History of Llansadwrn
Llansadwrn is an ancient parish, with a medieval Church, parts of which may date back to the C13th. There are references to the village of Llansadwrn going back to 1324 (please see below) and even to Roman times and beyond!
Snippets from the Past
W. Llewellyn Williams [1868-1922] was a native of Llansadwrn, educated at Llandovery and Brasenose College, Oxford. He was called to the bar but divided his interests between law and journalism. He was an active member of the bardic Gorsedd, among his books was “The Making of Modern Wales” written in 1919
In 1807 the first Enclosure Act affecting Carmarthenshire was passed. It was inevitably the poor, the cottager, and the occupier entitled to rights of common, who suffered most being deprived of their immemorial rights to fuel and pasturage leading to the large scale giving up of small holdings and emigration to the towns or industrial valleys. Occasionally, as at Llansadwrn, a small portion of land was left open to all proprietors and their tenants so they might get fuel.
It is thought that a road joining the Roman forts of Llandovery and Carmarthen existed and there is this reference to it ; “it appears in the brickfield near Admiral Foley’s [ i.e Abermarlais in the parish of Llansadwrn].”
Also at Abermarlais Park , Llansadwrn a Roman gold ring with intaglio was “found during draining operations …about a foot below the surface” Archaeologia Cambrensis 1864.
Four miles to the west of the village are the ruins of Talley Abbey (Welsh: Abaty Talyllychau).
One mile to the west is the hamlet of Waunclunda, and above Waunclunda is an ancient fort. Little information is available about this fort, but it is believed to have been an Iron age and then a Roman fort it is believed to be important for its potential archeology.
The village is also believed to be the site of an important manor, Abermarlais Castle a fortified mansion, built in about the C14 (Rees 1932), it was home to Sir Rhys ap Gruffydd who commanded the Welsh at Crécy (Jones 1987, 4). In the 1600s it was noted to have had 21 hearths – making it a notable house. Also in the village is a Bronze age standing stone and Roman road.
The underlying solid geology of the area is mapped as the Nantmel Mudstone Formation of the Ordovician Period with no overlying superficial deposits (BGS 2013).
Prehistoric and Roman Times
List of Carmarthenshire Megaliths
The schedule of standing stones includes; ” Maen Cilau, Abermarlais, Llansadwrn.”
Mynydd Llansadwrn Ring Cairn
The monument comprises the remains of a ring cairn, probably dating to the Bronze Age (c.2300 BC – 800 BC) and situated in enclosed pasture on the SW end of a prominent ridge. The well-preserved ring cairn is circular on plan and measures about 6.5m in diameter within a well defined stony ring bank about 3m in thickness and up to 0.6m in height; it commands wide views around the S arc and is tilted slightly towards the SW. The ring cairn has an irregular interior surface and stretches of what may be an inner kerb are visible on the SE.
The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of prehistoric burial and ritual practices. The monument is well preserved and is an important relic of a prehistoric funerary and ritual landscape. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of both ritual deposits and environmental and structural evidence.
The area scheduled comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive. It is circular and measures 22m in diameter. (source CADW)
Manor of Llansadwrn
Ednyfed Fychan was chief counsellor to the princes of Gwynedd, he was in particular the right hand man of Llywelyn the Great; he married a daughter of Lord Rhys and became lord of the manor of Llansadwrn where in 1229 he received the special protection of the crown .
Rhys ap Gruffydd was the son of Hywel ap Gruffydd ap Ednyfed Fychan, Rhys was steward of Cardiganshire in 1309 and , for loyal service to the English crown, in 1324 received confirmation of his possession of Llansadwrn.
Local Phil Howells has also written a book which covers the topic, an extract is included on the website with the kind permission of Phil.
The above snippets are taken from :
Other online reference sources include:
Carmarthen Archive Service Llansadwrn Parish Council records http://www.archiveswales.org.uk/anw/get_collection.php?inst_id=30&coll_id=1590&expand=
A Topographical Dictionary of Wales http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=47856#s8
Vision of Britain