solva SM80662447 Built 1823, rebuilt/altered later in the C19. Not still open 1993 Coflein See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg On Dyfed FHS
    • Vachelich Solva Calvinist M chapel On Dyfed FHS under St David's but appears to be just within Whitchurch
    • Mount Zion / Old Meeting House , in Solva [Independents, 1798]. Records ; births and bapts 1814-37 at PRO RG4/2341; RG4/2342 ; RG4/3920, and have been microfilmed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Call Number: 819967, IGI See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg On Dyfed FHS
      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 (Feb 2009)
      • The same place as above ; Mynydd Seion Ind chapel, Upper Solfach SM79942442 On the First Edition of the OS 1/2500, 1891. In 1896 rebuilt Coflein Shown as still open on the Union of Welsh Independents site (Dec 2006)
    • Paran , next to Trefgarn church [Independents, 1843]. Records ; See Trefgarn Owain On Dyfed FHS
    • Trefgarn Owen Ind chapel - see under Brawdy parish
    • Chapel , in Solva village [Wesleyan Methodists, 1812]. Records ; See Bethel/St Davids parish SM80012431 Built 1812. Converted to a Memorial Hall, 1922 Coflein On Dyfed FHS

    Description & Travel

    You can see pictures of Whitchurch which are provided by:



    Pigot & Co. South Wales Directory for 1830 Here are Extracts for St David's and Solva

    Pigot & Co. South Wales Directory for 1844. Here are Extracts for St David's and Solva



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

    Transcript of complete entry for the sea-port of Solva in Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Wales of 1833.



    There are historical snippets about this parish on Not everyone knows this..

    Broom, Trevor. A History of Solva. Archaeology. Church and chapel, schools, all sorts of social info, people named, jobs, farms, movements of people etc.1995.

    Broom, Trevor. Notes for a History of Solva .Part One the 19th Century and Part Two Chapels and Churches in the Parish of Whitchurch .

    Davies, E J. Solva, Half a Century of Change . Gives fascinating details of village life, shipping, shops, pubs, schools, etc. between 1800's and 1970. Photographs. No publication date.

    Raggett, Paul. Solva - An interesting introduction to village life including life in the 1930's, notable characters of the past, village photographs, Queen Elizabeth's visit 1995 and notes on St. David's airfield .1990, 5th edition 2000.

    Warburton, F W. The History of Solva. 1944



    Parish map (Kain/Oliver)

    You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SM811252 (Lat/Lon: 51.882104, -5.182586), Whitchurch which are provided by:


    Names, Geographical

    Places, villages, farms etc within Whitchurch 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 Peter D Hall)

    • Whitchurch [68]; Caer Fega, Caer foriog, Gewra, Gribin, Kingheriot, Llanungar, Llanunwas, Llechell, Middle Mill, Nine Wells, Paran, Prendergast, Solva, The Cradle, Tre-cadwgan, Treflodan, Tre maen hir, Vachelich, Waun Vachelich, Whitchurch, Ystafelloedd


    Davies, Peter B. S. Forgotten mines : the old lead and copper mines of Solva and St. David's. St. David's : Merrivale, 1990. 40p : ill, maps,plan ; 21cm.