There are many villages called Llanfair in Wales—Llanfair T'alhaearn, Llanfair Mathafarn Eithal, Llanfair Clydogau, to but a few. Their local churches are all dedicated to Mary, the mother of Jesus, but Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd’s is also dedicated to Cynfarch, a Welsh chieftain. It is a 15th century church with a double nave, typical of the Vale of Clwyd: one nave for Mary, one for Cynfarch! It boasts a lovely stained glass windows dated 1503, which was hidden in a chest to save it from Cromwell’s men.Llanfair parish extends to Pentrecelyn, Graigfechan and Cricor. It is worth driving through the village past Llysfasi and up Nant y Garthwhich is heaving with wildlife; there is usually a heron keeping an eye an the traffic. The river Iâl runs from its source high in the hills behind Bryneglwys and crosses Nant y Garth from side to side some 20 times—try and count next time you drive along this lovely pass, and you will feel as if you are watching Wimbledon! The river appears near Llanbedr DC smithy at Rhydwrial (the ford of the Iâl river).Some notable people have I lived in Llanfair DC. The poet Simwnt Fychan (1530-1606) was born at Tŷ Brith . A genealogist and herald, he was ordained Chief Bard at the famous Caerwys Eisteddfod in 1568. Sarah Jones, who was baptised on 21st February 1796, was the mother of Daniel Owen, the pioneer Welsh novelist, who was a tailor in Mold (which is why the town’s Welsh bookshop is called Y Siswrn (The Scissors). Pierce Owen, son of Edward Owen of Hendre, wrote the authoritative “History of Calvinism in the Vale of Clwyd”, a rich source of information for anyone researching family and local history. He married Margaret Williams of Plas Coch Bach, Gellifor, whose brother Edward was a draper in Enoch Lewis’s company in Liverpool;
the latter was the father of Sir J Herbert Lewis, father of Dr Mostyn Lewis, who represented Wales on Round Britain Quiz. Sir Herbert was an excellent MP for Flintshire and many of us are eternally grateful to him because he established the Teachers’ Superannuation Scheme! Living at Pant y Celyn in 1881 we find Ellis Jones, who was the grandfather of the Revd J.E. Meredith of Aberystwyth and Arthur Meredith of Telpyn, Llanfwrog. J.E. had four clever children: John, a solicitor in Bangor; Margaret, who married Ioan Bowen Rees, chief executive of Gwynedd; David one-time Press Officer of HTV and S4C, and expert on the work of the artist Kyffin Williams; and Ruth, who is married to Meic Stephens, the very busy author and editor of such books as the “Oxford Companion to the Literature of Wales”. He is also an obituary writer for The Independent.On the war memorial in Llanfair Village there are 27 names. To lose so many must have been a shattering blow to a small community One of those names is Frank Jones Bateman of Barth, who is mentioned by the poet Robert Graves in his memoir o his early life and of the First World War, “Goodbye to All That”.
Who was Who in Llanfair DC?
HAFINA CLWYD chronicled the village’s history, in December 2009