Llys y Fran

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Llys y Fran
St Meilyr's church,Llys-y-fran - geograph.org.uk - 398552.jpg
St Meilyr's Church
Grid reference: SN0424
Location: 51°52’48"N, 4°51’-0"W
Post town: Clarbeston Road
Postcode: SA63
Local Government
Council: Pembrokeshire
Preseli Pembrokeshire

Llys y Fran is a small village and ancient parish in the Dungleddy Hundred of Pembrokeshire, on the southern slopes of the Preseli Mountains. The parish includes the small settlement of Gwastad. A notable feature is Llys y Fran Reservoir and Country Park, a popular tourist attraction.


The parish has been recorded with a number of variant spellings including Llysyfran, Llys-y-fran, Llys-y-Frân and Llys-y-Vrân.[1] The word llys translates into English as "court" and y frân translates as "the crow".


millstones leaning against old farm buildings
Millstones, Llys-y-fran

The present parish church dates from the 12th century, with alterations and improvements in the ensuing centuries, and is dedicated to St Meilyr, a 6th-century Celtic saint. Llys y Fran was originally a chapelry; in the 16th century it was controlled by various landowners in the district. One of its two bells is dated 1632. By 1833 it was the parish church.[2]

Llys y Fran parish includes the hamlet of Gwastad, where there has been a Calvanistic Methodist chapel since 1836.[1]

There may have been a timber castle north of the church, but the remains may have been destroyed when the reservoir dam was built. The site is known as Y Castell (The Castle).[3]

In 1887 the parish was recorded as extending to 1,466 acres with a population of 194.[4]

The teacher and composer William Penfro Rowlands (1860-1937) was born at Llys y Fran.

Reservoir and Country Park

Llys y Fran Reservoir Dam in 1972

Llys y Fran Reservoir is a 212-acre man-made lake surrounded by a grassland and woodland Country Park of 350 acres with a perimeter track 6½ miles long for walkers and cyclists. The reservoir, whose dam was constructed between 1968 and 1972 by Lindsay Parkinson, is managed by Welsh Water.[5][6] The dam is 100 ft high and the lake is fed by the River Syfynwy that also feeds Rosebush Reservoir a few miles upstream to the north-east.[7] In 2008, a refurbished hydro-electric scheme was completed, raising the dam's output to an average of 26 kW: the original turbine generating considerably less.[8] In 2017 Welsh Water announced a £4million investment to enhance the park's facilities, to be completed in 2019.[9][10]


Fishing and other water activities, walking, cycling and motorsport all contribute to Llys y Fran's popularity with tourists.


Llys y Fran is an important fishery in south-west Wales, and has hosted national and international fishing competitions. Fishing with fly or bait, from mark or boat, is possible. The lake is stocked with rainbow and brown trout.[11]

Water activities

Sailing, windsurfing, rowing and canoeing are all enjoyed on the reservoir, with various equipment available for hire.[12] The park hosted the Welsh Dragon Boat Championships in 2014, 2015,[13] 2016[14] and 2017.[15]


As well as the 6½-mile perimeter track, there is a 1½-mile family trail, and cycle hire is available.[16]


The Llys-y-Fran Hillclimb is an annual event run by Swansea Motor Club.[17]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "GENUKI: Llysyfran". http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/wal/PEM/LlysyFran/. Retrieved 1 May 2015. 
  2. "St Meilyr's Church - History". http://www.llysyfranchurch.co.uk/history.html. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  3. "Y Castell, Llys y Fran". http://www.gatehouse-gazetteer.info/Welshsites/825.html. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  4. "A Vision of Britain through time". http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/6729/writing. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  5. "Llys y Fran Reservoir and Country Park". http://www.visitpembrokeshire.com/attractions-events/llys-y-fran-reservoir-country-park/. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  6. "Countryside Council for Wales - Llys-y-Fran Reservoir". http://www.ccw.gov.uk/enjoying-the-country/getting-out-there/access-to-rivers-lakes-canals/lakes-and-reservoirs/llys-y-fran-reservoir.aspx?lang=en. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  7. "Walking Pembrokeshire - Llys y Fran". http://www.pembrokeshiregreenways.co.uk/content.asp?id=29&language=. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  8. "Llys y Fran Hydro Scheme Refurbishment". http://www.dulas.org.uk/case-study.cfm?thecsid=b1817c00-d0df-2590-6027aef8a172549c. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  9. "Go ahead for £4m Llys y Fran 'great water park' plans". BBC News. 8 November 2017. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-41916231. Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  10. Jason Cooper (28 December 2017). "Rotary club delighted by Llys y Fran investment". The Pembrokeshire Herald. http://pembrokeshire-herald.com/40734/rotary-club-delighted-llys-y-fran-investment/. Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  11. "Pembrokeshire Coast National Park - Llys y Fran". http://www.pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk/website/m/enjoy/mEnjoy00.asp?a=56. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  12. "Reservoir Guide". http://welshreservoirsguide.co.uk/ReservoirGuide29102012.pdf. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  13. "Llys y Fran welcomes the return of the dragon". Western Telegraph. 25 May 2015. http://www.westerntelegraph.co.uk/news/12970281.Llys_y_Fran_welcomes_the_return_of_the_dragon/. Retrieved 1 March 2016. 
  14. "Country Park welcomes Welsh Dragonboat Championships". BBC News. 29 May 2016. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-36387033. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 
  15. "Hear the dragons roar at rowing championship tomorrow". Milford Mercury. 27 May 2017. http://www.milfordmercury.co.uk/news/pembrokeshire_news/15311863.Hear_the_dragons_roar_at_rowing_championship_tomorrow/. Retrieved 27 May 2017. 
  16. "Cycle Pembrokeshire - Llys y Fran". http://www.cyclepembrokeshire.com/content.asp?id=136. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  17. "Llys-Y-Fran Hillclimb Guide". http://www.motorsportcircuits.co.uk/html/llys-y-fran-hill-climb-guide.html. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Llys y Fran)