"LAWHADEN, or LLEWHADEN (LLAN-HAUA-DEN), a parish in the hundred of DUNGLEDDY, county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, 3 1/2miles (N. N. W.) from Narberth, containing 657 inhabitants. . . . The parish comprises a large tract of rich arable and pasture land, which is enclosed and in a good state of cultivation. The village is situated on the summit of a lofty ridge overhanging the river Cleddy, and commanding a fine view of the adjacent country, which abounds with richly varied scenery; and within the parish are some highly interesting and pleasingly romantic features, among which are, the church, beautifully situated on the margin of the river, under a richly wooded eminence, and the majestic and venerable ruins of the ancient castle immediately above it. . . The church, dedicated to St. Aidan, is an ancient and venerable edifice, with a handsome tower, and in its retired and beautiful situation forms an interesting and romantic feature in the scenery around the village. There is a place of worship for Presbyterians. It is in contemplation to establish a National school for the gratuitous instruction of children, in connexion with the parent society in London. . . " [From A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (S. Lewis, 1833).]



Monumental Inscriptions for Gelly Chapel, situated about one mile north of Llawhaden, have been indexed by the Dyfed Family History Society.



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 - 0104231
  • 1861 Census - 0543242
  • 1871 Census - 0850851
  • 1881 Census - 1342302
  • 1891 Census - 6099635

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

  • Llawhaden Parish Church Daniel Jones, Vicar
  • Goshen CM Erected in 1840 John Lewis, Elder, Portyslade
  • Bethesda Independents or Congregationalists Erected in 1797, rebuilt in 1848 Samuel Thomas, Minister

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

  • St Aidan & St Mary (Bletherston)
  • Incumbent and Curates; T Jones
  • Rural Deanery of Dungleddy
  • Acreage 4,609 & 2,398 ; Population 629

See Welsh Chapels and Churches for a photograph

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

  • Goshen Calvinistic Methodist Chapel, Llawhaden
  • St. Aidan's church and tower
  • Bethesda chapel (Cong), Bethesda, Llawhaden

Jones, Hywel T. A brief history of Bethesda Llawhaden .Aberteifi : E. L. Jones a'i Fab, Argraffwyr, [198-?] 27p


Church Records

Parish registers: Christenings (1653-1980), Marriages (1653-1971) Banns (1823-1930), Burials (1653-1956) at NLW with Mf copies at Pem.RO

Bishops' Transcripts, covering the period (1772, 1799, 1801-77, 1879-81, 1883) are at the National Library of Wales, and have been microfilmed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Call Number: 0105186.

See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg

Nonconformist Chapels:

  • Siloam Welsh Baptist chapel, Gelli SN08231952 Built1858, rebuilt 1904. Still open 1998 Coflein On Dyfed FHS
  • Goshen, near Potterslade [Calvinistic Methodists, 1840]. Records ; See Wiston Chapel On Dyfed FHS

Description & Travel

Llawhaden - on Wikipedia

Aerial photograph of Llawhaden Castle, 1994 - on People's Collection Wales

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

Llawhaden Castle A Castles of Wales site. "Llawhaden Castle is located about 8 miles east of Haverfordwest, just off the A40. Bounded by hedgerows, the narrow approach road into Llawhaden gives no hint that the great bishops once took refuge here."

You can see pictures of Llawhaden which are provided by:



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

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



Pembrokeshire Families

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

  • Foley family of Ridgeway, collection 1365-1869 "The Foley family were descended from a John Foley, architect to the bishops of St Davids and constable of Llawhaden castle in the 14th century............."
  • Ferris and Foley families 1786-1876 "The Foley family resided at Llawhaden and Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire. The Ferris family were based in Buckinghamshire."
  • Skyrme family of Llawhaden and Protheroe family of Stonehall St Lawrence, archives 1467-[19th century] "The Skyrme family came from Shropshire, and resided at Llawhaden, Pembrokeshire, since the early 17th century. ............. John Skyrme, of Llawhaden, was High Sheriff in 1716. His wife was Frances Skyrme, and their daughter was Lucy Cordelia Skyrme. She married John Protheroe, of Egremont, Carmarthenshire....................."


The defended settlements at Llawhaden. Journal of the Pembrokeshire Historical Society vol 1 1985 Welsh Journals Online

Radford, C. A. Ralegh, (Courtenay Arthur Ralegh) .Llawhaden Castle : Dyfed = Castell Llawhaden. Edinburgh : H.M.S.O., 1980. 8p

Turner, Rick. Lamphey Bishop's Palace : Llawhaden Castle : Carswell Medieval House, Carew Cross. Cadw: Welsh Historic Monuments, 1991. 52p

Williams, George. Fighting and farming in Iron Age west Wales : excavations at Llawhaden, 1980-1984 [Carmarthen] : Dyfed Archaeological Trust, 1985. 16p.



Parish map (Kain/Oliver)

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SN079176 (Lat/Lon: 51.824261, -4.788194), Llawhaden which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

Places, villages, farms etc within Llawhaden 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)

  • Llawhaden (81); Abystree, Addlepits, Bethesda, Broadway, Cotland Mill, Drim, Drim Wood, Ellenswell, Faynor Gaer (Antiquity), Gelly, Gelly-ole, Great Vaynor, Grondre Ho.,Holgan, Llawhaden, Llawhaden Ho., Patterslade, Pen-llwyn Ho., Plain Dealings, Ridgeway, Tre-wynt, Vaynor, West End, White Leys, Woodside.

Social Life & Customs

Cule, John. Some Early Hospitals in Wales and the Border. National Library of Wales journal. 1977, Winter Volume XX/2. Here is the opening section of an extract relating to this parish;
"Pembrokeshire had a number of early hospitals. Nearby the Castle of Llawhaden, bishop Thomas Beck of St. David's had founded in 1287 a hospital dedicated to the Virgin, St. Thomas the Martyr and Edward the Confessor. In 1925 the Historical Monument Commissioners reported that a building used as a stable in a field, still known as Chapel Field, and next to Priory Field on the south, was the remains of the chapel of a mediaeval hospice...."