St. Michael’s Church Cefnllys Radnorshire Wales


Cefnllys is a parish in the county of Radnorshire South Wales.

Alternative names: Kevenllece, Llanfihangel Cefnllys

The parish includes also the townships of Cwmbreeth, Trefonnon, and Trelegoed.

Parish church: St. Michael

Parish registers begin: 1679

Nonconformists include: Independents

Parishes adjacent to Cefnllys

  • Bettws Disserth
  • Llanyre
  • Llandrindod
  • Llanfihangel-helygen
  • Llanbadarn-fawr
  • Disserth
  • Llandegley
  • Glascwm

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

CEFNLLYS, or Kevenllece, a village, a parish, and a hundred, in Radnor. The village stands on the river Ithon, 2½ miles SSW of Penybont r. station, and 16 W by N of Kington; and is a contributary borough to New Radnor, and a polling place. The parish includes also the townships of Cwmbreeth, Trefonnon, and Trelegoed. Post Town, Penybont, Radnorshire. Acres, 4,135. Real property, £1,590. Pop., 395. Houses, 62. The vale of the Ithon here is strikingly picturesque. A fortress, called Castell-Glyn-Ithon, crowned a steep hill adjacent to the village; was erected, in 1242, by Ralph Mortimer; and passed, in the time of Edward IV., into the possession of the Crown. The living is a rectory in the diocese of St. Davids. Value, £135. Patron, the Bishop of St. Davids. Charities, £22. The hundred contains also five other parishes, and parts of four others. Acres, 37,291. Pop., 3,579. Houses, 606.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

A Topographical Dictionary of Wales 1842

KEVENLLEECE (CEVN-LLYS), a parish and contributory borough, in the union of RHAIADR, hundred of KEVENLLEECE, county of RADNOR, South WALES, on the road from Newtown to Builth, 1½ mile (S. W. by W.) from Pen y bont; containing 367 inhabitants. This place, the name of which signifies the “palace ridge,” or “hill,” is of considerable antiquity, and consists of the borough and the out-parish. A castle of considerable extent and great strength was erected here, about the year 1242, by Ralph Mortimer, which is sometimes called “Castell Glyn Ithon,” from its occupying an elevated and commanding site on the banks of the Ithon, by which it was nearly surrounded: the ruins form an interesting object amid the surrounding scenery. The parish is extremely hilly, and, being for the most part destitute of wood, is in general of dreary aspect: the tops of some of the hills, however, command prospects of striking interest. Lead-ore and coal are supposed to exist within its limits, but all attempts to procure these minerals have proved fruitless. Kevenlleece is a borough by prescription, and probably owes that distinction to the existence of its ancient castle: the corporation consists of a bailiff, recorder, and burgesses, chosen at the court leet of the lord of the manor, none of whom exercise magisterial authority. The borough includes within its limits, which were not altered by the Boundary Act, about one-fifth of the parish, extending about two miles from east to west, and half a mile from north to south. It contributes with Radnor, Rhaiadr, Cnwclás, Knighton, and, by the late act for amending the representation of the people, Presteign, in sending a member to parliament. The right of voting was formerly in the burgesses at large, nearly two hundred in number, of whom only fifteen are at present resident within the borough, but is now vested, by the late act, in the resident burgesses only, if duly qualified according to its provisions, and in every male person of full age occupying, either as owner or as tenant under the same land lord, a house or other premises of the annual value of at least ten pounds, provided he be capable of registering as the act demands: the present number of houses in the borough, of this value, is only three. It has also been made, by the late Reform Act, a polling-place in the election of a knight for the shire.

The living is a rectory, rated in the king’s books at £8. 19.4½.; present net income, £135; patron, Bishop of St. David’s. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is romantically situated on a precipitous knoll, embosomed amid higher hills, and is some what difficult of access in winter: it consists of a nave and chancel, with a low tower covered with a shelving roof. There is a place of worship for Independents, endowed with a farm in the parish of Llansantfraid, called Craigieuan, bequeathed by a lady named Jones, and now producing £25 per annum. A Sunday school of 80 children is supported by the Baptists. Thomas Palmer, in 1712, and the Rev. Hugh Powell, in 1713, bequeathed portions of land for the relief of poor housekeepers not receiving parochial aid. The Rev. Mr. Lewis, presumed to have been a former rector, left a sum of money, to be invested in land, which, with a subsequent donation, also vested in land, now produces £25 per annum, which sum is distributed among decayed farmers of the parish. The total expenditure of the parochial rates, for the year ending March 25th, 1837, amounted to £258, of which £169 was for the relief of the poor, £80 towards county rates, and £9 for incidental charges.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of Wales by Samuel Lewis 1842

Parish Records

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Powys Archives

The following records are available from Powys archives.

Parish Registers

Baptisms 1671-1771, burials 1671-1771, marriages 1671- 1753

Baptisms, burials 1772-1812 

Baptisms 1813-1901 

Burials 1813-1947 

Marriages 1754-1812, banns 1754-1823

Marriages 1815-1842 

Marriages 1837-1954 

Banns 1824-1901 


Vestry book 1751-1803 

Churchwardens and overseers account book 1684-1764 

Churchwardens and overseers account book 1828-1886 


Church Records

Bishop’s transcripts, 1700-1870

Marriage bonds and allegations : 1683-1867

Parish register transcripts

Parish register printouts of Cefnllys, Radnor, Wales ; christenings, 1813-1870


Monumental inscriptions, St. Michael’s parish church, Cefnllys, Radnorshire


Census returns for Cefnllys, 1841-1891


  • County: Radnorshire / Powys
  • Civil Registration District:
  • Diocese: St. David; Swansea and Brecon 
  • Rural Deanery:
  • Poor Law Union: Rhayader
  • Hundred: Cefnllys
  • Province: Canterbury
  • Petty Sessional Division:
  • Couty Court District:

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