Llanegwad is a parish in Carmarthenshire, the largest of Wales’s thirteen historic counties (some – though not Carmarthenshire – have disappeared after being joined with others) and is in the southwest of the country. Llanegwad has a church, a cemetery, a pub and several chapels – the archetypal South Wales village.
It’s on the River Towy, it comprises eight hamlets and covers an area of 12,330 acres. The population in 1870 was 1,920; in 2011 it was only 1,473. There’s copper there, but no mining; the main industries are agriculture and tourism.
“Llan” is a Welsh word meaning saint and there are many, many towns and villages in Wales whose name begins with those four letters – usually followed by the name of a saint no-one today has heard of. In this case, the saint’s name is Egwad and the parish church is St Egwad’s Church. St Egwad was a Catholic bishop in Wales in the 7th century; as well as the church here (which is actually in the hamlet of Ystrad), there is another St Egwad’s Church is Llanfynydd, which is also in Carmarthenshire but – clearly – not in a place named for him. A festival was held in his honor in the parish during the Middle Ages.
The church is Grade II listed and built from limestone rubble dressed with yellow oolite (a sedimentary rock often seen on the bottom of aquaria). The tower was built around 1400; a squint in the nave and chancel is from about 1500; and the windows were modified early in the 17th century.