Llawhaden was a civil parish, area 1865 Ha. The parish church of St Aidan (of Ferns, a disciple of Saint David) is situated below the village beside the river, at . The name Llawhaden is an anglicised version of the Welsh form Llanhuadain, and probably means "(monastic) enclosure of St Aidan". The village is in the form of a large medieval planned settlement, although most of the land lots laid out along the main street are now vacant. At the end of the main street, spectacularly overlooking the Cleddau valley, is a substantial castle, Llawhaden Castle. The village and castle were created and owned by the Bishops of St David's. It was once a marcher borough. Owen, in 1603, described it as one of nine Pembrokeshire "boroughs in decay".
The parish straddles the linguistic boundary, and was one of the six "bilingual" parishes mentioned by George Owen in 1603. The parish is divided east-west into two unequal parts by the Eastern Cleddau river, and this has been a fairly stable language boundary at least since Owen's time, with English speakers to the west and Welsh speakers to the east, although, perhaps in the early Industrial Revolution, Welsh-speakers infiltrated the western part in the area around Gelli woolen mill.
The civil parish had population as follows:
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