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Llandilo or Llandilo fawr, Carmarthenshire

Historical Description

Llandilo or Llandilo-fawr, a small market-town, the head of a petty sessional division, a poor-law union, a county court district, and a parish in Carmarthenshire. The town is called Llandilo, and stands on the river Towy, 15 miles N by E of Carmarthen, and 225 by rail from London; is situated on the steep face of a high hill, rising on the right bank of the river; consists chiefly of one long street; is rather irregularly built, but contains some good modern houses. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office (R.S.O.), and stations at Llandilo and Ffairfach on the Vale of Towy branch of the G.W.R., and at Llandilo and Llandilo Bridge on the L. & N.W.R. The bridge was built in 1848 at a cost of over £22,000, and has a span of 145 feet. The church was rebuilt in 1848, with the exception of the tower, which was restored in 1883. It comprises nave, aisle, transept, and chancel; is one of the best churches in Wales; commands a fine view both up and down the valley of the Towy; and contains a good organ, and the reputed baptistery of St Teilo. It has two crosses of about the fifth and sixth century. A weekly market is held on Saturday, and for cattle and sheep on the second and fourth Tuesday in each month, and every Tuesday between the second Tuesday in May and the last in June; and fairs are held on 20 Feb., the Monday before Easter, 5 and 14 May, 21 June, 28 July, 23 Aug., 28 Sept., 28 Oct., 12 and 22 Nov., and on the Monday before Christmas. The chief trade is in corn and flour; tanning and brewing are carried on, and there are saw and woollen mills. The town is governed by a local board of nine members. The chief public buildings are the Shire Hall, a Victoria Jubilee Memorial Drill-hall, used by the volunteers, and for entertainments and public meetings, a literary institute, two banks, a savings bank, and a workhouse.

The parish includes also Caledfwich, Ffairfach, Rhosymaen, and Craig Rodyn. Acreage, 26,761 of land and 230 of water; population of the civil parish, 6065; of the ecclesiastical, 4836. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of St David's; net value, £286 with residence. Patron, the Bishop of St David's. There are chapels of ease at Caledfwich and Llandyfan. There are Baptist, Calvinistic Methodist, Congregational, and Wesleyan chapels. Dynevor Castle, the seat of Lord Dynevor, and Golden Grove, a seat of the Earl of Cawdor, are principal residences in the neighbourhood, but have been separately noticed. Taliaris, Derwydd, Manoravon, Tregib, and Glanbrydan Park are other chief residences. Carreg Cennen Castle, 3½ miles SE of the town, is a remarkable ancient ruin, but has been separately noticed. Most of the parish, particularly the part immediately around the town, is very beautiful and picturesque. The rocks are extensively of the kind called Llandilo flags, chiefly coarse dark-coloured slates, often calcareous, partly true limestone, and abounding in trilobites, and many lower Silurian shells. Under the Parish Councils Act of 1894 the parish was divided into urban and rural districts-the former with nine councillors, the latter, divided into three wards, with seventeen.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Registration districtLlandilofawr1837 - 1935
Registration districtCarmarthen1935 - 1974

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Carmarthenshire is available to browse.

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers online: