A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1849.
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Cacca-Dutton (Dutton Cacca)
CACCA-DUTTON (DUTTON CACCA), a township, in the parochial chapelry of Is-y-Coed, union of Wrexham, hundred of Bromfield, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 4 miles (E.) from Wrexham; containing 110 inhabitants. It is of small extent, but is separately assessed for the support of its own poor. A tithe rent-charge of £60 is paid to the Dean and Chapter of Winchester.
CADER, a hamlet, in the parish of Llanrhaiadr-in-Kinmerch, union of Ruthin, hundred of Isaled, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 2½ miles (S. by W.) from Denbigh; containing 133 inhabitants. From a rocky elevation, by some called Cader Gwladus, or "Gwladus' chair," and by others Cader yr Arglwyddes, or the "Peeress's chair," a beautiful view is obtained of the vale between Denbigh and Ruthin, and the hills rising above it on the east, including also the interesting remains of Denbigh Castle. At the foot of this rocky height, and imbedded in the limestone of which it is composed, are large masses of silex, which, when broken, are occasionally found to contain agate, jasper, crystallized sulphate of lime, and chalcedony: of these, the agate and chalcedony are pure, and exceedingly beautiful, and are discovered in as great a number and variety as, perhaps, in any other part of the world.
Cadoxton, or Llan-Catwg
CADOXTON, or LLAN-CATWG, a parish, in the union and hundred of Neath, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 1 mile (N.) from Neath; comprising the townships of Blaen-Honddan, CoedFrank, Dyfryn-Clydach, Lower Dylas, Upper Dylas, Neath-Genol (or Middle Neath), Lower Neath, Upper Neath, and Ynis-y-Mond, each of which separately maintains its own poor; and containing 5794 inhabitants. This extensive parish, which derives its name from St. Catwg, to whom the church is dedicated, is situated on the north-western bank of the river Neath, along which it extends for about fifteen miles, from its entrance into the county at Pont-Neath-Vaughan. The parish is traversed by the road leading from Swansea to Merthyr-Tydvil, and is bounded on the north by the parish of Kîlybebill, on the south by Neath, on the east by Lantwitjuxta-Neath, and on the west by the parish of Llansamlet. It averages about five miles in breadth, and comprises 32,000 acres, comprehending within its limits a great part of the beautiful valley of Neath. Rheola, the seat of Nash Edwards Vaughan, Esq., is a splendid modern mansion, occupying a delightful situation on the banks of the Neath, and commanding a view of the most admired scenery in the vale through which that river flows. Dyfryn, the seat of the ancient family of Williams, whose pedigree in the church is noticed below, is situated at the base of a precipitous mountain, near the road leading to Llandilo-Vawr: the family having become extinct in the male line, the property lately descended to two females. Cadoxton Lodge, Cadoxton Place, Court Herbert, and Aberpergwm, an ancient mansion in Neath-Genol, are also among the chief residences. Besides the Neath, the parish is watered by a stream called the Dylas, and it is not less distinguished for its mineral wealth, valuable manufactures, and extensive public works, than for richness and variety of scenery, and the number and elegance of the gentlemen's seats with which it abounds, exclusively of the highly respectable residences of the proprietors of the different works, or their agents. Stone is extensively quarried, and numerous collieries, with iron, tin, copper, and spelter works on a large scale, are situated within its limits, affording employment to much the greater portion of the inhabitants. In 1847 it contained the Neath Abbey iron-works, the Crown copper and spelter works, the Mines-Royal copper and spelter works, Kirkhouse's spelter works, the Aber-Dylas tin-works and forge, Abernant ironworks, Onllwyn iron-works, and a number of collieries. Some of these works are noticed under the head of Neath. A splendid brewery has been built some years by the Vale of Neath Company. The Neath canal, and the Swansea and Neath Junction canal, which unites with the former by means of a handsome stone aqueduct at the village of AberDylas, afford every facility for the conveyance of the produce of the mines, and of the various extensive works in the parish, to the shipping-places at Briton-Ferry and Swansea. The Vale of Neath railway, for which an act of parliament was lately obtained, will also pass through the parish.
The living is a vicarage, rated in the king's books at £5. 11. 10½., endowed with £200 royal bounty, and £800 parliamentary grant; present net income, £240; patron and impropriator, Capel Hanbury Leigh, Esq. The church is supposed to have been originally built about the year 1300. It contains several handsome mural tablets, two of which are commemorative of the ancient family of Williams of Dyfryn, one inscribed with a curious acrostic on Mrs. Rose Williams, who died March 24th, 1680, and the other containing the entire pedigree of the family, engraved on several sheets of copper, from Iestyn ab Gwrgan, the last native prince of Glamorgan, in the reign of William Rufus, down to Philip Williams, Esq., who died in 1717. At Skewen is a separate incumbency, in the gift of the Crown and the Bishop of Llandaf, alternately; and a new church and parsonage have been lately built at GlynNeath. There is a chapel of ease called Crynant chapel; also various places of worship for dissenters in the parish, several day schools, and above a dozen Sunday schools.
The abbey of Neath, in Cadoxton parish, a magnificent structure, was founded about the year 1111, by Richard de Granville (who assisted Fitz-Hamon in his conquest of Glamorganshire), for Grey friars, who were afterwards superseded by monks of the Cistercian order. In this monastery Edward of Carnarvon, after his escape from Caerphilly Castle, took refuge, and remained for some time in security; but the house being threatened with a siege, he was induced to retire, under the conduct of one of the monks, hoping to reach his partisans: by the treachery of his guide, however, he was betrayed at Llantrissent Castle. Leland notices the house "as the fairest abbey in all Wales," and the present remains still afford interesting specimens of ancient ecclesiastical architecture. It is situated on the western bank of the river Neath, about a mile from the town of that name, and appears to have been the work of successive periods, and a pile of very great extent, stretching far beyond its existing limits. The ruins present a venerable appearance, but their beauty is greatly disfigured by the smoke of the various works which have been erected near the site. The white stone, from Sutton near Margam in this county, of which the cornices and other ornamental parts are constructed, is perfectly free from the ivy and other parasitical plants by which some portions of the structure are covered. The walls of the priory house are still in tolerable preservation, and the hall, the refectory, and some of the apartments, may be traced: the remains of the chapel and of the chapter-house are also considerable, and the ruins convey a striking and impressive idea of the grandeur and extent of this once magnificent pile. The revenue at the Dissolution was £150. 4. 9. A work entitled "Original Charters of Neath and its Abbey, by Mr. George Grant Francis, was privately printed in 1845, containing a mass of curious and valuable papers relating to the monastery.
On the summit of the Drymmeu mountain, to the north of Neath Abbey, was a kist-vaen, five feet long and four feet wide, in which, on its being opened not many years since, were found a heap of bones, and an ancient celt very much corroded. To the east of this mountain, and just above the village of Dylas, is the Long Mountain, over which is carried the Via Helena, commonly called the Sarn Helen: this ancient road diverges from the Strata Julia Maritima, and crosses the river Neath a little above the present bridge, where it enters the parish, afterwards taking a north-eastern direction across the mountain towards Crynant. On the hill of March Hywel or Howel, are several tumuli, on opening one of which a platform of stone was found, exhibiting strong appearances of the action of fire; and on one side of it was an urn of unbaked clay, containing ashes, remnants of bones, and charcoal, as fresh apparently as when first deposited. Celts, and a weapon of yellow metal, supposed to be a Roman sword, have also been found here.—See Neath, &c.
CADOXTON-juxta-BARRY, a parish, in the hundred of Dinas-Powys, union of Cardiff, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 8 miles (S. W.) from Cardiff; containing 242 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the shore of the Bristol Channel, about four miles south of the main road leading from Cardiff to Cowbridge, and is bounded on the north and east by the parish of St. Andrew's, on the south by Sully, and on the west by Merthyr-Dovan. It comprises by admeasurement 900 acres, of which about eight acres are woodland, consisting chiefly of oak, elm, and ash; twenty acres common, and the rest arable and pasture in nearly equal portions. The soil is loamy, and in the eastern part of the parish of a reddish colour, while in the opposite quarter it is a blueish grey. Wheat, oats, barley, and potatoes form the chief produce of the soil, which is occasionally manured with lime obtained from stone quarried in the parish: the inhabitants are engaged almost entirely in agricultural pursuits, and the corn raised is ground by a mill on the spot. The surface, though not characterized by any prominent features, is yet agreeably varied, and the scenery, which is enriched with a fine view of the Bristol Channel, is on the whole interesting and beautiful. The village of Cadoxton is built around a hill of the same name. The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £5. 2. 1.; patron R. F. Jenner, Esq. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £125, and the glebe comprises thirty-seven acres, valued at £30 per annum. The church, which is dedicated to St. Cadog, or Catwg, is fifty-seven feet long and sixteen wide, and all the sittings are free. There are places of worship for Baptists, and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists. A schoolroom has been lately erected in the village, on the glebe-land, for the benefit of the parishes of Cadoxton and Merthyr-Dovan; and two small Sunday schools are conducted by the dissenters, one of them belonging to the Baptists, and the other to the Calvinistic body.
CAEGURWEN, with Blaenegal, a hamlet, in the parish of Llanguicke, union of Neath, hundred of Llangyvelach, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 9½ miles (N. W. by N.) from Neath; containing 1025 inhabitants, of whom 843 are in Caegurwen. This hamlet is situated on the border of Carmarthenshire, where the country is extremely wild and rugged, and near the right bank of the rivers Twrch and Amman.
CAE-MAIN, an extra-parochial district, in the hundred of Dinas-Powys, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 3½ miles (S. E. by E.) from Cowbridge: the population is returned with the parish of Llancarvan. This place, locally in the parish of Llancarvan, consists of a farm of about 120 acres, with a contiguous plot of about twenty-four acres, tithefree.
CAER-EINION-VECHAN, a township, in that part of the parish of Mallwyd which is in the hundred of Mathraval, in the union of Dôlgelley, county of Montgomery, North Wales, 10 miles (N. E.) from Machynlleth; containing 136 inhabitants. It is situated on the left bank of the Dovey, and is the only portion of the parish in this county, the remainder being in the county of Merioneth. The district is extremely mountainous.
Caerhên (Caer-Hên, or Caer-Rhun)
CAERHÊN (CAER-HÊN, or CAER-RHUN), a parish, in the union of Conway, hundred of Llêchwedd-Isâv, county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 5 miles (S.) from Conway; containing 1257 inhabitants. This place is allowed by all antiquaries to have been the Conovium of the Romans. The present name signifies "the old town," though tradition derives it from Rhun, a British prince, who in 560 succeeded his father Maelgwyn in the government of North Wales, and carried on a sanguinary and protracted war with the Saxons, during their frequent incursions at that time into the principality. Caerhên formed also, at a subsequent period, one of the defences of the country lying beyond the Snowdon mountains against the Saxon invaders of Wales, after the states of the Octarchy had been united into one sovereignty. The parish is pleasantly situated on the western bank of the river Conway, up which the tide flows for three miles above it, rendering that river navigable at spring tides for vessels of 100 tons' burthen. It is bounded on the north by the parish of Gyfin, on the south by Llanbedr, on the east by Eglwys-Bâch in Denbighshire, and on the north-west by Llangelynin. The produce consists chiefly of wheat and barley, and the lands in several parts are ornamented with wood, especially with oak, the quantity of which is considerable. There is a mansion-house of great antiquity, prettily situated near the river Conway. Small quantities of copperore and of manganese have been found, but no mines are worked at present.
The living is a vicarage, rated in the king's books at £4. 9. 7., and united to the rectory of Llanbedr: the church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a small edifice, romantically situated in a sequestered spot within the grounds of Caerhên Hall. There are places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, Baptists, Independents, and Wesleyan Methodists. A school in connexion with the Established Church is supported here, principally by subscription, but partly by school-pence, for the benefit of the parishes of Caerhên and Llanbedr, the incumbent of which is the chief promoter. Four Sunday schools are also kept, three of them by the Calvinistic Methodists, and the other by the Independents. The Rev. Lancelot Bulkeley, in 1718, bequeathed £120 for teaching two poor children of this parish, two of the parish of Llanbedr, and two of that of Llangelynin, to read Welsh; William Williams, Esq. bequeathed £30 to be added to the fund. Divers small donations and bequests have been made for distribution among widows and the poor generally, in money and bread, on St. Thomas's day; and a few other bequests have been made exclusively for the benefit of the poor of the township of Maen-y-Barth: all, however, have been carried into the general fund for distribution. A few other small charities have been lost.
The site of the Roman station, and some of the foundation walls, may still be discerned upon an eminence, a little to the north of the church. It occupied a quadrangular area, each side being 260 feet in length, and was defended by a slight vallum of earth, and by the steepness of the acclivity on the side towards the Conway, from which river it is about 167 yards distant. Among the numerous and interesting relics of Roman antiquity that have been discovered, are coins, lamps, vases, and bricks, the last being still frequently turned up by the plough: on one of the bricks was inscribed "Leg. X.," which legion, according to Camden, was stationed here, under the command of Ostorius. In removing the soil from the foundations of this once important city, in 1801, a Roman villa was discovered, consisting of five apartments and a sudatory, in which, among various fragments of broken columns, an amulet of curious workmanship, ornamented with figures in blue enamel, was found; and in 1824, an extensive pottery was discovered, with several perfect specimens of the ware, richly ornamented with figures of men in armour, horses, stags, boars, and dogs, in altorelievo, and of the most vivid colours. Near the church were also found, a cake of copper, weighing forty lb., and bearing an inscription, now in the possession of the Hon. E. M. L. Mostyn; a circular shield of brass, ornamented with rings, and studded; and a battle-axe of singular construction, both which are in the possession of the gentleman on whose estate are the remains of this ancient station.
CAERPHILLY, a market-town and chapelry, in the parish of Eglwysilan, union of Cardiff, hundred of Caerphilly, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 7 miles (N. by W.) from Cardiff, and 159 (W.) from London, on the old turnpike-road from Newport to Neath and Merthyr-Tydvil; containing 634 inhabitants. This place was originally called Senghenydd, from St. Cenydd, who is said to have founded a monastery here, of which nothing more is known than what occurs in the Chronicle of Caradoc of Llancarvan, who records that, "in the year 831, the Saxons of Mercia came unexpectedly in the night, and burnt the monastery of Senghenydd, which stood on a spot where there is now a castle." To the erection of this castle the town, which appears to have been anciently much more extensive than at present, was principally indebted for the importance it held among the towns in this part of the principality. The early history of the castle is involved in very great obscurity, neither the time of its original foundation, nor the name of its founder, having been at all satisfactorily ascertained; and the different names under which the place is spoken of, in the Welsh histories, have contributed materially to perplex the antiquary in his researches. No mention of Caerphilly, by its present name, occurs previously to the time of Henry III.; and the attempt to ascribe to it a Roman origin, from the import of the syllable Caer, rests in a great measure upon the vast extent of its fortifications, which have been proved to be of much later date; therefore its supposed claim to be considered the Castrum Bullæi of the Romans, from an affinity to the name of that station, which some writers have fancied to exist, appears to be destitute of sufficient testimony for a favourable reception. The original castle was of much smaller extent than the sumptuous edifice which was afterwards erected on its site, and the magnificent and stupendous ruins that now arrest the admiration of the observer are the remains of a structure of still more recent origin, the work of successive periods.
In 1215, a Welsh chieftain, named Rhŷs Vychan, led his forces to this place intending to attack the castle, which at that time belonged to Reginald de Breos, lord of Brecknock; but the garrison, informed of his approach, set fire to the town, and retired within the walls of the castle, which they prepared resolutely to defend; this probably discouraged the assailants, who did not make any serious attempt upon it. Two years afterwards, Llewelyn ab Iorwerth, Prince of North Wales, aided by the Princes of Powys and South Wales, succeeded in the reduction of the fortress, but shortly restored it to de Breos: he, however, retook it in the following year, and committed it to the custody of Rhŷs Vychan, who not long afterwards, dreading that it might fall into the hands of the lords marcher, who were threatening hostilities, dismantled it, together with some others in the neighbouring districts, of which he had the custody. It was rebuilt and more strongly fortified, in 1221, by John de Breos, with the consent of his father-in-law, Llewelyn ab Iorwerth; and was besieged and taken by Llewelyn, last Prince of North Wales, in 1270: in recording this circumstance, its modern name Caerphilly, of which no satisfactory etymology has been given, occurs for the first time in the Welsh annals. Caerphilly soon afterwards came by purchase into the possession of Gilbert, Earl of Clare, who was then lord of Glamorgan; and his widow afterwards conveyed it by marriage to Ralph Mortimer, by whom the castle, almost ruined by repeated attacks, was rebuilt. In 1315, a formidable insurrection broke out in Glamorganshire, under Llewelyn Bren, a descendant of the native lords of Senghenydd, who is said to have mustered a force of 10,000 men, with which he assaulted and took by surprise the fortress of Caerphilly, of which his ancestors had been dispossessed by the Normans under Fitz-Hamon. To suppress this insurrection, all the forces of the lords marcher were assembled, under the command of Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford; and, although the details of the campaign are unknown, the result was the capture of the Welsh chieftain and his two sons, who were sent prisoners to the Tower, where they remained for some time in confinement.
In the reign of Edward II., Hugh le Despencer the Younger, the favourite of that monarch, being invested with the lordship of Glamorgan, greatly enlarged the castle of Caerphilly, and extended and strengthened its fortifications. The proceedings of Spencer exciting the indignation of the barons, at that time in revolt against Edward, they placed Roger Mortimer, whom they considered the rightful heir of Caerphilly, at the head of 10,000 men, with which force he besieged the favourite in his castle; but from the great strength of its fortifications, the number of the garrison, and the ample supply of provisions with which it had been stored, the fortress held out for a long period.
The king, attended by Spencer, being compelled, in 1326, to flee from Bristol, repaired to the castle of Caerphilly, from which he issued divers commissions, dated October 29th of this year, to his military tenants in the county of Pembroke and other parts of South Wales, and to the vassals of the lordship of Glamorgan, enjoining them to take arms in his defence; but, being disappointed in this project, he sought an asylum in the abbey of Neath. Meanwhile the siege of the fortress was conducted with great vigour and perseverance by the queen's forces; and the assailants, having effected a breach in the walls, forced an entrance. Under one of the towers there is said to have been a furnace for melting iron (or lead), which was thrown in a fluid state upon the besiegers, who, on gaining an entrance, are supposed to have let out the fused metal, and poured water into the red-hot furnace, which exploding with a terrific noise, by the power of the steam thus produced, the tower above was ruptured, and the half of it now remaining was left upwards of eleven feet out of the perpendicular line, supported only by the cement that holds the stones together, and by the depth of its foundations. During the confusion which ensued, Spencer, or his son Hugh, is said to have rallied the garrison, and prevented the further entrance of the besiegers, of whom a great number of those already within the walls were slain. By this sudden turn in his affairs, he was enabled to capitulate on such terms as eventually secured the castle and estate to his son, who succeeded him. Having rejoined the king, he was made prisoner along with Edward, at or near Llantrissent. The quantity of live-stock and provisions which the victors are stated to have found in the castle exceeds credibility, notwithstanding the vast area comprised within its walls. According to an enumeration, which has been copied by nearly all writers on the subject, but which altogether surpasses belief, "there were within the walls two thousand fat oxen, twelve thousand cows, twentyfive thousand calves, thirty thousand sheep, six hundred draught horses, with carts in proportion, and two thousand hogs; of salt provisions, two hundred beeves, six hundred muttons, and one thousand hogs. There were also two hundred tons of French wine, forty tons of cider and wine, the produce of their own estates, with wheat enough to make bread for two thousand men for four years." It is probable that the live-stock were found, not in the castle, but on Spencer's demesne lands, which were very extensive; and that the salted provisions, the wines, and other articles, were really within the walls. From this period the castle and manor appear to have belonged to the lords of Glamorgan, whose chief residence being at Cardiff, it is not likely that the injury sustained by the fortifications in the above siege was ever repaired. In the year 1400, Owain Glyndwr invaded this part of the principality, and gained possession of the castle of Caerphilly, which he garrisoned for some time, but no particular event is mentioned during his occupation of it, nor has any thing of importance connected with its subsequent history been recorded. Indeed, the particulars of its earlier history, and especially of Spencer's connexion with the castle, are variously related, and are not much to be depended on.
The town is pleasantly situated in a broad valley, inclosed by mountains, and, in the descent to it from Cardiff, the appearance of the surrounding country is beautifully picturesque, and in many parts characterized by features of grandeur and sublimity. The houses are in general small and neatly built, but without order or regularity, and are interspersed with a few dwellings of modern erection and of respectable appearance: the inhabitants are abundantly supplied with water from springs which abound in the vicinity. It appears to have been formerly, as already observed, of much greater extent, as is evident from the occasional discovery of foundations of buildings in the adjoining fields. At the close of the last century it had dwindled into comparative insignificance, but it revived about the commencement of the present, and has since been slowly but progressively increasing. Its trade consists principally in the manufacture of woollen cloth, checks for aprons, and linsey-woolsey shirting for miners, in which about one hundred persons are employed. Coal is found in the vicinity, but the mines are worked only for the supply of the immediate neighbourhood; and such of the population as are not engaged in these works are employed in agriculture. The market, which is on Thursday, is well attended, and abundantly supplied with corn, cheese, and provisions of every kind. The fairs are on April 5th, Trinity Thursday, July 19th, August 25th, October 9th, November 16th, and the Thursday before Christmas: at these fairs, which are numerously attended, corn, cattle, and cheese are the principal articles exposed for sale. Caerphilly was anciently a borough, but lost its privileges in the reign of Henry VIII., and is now under the jurisdiction of the county magistrates, who hold a petty-session here for the lower division of the hundred. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £1200 royal bounty, and £400 parliamentary grant; patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Llandaf. The chapel, dedicated to St. Martin, is a small edifice, rebuilt some years ago, in the later style of English architecture. There are places of worship for Baptists, Wesleyans, Calvinistic Methodists, and Independents. A school for the education of girls is supported out of a fund established by Mrs. Ann Aldworth, of Bristol, by will dated Aug. 29th, 1729; the mistress receives £35 per annum, and has a house and garden rent-free. Several Sunday schools are also kept.
The ancient castle of Caerphilly, forming a stupendous and truly magnificent pile, stands contiguous to the town, in a somewhat uneven tract, bounded on the north and south by lofty hills, and expanding into a beautiful vale on the east and west, skirted by the river Romney on the one side, and on the other by the Tâf. The buildings in the several courts, together with a spacious area, were inclosed within a lofty outer wall of great thickness, strengthened with massive buttresses, and defended by square towers at intervals, between which a communication was kept up by an embattled corridor. In the outer court were the barracks for the garrison, and from it was an entrance through a magnificent gateway, flanked by two massive hexagonal towers, leading by a drawbridge over the moat into an inner ward, from which was an eastern entrance into the court that contained the state apartments, by a massive gateway, strongly defended with portcullises, of which the grooves are still remaining. The western entrance to the last-named court was also over a drawbridge, through a splendid arched gateway, defended by two circular bastions of vast dimensions. This court, in which were the superb ranges of state apartments, is seventy yards in length, and forty in width, inclosed on the north side by a lofty wall strengthened with buttresses, and in the intervals pierced with loop-holes for the discharge of missiles, and on the other sides by the buildings and the towers which guarded the entrances. The great hall, on the south side of this quadrangle, is in a state of tolerable preservation, and retains several vestiges of its ancient grandeur. It was seventy feet in length, thirty-five feet wide, and seventeen feet high, and was lighted by four lofty windows of beautiful design, of which the ogee-headed arches, richly ornamented with fruit and foliage, are finely wrought in the decorated style of English architecture. Between the two central windows are the remains of a large fire-place, the mantel of which is embellished in elegant detail. On the walls are clusters of triple circular pilasters, resting upon ornamented corbels at the height of twelve feet from the floor, and rising to the height of four feet, for the support of the roof, which appears to have been vaulted. The suite comprises various other apartments of different dimensions and of corresponding elegance, in a greater or less degree of preservation. Near the south-east angle of the central buildings is what is thought to have been the kitchen, a circular tower of no great elevation; and almost adjoining is the leaning tower, which forms so conspicuous a feature among the ruins: this consists of one-half of the tower, which is said to have been ruptured by the explosion previously noticed, and which, though more than fiftyfive feet high from the base, was by that means forced into its present inclined position. Regarding the present state of the tower, as it is by no means certain that it was caused by the circumstances above narrated, it has been conjectured that it might have been produced by having been undermined, like the other three, and its entire destruction prevented by a fragment which fell upon its base. Near the supposed kitchen is a spacious corridor, about one hundred feet in length, in the wall of the inner inclosure, communicating with the several apartments. These remains, which form the principal attraction of the place, surpass in beauty and venerable grandeur any that are to be found in this part of the principality; they are the most extensive in all Wales, and present an imposing and august memorial of a structure which in its pristine splendour was rivalled by few in the kingdom, and perhaps only excelled by the royal palace of Windsor.
Besides the ruins of the castle, here are some other interesting remains of antiquity. In a piece of ground called the Burgesses' Field is an ancient earthwork, nearly square, inclosing an area of about half an acre, and defended by two ditches; and at Môrgrig, properly Môrgraig, is another quadrilateral encampment, about eighty paces long, and nearly of equal width, having the angles rounded off according to the Roman fashion. A Roman road, also, seems to have passed through Caerphilly. Numerous coins, chiefly of the reign of Edward II., have been found near the castle. A short distance north-west of the town is the seat called Energlyn, or Genau'r Glyn, formerly the residence of John Goodrich, Esq., which commands a fine view of the majestic ruins of the castle; and to the east, near the banks of the Romney, stands the mansion of Ruperrah, one of the seats of Sir Charles Morgan, Bart., of Trêdegar. This mansion occupies an elevated situation, commanding, southward, fine views of the Bristol Channel, a rich intervening tract of country, and the hills of Somersetshire and Devonshire in the distance: it was built from a design by Inigo Jones; but the interior having been consumed by fire, the outer walls are the only part of the original edifice now remaining. A little lower down is situated Cevn Mably, an ancient seat of the family of Kemeys, once the residence of that distinguished royalist, Sir Nicholas Kemeys, and now the property of C. K. Kemeys Tynte, Esq. Pwll-y-Pant and Pont-y-Pandy are two other old mansions. In the vicinity are numerous springs, the water of which is strongly impregnated with iron, and totally unfit for culinary purposes; when boiled, the colour is changed to black, and the water emits a strong fetid smell.
CAERRA (CAERAU), a parish, in the union of Cardiff, hundred of Kibbor, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 3½ miles (W.) from Cardiff; containing 80 inhabitants. Part of this parish was given by Fitz-Hamon to Sir John Fleming, one of the Norman knights who attended him in the conquest of Wales. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £1000 royal bounty; net income, £60; patron, the Prebendary of Caerau. The tithes have been commuted for £154, of which £4 are payable to the Bishop of Llandaf, and £150 to the impropriator, who has also a glebe of 20 acres, valued at £23 per annum. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is chiefly remarkable for its situation within the precincts of a Roman camp, which is one of the most extensive and entire in the principality. This camp, in form, is a regular parallelogram, rounded at the angles, and inclosing an area of about twelve acres: it is defended on the north side, where the ascent is steep, by one single rampart, on the south and southwest by two, and one on the east side, where was the prætorium, by three ramparts. The prætorium, which is still visible, is of a circular form, guarded by a steep rampart, and communicating with the camp by a very narrow passage. From its situation within a small distance of the river Ely, its magnitude, the disposition of its arrangements, and its excellent preservation, the camp has been identified with the Tibia Amnis of Richard of Cirencester: no coins, however, or any other Roman relics, have been discovered near the spot, to confirm the supposition. In 1759 Mrs. Stephens bequeathed £30, the interest to be distributed among the poor, which was carried into effect down to 1771, when the principal was expended on the repairs of the church; the interest in a few years ceased to be paid out of the poor rates, and the poor now receive no benefit from the charity.
CAERSEDDVA (CAER-SEDDVAN), a hamlet, in the parish of Dârowen, union and hundred of Machynlleth, county of Montgomery, North Wales, 6¾ miles (E. N. E.) from Machynlleth; containing 513 inhabitants. This hamlet, the name of which signifies the "session fortress," forms the upper and north-eastern portion of the parish, and is in general rugged and mountainous. There are several lead-mines in different parts, but they are only partially worked.
CAER-SWS, a hamlet, in the parish of Llanwnnog, union of Newtown and Llanidloes, hundred of Llanidloes, county of Montgomery, North Wales, 5 miles (W.) from Newtown; containing 342 inhabitants. This is said to have been a Roman city of considerable extent, though unnoticed as such by early writers; its Roman name is not even known, and few vestiges of its grandeur have been traced. Sufficient remains, however, exist to shew, apart from tradition, that it must have been a place of some importance at a remote period. Upon a rising ground nearly in the centre of an opening of the valley, are vestiges of a Roman camp: the elevation is about 100 yards from the village, and peculiarly well chosen, commanding the surrounding tract and the passes, while on the adjacent high grounds were several military posts. The camp is of rectangular form, nearly square, and rounded at the corners, comprising an area of about four acres, now divided into four cultivated fields, and intersected almost at right angles by lanes, seemingly indicating the situations of the ancient streets. It is probable that, if excavations were undertaken on a considerable scale, Roman buildings would be discovered. Various relics have been turned up at different times, principally about the year 1777 and in 1832: they consist of several Roman bricks with impressions on them, one of which is said to have been purchased by Captain Wemyss, of Aberystwith; a gold chain, found in a field near the Park, and sold to a stranger in the neighbourhood for a few shillings; a small number of coins, some Roman masonry, a quern, fragments of stained glass, &c.
The station was connected with other stations by five ancient roads, of which that principally mentioned is the Via Devana, or Sarn Swsan or Swsog, pointing hence in a north-eastern direction towards the station Mediolanum. Another road leads towards Pont-y-Ddolgoch, crossing the Newtown turnpike-road on Henblas farm, and taking the direction of Plasau-duon and Bwlch-y-Garreg to the hill called Mynydd Llynmawr: this road may have passed by Bala, to the station Mons Heriri, both in Merionethshire. The other roads were, one leading to Maglona near Machynlleth, passing by Trêveglwys; a road to the station at Cwm on the river Ython, near Builth; and a road proceeding eastward along the course of the Severn, towards the station of Caer Flôs near Montgomery. Some of the existing traces of these ways are noticed in a paper on Roman remains in Montgomeryshire, in the Archæologia Cambrensis for April 1848, from which the above particulars of the station and its roads are abridged.
Caer-Sws had formerly a castle also, and at least one church, and is said to have been the residence of the lords of Arwystli. It is situated on the northern bank of the river Severn, across which a new stone bridge of three arches was built some years ago; and the village has been enlarged, within the last seventy years, by the erection of some decent houses and cottages. A new road, leading from the Newtown and Llanidloes road through Caer-Sws to join that of Newtown and Machynlleth at the Mytton Arms inn, about a mile from the village of Llanwnnog, was lately constructed: along this road is much travelling to those fashionable and well-frequented wateringplaces, Aberystwith, Aberdovey, and Towyn. There are places of worship for Baptists, and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists. About a quarter of a mile northward of Caer-Sws, adjoining the old Via Devana, a workhouse for the Newtown and Llanidloes union was built in 1840, which cost the union, comprising seventeen parishes, about £11,000; it contains above 200 inmates, most of whom are children, who are well maintained, clothed, and educated: the officiating minister of the parish is the chaplain to the workhouse.
CAERVALLOUGH (CAER-VALLWCH), a hamlet, in the parish of Northop, union of Holywell, Northop division of the hundred of Coleshill, county of Flint, 2 miles (W. by N.) from Northop; containing 946 inhabitants. There are lead-mines in this hamlet, which have been worked from a remote period. On an eminence, 1020 feet above the level of the sea, is a very large British fortress, the most perfect in this part of Wales, called Moel-y-Gaer, or "the fortified hill," surrounded by a deep circular fosse, through which is an entrance on the western side. Within it, near the northern extremity, is a small artificial mound, the summit of which commands the most extensive view in the county, embracing the British camps on the whole range of the Clwydian mountains to the west; the vales of Hope and Mold, as far as Wrexham, to the south; the estuaries of the Dee and Mersey, with the port of Liverpool, to the north; and the city of Chester to the east. About 300 paces north-westward from this camp is a large artificial mound, commanding the pass through the mountains, and doubtless intended as an outpost to Moel-y-Gaer.
CAERWYS, a borough and parish, formerly a market-town, in the union of Holywell, Caerwys division of the hundred of Rhuddlan, county of Flint, North Wales, 6 miles (S. W. by W.) from Holywell, on the road from that town to Denbigh; containing 987 inhabitants. The name is thought to be derived from Caer, a fortress, and Gwys, a summons, denoting that this place was originally a Roman station, and subsequently a seat of judicature. Caer is a term applied by the Welsh to a Roman station or defence; and previously to the conquest of Wales by Edward I., Caerwys appears to have been, together with a neighbouring town called TrêvEdwyn, long since decayed, and the borough of Rhuddlan, one of the chief tribunals for this part of the principality. Others derive the name from Caer, a fortress, and Rhôs, a moor; and the flat ground to the north-west of the borough is now called Y Rhôs; and Rhôs Gôch, the red moor. In 1244, the Welsh abbots of Cymmer and Conway, having been constituted by the pope a court of inquiry, to ascertain whether Davydd ab Llewelyn, Prince of North Wales, had been under the influence of terror or force, in concluding a late unfavourable treaty with Henry III. of England, and, if so, to absolve him from the obligations of fulfilling it, summoned King Henry to appear before them in the church of this town, to answer to the complaints of Davydd. The king, however, incensed at the indignity offered to his authority, immediately applied to the pope to annul the commission, which was accordingly done. Llewelyn ab Grufydd, the last native sovereign of North Wales, prior to his accession to the throne, resided at Maesmynan, nearly adjoining, and possessed, as his patrimonial estate, the circumjacent cantrêvs of Tegeingl, Dyfryn-Clwyd, Rhôs, and Rhyvonioc. Shortly before the entire subjugation of Wales by the English, one of the grievances complained of by the inhabitants, and submitted by their prince Llewelyn to Peckham, Archbishop of Canterbury, who had constituted himself mediator between him and the English monarch, was, that the privileges of the men of Tegeingl, or Englefield, comprising the greater portion of the county of Flint, had been grossly infringed by the justiciary of Chester, who compelled them to go to that city, or other places, to procure justice; asserting their right to be tried by the laws of Wales, and at the usual places, viz., Rhuddlan, Trêv-Edwyn, or Caerwys. On the introduction of justiciary courts into Wales, under the sanction of the English law, Caerwys recovered its former importance, and the assizes for the county were held here till the year 1672, when they were removed to Flint, and thence at a later period to Mold, where they are now held. The gaol remained till 1840, when it was pulled down, and a dwellinghouse erected on its foundation, which is called "Yr hen gaol," the old gaol: the market-house yet remains, though converted into a dwelling-house; there are likewise some fragments of the town-hall, and the site of the last gallows is shewn upon a common, close to the road side, a little south-eastward from the town. In 1356, the grant of a weekly market and two annual fairs was procured for the inhabitants, at the instance of John Trevor, Bishop of St. Asaph, and others.
Caerwys was long renowned for its Eisteddvodau, or sessions of bards and minstrels, which for some centuries were held triennially, and in later times at irregular intervals. It was the resort of the bards of a certain district, as Aberfraw in Anglesey was of those of that island and the adjacent county, and Mathraval of those of Powys; these places having been selected on account of being the residences of princes. At these meetings none but bards of superior merit were allowed to rehearse their compositions, nor any but minstrels of acknowledged skill to perform on their harps: of their respective merits judges were appointed by the Princes of Wales, and, after the conquest of the country, by the Kings of England. A commission from Queen Elizabeth, dated at Chester, the 23rd of October, 1567, for holding an Eisteddvod at Caerwys in the following year, was till lately in the possession of the Hon. Edward Mostyn Lloyd Mostyn, of Mostyn, together with the silver harp which it was the privilege of his ancestors to bestow upon the best performer on that instrument: this badge of distinction, which is still preserved at Mostyn, is about six inches long, and is furnished with strings of silver, corresponding with the number of the Muses. The Eisteddvod accordingly took place on May 26th, 1568, when fifty-five persons were admitted to their respective degrees, as vocal and instrumental performers, and the prize of the silver harp was adjudged to Sion ab William ab Sion. The commissioners, in the course of this year, published a notice that another Eisteddvod would be held on the next anniversary of that day; but of this assembly no particulars have been preserved, further than that it was the occasion of a poetical contest between the bards of North and South Wales, in which some of the most beautiful stanzas in the Welsh language were produced extemporaneously. From this period the Eisteddvodau did not enjoy any share of royal favour, none being convened by the successors of Queen Elizabeth; but in the year 1798, an attempt to restore them was made by the Gwyneddigion Society in London, and after the usual notice of a year and a day had been given, a numerous meeting, under extensive and highly respectable patronage, was held in the town-hall here, which had been especially fitted up for the occasion; the usual contest of talent and skill took place, and prizes were awarded to the successful candidates. The town, however, had been for some time declining; and, notwithstanding these and similar efforts for the restoration of the Eisteddvodau to their original splendour, the Welsh poetry was rapidly waning in character, and the high patronage by which it was previously cherished had declined, till about the year 1819, when a grand Eisteddvod was held at Carmarthen under the patronage of Bishop Burgess and Lord Dynevor, in the month of July. Several other Eisteddvodau were held in subsequent years in North and South Wales, under high patronage; and in the year 1828 a most splendid Eisteddvod was held at Denbigh, on the 16th, 17th, and 18th September, at which his royal highness the late Duke of Sussex attended. Another took place at Beaumaris in 1832, which was honoured with the presence of her Majesty the Queen, then Princess Victoria, and her royal highness the Duchess of Kent.
The Town, which now presents only the appearance of a village, is situated at the junction of two vales, and consists of two streets intersecting each other at right angles, and corresponding with the cardinal points, in the manner of a Roman town. From this arrangement of the town, and the discovery of ancient foundations and other relics, it has been considered by some writers the Varis of Antoninus; but this station has with equal probability been fixed in the parish of Bodvari, the name of which, added to the discovery of numerous Roman remains, especially in the plantations of Pontrifith, in that parish, would appear to entitle it to a claim of identity with the Roman settlement. Caerwys has but little trade: a small quantity of woollen cloth is manufactured. Lead-ore has been found at different times, in small quantities, mixed with the limestone strata, in the eastern part of the parish, and a considerable quantity of iron-ore exists on the western side of the town, but at present there are no works for procuring either. The parish comprises 2575 acres, the surface of which is flat from the town northward, but undulated and more elevated towards the east and west; in the vicinity of the town and for about a quarter of a mile southward, the ground is level, after which the declivity to the boundary is considerable. The soil in some parts of the northwestern extremity of the parish is very poor, being composed of a thin covering of vegetable earth over a barren yellowish clay, but in other parts is well adapted to the culture of barley and oats; about 1200 acres were inclosed in the 49th of George III. The market, which was held on Tuesday, has long since fallen into decay, in consequence of the establishment of a market at Holywell. Fairs for the sale of cattle, sheep, horses, and pigs are held on the first Tuesday after January 13th, on February 11th, March 5th, the last Tuesday in April, the first Thursday after Trinity-Sunday, the first Tuesday after July 7th, on August 29th, November 5th, and the second Tuesday in December: they are the most considerable in the county.
The Borough has received from various sovereigns charters conferring upon its inhabitants numerous privileges; but these are almost extinct, having nearly fallen into desuetude. The only charter that at present remains is one of the 9th of Henry IV., in which those of the 18th of Edward I., of Edward the Black Prince (temp. Edward III.), and the 2nd of Richard II., are confirmed: that of the Black Prince granted to the burgesses such customs as were enjoyed by the free burgesses of Conway and Rhuddlan. The style of the corporate body, according to the charter, is "the Bailiffs and Burgesses of the borough of Caerwys, in the county of Flint;" and the officers are, two bailiffs, a recorder, a crier, and two constables, of whom, however, the crier alone appears to exercise any duty which may be considered as materially connected with municipal government. The bailiffs are appointed annually by the recorder, on the nomination of the crier, and have merely to examine weights and measures, and present nuisances to the court leet: the recorder, who attends to hold the annual court for choosing the bailiffs and constables, is, with the crier, appointed by the lord of the manor; and the constables are chosen by the jury at the leet. Caerwys is one of the eight contributory boroughs within the county, which are united in the return of one member to parliament; the number of electors here in 1848 being sixty-five, that is, thirty-six scot and lot voters, and twenty-nine in right of property occupied within the borough. The limits of the borough, which were not altered by the act for "Amending the representation of the People," comprise parts of the townships of Caerwys and Trêv-Edwyn. The mayor of Flint is the returning officer.
The Living formerly consisted of a sinecure rectory, and a vicarage, each rated in the king's books at £9. 10., which were united by an act passed in the 29th and 30th of Charles II.; net income, £320, with a glebe-house and about five acres of land; patron, the Bishop of St. Asaph. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is a neat edifice, consisting of a nave and north aisle, with a square embattled tower, and appropriately accommodated to the use of the parishioners. There are places of worship in the town for Wesleyan and Calvinistic Methodists, and one for the latter also at Pen-y-Cevn. A National school, containing above 100 children, is partly supported by the rent of a plot of land, amounting to £2. 2., partly by voluntary contributions, and partly by payments from the children: a new school-house was erected north of the churchyard, in 1833, by subscription, aided by a grant of £100 from the National school society. There are also four Sunday schools, conducted by gratuitous teachers, and affording instruction to about 400 children and adults; one belongs to the Established Church, two to the Calvinistic, and one to the Wesleyan Methodists. Several small bequests have at various times been made for the benefit of the poor, the principal of them being a bequest by Griffith Jones, in 1729, producing £28, and a grant by Abraham Edwards, of £15; the whole amounting to £69. 10., of which £55. 10. 6. were expended in 1757 in the purchase of a tenement called Tŷ-Hîr, and about four acres in Brŷngwŷn Caerwys: with the proceeds a poor boy is placed out as an apprentice every year. Under the inclosure act for Caerwys, an allotment of half an acre was made to this property, but it was subsequently claimed by, and allowed to, the tenant in possession.
In a field near the village, called Erw 'r Castell, was anciently a fortress, the history of which is unknown, and of which there are no remains. On almost every side of the village, but more particularly on the plains towards Newmarket, are tumuli, several of which, having been opened, were found to contain urns of clay rudely formed: some of these have been converted by the neighbouring farmers into limekilns. About a mile from Caerwys to the north-west, in the place called Rhôs gôch, formerly stood a large stone, nearly five feet high, bearing the inscription "Hic jacet mulier bo . . . obiit:" it was for some time used as a gate-post, but was removed, about the close of the last century, to the gardens of Downing, in the parish of Whitford, then the seat of Mr. Pennant, the antiquary and naturalist. In the field in which this stone was situated, a considerable number of copper coins of different Roman emperors was discovered some years ago. At Forddwen, or "white road," near this place, regularly formed spars, stalactites, and coarse mineral agaric are found; and in a wood in the vicinity is a well, called St. Michael's, the water of which has obtained, among the superstitious inhabitants of the neighbourhood, the reputation of possessing a peculiar miraculous efficacy: the spring was formerly much resorted to by the credulous on the morning of Easter-day, for the purpose of drinking it. Dr. Wynne, Bishop of St. Asaph, and afterwards of Bath and Wells, was born at Maes-y-coed, in the parish of Caerwys; and the Rev. John Lloyd, an eminent antiquary, and the friend of Pennant, was rector of the parish; he died in 1793, and was interred in the church here.
CALDEY ISLAND, the principal of a cluster of insulated rocks in the bay of Tenby, and forming an extra-parochial district, in the hundred of Castlemartin, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 2 miles (E.) from the main land: the population is returned with the parish of Penalley. This island, of which the ancient British name is Ynys Pyr, is about one mile and a quarter in length, and half a mile in breadth, and comprises upwards of 600 acres of land, lying on a bed of limestone, something more than half being in a state of cultivation. Owen, speaking of the fertility of the spot, describes it as abounding with corn; but he adds that "all their ploughs goe with horses, for oxen the inhabitants dare not keepe, fearing the purveyors of the pirattes, as they themselves told me." There are some large limestonequarries. Robert, son of Martin de Tours, founded a priory here in the reign of Henry I., which he dedicated to St. Mary, and made a cell to the abbey of Dogmael, to which establishment the whole of the island was granted by his mother. Its revenue, at the Dissolution, was £5. 10. 11. The remains have been mostly converted into offices attached to a mansion erected on part of the site, now belonging to the proprietor of the island. Among them is the tower of the ancient conventual church, which is surmounted by a stone spire, and forms a conspicuous object of picturesque appearance, imparting, with the rest of the ruins, an interesting and romantic character to this sequestered spot. An ancient chapel, about a quarter of a mile from the priory, was repaired a few years ago, and service is performed in it when any clergyman crosses from the main land for the purpose. A lighthouse, with a steady light, has been erected on the island, which is of great service to vessels entering Tenby harbour, distant about three miles.
CAMRHÔS, a parish, in the union of Haverfordwest, hundred of Rhôs, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 4 miles (N. W. by N.) from Haverfordwest, on the road to St. David's; containing 1210 inhabitants. The parish is situated between the western bank of the West Cleddau river, and St. Bride's bay: it comprises 8129 acres. Camrhôs House is the seat of Charles W. T. J. W. Bowen, Esq. Fairs are held on February 13th and November 12th. The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £6. 10. 5., and endowed with £400 parliamentary grant; net income, £127, with a glebe-house; patron and impropriator, Mr. Bowen. The church is dedicated to St. Ishmael: near it is a large tumulus, which has never been opened. There are two places of worship for Independents, and one for Baptists. A day school is promoted by Mr Bowen, and another by Miss Akland, of Cleddau Lodge: four Sunday schools are also kept, two of them by the Independents, one of them by the Baptists, and the fourth by the two denominations jointly.
CANTRÊV, a parish, in the hundred of Pencelly, union and county of Brecknock, South Wales; comprising the upper division, or chapelry of Nantddû, and the lower division, or hamlet of Cantrêv; and containing 223 inhabitants, of whom 112 are in the hamlet of Cantrêv, 3 miles (S. E. by S.) from Brecknock. The church of Cantrêv is situated about a mile from the river Usk, and a little further from the Brecknock and Crickhowel road. The parish, which was anciently called Cynnedd, forms a parallelogram about two miles in breadth, and nearly fifteen in length, comprehending within its limits the lofty summits of the Brecknockshire Beacons, of which that situated to the south is the lowest, and the other two, sometimes called Cader Arthur, or Arthur's Chair, are nearly of an equal height. The two most southern points of these hills, when viewed from a short distance, present in shape the appearance of nearly perfect cones, their summits consisting of flat surfaces not more than fifteen square yards in extent. Beneath the point in the centre, at some little distance, is a small circular pool of brackish water; the apex of this hill is 2550 feet above the bed of the river Usk at Brecknock, and nearly 3000 above the level of the sea, being the highest in South Wales, and commanding a most extensive prospect, including the Bristol Channel from the Mumbles Head to Kingswood, the Malvern hills in Worcestershire, and parts of fourteen counties. To the northeast of it is a terrific precipice, nearly perpendicular, of at least 600 feet from the top to the spot where the descent, though still abrupt, partially loses its precipitous character, and begins to be more gradual. This mountainous region, which forms the middle portion of the parish, consists entirely of waste land, adapted only for sheep-walks: the two extremities alone are under tillage, with in general a gravelly soil. The total area of the parish is 8889 acres, of which 6058 are common and waste. The Brecknock canal passes at the distance of about half a mile from its eastern extremity.
The living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at £9. 10. 7½.; patron, the Rev. Thomas Powell. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £230, and the glebe contains about thirty-eight acres, with a good parsonage-house, rebuilt about 1792, and since repaired and altered. The advowson formerly belonged to the lords of Brecknock, and on the attainder of the Duke of Buckingham, became vested in the crown, and was granted to William Awbrey, D.C.L., Master of the Court of Requests in the reign of Elizabeth. From this family it passed by marriage to the Powells of Cantrêv, and finally, by purchase, to their collateral relations, the Powells of Swansea, to whom it has belonged since the early part of the seventeenth century, several members of that family having been incumbents, and distinguished by their literary attainments. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is romantically situated on a well-wooded eminence just above the river Cynrig, and consists of a nave and chancel, rebuilt in 1829, at the expense of the parishioners, and a small low tower at the west end, containing two bells. In the churchyard, which commands a beautiful prospect, are some fine yew-trees, on one of which, at the distance of about twelve feet from the ground, a mountain-ash has taken root, and, not deriving sufficient nourishment from the old tree on which it grows, has struck down its roots through the decayed trunk, and thus penetrated into the earth. In consequence of the church being situated at the eastern extremity of the parish, a chapel has been erected at Nantddû, about ten miles distant, for the convenience of the inhabitants of that hamlet and Hepstè; the living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £1000 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Rector. There are some mineral springs among the mountains, but they are not resorted to for medicinal purposes.
Among the incumbents of the family of Powell most deserving notice may be mentioned the Rev. Thomas Powell, born here in 1627. He published "Elementa Opticæ," in 1651; "Quadruga Salutis," or the "Four General Heads of the Christian Religion," in 1657; "The Catechism, Lord's Prayer, and Commandments, in Welsh and English, with comments and explanations;" "Human Industry, or a History of most of the Manual Arts;" "The Life of Herod;" and "Translations from the Italian of Malvezzi, and the French of Balsac." He also left an interesting work in manuscript, now unfortunately lost, entitled "Fragmenta de rebus Britannicis," or "A Short Account of the lives, manners, and religion of the British Druids." His son Thomas, also rector, was a man of considerable talent. Being reproached by one of his countrymen on account of the meanness of his descent, although able to boast of a line of ancestry as respectable as any in the county, he good-humouredly replied extemporaneously in Welsh verse, which being rendered into English prose, runs thus;—"And so you think I am no gentleman? Well! I'll answer you in few words:— from Noah and his three sons sprang all mankind, and from one of them came the parson of Cantrêv."