St Canna’s Church, Llangan
The current church is thought to have been on the site of the original chapel founded by St Canna. It was rebuilt in 1820, but many references from the late 19th century refer to it as being dilapidated and unused. I am unsure of its recent history at the moment but what I am interested in is a legend attached to its construction.
In ‘British Goblins’ (1881), Wirt Sykes tells us that ‘In the middle of this parish there is a field called Parc y Fonwent, or the churchyard-field, where, according to local tradition, the church was to have been originally built; but the stones brought to the spot during the day were at night removed by invisible hands to the site of the present church. Watchers in the dark heard the goblins engaged in this work, and pronouncing in clear and correct Welsh these words, “Llangan, dyma’r fan,” which means, “Llangan, here is the spot.”
The parish of Llangan straddled the boundary with Pembrokeshire and in 1844, only 603 of its 640 residents lived in Carmarthenshire side. Llangan parish is also thought to have been the occasional residence of Hywel Dda (880AD – 950AD), King of Wales who is said to have stayed in the long lost Ty Gwyn ar Dâf (the White House on the Tâf). It was here that Hywel Dda summoned representatives from each community in Wales to assemble in order to codify the laws of the country. Parts of this legal system were still in use as late as 1536.