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19 September 2014
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Llanwinio

A little village in the rolling Carmarthenshire hills. Like so many little Carmarthenshire villages, it has lots of history. The church is a simple Victorian building but it is set in a circular churchyard, which suggests early origins. The surrounding field boundaries make a series of concentric circles around the churchyard. Was this the property of an early Celtic monastery?

More evidence for an early church is the early medieval inscribed stone which was found while digging foundations for the church. It is inscribed in Latin and in ogham (an early form of Irish writing) BIVAD... AVI BODIBEVE, ‘Bivadi grandson of Bodibeve’. These are both Irish names. Above this is a cross, which may have been added later. The stone is now in the museum in Carmarthen. Lots more detail about the stone on the Celtic Inscribed Stones Project web site.

There may have been a castle, too. Castell Mawr is on the other side of the Cynin river, on a promontory between two streams. It may have had a timber tower. It is probably on the site of an earlier, Iron Age fortification.

More information on the castle at The Gatehouse.

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The bridleway below Llanwinio: photo Pontarddulais Walking Club

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