A flavour of the history of Llangeitho

The village of Llangeitho (c) Capel Gwynfil

The village of Llangeitho

Daniel Rowland (1713–90)

The son of the parson of Llangeitho and Nantcwnlle parishes, Daniel Rowland (1713–90) was born in Pantybeudy, Bwlch-llan. It is thought that he was educated at Hereford Grammar School. He was ordained a deacon in 1734 and a priest in 1735. He ministered in these parishes as a curate before coming under the influence of Griffith Jones, Llanddowror. He started to preach and travel all over Wales. He joined Howel Harris as one of the leaders of the movement to promote the great Methodist revival in Wales. However, by 1752, they’d parted company. For a long time Rowland made Llangeitho the Mecca of Welsh Methodists, with thousands of people from all over Wales travelling there each Sunday to listen to him preach. His sermons were published, as were a number of his hymns.

Publications (selection)
Traethawd am Farw i’r Ddeddf, a Byw i Dduw (1743)
Rhai Hymnau Duwiol (1744)
Hymnau Duwiol Yw Canu Mewn Cymdeithas Crefyddol (1744)
Deuddeg o Bregethau (1814)
‘Halsing o waith Daniel Rowland, 1737’, Cylchgrawn Cymdeithas Hanes y Methodistiaid Calfinaidd, 33 (1948), t.15

Read more about the history of Daniel Rowland]

Eglwys Sant Ceitho

During the medieval period Llangeitho’s church belonged to the Deanery of Ultra-Aeron and was under the patronage of the bishops of St Davids. The Rev. Daniel Rowland was curate of the parish until he was expelled by the Established Church. He is buried in the churchyard and there is a stone memorial to him inside the church. The church was entirely rebuilt in 1821 on the same site as its predecessor and constructed of Llanddewi Brefi rubble stone. The church was restored between 1878 and 1888, and enlarged in 1899 to the designs of William Williams, Brecon.

John Humphreys Davies (1871–1926)

John Humphreys Davies was born in Cwrtmawr. He is remembered as the principal of university College Wales, Aberystwyth (1919–26) and his invaluable collection of Welsh medieval documents. He was educated at University College Wales, Aberystwyth, and Lincoln College, Oxford. He was called to the bar at Lincoln’s Inn, and from a young age became involved in public life. At the age of 24 he was elected alderman of Cardiganshire County Council despite not being an elected member of the authority. His interest in Welsh literature was ignited from his association with O M Edwards at Oxford. He was involved in the movement to create the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, and his collection of 1,549 volumes of medieval Welsh documents was donated to the library. In 1905 he became registrar of University College Wales, Aberystwyth, and principal in 1919 and held that position until his death.

Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899–1981) was born in Cardiff, but his family moved to Llangeitho in 1904 where they kept the Albion shop. He spent ten years living in Llangeitho, attending the local school and later Tregaron County School. He is remembered as a Welsh Protestant minister, preacher and medical doctor who was influential on the Reformed wing of the British evangelical movement in the 20th century. In 1927 he sensed a calling to preach and returned to Wales, accepting an invitation to minister at a church in Aberavon (Port Talbot). For almost 30 years, he was the minister of Westminster Chapel in London. His brother Vincent became a High Court judge.

More information about Martyn Lloyd-Jones can be read on this website:

Dr Evan David Jones CBE PhD FSA

Evan David Jones (1903–87) was born at Y Wenallt. Between 1958 and 1969 he was the librarian of the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth. He was educated in the village school and then worked on the family farm as a shepherd. As a 16 year old he was persuaded by an aunt to attend Tregaron Grammar School, lodging with her during the week. Amongst his peers there were some of the most illustrious future benefactors to Welsh life, such as J Kitchener Davies from nearby Llwynpiod. E D Jones worked as an archivist and then keeper of the Manuscripts Department at the National Library of Wales before being appointed librarian, following in the footsteps of Thomas Parry. He was the editor of the works of one of the most important 15th-century Welsh poets, Lewys Glyn Cothi, and he published two volumes of the poet’s work in 1953. In addition he published Victorian and Edwardian Wales from Old Photographs (1981) – photography being one of his hobbies. Much of his leisure time was taken up with committee work, such as at the university in Aberystwyth, the Welsh Books Council, the National Eisteddfod etc. His contribution to Welsh life was acknowledged by the queen, the University of Wales, and many other learned organizations.

The Harries Williams brothers, Dolau Aeron

Three brothers who were poets were raised in Dolau Aeron, Llangeitho. Tom Harries Williams (b. 1888) and known in poetic circles as Bedwyn, became vicar of St David’s Church, Carmarthen. Examples of his work can be found in Cerddi Ysgol Llanycrwys (1934).

His brother Isaac (1876–1935), known as Caeron, worked for a while in business in London, before being ordained as a vicar in 1907. In 1930 he became the vicar of Llanrhystud. He preached all over Wales and at St Paul’s Cathedral in London on one occasion. He published
many poems in the Church of Wales periodical, Y Llan.

Their brother William (b. 1880) and known as Gwilym Aeron, also went to London, but he stayed there all his life. He established a business selling milk and also ran a shop. He published a volume of his poems in 1936.