This parish has connections with a famous footballer, Adolf Hitler, a prime minister, an English writer and the Gorsedd of Bards. Read on…The church is dedicated to St Meugan, astronomer, physician, and patron of travellers. It is built in red sandstone, and has, inside, a memorial to the family of John Thelwall (died 1586), John himself, his wife, and his ten sons and four daughters; he could be said to have been prolific! Equally prolific, but in a different sense, was Stanley Weyman (1855-1928) of Plas Llanrhydd, who also has a memorial inside the church. He wrote around 40 historical and romantic novels, but I confess that l have never read any of them! Thomas Griffiths (died 1909, aged 90), lived in the very attractive Stanley House in Llanrhydd Street; he was prolific in yet another sense—he was the local registrar and during his career registered 2660 births, 909 marriages and 2589 deaths.Thomas and his wife Mary had known each other and were married for 55 years. Mary knew no Germany and I wonder how she conversed with her famous son-in-law, Sir Hubert von Herkomer? Sir Hubert was a notable artist, who
painted the portraits of Ludwig Wiener, Lord Penrhyn and H.M. Stanley among others. He also designed the robes for the Archdruid and the Gorsedd of Bards. He was born and brought up in Waal, South Bavaria—the very place where Hitler was imprisoned in 1923 and where he wrote Mein Kampf. Next door to Stanley stood the Workhouse, where, in 1912, a young unmarried girl have birth to a son, Arthur, who became grandfather to Vinnie Jones (born 1965), who was allowed to play football for Wales on the strength of his grandfather’s birthplace.In the large attractive red-bricked house where Norma Elizabeth’s wool shop now is (facing Station Road), lived Jane Jones, a station master's widow; her late husband’s aunt, Hannah Jones, from Denbigh, went to Manchester, where she married the Revd George Macdonald; their daughter Alice married John Lockwood Kipling, the artist and teacher of architectural sculpture; they called their son, born in Bombay, Rudyard (1865-1936), who became the internationally famous journalist, and short story writer.Another daughter, Louisa, married the industrialist AIfred Baldwin; their son, Stanley, was three times prime minister. Georgiana, another daughter, married Sir Edward Burne-lones, and yet another, Agnes, married Sir Edward Poynter, a Slade professor; both witnessed the growth of the pre-Raphaelite movement in art at first hand.Llanrhydd is a very interesting little parish, and, as promised, I did manage to drag in Hitler, the Gorsedd of Bards, a footballer, a British prime minister, and an English writer. In this small parish, there are four schools and a hospital. And, in the cemetery next to the church, there is a grave which means everything to me; there lies my lovely Cliff.