In Welsh placenames, many smaller communities are named for their parish (llan), having grown up around the local church. This town's name honors its patron saint, although it is disputed whether that is the church's presumed founder Ilar (Welsh for "Hilary"), listed as a member of Cadfan's mission and a martyr but now almost totally forgotten, or the more famous Hilary who was bishop of Poitiers in France and is still celebrated by the Anglican and Catholic churches in Wales. (The confusion is not helped by Edward Williams's numerous forgeries which he included in the Iolo Manuscripts.)
History & Amenities
There is a Roman site just to the east. The present village was built along the southern side of the scenic River Ystwyth and contains a parish church, Nonconformist chapel, primary school, GP Surgery, and garage. Unfortunately, the village post office is now closed but a mobile van visits several times during the week.
St Hilary's Church (Eglwys Sant Ilar) has a large square tower, chancel, nave, and porch. In the porch is a hollowed stone for holding holy water and, above the door, there is an ancient beam with carved heads and animals inscribed with the words J.S. W.W.A. Church Wardens, 1683.  Under the name "Church of St Ilar", it is a grade II* listed building.
Llanilar railway station on the line from Carmarthen to Abserystwyth opened in 1867 and closed in 1964 following severe flooding in the Llanilar area.
- Saint Ilar, a putative Breton missionary and martyr
- Dai Jones, a Welsh broadcaster who lives and farms in Llanilar
- "Church of Saint Ilar, Llanilar". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
- Baring-Gould, Sabine & al. The Lives of the British Saints: The Saints of Wales and Cornwall and Such Irish Saints as Have Dedications in Britain, Vol. III, pp. 299 f. Chas. Clark (London), 1908. Hosted at Archive.org. Accessed 25 Nov 2014.
- Church in Wales. "St Hilary, Llanilar". 2014.
- Meyrick, Samuel Rush. (1907) The History of Cardiganshire. Stephen Collard. pg. 284.
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