Llanarth History

Llanarth and its archaeology, antiquities and history. Is a village in Ceredigion, formerly Cardiganshire, West Wales. Situated on the Cardigan Bay coastline, between Llwyncelyn and Synod Inn. Follow the B4342 road to Gilfachrheda and the small fishing village of New Quay.

  • Cardiganshire Fonts - Llanarth
  • Staircase at Wern Newydd, Llanarth, Ceredigion
  • Old Cardiganshire Houses - Wern Newydd, Llanarth, Ceredigion
  • In the Attic at Wern Newydd, Llanarth, Ceredigion
  • Drawing-room Ceiling Wern Newydd, Llanarth, Ceredigion
  • Dining-room Ceiling Wern Newydd, Llanarth, Ceredigion
  • Bed-room Ceiling Wern Newydd, Llanarth, Ceredigion
Llanarth History Pictures
Cardiganshire Fonts - Llanarth
Cardiganshire Fonts – Llanarth

Old Cardiganshire Houses - Wern Newydd, Llanarth, Ceredigion
Old Cardiganshire Houses –
Wern Newydd, Llanarth, Ceredigion

Since 1909 the Ceredigion Historical Society has published articles written about the archaeology, antiquities and history of Ceredigion, many of these articles printed within the Ceredigion Journal, are about the history of Llanarth.

The society has also produced three county volumes, under the name of the Cardiganshire County History series, these knowledgeable, learned, comprehensive and scholary publications record the history of prehistoric, early and modern Cardiganshire.

1. History

Scheduled Monuments in Llanarth, Ceredigion.
Scheduled monuments (also known as scheduled ancient monuments, or SAMs) are sites of archaeological importance with specific legal protection against damage or development.

  • Castell 270m east of Moeddyn-Fach
  • Castell Moeddyn
  • Crug Cou Round Barrow
  • Penlan-Noeth, Round Barrow 230m NNW of, Llanarth

Notes on Llanarth and Neighbourhood

Transactions of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol 4

The Font at Llanarth

Transactions of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol 2, No 1

CARDIGANSHIRE FONTS, by Professor Tyrrell Green

Transactions of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol 1, Part 3

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2. Index

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3. Map

View Larger Map of Llanarth

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4. A Topographical Dictionary of Wales

Originally published by: Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (London, Fourth edition, 1849)

LLANARTH (LLAN-ARTH), a parish, in the union of Aberaëron, hundred of Moythen, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 13 miles (N. W. by W.) from Lampeter; consisting of two divisions, North and South, and containing 2421 inhabitants. The Earl of Richmond, afterwards Henry VII., on the second night after his landing at Milford Haven, encamped his forces at Wern Newydd, in this neighbourhood, where he was hospitably entertained by Einon ab Davydd Llwyd, on his route through the country to Bosworth Field. The parish is of considerable extent. It is pleasantly situated on the turnpike-road leading from Cardigan to Aberystwith, and is intersected by the river Llethy, which falls into Cardigan bay at Llanina. The surface is boldly undulated, in some parts mountainous; the lands are partially inclosed and in a good state of cultivation. The surrounding scenery is strikingly varied by picturesque dingles and sterile mountains; and from the higher grounds some pleasing and extensive views are obtained over St. George’s Channel. Neuadd Llanarth, anciently the seat of the family of Griffiths, is now a spacious modern mansion. Fairs are annually held in the village on January 12th, March 12th, June 17th, September 22nd, and October 27th, for horses, cattle, and merchandise.

The living is a vicarage, with the perpetual curacy of Llanina annexed, rated in the king’s books at £4. 18. 1½.; patron, the Bishop of St. David’s. The tithes of the parish have been commuted for £303. 8. 4. payable to the bishop, £151. 14. 2. to the vicar, and £4. 17. 6. to an impropriator. The church, dedicated to St. Vylltyg, is a venerable structure, consisting of a nave and chancel, with a lofty and substantial tower, and is situated on the declivity of a high hill: in the churchyard, a little to the north of the church, is a stone four feet and a half in height, and two feet ten inches in breadth, bearing a rude cross, and having an inscription, which, however, is so much obliterated as to be illegible. There are places of worship for Independents, Calvinistic Methodists, and Wesleyans; a Church day school; and five Sunday schools, one of them in connexion with the Established Church. In the parish are the remains of an extensive encampment called Castell Moyddyn, but no account of its origin has been preserved; and on the farm of Peny-Voel is another, called Pen-y-Gaer. Of Castell Mabwynion, also in the parish, which was allotted by Prince Llewelyn ab Iorwerth, in his partition of the reconquered territories in South Wales, in 1216, to Rhŷs ab Grufydd, there are not any remains, neither is the exact site of it known. There is a tumulus of earth, called Crûg Gôch, on an extensive common here.

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Some ideas to share your Stories below!

Have a memory and your not sure what to write? We have made it easy with some prompts and ideas, just think about this place and the importance its had in your life and ask yourself:

  • What are my personal memories of living here?
  • How has it developed and shops changed over the years?
  • Do you have a story about the beach, community, its people and history?
  • Tell us how it feels, seeing photographs and images of this place again?
  • Tell us your favourite memories about this place?

The aim of the Ceredigion Historical Society is to preserve, record and promote the study of the archaeology, antiquities and history of Ceredigion. That objective has remained the same since the foundation of the Society in 1909, though its name was changed from Ceredigion Antiquarian Society to the Ceredigion Historical Society in 2002.

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  • Coflein, discover the archaeology, historic buildings, monuments and history of Llanarth, Ceredigion
  • Historic Place Names, learn about the field names and house names in the community of Llanarth
  • A Pint of History, read about the history of Ceredigion pub’s, inn’s and local taverns of Llanarth
  • People’s Collection Wales, share your stories, memories and photographs of Llanarth
Index | Towns in Ceredigion | Villages in Ceredigion | Historic Sites in Ceredigion | Ceredigion Listed Buildings | Ceredigion Scheduled Monuments | Ceredigion Parks and Gardens | Ceredigion Conservation Areas | Research Organisations
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C. Green
C. Green
2 years ago

In many of the Welsh Ghost Stories, the spirit or ghost was supposed to have been none other than the evil one himself.

The visible appearance of his satanic majesty was quite as common in Wales as in other countries, though, strange to say, he is often depicted as an inferior in cunning and intellect to a shrewd old woman, or a bright-witted Welshman, as the following two curious stories show:

A writer in the Arch. Cam., 1850, page 73, says:—

In the Churchyard of Llanarth, near Aberaeron, on the South side of the Church, there is an inscribed stone (not hitherto published) of the twelfth century. It bears a cross covering the stone with four circular holes at the junction of the arms. The inscription is on the lower limb of the cross; but as it is made of a micaceous sandstone, part has been split off, and the inscription is much mutilated…. The current tradition of the place concerning it is, that one stormy night, some centuries ago, there was such a tremendous shindy going on up in the belfry that the whole village was put in commotion. It was conjectured that nobody but a certain ancient personage could be the cause of this, and, therefore, they fetched up his reverence from the vicarage to go and request the intruder to be off. Up went the vicar with bell, book and candle, along the narrow winding staircase, and, sure enough, right up aloft among the bells there was his majesty in person! No sooner, however, had the worthy priest began the usual ‘conjurate in nomine, etc.’ than away went the enemy up the remaining part of the staircase on to the leads of the tower. The Vicar, nothing daunted, followed, and pressed the intruder so briskly that the latter had nothing else to do than to leap over the battlements. He came down plump among the gravestones below; and, falling upon one, made with his hands and knees the four holes now visible on the stone in question.

Another writer in “Y Brython” for 1859, says, that the Devil’s purpose in troubling Llanarth Church was to rob it of one [188]of its bells and carry it to Llanbadarn Fawr Church, near Aberystwyth, twenty miles distant, as the latter, though once a cathedral, had only two bells, whilst the former, only a parish church, had four. And an old story still lingers in the neighbourhood of Llanarth that the Devil whilst thus engaged in carrying the bell, put it down and rested and re-arranged his heavy load at the very commencement of his journey, and a particular spot between the church and the river on a road known as “Rhiw Cyrff,” is pointed out as the place where the D——l put down the bell. Moreover, it is added that from that day forth, the sound of Llanarth bells cannot be heard from that spot, though it is only a few yards from the church tower.

The Llanarth legend is the only story in Wales that I know of in which the Spirit of darkness carries a church bell, as it was believed in old times that the Evil One was afraid of bells, and fled away at the sound of them.

There are, however, traditions of churches troubled by the Devil in other parts of Wales besides Llanarth, and in the old superstitious times the north door of a church was called “Devil’s Door.”

It was thought that as the priest entered the church through the south door, the Evil Spirit was obliged to make his exit through the north door.

It might also be added that in former times no one was buried on the north side of a churchyard, as it was known as the “Domain of Demons.””

From ‘Folk-Lore of West and Mid-Wales’ by J. Ceredig Davies (1911).

C. Green
C. Green
2 years ago

In some parts, especially on the borders of Cardiganshire and Carmarthenshire, it is believed that any one carrying a knife in his hands, will never see or be troubled by a spirit, even when passing a haunted spot in the depth of night.

“When a spirit troubled a house in Wales, it was sometimes customary to call together the most godly persons in the parish to hold a prayer-meeting; at other times a conjurer, or a priest was sent for, for it was formerly thought that a clergyman had the power to “lay” or exorcise spirits. There were particular forms of exorcising. When the Devil was in the belfry of Llanarth Church, Cardiganshire, the Vicar went to drive away the Evil One, with “Bell, Book, and Candle.”

Until the time of Henry VIII., it seems that it was customary to curse mortals, as well as to exorcise fiends “with bell, book and candle”; for in an old book called “Dugdale’s Baronage,” published in 1675, it is said that in the 37th. year of Henry III., “a Curse was denounced in Westminster Hall against the violation of Magna Charta, with bell, book and candle.””

From ‘Folk-Lore of West and Mid-Wales’ by J. Ceredig Davies (1911).

C. Green
C. Green
2 years ago

Among the most important of the superstitions of Wales are the death portents and omens; and this is perhaps more or less true of every country. About a generation or two ago, there were to be found almost in every parish some old people who could tell before hand when a death was going to lake place; and even in the present day we hear of an old man or an old woman, here and there, possessing, or supposed to possess, an insight of this kind into the future.

Owen Shon Morris, of Pant’stoifan, Llanarth, who died 85 years ago, saw a “toili” passing his own house in the direction of Llanarth, at 1 o’clock in the morning. He even discovered that among the crowd was his own friend, Evan Pugh, the tailor, and a woman wearing a red petticoat. When the “toili” had gone as far as a certain green spot on the road, after passing the house, the tailor and the woman with the red petticoat left the procession, and returned to their homes. Twelve months after this a funeral took place, and in the procession were the tailor and the woman with a red petticoat, both of whom returned home after accompanying the crowd as far as the green spot.

My informant was an old farmer, named Thomas Stephens, near Mydroilyn.”

From ‘Folk-Lore of West and Mid-Wales’ by J. Ceredig Davies (1911).

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