A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1849.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
LLANVAIR (LLAN-FAIR), a parish, in the union of Festiniog, hundred of Ardudwy, county of Merioneth, North Wales, 1½ mile (S.) from Harlech; containing 464 inhabitants. This parish is situated in the western part of the county, on the road from Barmouth to Harlech, and upon the shore of Cardigan bay, over which it commands an extensive view. It was visited, towards the latter part of the twelfth century, by Archbishop Baldwin, accompanied by Giraldus Cambrensis, in his tour to preach the crusades through the principality, the archbishop and Giraldus passing one night here on their way from Towyn to Nevin. In 1810 an act of parliament was obtained for improving the common and waste lands, under the provisions of which 2659 acres were inclosed, and of this extent a great part has been brought into cultivation. The total area of the parish is 5257 acres, of which 1800 are still common or waste. The surface is strikingly varied with mountainous eminences, and the distant views present several objects of interest, among which, as seen from the higher grounds, are the remains of Harlech Castle, occupying a commanding eminence overlooking the fine open bay.
The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £6. 10. 10., and endowed with £200 private benefaction, and £200 royal bounty; present net income, £165, with a glebe-house; patron, the Bishop of Bangor: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £149. 17. 6.; and there is a glebe of three acres, valued at £3 per annum. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is an ancient edifice, romantically situated in a very retired spot, under the shelter of some precipitous mountains that rise immediately behind it to a considerable height. There is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, with a Sunday school held in it. Samuel Pool, in the year 1664, bequeathed a portion of land; Griffith Rowlands, in 1732, £20 in money; and William Wynne, in 1761, and William Morgan, in 1778, £10 each, to the poor, for whose benefit also several smaller donations have been made. With the principal portion of these bequests a piece of land was purchased in the year 1831 for £20, on which two tenements were erected at a cost of £35; and in these, two poor families are permitted to live rentfree, the parish allowing £2. 15. interest for the money expended. This sum, with £1. 10. from the Pool and Wynne benefactions, is distributed among the poor at Easter and Christmas. On the farm of Gwerneinion are the remains of a cromlech.
Llanvair, or Llanvair-Caerein-Ion (Llan-Fair-Caer-Einion)
LLANVAIR, or LLANVAIR-CAEREINION (LLAN-FAIR-CAER-EINION), a markettown and parish, in the union of Llanvyllin, Lower division of the hundred of Mathraval, county of Montgomery, North Wales, 8 miles (W.) from Welshpool, 16 (N. W.) from Montgomery, and 183½ (N. W. by W.) from London; containing 2743 inhabitants. The name of this place is derived from the dedication of its church to St. Mary, and the distinguishing adjunct to the name from an ancient encampment said to have been constructed, in the latter part of the fourth century, by Einion Yrth, tenth son of Cunedda Wledig the Cumbrian prince. The town is pleasantly situated on the declivity of an eminence rising from the south bank of the small river Banwy, which falls into the Vyrnwy, and on the turnpikeroad leading from Welshpool to Machynlleth and Dôlgelley. It consists principally of two streets, intersecting each other nearly at right angles, and is neatly built and of prepossessing appearance. The manufacture of flannel is carried on to a moderate extent. The market, which is abundantly supplied with corn and provisions of all kinds, is on Saturday; and fairs are held annually on Shrove-Tuesday, the Saturday before Palm-Sunday, on May 18th, July 26th, October 3rd, November 1st, and the Friday before Christmas-day, for horses, cattle, sheep, and wares. The town is under the jurisdiction of the county magistrates, and the petty-sessions for the Lower division of the hundred of Mathraval are occasionally held here. By the Reform Act of 1832, Llanvair was made one of the polling-places in the election of the knight for the shire. The town-hall is a plain commodious building.
The parish extends seven miles in length and six in breadth, and comprises a large tract of arable and pasture land. All the remaining wastes were inclosed under an act of parliament obtained in the year 1810, for the division and inclosure of the waste lands of this place, Llangyniew, and Castle-Caer-Einion, including all in the manor of Caer-Einion îs Coed; and considerable portions have been brought under cultivation in this parish, of the entire surface of which, prior to that time, not more than two-thirds had been inclosed. The ground is boldly undulated, rising in some parts into lofty eminences; the whole district is pleasingly diversified, and combines many features of picturesque beauty.
The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £10, and endowed with £200 private benefaction, and £200 royal bounty; patron, the Bishop of St. Asaph; impropriators, Sir W. W. Wynn, Bart., and H. Jones, Esq. The tithes have been commuted for £779, of which a sum of £450 is payable to the impropriators; £314 to the vicar, who has also a glebe of forty-three acres, valued at £50 per annum, and a glebe-house; and £15 to the parishclerk. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is an ancient structure in the early style of English architecture, containing some old monuments, among which is one, under a window on the southern side, bearing the effigy of a knight in armour, well executed in stone. There are fourteen places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, Independents, Wesleyans, and Baptists; and a still larger number of Sunday schools, the whole of them in connexion with the dissenters. In 1685 William and Mary Edwards and Elizabeth Davis gave a rent-charge of £2, payable out of a farm called Derwteg, in the township of Rhiw-Hiriaeth in the parish, for instructing ten poor children. Evan James, of Gelligason, in the parish, in 1687 bequeathed the sum of £50, directing the interest to be appropriated to the apprenticing of children of that hamlet and of the hamlet of Penarth: the money is invested on a bond of the trustees of the third district of the Montgomeryshire turnpikeroads, and yields an interest of £2. 10. per annum, which is expended in apprenticing a boy annually. There is also a trifling benefaction of a rent-charge of £1 for distribution among the poor.
The Roman road from Caer-Sws to Mediolanum, Banchorium, and Deva, passed through the hamlets of Penarth and Rhiw-Hiriaeth, and traces of it may still be discerned near Ystrad, about two miles south of the town. In a field near the river Banwy, a Roman urn was dug up in 1740, containing a great number of copper coins of several Roman emperors; the urn was broken, but many of the coins are at present in the possession of Mrs. Jenkins, of Crosswood. On the summit of the hill above RhiwHiriaeth House are the remains of an ancient encampment, said to be the fortress constructed by Einion.
LLANVAIR-AR-Y-BRYN (LLAN-FAIR-AR-Y-BRYN), a parish, in the union of Llandovery, Higher division of the hundred of Perveth, county of Carmarthen, South Wales, ½ a mile (N. E.) from Llandovery, on the turnpike-road to Builth; comprising the townships of Rhandir Abbot, Rhandir Canol, Rhandir Isâv, and Rhandir Uchâv; and containing 1649 inhabitants. The name of this parish, signifying "the church of St. Mary on the hill," is derived from the situation of its church on an eminence within the lines of a Roman station in the adjoining parish of Llandingat. The station is described in the article on that place. In the township of Rhandir Abbot are some extensive lead-mines, the property of Earl Cawdor, situated near Pwll Pradog, a spot remarkable for the romantic scenery by which it is surrounded; these mines are among the principal in South Wales, and employ about 200 persons. The surface of the parish is boldly undulated, in some parts mountainous, and the scenery includes some of the most singular and romantic natural features in the principality.
The living is a vicarage, annexed to that of Llandingat, and endowed with £1000 parliamentary grant: the tithes have been commuted for £446. 16. payable to the Dean and Chapter of St. David's, £111. 4. to the vicar, and £44 to an impropriator. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, and situated in Llandingat, nearly a mile from its own parish, is an ancient edifice, consisting of one large aisle, with a tower; it presents no interesting architectural details. In the township of Rhandir Abbot is a neat chapel, called Nant-y-Bai. There are places of worship in the parish for Independents, and Calvinistic Methodists; a day school, and five Sunday schools. The Roman road now named the Sarn Helen may be distinctly traced in several parts of its course through this parish to the station Loventium, at Llanio, in the county of Cardigan.
LLANVAIR-CLYDOGAU (LLAN-FAIR-Y-CLYWEDOGAU), a parish, in the union of Lampeter, Upper division of the hundred of Moythen, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 4 miles (N. E. by E.) from Lampeter; containing 471 inhabitants. Llanvair is bounded on the south by Cellan and Lampeter, on the north-east by LlandewyBrevi, and on the west by Llangybi; and is pleasantly situated in the upper part of the Vale of Teivy, that river flowing through the parish, and being here crossed by a bridge of two arches, opposite to the church. It is also intersected, for three miles, by the turnpike-road leading from Lampeter to Trêgaron; and the parish contains two hamlets, one on each side of the Teivy. The scenery is characterized generally by those features which prevail in this part of the principality, and the views from the higher grounds embrace a richly diversified tract of country. The area of the parish is 3993 acres, of which 1625 are common or waste. The soil, though various, is in general fertile, particularly on the lower lands, and the substratum abounds with mineral wealth: oats and barley are the chief agricultural produce; and the prevailing kinds of timber are oak and ash. A valuable mine of lead-ore, containing a large proportion of silver, and in which also are found quartz, spar, and a small quantity of copper-ore, is worked with success, though in dry seasons the works have been frequently suspended from want of water sufficient to give motion to the machinery employed. The works are at present carried on at 250 feet below the surface, and the average produce of the mine, which is the property of Lord Carrington, the chief landed proprietor, is about 250 tons of ore per annum, each ton containing from seventy-five to eighty ounces of pure silver. No other mine in the county produces so large a proportion of silver per ton as this, though there are other mines carried on upon a much more considerable scale.
The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £800 royal bounty; net income, £65; alternate patrons, Lord Carrington and Captain George Laurence Vaughan, the impropriators; whose tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £180. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a small and very ancient structure, not possessing any architectural details of importance. There is a place of worship for dissenters, in which a Sunday school is also held. Contiguous to the lead-mines was an ancient family mansion of the Lloyds, one of whom represented the county in parliament in the reign of Charles I., but vacated his seat upon the condemnation of the unfortunate Strafford: a contemporary historian describes Mr. Lloyd as a "gentleman and a scholar, nobly just in his deportment, and naturally fit to manage the affairs of his country." This mansion latterly belonged to the family of Johnes of Havod, and was the residence of the father of the late Colonel Johnes till his marriage, after which time it was suffered to fall into a state of decay. It was a building of very great antiquity; the walls were in some parts five yards in thickness, and in several parts of the building was the date 1080: it is now a ruin, having fallen down of late years. On the hills in some parts of the parish are the remains of earthworks, but not of sufficient interest to require minute description.
LLANVAIR-DYFRYN-CLWYD (LLAN-FAIR-DYFFRYN-CLWYD), a parish, in the union and hundred of Ruthin, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 2 miles (S.) from Ruthin, on the road to Wrexham and Llangollen; containing 1254 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the banks of the river Clwyd, at the upper extremity of the spacious vale to which that stream gives name; and abounds with interesting and beautifully varied scenery. It comprises an area of 7000 acres, of which 2000 are common or waste land. Here were formerly numerous ancient mansions, occupied by opulent and highly respectable families; and upon one occasion the grand jury for the great sessions of the county of Denbigh consisted entirely of persons chosen from, and resident in, the parish. But by far the larger number of the mansions have been deserted by their owners, and converted into farmhouses; those which are still occupied by their proprietors are Eyarth, Brynfynnon, and Plàs-Newydd. The substratum of the parish is limestone, of which great quantities are procured for building, and also for burning into lime: the quarries and limekilns afford employment to a considerable portion of the population. Courts leet and baron, with view of frankpledge, are held at Easter by the Bishop of Bangor, who is lord of the manor, for a portion of the parish: another small portion is within the borough of Ruthin.
Llanvair until lately formed a prebend in the cathedral church of Bangor, rated in the king's books at £29. 16. 8., and in the gift of the Bishop. The living is a vicarage, rated at £13. 3. 4., endowed with a third of the whole tithes, and in the patronage of the Bishop: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £870, of which a sum of £580 was payable to the prebendary, and a sum of £290 is payable to the vicar, who has a glebe-house. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a spacious and handsome structure, in the later style of English architecture. The internal decoration is rich, and in the east window are some fine specimens of ancient stained glass, with the date MCCCCIII., at which time it is supposed the church was built. There are some elegant monuments, among them an altar-tomb of great antiquity, surmounted with a richly-carved canopy of foliage, in the centre of which is a shield bearing the figure of a griffin, and round the border the inscription Hic jacet David filius Madoc, requiescat in pace, in Saxon capitals. It the hamlet of Eyarth is Jesus' Chapel, a small edifice, founded in 1619 by Mr. Rice Williams, verger of Westminster Abbey, a native of this hamlet, who endowed it with an annual stipend for the minister "to read evening prayers in the chapel, and to teach school therein;" it was consecrated in 1623, and was conveyed by deed to trustees, in 1626, by the founder. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed originally with a rent-charge, which has been augmented with £1000 royal bounty; net income, £60; patron, Richard Parry, Esq., and two churchwardens. There are places of worship for Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists, Independents, and Baptists. Two day schools are held in the parish; one of them, in connexion with the Established Church, assembling in the chapel above mentioned; and the other, connected with no particular body, meeting in a Calvinistic place of worship. The master of the former, who acts as deputy or master for the curate of Jesus' chapel, and is required to perform the duties of chapel-clerk, is supported by an endowment of £18. 13. 4. per annum, and by subscriptions: the other school is almost wholly maintained by the parents of the children. Five Sunday schools are supported.
In 1713, Mr. William Foulke conveyed six fields or parcels of land, containing about thirteen acres, to the vicar and churchwardens of Llanvair, in trust for the poor; and directed that the rent derived from the tenements should be appropriated to the "relief and maintenance of the most weak, impotent, aged, sickly, indigent, and naked folks of the parish, who should be incapable of either working for their livelihood, or of walking abroad to beg for their living." The property is in the parish of Llanverras, and now produces a rental of £20 per annum. In 1756, some benefactions that had been previously made to the poor, amounting to £105, were laid out in the purchase of an estate comprising upwards of twenty-five acres of land, with a house and premises, and then yielding £6 per annum: under the Llanarmon inclosure act, nearly fifteen acres were allotted in right of this property, and the whole is now let, to one tenant, at £21. 10. per year. Among other bequests and donations to the parish, the interest of £100 was left in 1812, by Mrs. Catherine Wynne, and the interest on a like sum, in 1822, by Mr. John Jones of Chester; besides which, the sum of £207. 14., the amount of the consolidated charities of the parish, has been invested in the Wrexham and Denbigh turnpike trust, and in the Ruthin and Mold trust. The income from these several sources is £64. 17. 6. per annum, which is distributed to the poor conformably with the intentions of the donors, on Good Friday and St. Thomas's day.
On the summit of Craig-yr-Adwywynt are some ancient intrenchments, extending in the form of a crescent, terminating at each extremity in an abrupt precipice: the area of this camp, which is called Y Caerau, "the fortifications," comprises about seven acres, and is defended by huge masses of unhewn stone, rudely put together without cement. Symwnt Vychan, an eminent bard of the sixteenth century, resided at Tŷ-Brith, in the parish.
LLANVAIR-IS-GAER (LLAN-FAIR-ÎSCAER), a parish, in the hundred of Isgorvai, union and county of Carnarnon, North Wales, 3 miles (N. N. E.) from Carnarvon; containing 549 inhabitants. This parish, which derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Mary, and from its position below an ancient fortress, is situated on the Menai strait, and on the high road from Bangor to Carnarvon. The Romans under the conduct of Agricola are said to have forded the Menai from the shore of this parish to that of Llanidan, on their march to the reduction of Anglesey: there are still some remains of a Roman intrenchment, and vestiges of a road supposed to have been formed by that general may be clearly traced within the parish. The regularity of the surface is broken by abrupt and rocky eminences; the lands are partially inclosed and cultivated, and the soil, though various, is not unproductive. The scenery is strikingly bold; and the views from the higher grounds, embracing a tract of richly varied country to the east, and the fine bay of Carnarvon on the west, are interesting and extensive. Copper-ore is found throughout the whole of the rocky district, but not in quantities sufficient to induce any adventurer to open mines. The situation of the parish is highly advantageous for commerce; within its limits is the more recent part of Port-Dinorwig, the shipping-place for the produce of the Dinorwig slate-quarries in the parishes of Llanberis and Llandeiniolen, from which the slates are brought to the Menai strait here by a railway eight miles in length.
The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £600 royal bounty, and £200 parliamentary grant; net income, £77; patron, the Bishop of Bangor. The tithes have been commuted for £191. 4. 9., of which Lord Newborough, the impropriator, receives £154. 10. 6., the Bishop of Chester £21. 14. 3., and the vicar of Llanbeblig £15. The church, which occupies a beautiful and sequestered spot on the bank of the Menai, though small, is a neat and venerable structure, in the later style of English architecture, and is kept in good repair. A Church day school was established in the year 1845; and there is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, with a Sunday school held in it. The interest of £5, the gift of Elizabeth Jones, is annually distributed in bread to the poor: a benefaction of similar amount has been lost by the insolvency of the person to whom it was lent.—See Port-Dinorwig.
LLANVAIR-MATHAVARNEITHAV (LLAN-FAIR-MATHAFARN-EITHAF), a parish, in the hundred of Tyndaethwy, union and county of Anglesey, North Wales, 7 miles (N. W. by W.) from Beaumaris; containing 741 inhabitants. This parish is situated on one of the limestone plateaux of Anglesey, and on the shore of the Irish Sea, which bounds it on the east; on the north it is bounded by the parish of Llaneugrad, on the south by Llanddyvnan, and on the west by Tregayan. It comprises by admeasurement 1654 acres, of which about 1000 are arable and pasture land: the soil is light, resting for the most part on limestone. The surface, though not level, is yet not hilly; in particular situations the view of the sea is of great extent. The lands under tillage are in a good state of cultivation, but wheat is very little sown, the chief produce being oats and barley. Several good houses have been erected on the common lands, which were inclosed some years ago. Black, grey, and variegated marble exist in the parish; the last is of very superior quality, possesses a great variety and brilliancy of colour, and is susceptible of a high degree of polish. There is also a mill-stone quarry, and about fifteen hands are employed in raising and chiselling the stone.
The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the rectory of Llanddyvnan: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £109. 19. 7. The church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is a very old building, situated in an uneven, rocky, and exposed locality, and consisting of a nave and chancel, with a single bell-gable at the western end, and the eastern gable capped with a simple cross. The walls are about two feet eight inches thick, and not more than nine feet high to the wall plate; the internal dimensions of the nave are fifty-two feet and a half by about sixteen feet, and of the chancel twenty-one feet by thirteen feet. The roof is remarkable for the quantity of good, but light, timber used in its construction; and the building contains some other features of architectural interest. It was restored in the year 1848, from the designs of Henry Kennedy, Esq., architect, of Bangor. In the churchyard, to the north-west of the church, is a mutilated cross, still erect, with lead in some holes at the top; and the parish comprises some Druidical remains within its limits. There are two or three places of worship for dissenters, and two Sunday schools. The interest arising from some charitable benefactions, the principal of which were £8 by Thomas Owen, and a similar sum by Thomas John Price, the whole amounting to £17, is annually distributed among the poor; together with £2. 4., the proportion payable to this place from John Williams's charity in the parish of Llaneugrad.
In a small cottage in the parish the celebrated bard Goronw Owen was born, on the 1st of January, 1722. He obtained in the free school of Bangor the rudiments of an education which he afterwards completed at Jesus' College, Oxford; and was appointed by the Bishop of Bangor, curate of his native parish. He afterwards removed to Oswestry, and subsequently to Northolt, in Middlesex; but meeting with no preferment in the Church adequate to the support of his family, he obtained from the Cymrodorion Society a sum of money, with the assistance of which he emigrated to Williamsburgh, in Virginia, where he was minister till his death in 1769. His discourses were eminently distinguished for originality and brilliancy of conception, and his acquirements in classical and oriental literature were of no ordinary extent; his "Search after Happiness," and his "Day of Judgment," are said to be unrivalled by any similar production of the last century. A sum of money was raised by his countrymen some years ago, for the purpose of erecting a monument to his memory.
LLANVAIR-NANTGWYN (LLAN-FAIR-Y-NANT-GWYN), a parish, in the union of Cardigan, hundred of Kemmes, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 7 miles (S. by E.) from Cardigan; containing 241 inhabitants. This parish, which is pleasantly situated in the north-eastern part of the county, derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Mary, and the distinguishing adjunct to its name, probably from the abundance of white quartz stones scattered over the lands and in the bed of a brook by which it is watered. It comprehends a tract of about 1400 acres of rather flat but dry land, for the most part inclosed, and in a good state of cultivation; the soil, though light, is in general fertile, and the inhabitants are chiefly employed in agriculture. The scenery is not distinguished by any peculiarity of feature, but from the higher grounds are some good prospects over the adjacent country. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £800 royal bounty; net income £80; patron and impropriator, Thomas Bowen, Esq., whose tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £105. The church is not distinguished by any architectural details of importance. There is a place of worship for Baptists, with a Sunday school held in it. John Jones, in 1729, bequeathed a rent-charge of 20s. to the poor, and a similar sum to the officiating minister for preaching four sermons annually; but this charity is at present suspended.
LLANVAIR-NANT-Y-GOVE (LLANFAIR-NANT-Y-GÔV), a parish, in the union of Haverfordwest, partly in the hundred of Dewisland, and partly in that of Kemmes, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 4 miles (S.) from Fishguard; containing 237 inhabitants. It is pleasantly situated in the northern part of the county; and within its limits is Trecavn, the seat of the Rev. Charles Barham, who owns the greater portion of the soil. The living is annexed to the rectory of Letterson; the tithes have been commuted for a rentcharge of £133, and the glebe consists of 164 acres, valued at £105 per annum. The church is dedicated to St. Mary.
LLANVAIR-ORLLWYN (LLAN-FAIR-ORLLWYN), a parish, in the union of NewcastleEmlyn, Upper division of the hundred of Troedyraur, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 4 miles (E.) from Newcastle-Emlyn; containing 397 inhabitants. This parish derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Mary, and the distinguishing adjunct to its name from its situation in a richlywooded district, in the south-western part of the county. The road from Newcastle-Emlyn to Lampeter passes through it. Llanvair comprehends an extensive tract of arable and pasture land, which, with the exception of a very inconsiderable portion, is inclosed and in a state of good cultivation. The scenery is diversified, in some parts pleasingly picturesque; and the views from the higher grounds embrace some interesting features on the banks of the river Teivy, which flows near the parish. The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £4. 13. 4., and endowed with £600 royal bounty; patron, the Bishop of St. David's: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £120, and there is a glebe of twenty-five acres, valued at £18 per annum. The church is a neat edifice, appropriately fitted up, but not possessing any important architectural details. A Sunday school is held in connexion with the Established Church.
LLANVAIR-PWLLGWYNGYLL (LLAN-FAIR-PWLL-GWYNGYLL), a parish, in the union of Bangor and Beaumaris, hundred of Tyndaethwy, county of Anglesey, North Wales, 4 miles (W. by S.) from Bangor; containing 617 inhabitants. The name of this parish is derived from the dedication of its church to St. Mary, and the distinguishing adjunct from its position nearly oppo site to a whirlpool in the Menai strait, formed by the Swelley rocks, which rages with impetuous violence, and of which the term "Pwll Gwyngyll" is emphatically descriptive. The rocks, most of which are visible at low water, obstruct the channel of the strait, and when the lower rocks are covered, the tide, rushing between them with tremendous fury, forms numerous vortices and strong eddies, exceedingly dangerous to vessels navigating this part of the Menai, which are sometimes caught by the rapidity of the current, and dashed against the rocks that appear above the surface. The difficulty of avoiding this impending danger at certain states of the tide, and the roaring noise and violent agitation of the waters, have obtained for this part of the strait the appellation of the Scylla and Charybdis of Welsh mariners, of similar import with its Welsh name Pwll Ceris. At high water the agitation subsides, and the appearance of the surface is smooth and tranquil, differing in no respect from the other parts of the strait.
The parish is situated on the western shore of the Menai strait, and comprises 745 acres, of which 115 are common or waste land. The surrounding scenery is marked with features of rugged and romantic grandeur; and the views over the Menai, which near this place forms a noble bend, and of the adjacent country, combine much picturesque beauty and many interesting objects. On the summit of a craggy eminence to the north of the great Holyhead road, which passes through the parish, is a lofty column, erected by the inhabitants of the counties of Anglesey and Carnarvon, to the honour of their countryman, Henry William, the present Marquess of Anglesey. Upon the north side of the base is an appropriate inscription, commemorating the exploits of that gallant commander, during the campaign in Spain, in the year 1807, and at the memorable battle of Waterloo, in 1815. The village is situated on the road to Holyhead, near the Chester and Holyhead railway, and at no great distance from the Menai suspension bridge. Its inhabitants are partly employed in agriculture, and partly in some extensive quarries, which are worked with considerable advantage. The stone dug in these quarries is a compact schistus of good quality, and every facility is afforded for its exportation by the Menai, on the shore of which is a commodious wharf.
The living is a rectory, with the perpetual curacy of Llandysillio annexed, rated in the king's books at £6. 15.; present net income, £223, with a glebehouse; patron, the Bishop of Bangor. The tithes of the parish have been commuted for a rent-charge of £120, and the glebe comprises ten acres. The church is remarkable, says a writer in the Archæologia Cambrensis, "not only for standing in one of the most enviable situations anywhere to be met with, but also for being quite unique amongst all the churches of Anglesey, on account of its form." It has "a circular apse at the eastern end; and hence it may be inferred that the chancel, at least, is a portion of the original building erected here before the Anglo-Norman conquest of the country, and before that universal re-edification of the churches of Anglesey which took place in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries." The total interior length of the building is fifty-one feet; the width in the western part fourteen feet, and in the chancel eleven feet and a half. It is supposed that the western portion, or nave, is a later addition; and that the original church consisted only of the narrower part, or chancel, and the semicircular apse: the present window in the apse is a plain square-headed one of two lights, of the seventeenth century. At the western extremity of the church is a bell-turret in excellent preservation. There are places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, Wesleyan Methodists, and Independents; in each of which a Sunday school is also held. The Rev. Henry Rowlands granted two rent-charges on Plâs Gwyn, in the parish of Llanedwen, one of 8s. for reading evening service on Sundays in the church when required, and the other of 21s. for the poor on St. Thomas's day. Mr. Wynne, also, bequeathed a charge of 6s. 8d. for the latter purpose, the period not mentioned. Two other donors, unknown, gave respectively £5 and £2. 10., the latter to be distributed in bread among the poor; but about twenty or thirty years since, these sums, with other funds belonging to the parish, were expended in erecting eight tenements, with gardens attached, which poor families are allowed to occupy rent-free. In a field near Tŷ-Mawr are the remains of a large cromlech, partly thrown down; the table stone now lies upon stones that formerly supported it from the ground.
Llanvair Talhairn or Dôlhaiarn (Llan-Fair-Talhaiarn)
LLANVAIR TALHAIRN or DÔLHAIARN (LLAN-FAIR-TALHAIARN), a parish, in the union of St. Asaph, partly in the hundred of Isaled, and partly in that of Isdulas, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 7 miles (S. by W.) from Abergele; containing 1414 inhabitants, of whom 389 are in the township of Llanvair-Talhairn. It derives its distinguishing appellation from Talhaiarn, a noted bard and saint of the early ages of Christianity, and "domestic chaplain" of Emrys Wledig. After that prince was slain, he is said to have built a hermitage here (on the site subsequently occupied by the church, which, on its erection, was dedicated to him), where he passed the remainder of his life in seclusion, and died in the beginning of the sixth century: he composed a prayer which was adopted as their formula in the sessions of the bards of Glamorgan. The place is also distinguished as having been the residence of Hedd Molwynog, a descendant of Roderic the Great, sovereign of all Wales; and chief of one of the fifteen tribes of North Wales. He joined the standard of Davydd ab Owain Gwynedd, and assisted that prince in driving the English from his territories, and pursuing them into the midland counties. There are no vestiges of his abode, except the moat that surrounded it, which is discernible about one mile and a half westward from the village.
This parish, which lies on the road from Llangerniew to Abergele, is bounded on the north by the parish of Bettws-yn-Rhôs, on the south by that of Llansannan, on the east by the parishes of Abergele and Llanyvydd, and on the west by that of Llangerniew. The surface is hilly: the soil is a rich loam in the valley that intersects the parish, and on the high grounds gravelly and clayey; the produce consists principally of wheat, barley, oats, and potatoes. The village is delightfully situated in a deep glen, along which flows the small river Elwy, to its junction with the Aled, one mile lower. Melai, a seat here, was for centuries the principal residence of the family of Wynne, of which Sir Thomas Wynne, Bart., was created a peer of Ireland by the title of Baron Newborough, in 1776. Garthewin, an elegant mansion occupying a gentle eminence on the north side of the valley, is still the seat of a younger branch of that family; it commands rich and diversified prospects, and is surrounded by extensive woods of full-grown oak, three miles in length, with a large deer-park. A fair is appointed to be held on Holy-Thursday.
The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £200 royal bounty, and £400 parliamentary grant; net income, £145; patron, the Bishop of St. Asaph. The church, dedicated to St. Talhaiarn, was erected in 1669, as appears from a Greek cross over the belfry bearing that date: the interior, which is divided in the centre by massive pillars supporting heavy arches, measures twenty-four yards by twelve, and contains 559 sittings; the east windows are good, and there are several elegant and interesting marble monuments to the Wynne family. Here are places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, Baptists, and Wesleyan Methodists. A school was founded in 1708, by the Rev. Sampson Roberts, who gave a small sum for its endowment, which, together with a benefaction by Dr. Jones, Dean of Bangor, was vested in the purchase of a tenement, called Frith-yrHirdir, producing a rental of £7. 5. This income is now paid to the master of a National school, founded by deeds of the late Colonel Wynne, of Garthewin, dated 1835 and 1836, and endowed with the rent of ninety-four acres of land, out of which the sum of £15 is applied, as directed, to a school at Llandulas. In consideration of this endowment, the master in Llanvair parish receives £20.15. per annum; making, with the former gifts, £28 per annum: he has also the fees of twelve pay-scholars, and a house and garden. A small infants' school is partly supported by Mrs. Wynne, of Garthewin; and the parish contains four Sunday schools, one of which is in connexion with the Established Church.
John Wynne of Melai, in 1688, bequeathed £90 to the parish, arising out of an estate called NantMawr, now in the possession of Lord Newborough, by whom £4. 10. are annually paid as a rent-charge upon that property. Divers legacies bequeathed to the poor between the years 1708 and 1738, were many years ago consolidated, amounting together to £103; this sum was in different hands till 1809, when it was laid out in building six tenements, which have since that time been occupied by paupers. Gilbert's Returns mention a donation by Abel Mitchell, in 1689, of £25, and gifts by Robert Wynne and Foulk Hughes, of £5 each; but the parish knows nothing whatever of these charities, except that Mitchell's was the fourth part of £100, left to this parish, Hênllan, Llansannan, and Llanyvydd, none of which have ever received the bequest. On a tablet in the church are recorded numerous gifts to the poor, amounting to several hundred pounds, no part of which is now applied to that purpose, except 30s. per annum, arising from property in Cynnant.
LLANVAIR-TRÊLYGON (LLAN-FAIR-TRÊF-HELYGEN), a parish, in the union of Newcastle-Emlyn, hundred of Troedyraur, county of Cardigan, in South Wales, 3½ miles (N. E.) from Newcastle-Emlyn; containing 108 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated in the southern part of the county, comprises a small extent of arable and pasture land in tolerable cultivation: the scenery is not distinguished by any peculiarity of features; and the adjacent country, though varied in appearance, is neither remarkable for picturesque beauty nor for objects of antiquarian interest. The living is a rectory not in charge, annexed to the vicarage of Llandyvriog: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £40, and the glebe comprises one acre and a quarter. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, was suffered to fall into decay many years ago, for want of due repair. There is a place of worship for Independents, with a Sunday school held in it. On the north side of the ruined church, and at no great distance from it, is a tumulus surrounded by a moat, which is said to have been used as a place of defence; but nothing is recorded of any event of importance with which it was connected.
LLANVAIR-VECHAN (LLAN-FAIR-FECHAN), a parish, in the union of Bangor and Beaumaris, hundred of Llêchwedd Uchâv, county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 7 miles (W. S. W.) from Conway, on the road to Holyhead; containing 747 inhabitants. It lies to the east of Traeth Lavan, or the Lavan Sands, which are dry at half ebb, a tract nearly twelve miles in length, and from seven to eight miles in breadth, overflowed by the sea in the sixth century. The parish comprehends the vast mountain of Penmaen Mawr, near the base of which the village is romantically situated. This mountain is 1549 feet in height above the level of the sea at high water, rising on one side almost perpendicularly from the bay of Beaumaris, in which it forms a lofty and boldly projecting promontory, and extending for some miles in a north-eastern direction towards Conway. It consists of one vast chain of precipitous and rugged rocks, of frightful aspect and dreary sterility, wildly and irregularly thrown together in loose and crumbling strata, from which huge masses frequently detaching themselves, with imminent danger to the traveller, threaten to overwhelm him in their descent, or intercept his progress with heaps of scattered fragments. Previously to the construction or improvement of the present road, nothing could be more terrific or more hazardous than the pass over this mountain, in which one false step was attended with certain destruction to the adventurous traveller: numerous fatal accidents occurred from the steepness of the ascent, the insecurity of the path, and the tremendous precipices on the brink of which the narrow road was continued without the slightest protection. In 1772 application was made to parliament; and certain sums were accordingly granted for the improvement of this dangerous road, which formed part of the line to Holyhead. A subscription was opened for the same purpose, to which the city of Dublin largely contributed; and under the superintendence of Mr. John Sylvester, an eminent engineer, the road was sufficiently widened for carriages to pass each other with safety, by cutting through the solid rock. On the side towards the sea the precipices are guarded by a strong wall, built upon a series of lofty arches nearly 100 yards in perpendicular height, over which also the road is carried on a level for several miles, avoiding the almost impracticable descent to Penmaen Bâch, and leading over the chasms formed by the crumbling strata of the mountain.
Upon the summit of the mountain are the remains of an ancient and very extensive British encampment, called Braich-y-Dinas, a station strongly fortified by nature and by art, and probably erected to defend the passage into Anglesey and the remoter parts of the principality. The ascent is steep and laborious, and near the top are three strong intrenchments of loose stones, of amazing strength, the walls of which are in many places in a very perfect state, having both the external and internal facings in good preservation, and the central wall on the south side in some parts nine feet high and eight feet in thickness. In the intervals between the walls are numerous foundations of circular buildings, varying in diameter from seven to twenty feet, and some remains of others of a square form. The central area on the summit contains the remains of a circular building, or tower, apparently of lofty elevation, but much reduced by the falling of stones, which are scattered in profusion round its base; and near this tower, which occupies the centre of the area, are other groups of circular buildings, now, by dilapidation, become little more than masses of undistinguishable ruins. Near them is a well, excavated in the solid rock; it supplied the garrison with water, and is constantly full, being fed by the condensed vapours of the mountain. On the north-west side of the mountain may be distinctly traced a narrow circuitous road, walled on both sides, evidently leading up to the fortress. This station, which was regarded as the strongest and the most extensive among the strongholds of Snowdon, was capable of accommodating 20,000 men. It was deemed impregnable, as well from the precipitous acclivity of the mountain, as from the extraordinary strength of the fortifications; and throughout the tortuous path by which alone it was accessible, were numerous passes of great difficulty, any of which might be defended by a very small body of men against a whole army of assailants. In this formidable post the remnant of the Welsh army is said to have been placed, as in a retreat of inviolable security, during the negotiations that were pending between Edward I. and Llewelyn, previously to the final submission of the principality to English authority. During the sixth century, the mountain was the solitary retreat of Seiriol, a British anchorite, who had his hermitage between the two summits, where his "bed" and his well are still to be seen; the hermitage being plundered, St. Seiriol retired to Ynys Seiriol, a small island on the coast of Anglesey, and there built a chapel and a cell, and ended his days.
Exclusively of the mountainous parts, the parish contains several large tracts of arable, meadow, and pasture land, in a good state of cultivation. Considerable agricultural improvements have taken place in this neighbourhood within the last few years. The principal fuel is peat, which is obtained in abundance: in some parts copper-ore has been found, but no mines have been established, nor has any sufficient trial been made to work the ore effectually. The Chester and Holyhead railway, opened in 1848, runs through the parish. The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £6. 17. 6.; present net income, £305, with a glebe-house; patron, the Bishop of Bangor. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is pleasantly situated in the village, near the road to the pass over the mountain. There are places of worship for Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists; a day school, in connexion with the Established Church; and a Sunday school, held in the meeting-house of the Calvinistic body. A rentcharge of £1. 6. by Lewis Owen, of Twickenham, in 1623, and a bequest of £1 by Ellen Nicholas, are distributed in bread and money among the poor.
LLANVAIR-Y-CWMMWD (LLAN-FAIR-YN-Y-CWMMWD), a chapelry, in the parish of Llanidan, union of Carnarvon, hundred of Menai, county of Anglesey, North Wales, 4 miles (N. W. by N.) from Carnarvon; containing 39 inhabitants. This place, which is situated near the right bank of the river Braint, partakes generally of the scenery by which the parish is characterised; the adjacent country is diversified, and the views are interesting and extensive. The living is a curacy, annexed to the vicarage of Llanidan. The chapel, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is probably of the sixteenth century, but the materials of its walls may have been worked up from the remains of an older building. It measures externally forty-seven feet by fourteen feet; the walls are eight feet high above the ground, and the western end of the church is surmounted by a small single bell-gable. The font is one of the most remarkable in the collection of Anglesey monuments, being a rude production of the 12th century, of oblong form, with rounded corners, and ornamented with misshapen heads, crosses, and a serpent-like figure at each end. Against the northern wall of the edifice, near the altar, is placed an elaborate coffin-lid of the 13th century, adorned with a cross flory, and covered with a richly foliated design; on the floor of the church are three other ancient coffin-lids without any ornaments, and a fourth of the same kind lies in the churchyard, close to the east window. An engraving of the font is given in the third number, and an engraving of the enriched coffin-lid in the fourth, of the Archæologia Cambrensis. The chapelry is entitled to participate in the bequest of a rent-charge of £3 by Ellen Owen in the parish of Llangeinwen, for apprenticing a poor boy; but it has never shared in the benefaction, from the number of claimants in the latter place.
LLANVAIR-YN-EUBWLL (LLAN-FAIR-YN-NEUBWLL), a parish, in the hundred of Llyvon, union and county of Anglesey, North Wales, 5 miles (S. E.) from Holyhead; containing 357 inhabitants. This parish, which derives its name from the dedication of its church to the Virgin Mary, and its adjunct from two small lakes or pools contiguous, is pleasantly situated on the great Holyhead road, and crossed by the Holyhead line of railway. It comprises only an inconsiderable extent of fertile land, which is inclosed and in a good state of cultivation. The north-western part is bounded by the narrow strait that separates it from Holy Island, and over which is the bridge called Rhŷd Pont, connecting it with the opposite shore. The surrounding scenery is diversified, in some parts highly picturesque; the views extend over the town and bay of Holyhead on the north-west, and the adjacent country on the north and east. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the rectory of Rhôscolyn; the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £137. 18. 8. The church, a small irregular edifice, contains a few architectural details that appear to have originally belonged to some more ancient building, the remains of which have been probably incorporated with the present structure: it stands on the southern brow of an eminence overlooking a creek of the Irish Sea. There are places of worship for Independents and Calvinistic Methodists. The interest of a few charitable donations is distributed among the poor; principally accruing from a bequest of £100 by Dr. John Jones, Dean of Bangor, who directed a certain portion of the interest to be given to the poor of the parish: this sum was invested on the security of the tolls of the Carnarvon turnpikeroad; and of the interest, 18s. are paid for the use of the poor. There are 10s. annually received from Emma Roberts' charity in Rhôscolyn parish; and 4s., the interest of a bequest of £4 by an unknown donor.
LLANVAIR-YNGHORNWY (LLAN-FAIR-YN-NGHORNWY), a parish, in the hundred of Tàlybolion, union and county of Anglesey, in North Wales, 8 miles (N. W.) from Llanerchymedd; containing 357 inhabitants. This parish, which is of small extent, is situated at the northwestern extremity of Anglesey, near Cemlyn bay, and almost directly opposite to the Isle of Skerries; the name in Welsh implying "Saint Mary's in the promontory." Its surface is boldly varied, and in some parts rises into abrupt and rugged eminences; the scenery is strikingly diversified, and the views extending on the west over St. George's Channel, and on the north over the Irish Sea, finely contrast with those over the adjacent country on the east, which embrace a variety of rural and picturesque features. Near Cemlyn bay is a quarry of serpentine marble, of the species called verd antique, which is intersected with veins of asbestos, of a beautiful silky texture: this marble is more highly esteemed than the best specimens from Italy, and many of the slabs have produced large sums; the asbestos, also, found here, is superior in softness and brilliancy to any yet discovered in Europe. Among the mineral productions of the parish are likewise steatite, or soap-rock, and amianthus. There is safe anchorage for small vessels on the coast, in Cemlyn, or Crooked Pool bay, which might at little expense be rendered a good port, and even a serviceable dock might easily be constructed in it.
The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the rectory of Llandeusant: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £195; and there is a house with a glebe of above sixty-four acres, the whole valued at £126 per annum. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a spacious structure, partly in the Norman style, with a lofty square tower of rude architecture at the west end; the body consists of a nave and double chancel, the latter divided by a series of massive octagonal pillars and arches. The south chancel belongs exclusively to the proprietor of the Monachtŷ estate, in the parish; and the north, which is the burial-place or vault of the family of Williams, of the Friars, contains many elegant monuments to members of that family, and the Bulkeleys. Upon one of the pillars that separate the chancel is a very ancient inscription in rude Saxon characters, "Sancta Maria ora pro nobis." There are one or two places of worship for dissenters, and two Sunday schools, one of which is in connexion with the Established Church, and the other supported by the Calvinistic Methodists.
Monachtŷ, the estate above mentioned, supposed by some writers anciently to have been the site of a religious house, was granted by Llewelyn ab Grufydd as part of the endowment of the abbey that he founded at Conway, from which circumstance it derived its present appellation, and the exemption from tithes which it still enjoys. Cader Monachtŷ is an elevated point on this estate, well suited for the erection of a lighthouse, as it is opposite to the Skerries, and forms the north-eastern boundary of the entrance into Holyhead bay; it is also distinguished by three land-marks, consisting of narrow white stone walls tapering to a point, and of considerable height. Near the church are three upright stones of large dimensions, placed in the form of a triangle, at a distance of 600 yards from each other, and called Meini Hîrion, or "the stones of heroes;" and near the same place are the remains of an extensive circular camp, termed Castell Crwn, surrounded by a vallum and fosse.
LLANVALTEG (LLAN-FALLTEG), a parish, in the union of Narberth, comprising two divisions, of which one is in the Lower division of the hundred of Derllŷs, county of Carmarthen, and the other in the hundred of Dungleddy, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 5 miles (N. E.) from Narberth; containing 399 inhabitants, of whom 327 are in the county of Carmarthen, and 72 in that of Pembroke. This parish derives its name from the dedication of its church. It is pleasantly situated on the turnpike-road from Narberth to NewcastleEmlyn, near the right bank of the river Tâf, which is here crossed by a bridge named Parson's-bridge, from a clergyman having been found drowned near it on April 1st, 1792. Llanvalteg is bounded by Llandissilio, Hênllan-Amgoed, and Killymaenllwyd; and comprises a tract of land all inclosed, of which by far the greater part is in a state of cultivation. The portion in Carmarthen contains 1280 acres, whereof 940 are arable, 314 pasture, and 26 woodland; the portion in Pembroke contains 398 acres, whereof 92 are arable, 294 pasture, and 12 wood. The scenery, though not distinguished by any striking peculiarity of feature, is generally pleasing, and the soil, which is various, is not unproductive; oak, ash, sycamore, and larch are grown, and the chief agricultural produce is wheat, barley, oats, and potatoes. Stone for common building purposes is quarried. The principal houses are Lan, Tegvynydd, Llwyngarreg, and Namely. The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £4, and endowed with £200 royal bounty; patron, the Bishop of St. David's. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £195. The church, dedicated to St. Mallteg, and situated in that division of the parish which is in the county of Pembroke, has been rebuilt within the last sixty or seventy years, by a parochial rate, and is a neat edifice. There is a Sunday school maintained in connexion with the Established Church.