Llanwnda (Llan-Wyndaf) - From 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' (1849)
LLANWNDA (LLAN-WYNDAF), a parish, in the poor-law union of Haverfordwest, hundred of Dewisland, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 2½ miles (N. W.) from the town of Fishguard; containing 1045 inhabitants. This place appears to be of remote antiquity, and the adjoining district is supposed to have been a favourite resort of the Druids. That it was a principal station for the solemnization of their rites is plainly indicated by the number of Druidical remains that are scattered over the parish and throughout the vicinity, and also from various adjacent spots, which still retain the names "Llan Druidion," "Fynnon Druidion," and others of similar import and origin. Near Fynnon Druidion were found five instruments of flint, considered to have been used in flaying the victims devoted to sacrifice; and in the vale below is a circular earthwork, marked out by a solitary erect stone, probably thrown up to defend the pass of a small stream by which it is skirted, and perhaps also to protect the avenue to the consecrated region. According to tradition, an ancient town called Trêv Culhwch existed here at a very early period, of which evidence is frequently obtained in the foundations of old buildings that still obstruct the plough, in various parts of the farm on which it is thought to have been situated.
About the year 1076, Trehaern ab Caradoc, Prince of North Wales, led his forces into South Wales, for the purpose of subjecting this country to his dominion, and at Pwllgwttic was boldly encountered by Rhŷs ab Owain, the reigning prince, with all the forces he could levy. Here, after a long and sanguinary conflict, Rhŷs was at length defeated, with the loss of most of his army; and being himself closely pursued by the victor, he was at length taken prisoner with his brother Howel, and both were put to death by Trehaern in revenge for the murder of Bleddyn ab Cynvyn, which they had previously committed. No other events of importance are recorded in connexion with the parish. The French effected a landing on this part of the coast in the year 1797, but after plundering the inhabitants for some time, the soldiers becoming insubordinate through excess, their commander found it necessary to make an unconditional surrender to the local forces brought against him by Lord Cawdor. The spot where the troops encamped on landing is still called "The French Encampment."
The parish is situated in the north-western part of the county, and bounded on the north by St. George's Channel, and on the east by Fishguard bay, forming a promontory with a bold and precipitous shore, and indented by several small bays, the soundings within half a mile of the coast being from seven to twenty fathoms. The scenery is diversified with features of romantic grandeur; and the views from the higher grounds embrace extensive prospects over the Channel, and the adjacent country, which abounds with objects of interest. Off the north-western coast, in Carregonnen bay, are two small islets of a similar name. The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £3. 5. 2½., and endowed with £600 royal bounty, and £400 parliamentary grant; present net income, £220; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of St. David's. The church, dedicated to St. Gwyndav, is not distinguished by any architectural features of importance. There are places of worship for Baptists and Calvinistic Methodists; a day school in connexion with the Established Church; and three Sunday schools, one of which is conducted on Church principles. William Hugh, in 1778, bequeathed £20 to the poor not receiving parochial relief; but the sum is supposed to have been expended in the payment of £2 annually among them, without creating any endowment permanently.
A strong chain of well-connected forts, extending in a direction from east to west throughout the whole length of the parish, is said to be of British origin: that on Garn Vawr rock comprises an extensive area, inclosed by strong ramparts of uncemented stones, on the most accessible parts, flanked with portions of the rock which project in the form of natural bastions. On the summit of the hill above Goodwick pier is a rocking-stone, weighing about five tons, and so nicely poised as to yield to the slightest pressure. A little beyond it are three remarkable cromlechs in a right line, of which two have been overturned, but one still preserves its original position. Another cromlech stands on the ledge of rock just above the village; the table stone is thirteen feet in its greatest length, more than nine feet and a half in its greatest width, and of an average thickness of two feet. To the west of the site of Trêv Culhwch are the majestic remains of several other cromlechs, one of which, more perfect than the rest, has a table stone fifteen feet long, eight feet wide, and two feet and a half in thickness. On opening a cairn, in 1826, for the purpose of widening a road near the sea, in the parish, a brass instrument was discovered, about nine inches long, with a circular ring at one end, and a flat triangle at the other, and pierced with two round holes in the neck that connected these together: no satisfactory conjecture has been offered as to the use to which it was applied. Near Trêv Asser, in the parish, is a tumulus surrounded with a moat, which, on being opened some time since, was found to contain fragments of urns, and other indications of its having been a place of sepulture. Trêv Asser is said to have been the birthplace of Asser, the friend and biographer of Alfred the Great. The celebrated Giraldus Cambrensis, who attended Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury, while preaching the crusades throughout the principality, and who is known for his literary works and numerous ecclesiastical appointments, was for some time incumbent of the parish.