The dedication is suggestive of an earlier medieval date, but the known history and architecture of the church, cemetery and environs are from later than 1400. In 1401 William Admondeston, Rector, exchanged parishes with Thomas Colham of Tonge. Thomas Colham resigned on 7th March 1402 and John Vaughan became the Rector – presented the position by Prince Henry. In 1490 following the death of Lewis John, the Vicar, King Henry VII presented the position of Vicar here to Henry ap Res. In 1535 Hugh Mors was the Rector, the church was the property of Talley Abbey. In 1546 it was inferred that the Church of the Holy Cross, Mwnt and the Church of the Holy Cross, Llechryd, were chapels-of-ease of the church here. In 1548 Arthur or John Dudley was the elderly incumbent and held other positions – Llechryd and Mwnt being subsidiary to the church here.
On 24th June 1586 Richard Gwyn leased:
“…land granted to maintain a light upon the high altar of the parish church of Llangoedmor…”
On 24th June 1587 Richard Gwyn was granted a 21-year lease of the 4 acres of mountain referred to by the previous item, for 3s.4d. per annum. In 1603-10 Owen Griffith was the Rector. In 1614 Rowland Evans was the Curate. There was a silver chalice here dated 1617, but probably Elizabethan. In 1620 Howell Williams may have officiated here as either Curate or Rector. In March 1622-December 1646 John Evans officiated here as the Curate. On 24th March 1626 David Lloid was the Rector. He was a son of the occupiers of Mabws, Llanrhystyd. On 24th March 1647 Rev. Jenkin Lloyd became the Vicar. (He wrote his will on 12th July 1674.) In 1664 Rev. Erasmus Evans became the Vicar. In 1675 Rev. W. Owen became the Rector. In 1675-1720 Rev. Owen Evans, son of Archdeacon Owen Evans, was referred to as the Rector. In 1719 the Rector was charged with a breach of the ecclesiastical and civil laws of the land, as well as “…sundry immoralities…” In 1722 Walter Lloyd of Coedmore, Llechryd, was interred here, close to his seat in the chancel, as specified in his will.
In 1736 Rev. Evan Davies may have been the Rector. In 1738 Rev. James Phillips became the Rector. In 1744 Rev. O. Evans became the Rector or Curate. Rev. James Phillips, Rector, gave a donation of £2.2s towards the rebuilding of the tower of St. Mary’s Church, Cardigan, as commemorated on a plaque of 1748. From 1754-77 Rev. John Davies was the Curate. In 1769 Rev. James Phillips, Rector, donated a silver flagon to the church. Another Dr. James Phillips became the Rector from 1771-83. In 1778 Rev. John James became the Curate. In 1783 Rev. Griffith Griffiths may have been the Rector. On 9th October 1796 Rev. John Jones, the Curate, became a burgess of Cardigan. On 28th October 1796 John Jenkin alias Ioan Siencyn, “Y Bardd Bach o Aberteifi”, died and was buried here. He had kept a school in Cardigan and was a celebrated Welsh poet. In 1798 a stile and stone steps were erected at the churchyard and inscribed ‘T G I E. C W 1798’.
In 1808 Rev. Thomas Lloyd was the Rector. In 1825 a meeting at Cardigan regarding the issue of Catholic Emancipation was unanimous in its opposition, save for the Curate of Llangoedmor Church, who was then removed by the Bishop. On 19th March 1829 Rev. David Evans, the Curate, married Ann Lewis of Cardigan. In 1830 Rev. David Evans, Curate, became the Master of the Cardigan Free Grammar School.
In 1830 David Evans, Cardigan architect, began rebuilding the church, which was completed in 1832. In 1830 Rev. Llewelyn Llewelyn became the Rector. Circa 1833 Samuel Lewis described the church as follows:
“…The living is a rectory, rated in the king’s books at £12. 18. 6½., and in the patronage of the Principal and Tutors of St. David’s College, Lampeter: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £440. The church, dedicated to St. Cynllo, was entirely rebuilt in the year 1830, and is a neat structure in the later style of English architecture, consisting of a nave and chancel, with an elegant little tower of two stages, rising from the centre of the nave, and surmounted by a delicate and finely proportioned spire. The expense of its erection was defrayed by a parochial rate…”
In 1840 Rev. William North became the Rector. In 1843 Rev. David T. Jones became the Rector. In 1844 the Rector of Llangoedmor, Rev. David Thomas, former missionary at the Red River Settlement, died aged 48. In 1845 the living of the parish was valued at £450. In 1845 Rev. Thomas Evans became the Curate. The curate in 1845-56 was Rev. Thomas Evans. In 1845 Rev. William North became the rector again until 1893. On 4th October 1846 the following item appeared in the ‘Pembrokeshire Herald‘:
“…LLANGOEDMORE.—We are glad to find that the communion window of this romantic church has been glazed with stained glass, at the sole expense of the Rev. Mr. North, A.M., rector. The work was executed by Mr. Waugh. for Messrs. Griffiths, glaziers, and is done in a workman-like manner. It has a pleasing effect on the eye, and for its execution much credit is due...”
In 1851, average Sunday attendance was 110 plus 70 scholars in the morning, 110 scholars in the afternoon and 70 in the evening. In 1856 Rev. W. E. James became the Curate and remained here in 1856-58. In 1859 Robert Jewell Withers, the London architect, began his remodelling of the church, including ashlar plate tracery, a new south porch, fittings and stained glass East and West windows by Lowers & Barraud of London. The remodelling was completed in 1860. At this time, an ancient stoup and a leaded window were removed to Cardigan by a Mr. Thomas, who purchased them from the builder. In 1860 the Rector, Rev. William North, was appointed Archdeacon of Cardigan.
In 1875 the Rector of the parish was still the Venerable Archdeacon William North of Glandovan, Cilgerran. In 1878 Rev. William Rees was the Curate. In 1883, ‘Cox, Son, Buckley & Company’ installed a new chancel S window as a memorial to John Vaughan. A surprise religious census in 1884 showed 55 attending morning service and 42 attending the evening. On 8th June 1884 Rev. Alban Alban, Rector of Bridell, retired as Curate here. In 1887 ‘Cox, Son, Buckley & Company’ installed another S. chancel window. In 1891 the W bellcote of the church was rebuilt. Rev. William North, the Rector, died in 1893. On 8th June 1893 the following appeared in the ‘Evening Express‘:
“…DEATH OF THE VENERABLE ARCHDEACON NORTH. We regret to announce the death of tile Rev. William North, M.A,, Archdeacon of Cardigan, and Rector of Llangoedmor, which took place at his residence, Treforgan, on Wednesday afternoon after a brief illness, at the ripe old age of 85, to the great grief of his family and the district at large, amongst the inhabitants of which he was much beloved as a friend to all, but more especially to the poor. He was formerly Latin professor at Lampeter College, where he was a contemporary and friend of Bishop Oliphant and Bishop Harold Brown. As an authority on Church matters, his knowledge was most extensive, and he was the author of several volumes of sermons and charges. The venerable gentleman, the evening before his recent archidiaconal visitations, had a nasty fall, which injured his head, but. lie kept his appointments at Cardigan, Newcastle-Emlyn. Lampeter, and Aberystwith, since which his health appeared to give way, and he died as stated. As a divine, the Principality has lost one of its brightest ornaments, and as a scholar he was almost unrivalled. At 60 years of age the deceased gentleman added the Welsh language to his other linguistic attainments, and as rector of Llangoedmor for a long number of years he always preached in English and in Welsh; Although known to be sinking for some days, his death has caused quite a universal gloom throughout the whole archdeaconry…”
In 1893 Rev. Richard Bowen Jenkins of Cilbronnau became the Rector until 1911. By 1st November 1901 an ancient stoop for Holy Water, which once stood here, was being used as a flowerpot in a garden on Cardigan High Street. From 1902-10 Rev. Lewis Morris was the Curate. Two memorials were dedicated here on 13th August 1903. In 1910 Rev. Lewis Morris departed as the Curate, having been offered the living of Llansadwrn. On 30th January 1911 Rev. Richard Bowen Jenkins retired and Rev. Llewelyn Davies (b.1876) became the Rector on 1st June 1911 until 1930. In July 1919 Rev. Llewelyn Davies attained his B. D. and D. D. degrees. On 22nd May 1921 a memorial tablet to Messrs. R. W. Picton Evans, E. W. Vaughan and John Thomas, was unveiled here. In January 1924 it was announced that Rev. Llewelyn Davies was leaving to take up a Chair at Lampeter University, yet he remained here for a further six years. In 1927-28 repairs were conducted by John Williams & Sons, Felingynllo. On 19th February 1928 the church was re-dedicated by the Bishop. On 31st October 1930 Rev. James Jones succeeded Rev. Llywelyn Davies as the Rector. A memorial window to Sir Lawrence Hugh Jenkins of Cilbronnau was unveiled here on 7th December 1930.
On 10th June 1932 a memorial window was unveiled here dedicated to Mrs. Berrington Griffith Davies of Plas Llangoedmor, who died in 1930. On 21st September 1934 a Dafydd Siencyn Morgan Memorial was unveiled in the churchyard. On 30th September 1937 Rev. James Jones retired as Rector. On 30th September 1937 Rev. Evan James Davies was confirmed as the new Rector. He was installed on 17th November 1937 and was here in 1937-53. On 29th June 1950 the Bishop dedicated a new organ here. In March 1953 Rev. Evan James Davies left for Llanllwchaiarn.
On 11th September 1953 Rev. Lewis John Edwards became the Rector, succeeding Rev. Evan James Davies, and remained here until late 1959. In October 1959 a private communion set was dedicated to the church in memory of the late David Berrington Griffith Davies of Plas Llangoedmor, by his widow. On 20th January 1960 Rev. Evan Tom Parry Morgan, 49, was inducted as the new Rector of Llangoedmore and Llechryd until at least 1977. The church was listed in 1964. In 1991-96 Rev. Michael Morris was the Rector of Llangoedmor and Llechryd. The steeple was restored and other repairs conducted in 1993. The churchyard gates were listed in 1994. In 2005-11 Rev. John Powell was the Rector.
The church was described by CADW in 1994:
“…EXTERIOR – 1830-2 Anglican parish church by David Evans of Cardigan, remodelled 1859-60 by R. J. Withers, architect of London. Coursed rubble stone with Bath stone tracery, slate roofs and red crested ridges. Nave and chancel of near equal length, chancel ridge slightly lower. Ashlar plate tracery of 1859, W bellcote dated 1891, S porch probably of 1859, and fine slate classical steeple over chancel arch of 1830-2. Coped gables and renewed cross finials. Steeple (restored 1993) is exceptional, a miniature classical spire in Cilgerran stone, the columns renewed in turned slate. Three tiers, the bottom two with Roman Doric columns in antis, pedestal and entablature. The blocking course over the lowest tier serves as plinth for the next. Bottom tier has arched niches. The spirelet itself is an obelisk on plinth and panelled pedestal, the shaft four-sided with chamfered angles. Neo-Grecian acroterial ornaments to each stage. Plain W bellcote with shouldered coping. Similar coping to gables and S porch, porch has tall chamfered entry and impost bands. Roll-moulded pointed door within. Nave has W 2-light, and two flush 2-light windows each side, the side windows uncusped with circles over. Chancel has two similar to S, lean-to vestry and one to N, but tracery has some simple cusping. E 3-light window with two sexfoils. All windows have Cilgerran stone voussoirs. Nave E has low sloping buttressing each side. Vestry is lean-to with acutely pointed 2-light E window, Caernarvon-arched W door and strongly modelled chimneystack, stepped-in and with gabled cap pierced by quatrefoil.
INTERIOR – Plaster-panelled three-sided roofs, plastered walls, thick chancel arch has thin ringed shafts let-in to angles W and E, and seat inset on N, all of 1859. FITTINGS are almost all of 1859; big square cushion font apparently C19 but H M Vaughan thought recut medieval. Inside is medieval octagonal stoup with angle lobes. High Victorian simple pine pews, prayer desks, stalls, rails and altar table. Simple tile floors, patterned encaustic tiles to reredos. Very ornate carved stone pulpit of 1903 with pierced tracery and angle statue, the whole on squat marble columns. STAINED GLASS – E and W windows of 1859 by Lavers and Barraud of London, e of better quality. Two chancel S windows of 1883 and 1887, both by Cox, Son, Buckley and Co, the 1883 window with strong line drawing. One chancel N window in C15 style of 1932, signed ‘W’, one nave S window of 1930 signed W Glasby. MONUMENTS – Nave N Lt Col G Lloyd of Treforgan (killed 1900) alabaster; fine low relief kneeling female with urn to Eliz Mitchell (d. 1827); neo-Grec memorial with urn to Rees Price of Gwellwen (d. 1827); big marble scroll to Jonathon Jenkins of Cilbronnau (d. 1851) by M W Johnson, London. S side: plaque with urn to Evan Davies of Treforgan (d 1832). On nave E wall rustic classical plaque to Owen Lloyd of Abertrinant (d 1812) signed Barlow, London, with reeded pilasters and urn, large C19 hatchment, two 1857 plaques to successive Thomas Lloyds of Coedmore (d 1810 and 1857) and a betrophied memorial to Col. H Vaughan of Plas Llangoedmore (killed 1855) by S Manning.
Included at II* because of the exceptional quality of the 1830 steeple and near-complete furnishings of 1859.
CHURCHYARD GATES AND GATEPIERS – Situated at E end of entry to churchyard. Earlier C19 pair of Cilgerran stone piers with pyramid caps and pair of iron gates. Gates have scrolled top rail, dog-bars and band of circles at mid-rail and bottom-rail. To right, four slate-capped stone steps up to slate stile with reset standing stone inscribed ‘TG IE GW 1798’…”
Llangoedmor Parish Registers
NLW Noyadd Trefawr MS 419
Carmarthenshire Record Office: Coedmore MSs 150; 569
NLW Tyllwyd MSs 61; 64; 81; 186
NLW Church in Wales: St David’s Episcopal Papers
NLW Minor Deposit 490-9B
Pembrokeshire Record Office – Abstract of Wills 1718; 1720; 1736
History of Cardiganshire, Samuel R Meyrick 1808
Parish Registers of St Mary’s, Cardigan
Pembrokeshire Herald 1846
Religious Census 1851
Enwogion Sir Aberteifi, Glan Menai 1868
Kelly’s Directory of South Wales1875; 1926
Notice – Harvest Thanksgiving Choral Festival, St Cynllo’s Church, Sept 1878
Cardigan Observer 1884
Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser 1883-84; 1898; 1901; 1903; 1909; 1911; 1913; 1918-19; 1921-22;
1924-26; 1928-32; 1934; 1937-38; 1941; 1950; 1953; 1959-60; 1977; 1996; 2006
A Guide to Cardigan and District, W. E. Yerward James, 1899
Report – Llechryd Auxiliary Bible Society 1901; 1902
Annual Report – Llwynadda Chapel 1902
Cardigan Priory in the Olden Days, Emily M. Pritchard 1904
Episcopal Register of St. David’s
Post Office Telephone Directory 1940, 1950; 1955
Records of the Court of Augmentations Concerning Wales & Monmouthshire, E. A. Lewis & J.
Conway Davies 1954
Sir Lawrence Hugh Jenkins, D. L. Baker-Jones c1968
Ceredigion Vol, VII No 2 1973
Pembrokeshire County History Vol. III ed. Brian Howells 1987
Buildings of Architectural or Historic Interest – Llangoedmor, Julian Orbach, CADW
Princelings, Privilege & Power, Leslie Baker-Jones 1999.
(c) Glen K Johnson 25/06/2013