Abaty Cwm-Hir / Abbey Cwm-hir


"ABBEY CWM HIR, a parish, comprising the hamlet of Cevnpawl, in the hundred of KEVENLLEECE, and the hamlet of Gollon, in the hundred of KNIGHTON, county of RADNOR, SOUTH WALES, 6 miles (N. E.) from Rhaiadr, contalning 481 inhabitants. This place derives its name, which signifies "the abbey in the long dingle," from the erection of an ancient Cistercian monastery in this sequestered spot. The two hamlets of which the parish now consists, and which unitedly maintain their poor, constituted, till within a very recent period, the upper division of the parish of Llanbister, to which the church of Cwm Hir was a chapel of ease. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry of Brecknock, and diocese of St. David's, endowed with £800 royal bounty, and in the patronage of Thomas Wilson, Esq. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a plain edifice of moderate dimensions, with a small belfry at the west end, under which a gallery was erected in 1830, .........." ( A Topographical Dictionary of Wales, Samuel Lewis, 1833)



Abbey Cwmhir in Radnorshire : history of the abbey. Cwmhir : The Abbey Cwmhir Heritage Trust, 1999.

Charles, B G     An early charter of the Abbey of Cwmhir             Radnorshire Society Transactions Vol 40  1970      Welsh Journals Online

Cooke, Layton   Report on the Abbey Cwm Hir Estate 1822             Radnorshire Society Transactions Vol 35 1965         Welsh Journals Online  & Vol 36 1966       Welsh Journals Online &   vol 51 1981          Welsh Journals Online

Davies, D R Rev           Abbey Cwmhir             Radnorshire Society Transactions      vol. 16  1946     Welsh Journals Online

Davies, D Stedman Rev        Abbey Cwm Hir             Radnorshire Society Transactions Vol 4 1934      Welsh Journals Online

Gambrell, Anthony. Abbey in the Welsh uplands : [Abbey Cwm-hir]. Country Quest 29/7 (1988), p. 28,40

Madog ap Maelgwn's deed of grant to Abbey-Cwmhir          Radnorshire Society Transactions Vol 5 1935     Welsh Journals Online

Maddox, W C       Abbeycwmhir school; the chronicle of a small rural school           Radnorshire Society Transactions   vol 49 1979          Welsh Journals Online

Rees, William J . An historical and descriptive account of the ruinated abbey of Cwmhir, in the county of Radnor. London : Pickering, 1850. Reprinted from Archaeologia Cambrensis.

Remfrey, Paul M. A Political History of Abbey Cwmhir and its Patrons, 1176-1282.  SCS Publishing, 1994

Tibbott, Gildas            An Abbey-Cwmhir relic abroad           Radnorshire Society Transactions Vol 5 1935      Welsh Journals Online

Williams, David H . Abbey-Cwmhir. Rev ed. Llandrindod Wells : Powys County Council, 1978. Much of the material appeared originally in: Cistercian Studies by David H. Williams.


Church History

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 given towards the end of each entry are those of the informants.

Abbey-cwm-hir Parish consisting of the Townships of Cefnpawl and Golon; Statistics; Area 10965 acres; Population 287 males, 281 females, total 568

  • Cefnpawl Township
  • Abbeycwmhir Parish Church      Attendance - afternoon 75 + 20 scholars    1 service in English       James John Evans, Perpetual Curate
  • Bwlchsarnau, Abbycwmhar, Baptist      Erected 1829       Attendance - afternoon 200      Stephen Pugh, Edward Brunt, Ministers
  • Golon Township
  • No returns

See Welsh Chapels and Churches for a photograph of Cwm Hir, St Mary's Church

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

  • The Abbey, Roman Catholic, at Abbeycwmhir
  • St Mary's Church, Abbeycwmhir

Church of St Mary, Abbey Cwmhir on the Radnorshire Churches Survey site

Interior of St Mary's Church in Abbeycwmhir on the People's Collection Wales site


Church Records

An ancient chapel of ease with CMB before 1831 entered in PR Llanbister

Detailed information on deposited registers and transcripts for this parish is given on the Powys Archives page Radnorshire parish registers

As a guide only, the principal extant parochial church records for this parish span the dates shown below (as detailed in Parish Registers of Wales, NLW 2000) but exact current holdings should be confirmed with the individual Archives;

  • Baptisms 1831-1981; Marriages 1831-1971; Burials 1831-1978; Banns 1833-1960
    Parish Registers, or copies, for all or part of these dates are held at the NLW and/or Powys Archives.  
    Bishops Transcripts for various periods are held at the NLW  

Description & Travel

Abbeycwmhir - a community site

Abbey Cwmhir on the Castle Wales site

Abbey Cwmhir Hall - on wikipedia

Aerial photograph of Abbey Cwmhir - on the People's Collection Wales site

You can see pictures of Abaty Cwm-Hir / Abbey Cwm-hir which are provided by:





Excavations and archaeological ruins at Abbeycwmhir on the People's Collection Wales site

Corn mill interior, Abbey Cwmhir on the People's Collection Wales site


Land & Property

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

  • British Records Association Radnorshire, records   " including deeds and papers of the Abbeycwmhir estate 1769-1893.........."  
  • Penybont Hall, Radnorshire, deeds    " Including deeds, 1728-1850, relating to the manor of Golon [Abbey Cwm-hir] and other properties in Radnorshire......."


Kain, R.J.P., Oliver, R.R., Historic Parishes of England and Wales: an Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata [computer file]. Colchester, Essex: History Data Service, UK Data Archive [distributor], 17 May 2001. SN: 4348.   Here is a gazetteer/finding aid plus a set of overview maps to accurately identify the position of parishes within the county

Family Search have an interactive map called "England and Wales Jurisdictions 1851" showing parish (and other) boundaries with optional background maps such as Ordnance Survey. There is also a Search facility, do read the guidance notes to get maximum benefit from this useful resource. See here for further background information to assist in the interpretation of this data

Victorian Powys for schools site - Map of Abbey Cwmhir in 1833, and 1903

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SO044743 (Lat/Lon: 52.358492, -3.405848), Abaty Cwm-Hir / Abbey Cwm-hir which are provided by:


Public Records

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

  • Abbey Cwm-hir Parish Council Minutes 1894-1964


Abbey Cwm Hir School, Powys on the People's Collection Wales site