"PENALLEY (PENALEY), a parish in the hundred of CASTLEMARTIN, county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, 1 1/2 mile (S.W. by W.) from Tenby, containing 333 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated in the south-eastern extremity of the county, and on the shore of the Bristol channel, comprises a moderate portion of arable and pasture land, of which, with the exception only of a very small tract of common, the whole is enclosed and in a good state of cultivation. . . The parish abounds with limestone, which is quarried upon an extensive scale: part of it is exported to the coast of Devonshire, and part is burnt into lime for manure, for the supply of the neighbourhood. . . The church is an ancient cruciform structure, and has been recently repaired and enlarged by the erection of a gallery containing sixty additional sittings . . . The vicarage-house is an elegant building, surrounded with beautiful gardens, and commanding some fine marine views . . . A neat and commodious school-house has been built also at the expense of the incumbent, in which about sixty children of both sexes are gratuitously instructed . . . Caldey Island is within the limits of this parish, for all ecclesiastical purposes." [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 - 0104233
  • 1861 Census - 0543242
  • 1871 Census - 0850853
  • 1881 Census - 1342303
  • 1891 Census - 6099638

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

  • Penally Parish Church "As the Church is now being restored........." John Hughes, Minister

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

  • St Nicholas
  • Incumbent and Curates; E Lincoln Lewis
  • Rural Deanery of Castlemartin
  • Acreage 2,405 ; Population 540

See Welsh Chapels and Churches for a photograph

Penally Congregational Chapel on the People's Collection Wales site


    Church Records

    Parish registers: Christenings (1738-86, 1792-1991), Marriages (1739-51, 1754-1966) Banns (1824-90), Burials (1738-86, 1792-1993) at Pem.RO

    Facsimile C (1738-86) M (1738-1890) B (1738-86, 1813-1936) at NLW

    Copy ts PR M pre 1813 with index at NLW and Pem.RO

    Bishops' Transcripts, covering the period (1799-1806, 1809-73, 1875, 1877, 1890-2) are at the National Library of Wales, and have been microfilmed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - Call Number: 0105199.

    See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg

    Nonconformist Chapels:

    • Tabernacle Ind (UR) chapel, Penally SS11719902 Built 1887 Still open 1993 Coflein On Dyfed FHS

    Description & Travel

    Caldey Island Heritage Perspectives. A Dissertation by Hannah Charlotte Epicheff in September 2014 for her Masters Degree at Trinity Saint David, Lampeter Campus, University of Wales. This is only a contents listing and the bibliography contained within the piece

    'Village of Penally' on the People's Collection Wales site

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

    Howells, Roscoe. Caldey's Changing Scene (NLW's site) Pemb Historian XI

    You can see pictures of Penally which are provided by:



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

    Transcript of complete entry in Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Wales of 1833, together with that for Caldey Island.



    Pembrokeshire Families

    Hughes, John. LEWIS of Caldey Island. Dyfed FHS journal.The difficulties encountered in researching the parents of a reputed orphan and also those of her husband after migrating to Glamorganshire.

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

    • Dr William Thomas (Penally) Papers 1914-1981 "Dr William Thomas (1890-1974) from Penally, Pembrokeshire, was Chief Inspector of Schools in Wales and Director of the Council of Social Service for Wales and Monmouthshire. He was a prisoner of war in Germany. .............................."


    Davies, Margaret. Spotlight on Penally. Dyfed FHS journal, vol 8/3 August 2003

    Davies, Margaret. A Murder of Crows [The Story of Penally]. ISBN 09540428. Author, 2001. 175 p, 70+ illustrations. Covers a 500 year history of the village. Here is also an index by Margaret of personal names appearing in the book . Margaret is prepared to do lookups on her extensive database as detailed below - contact her via the Pembrokeshire Mailing List .

    • Electoral lists 1886,1892, 1923, 1932, 1938, 1945, and 1997.
    • Census 1841, 1851, and 1881
    • Hearth Tax 1670
    • Court Rolls 1601, 1609, 1618, 1692 and 1726
    • Land Tax 1786, 1791 and 1842
    • Apprentices from Dyfed in 17th and 18th century
    • Monumental Inscriptions for St Nicholas Church
    • School Records from 1865 to 1991
    • Owners of property and biographical notes over the last 400 yrs.

    Howells, Roscoe. Total Community. Gomer, Llandysul. (1 85902 106 9). Gomer 2002 Catalogue;- "This lively and accessible book recounts the trials and tribulations of those who came from Chimay in Belgium to establish the Cistercian community on the island of Caldey in 1929.........."


    Land & Property

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

    • Picton Castle Estate Records "Including ..... manorial records of the manors of Manorbier, Penally, etc., 1601-1851........."
    • Philipps family, of Picton Castle, manorial records Including "...... Manor of Penally, 1785-1926........"

    Held at the NLW ;

    • Deeds [donated by Major Saurin, Penally] relating mainly to co Pembroke especially Jones of Cilwendeg and the Saurin family, 1625-1882, include documents relating to the Skerries lighthouse, Anglesey, 1730-1847.


    Parish map (Kain/Oliver)

    You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SS117985 (Lat/Lon: 51.654075, -4.723348), Penally which are provided by:


    Names, Geographical

    Places, villages, farms etc within Penally 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)

    • Penally (139); Bubbleton, Holloway Fm., Hoyle's Mouth, Manor Ho. (Antiquity), Palmerslake Fm., Proud Giltar, Robertswall Fm., Tarr Fms., The Burrows, The Marshes, The Ridgeway, Trefloyne Whitewell (Antiquity).
    • Caldey Island (141); Caldy Point; Chapel Point; Den Point; Drinkim; Eel Point; High Cliff; Monastery; Priory; Priory Bay; Sandtop Bay; Sandy Bay; Small Ord Point; Spur Island; Star Cliff; West Beacon Point;
    • St Margaret's Island (140); No names


    Held at Pembrokeshire Archives

    • Penally logbooks 1873-1982
    • Penally admission register 1868-1996