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Gareg Hir - geograph.org.uk - 685328.jpg
Gareg Hir standing stone
Llanpumsaint is located in Carmarthenshire
Llanpumsaint shown within Carmarthenshire
Population 595 (2001)[1]
OS grid reference SN415295
  • Llanpumsaint
Principal area
Ceremonial county
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district SA33
Dialling code 01267
Police Dyfed-Powys
Fire Mid and West Wales
Ambulance Welsh
EU Parliament Wales
UK Parliament
Welsh Assembly
List of places
51°56′20″N 4°18′04″W / 51.939°N 4.3011°W / 51.939; -4.3011Coordinates: 51°56′20″N 4°18′04″W / 51.939°N 4.3011°W / 51.939; -4.3011

Llanpumsaint (Welsh "Llan" church + "pum" five + "saint" saint(s)) is a village and community in Carmarthenshire, Wales. In the 2001 UK Census, Llanpumsaint community had a population of 595.[1] It is not to be confused with Pumsaint, a small village some distance away on the River Cothi.

Llanpumsaint community comprises the neighbouring hamlet of Nebo, the Hindu community and temple at Skanda Vale and a number of farms.

According to the 2001 Census, 50% of those living in Llanpumsaint community are able to speak, read and write Welsh,[2] this is well above the 39% average recorded for Carmarthenshire in the same census.[3]


Llanpumsaint is located on a minor road that joins the B4336 just north of Bronwydd Arms and the A486 at Llandysul and Pentrecwrt. The village straddles the River Gwili between Bronwydd and Llanllawddog, at the confluence of two small tributaries, Nant-cwm-cerwyn and Nant Aeron. The nearest major settlement is Carmarthen, approximately 4.5 miles (7 km) away by road.

The community is bordered by the communities of: Llanfihangel-ar-Arth; Llanllawddog; Bronwydd; and Cynwyl Elfed, all being in Carmarthenshire.



The name Llanpumsaint translates as "Parish of the Five Saints" ("Llan" means church or enclosed area of land). The five saints were brothers named Gwyn, Gwynno, Gwynoro, Ceitho and Celynin who came from the nearby hamlet of Cynwyl Gaeo. They were sons of Cynyr Barbtruc (or "cut-beard"; Welsh: "Cynyr Farfdrwch") and descendents of Cunedda the Imperator (Welsh: "Cynyr Wledig").

The five brothers are said to have built the Llanpumsaint Parish Church around the 5th or 6th Century. It is thought that they built the church on a pre-existing pagan site. There are also five pools in Nant-cwm-cerwyn which are named after each of the saints.[4] These pools were the destination for pilgrimages to the village during the Middle Ages. Such pilgrimages tended to take place around the time of St. David's Day.[5]

The names of the five saints appear elsewhere in the area. One of the brothers, Ceitho, is the patron saint of Llangeitho in Ceredigion where he founded an abbey and lived as a hermit there within. Another example is St Celynin's Church in the neighbouring community of Bronwydd which was built as a missionary church to Llanpumsaint in 1894.[6]

Evidence of medieval settlement at Pant Glas[edit]

At Allt Pant Glas, to the south of Llanpumsaint village, there are earthworks indicating the site of a possible medieval timber castle of the motte and bailey or ringwork form.[7][8]

Railway village 1864-1965[edit]

In 1860 the Carmarthen and Cardigan Railway was opened. "Llanpumpsaint" station was opened in 1864 when the line was extended as far as Llandysul. At the height of its operation, the Carmarthen Aberystwyth Line linked Llanpumsaint to Carmarthen in the south (connecting to the West Wales Line) and to Cardigan, Aberaeron and Aberystwyth (connecting to the Cambrian Line) in the north.

The railway served the village for over 100 years until the line finally closed (having ceased carrying passengers in February 1965 and the station). Freight trains continued to pass through the village on their way between Felin Fach and Carmarthen until 1973 when the line was finally closed and lifted.

The dismantled railway still passes through the village and, until recently, the original "Llanpumpsaint" station sign could be seen in front of the Railway Inn. In neighbouring Bronwydd, a 1 mile long section of the line was reopened in 1978 for tourists and named the Gwili Railway. The Gwili Railway aims to eventually restore the railway as far as Llanpumsaint. Plans are currently underway to extend the line Southwards to the site of Abergwili Junction.[9] However, the logistics of restoring the track as far north as Llanpumsaint (there are around seven derelict bridges crossing the Gwili between Conwyl Elfed and Llanpumsaint[10]) mean that there is currently no timetable for restoration.

Preceding station Heritage Railways  Heritage railways Following station
Terminus   Gwili Railway
Future Extension

Llanpumsaint Parish Church[edit]

Llanpumsaint Parish Church (The Church of St Celynin, Ceitho, Gwyn, Gwyno and Gwynoro) is a medieval church belonging to the Church in Wales. The precise age of the church is unknown. At the time of the Religious census of 1851, the parish priest William Henry Powell attested that the church had been "...consecrated from time immemorial." There is a 6th-century Ogham stone in the churchyard which may give some indication of the church's age. The original church building was restored in 1882. An extension to the nave and the porch date from 1933.[11] The east window of the nave was designed by Mildred "Elsi" Eldridge, the wife of renowned Welsh poet R. S. Thomas.[12]

Very near to Llanpumsaint Parish Church is Bethel Presbyterian Chapel which was originally built in 1796. Nearer to the old railway line there is also Caersalem Baptist Chapel which was built in 1904.[13]

Skanda Vale[edit]

Main article: Skanda Vale

Skanda Vale, also known as "The Community of the Many Faces of God", is a Hindu Temple/Monastery located in the Llanpumsaint Community, at a distance of 1.6 miles (3 km) from Llanpumsaint village. The temple holds festivals which are attended by pilgrims from all over the UK and even further afield. Skanda Vale also runs a hospice and as such is a registered charity. Valli the elephant was given to Skanda Vale as a gift from the Sri Lankan president in 1981.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b http://www.carmarthenshire.gov.uk/index.asp?locID=3978&docID=-1 Llanpumsaint Community Council
  2. ^ http://www.carmarthenshire.gov.uk/index.asp?locID=4473&docID=-1 Welsh Language Skills in Carmarthenshire Community Wards
  3. ^ http://www.carmarthenshire.gov.uk/index.asp?locID=4222&docID=-1 Welsh Language Statistics for Carmarthenshire
  4. ^ Llanpumsaint Local History (in Welsh)
  5. ^ Aneirin Talfan Davies, Crwydro Sir Gâr (Llyfrau'r Dryw Publishing House, 1955)
  6. ^ http://www.churchinwales.org.uk/parishholding/david/d682-en/churches-en/st-celynins-church-bronwydd_-en/church_view The Church in Wales: St. Celynin's church, Bronwydd
  7. ^ http://www.coflein.gov.uk/pls/portal/COFLEIN.REP_CATLIST_B.show?p_arg_names=pnumlink&p_arg_values=6026500 National Monuments Record of Wales: Crug, Allt Pant Glas
  8. ^ http://www.ecastles.co.uk/philipdavis/Welshsites/181.html The Gatehouse: Allt Pant Glas, Llanpumsaint
  9. ^ http://www.gwili-railway.co.uk/home.html Rheilffordd Gwili
  10. ^ http://users.aol.com/WalesRails/gwil.htm Wales Rails: Gwili Railway
  11. ^ http://www.churchplansonline.org/retrieve_results.asp?c=Carmarthenshire&offset=110 Carmarthenshire Church plans records
  12. ^ http://www.churchinwales.org.uk/parishholding/david/d682-en/churches-en/st-celynin-ceitho-gwyn-gwyno-and-gwynoro_-en/church_view The Church in Wales: St Celynin, Ceitho, Gwyn, Gwyno and Gwynoro
  13. ^ http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/wal/CMN/Llanpumsaint/index.html UK & Ireland Genealogy online: Llanpumsaint

External links[edit]