Dinas Cross

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Dinas Cross
Dinas parish church at Cwm-yr-Eglwys prior to its destruction c. 1830
Dinas Cross is located in Pembrokeshire
Dinas Cross
Dinas Cross
Location within Pembrokeshire
Population815 (2011)[1]
  • Dinas Cross
Principal area
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townNewport
Postcode districtSA42
Dialling code01348
FireMid and West Wales
UK Parliament
Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament
List of places
52°00′39″N 4°54′35″W / 52.010878°N 4.909777°W / 52.010878; -4.909777Coordinates: 52°00′39″N 4°54′35″W / 52.010878°N 4.909777°W / 52.010878; -4.909777

Dinas Cross (Welsh: Dinas) is both a village, a community and a former parish in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Located between Fishguard and Newport in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, it is a popular holiday destination on the A487 road. The two hamlets, Cwm-yr-Eglwys and Pwllgwaelod, are in the community. The community has an elected community council and until 2022 gave its name to an electoral ward of Pembrokeshire County Council which covered the communities of Dinas Cross, Cwm Gwaun and Puncheston.


The parish was in the Hundred of Cemais; as Dynas, it appeared on a 1578 parish map of Pembrokeshire.[2]

In the early 19th century the parish had 741 inhabitants. At this time the walls of the parish church of St Brynach were washed by the sea at spring high tides.[3] The parish extended from Dinas Head on Dinas Island into the Preseli Mountains and included several small settlements to the north and south of the turnpike from Fishguard to Newport,[4] which is now the A487 road.


Dinas Cross has an elected community council.[5] An electoral ward of the same name exists which includes the communities of Dinas Cross, Cwm Gwaun and Puncheston and had a population of 1,696 in 2011.[6]

Following the recommendations of a boundary review by the Local Government Boundary Commission for Wales, effective from the 2022 local elections, the Dinas Cross county ward was merged with the neighbouring community of Newport to create a new ward of 'Newport and Dinas', electing one county councillor.[7] The communities of Cwm Gwaun and Puncheston formed, together with Scleddau, a new ward of Bro Gwaun.


Dinas has four pubs: The Country Club, The Ship Aground, The Freemasons Arms and The Old Sailors. At one time there was also a cafe, a school, Rhoshelyg garden centre, a garage, a petrol station, a full-time post office, two shops and a local blacksmith. Now the old school is a Community hall (Yr Hen Ysgol), the post office is part-time, and two shops, garage, petrol station and a chip shop remain, as well as the local blacksmith, now 5th generation.


The church in Dinas was founded by St Brynach, in the 5th or early 6th century.[8]

Dinas has two chapels: Tabor (a Baptist Chapel) and Gideon (an Independent Chapel). Ramah, a disused Methodist Chapel is on the way to Pwllgwaelod beach.

Places of interest[edit]

  • Cwm-yr-Eglwys – the church of St Brynach the Abbot, the original parish church of Dinas, perhaps dating back to before the Norman Conquest, is situated on the picturesque beach of Cwm-yr-Eglwys. The chancel of the church was washed away in 1850, and the roof and north wall were destroyed during the Royal Charter Storm in 1859. In 1880,the walls were demolished and the church reduced to the present west end wall only, to allow a defensive seawall to be built. A replacement church was built 1860–61 higher up in the village.
  • Dinas Island – A small peninsula, a popular walk and an old farm. The Pembrokeshire Coast Path passes by St. Brynach's church and around Dinas Island.
  • Hescwm Mill – an old mill now restored lying 200m inland of Hescwm cove. It is a Grade II* listed building.[9]
  • Brynhenllan Chapel, a Grade II* listed building.[10][11]
  • Pencnwc Farm was the birthplace of Sgt. William Batine James who, having emigrated to America in 1871 and joined the US Army in 1872, was the only Welshman to die at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876.[12] He was in Company E of the 7th Cavalry.[13]


  1. ^ "Community population 2011". Archived from the original on 18 April 2015. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  2. ^ "Penbrok comitat". British Library.
  3. ^ "GENUKI: Dinas". Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  4. ^ "GENUKI: Dinas Parish Map No. 24". Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  5. ^ "Pembrokeshire County Council: Town and Community Councils". Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  6. ^ "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  7. ^ "Review of Community Boundaries in the County of Pembrokeshire. Final Recommendations Report" (PDF). Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales. 2021. pp. 19–20. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  8. ^ Laws, E. (1888). The History of Little England beyond Wales and the non-Kymric colony settled in Pembrokeshire. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  9. ^ "Hescwm Mill/Felin Hescwm, Dinas Cross". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  10. ^ "Brynhenllan Chapel, Brynhenllan, Dinas Cross". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  11. ^ Cadw. "Brynhenllan Methodist Chapel (Grade II*) (14942)". National Historic Assets of Wales. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  12. ^ "Letters from William James at Battle of Little Bighorn". BBC News. 25 September 2016. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  13. ^ "Muster Rolls of 7th U.S. Cavalry, June 25, 1876". Archived from the original on 27 April 2005. Retrieved 27 July 2019.

External links[edit]