Llanelly is a rural locality and a former goldmining town between Bendigo and Dunolly, and is 5 km north-east of the town of Tarnagulla.

Gold was mined in the Tarnagulla district from 1853 onwards, and in 1856 a rise known as Hard Hills was found to have gold. It is a short way west of Llanelly, and during the next two years gold was found in several reefs close to Llanelly and to its east.

It appears that a village formed in about 1860, and it was given the name Llanelly by several Welsh miners. Alluvial gold was discovered in 1865 and it was reported that at one time all the fields in the Llanelly area had a population of 20,000 people.

A Wesleyan school was opened in 1862. The growth of the goldfields in the next few years brought stores, hotels and banks, and prosperity continued until the next decade when gold yields declined. During 1872-82 the place was known as Maidentown, but the name Llanelly was restored ahead of the opening of the railway line from Dunolly in 1888.

By the 1920s most businesses except the post office and general store were closed. Mixed farming on small holdings was much a thing of the past when a grain silo was opened at the station in 1951. The school had closed the year before, and was later made a public hall.

Llanelly is adjoined on three sides by State forest in which numerous old mine workings can be found. Its census populations have been:

Census Date Population
1871 494
1911 166
1961 61

Further Reading

Edna and Ken Arnold, Tarnagulla and district: the way it was, Bendigo, 1992