Silian History

Silian history archaeology and antiquities. Is a village in Ceredigion, West Wales. Situated between Felinfach and Lampeter.

Table of Contents

1. History
2. Map
3. Topography
4. Links

Silian History Pictures
Cardiganshire Fonts - Silian
Cardiganshire Fonts – Silian

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 Silian.

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

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2. Map

View Larger Map of Silian

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3. A Topographical Dictionary of Wales

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

SILIAN (SULIEN), a parish, in the union of Lampeter, Upper division of the hundred of Moythen, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 2 miles (N. by W.) from Lampeter; containing 366 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated in the southeastern portion of the county, derives its name from the saint to whom its church is dedicated, who flourished during the earlier part of the sixth century. It is surrounded by the parishes of LlanvihangelYstrad, Bettws-Bledrws, and Lampeter; and by computation consists of 2100 acres, of which rather less than one-half is arable, and the rest alternately meadow and arable, there being no woodland. The general character of the surface is hilly: the lower parts are tolerably fertile, but the uplands less productive; and both are employed principally in pasturing sheep, and raising the different varieties of corn. The small river Dulas, which falls into the Teivy, bounds the parish on the west and south, and there is also a brook called the Tawola. The village is in some degree enlivened by its situation on the old turnpike-road leading from Aberystwith to Lampeter; and another from Rhaiadr, in the county of Radnor, to the same place, intersects the parish. The living is consolidated with the vicarage of Llanwnnen. The church, dedicated to St. Sulien, and very romantically situated, was rebuilt from the foundation, in 1839, in the early English style, and is thirty-five feet long by nineteen broad, containing about 200 sittings, all of which are free; the font is circular, of antique design, and ornamented with four human faces. In the churchyard is a rudely sculptured monument of stone, now scarcely a foot above the surface of the ground, marked on one side with Runic knots, and on the other with zig-zag lines. There is a place of worship for Baptists, with a Sunday school held in it. A bequest of 10s. per annum left by Samuel Evans, in the year 1706, is distributed among the poor of Silian not seeking parochial relief.

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  • Coflein, discover the archaeology, historic buildings, monuments and history of Silian, Ceredigion
  • Historic Place Names, learn about the field names and house names in the community of Silian
  • A Pint of History, read about the history of Ceredigion pub’s, inn’s and local taverns of Silian
  • People’s Collection Wales, share your stories, memories and photographs of Silian

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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.

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

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 Evans, Maesydderwen, near Llansawel, Carmarthenshire, who is over 90 years of age, gave me the following account of a Corpse Candle which had been seen at Silian, near Lampeter.

When Evans was a boy, his father lived in an old house close to the churchyard walls, and kept the key of the church door. At that time singing practice was often conducted in the church, especially during the long winter evenings. One evening a certain young man entered the churchyard with the intention of going to the church to attend this singing-class, though it was a little too early; but he could see light in the church through one of the windows. So on he went to the church door thinking that the singing had commenced, or at least that some one was in the church. But to his great surprise he found the door closed and locked, and when he looked in through the key-hole there was not a soul to be seen inside the church. The young man then went to the house of Owen Evans’s father and informed the old man that there was light in the church, but that he did not see anyone inside. “You must be making a mistake,” said my informant’s father to the young man, “there cannot possibly be any light in the church; no one could have entered the building to light it, for the door is locked, and I have the key here in the house.” “But I am positively certain,” said the young man again, “that there is light in the church, for I took particular notice of it.” Both of the two men now went to the church together, and as they approached, they noticed a light coming out from the church. This light moved slowly towards a certain part of the churchyard, and the two men followed it and watched it until it suddenly disappeared into the ground. That it was a corpse candle they had no doubt in their minds. The young man had a walking stick in his hand with which he made a mark or a hole in the ground on the spot where the light had sunk. Soon after this a death took place in the neighbourhood, and the dead was buried in the very spot where the corpse candle had sunk into the ground.

My informant told me also that he had seen a corpse candle himself before the death of an adopted son of one Mr. John Evans, who lived at Glandenis, in the same neighbourhood.”

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

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