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Penrydd Parish Church - - 650527.jpg
Abandoned Penrydd parish church
Grid reference: SN2181836846
Location: 52°0’4"N, 4°35’46"W
Post town: Boncath
Postcode: SA37
Dialling code: 01239
Local Government
Council: Pembrokeshire
Preseli Pembrokeshire

Penrydd is an ancient parish in the Hundred of Kilgerran, north Pembrokeshire. The parish's history is closely linked with that of Castellan, and includes parts of the present villages of Blaenffos and Crymych. It is variously spelled Penrhydd, Penrhudd, Penrith, Penreth or Penrieth.



The parish, in the 1530s, was unique in Wales in furnishing the title of a suffragan see, namely Bishop of Penrydd, and an Inventory of Ancient Monuments explains how this may have come about.[1]

The parish church of St Cristiolus (Church in Wales) existed at least as early as 1799, the earliest date from which parish register information has been garnered. From 1799 to 1858 the parish register is "Penrhydd with Castellan",[2][3] Castellan being a chapelry at that time.

The living in 1870 was described as "...a rectory in the diocese of St David's. Value £100. Patron, the Lord Chancellor".[4][5] The church had been rebuilt in 1841 and restored in 1911; in 1914 it was described as "plain" and "whitewashed".[1]

A survey by Dyfed Archaeological Trust for Cadw in 2011 describes the present churchyard as "...suboval/subrectangular, now poorly defined..." and the church as "...small, comprising chancel, nave and west porch. It is now in private hands...".[6]

The church was described in about 2012 as abandoned.[7]

Population and property

The annual value of the Real property of the parish, including Castellan, was £756 in 1815 when the joint population was 273. By 1821 and 1831 the population of Penrydd parish alone was 190 and 219 respectively.[8]

In 1831-33 the parish (including the chapelry of Castellan) was home to 346 inhabitants and included both enclosed arable land or pasture and unenclosed moorland.[9][10] About 70% of males over 20 were involved in agriculture with the rest in retail or manufacturing trades.[11] Of those in agriculture, the majority farmed in their own right, as opposed to labouring for others.[12]

Tithe apportionments of 1837[13] and tithe maps of 1844[14] are held at the National Archives.

By 1881 the majority of males (about 60%) were still in agriculture, but there were more involved in other occupations such as quarrying.[15] There is an Ordnance Survey-marked disused quarry close to Castellan Farm.

Penrydd was included in the National Farm Survey of 1941-3 during World War 2, the records of which are held at the National Archives.[16]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Wales and Monmouthshire: VII – County of Pembroke". Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. 
  2. "Family Search: Penrhydd with Castellan". Retrieved 2 Apr 2014. 
  3. "Dyfed Family History Society: Penrhydd". Retrieved 1 Apr 2014. 
  4. "A Vision of Britain Through Time: History of Penrhydd". Retrieved 2 Apr 2014. 
  5. Wilson, John Maruis (1872). "Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales". 
  6. "Medieval and Early Post-Medieval Churches and Chapels: A Threat-Related Assessment". Dyfed Archaeological Trust. 2011. p. 53. 
  7. "Geograph UK: Penrydd Parish Church". Retrieved 2 Apr 2014. 
  8. "Parliamentary Papers, House of Commons and Command, Vol.18". HMSO. 1831. 
  9. Lewis, S (1833). "A Topographical Dictionary of Wales". 
  10. "GENUKI: Penrith (Pen-rhydd) Parish". Retrieved 1 Apr 2014. 
  11. "A Vision of Britain Through Time: Penrhydd CP/AP". Retrieved 2 Apr 2014. 
  12. "A Vision of Britain Through Time: Penrhydd: Social Structure". Retrieved 2 Apr 2014. 
  13. "National Archives: Tithe apportionment of Penrith, including Castellan". Retrieved 2 Apr 2014. 
  14. "National Archives: Tithe map of Penrith, including Castellan". Retrieved 2 Apr 2014. 
  15. "A Vision of Britain Through Time: Penrhydd CP/AP: Industry Statistics". Retrieved 2 Apr 2014. 
  16. "National Archives: Parish 103 Penrydd". Retrieved 1 Apr 2014.