Rhandirmwyn is a small, scattered community situated in the upper Tywi valley, Carmarthenshire. It’s name is derived from the joining of two words, namely, ‘Rhandir,’ which means an area of land and ‘Mwyn,’ which means mineral. So, translated the name means exactly that, a piece of land that contains minerals – in this case Lead and Zinc. ‘Mwyn,’ also means gentle so the more poetic amongst us would rather call this the gentle land. To me it is a beautiful name for an equally beautiful place.
I hope that by visiting this website you will glean some idea of life over the years in this quiet place nestling in the Cambrian Mountains. I hope also to bring you some aspects of life today.
I will start, by basically, defining the place known as Rhandirmwyn. (Correct spelling is Rhandir-mwyn.)
It must be difficult for anyone who is researching their family history to identify the place known by those born and bred in this valley, as Rhandirmwyn. If you go by parish boundaries then you will see that it lies in the parish of Llanfair-ar-y-bryn. In reality these parish boundaries are lines on a map and have little meaning.
Rhandirmwyn effectively extends along both sides of the Tywi (Towy) river, some two miles north of Cilycwm village and extends north west along the Gwenffrwd valley towards Cwrt-y-Cadno as far as Bwlchyrhiw. The imaginary line then heads east across the mountains into Ceredigion and Breconshire (Powys) to the east side of Llyn Brianne Reservoir. These are the places where people have always identified themselves as, ’Pobol Rhandir’ - Rhandirmwn people. For those researching your family roots should look in the parishes of Llanfair-ar-y-bryn and Cilycwm in Carmarthenshire as well as Doethie Camddwr in Ceredigion (Cardiganshire) for your ancestral history. Contact this site for any guidance.
This was a lead mining village and the Nantymwyn Lead Mine which is situated above the village is believed to have been in existence since Roman times and more than likely pre Roman. It closed in 1932.
According to David Owen author of, ‘Rhandirmwyn – A Brief History’, the name Rhandirmwyn is comparatively new and the earliest reference found was an advertisement in the Royal Cornwall Gazette dated 10. 8. 1822 which invited offers for the lease of the, ‘Lead Veins of Rhandirmwyn’. Prior to this it was called Rhandir Abbott and then Nantymwyn before finally the name Rhandirmwyn was adopted until this day.
This is a long term project and we will be updating information as and when we receive it. If you have a story or photograph or something of interest with regard to Rhandirmwyn whether present day or from the past please let us know.