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Eglwyswrw is located in Pembrokeshire
Location within Pembrokeshire
Population724 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceSN141385
  • Eglwyswrw
Principal area
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townCrymych
Postcode districtSA41
Dialling code01239
FireMid and West Wales
UK Parliament
Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament
List of places
52°00′50″N 4°42′36″W / 52.014°N 4.710°W / 52.014; -4.710Coordinates: 52°00′50″N 4°42′36″W / 52.014°N 4.710°W / 52.014; -4.710

Eglwyswrw [ɛɡlʊɨˈsuːrʊ] (listen) is a village, community and parish in the former Cantref of Cemais, Pembrokeshire, Wales. The village lies between Newport and Cardigan at the junction of the A487 road and the B4332 at an altitude of 130 metres (430 ft).[2]

The village is in the heart of the Welsh-speaking area of Pembrokeshire; its history goes back at least to Norman times and there are 19 listed buildings in the community.[3]


grassy mound with trees growing on it
Remains of Norman motte-and-bailey

There is much of archaeological interest in and around Eglwyswrw community,[4] and the village is recorded from Norman times; on the west side of the village is a small Norman motte, designated Castell Eglwyswrw by Coflein.[5]

The sacred nature of the site where the church now stands (see also Worship, below) may date back to before the 8th century, but there was a later Norman church, the earliest record of which is in 1291.[6] A 1578 map in the British Library shows Eglwyswrw parish as Eglosserrow, possibly an English phonetic rendering of the name.[7]

The village hosted several important fairs, including Meigan Fair[8] (Ffair Feigan) at least as early as 1794.[9] A report in 1915 listed animal prices and noted a decline in horse prices.[10]

In the mid-19th century, the parish of Eglwyswrw[11] covered 3,664 acres (1,483 ha).[12]

In 1895, following the death of local landowner W. Mathias, property and land covering nearly the whole of the village was auctioned in 16 lots for a total sum of nearly £7,000; some of the property, which included two pubs, the Butchers Arms and The Plough, was bought by tenants.[13]

Villager Stephen Lewis celebrated his 102nd birthday in 1923. He had been a local schoolmaster at the age of 13, but spent most of his life as a farm worker.[14] He died aged 103, reportedly never having seen a doctor.[15]

Eglwyswrw War Memorial lists the names of 24 servicemen of the parish who lost their lives in World War 1, and one in World War 2.[16] In 2014 a new War Memorial was erected in the churchyard.[17]

Serjeants Inn

The Serjeants Inn, now a private residence, was a Grade II-listed[18] public house dating back to the 17th or 18th century, so named because the Cemais Assizes were held there. It closed in the 1990s. To the rear of the inn is a former meeting house which served as a chapel and a school in the 19th century.[19] The coach house on the west side of the inn is also Grade II-listed,[20] as is the Armoury, or former stables.[21] The Butcher's Arms, the village's other pub, featured in a 2004 Canadian Visa campaign highlighting difficult-to-pronounce placenames around the world. There was irony in the fact that the pub did not accept Visa cards.[22] The village shop and Post Office closed in 2009. [2]

In January 2016 Eglwyswrw was judged to be the wettest village in Britain for 92 years, having suffered rainfall on 85 consecutive days since 26 October 2015, five days short of the British record.[23]

In 2022, Eglwyswrw became the first place in the UK to have an off-grid mobile phone mast.[24]

Significant sites[edit]

The 2008 Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales listed 85 sites of importance within the community of Eglwyswrw.[25]


The population has remained fairly constant in the mid-hundreds since the beginning of the 19th century (OPCS):

Date 1801 1831 1861 1891 1921 1951 1981 2001 2011
Population 434 563 490 419 335 366 369 732 724


View over Eglwyswrw

Eglwyswrw has its own elected community council and is part of the Cilgerran electoral ward for the purposes of elections to Pembrokeshire County Council. The community of Eglwyswrw includes the parish of Meline,[26] the north part of Llanfair-Nant-Gwyn[27] and the south-eastern part of Nevern, including Brynberian. Crymych ward was 60% Welsh-speaking in 2011, a small decrease from 63% in 2001.


As well as self-catering accommodation, Eglwyswrw features a parish church, Norman remains, a community school and nearby attractions.[28] An agricultural stores, petrol station and shop is half a mile south of the village at the junction of the A487 and B4329 roads.


The Welsh placename of the village means "church of St Eirw",[29] and there once existed a chantry attached to the churchyard, in which this minor female saint was allegedly interred. A mediaeval church of unknown date succeeded the Norman church, and it was noted in 1504 that the chancel was "ruinous, and the windows not glazed", with the blame falling on the Vicar, Dom. Phillip Lloyd. Similar accusations were made in 1684. In 1708 the church (then called Eglwys Yrrow) was reported as in good repair.

Eglwyswrw Parish Church

The present parish church of Saint Cristiolus[30] is situated in the centre of the village and dates from before 1829 when it was restored. The vicar in 1855 was the Reverend Thomas Evans, replacing the Reverend D. Prothero who had died.[31] The church was restored again in 1883 by local contractor Evan Evans,[32] an event reported in depth by the Western Mail, which suggested that a church had existed in Eglwyswrw since 1150.[33] The vicar in 1888 was the Reverend T. M. Jones, who was summonsed for non-payment of poor rates due on tithes, but as a result of legal arguments the case was dismissed.[34]

Elim Baptist Mission Room opened in 1839 and closed about 1937.[11]


Eglwyswrw Community Primary School is a Welsh-medium school for 122 pupils (2015) aged 4 to 11 years with a large rural catchment area.[35]


Dyfed Shire Horse Farm is half a mile to the south-west of the village on the A487 at its junction with the B4329 scenic route to Haverfordwest over the Preseli Mountains. The farm has provided horses for military parades,[36] and H.M. The Queen named a foal in 2020 in recognition of the foal's uncle serving in the Household Cavalry, and the foal being born on the Queen's birthday.[37] A little further on the A487 is Castell Henllys, a reconstructed Iron Age Fort. Bro Meigan Gardens (6.5 acres) are a mile to the east of the village.[38]


  1. ^ "Community population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Village weathers 75 days' rain with dampened spirits, rotting sheep and no pub". Mirror. 8 January 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  3. ^ "British Listed Buildings: Eglwyswrw". Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  4. ^ "Dyfed Archaeoligical Trust: Eglwyswrw". Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  5. ^ "Castell Eglwyswrw". Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  6. ^ "The Church in Wales: History of St Cristiolus Church, Eglwyswrw". Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  7. ^ "Penbrok comitat". British Library. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  8. ^ Lewis, E.T. (1973). 'North of the hills; a history of the parishes of Eglwyswen, Eglwyswrw, Llanfair-Nant-Gwyn, Meline, Nevern. ISBN 978-0-902126-03-9.
  9. ^ "Fairs". Hereford Journal. British Newspaper Archive. 28 May 1794. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  10. ^ "Eglwyswrw Fair". Western Mail. British Newspaper Archive. 6 December 1915. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  11. ^ a b "GENUKI: Eglwyswrw". Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  12. ^ Lewis, Samuel (1849). A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. p. 320-328.
  13. ^ "Property exchange". Western Mail. British Newspaper Archive. 2 July 1895. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  14. ^ "Schoolmaster at the age of 13...". Aberdeen Journal. British Newspaper Archive. 21 May 1923. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Centenarian's death". Portsmouth Evening News. British Newspaper Archive. 2 May 1924. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  16. ^ "Eglwyswrw War Memorial". Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  17. ^ "Eglwyswrw War Memorial". 3 July 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  18. ^ Cadw. "The Serjeants Inn and Courthouse (Grade II) (13040)". National Historic Assets of Wales. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  19. ^ "MEETING HOUSE, SERGEANTS ARMS, EGLWYSWRW". Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  20. ^ Cadw. "Coach House at the Serjeants Inn (Grade II) (19156)". National Historic Assets of Wales. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  21. ^ Cadw. "The Armoury (former stables to The Serjeants Inn) (Grade II) (13041)". National Historic Assets of Wales. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  22. ^ "Canadian ad campaign credits Eglwyswrw with a place on the fiscal map". Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  23. ^ "Pembrokeshire village Eglwyswrw dry after 85 rain days". BBC. 20 January 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  24. ^ "Pembrokeshire: Wind and solar powered phone mast in UK first". BBC News. 15 June 2022. Retrieved 15 June 2022.
  25. ^ "Royal Commission, 2008: Eglwyswrw". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  26. ^ "History of Meline in Pembrokeshire". Retrieved 26 April 2014.
  27. ^ "History of Llanfair Nant Gwyn in Pembrokeshire". Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  28. ^ "Visit Pembrokeshire: Eglwyswrw". Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  29. ^ Charles, B.G. (1992). The Placenames of Pembrokeshire, Volume I. National Library of Wales. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-907158-58-5.
  30. ^ "St. Cristiolus, Eglwyswrw". Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  31. ^ "Ecclesiastical Intelligence". Bell's Weekly Messenger. British Newspaper Archive. 29 December 1855. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  32. ^ Royal Commission on Ancient Monuments in Wales and Monmouthshire. HMSO. 1925. p. 93.
  33. ^ "Re-opening of a Pembrokeshire Church". Western Mail. British Newspaper Archive. 1 June 1883. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  34. ^ "A vicar summoned for poor rates". Gloucester Journal. British Newspaper Archive. 27 October 1888. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  35. ^ "Pembrokeshire County Council: Eglwyswrw Community Primary School". Retrieved 12 April 2014.
  36. ^ "Welsh shires to be Middle East military parade horses". BBC News. 13 March 2017. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  37. ^ Becky Hotchin (25 May 2020). "HM the Queen names new foal at Dyfed Shire Horse farm, Dyfed Guinevere". Tivyside Advertiser. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  38. ^ "Bing maps: Ordnance Survey (zoom)". Retrieved 26 May 2020.

External links[edit]