Gwenllian Llyewelyn was born at Ynyscaedudwg Farm  in Cilfynydd on 23 October, 1859, six years after her parents married in Merthyr Tydfil. 

Her family were the Llewellyns of Llanwynno, and Ynyscaedudwg was later the site of the Albion Colliery, where the worst mining disaster in Britain before Senghenydd took place. 

Her mother, also named Gwenllian, grandmother, again named Gwenllian and their maidservant all died of typhoid fever in the early months of 1872. At this time Gwenllian was only 12 years of age and the remainder of her family moved to farm at Coed y Goran, St Mellons. 

Her father, William Llewellyn died three years later when she was 16, and she was sent to her aunt, Ann Davies of Whitehall, Llanharan, when she met Dr. Price who treated her aunt as one of his patients.

She came to Llantrisant as his maidservant in 1881. At their initial meeting Dr Price allegedly  clutched his hand to his head and claimed “Isis has come, the Mother of Gods has visited my habitation! Her forehead is high like that of the Goddess Juno, and her brow is like that of the Goddess Minerva!” His devotion to her was endless.

Apparently a form of “Druidic marriage” took place between them at Y Maen Chwyf at Coedpenmaen Common on the doctor’s eighty-first birthday in March 1881. Gwenllian was just twenty-two. 

In Gwenllian he saw his ideal partner, someone who understood his Druidic beliefs and was prepared to accept his behaviour. The housekeeper moved to Ty’r Clettwr, and remained in the town for the next 60 years.

His dreams of a god-like son were finally answered on August 8th 1883 when she gave birth to Iesu Grist Price. On his sudden death five months later she brought the body of the child to Dr Price at the Cross Keys and from there he carried it to East Caerlan to perform a cremation ceremony.

Ultimately Gwenllian was made to face the judge and jury at Dr Price’s famous trial in Cardiff before Justice James Fitzjames Stephen. Remaining faithful to Dr Price, she gave him two further children in Iesu Grist II and Penelopen Elizabeth. Gwenllian held Dr Price as he passed away in 1893 and she fought for his wishes to be met with a public cremation in Llantrisant.

Following the death of Dr Price she met John de Winter Parry, a publican and former road inspector, in around 1896. He was a widower came to Llantrisant as landlord of the Butcher’s Arms and on April 20th 1898 he married Gwenllian at the parish church of St Mary in Glyntaff.

Their daughter Gwenllian “Rachel” Janet Parry was born on 8 August 1899. They lived for a period in Aberdare and Newport before building a new family home at East Caerlan and operating a farm.

Gwenllian and John Parry’s marriage failed and she continued to run the business with her son and two daughters up until her death on 21 December 1948.

East Caerlan



Affectionately known as “Dr Price’s House”, East Caerlan was actually built more than a decade after his death.

As early as 1904 Gwenllian and her children Nicholas and Penelopen were residing in the Butcher’s Arms on Heol y Sarn. Her husband John Parry was a publican and they were resident at the property until 1907. There is also mention of their residency at the White Hart which was situated on the Bull Ring.

At this time a new home for the family was built on land originally purchased by Dr. Price more than thirty years earlier. Close to the very spot where Iesu Grist was cremated in 1884 and Dr. Price in 1893, a four-bedroom house was built. On the summit of the mountain, overlooking Llantrisant and the breathtaking panoramic landscape around, East Caerlan Farm became the home and workplace of the Parry family, and they remained there for the rest of their lives.

Without a man in the household for extended periods of time, particularly following the departure of John Parry, it was left to Gwenllian and her two daughters to run East Caerlan as a farm for several decades. Although the house had a certain Edwardian grandeur about it, the work itself must have been hard for three women to undertake alone, particularly on such an exposed farmstead open to the elements from all directions.

The detailed farm records, listing the quantity of cattle and pigs is incredibly concise, listing carefully the market or farm from whence they were bought, moved and sold. The records actually run from 1924 to 1966, with large numbers of animals being accounted for at the farm East Caerlan was sold at auction for £57,000 with the contents selling for £12,000. The proceeds were donated to the British Red Cross, of which both Rachel and Penelopen played a leading part locally. Surveyors and auctioneers Herbert R. Thomas handled the sale, advertising the house, incorrectly as the home of Dr. Price himself.

The auction was held by Lucas and Madley of Westgate Auction Galleries in Cardiff and included over six hundred and twenty items, many of which were items owned by Penelopen and Rachel alone.