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"KENARTH (CENARTH), a parish, in the union of NEWCASTLE-EMLYN, higher division of the hundred of ELVET, county of CARMARTHEN, SOUTH WALES; comprising the market and post-town of Newcastle-Emlyn, from which the church is distant 2 1/2 miles (W.N.W.); and containing 2044 inhabitants. This parish is beautifully situated on the river Teivy, over which the turnpike-road from Carmarthen to Cardigan is here carried by a stone bridge; and comprises by admeasurement 6420 acres, which are almost wholly inclosed and in a good state of cultivation, and of which about 400 are woodland, and the remainder two-thirds arable and one-third pasture. . . a considerable number of cattle are bred in the parish, and the other produce comprises chiefly corn, butter, and cheese. . . Near the church is the celebrated salmon leap on the river Teivy . . The church, dedicated to St. Llawddog, is a neat edifice, about 50 feet long and 25 broad, containing 230 sittings . . . A church has recently been erected at Newcastle-Emlyn, containing 500 sittings, of which 400 are free . . The Independent and Calvinistic Methodists have each a place of worship, in addition to the meeting-houses for dissenters [in] Newcastle-Emlyn. There are five day schools in the parish . . ." [From A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (S. Lewis, 1844).]

Monumental inscriptions for Brynseion Independent Chapel, Cenarth, are available on microfiche from Dyfed FHS.


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Cenarth area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

Church History

CENARTH, St. Llawddog 1868-1873  - on the Church plans online site

NEWCASTLE EMLYN, Holy Trinity 1829-1842  - on the Church plans online site

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

  • Trinity Church, Newcastle Emlyn     "Having a consolidated District assigned to it, under 6th sect. of 59th Geo. 3. cap. 134"          Licensed Sept 1842 - Built instead of another Chapel previously existing, which was then taken down   John Price Jones, Incumbent
  • Kenarth Parish Church            Augustus Brigstocke, Vicar
  • Three (sic) Somon (?Salmons) Room    Latter Day Saints      Erected in 1850, part of a dwelling house      Thomas Jones, elder
  • Bethel           Welsh CM             Erected in 1821            John Jones, Minister
  • Tabernacle         Wesleyan         Erected in 1833        Thomas Williams, Member of Society, Adpar
  • Ebenezer   Ind       Erected in 1807       Theophilus James, Deacon, Saddler
  • Graig chapel, Newcastle Emlyn       Baptist       Erected in 1776, rebuilt in 1821     Timothy Thomas, Baptist Minister
  • Pontgarreg Welsh  CM                Erected in 1818, rebuilt in 1844                 Jonathan Thomas, Secretary, Pontgarreg
  • Bryn Sion          Ind                          Erected in 1831               Abednego Jenkyn, Minister


Parish entry for Newcastle Emlyn from The Welsh Church Year Book, 1929 (Cd by (Archive CD Books)).

  • Holy Trinity
  • Incumbent and Curates; Gruffydd Evans
  • Rural Deanery of Emlyn
  • Acreage ---; Population 1,670

Parish entry for Cenarth from The Welsh Church Year Book, 1929 (Cd by (Archive CD Books)).

  • St Llawddog
  • Incumbent and Curates; J Robert Jones
  • Rural Deanery of Emlyn
  • Acreage 6,530; Population 317

Church Records

Dyfed FHS have photographs and data relating to various churches and chapels on their site

Parish registers: Christenings (1701-68, 1775-1909), Marriages (1701-1970), Banns (1824-60, 1934-35) and Burials (1701-68, 1775-1975) are at the National Library of Wales with copies of some dates at Carm.RO

Copy ts PR index C 1813-75  M 1701-1875 [Banns 1823-60, 1934-5] at NLW and Carm.RO

Bishops' Transcripts, covering the period (1676, 1678, 1680, 1682, 1684-9, 1699, 1704, 1799-1806, 1808-58, 1860-1) are at the National Library of Wales, and have been microfilmed by the LDS.

Marriage index for this parish - see Dyfed Marriages, 1813-1837, Vol. 15 - Elvet Hundred (Dyfed Family History Society, c1989)

See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg

Nonconformist Chapels:

  • Y Graig (Baptist, 1775), Water St, Newcastle Emlyn     Member's subscriptions (1859-86) NLW               SN3075640454     Cause 1668 first chapel built 1775/6, rebuilt 1821 & again 1875   Status (1995): in chapel use.        Coflein
  • Bethel (Calvinistic Methodist, c1760),Church St, Newcastle Emlyn         Births and baptisms (1810-37) PRO RG4/2256, LDS 815972, IGI; members (1800-09) NLW, LDS 104414/2       On Dyfed FHS (under Newcastle Emlyn)        Still open in 2006
  • Pont-gareg [Bontgarreg] (Calvinistic Methodist, 1770), Pontgarreg             Births and baptisms (1810-37) PRO RG4/3540, LDS 828111, IGI                 SN27553764     Built 1818 rebuilt/modified 1845. Rebuilt again 1874                      See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg                 Status (1998): in chapel use.            Coflein
  • Capel Cenarth Welsh CM chapel, Cenarth village ( See in Llandygwydd , CGN parish)
  • Bryn Seion (Independent, 1804), Pontseli/Zion Hill      Records with those of Trewen (Brongwyn, Cardiganshire) and Capel Iwan (Cilrehdyn).        SN25434000      Built 1831, renovated 1870, enlarged 1889.            1998 still open                Coflein                        Bryn Seion Ind chapel, Pontseli  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 Gareth Hicks (Oct 2008)
  • Ebenezer (Independent, c1807): records with those of Saron (Llangeler), Ebenezer St, Newcastle Emlyn        On Dyfed FHS (under Newcastle Emlyn)           Ebeneser Ind chapel, Newcastle Emlyn 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 Gareth Hicks (Oct 2008)
  • Tabernacle (Wesleyan Methodist, 1806), Newcastle Emlyn             Built 1834, part of Cardign circuit in early years, then Lampeter from 1850          Records with those of Wesleyan Chapel (Cardigan St Marys) and Wesleyan Chapel (Lampeter Pont Stephen Parish)           Closed pre 1900                  Not found on Coflein or Dyfed FHS
  • Our Lady Queen of Peace (Roman Catholic), Newcastle Emlyn         On Dyfed FHS (under Newcastle Emlyn)

Newcastle Emlyn/Castellnewydd [The chapel of ease to Cenarth built here c1780 seems to have been without separate PRs until the late 1830s. District assigned to new church 1843]
Christenings (1839-1915)    Marriages (1971-90)  Burials (1842-1957) at NLW with copy Christenings (1839-1915) Burials (1842-1957) at Carm. RO.  Marriages 1838-1970 with incumbent.
BTs ; 1874, 1885-8, 1890, 1898  NLW

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Cenarth which are provided by:

The Religious census of 1851 : A Calendar of the returns relating to Wales, Vol 1, South Wales., byJones, I.G. & Williams, D.   UWP,   Cardiff, 1976.  These statistics for this parish are extracted from this book which in turn got them from the 1851 census itself;

  • Including town of Newcastle; Area 6429 acres; Population 934 males, 1046 females, total 1980

Places, villages, farms etc within Cenarth as shown on the online parish map from the CD off  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 Merv Thomas)

  • Cenarth [40]; Argoed, Blaen-ffos, Blaen-Gwyddon, Bryn, Bwlch-melyn, Cenarth, Clyn-athinog, Foel, Gelli-dywyll, Gelligatti, Gelli-oerlas, Hendy, Llety-dyd, Llwyn-bedw, Newcastle Emlyn, Pant-yr-hawl, Parc-nest, Pen, Penallt-Cillo, Pen-buarth, Pen-gelli, Pen-gelli-fach, Pengwern, Pengwern-isaf, Pen-lon, Pen-rherber, Pont-gureg, Rhid-y-felin, Shiral, Soar

Photographs and description of Newcastle Emlyn Castle on Castle Wales

National Coracle Centre  [and 17th Century Flour Mill] at Cenarth

Cenarth Falls - on Trek Earth

Newcastle Emlyn - on Wikipedia


" The noble river Teivi flows here, and abounds with the finest salmon, more than any other river of Wales; it has a productive fishery ( ? near Cilgerran), which is situated on the summit of a rock, at a place called Canarch Mawr*, the ancient residence of St Ludoc, where the river, falling from a great height, forms a cataract, which the salmon ascend, by leaping from the bottom to the top of a rock.... * (now known by the name of Kenarth, which may be derived from Cefn y garth - the back of the wear, a ridge of land behind the wear.) ' The church dedicated to St Ludoc, the mill, bridge, salmon leap, an orchard with a delightful garden, all stand together on a small plot of ground.' "
The Itinerary Through Wales and The Description of Wales by Giraldus Cambrensis (1188).
The text is that of Sir Richard Colt Hoare who published an English translation in 1806, chiefly from the texts of Camden and Wharton . This extract is mostly from the foot-notes in the Everyman's Library edition, (ed. Ernest Rhys) 1908.

Newcastle Emlyn Rural District, Carmarthenshire: the official guide, Home Publishing Co (1953) 28 p., ill.

Stephenson, Mary Jane. Dewch am Dro! (Come for a walk!) Written for Welsh learners it describes a collection of walks around Penrherber in Cenarth parish but also contains a history and geography of the area.  Mary Jane consulted census records, tithe maps, parish records and various books referring to Penrherber where there are local historical links going back as far as the Bronze Age


Pigot & Co. South Wales Directory for 1830. Here are Extracts relating to Newcastle-in-Emlyn and Atpar

Pigot & Co. South Wales Directory for 1844. Here are Extracts relating to Newcastle-in-Emlyn

Historical Geography

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


Cradle from Cenarth, C19th - on the People's Collection Wales site

Report of the Carmarthen and Newcastle Emlyn Turnpike Trust, 1843 - on the People's Collection Wales site

Workers at the Weir, Newcastle Emlyn, c 1885 - on the People's Collection Wales site

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

  • Brythonydd Papers [early 18th century]-1952 (accumulated [1891x1952])     "'Brythonydd', the Rev. David Pryse Williams (1878-1952), was a writer, local historian and Baptist minister................ His personal researches were concerned, in early life, with the history of the lower Teifi Valley, especially the parishes of Cenarth, Carmarthenshire, and Penbryn, Cardiganshire. During this time he wrote articles and poems, published in periodicals such as Seren Gomer and Archaeologia Cambrensis and local newspapers. In 1902 he won the prize at the Newcastle Emlyn eisteddfod for an essay on the history of Cenarth ........"


Baker-Jones, Leslie Dr., JP. The Glaspant Diary 1896 . Cultural Services Section, Carmarthenshire CC., Dec 2001; chronicles Carmarthenshire country life around one of the lesser gentry houses in Capel Iwan, Newcastle Emlyn over a hundred years ago. Based on a diary that was amongst the Howell (Glaspant) papers, deposited at the National Library of Wales by Mr Harry Howell JP and which was kept by his father Henry Williams Lloyd Howell for the year 1896.

Davies, Cliff.  From Rags to Riches: Anna Maria Phelps' Bequest to the Trustees of Trewen Chapel, Cwmcou. Dyfed FHS journal vol 9/1, Dec 2005

Evans,Gruffydd. The Story of Newcastle Emlyn and Atpar to 1531, with a concluding survey. Cymmrodorion, 1923

Lloyd, Sir John E., (Ed.). A History of Carmarthenshire (2 vols.), Cardiff, London Carmarthenshire Society (1935, 1939). Extracts from this book can be accessed on some parish pages, see here for this parish.

Lloyd, T. H.    Cenarth's 17th Century Mill.   1960

Land and Property

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

  • Brigstocke collection    "Deeds, 1813-[c .1870], relating to properties in the parish of St Peter, Carmarthen and in the parish of Cenarth ........"
  • Amphlett, Lewis and Evans [Solicitors, of Llandysul, previously situated in Newcastle Emlyn] deeds and records Include; "Deeds and documents, 1770-1959, relating to land in  Newcastle Emlyn .....................etc "


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SN268415 (Lat/Lon: 52.044729, -4.527043), Cenarth which are provided by:

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

Ceredigion Archives holds records of the Newcastle Emlyn and Lampeter Poor Law Unions

Thomas, M.J. Poor Relief Around Newcastle Emlyn, 1883-4, J. of the Dyfed FHS, vol. 6, no. 2, (1997) pp.54-55. [Transcription of listing of recipients.]

Public Records

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

  • Newcastle Emlyn Parish Council Records 1895-1979
  • Newcastle Emlyn Rural District Council Records 1913-1940
  • Newcastle Emlyn Urban District Council Records 1960-1974

[Gareth Hicks: 19 Dec 2012]