Llys y Fran

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Llys y Fran
stone church with double belcote
St Meilyr's Church
Llys y Fran is located in Pembrokeshire
Llys y Fran
Llys y Fran
Location within Pembrokeshire
OS grid referenceSN0424
  • New Moat
Principal area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtSA
FireMid and West Wales
EU ParliamentWales
UK Parliament
Welsh Assembly
List of places
51°53′N 4°51′W / 51.88°N 4.85°W / 51.88; -4.85Coordinates: 51°53′N 4°51′W / 51.88°N 4.85°W / 51.88; -4.85

Llys y Fran is a small village and parish in the community of New Moat on the southern slopes of the Preseli Mountains in Pembrokeshire, Wales. The parish includes the small settlement of Gwastad. A notable feature is Llys y Fran Reservoir and Country Park, a popular tourist attraction.


The parish has been recorded with a number of variant spellings including Llysyfran, Llys-y-fran, Llys-y-Frân and Llys-y-Vrân.[1] The word llys translates into English as "court" and y frân translates as "the crow".


millstones leaning against old farm buildings
Millstones, Llys-y-fran

The present parish church dates from the 12th century, with alterations and improvements in the ensuing centuries, and is dedicated to St Meilyr, a 6th-century Celtic saint. Llys y Fran was originally a chapelry; in the 16th century it was controlled by various landowners in the district. One of its two bells is dated 1632. By 1833 it was the parish church.[2]

The parish[3] was in the ancient Hundred of Dungleddy in the Diocese of St David's. In 1833 the population was 202, and most of the parish was enclosed arable and pasture.[1]

Llys y Fran parish includes the hamlet of Gwastad, where there has been a Calvanistic Methodist chapel since 1836.[1]

There may have been a timber castle north of the church, but the remains may have been destroyed when the reservoir dam was built. The site is known as Y Castell (The Castle).[4]

In 1887 the parish extended to 1,466 acres (593 ha) and had a population of 194.[5]

The teacher and composer William Penfro Rowlands (1860-1937) was born at Llys y Fran.

Reservoir and Country Park[edit]

refer to caption
Llys y Fran Reservoir Dam in 1972

Llys y Fran Reservoir is a 212 acres (86 ha) man-made lake surrounded by a grassland and woodland Country Park of 350 acres (140 ha) with a perimeter track 6.5 miles (10.5 km) long for walkers and cyclists. The reservoir, whose dam was constructed between 1968 and 1972 by Lindsay Parkinson, is managed by Welsh Water and is one of 81 reservoirs in Wales.[6][7] The dam is 100 feet (30 m) high and the lake is fed by the River Syfynwy that also feeds Rosebush Reservoir a few miles upstream to the northeast.[8] In 2008, a refurbished hydro-electric scheme was completed, raising the dam's output to an average of 26 kW: the original turbine generating considerably less.[9] In 2017 Welsh Water announced a £4million investment to enhance the park's facilities, to be completed in 2019.[10][11]


Fishing and other water activities, walking, cycling and motorsport all contribute to Llys y Fran's popularity with tourists.


Llys y Fran is an important fishery in South West Wales, and has hosted national and international fishing competitions. Fishing with fly or bait, from mark or boat, is possible. The lake is stocked with rainbow and brown trout.[12]

Water activities[edit]

Sailing, windsurfing, rowing and canoeing are all enjoyed on the reservoir, with various equipment available for hire.[13] The park hosted the Welsh Dragon Boat Championships in 2014, 2015,[14] 2016[15] and 2017.[16]


As well as the 6.5 mile perimeter track, there is a 1.5 mile family trail, and cycle hire is available.[17]


The Llys-y-Fran Hillclimb is an annual event run by Swansea Motor Club.[18]


  1. ^ a b c "GENUKI: Llysyfran". Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  2. ^ "St Meilyr's Church - History". Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  3. ^ "GENUKI: Parish map (51)". Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Y Castell, Llys y Fran". Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  5. ^ "A Vision of Britain through time". Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  6. ^ "Llys y Fran Reservoir and Country Park". Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  7. ^ "Countryside Council for Wales - Llys-y-Fran Reservoir". Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  8. ^ "Walking Pembrokeshire - Llys y Fran". Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  9. ^ "Llys y Fran Hydro Scheme Refurbishment". Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  10. ^ "Go ahead for £4m Llys y Fran 'great water park' plans". BBC News. 8 November 2017. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  11. ^ Jason Cooper (28 December 2017). "Rotary club delighted by Llys y Fran investment". The Pembrokeshire Herald. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
  12. ^ "Pembrokeshire Coast National Park - Llys y Fran". Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  13. ^ "Reservoir Guide" (PDF). Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  14. ^ "Llys y Fran welcomes the return of the dragon". Western Telegraph. 25 May 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  15. ^ "Country Park welcomes Welsh Dragonboat Championships". BBC News. 29 May 2016. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  16. ^ "Hear the dragons roar at rowing championship tomorrow". Milford Mercury. 27 May 2017. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  17. ^ "Cycle Pembrokeshire - Llys y Fran". Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  18. ^ "Llys-Y-Fran Hillclimb Guide". Retrieved 26 February 2016.

External links[edit]