A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1849.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
LLANVIHANGEL (LLAN-FIHANGELYN-NGWYNFA), a parish, comprising the Upper and Lower divisions, in the union, and Lower division of the hundred, of Llanvyllin, county of Montgomery, North Wales, 5½ miles (W. S. W.) from Llanvyllin; containing 1041 inhabitants. The name of this place is derived from the dedication of its church to St. Michael, and the adjunct to its name from its being situated in Gwynva, a district in ancient Powys. It is more commonly called "Llanvihangel-y-Gwynt" (St. Michael's the Windy), from the bleakness of its surface, to distinguish it from "Llanvihangel-yn-Nghentyn," as the Welsh designate Abberbury or Alberbury, on the confines of Salop. The parish is crossed by the road leading from Llanvyllin to Llangadvan, about half a mile to the left of which stands the village. It is bounded on the north by the parish of Hîrnant, on the northeast by that of Llanvyllin, on the south-east by that of Meivod, on the south by Llangyniew and Llanervul, on the south-west by Garth-Beibio, and on the north-west by Llanwddyn. It comprehends twelve townships, and forms a tract of about 10,000 acres, of which 200 are woodland, and the remainder arable, pasture, and sheep-walks. The land, to a great extent, is hilly and mountainous, and the prospect from the high grounds very interesting, embracing the lofty eminences of Hîrnant, and the picturesque scenery of the more immediate locality, ornamented with thick clusters of oak, ash, and fir, and enlivened on the west by the windings of the Llanwddyn river. The soil is various, but in general tolerably fertile, and produces wheat, barley, oats, rye, &c.; the hills are depastured by young cattle and sheep, and in several places, peat, which constitutes the chief fuel of the inhabitants, is abundant. Llwydiarth Hall, formerly the seat of some of the ancestors of Sir W. W. Wynn, Bart., the principal landed proprietor, has lately been rebuilt as a farmhouse. Fairs are held on May 9th, July 21st, and the last Friday in October.
The living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at £5. 15. 5.; patron, the Bishop of St. Asaph. The incumbent's tithes have been commuted for a rentcharge of £479. 19., and the glebe comprises two acres; a rent-charge of £16. 10. is paid to the rector, and one of £7 to the vicar, of Llansantfraid-ynMechan, a rent-charge of £5 to the rector of Llanvyllin, and one of £10. 10. to the parish-clerk of Llanvihangel. The church, which is situated on the summit of a lofty eminence, is a plain ancient edifice, measuring on the outside seventy feet by twentytwo, and containing about 260 sittings, of which 50 are free: the pew belonging to the possessors of Llwydiarth is decorated with a canopy, on which are emblazoned the arms of the different branches of that family. There are places of worship for Independents, Calvinistic Methodists, and Wesleyans; a free school, in connexion with the Established Church, supported out of the endowments noticed under the head of Llanvyllin; and five Sunday schools, conducted by the dissenters. Mrs. Mary Strangways, of Stinsford, Dorsetshire, by will, in 1726, bequeathed the sum of £200 to the poor of Llanvihangel; £10, the interest of this bequest, are paid out of a rent-charge on the estate of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, together with another sum of £10, the annual gift of the same benefactress, which is applied to apprenticing children. Among other charitable bequests made to the parish were the following: Francis Griffiths, in 1684, the sum of £20; David Griffiths, in 1690, a gift of £30; David Vaughan, in 1705, a gift of £20; David Humphreys, Joseph and David Ellis, Watkin Evans, and Thomas Foulkes, each £20; and the Rev. Mr. Lloyd, £10; which sums were invested in turnpike trusts in the county of Montgomery, and now yield £8 per annum, distributed by the churchwardens to the poor. The Roman road from Caer-Sws to Deva (Chester) passed through the parish.
LLANVIHANGEL-ABERBYTHIC (LLAN-FIHANGEL-ABER-BYTHYCH), a parish, in the union of Llandilo-Vawr, hundred of Iscennen, county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 3½ miles (W. S. W.) from Llandilo; containing 948 inhabitants. This parish derives its distinguishing appellation from its situation at the mouth of the small rivulet Bythic, which here falls into the river Towy; it is within the lordship of Kidwelly, and forms part of the Duchy of Lancaster. The environs comprehend many fine views, and much of the varied and interesting scenery that characterises the Vale of Carmarthen. The neighbourhood abounds with limestone, which rises from the sea near Kidwelly, and extends to this parish; it is burned in great abundance for manure, and the lime is conveyed to various parts. For carrying the produce a tramroad was constructed from the works at Castelly-Garreg, in the parish, to Burry River, a distance of sixteen miles, crossing the Gwendraeth-Vawr river, and supported near Mynydd Mawr by a strong embankment, containing more than 40,000 cubic yards of earth, thrown up for that purpose.
The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £200 private benefaction, £400 royal bounty, and £800 parliamentary grant; net income, £72; patron and impropriator, Earl Cawdor, whose tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £207. 10. The church, a small neat edifice, dedicated to St. Michael, was, according to a tablet recording the event, erected in 1617, by Sir John Vaughan, Knt., Comptroller of the Household to Charles I.; it was repaired in 1753, by his descendant, the Hon. John Vaughan, representative in parliament for the county. In this church was buried the accomplished Countess of Carberry, whose funeral sermon appears, conspicuous for its beauties, in the works of Bishop Jeremy Taylor. There are places of worship for Independents, Calvinistic Methodists, and Baptists. A neat schoolroom was built at the expense of the late Lord Cawdor, who paid £20 annually to a master for instructing poor children of the parish; the school is under the patronage of the Earl and Countess Cawdor, and a master and mistress are liberally supported by his lordship. Of three Sunday schools, one is in connexion with the Church.
Golden Grove, the ancient seat of the Vaughans, Earls of Carberry, and now the property of Earl Cawdor, is situated within the parish. During the civil war, Cromwell, on his route to besiege Pembroke Castle, abruptly crossed the country, and came to Golden Grove with a troop of horse, hoping to surprise Richard, Earl of Carberry, who was zealously attached to the royal cause, and to seize his person; but the earl, having been apprised of his approach, hastily withdrew and hid himself in a farmhouse in a sequestered spot among the hills; and Cromwell, disappointed in his intention, concealed his purpose, and, after dining with the countess, continued his route to Pembroke. The old mansion, having been destroyed by fire in 1729, was replaced by a modern building, which has been taken down by Earl Cawdor, who, in a more commanding situation, has erected a magnificent structure in the ancient style of English architecture, of the black marble found in the Vale of Llangendeirn. It consists of a projecting front, having a lofty tower at the south-western angle, with a wing declining a little from the parallel, and containing an extensive range of offices, on one side; corresponding to which, on the other, it is said to be his lordship's intention to erect a similar wing, to complete the design. The principal entrance is in the opposite front, under a lofty and elegant porch of three finely-pointed arches, through which the carriage drives directly up to the door. The internal arrangements have been designed more with a view to domestic accommodation than to ostentatious display; but they comprehend, on a very liberal scale, all the decorations suited to the elevated rank of the noble proprietor. The grounds are rather extensive than beautiful, but are well covered with thriving plantations; and from the mansion an almost boundless prospect is obtained, embracing the whole of the vale from Carmarthen to Llandovery. Among the numerous interesting objects which are visible from this spot are Dryslwyn Castle, Grongar Hill, and the venerable ruins of Dynevor Castle, the ancient seat of the Princes of South Wales: the modern mansion of that name is not within view, but the unrivalled and luxuriant scenery of Newton Park, which contains both the ancient and the modern Dynevor Castle, is eminently conspicuous. The celebrated Jeremy Taylor, D.D., chaplain to Charles I., and subsequently Bishop of Down and Connor in Ireland, passed several years during the usurpation, at Golden Grove, under the protection of the loyal Earl of Carberry, to whom some of his works are dedicated. It was here that Taylor's genius expanded into its full vigour and beauty; in this retreat he composed his Holy Living and Dying, and his Great Exemplar, and preached some of those wonderful discourses which have raised him to the side of the greatest masters of sacred eloquence. Within the parish are the remains of a British camp, in a state of tolerable perfection; and in the limestone rock from which the neighbourhood is supplied with limestone for burning into lime, is an extensive cavern, in which bones have been discovered; tumuli of loose stones are of very frequent occurrence in the vicinity, and there is one of these relics of the ancient Britons within the parish.
LLANVIHANGEL-ABERCOWIN (LLAN-FIHANGEL-ABER-CYWYN), a parish, in the Higher division of the hundred of Derllŷs, union and county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 9 miles (S. W. by W.) from Carmarthen; containing 819 inhabitants. The parish takes its distinguishing appellation from its situation on the Cowin, near its confluence with the Tâf, which rivers partly bound it on the east and west. It is intersected by the turnpike-road from Carmarthen to St. Clear's, from which latter place it is distant about two miles and a half to the south-east. Within its limits is a village, forming a kind of suburb to St. Clear's; and it derives a considerable portion of traffic from its situation, and an air of cheerfulness and activity from the frequent passing of travellers. Fairs are held annually on the 12th of May and the 10th of October. The living is annexed to the vicarage of Mydrim: the tithes, which are impropriate, have been commuted for £506 per annum. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, stands very near the confluence of the rivers. There are two places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, and one for Baptists, in each of which a Sunday school is also held. A rent-charge of £10 on some farms in the neighbourhood, bequeathed by Lady Drummond in the 25th of the reign of Charles II., is annually distributed among the poor, according to the will of the testatrix.
In the churchyard are three curious tombs which are affirmed to be the sepulchres of certain holy palmers, who wandered hither in poverty and distress, and, being about to perish, for want, slew each other, the last survivor burying himself in one of the graves which they had prepared, and pulling the stone over him. The sanctity of these pilgrims, the natives affirm, keeps the peninsula of Llanvihangel free from serpents, toads, or venomous reptiles, the exception being when the tombstones are overrun with weeds. Mr. Westwood, in an article in the Archæologia Cambrensis for October 1847, apprehends that the tombs may be referred to the fifteenth century. Some very imperfect vestiges of an encampment are visible on a farm near Treventy, in this parish.
LLANVIHANGEL-ABERGWESSIN (LLANFIHANGEL-ABER-GWESYN), a parish, in the union and hundred of Builth, county of Brecknock, South Wales, 14 miles (W. by N.) from Builth; containing 311 inhabitants. This parish derives its name from the dedication of its church, and its distinguishing appellation from its position near the mouth of the river Gwessin. It is separated from the parish of Llanddewi-Abergwessin by the river Irvon (the two churches being contiguous, on opposite banks), which forms its boundary on the south and south-west; and the parish is intersected by some small vales, distinguished for the picturesque beauty of their scenery. The surface is principally mountainous, its greatest elevation, Drugarn Hill, being 2071 feet above the level of the sea; and but a comparatively small proportion of the land is under cultivation. The total area is 6836 acres. The soil is generally fertile; even on the highest hills it is of considerable depth, and the lower parts of the mountains might, if brought into cultivation, be rendered extremely productive: the commons afford good pasturage for sheep, cattle, and great numbers of colts. The scenery is generally pleasing, and on the banks of the Irvon is, in many parts, extremely beautiful: Llwyn Madoc is a spacious mansion, finely situated under the shelter of a lofty eminence, but it is at present in the occupation of a tenant. The hills are thought to contain veins of lead-ore, but no regular attempt has been made to work them; and slate is procured in the parish.
The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the vicarage of Llanavan-Vawr; the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £180, of which £120 are payable to the Dean and Chapter of St. David's, and £60 to the incumbent. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is a rude, primitive structure, not distinguished by any striking architectural features. There are two places of worship for Baptists, and one for Independents; in each of which is also held a Sunday school. William Thomas Rickett, in 1709, bequeathed a farm in the parish, called Cevn Vaes, containing 111 acres of arable, wood, and pasture land, with a tenement and garden, and producing annually £7. 15.; and the late Evan Thomas, Esq., left £5 per annum to the poor: in the latter sum, distributed in flannel, the parishes of Llanlleonvel and Llanavan-Vawr participate.
Llanvihangel-Ar-Arth or Yeroth (Llan-Fihangel-Ar-Arth)
LLANVIHANGEL-AR-ARTH or YEROTH (LLAN-FIHANGEL-AR-ARTH), a parish, in the union of Newcastle-Emlyn, Higher division of the hundred of Cathinog, county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 12 miles (N. by E.) from Carmarthen; containing 1993 inhabitants. According to Giraldus Cambrensis, this place was the scene of an obstinate battle between Hywel and Grufydd ab Llewelyn, in the year 1039, when the former, who had brought his wife to the field to be a spectator of his anticipated triumph, was defeated by the latter, and being pursued, was taken prisoner with his wife, and detained in the power of Grufydd. Rhŷs ab Grufydd, according to the same historian, held an interview here with Henry II., in 1162, when he made his formal submission to the authority of that monarch. The parish is situated on the river Teivy, over which the turnpike-road between Carmarthen and Aberystwith is continued by a handsome stone bridge; it extends for nearly eight miles in length from north to south, and seven miles in breadth from east to west, comprising 17,020 acres. The surrounding scenery is diversified, in some parts highly picturesque; and the soil, though varying in different parts, is in general fertile. The village, in addition to its situation on the thoroughfare leading from Carmarthen to Aberystwith, is intersected by the turnpike-road from the former town to Lampeter. Fairs are annually held on the 12th of May and the 10th of October.
The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £6. 6. 8., endowed with £200 royal bounty, and in the alternate patronage of W. Lewes, and J. E. Lloyd, Esqrs., the impropriators: the tithes have been commuted for £508, of which £430 are payable to the impropriators, and £78 to the vicar, who has also a glebe of eighty-five acres, valued at £60 per annum. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is situated on an eminence on the southern bank of the Teivy, commanding an extensive and pleasing view of the river and the adjacent country; in the churchyard is a monumental stone, with the inscription Hic Jacet Ulcacinus Filius Senomacili. The chapel of Pencader has been in ruins for about a century, but the cemetery is still entire. There are places of worship for Independents, Calvinistic Methodists, and Particular Baptists. A British school was established at Pencader in the year 1846, and the parish contains five Sunday schools, four of them in connexion with the dissenters. Near the village are the remains of an ancient encampment, probably thrown up by Hywel, in his encounter with Llewelyn, in 1039; and on the banks of the Teivy, near the boundary of Llanllwny parish, is a lofty embankment, the history of which is unknown. There are also three tumuli within the parish, but no particulars respecting them are upon record.
Llanvihangel-Bâchelleth (Llan-Fihangel Bâchellaeth)
LLANVIHANGEL-BÂCHELLETH (LLAN-FIHANGEL BÂCHELLAETH), a parish, in the union of Pwllheli, hundred of Gaflogion, Lleyn division of the county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 4 miles (W.) from Pwllheli; containing 333 inhabitants. This parish is situated in a mountainous district in the south-western part of the county, and nearly in the centre of the great promontory of Lleyn, which separates the bays of Cardigan and Carnarvon. The surface is boldly undulated, and the land partially inclosed and cultivated; the soil is generally good, and in the lower grounds fertile and productive. The village, which consists only of one farmhouse and two or three scattered cottages, is surrounded by scenery of strikingly varied character; and about a mile from the church is Gallt-y-Beren, an elegant mansion embosomed in thriving plantations, and commanding some fine views. Within the parish is a part of Carn Madryn, or Carn Vadrin, a rocky eminence, rising 1200 feet above the level of the sea, and which was one of the strongholds of Roderic and Maelgwyn, sons of Owain Gwynedd, to whom this part of the county belonged. On the declivities and around the base are numerous foundations of oblong, elliptical, and circular buildings, varying in dimensions from eighteen to thirty-six feet in diameter, the temporary dwellings of the natives, when driven by any sudden emergency to this retreat, where they remained in safety with their flocks and herds. Upon the summit, which was surrounded with a strong rampart, some portions whereof are still remaining, the chieftains encamped with their forces, to watch the movements of the enemy, and avail themselves of an opportunity to intercept their progress or repel their aggressions. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the rectory of Llanbedrog: the church, dedicated to St. Michael, is situated on a gentle eminence beneath a lofty rock, and, though possessing no peculiar architectural features, derives from its site a highly romantic appearance. The children of the parish are admitted into the National school of Llanbedrog.
LLANVIHANGEL-BRYN-PABUAN (LLAN-FIHANGEL-BRYN-PAB-JOAN), a parish, in the union and hundred of Builth, county of Brecknock, South Wales; comprising the townships of Llanvihangel and Rhôsverrig, and containing 384 inhabitants, of whom 283 are in the township of Llanvihangel, 5 miles (N. W.) from Builth. This parish is situated in a hilly district, near the north-western extremity of the county, and is bounded on the north by the river Wye, and on the south by the river Whevri, neither of which is navigable at this place. The latter stream, which rises near Llyn Varhyn, on the border of the parish of Llanwrthwl, and falls into the Irvon near Park House, abounds with trout, superior both in firmness and in flavour to those either of the Wye or the river Irvon. During the parliamentary war in the reign of Charles I., the parish suffered greatly from the violence of contending parties: the church was converted into a stable, and the font removed to a farmhouse, where it was used as a pig-trough; the minister was expelled from his living, and for many years remained in retirement in the parish of Llanavan-Vawr, but was ultimately restored to it. The lands for the most part are inclosed, and in a good state of cultivation: the total area is 3395 acres, of which 887 are common or waste. The soil varies considerably in different parts; in the township of Llanvihangel it is dry, light, and shallow, and in that of Rhôsverrig richer and deeper, and intermixed with loam in larger proportion, with a small quantity of gravel: the pastures are good, and great numbers of sheep and cattle are reared for the market at Builth.
The surrounding scenery is diversified, in many places highly picturesque, and the views are both extensive and interesting. At the eastern extremity of the parish are the Radnorshire trap rocks, extending for a short distance along the banks of the Wye; and near Park wells is a small projecting rock, overhanging the same river, which was anciently fortified, probably for guarding the ford of Llêchrŷd, and perhaps in the occupation of the Romans, as the Roman vicinal road over Llandrindod common must have crossed the Wye near this spot. On the tenement of Parc-ar-Irvon, near Park wood, are three mineral springs, having their sources within a short distance of each other; one saline, another sulphureous, and the third chalybeate: the saline spring is considered by medical men to be one of the most efficacious in the kingdom; but the sulphureous one is not so powerful as that in the parish of Llanwrtyd. There is a neat pump-room for the accommodation of persons resorting to the place to drink the waters, which are raised from the springs by three pumps, each inscribed with the property of its respective water; and adjoining the room are some small apartments for the reception of visiters. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the vicarage of Llanavan-Vawr; the tithes of the parish, including the hamlet of Rhôsverrig, have been commuted for a rent-charge of £203, of which two-thirds are payable to the Dean and Chapter of St. David's, and onethird to the incumbent. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is a small edifice, situated on an eminence in a wild part of the parish, by the road leading from Llanavan-Vawr to Newbridge-upon-Wye; it displays no peculiar architectural details, nor does it contain any monuments of importance. Rees Price, in 1731, bequeathed a small rent-charge on land for the relief of the poor, but nothing is now known of this benefaction.
Llanvihangel-Capel-Edwin, or Eglwys-Vâch
LLANVIHANGEL-CWM-DÛ, a parish, in the union and hundred of Crickhowel, county of Brecknock, South Wales, 4½ miles (N. by W.) from Crickhowel; containing 1039 inhabitants. This parish, which is also called St. Michael's Cwm Dû, derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Michael, and the adjunct to its name from its situation in a vale bounded on one side by the Black Mountains, and from that circumstance usually called Cwm Dû, or "the black vale." In the ninth century the parish was distinguished by the appellation of Llanvihangel-Trê'r-Caerau, or "the church of St. Michael apud castra," in allusion to the remains of military fortifications within its limits. It extends five miles in length, and is nearly of equal breadth, comprising by computation about 7000 acres, 2000 of which are mountainous and uninclosed land, and the remainder rich arable and pasture in a state of good cultivation. The surface is varied; and the views from the higher grounds, embracing many objects of interest and features of picturesque beauty, are diversified and extensive. The vale is beautiful, and nearly inclosed by lofty mountains; it is watered by the river Rhiangol, over which are several bridges, and the river Usk runs along the southern boundary of Llanvihangel. The soil of the parish is in general dry, and rests upon the old red-sandstone formation; the produce is wheat, barley, oats, hay, clover, peas, turnips, &c. A few quarries of old red-sandstone are in operation, the produce of which is used in the locality, chiefly for tiles and building-stones. Penmyarth, anciently the seat of the Vaughans, afterwards by purchase the property of William Augustus Gott, Esq., who built the present mansion, and now belonging to Joseph Bailey, Esq., derives its name from its situation on the sloping front of Myarth Hill, an isolated eminence in the centre of the Vale of Crickhowel, over which it commands a beautiful prospect. The lawn slopes gradually to the margin of the river Usk, the banks of which are finely rounded on the north and south; the prospect is rich and imposing, comprehending almost every variety of scenery, and the view from the summit of the hill is unrivalled for beauty by any in this part of the country. The turnpike-road from Abergavenny to Brecknock intersects the parish, and there is a new line to Tàlgarth, begun in 1830, and formed almost entirely at the private cost of John Hotchkis, Esq. The parish contains the four hamlets (or parcels, as they are called) of Blaenau, Trêtower, Cenol, and Kîlwych; and the villages of Velindrê and Bwlch are within its limits.
The living consists of a sinecure rectory and a vicarage; the rectory, rated in the king's books at £19. 15. 2½., of the net annual value of £396, and in the gift of the Duke of Beaufort; the vicarage, rated at £9. 13. 1½., of the net value of £191, and in the patronage of the Rector. The vicarage is endowed with one-third part of the great and small tithes of the whole parish, with the exception of a certain impropriated portion called the Priory tithes, which were granted to the prior and monks of St. John the Evangelist, in Brecknock, by Pycard, a Norman knight, to whom Bernard de Newmarch had given the lordship of Ystradwy. By a late survey it appears that the impropriation thus granted extended to the exclusive tithes of 634 acres, 1 rood, and 35 perches, situated in the three parcels or hamlets of Trêtower, Cenol, and Kîlwych, and is now lay property.
The church seems to have been founded in the eleventh century. In the Liber Landavensis, an ancient register of Llandaf, quoted by Wharton in his Anglia Sacra, and published by the Welsh MSS. Society, it is stated that a church, dedicated to St. Michael, in the lordship of Ystradwy, was consecrated by the venerable Herewald, bishop of that see, who, according to Godwyn, died in 1103, in the fortyeighth year of his prelacy, at a very advanced age, exceeding one hundred years; and as there is no other church in that district to which the description will at all apply, it is supposed to relate to the church of this place. From the varieties in its style of architecture, the ancient structure appeared to have been erected at different periods: it was a spacious edifice, consisting of a nave, two aisles, and a chancel, with a square embattled tower of grey stone, which probably was the most ancient portion, and perhaps the only remaining part of the original building. This church was found to be in such a state of irreparable dilapidation, that, in 1830, it was judged expedient to take it down, with the exception only of the tower; it was handsomely rebuilt in an appropriate style, and opened for divine service in May 1831.
The edifice is in the later style of English architecture, and consists of a nave, with two aisles, and a chancel. The roof is divided into compartments, and the interior is well lighted by ranges of six large windows in the sides, and at the west end by a large window of five lights, with cinque-foiled heads, surmounted by an ogee arch, and by two other windows of smaller dimensions. The chancel is ornamented with a handsome oak screen, removed from the front of the ancient rood-loft, and placed around the walls. The mullions of the windows, and the stone-work of the old church, as far as was practicable, were employed in the present edifice, which was erected at an expense of £1600, whereof about £225 were raised by subscription. In one of the buttresses on the south side of the church, the late Rev. Thomas Price, vicar of the parish, inserted an ancient stone, which was removed for fear of destruction, from a former situation, where it served as a stepping-stone over a brook: the purport of the original inscription is preserved on a brass plate, also inserted in the buttress. The site of this relic, before its removal to the brook, is uncertain. In the churchyard is an old stone, about three feet long and sixteen inches wide: it formed the sill of the chancel window of the church, and is evidently a fragment of a larger stone; one side of it is inscribed with a rude cross, apparently of the sixth, seventh, or eighth century, and a mutilated monumental inscription. On a stone which also belonged to the old church, and is inserted in the south wall of the present building, are a cross fleury within a circle, and two shields of arms.
In the hamlet of Trêtower is the chapel of St. John the Evangelist. There are places of worship in the parish for Independents and Calvinistic Methodists. A day school, commenced in 1833, is chiefly supported by the interest of a bequest of £800, left by the late David Williams, Esq., in 1835, to Lord William George Henry Somerset, rector, and the Rev. Thomas Price, vicar, of the parish, and their successors for the time being, in trust, to invest the same in government security, and apply the produce in establishing a school for poor children, and instructing them in the principles of the Church of England. The same benefactor bequeathed £400 to the vicar and his successors, to invest in the same manner, and apply the interest for distribution at Christmas, among such deserving poor as should not be receiving parochial relief. The schoolroom was built by subscription, on a plot of land granted by the Duke of Beaufort. Of the five Sunday schools supported in the parish, one is in connexion with the Established Church. A rent-charge of one guinea on a tenement called Pen-yr-heol, the bequest of Janet Powell, is distributed among poor aged spinsters. The late Rev. Thomas Price, vicar of Llanvihangel, died in November 1848; he enjoyed considerable reputation as a scholar, and a notice of him is given in the Gentleman's Magazine for February 1849.
At the small village of Gaer, in the parish, are unequivocal marks of an ancient Roman encampment; and local tradition affirms that a town of considerable size once extended from that spot to a place still called Trê'r Graig, or "the town on the hill." It is quite certain that this space of ground has been formerly occupied by buildings; the foundations of walls have been discovered, and wrought stones, fragments of brick, cement, and pottery have been frequently turned up by the plough. The camp itself was situated on a plot of ground sloping gently towards the south, with a small inclination towards the west, and having at the lower extremity a stream named the Ywen: its shape was an oblong, of which the eastern side and the upper end are still traceable by the foundations of the ancient walls; and heaps of rubbish, consisting of fragments of bricks, stones, and masses of cement, were formerly lying on the spot. Coins of the lower empire have been found here at various times, some of which were in the possession of the late Archdeacon Payne. In the garden belonging to the farm on which the encampment is situated, a vaulted chamber was discovered, six feet in length, three feet wide, and three feet high, nearly filled with fragments of human bones; and in an adjoining field some workmen, who were clearing the ground, broke into an arched covered way, which appeared to have been a drain. The Roman road from Gobannium (Abergavenny), leading up the Vale of Usk, passed by this station; and a respectable farmer, son of the owner of the land at that time, informed Archdeacon Payne that, about fifty years before, he had himself assisted in breaking up the part of the road which lay east of the camp, and distinctly remembered that his father's neighbour, who occupied the land on the opposite side of the camp, was similarly employed. He described it as a causeway of considerable breadth and of great solidity, composed of pebbles deeply imbedded in gravel, and so hard, that it was with difficulty separated by pickaxes and iron bars. In a field about a quarter of a mile to the south-east of the camp was the stone already noticed as being now placed in one of the buttresses of the church, and which was described by the Hon. Daines Barrington to the Society of Antiquaries in 1773, upon the communication of Mr. Maskelyne, brother of the Astronomer-Royal of that name: the inscription, cut in ancient characters, was catacus hic jacit filius tegernacus. Archdeacon Payne, struck with all these circumstances, which he had personally investigated, employed a land-surveyor of the neighbourhood, in 1803, to form a plan of the entire precincts, which he sent to the late Mr. Jones, who was at that time engaged in preparing his History of Brecknockshire, in which work an engraving of it may be seen. That there was a line of Roman stations from Isca (Caerleonupon-Usk) to Maridunum (Carmarthen) through the interior of the county, as well as along the coast, is, in the archdeacon's opinion, beyond a doubt; and he considered it strange that it has not been noticed by Antoninus, nor investigated by any modern writer, with the exception only of Sir Richard Colt Hoare, who designates it the Via Julia Romana, and with whom he agreed in his opinion, that this must have been one of the stations on that line, in which it occupied a situation precisely where a station might be expected.
On the hill called Pentir, above the parish church, are the remains of another military post of considerable strength, evidently of Roman origin, and probably the campus æstivus of the principal station. It incloses a quadrilateral area, 140 yards in length, and 105 in breadth; it is fortified by high ramparts, and defended on the lower side by a deep fosse. Below it is a wood, which from the contiguity of this post has obtained the appellation of Coed-y-Gaer, or "the wood of the encampment." On the little hill of Myarth are vestiges of a stronghold, overlooking the station of Gaer; it is supposed to be of British origin, but no particulars of its history have been satisfactorily ascertained. In the ninth century, as stated in Dugdale's Monasticon, a considerable tract of land marked by boundaries which may still be traced, extending from the river Rhiangol (which runs through the centre of this parish) to St. Keyna's well and Glàngrwyney, in the parish of Llangeney, was conferred upon the church of Llandaf, by Tudur, the son of Rhain, a regulus of the principality of Brycheiniog, in expiation of a crime committed by him against the Church. Of the ancient castle, manor, and chapel of Trêtower, an account is given under its own head.
LLANVIHANGEL-DIN-SYLWY (LLAN-FIHANGEL-DIN-SYLWY), a parish, in the union of Bangor and Beaumaris, hundred of Tyndaethwy, county of Anglesey, in North Wales, 5 miles (N. N. W.) from Beaumaris; containing 58 inhabitants. The name is derived from the dedication of the church, and its adjunct from the ancient British fortification Din Sylwy, or "the exploratory station," immediately above that edifice. This parish, a part of which is within the limits of the borough of Beaumaris, is situated on the shore of the Irish Sea; the surrounding scenery is wild and rudely magnificent, and the prospects from the higher grounds embrace an assemblage of objects more striking from their grandeur than pleasing from their beauty. There are some very extensive quarries of limestone and marble, affording employment to a considerable portion of the inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to that of Llangoed. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is a small ancient edifice, remarkable for its peculiar position beneath Din Sylwy, and on the slope of a hill fronting the entrance of the Menai straits. In itself it is exceedingly simple, consisting of a nave and chancel, the former eighteen feet by thirteen, internal dimensions, and the latter about twelve feet square; over the west end of the nave is a single bell-gable, and the gable of the chancel is surmounted by a cross. At the south-east angle of the choir is placed, somewhat incongruously, the curiously-carved, moveable pulpit of the church; it is made of oak, and has its patterns apparently burnt out, the marks of the charring being still very evident. The chancel window and chancel arch, though of decorated English design, may probably be assigned to the beginning of the 15th century. An engraving of this building, and a very neat engraving of the pulpit, are given in the Archæologia Cambrensis for January 1848, with an architectural description of the church. There is a Sunday school: and the interest of a benefaction of £1, by a person unknown, is annually given to the poorest person in the parish.
The fortress of Din Sylwy, otherwise called Bwrdd Arthur, or "Arthur's round table," is the most extensive in Anglesey, occupying the whole summit of the hill on which it is situated. It is surrounded by a double wall of large stones placed endwise, with their sharp ends uppermost; the intervals between them are filled up with small stones, and the ramparts, which are nearly entire, inclose an area almost thirteen acres in extent. It was of impregnable strength, and is evidently of British origin, having been occupied by the Britons prior to the invasion of Anglesey by the Romans. Several brass celts have been found within the camp and in its immediate vicinity. The entrance is from the south by a broad path of easy ascent; within the area, which is perfectly level and dry, are several foundations of circular and elliptical buildings of various dimensions, and beneath the walls on the north side is a fine spring of water. This post, from the extensive view that it commands over the surrounding country, was admirably adapted for an exploratory station; and, after their conquest of the Isle of Anglesey, was occupied by the Romans. Numerous fibulæ, coins, and other Roman relics, have been discovered; in the summer of 1831, a great number of silver and copper coins were found, among which were some of Nero, Vespasian, Constantius, and Constantine, together with several rings, keys, buckles, and clasps of copper, and other relics of Roman antiquity.
Llanvihangel-Geneu'r-Glyn (Llan-Fihangel-Genau-Y-Glyn), or, Llanvihangel-Castell-Gwalter
LLANVIHANGEL-GENEU'R-GLYN (LLAN-FIHANGEL-GENAU-Y-GLYN), or, LLANVIHANGEL-CASTELL-GWALTER, a parish, in the unions of Aberystwith and Machynlleth, Upper division of the hundred of Geneu'rGlyn, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 5 miles (N. E.) from Aberystwith; comprising the townships of Ceulan and Maesmawr, Cyvoeth-y-Brenhin, Cynnullmawr, Hênllŷs, Scybor-y-Coed, and Tîrmynych; and containing 3838 inhabitants. This parish, which lies on the shore of St. George's Channel, is of considerable extent, and is watered by the rivers Lery, Ceulan, Maesmawr, Llyvnant, and Dovey. The greater part of it is hilly, but that portion near the coast is rather flat, and was subject to partial inundation previously to the embankment of the Lery river. The river Dovey, by which the parish is bounded on the north, separates Cardiganshire from Merioneth, and also forms the boundary between North and South Wales; whilst the river Llyvnant, which rises in the Plinlimmon mountain, and falls into the Dovey, divides the parish from Montgomeryshire, in North Wales. A remarkable causeway or sand-bank, termed Sarn Cynvelin, or Sarn Gwallog, stretches from the coast here, for several miles in a south-western direction, into the bay of Cardigan, and is partly dry, and partly covered at the ebb tide with only from one to two fathoms of water, though immediately contiguous the soundings vary from three to seven fathoms.
Walter l'Espee, one of the Anglo-Norman invaders, who acquired some lands in this part of the principality, erected a small fort for the security of his possessions, on the summit of a lofty eminence near the church. This fortress, called Castell Gwalter, and from which the parish derives a portion of its second name, was destroyed in the year 1135, by Cadwaladr and Owain Gwynedd, sons of Grufydd ab Cynan, who also took the castle of Aberystwith. The eminence still presents the remains of the fort, or circular camp, the earthworks of which are almost uninjured. The parish is supposed to have been the place of sepulture of the eminent bard Taliesin, whose remains are thought to have been deposited in a cist-vaen still remaining on the summit of the mountain Pen Sarn Ddû, and called Gwely Taliesin, or "Taliesin's bed." The popular tradition concerning this bed is, that should any one sleep in it for a night, he would become either a poet or an idiot. The gwely is composed of six stones, of which five are so placed as to form an oblong chest, and the sixth, which constituted the covering stone, and was above six feet long and three feet six inches broad, has been removed and placed on one side. It is in the centre of a circle of stones twenty-seven feet in diameter, surrounded by another circle of thirtyone feet in diameter. Taliesin died about the year 570, but these relics are evidently of a much earlier date, and are, without doubt, of Druidical origin, like other remains found in this place. Traces of part of the ancient Roman road Sarn Helen, leading from one old mine to another, as well as remains of Roman stations and encampments, may be discerned on several of the hills in the parish.
Flannel is manufactured, on a very limited scale: lead-ore is found in the parish, and some mines of it are worked. The river Dovey affords facility to the trade, which consists principally in the shipping of lead-ore and bark, and the importation of timber, coal, and limestone. The village of Carreg, situated at the mouth of the Dovey, is well adapted for this purpose, as vessels of nearly 300 tons' burthen can approach its wharfs, where the craft employed are generally stationed. On the shore of Cardigan bay is the village of Borth, forming a long continuous street of cottages on the regular road from Aberystwith to Aberdovey; it is inhabited chiefly by fishermen, and mariners engaged in the coasting-trade, with others who raise turf from the neighbouring turbary, and carry it for sale to Aberystwith. Some fine sands stretch along the sea-shore northward, for several miles, from Borth to the mouth of the Dovey. Tâlybont, which stands on the road between Aberystwith and Machynlleth, at the junction of the river Ceulan with the Lery, is another considerable village in the parish, the well-wooded scenery surrounding which is remarkably pleasing and picturesque.
The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £12; present net income, £221; with a glebe-house; patron, the Bishop of St. David's; impropriator, T. P. Chichester, Esq. Part of the township of Cyvoeth-y-Brenhin pays the great tithes to the vicar, who receives only one-fourth part of the small tithes throughout the whole of this extensive parish. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is a spacious cruciform structure, in the later style of English architecture, and both it and the churchyard are particularly admired on account of their secluded and rural aspect; the latter being situated on a declivity, neatly laid out in terraces. A portion of land for an additional cemetery was obtained some time ago, through the influence of the Commissioners for building new churches, without any appropriation of the funds entrusted to their management by parliament. In the township of Scybor-y-Coed is a separate incumbency. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists. A small endowment has been left for purposes of education; some day schools are held, and thirteen Sunday schools. In the schoolhouse at Borth, divine service is performed once every Sunday by the vicar or his curate.
LLANVIHANGEL-GLYN-MYVYR (LLAN-FIHANGEL-GLYN-Y-MYFYR), a parish, in the union of Corwen, partly in the hundred of Edeyrnion, county of Merioneth, and partly in that of Isaled, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 10 miles (N. W. by W.) from Corwen; containing 428 inhabitants. It comprises 4202 acres, of which 1154 are common or waste land. The manorial rights of the Denbighshire part appertain to the crown, in right of the lordship of Denbigh; and John Wynne, Esq., of Garthmeilio, claims a small manor in the Merionethshire division. The village, consisting of only four houses, is situated on the small river Alwen, a rapid stream issuing from Llyn Alwen, in the mountains, about five miles north-west of the village, and forming, for the greater part of its course here, the north-eastern boundary of the parish. This stream, which abounds with excellent trout, is subject to frequent floods; in 1781, it overflowed its banks, and rose within the church, which is not more than seven or eight yards from its margin, to the height of eight or nine feet, the remembrance of which event is preserved by a mark painted on the wall. The village, situated on the road from Ruthin to Pentre-Voelas, and the church, with about onesixth part of the parish, are in the county of Merioneth. The surface of the parish is mountainous. The soil in some parts is a loamy clay, mixed with stone and gravel, and in others mostly bog and peat. There are some excellent meadows on the banks of the Alwen, affording pasturage to some herds of the black cattle peculiar to this part of the principality, which are kept chiefly for the dairy; and the mountain lands, covered with fine heath, are depastured by numerous flocks of sheep of the small Welsh breed. With the exception of a very few acres of wheat and barley, oats are the only species of grain sown. A fair is held on February 16th.
The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £6. 12.; patron, the Bishop of St. Asaph: the tithes have been commuted for a rentcharge of £200, and there is a glebe-house, with a glebe of ten acres. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is an ancient structure, in the early style of English architecture. There are places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists; a day school, unconnected with any particular religious body; and two Sunday schools, taught gratuitously by the Calvinistic Methodists. A benefaction of £20 was left by John Williams in 1735, the interest to be annually distributed among the poor. In Gilbert's Return this sum is said to have been invested in land; but it is more probable that a small cottage and garden were purchased with the money, and that the cottage has been down about twenty or thirty years, from decay. £1 a year has been paid by the parish out of the poor's rate, as the interest of this donation, and is distributed on New Year's day. On the bank of the Alwen, in the upper part of the parish, are the remains of a very ancient circular fortification, called Caer-ddynod, or the "conspicuous or distinguished fort," occupying a considerable eminence; and nearly opposite to Cerrig-y-Druidion, which is within three miles of the parish, are the ruins of another, named Pen-yGaer. Owen Jones, author of the "Myvyrian Archæology of Wales," was born at Tyddyn Tydyr, in Glyn Myvyr, in the parish; and in compliment to the place of his nativity, the epithet Myvyrian, was prefixed to the title of that voluminous work, from Glyn y Myvyr, which signifies "the valley of meditation." This elaborate compilation, though only embracing the period from 1300 to the close of Queen Elizabeth's reign, extends to upwards of sixty quarto volumes of considerable bulk.
LLANVIHANGEL-HELYGEN (LLAN-FIHANGEL-HELYGEN), a parish, in the union and hundred of Rhaiadr, county of Radnor, South Wales, 5 miles (E.) from Pen-y-Bont; containing 102 inhabitants. This parish, comprising by computation about 1000 acres of inclosed and 300 of common land, is situated on the river Ithon, along the banks of which, and those of the river Dulas, it extends for about five miles: it is nearly of equal breadth. The high road leading from Rhaiadr to New Radnor, Knighton, and Presteign, and to Kington and Leominster in Herefordshire, passes within two miles of the church. The surface is hilly, and the soil various, consisting principally of clay in the lower grounds, and being light and shallow on the hills; the surrounding scenery is pleasingly varied, and from the higher grounds some good views are obtained over the adjacent country. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £800 royal bounty, and with half of the tithes of the parish; net income, £80; patron, the Vicar of Nantmel. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is a small edifice, consisting of a nave and chancel, and is not distinguished by any architectural details. In the parish are the remains of a Roman station on the bank of the Ithon, upon a farm called Cwm, which are described under the general head of Radnorshire.
LLANVIHANGEL-KÎLVARGEN (LLAN-FIHANGEL-CÎL-FARGEN), a parish, in the union of Llandilo-Vawr, Lower division of the hundred of Cathinog, county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 4 miles (W. N. W.) from LlandiloVawr; containing 61 inhabitants. This place is situated about a mile and a half north of the road leading from Llandilo-Vawr by Aberguilly to Carmarthen, and is bounded on the north, east, and south by the parish of Llangathen, and on the west by that of Llanvynydd. It is one of the smallest parishes in the county, comprising only 514 acres, of which about 185 acres are arable, 312 pasture, and the rest woodland, and containing but a few farmhouses, with some cottages for labourers. The surface is hilly, and the scenery characterised rather by pleasing rural simplicity, than by any strong features of romantic beauty. Kilddery hill skirts the parish on the west, and a brook of the same name, and another called Rhŷd-y-wrach, run through it. The living is a discharged rectory, in the gift of Earl Cawdor, rated in the king's books at £1. 6. 8., and endowed with £200 private benefaction, and £600 royal bounty; the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £32, and there is a glebe of 1a. 2r. 22p., valued at £1. 7. 6. per annum: the total net income of the benefice is £116. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is a small plain edifice, built about the year 1822, at the sole expense of the Rev. Thomas Beynon; it is pewed, and contains a sufficient number of sittings, all appropriated.
LLANVIHANGEL-LLEDROD (LLAN-FIHANGEL-LLETHR-Y-TROED), a parish, in the union of Trêgaron, Upper division of the hundred of Ilar, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 9 miles (S. E.) from Aberystwith; comprising the townships of Lledrod Isâv and Uchâv, and containing 1149 inhabitants, of whom 648 are in the township of Lledrod Isâv. This place derives its name from the dedication of the church to St. Michael, and its distinguishing appellation from the position of the church at the foot of a declivity. The parish extends for nearly seven miles in length and three in breadth, forming a part of the lordship of Mevenydd, which belongs to the crown; and contains a large tract of land, the greater portion inclosed and cultivated: a considerable part of the surface is hilly, affording pasturage to sheep on the declivities, and having on the summits numerous carneddau. The scenery, though in some parts pleasingly varied, is generally uninviting; but from the higher grounds are some extensive views of the adjacent country, and there are a few ornamental residences scattered over the district. An annual fair is held in the village on the 7th of October. The inhabitants of part of the parish receive their letters from the post-office of Lampeter, within the delivery of which it is included, though the church is fifteen miles distant from that place.
The parish until lately constituted a prebend in the Collegiate Church of Brecknock, rated in the king's books at £6. 13. 4., and in the gift of the Bishop of St. David's. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £10 per annum and £200 private benefaction, £600 royal bounty, and £900 parliamentary grant; net income, £112; patron, the Bishop. The tithes have been commuted for £206. 8. payable to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and £140. 5. to certain impropriators. The church, a plain building consisting of a nave, has received an addition of 280 free sittings, towards the formation of which, the Incorporated Society for the enlargement of churches and chapels contributed £150. There are places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, and Baptists. A free grammar school was founded in 1745, under the will of the Rev. Thomas Oliver, a native of the parish, and at the time of his decease vicar of Dudley, in the county of Worcester, who endowed it with land now producing at least £150. 18. per annum, for the gratuitous education of an unlimited number of boys of the parish. This school is united to, and merged in, the grammar school at Yspytty-Ystrad-Meuric, an adjoining chapelry, in the parish of Yspytty-Ystwith; but the Lledrod endowment still remains under a separate trust. Few, if any, of the children of the poorer classes, derive benefit from the foundation. Three Sunday schools are conducted by the Calvinistic Methodists, and one by the Baptists.
Several remains of antiquity are to be found, among which, on a waste not far from the village, is "Carreg Samson," a Druidical altar slab, having the figure of a horse-shoe deeply cut in it. "Sarn Helen," also, an ancient Roman road, passes through the parish: commencing at the stations in the extreme south, it proceeds to that near Llanio, in the neighbourhood of Trêgaron, whence it may be traced at intervals, under the same and other names, until it finally reaches the ancient Segontium, or CaerSeiont, in Carnarvonshire.
The Rev. Evan Evans, an eminent divine, poet, and antiquary, who displayed an early attachment to Welsh poetry and literature, of which he compiled from ancient manuscripts nearly 100 volumes, was interred in the churchyard of the parish, where a small rough unhewn stone denotes his grave. He was born at Cynhawdrêv, in this county, in 1730; and, after a long course of professional duty as curate of several parishes, without obtaining any preferment in the church, and an unwearied and unprofitable devotion to the cultivation of literature, died in obscurity at his brother's house, in his 58th year. Most of the MSS. compiled by this indefatigable antiquary are lost; of his printed works, the principal are, "Dissertatio de Bardis," and a translation into the Welsh of Archbishop Tillotson's Sermons.
LLANVIHANGEL-NANT-BRÂN (LLAN-FIHANGEL-NANT-BRÂN), a parish, in the hundred of Merthyr-Cynog, union and county of Brecknock, South Wales, 9 miles (N. W.) from Brecknock; containing 495 inhabitants. This place derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Michael, and its distinguishing adjunct from the small rivulet Brân, which intersects the narrow vale wherein it is situated. The vale extends for about four miles in a direction from north-west to southeast; and along the summits of the hills that inclose it are extensive sheep-walks, affording good pasturage for numerous flocks, upon the rearing of which the farmer depends more than upon tillage. The lower lands, with the exception of a comparatively small portion, are inclosed and in a good state of cultivation. The total area of the parish is 9161 acres, of which 2656 are common or waste. The scenery of the vale is pleasingly varied, but is not distinguished by any striking peculiarity of feature; the views from the higher grounds embrace many objects of interest in the surrounding country, which is rich in picturesque and romantic scenery.
Llanvihangel church was formerly a chapel of ease to Merthyr-Cynog, and, during the usurpation of Cromwell, was endowed with £40 per annum out of the rectorial tithes of that parish, the living of which was sequestrated by the parliament; but at the Restoration the property was given back to the legitimate owner, and the endowment of this chapel was discontinued. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £800 royal bounty; net income, £66; patrons and impropriators, the Coheirs of W. Jeffreys, Esq., whose tithes have been commuted for a rentcharge of £227. The church, situated in the centre of the village, is a plain ancient edifice, in a very dilapidated condition, and possessing no architectural details of importance: the parsonage-house, which had been suffered to go to decay, fell down in the reign of Charles I., and has not since been rebuilt. There are two places of worship for Baptists, and one for Calvinistic Methodists, in each of which a Sunday school is also held. Pwll-y-Llacha, a tenement in the parish, forms part of the endowment of Jesus College, Oxford, given by Dr. Hugh Price, the founder of that institution. Bola Maen, also a tenement in the parish, was given by an unknown benefactor towards the support of a Roman Catholic priest at Brecknock.
LLANVIHANGEL-NANT-MELAN (LLAN-FIHANGEL-NANT-MELAN), a parish, in the union of Kington, partly in the hundred and county of Radnor, but chiefly within the liberties of the borough of New Radnor, South Wales, 1½ mile (W. N. W.) from New Radnor; containing 471 inhabitants, of whom 272 are in the township of Llanvihangel-Nant-Melan. The name of this parish is derived from the dedication of its church to St. Michael, and its situation on the small stream Melan, which flows into the Somergill brook, both streams rising in and running through the parish. It is divided into the township of Llanvihangel, the township of Trêwern and Gwiller, and part of Harpton, within the borough of Radnor; and part of Colva, in the county. The lands are partially inclosed and cultivated; and the soil is various, in some parts fertile and productive, in others comparatively poor and swampy. The surface is undulated, consisting of 8523 acres of inclosed land, hill ground, common, woods, &c.; the hills are finely formed, and the lower part of the parish is richly clothed with wood.
The scenery is pleasingly varied; and from the higher grounds are some interesting views, extending over the adjacent country. Llyn Llanillyn, in the parish, is a large sheet of water, about twelve acres in extent, and nearly three-quarters of a mile in circumference, but from the want of wood both on its banks and in the immediate vicinity, it is destitute of beauty. The celebrated cascade called "Waterbreak-its-neck" is also within the parish, situated in a narrow defile, among the hills of Radnor forest, about two miles west of New Radnor. The fall is about seventy feet in perpendicular height; but the water, except after heavy rains, instead of descending in one continuous sheet, trickles down the rock, and loses much of that interest and grandeur of effect which it might otherwise be capable of producing. The scenery near this waterfall is among the finest in Radnorshire. The village, though small, is of more prepossessing appearance than many in this part of the principality, and is considerably enlivened by the traffic occasioned by the roads from Hereford to Aberystwith, and from Knighton and Presteign to Builth, which pass through the parish.
The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £4. 13. 4., and in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor. There are fourteen acres of bounty land in the adjoining parish of Old Radnor, and about forty in that of Merthyr-Cynog, Breconshire. Two-thirds of the great tithes are impropriate in Mrs. Crummer, and the Right Hon. Sir T. F. Lewis; the remainder belongs to the vicar: the whole tithes of the parish have been commuted for £173 payable to the vicar, and £128. 10. payable to the impropriators. The bounty and glebe lands produce about £34 per annum, thus making the gross income of the vicar about £207. The present church, opened for divine service on Thursday, the 26th of October, 1848, is a neat edifice, consisting, like the former, of a nave and chancel, and completed at a cost of £470, from the designs of Thomas Nicholson, Esq., of Hereford. Occupying the site of the old church, it needed no consecration. It is built of hewn freestone, a present from the quarry of Sir T. F. Lewis; the arch of the porch is of elegantly carved freestone, as is also the west window. The nave is separated from the chancel by a beautiful arch: the four windows on the north side of the nave, and the three on the south side, are lancet-shaped; the chancel windows, three in number, are of stained glass, the gift of the Rev. W. Prosser Williams, the vicar. Accommodation is afforded for 170 persons, and the pews are all open. There is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists; and two Sunday schools are held, one of them in connexion with the Established Church, the other with the Calvinistic body.
Lady Joan Hartstongue bequeathed a house and about fifty-nine acres of land at Weythel, in the parish of Old Radnor, for the support of a school for the gratuitous instruction of poor children of the townships of Trêwern and Old Radnor: see Old Radnor. Nothing is now known of certain charities by Edward ap Edward, Richard Lloyd, John Price de Hill, &c., though mentioned in the Parliamentary returns of 1786. The parish is entitled to one-third of the produce of a farm, let for £21 per annum, in the parish of Llandegley, purchased with the gifts of Evan and Ann Griffiths made in 1721, and applied to the relief of the poor, agreeably to the directions of the donors. There is also a rent-charge of £1 on a small farm within its limits, called Llaniago, given by an unknown benefactor for the same purpose. In the parish are two large tumuli, and one of smaller dimensions, but no historical particulars have been recorded of them. A mineral spring here, called Blaenedew's Well, efficacious in curing cutaneous disorders, was much resorted to in former years.
LLANVIHANGEL-PENBEDW (LLAN-FIHANGEL-PENBEDW), a parish, in the union of Cardigan, hundred of Kîlgerran, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 5 miles (S. S. E.) from Cardigan; containing 343 inhabitants. This parish derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Michael, and the distinguishing adjunct to its name from the number of fine birch-trees growing in the vicinity. It is pleasantly situated in the northeastern part of the county, near the source of the river Nevern, which, after flowing through the parish, continues its course in a western direction, and falls into the sea at Newport. Within about forty yards of the source of the Nevern also springs up the small river Selly, which proceeds for a short distance eastward, and then flows northward and joins the Teivy. The parish comprises 2100 acres, of which 340 are common or waste land; it is generally in a good state of cultivation, and the surrounding scenery is diversified. Kîlrhue is a good mansion, pleasantly situated in grounds tastefully laid out, and comprehending an agreeable variety of scenery. The old road leading from Carmarthen to Cardigan passes through the village. The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £6, and in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £135 per annum. The church, which is situated in an extreme corner of the parish, is not remarkable for any peculiar architectural details.
LLANVIHANGEL-RHYD-ITHON (LLAN-FIHANGEL-RHYD-ITHON), a parish, in the union of Knighton, hundred of Kevenlleece, county of Radnor, South Wales, 3 miles (E. N. E.) from Pen-y-Bont; containing 337 inhabitants, exclusively of 20 in the parish of Llandewi-Ystradenny, into which the township of Llanvihangel extends. This parish derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Michael; its distinguishing adjunct, signifying "the ford of the Ithon," seems but obscurely derived from its situation on the Cymaron, a tributary stream to the Ithon, and rather less than a mile above its confluence with that river. According to the opinion of some antiquaries, which is said to be confirmed by local tradition from time immemorial, the name is more properly Llanvihangel-Rhiw-Teithon, from its situation on a road immediately above the church, which led into the forest of Radnor, and still bears the appellation Rhiw Teithon. The surface of the parish, comprising by admeasurement 3204a. 30p., is in general wild and mountainous; but the soil is comparatively fertile and productive, though the lands are but partially inclosed and indifferently cultivated. The scenery is pleasing, and the views from the higher grounds extensive and diversified. The road from Knighton and Presteign to Pen-y-Bont, Rhaiadr, and Aberystwith, passes through the parish, and has been much improved: the post-office from which the inhabitants receive their letters is at Pen-y-Bont.
The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to that of Llandewi-Ystradenny, and endowed with £800 royal bounty, and £200 parliamentary grant. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £196. The present church was built in 1838, on the site of the northern portion of the old one, which was in a very dilapidated state when taken down. It consists of a nave and chancel, and a tower with five bells, and contains 233 sittings, of which 101 are free; the east window is ornamented with painted glass, executed at the expense of Messrs. Richard and Thomas Moore, who liberally contributed, and zealously exerted themselves, in erecting the church. There is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists in which a Sunday school is also held. The interest of one or two small charitable donations, some rentcharges of 10s. each, and another of £5, payable out of a messuage and lands called Trevorgan, the gift of Ann Moore in 1837, amounting in the whole to £7, are annually distributed among the poor.
LLANVIHANGEL-TÀLYLLYN (LLAN-FIHANGEL-TÀL-Y-LLYN), a parish, in the hundred of Tàlgarth, union and county of Brecknock, South Wales, 4½ miles (E.) from Brecknock; containing 151 inhabitants. It derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Michael, and its distinguishing adjunct from its situation at the head or north-western extremity of the beautiful lake called Llangorse Pool, or Llyn Savaddan. The whole of it, together with the parish of Cathedine and part of Llangorse, was assigned by Bernard Newmarch to his royal prisoner Gwrgan, son of Bleddyn ab Maenarch: but it appears to have reverted to the Norman lords of Brecknock, on the marriage of the Welsh chieftain with the heiress of Wiston, in the county of Pembroke, to which place he immediately removed. On the attainder of the last Duke of Buckingham of the Stafford family, this property was granted to John Walwyn, from whom it successively passed to the Wynters, the Philippses, the Scourfields, and the Prichards, and finally to the grandfather of the Rev. Hugh Bold, the present lord of the manor.
The village is agreeably situated at the head of the lake, which is two miles in length and one in breadth, and abounds with perch, pike, and eels: of the last, some are found of enormous size. From this fine sheet of water issues the small stream called the Llyvni, which during part of its course forms a boundary between the hundreds of Pencelly and Tàlgarth, and afterwards falls into the river Wye just above the bridge at Glâsbury. The scenery is pleasingly diversified, in some parts highly picturesque; and the views comprehend some interesting features, among which the Brecknockshire Beacons are conspicuous. The turnpike-road from Brecknock to Llangorse and Tàlgarth runs through the village, and the Brecknock and Hay tramroad passes within a few hundred yards of it.
The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £4. 12. 3½.; patron, the Rev. Hugh Bold: the tithes have been commuted for a rentcharge of £170; and there are eighteen acres of glebe land, valued at £18 per annum, and a very indifferent parsonage-house. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is an ancient structure, consisting of a nave and chancel, with a massive square tower at the west end; it is beautifully situated at the extremity of the lake, and kept in good repair. Adjoining the churchyard is a room, purchased and fitted up by the late rector, Archdeacon Davis, who, in 1816, established a school here on the National plan, which, however, was afterwards suspended for want of scholars, the parish being so small. At the present time, a day school supported by payments from the parents is held in the church. There is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, in which a Sunday school is held. Mrs. Mary Philipps gave by deed a house and garden in the village, the rent to be distributed in bread to the poor; but the benefaction produces only £1 per annum, the rent being low, in consideration of the tenant's supporting a large family, who would otherwise be chargeable to the parish. Mrs. Jennet Prosser also left a house and garden to the poor, which produce £2 a year. Pwll-y-Mere, a tenement in the parish, comprising about half an acre of land, worth about £1 per annum, was bequeathed for a supply of sacramental bread and wine, to which use the rent is now applied.
LLANVIHANGEL-TRE'R-BEIRDD (LLAN-FIHANGEL-TREF-Y-BEIRDD), a parish, in the hundred of Twrcelyn, union and county of Anglesey, North Wales, 4 miles (E. by S.) from Llanerchymedd; containing 373 inhabitants. This parish derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Michael, and its distinguishing adjunct from its having anciently been one of the seats of the British bards or Druids. It is pleasantly situated in a fertile district nearly in the centre of the island. The surface is varied with some bold eminences; the lands are for the most part inclosed and in cultivation, and the soil, especially in the lower grounds, is fertile and productive. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the rectory of Llandyvrydog: the church is a small plain edifice, and contains some good monuments to the family of Lewis. There are places of worship for dissenters, and some Sunday schools. The produce of a few charitable donations and bequests is annually distributed among the poor at Christmas: the principal of these is a sum of £1. 15., arising from the rent of houses in Carnarvon, and being the proportion assigned to this place, under the benefaction of Owen Humphrey; the residue is the interest of different small amounts left by a few individuals, which is paid out of the rates, in consequence of the chief gifts having been misapplied by the parish officers. Sir William Jones was connected with the parish: and Lewis Morris, an eminent antiquary and poet, resided here for some time. Of the occupation of the place by the Druids, several vestiges are still visible, among which are, the remains of a Druidical altar upon one of the hills in the parish; and a large pillar or upright stone, near the church, called Maen Addwyn, or "the blessed stone," supposed to be one of those Meini Gwŷr noticed by Mr. Rowlands.
LLANVIHANGEL-UWCH-GUILLY, a chapelry, in the parish of Aberguilly, Lower division of the hundred of Elvet, union and county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 5½ miles (E. N. E.) from Carmarthen: the population is included in the return for the parish. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £1200 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Vicar of Aberguilly; net income, £48. The chapel is dedicated to St. Michael. It is situated apart from any high road, in a vale, through which flows a stream that falls into the Towy after passing by Merlin's Grove.
LLANVIHANGEL-VECHAN (LLAN-FIHANGEL-FECHAN), a chapelry, forming the Upper division of the parish of LlandevailogVâch, in the hundred of Merthyr-Cynog, union and county of Brecknock, South Wales, 5 miles (N. by W.) from Brecknock, on the road to Builth; containing 200 inhabitants. The name of this place, signifying "St. Michael's the lesser," is derived from the dedication of its church. It comprises the northern portion of the parish, and has the parish of Merthyr-Cynog on the north, that of Garthbrengy on the east, and the Yscir river on the west; the soil comprehends several varieties, and is suited to all kinds of agricultural produce. The village is situated on the left bank of the romantic river Honddû, which is here crossed by a bridge, amid some wellwooded glens inclosed by lofty hills. Castle Madoc is the seat of Hugh Price, Esq., to whose father this estate was devised by his cousin, Miss Catherine Powell, by whose ancestors it had been possessed for ages. It is one of the oldest family mansions in the county, and according to Mr. Jones, the historian of Brecknockshire, derives its name from its founder, Madoc ab Maenarch, brother to the unfortunate Bleddyn, Prince of Brycheiniog, whose dominions were seized and himself slain by the Normans under Bernard Newmarch. The plainly marked site of the original edifice, and a mount forming that of the keep, are still to be seen near the present mansion, which was built in the year 1588, as appears by an inscription over the entrance, but has been frequently altered, and has undergone a thorough repair. From a lofty hill above it, called Alltarnog, in the adjacent parish of Merthyr-Cynog, is obtained a delightful view of the most beautiful part of the Vale of Honddû, with the sinuous course of its rapid river, terminated by the magnificent chain of mountains in which the Brecknockshire Beacons rise pre-eminent. The chapelry contains a small woollen manufactory and a tucking-mill.
The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £1000 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Rector of Llandevailog-Vâch; net income, £65. The chapel, dedicated to St. Michael, is supposed to have been originally erected for the use of the family at Castle Madoc, who contributed largely to the rebuilding of it, about the commencement of the present century; it is about fifty feet long and thirty wide, and contains a neat marble tablet to the memory of Miss Catherine Powell, and her father, Charles Powell, Esq. It is sometimes called "the Lower Chapel," to distinguish it from the chapel of Dyfryn Honddû, in the parish of Merthyr-Cynog. There is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, in which a Sunday school is also held. Ann Bowen, in 1684, bequeathed a rent-charge of £1. 4., on a farm called Cwm Bachlyn; and Miss Catherine Powell, who died in 1798, charged the estate of Castle Madoc with the payment of 40s. per annum to the poor of the chapelry. On the hill of Alltarnog are the remains of a British encampment, nearly of an oval form, and about 200 yards in circumference, originally defended on the north by three ramparts, two of which are now almost levelled; and on the south by the precipitousness of the elevation. Thomas Powell, of Castle Madoc, according to the Cambrian Biography, was a poet who flourished between the years 1580 and 1620; but his writings are little known. The Rev. Hugh Price, rector of Rettendon and Little Ilford, in the county of Essex, for many years examining chaplain to Bishop Warburton, and distinguished no less for his literary attainments than for his upright and amiable character, died, in 1803, at Castle Madoc, of which he had been for many years proprietor, and lies buried in the cemetery attached to the church of Llandevailog-Vâch.
LLANVIHANGEL-Y-CREIDDYN (LLAN-FIHANGEL-Y-CREUDDYN), a parish, in the union of Aberystwith, Upper division of the hundred of Ilar, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 7 miles (S. E.) from Aberystwith, on the road to Rhaiadr; comprising the chapelry of Eglwys-Newydd, or Llanvihangel-y-Creiddyn Uchâv, and the township of Llanvihangel-y-Creiddyn Isâv; and containing 2102 inhabitants, of whom 971 are in Llanvihangel-y-Creiddyn Isâv. This large parish, anciently called Llanvihangel-Glyndroed, is situated on the river Ystwith, and intersected by various other streams. It is distinguished by scenery equally remarkable for picturesque beauty and strikingly romantic grandeur. The former character prevails in a high degree throughout the extensive grounds of Havod, now the property of Henry Hoghton, Esq., and the latter on the precipitous and craggy cliffs through which the rivers Mynach and Rheidiol wind an arduous and frequently interrupted course.
Over the first-mentioned of these streams is Pontar-Vynach, or, as it is called from a vulgar tradition, The Devil's Bridge; which has for the last century been one of the grand scenes of Welsh tourists. The Mynach here rushes impetuously through a narrow chasm between the lofty cliffs that on each side confine its waters, darkened by the entangled branches and foliage of numerous trees, which have taken root among the rocks, and at a great depth beneath a bridge of one arch, thrown over at a very early period, by the monks of the abbey of Strata-Florida, an ancient establishment in the neighbourhood; or, more probably, by the Knights Hospitallers, who had some hospitia in this part of the county. This bridge, the descent to which from the road was found inconvenient and dangerous, was, in 1753, surmounted by another bridge of one arch, at a higher elevation and of larger span, over which the road is continued to Aberystwith. The descent to the river, which flows at a great depth below its craggy and precipitous banks, is frightfully steep, and only rendered practicable by the numerous trees with which the rocks on both sides are interspersed. The view from the bottom of the valley is strikingly picturesque: the bridges are seen to advantage only from this point, and present an appearance truly romantic; the height of the upper bridge above the bed of the river is about 120 feet. At the distance of about fifty yards from the bridge, the river, rushing in a narrow and obstructed channel, falls with violence from a rock eighteen feet in height into a cavity beneath: on emerging, it almost instantly descends from a precipice of sixty feet into another cavity, and, after falling again from a height of twenty feet, descends in one unbroken sheet from an elevation of more than one hundred feet. On the opposite side of the glen a view of all the four falls of the Mynach is obtained from a projecting mass of rock, a little below which the river falls into the Rheidiol.
The Rheidiol, after receiving the Mynach, pursues a similar course, frequently interrupted by rocks of various elevation, over which it is precipitated with violence, and from one of which, of prodigious height, it descends in one vast and entire column, forming a cataract of great sublimity. The main torrent, in its descent, is partially intercepted on each side by projecting points of rock, which, diverting its course into an oblique direction, form two smaller cataracts that intersect each other in their descent. This fall, though often passed by unvisited, embraces by far the finest portion of the scenery of the neighbourhood; its volume of water is quite as great as that of the principal Mynach fall, which it also surpasses in wild and solitary grandeur. The scenery of the valley through which the Rheidiol has its course is in general characterised by features similar to those of the Vale of Mynach. Opposite the Rheidiol fall, upon a precipice of forests, at the height of more than 150 yards, stands the Havod Arms inn, which thus commands some most interesting features. The house was for several years almost closed; a road was formed from Rhaiadr to Aberystwith by a different route, and the hotel was fast going to decay when the Duke of Newcastle, becoming proprietor of the Havod estate, rebuilt this celebrated inn, and once more restored it to its wonted prosperity. Tickets may be procured here for visiting Havod, which is about four miles distant, the road passing through a wildly mountainous tract of country, at first overlooking the deep dingle of the Mynach.
Lead-ore abounds in the parish, and several hundred tons of it are annually raised; a mine called Cwm-Ystwith employs a considerable number of persons, and there are others of less importance. The working of these mines at a former period led to the establishment of a small village named Pentre Briwnant, which stands on the road from Rhaiadr to Aberystwith, in the upper part of the Vale of Ystwith, where the country is remarkably wild and rugged. The living of Llanvihangel parish is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £8, and endowed with £200 royal bounty; present net income, £126; patron, the Bishop of St. David's; impropriator, T. P. Chichester, Esq. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is a neat structure, in the later style of English architecture. Within the precincts of the Havod estate is the chapel of Eglwys Newydd, forming a separate incumbency; and schools for boys and girls, in the same part of the parish, are supported by Mr. Hoghton. There are places of worship in the parish for Calvinistic Methodists, Wesleyans, and Baptists; and eight Sunday schools, two of which are in connexion with the Established Church. A very curious ancient British cist ludw, a vessel for holding ashes, was found in 1844. An account of Havod and its scenery is given under Eglwys-Newydd.
LLANVIHANGEL-YNHOWYN (LLAN-FIHANGEL-YN-NHYWYN), a parish, in the hundred of Llyvon, union and county of Anglesey, North Wales, 6 miles (S. E. by E.) from Holyhead; containing 200 inhabitants. This parish, which is traversed by the road from the Menai suspension-bridge to Holyhead, derives its name from the dedication of its church, and its distinguishing adjunct from its situation on an extensive common near the sea. Formerly it used to be called Llanvihangel-y-Traeth. It is bounded on the north-west by the parish of Llanvair-yn-Eubwll, on the north by the parish of Bôdedern, on the east by that of Ceirchiog, on the south-east by that of Llechylched, and on the south and west by Cymmyran bay; and comprises by admeasurement 950 acres. The surface is broken, and in some parts rocky; the scenery is pleasing, and ornamented with numerous small lakes, one of which, called Traphwll Pool, adjoining the Crigyll river, a beautiful troutstream, is very picturesque and greatly admired. The more distant views, embracing the bay and the adjacent country, are extensive and diversified. The soil is good, and the inclosed land, comprehending nearly all the cultivated portion, is fertile, producing excellent oats and barley; in addition to which, there is a large tract of common land, bounded on the south-west by Cymmyran bay, and on the northwest by the narrow strait that separates it from Holy Island. In several parts are vestiges of the original habitations mentioned by Mr. Rowlands, and supposed to have been occupied by the earliest inhabitants of the place. The Chester and Holyhead railway intersects the parish. An ancient festival, called Gŵyl Mâb Sant, was formerly held on the 10th of October, annually, and observed with great ceremony; but it has degenerated into a meeting for hiring servants.
The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the rectory of Rhôscolyn; the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £69. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is an ancient structure, built upon an eminence, and forming a conspicuous and interesting object for many miles around; it consists of a nave or single aisle, and measures forty-six feet by twenty-one feet and a half, and nine feet high, external dimensions. At the western end is a bellgable, stepped, with an ogee head; and in the western wall of the churchyard is the stoup, or base of the cross. In the interior of the edifice may be particularly noticed, the eastern window, of peculiar design, having an upper aperture intended perhaps to hold a shield of arms; and the font, a curious oblong basin, of stone. There is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists. A small endowment was given for education in this parish and Llanvairyn-Eubwll; but no school is held in either, and it does not appear what becomes of the endowment. The place receives 18s. annually for the poor, or the instruction of children, under a bequest by the Rev. Dr. Jones, Dean of Bangor, to the parish of Rhôscolyn; and also derives 10s. yearly from Emma Roberts's charity in the same parish, which sum is divided between two poor widows.
LLANVIHANGEL-Y-PENNANT (LLAN-FIHANGEL-Y-PENNANT), a parish, in the union of Festiniog, hundred of Eivionydd, county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 5 miles (N. W. by N.) from Trêmadoc; containing 680 inhabitants. The name of this parish is derived from the dedication of its church to St. Michael, and the distinguishing adjunct from its situation near a fine stream in a picturesque valley embosomed in mountains. The surrounding scenery combines features of beauty with objects of barren aspect and romantic grandeur: the mountains called Graig Gôch and Moel Hebog, of wild and frowning appearance, rise to a considerable height immediately above the church. Brynker, the seat of Lady Huddart, a good family mansion, occupying a pleasant site, was purchased by Capt. Huddart, R. N., who however never visited the estate, but committed the management of it to his son, the late Sir Joseph Huddart, Knt. Captain Huddart was celebrated for the execution of nautical charts, and, though not a civil engineer by profession, had an intimate knowledge of every thing connected with the science; he died at Highbury Terrace, London, and a memoir of his life was written by his son, Sir Joseph, who died in 1841. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £200 private benefaction, and £600 royal bounty; net income, £127; patron, the Bishop of Bangor: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £165. There is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, who hold three Sunday schools. Mrs. Frances Wynne devised £100, for the benefit of the poor of this place and Dôlbenmaen, and a moiety of the interest is regularly paid to the churchwardens here for distribution. A bequest of £10 for the same purpose by Mrs. Jane Jones, in 1720, has been lost through one of the wardens, a farmer, becoming insolvent.
LLANVIHANGEL-Y-PENNANT (LLAN-FIHANGEL-Y-PENNANT), a parish, in the union of Dôlgelley, hundred of Estimaner, county of Merioneth, North Wales, 8 miles (S. W.) from Dôlgelley; containing 375 inhabitants. This parish is about four miles in length and three in breadth, and contains 8244 acres, comprehending a variety of soils. Nearly one-half of it, situated in a vale, is fertile and in a state of good cultivation, a considerable portion producing excellent corn; whilst the mountainous parts, forming a portion of the great Cader Idris chain, afford only pasturage for sheep. The village, which is small, is pleasantly seated on the banks of the river Dysynni, which falls into the sea at Aber-Dysynni. Near the margin of the river, and occupying the summit of a rocky eminence, are the remains of the castle of Teberri, a strong fortress, supposed to have been erected either by Grufydd ab Cynan, Prince of North Wales, or by Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester, into whose hands that prince was betrayed by Meirion Gôch, to whom its defence had been committed. According to Mr. Pennant, it is thought also to have been the castle of Bere, the stronghold of the last Llewelyn, which, not long before the final reduction of Wales, was taken by William de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, and probably the same that was committed by Edward I. to the custody of Robert Fitz-Walter, to whom the king granted the privilege of hunting all kinds of wild beasts in the principality. A part of the fortress was excavated in the rock, and the walls were constructed of masonry, cemented by mortar composed of shells and gravel. Near this is the seat named Caerberllan Hall. Turf and peat are found in the parish. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £400 royal bounty, and £200 parliamentary grant; present net income, £46; patron, the Bishop of Bangor; impropriator, the Bishop of Lichfield, whose tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £190. The church is dedicated to St. Michael. There is a place of worship for Independents. Mr. David Evan, in 1724, bequeathed £10, the interest of which is annually distributed among the poor.
Llanvihangel-Ysceiviog, or Llanvihangel-Pentre-Berw (Llan-Fihangel-Ysceifiog)
LLANVIHANGEL-YSCEIVIOG, or LLANVIHANGEL-PENTRE-BERW (LLAN-FIHANGEL-YSCEIFIOG), a parish, in the poorlaw union of Bangor and Beaumaris, hundred of Menai, county of Anglesey, North Wales, 8 miles (W. by N.) from Bangor; containing 947 inhabitants. This parish, which is of considerable extent, has been progressively improving since the new line of road from Bangor to Holyhead was brought through it: the soil is various in different parts, and in some places rather large portions of marshy land occur. The village is small, but has a post-office dependent on that of Bangor. Coal of a particular kind, called "mountain coal," of a very soft quality, exists in the parish, and as the stratum here found is the only one in the island, the procuring of the coal is of very great advantage, although the expense of working it is considerable, arising from the marshy nature of the land, and the quantity of water with which the mine is inundated. To overcome these obstacles, a steam-engine of great power has been erected, and the colliery is conducted upon an extensive scale, affording employment to about 200 men; six shafts have been sunk of late years, and very superior coal is now raised. A tramroad was projected from the coal-works in the parish to Red Wharf, in Llanbedr-Gôch, a distance of seven miles, under the provisions of an act of parliament obtained in 1812, by which the proprietors were incorporated under the name of the "Anglesey Railway Company;" but the work was never carried into effect, as the supply of coal then raised was insufficient to warrant the outlay. The Chester and Holyhead railway passes on the south of the colliery.
The living is a perpetual curacy, with that of Llanfinnan annexed, endowed with £10 per annum private benefaction, £800 royal bounty, and £400 parliamentary grant; net income, £120; patron, the Dean of Bangor. The tithes in the two parishes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £480. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is a spacious and interesting structure, comprising a nave, south aisle, and chancel, and having on the north side a small building called Capel Berw, communicating with the church, and evidently of more recent date than the rest of the edifice. A new church is approaching towards completion at Gaerwen, the most populous part of the parish, a hamlet situated on the Holyhead road in the neighbourhood of the coalmines: the erection of the building has been superintended by H. Kennedy, Esq., architect, of Bangor, who consented to carry into effect the plans of an amateur architect, and to improve them by his own professional taste and experience. At the same place are two meeting-houses, for Calvinistic Methodists and Baptists; that for the Methodists is capable of accommodating 800 persons, and, being situated on elevated ground, forms a conspicuous object for a considerable distance.
The Rev. Dr. John Jones, Dean of Bangor, in 1719, bequeathed £100, in trust, to be appropriated to the payment of a master to teach twelve poor children of this parish and that of Llanfinnan to read. A National school was built in 1828, by subscription, and is supported by the interest of the above £100, with a house and garden granted in perpetuity by Holland Griffith, Esq.; also by subscription amounting to £20 per annum, and by school-pence. Of the four Sunday schools in the parish, three belong to the Calvinistic body, and one to the Baptists. There are some small charitable donations, the interest arising from which is annually distributed among the poor during the winter. The principal of these are, a grant of twenty-four yards of cloth and 24s. in money to be divided among six of the poorest old men, charged on certain lands in the parish of Llangafo, by—Williams, of Bugden, more than a century since; a bequest of a rent-charge of 6s., by Mrs. Holland, to be given in bread to the poor; and another of £5 by Thomas Williams, with which sum and other funds of the parish four small cottages were built, three of which are occupied by widows rent-free, and the other by a family. Two poor men of the parish, also, are entitled to a room, with an annuity of £6 each, in the endowed almshouse at Penmynedd; and alternately with Llanfinnan, a third poor man participates.
LLANVIHANGEL-YSTRAD (LLAN-FIHANGEL-YSTRAD), a parish, in the union of Aberaëron, Upper division of the hundred of Moythen, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 6 miles (N. W.) from Lampeter; comprising the Upper and Lower divisions, and containing 1225 inhabitants, of whom 634 are in the Upper, and 591 in the Lower division. This parish is pleasantly situated on the river Aëron, and on the turnpike-road from Lampeter to Aberystwith. It is of considerable extent, reaching from the beautiful Vale of Aëron almost to that of the Teivy, comprehending a rich variety of scenery, in many parts highly picturesque, and embracing, especially from the higher grounds, several interesting and extensive views of the surrounding country. The place constituted a prebend in the ancient college of Llandewy-Brevi, rated in the king's books at £7. 14. 4½., and now an impropriation. The living is a discharged vicarage, rated at £4. 18. 1½., and endowed with £678. 18. 6. parliamentary grant, and £200 royal bounty; present net income, £126; patron, the Bishop of St. David's: the tithes have been commuted for £410, of which £282 are payable to the impropriator, and £128 to the vicar. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is an ancient structure, consisting of a nave, and north and south aisles; the nave is separated from each of the aisles by a series of four pointed arches, supported on square pillars: the font is quadrangular, and is placed on a short round column. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, and Unitarians; and two Sunday schools, one of them in connexion with the Established Church, and the other with the Independents. In the southern part of the parish is an intrenchment, called Cribyn Clottas, of which no particulars are recorded; and in a field designated Maes Mynach, is an ancient stone, with Runic ornaments, but without any inscription.
LLANVIHANGEL-Y-TRAETHAU (LLAN-FIHANGEL-Y-TRAETHAU), a parish, in the union of Festiniog, hundred of Ardudwy, county of Merioneth, North Wales, 3 miles (N. by E.) from Harlech; containing 1359 inhabitants. The parish consists of the hamlets of Llanvihangel and Ynys, with part of that of Penrhyn, the rest being in the parish of Llandecwyn. Its name is derived from the dedication of its church, and the distinguishing adjunct from its situation on the Traeth Bâch, an extensive tract of sands, forming the wide estuary of the river Dwyryd, which here pours its waters into the bay of Cardigan. In 1073, at a place called Bron-yr-Erw, in this parish, on the point of land that separates the estuaries of the Traeth Bâch and Traeth Mawr, was fought a sanguinary battle between Trehaern ab Caradoc, Prince of North Wales, and a claimant of the sovereignty, named Grufydd ab Cynan, when the latter was defeated and compelled to return into Anglesey, from which island he had advanced into the heart of Trehaern's dominions. The parish lies partly, or principally, on the south side of the Traeth Bâch, and includes a tract on the north side, called Penrhyn-Deudraeth, which is very thickly inhabited. The road from Harlech over the sands to Trêmadoc passes near the village, and the parish is also intersected by the road between Tan-y-Bwlch and the same town. An act of parliament was obtained in the year 1806, for inclosing the common and waste in this and the adjoining parish of Llandanwg, under the provisions of which 1365 acres were allotted to this parish, which comprises altogether between 6000 and 7000 acres of land, partly hilly and partly flat: some marshes, that were subject to inundation by the waters of the Traeth Bâch, have of late years been inclosed. In the parish are several small lakes, the largest of which are Llyn y Vedw and Llyn Eiddaw. Glynn, an ancient mansion belonging to Ormsby Gore, Esq., also forms an ornament to it. The soil is various, consisting on the higher ground of a dark red substance, and in the low lands of clay, sand, and peat. The scenery is pleasingly varied; and there are some good views, embracing on the west a portion of Cardigan bay, and on the south the stately remains of Harlech Castle. Vessels of small burthen can ascend the river as far as Tŷ Gwyn y Gamlas, within a few hundred yards of the church, where they receive or discharge their freight.
The living is a perpetual curacy, with that of Llandecwyn annexed, the former endowed with £200 royal bounty, and the latter with £1000 parliamentary grant; patron, the Treasurer of Bangor Cathedral. Upon a late vacancy of the treasurership, the new treasurer, as rector of these parishes, and in compliance with the bishop's recommendation, assigned the glebe in favour of the perpetual curate; and a new house of residence was built, which is a great improvement to the benefice. The tithes of the two parishes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £197. 3. 10., and the glebe comprises 42a. 3r. 9p., valued at £40 per annum. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is an ancient structure, appropriately fitted up, and beautifully situated: in the churchyard is a monumental stone, of the Norman period, six feet high, bearing the inscription, "Hic est sepulcrum Wleder matris Odelev, qui primum edificavit hanc ecclesiam, in tempore Wini regis." There are places of worship for Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists, and Baptists. The Reverend John Jones, D.D., in 1719, bequeathed £50, the interest of which he directed to be appropriated to the education of ten poor children of this and the adjoining parish of Llandecwyn. Two or three schools are held, one of which is supported by Mrs. Oakeley, of Plâs Tan-yBwlch; and there are six Sunday schools. A cottage, with two gardens and about an acre of land, is in possession of the parish, supported from a grant by Catherine Humphreys, in 1706; and a person of a similar name, in 1751, gave £10 for the poor, a part of which sum was expended in inclosing this piece of land. It is occupied by an indigent family rent-free; but the interest of the bequest is, notwithstanding, paid by the parish, and, with a rent-charge of 10s. granted by Mrs. Lloyd in 1784, distributed among the poor. In that part of the parish called PenrhynDeudraeth is said to have stood a castle belonging to one of the sons of Owain Gwynedd. The Rev. Humphrey Humphreys, D.D., Bishop of Hereford, was born at Hêndre Isâv, in this parish: he presided over the see of Bangor from 1689 till 1701, and over the see of Hereford from that time till his death; he died at Hereford, on the 20th of November, 1712, and was interred near the altar in the cathedral church of that city.
LLANVILLO (LLAN-FILO), a parish, in the hundred of Pencelly, union and county of Brecknock, South Wales, 7 miles (N. E. by E.) from Brecknock; containing 300 inhabitants. It derives its name from the dedication of its church to Milburg, called by the Welsh Milo, an eminent female saint of the seventh century, who was daughter of Merwald, King of Mercia, and abbess of Wenlock in the county of Salop; she presided over the institution there until her death, and was interred in the abbey, where her remains were subsequently found in the reign of Henry I. The lands, though not naturally fertile, are in a very high state of cultivation; and the surrounding country affords many finely varied prospects and much pleasing rural scenery. The village is situated within a mile of the turnpike-road from Hay to Brecknock, and at a short distance from a small stream, over which is a bridge named Pont Vâch. There are some quarries of good limestone, and of stone for building and roofing houses, the working of which affords employment to a few persons. The Brecknock and Hay tramroad passes within a mile of the place, but the road leading to it is at present in so bad a state that very little benefit is derived from it.
The living is a rectory, with that of LlandevailogTre'r-Graig annexed, rated in the king's books at £6. 14. 9½.; present net income, £324, with a glebehouse; patron, T. Watkins, Esq. The advowson anciently belonged to the lords of Brecknock, but upon the attainder of the last Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, it became vested in the crown, and was granted to Roger Vaughan of Porthaml. The church, situated in the centre of the village, is an ancient structure, much disfigured by successive alterations, but of late years thoroughly repaired. The roodloft still remains; in the front are twelve niches, in which it is supposed were formerly statues of the apostles, and the upper part of it has been converted into a gallery for the accommodation of the parishioners: the old roof of the chancel is hid by a flat modern ceiling. The churchyard commands an extensive prospect over the surrounding country; and from the parsonage-house is obtained a very pleasing view, that extends into the counties of Radnor and Hereford. There is a Sunday school in connexion with the Established Church, commenced in the year 1835. The interest of £11, given by an unknown benefactor, and secured on a cottage in the parish, occupied by the clerk at a rent of 18s. per annum, is annually distributed among the poor.
On a lofty eminence on a farm belonging to Sir Charles Morgan, Bart., are some vestiges of an ancient British encampment of considerable size, inclosing an elliptical area, of which the longer diameter is 624 feet, and the shorter 138. It appears to have been defended all round by a deep fosse, which is still remaining in that part where the ground is least precipitous. From this eminence is a view of amazing extent and magnificence, comprehending the Vale of Llangorse, with its beautiful lake, behind which the lofty Allt Esgair, apparently rising abruptly from the margin of the water, presents a perfectly conical appearance. To the east is the range of the Black Mountains, stretching into Herefordshire, and throwing into bold relief the village of Tàlgarth, which, with the neighbouring castle of Bronllŷs, forms a conspicuous feature in the scenery. To the north lies a richly cultivated tract, comprising part of the picturesque Vale of the Wye, beyond which rise the Radnorshire hills; and to the south the village and church of Llandevalley, the mansion and grounds of Pontywall, the village of Talachddû, the heights above Brecknock, and the lofty summits of the Brecknockshire Beacons, present themselves in pleasing succession. A little to the west of this encampment is a much smaller eminence, which appears to have been fortified by an intrenchment.