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In the early 18th Century, Holborn was known as Llanvaes or possibly Rhandyr Yr Esker Goch, Llanvaes.1

In 1777 the Holborn fields are shown as being the property of Edwd. P. Lloyd Esqr. on the edge of the 1777 Campbell estate map of “Glangwenlais & Kilycwm Mill fields”. 2 Holborn was still part of the Glansevin estate in the tithe, it was a smallholding of 19 acres and the tenant was William Williams.

In the 1841 census ‘Holbourn’ was lived in by John Thomas aged 46 a Lead Miner; Mary Thomas 53 and their children Lewis Thomas 20, lead Miner; John Thomas 18, Lead Miner; Thomas Thomas 15; Daniel Thomas 11; Anne Thomas 14. As well as Anne Davies 31; and her newborn Daniel Davies aged 16 days. In 1861 John Thomas, now 68, Lead Miner, born Llanfairarybryn is still living there with two of his children.; Thomas, 33 and  Anne  28. By 1871 Anne Thomas, head of the household, still unmarried at 40, now styled housekeeper appears to be living there alone.

In 1881 there appear to be four cottages on Holborn and three of the dwellings are occupied by ‘paupers’. William Williams, aged 22, a Shoemaker, born in Cilycwm is living there with Jane Williams, his wife aged 19, born in Mothvey. Rachel Williams, of no occupation (Pauper), born Cilycwm.  Mary Williams, aged 80, of no occupation (Pauper), born in Cayo, Blind. Jane Henderson, Head, 66 of no occupation (Pauper), born Cilycwm.

In 1891 Jane Williams, is now at 29 a widow, and describes herself a farmer, born in Myddfai;  with Margaret J Williams, her nine year old daughter  a ‘Scholar’. In another dwelling Rees Jones, aged 23, a shoemaker, born Llanddewi lives with Evan Jones his brother, 17, also a Shoemaker, born Llanddewi.

In 1901 Isaac Morgan, 28, a tailor and employer, born in Cilycwm is living at Holborn with his wife Catherine Morgan, 29, born in Llansadwrn; and Albert John Pool, Apprentice Tailor 17, born Gloucester Bristol.

By 1911 al of Holborn’s cottages appear to be unoccupied.

Between 1851-1861 The Drover’s Arms and 1,2 and 3 Drover’s Street in Cil-y-cwm (a row of 4 cottages) were built on one of Holborn’s fields.

In 1860   Capel y Groes was built on Holborn land given by Lloyd of Glansevin.

In 1872 WH Campbell Davys of the Neuadd Fawr estate bought Holborn alongside many other Cil-y-cwm farms and houses from the Glansevin Estate.3

There is a house called Holborn in the centre of the village, it is not clear if there was a connection between this and the Holborn smallholding. 4

Holborn was shown as one large field in the tithe it is now 8 fields, Waun bach, Cae Garw, Cae Eithin, Cae’r Cob these were, “Dorrie’s fields” [Dorrie Theophilus]. Cae’r llafur, Cae’r Shed ffowls, Cae’r Allt, Cae Gwair are owned by Mrs Dicks (who also owns the adjoining fields of no. 125 Holborn (Cae Ffair and Cae Ty Pentre).

Interesting field names:

Cae’r llafur cornfield. 

Cae Ffair Fair (event as opposed to complexion) field

Cae’r Rhiw. is on corner, on the right hand side of the road to Cwmcroyddir. This field and several nearby used to be used by the drovers

Cae’r Ffridd. ‘ffridd’ means ‘mountain pasture, moorland’. Located at the bottom of Penstacan drive on left.


1. D.T.M. Jones (4) 3341 (NLW)

together with a parcel of lands called Rhandyr Yr Esker Goch, Llanvaes alias Houlbourn with a parcel of lands thereto belonging called Stang Ddu and Tyr Y Kaere Yssa alias Cae Glan Croythir, the messuage and lands called New house, and a house called Tuy agardd Evan ab Owen, both in Killycomb village, parcels of lands near the said village called Kae’r Eveil and Kae’r pant

2. Campbell (1777) Map of of “Glangwenlais & Kilycwm Mill fields”. Carmarthen Record Office (CAS).

3. (NLW) Neuadd Fawr 310

4. Dale-Jones, Edna (1994) “Cilycwm: a Village and its Squire in the Nineteenth Century, People, Property, Development” in The Carmarthenshire Antiquary, Vol xxx, 1994, pp 90-112