A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1849.
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LLANENDDWYN (LLAN-ENDDWYN), a parish, in the union of Dôlgelley, hundred of Ardudwy, county of Merioneth, North Wales, 5 miles (N. N. W.) from Barmouth, on the road to Harlech; containing 940 inhabitants. The village is pleasantly situated; the inhabitants are partly engaged in the manufacture of webs, partly in the working of mines of manganese, which is found in the parish, and partly in agriculture. An act of parliament was obtained in 1810 for the inclosure of the waste lands, under the provisions of which 2307 acres were allotted; and a considerable portion of this tract has been brought into a good state of cultivation. Of late years a great number of cottages have been erected in the parish. The living is a rectory, with the perpetual curacy of Llanddwywau annexed, rated in the king's books at £10. 18. 1½.; present net income, £287, with a glebe-house; patron, the Bishop of Bangor. The church, dedicated to St. Enddwyn, is an ancient structure. There are places of worship for Independents and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists. A Church school was erected in 1810 upon about half an acre of ground given by the late Sir Thomas Mostyn, Bart., in consequence of a bequest by Ellen Humphreys, in 1801, for teaching the poor children of this parish, and those of Llanddwywau. Four Sunday schools are also held, two of them by the Calvinistic Methodists, one by the Independents, and one by the Wesleyans. Several small benefactions have been granted at different periods for the poor; namely, £2. 13. 4. per annum, arising from a bequest by Mrs. Jane Wynne; a rent-charge of £1. 10. from an unknown donor; £1 from the above bequest by Ellen Humphreys; £1.5. from a bequest by Elizabeth Price; and £1 from a gift of £20 by Mrs. Catherine Pugh; with a field of five or six acres, given by Samuel Poole; and a small sum to be distributed in bread, by David Griffith. Near the high road is a great stone, called Coeten Arthur, or "Arthur's quoit." The waters of a spring called St. Enddwyn's Well are thought to be efficacious in the cure of rheumatic affections. The distinguished Archdeacon Prŷs was for some years rector of the parish. Colonel Jones, one of the "judges" who passed sentence of death on Charles I., was buried in the churchyard.
LLANENGAN (LLAN-EINGION), a parish, in the union of Pwllheli, chiefly in the hundred of Commitmaen, and partly in that of Gaflogion, Lleyn division of the county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 7 miles (S. W.) from Pwllheli; containing 1063 inhabitants. This parish, which comprises the headland, or promontory, of Penrhyn Dû, extending into St. Tudwal's Roads, is situated at the southern extremity of the county, and bounded on the east and south by Cardigan bay in St. George's Channel, and on the west and north by the parish of Llangian. It is about four miles in length and three in breadth, comprising 3098 acres, of which about 1000 are arable, 500 waste, and the remainder pasture. The soil is of various qualities, in some places consisting of a stiff clay, in others of sand, and in more of a fine loam; it is generally better suited for barley than any other grain, but wheat and oats are grown to a small extent. The surface is varied, much of the land being hilly, while some near the river Sôch is so low and flat as to be subject to frequent inundations; the scenery in many situations is beautiful, and the views from the higher grounds are very fine, particularly that of Cardigan bay on the east, with the hills of Merionethshire in the distance. There are five or six quarries of ironstone, which, at different periods of the year, occupy a greater or less number of men, and of which the produce is conveyed to Glamorgan to be smelted. Extensive veins of lead-ore have also been discovered, and several attempts have been made to work them; but the influx of water into the mines was so great that the expense in many instances exceeded the profits, and, owing to the difficulty of obtaining the ore, the works were discontinued in 1839.
The Sôch, the only stream by which the parish is watered, divides it from the parish of Llangian, and flows into the sea at a place called Abersôch, where is a little creek for vessels. At a small distance from the shore are two islands, upon the larger of which are the remains of an ancient chapel, now converted into a barn, which was dedicated to St. Tudwal, from whom the roads off this coast derive their name. St. Tudwal's Roads afford good anchorage for the largest ships, and are so extensive and secure that the whole of the British navy might ride here in perfect safety during the heaviest gales. The haven is the finest in St. George's Channel, and forms an excellent asylum for vessels that put in here when in danger of being driven into the adjoining exposed bay, called Hell's Mouth, or upon the ridge of sand called Sarn Badrig, or "Patrick's causeway," which stretches from the shore of Merionethshire nearly into this haven.
The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £17. 6. 5½.: patron, the Bishop of Bangor. The tithes have been commuted for a rentcharge of £412; and there is a glebe of nearly thirteen acres, with a house, the whole valued at £21.15. per annum. The church, dedicated to St. Einion, is a spacious structure, principally in the later style of English architecture, and remarkable as the only church in this part having a tower and a peal of bells. It appears to have been originally built by Einion, King of Lleyn, who flourished about the commencement of the sixth century, and who is said to have founded a college at Penmon, in Anglesey, which he placed under the superintendence of his nephew Seiriol, and to which the Scandinavian wanderers on the neighbouring coasts are said to have resorted for instruction in the Christian faith. The present edifice, which has lately been restored in a very judicious manner, under the superintendence of Mr. Kennedy, architect, of Bangor, consists of two equal aisles, with a tower of good proportions at the western end of the northern aisle. The aisles are precisely similar, except that, in the northern aisle, at its western end, is a lofty archway opening into the tower, and at its eastern end a window of five cinque-foiled lights, with alternately pointed and ogee heads. A range of six arches separates the aisles, five of which are four-centered, on octagonal shafts, but the sixth, towards the end, is circular; and across both aisles, at the distance of twenty-six feet from the eastern wall, runs a richly-worked screen, in a state of excellent preservation, and forming the most important architectural feature of the church. This screen was originally surmounted, in its whole length, by a rood-loft, but in the northern aisle the rood-loft has been destroyed; the remaining part is entered by a staircase in the southern wall. The tower consists of three stages, and is crowned with a bold battlement, with lofty crocketed and finialled pinnacles at the angles: in the belfry are three bells, brought hither, according to the tradition of the country, from St. Mary's Abbey at Bardsey, after the Dissolution. The rectory-house stands in an inclosure called the "Prior's Field." There are places of worship for dissenters; a Church school, established in 1833; a British school, established in 1845; and three Sunday schools. Upon the seacoast are two tumuli, or barrows, called by the inhabitants Castellau, or small forts, but which are probably the graves of some warriors of remote times.
LLANENGHENEDL (LLAN-ENGHENEL), a parish, in the hundred of Llyvon, union and county of Anglesey, North Wales, 2 miles (W.) from Bôdedern; containing 445 inhabitants. This parish forms a level district, watered by numerous rivulets, and comprises a considerable extent of inclosed and well-cultivated land. The village is situated on the old Holyhead road, and the new line of road to that place passes through a portion of the parish. The scenery, though not distinguished by any peculiarity of feature, is generally pleasing, and the adjacent country is in some parts finely varied. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the rectory of Llanvachreth. The church, dedicated to St. Enghenel, commander of the British forces under Cadvan, in the memorable battle of Chester, in 603, and said to have been originally erected about the commencement of the seventh century, is a small but lofty edifice, situated on a rock close to the old road to Holyhead: several parts of the structure display marks of great antiquity. There is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, in which a Sunday school is held. Some small donations and bequests have been made by various benefactors for the relief of the poor.
LLANERCHILA (LLANERCH-ILA), a hamlet, in that part of the parish of Llansantfraidyn-Mechan which is in the Upper division of the hundred of Deythur, in the union of Llanvyllin, county of Montgomery, North Wales, 8 miles (W. by N.) from Llanvyllin; containing 94 inhabitants.
LLANERCHLLWYDOG (LLANERCH-LWYDOG), a parish, in the union of Cardigan, hundred of Kemmes, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 4 miles (E. S. E.) from Fishguard; containing 214 inhabitauts. It derives its name from Clydawc, one of the reguli of the country, by whom, according to Mr. Fenton, the church was originally founded, and who, enjoying the diversion of the chase in this vicinity, was treacherously murdered, and afterwards interred in the churchyard. The parish is romantically situated on the river Gwayn, which, after pursuing a north-western course, falls into Fishguard bay. It comprises a large tract of land, and, with the exception of a mountainous district, is inclosed, and in a good state of cultivation. The surface is finely undulated; the surrounding scenery is pleasingly diversified, and in some parts highly picturesque. The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £8, and having the living of Llanllawer annexed; present net income, £155; patron, Thomas Lloyd, Esq. The tithes of the parish have been commuted for a rent-charge of £108. The church, dedicated to St. David, is not distinguished by any architectural details of importance: in the churchyard are two upright stones of great antiquity, supposed to mark the grave of Clydawc. There are places of worship for Baptists and Calvinistic Methodists, in the former of which a Sunday school is held.
LLANERCHROCHWELL (LLANERCHFROCH-WEL), a hamlet, in the parish of Guilsfield, Lower division of the hundred of Pool, county of Montgomery, North Wales, 2½ miles (N. W.) from Welshpool: the population is returned with the parish. It lies near the road from Guilsfield to Llanvair, which is here crossed by another from Welshpool to Meivod. The ground in the vicinity, though hilly, is well cultivated. Many respectable residences are situated in the township, and there are a few houses of singular appearance in a pass between the mountains, termed Bwlch Aeddan from having been anciently fortified by the chieftain whose name it bears. The township is within the liberties of the borough of Welshpool; its tithes have been commuted for £147 payable to the Dean and Chapter of Christ-Church, Oxford, and £50 to the vicar of Guilsfield.
LLANERCHYMEDD, a market-town and chapelry, chiefly in the parish of Amlwch, and partly in the parishes of Llanbeulan, Llêchcynvarwydd, and Ceidio, in the hundreds of Llyvon, Menai, and Twrcelyn, union and county of Anglesey, North Wales, 14 miles (W. N. W.) from Beaumaris, and 263 (N. W. by W.) from London: the population is returned with the respective parishes. This town, of which two-thirds are situated within the parish of Amlwch, appears to have derived its progressive increase in extent and importance from its central situation. Previously to the commencement of the parliamentary war, it had become a very populous village, and as such it is set forth in a petition which, during the protectorate of Cromwell, was presented for the establishment of a market, which was granted in 1657, and confirmed by Charles II., in 1665. This market, with the exception of that of Beaumaris, was the only one in the whole island; and constituted a chief source of the prosperity of the town until the year 1785, when a market was granted to Llangevni, the still more central situation of which renders it more convenient for the general resort of the inhabitants of the island.
Llanerchymedd is pleasantly situated on the high road from Bangor to Amlwch. The making of shoes is carried on to a very considerable extent, affording employment to more than 250 men; and the manufacture of a high-dried Welsh snuff, closely resembling in its quality the celebrated Irish snuff, commonly called Lundy Foote's, for which it has partially become a substitute, has been established here upon an extensive scale: the business, however, is not conducted upon a plan calculated to ensure to the inventors all the advantages of which, under better management, it might be made productive. The market, which is well attended, is on Wednesday; and five annual fairs are held under the same letters-patent by which the market was granted, but the days are not fixed with certainty, being frequently changed to suit the convenience of the dealers, who are thus enabled to drive the cattle to the English fairs: the nominal days are, January 1st, March 10th, April 4th, May 6th, June 23rd, the three Wednesdays before August 7th, and the 14th of that month, October 2nd, November 13th, and the three first Wednesdays after the last-mentioned day. The vill of Llanerchymedd, forming that portion of the town which is in the parish of Llanbeulan, now deemed extra-parochial, consists only of six acres of glebe land, which, together with the houses built on them, belong to the rector: the rest of the parish is five miles distant, being separated from this detached portion by several intervening places. The living is a curacy, annexed to the rectory of Llanbeulan: the chapel, dedicated to St. Mary, is a spacious structure, with a lofty square tower at the western end, and is the joint property of the families of Llwydiarth and Bôdlewyddan, who have always kept it in a tolerable state of repair without any charge to the inhabitants of the town. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists; a Church school, and some Sunday schools.
LLANERVUL (LLAN-ERFUL), a parish, in two divisions, Lower and Upper, in the union of Llanvyllin, Upper division of the hundred of Mathraval, county of Montgomery, in North Wales, 5 miles (W. N. W.) from Llanvair-Caereinion, and 12 (W. by N.) from Welshpool; containing 1000 inhabitants. This parish, which derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Ervul, of whom there is no satisfactory account, appears to have been of some importance at a very early period, and abounds with vestiges of British and Roman antiquity. It extends nearly eight miles in length and three in breadth; is bounded on the east and south by the parish of Llanvair, on the south-west by that of Llanbrynmair, and on the west and north-west by Llangadvan; and is pleasantly situated in the vale of the river Banwy, the whole of which, with its encircling hills, is included in this and the adjoining parishes of Llangadvan and Garth-beibio. The surface is boldly and beautifully undulated. In the Upper division the lands are but partially inclosed and cultivated; the hilly parts afford only pasturage for sheep, ponies, and young cattle during the summer, and are claimed as sheep-walks by the several farmers whose lands are contiguous. The wool produced is generally coarse, especially on the higher hills, on which the hardiest breed of sheep in the principality is fed: these hills are covered with heath, and among them are extensive turbaries, sufficient for the supply of the surrounding district. There is nearly an equal quantity of arable and pasture, with a large portion of wood, consisting of natural covers and artificial plantations, growing oak, ash, birch, alder, hazel, firs, larch, and willows. The soil of the lower grounds is tolerably fertile, but that of the upper is poor, resting chiefly on a stiff clay or brittle slate, requiring the process of paring and burning, with an unusual quantity of manure, to render it capable of producing grain of any kind.
On the Drûm are three pools, of which one is called Llyn y Grinwydden, "the pool of the withered tree," or "the pool of the white cliff," situated on a rocky hill, and said to be of unfathomable depth; it is about 200 yards in length, and contains no fish but eels and carp. Llŷn Hîr, or "the long pool," is about 500 yards in length, and 150 yards in breadth. The upper end of it is so firmly crusted over with the slough brought down by the floods from the turbaries above it, that sheep and men can walk upon the surface; but what it loses in extent from this circumstance, it gains at the opposite extremity by the violent action of its waters, driven by the west winds, against the banks, which are of peat earth. This pool affords great attractions to sportsmen for shooting wild-duck, which breed here; it also contains excellent red trout, but in very hot summers it is nearly dried up. On the north side is a stone inscribed MET. II. 1430, at present seven feet distant from the bank, which space is supposed to have been gained by the receding of the waters since that date. Llyn y Bugail, or "the shepherd's pool," abounds with eels, but is not distinguished by any peculiar characteristics. Within the parish, on the border of that of Llanbrynmair, is likewise a pool called Gwyddïor, or Cadivor, of remarkable clear water, and which contained great numbers of fine trout, until they were extirpated by the introduction of pike. The pool is about a mile in circumference, and situated on an eminence extending in a direction from north to south. To the west of this ridge are some very deep hollows, open to the south-west and north-west, within which the collected winds burst impetuously through an opening in the ridge, parallel with the direction of the pool, and agitate its water with great violence.
In 1797, a company of adventurers began to sink for coal at Cyvylchau, in this parish, but their enterprise was not attended with success, and the attempt was discontinued: the rock on which the trial was made is black, very much resembling coal in colour, flake, and texture, and will bear the fire well, and get red-hot, but will not burn. In the absence of lime-rock and freestone, which always exist in the neighbourhood of coal-fields, and neither of which is found within twenty miles of Llanervul, it is the opinion of Professor Sedgwick, who visited and examined the district, that coal is not to be obtained in the parish. About the same time a few specimens of copper-ore were dug up in the township of CoedTalog, but no regular works have been established. The turnpike-road from Welshpool to Machynlleth and Dôlgelley passes through the village. An annual fair takes place on the 7th of May, and the pettysessions for the Upper division of the hundred of Mathraval are held occasionally.
The Living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at £9. 2. 11.; present net income, £308; patron, the Bishop of St. Asaph. The church, dedicated to St. Ervul, is an ancient structure, in the early style of English architecture, sixty-three feet in length and twenty-one in breadth. In the churchyard is an old monument, commonly supposed to have been erected in memory of the patron saint, and bearing a mutilated inscription, which, however, as far as it is legible, does not at all support this conjecture; on the contrary, it is affirmed, and with more probability, in a Welsh work styled "Gwyliedydd," to have been raised in memory of a daughter of St. Padarn, who flourished about the year 900. The monument is three feet in the ground, and four above the surface, and one of the finest yew-trees in the principality overhangs it. At Dôlwen, in the hamlet of Cevnllŷs Uchâv, was formerly an ancient chapel. There are places of worship for Wesleyan and Calvinistic Methodists. Mrs. Priscilla Forster, a descendant of the family of the Herberts of Llŷsyn, bequeathed £300 for the instruction of the poor children of the parish; which sum was invested in the purchase of a farm, consisting of forty-one acres, twenty-three of which are morass lately drained, with an allotment of twenty acres of common. The present schoolhouse and master's dwelling, forming one building, was erected about half a century since, by the sale of timber cut down on the estate, to the value of £200, and £100 raised by subscription in the parish. Besides this day school, there are four Sunday schools, one of them in connexion with the Church, two belonging to the Wesleyans, and one to the Calvinistic body. A few small charities, which produced about £1. 2. 6. per annum, have been lost.
Upon the summit of an eminence called Moelddolwen, in the hamlet of Cevnllŷs Uchâv, are the remains of a strongly fortified camp, including an irregular quadrilateral area, about a hundred yards in length, and guarded on the west, on which side is the entrance, by an advanced work about twenty yards in diameter: the camp is defended, on the sides where it is most easily accessible, by fosses of greater depth, the earth having been thrown up to form a breastwork. In the same hamlet, some time ago, was a fortified eminence called Gardden, having a circular rampart, which inclosed an area seventy yards in diameter. The entrances of these strongholds, both of which were of ancient British construction, were on the most accessible sides of the hill, and, from their breadth, appeared to have been contrived for the admission of the chariots armed with scythes, that were in use among the Britons. There are vestiges of two other strongholds, similar in all respects to these, one on the summit of the bold and commanding Moel-pentyrch, and the other on the opposite side of the vale, on the summit of Neuadd Wèn:: of the four, Gardden was the most perfect, but the plough has levelled it with the ground. A ditch and rampart, equal in dimensions to Offa's Dyke, may still be traced crossing the vale of the Banwy near Rhôs-yGall. The Roman road from Caer-Sws to Chester, or from Caerleon, in the modern county of Monmouth, to the same city, enters the parish on the hills of the Drûm; passes through a bog called Corsyvisog, now impenetrable from the accumulation of slough descending from the turbaries on the hills; and, traversing the moors in a direct line to Bwlchy-Drûm, thence descends through Cynniwyll, crosses the Banwy below Neuadd Wèn, passes over Craigy-Gov, and enters the parish of Llanvihangel at Rhŷd Pont-y-Styllod. Though concealed by long grass in the moorish grounds of the Drûm, this road may be easily discerned at a distance, in the lately ploughed lands in various parts of the parish, in which it forms a bold and conspicuous ridge, and in which the materials of its construction may be found a little below the surface. On the common of Craigy-Gov are vestiges of ancient mines, which are supposed to have been originally worked by the Romans; and at the foot of the declivity of the hill on which the common is situated, is a cavern termed Ogov Dôlanog, having an entrance so narrow as to prevent any person from penetrating far into it: the tradition is, that there was a subterraneous passage from this cavern to the mines on Craig-y-Gov common. There are two large tumuli and several carneddau in the parish, but no particulars of their origin are recorded. Near the church is a fine well, dedicated to the patron saint, the water of which was formerly in great repute for its efficacy in the cure of various diseases.
Neuadd Wèn, now a farmhouse, was anciently the mansion of Meredydd ab Cynan ab Owain Gwynedd, Prince of Wales, and appears, from the few remains of the old building which have been found among some rubbish at the back of the present house, to have been erected about the eleventh or twelfth century: among these vestiges were the ruins of an arched window, with mouldings of freestone, in the style of that age. This mansion was once called Llŷs Wgan, from a rivulet near the spot; and adjoining it is the farm of Llŷsyn, also at one time a family seat, and which appears to have derived its name, a diminutive of Llŷs, "a palace," from its vicinity to the first-named residence. The Rev. Joseph Thomas, who married the daughter of Parkhurst, the Hebrew and Greek lexicographer, and who assisted him in the execution of his literary labours, was born at Llŷsyn.
LLANEUGRAD (LLAN-EIGRAD), a parish, in the hundred of Twrcelyn, union and county of Anglesey, North Wales, 6 miles (E.) from Llanerchymedd; containing 331 inhabitants. This parish, which is bounded on the east by the Irish Sea, was anciently much more extensive than it is at present; and not far from the church, upon the site of a farm called Park, are distinct traces of a town or large village, of which the foundations of the buildings alone remain. In the year 873, a memorable battle was fought at Bryngoleu, here, in which the Danes, who at that time made frequent descents on the coast of Anglesey, were defeated with great slaughter by Roderic the Great, who, after a sanguinary contest, drove them to their ships. The soil of the parish is fertile, and the lands are inclosed and cultivated. The substratum is limestone, of which there are immense rocks; and some extensive quarries of black and grey marble afford employment to a considerable number of the labouring poor; the situation of the place upon the coast affording a facility of exporting the produce, and large quantities being shipped to various parts of Great Britain.
The living is a discharged rectory, with the perpetual curacy of Llanallgo annexed, rated in the king's books at £9. 11. 10½.; present net income, £135, with a glebe-house; patron, the Bishop of Bangor. The church, dedicated to St. Eugrad, is supposed to have been originally built about the year 605, by Eugrad, son of Caw-o-Vrydain, and brother of St. Alltgo who, about the same time, founded the neighbouring church of Llanallgo: it is a small but somewhat stately edifice, of lofty proportions, and venerable appearance; and adjoining it is a small antique chapel. On the farm of Llugwy, in the parish, formerly stood a chapel of ease to Llanallgo, the small existing remains of which are called Capel Llugwy. There is a place of worship in the parish for Calvinistic Methodists, with a Sunday school held in it; and a British school has been established here, which is supported by the children's pence. The poor are entitled to one-third of the rent of a farm in the parish of Llanvair-Mathavarneithâv, arising from a bequest by John Williams, in 1721, and now let for £6. 12. per annum, which sum is annually distributed at Christmas; there is also a rent-charge of 5s., a grant by John Griffith Lewis, which is similarly appropriated. Adjoining the ancient town above noticed are the remains of an extensive and well fortified camp, in which Roderic is supposed to have stationed his forces in his conflict with the Danes; and on the highest eastern point are some ruins, consisting principally of a gateway and some portions of walls, of an old building, in which that sovereign is thought to have held his court while engaged in repelling the Danes from this part of his dominions.
LLANFINNAN (LLAN-FFINAN), a parish, in the union of Bangor and Beaumaris, hundred of Menai, county of Anglesey, North Wales, 6 miles (W.) from Beaumaris; containing 153 inhabitants. This parish derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Finnan, by whom the building was originally founded in the early part of the seventh century. It is pleasantly situated on the old line of road to Holyhead, and comprises a considerable portion of elevated ground, having a substratum of limestone; the lower lands, which are fertile and productive, are inclosed and in a good state of cultivation. The scenery is pleasingly varied, though not distinguished by any peculiarity of feature; and the views from the higher grounds extend over a large tract of country, embracing some interesting objects. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the living of Llanvihangel-Ysceiviog: the church, which contained two monuments to members of the Lloyd family, was rebuilt, and opened for divine service on the 6th of July, 1841, and is a plain structure in the old English style, with strong buttresses, which have a good effect, being so well suited to the exposed situation of the building. Six poor children of the parish are taught gratuitously in the parochial school of Llanvihangel-Ysceiviog, under an endowment by the Rev. Dr. John Jones, Dean of Bangor, who was for some years curate of this place. Two rooms in an almshouse in the parish of Penmynedd, founded by Lewis Rogers, in 1617, are appropriated to poor men of Llanfinnan; and a third room is alternately shared between this parish and that of Llanvihangel: each poor man receives an annuity of £6. A small bequest by Thomas William has been lost for many years.
LLANGADOCK (LLAN-GADOG-FAWR), a market-town, and a parish comprising the hamlets of Above-Sawdde, Dyfryn-Cydrich, and Gwynve, in the poor-law union of Llandovery, Lower division of the hundred of Perveth, county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 21 miles (E. N. E.) from Carmarthen, and 188 (W. by N.) from London; containing 2604 inhabitants. This parish derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Cadog. It is of remote antiquity; and the town, which was formerly of much greater importance than it is at present, was distinguished for its castle, of which frequent notice occurs in the Welsh annals. By whom, or at what period, this fortress was originally erected is not known; but in the various struggles of the native chieftains of South Wales, for the extension of their territories, and in the frequent dissensions which arose among them, it was invariably an object of the greatest importance, and the occupation of it was eagerly contended for by the adverse parties. In 1204, the castle was strongly fortified by Rhŷs ab Grufydd, from whom it was soon taken by his uncle Maelgwyn, assisted by Gwenwynwyn, Prince of Powys; these chieftains, however, did not long remain in possession of it, as it was recovered in a successful assault by Rhŷs, who continued to hold it for some time. About the year 1208, Rhŷs Vychan, otherwise Rhŷs Grŷg, brother of Maelgwyn, having quarrelled with his nephews Rhŷs and Owain, turned his arms against them, and dispossessed them of this fortress, in which he placed a strong garrison; but the latter chieftains, on being apprised of the circumstance, marched against it with all their forces, and, putting the garrison to the sword, levelled it with the ground.
The town suffered materially from the ravages of the English vassals, during the continuance of hostilities between them and the native inhabitants of this part of South Wales. The Welsh prince Llewelyn having made his submission to Edward I., expectations were fondly entertained that the country would enjoy a respite from the depredations committed by the English who had settled in this part of the principality; but soon after the accession of that monarch to the throne, the oppressive tyranny of his officers at Aberystwith drove the inhabitants once more into open rebellion; and the brave Llewelyn again had recourse to arms. On this occasion, the archbishop of Canterbury endeavoured to adjust the differences which had arisen between the natives and the English; and to this prelate Rhŷs Vychan complained that, among other excesses, the English had attacked and plundered the church of Llangadock, wounded the priest, whom they left expiring before the high altar, converted that sacred edifice into stabling for their horses, and burned the houses in the town. After the entire subjugation of Wales by Edward, and the dispersion of the family of Dynevor, to whom the castle of Llangadock belonged, the fortress was most probably neglected, and suffered to fall into decay.
Llangadock is beautifully situated between the rivers Brân and Sawdde, over the former of which is a neat stone bridge of three elliptic arches; and near the river Towy, by which the parish is bounded on the west. It consists principally of one spacious street, containing several well-built houses of respectable appearance, and is abundantly supplied with water, but neither paved nor lighted. Within the present century Llangadock has been constituted a post-town; and a new line of road, over the Black Mountain, has been completed, connecting it with the coal and limestone works in that district, and with the Swansea canal at Pont-ar-Dawe. The road from Carmarthen and Llandilo to Llandovery and Brecon passes through it; and among other improvements that have taken place, may be mentioned the erection of a stone bridge of five arches over the river Towy, which was completed in 1819, at an expense of £2300, defrayed by this parish and the parishes of Llandilo, Llansadwrn, Llanthoysaint, and Mothvey, adjoining. The parish contains coal, limestone, and lead and iron ores, the two former of which are wrought on a moderate scale, employing from fifty to sixty persons each during the summer months: the lime is carried in wagons to Cardiganshire, the upper parts of this county, and to Brecknockshire; the coal is exported by sea to various parts of the kingdom. The market is on Thursday. Fairs are held annually on January 16th, March 12th, the last Thursday in May, July 9th, the first Thursday after September 11th, the second Thursday after Old Michaelmas day, and on December 11th. The town is under the jurisdiction of the county magistrates; and at the court leet of the lord of the manor, a portreeve is annually chosen and sworn into office, whose duties consist in collecting the tolls of the market and fairs, the mortuaries of freeholders, deodands, and other dues.
The parish comprises an area of 22,642a. 3r. 7p., of which, by computation, 7000 acres are common, and, by admeasurement, 6812a. 3r. 7p. arable, 8000 acres pasture and meadow, and 830 woodland; the soil is a good loam, and the chief produce, wheat, barley, and oats. The appearance of the immediate vicinity of the town is much enlivened by the several streams, and the numerous gentlemen's seats on the banks of the Towy. The Sawdde, which has its source in the Black Mountain, and is celebrated for its fine trout, is crossed by a neat bridge of one arch, covered with ivy: underneath, the foaming stream, hurrying along the rich and beautiful valley leading to the interesting village of Pontarllechan, forms a striking feature in the diversified scenery; and the bold hills surrounding the hamlet, with the Black Mountain in the distance, complete a picture comprehending several near and distant views of a highly pleasing character. Within two miles of the town are the mansions of Llansevin and Mandinham, the former of which has a lawn in front, with an oak-tree of immense bulk and venerable aspect. In the hamlet of Gwynve is a seat of the same name; and near the town also is Tan-yr-Allt.
The living is a vicarage, with that of Llanthoysaint annexed, rated in the king's books at £9; net income, £267; patron, the Bishop of St. David's. The tithes of the parish have been commuted for £549. 8. 9., of which £183. 3. 2. are payable to the vicar, who has also a glebe of five acres, valued at £3 per annum, and a glebe-house. The church, an ancient cruciform structure, was designed, in 1283, to be made collegiate in honour of St. Maurice and his companions, and St. Thomas the Martyr, by Dr. Thomas Beck, Bishop of St. David's, for a precentor and twenty-one canons or prebendaries, of whom seven were to be priests, seven deacons, and seven sub-deacons, together with five clerks; but this design was frustrated by the prelate's death. The edifice has suffered much by injudicious repairs and alterations; and a good organ built by the late David Jones, watchmaker, of this town, in 1804, at the expense of the parish, has been allowed to fall into dilapidation and disuse. In length the church measures sixty-five feet, and in breadth twenty-five feet. The north transept has been converted into a private burial-place. In the hamlet of Gwynve is an endowed chapel, in the gift of the Vicar of Llangadock. There are places of worship for Independents, Baptists, Wesleyans, and Calvinistic Methodists; a Church school, almost wholly maintained at the expense of John P. Lloyd, Esq., of Llangadock; a British school, established in 1847; and a number of Sunday schools.
Llangadock Castle occupied the area of a large oval intrenchment on the eastern side of the waste of Carreg-Sawdde, called Castell-Meiris; and the keep was built on the summit of a high rock, upon the north side, scarped conically all round, and very deeply moated. The river Sawdde anciently defended the castle on the north-west side; and a morass, with the confined waters of the Feuris or Meiris brook, protected it on the south-eastern side. The materials of the castle were used many years since for building the farmhouses of Glan-Sawdde and Caerhên, and no vestiges of it are now visible. The town is by some writers considered to have been the site of an arx speculatoria, or Roman watchtower; and the Roman road called the Via Julia Montana took its course through the parish, or its immediate vicinity, in which it is thought there was probably a Roman station; but no traces of such a work are now discernible. To the south-east of the parish is a hill called Tri Chrûg, or the "three hillocks," from three large carneddau, or heaps of stones, on its summit: these formed conspicuous objects in the distant view, and are supposed to have been the graves of some British chieftains, or of numerous warriors that may have fallen in some unrecorded battle fought near the spot; but only one of the tumuli now remains. Near the eminence are some remains of an ancient encampment termed Garn Gôch, inclosing a quadrangular area of considerable extent, defended by a rude rampart of loose stones, in some places ten feet high. In a field named Cae Castell, on the farm of Tîr Mawr, is a circular intrenchment; near which is Cwm Gwern-yGâd, an appellation denoting the scene of a battle. At Capel Tydist is an old chapel of ease, now used as a barn; Llansevin Issav is another, now used as a farmhouse; and on Cae Capel is the site also of a chapel of ease. Cwrt-y-Plâs, near the church, was originally a nunnery, and afterwards a college for the education of candidates for the order of priesthood, which at the Reformation was suppressed, and granted to the proprietor of the Abermarles estate: the portion of the roof of the refectory, still remaining, is an interesting specimen of ancient timber-work. Both in the town and the immediate neighbourhood are the ruins of several mansions of superior dimensions and style of architecture, evidences of the former importance of this place, in which is thought anciently to have been situated a mansion called Llŷs Brychan, or "Brychan's palace."
LLANGADVAN (LLAN-GADFAN), a parish, in the poor-law union of Llanvyllin, Upper division of the hundred of Mathraval, county of Montgomery, North Wales, 7 miles (W. N. W.) from Llanvair; containing 1070 inhabitants. This parish derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Cadvan, son of Eneas Lledewig, of Armorica, who flourished in the sixth century, and was regarded as the tutelar saint of warriors. It is situated on the turnpike-road from Welshpool to Machynlleth, which passes by the noted postinghouse called Cann Office, about three-quarters of a mile from the church. The area is 16,929 acres; the surface is boldly undulated, and the surrounding scenery is strikingly varied, combining portions of cultivation and verdure with features of rugged sterility. At Moel Achles, in the hamlet of Cowny, a vein of lead-ore was discovered, and mines of that metal were for some time wrought with considerable success; but the works have been discontinued. Peat is dug, forming the principal fuel of the inhabitants. A branch of the river Vyrnwy flows through the village, and unites with the Banwy near the church. In the neighbourhood are some handsome mansions, of which the principal within the parish is Llwydiarth House, formerly the seat of the family of Vaughan, descended from Aleth Hên, King of Dyved.
The living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at £9. 5., and in the patronage of the Bishop of St. Asaph: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £389; and there is a glebe of twentysix acres, with a glebe-house. The church is a small venerable structure, in the ancient style of English architecture, and is appropriately fitted up. It is supposed that there were formerly chapels in the hamlets of Cyfin, Cowny, and Maesllymysten, which were served by monks from the adjoining monastery of Cyfin; and, according to tradition, the inhabitants of these hamlets had no sittings in the parish church, the smallness of which appears to corroborate the account. The churchyard is also extremely small, and the soil so shallow that the want of a larger cemetery is much felt. The old parsonage-house was burnt down in 1645, when Vavasor Powel was sent by the parliament to sequestrate the livings of the clergy in the county of Montgomery. There are places of worship for Independents, Calvinistic Methodists, and Wesleyans; and some Sunday schools. Several small donations and bequests have been assigned for distribution among the poor, which, being consolidated, yield an interest of £1. 16. per annum; and the poor attending the church receive 2s. worth of bread every Sunday, arising from a gift of £104 by Mrs. Grace Edwards in 1802, secured by a mortgage on the tolls of the second division of the Montgomeryshire roads. Three other charities, amounting altogether to £60, one of which was a bequest of £40 by the Rev. John Williams, in the year 1773, have been lost.
In the hamlet of Cyfin, in the parish, was a small monastery, probably dependent on the Cistercian abbey of Strata Marcella: among its endowments were the hamlet of Cevnllŷs Uchâv, in the parish of Llanervul, and that of Tîrymynach, in Llanbrynmair, which, on its dissolution, became the property of the Vaughans of Llwydiarth. There are no remains of the building; but the site is still called Cae'r Mynach, and below it is a ford over the river Owddyn, a branch of the Vyrnwy, called Rhŷd-yBydê, which is by some thought to be a corruption of Rhŷd-yr-Abadau, "the ford of the abbots;" or of Rhŷd-y-Badau, "the ford of the boats," from a pool adjoining, where boats were formerly kept. At Cann Office are the remains of a British encampment, the area inclosed by the defences of which is partly occupied by the posting-house: a mound of earth, about seventy yards in circumference, extending along the bottom of the moat by which it was surrounded, is still remaining.
Near Pont-y-Llogel, in the hamlet of Cyfin, and near the bank of the river Vyrnwy, are two cairns; the larger is nearly sixty yards in circuit, and has its outer circumference composed of upright stones, four feet in height, with the interior piled up to the height of five feet in the centre. In removing the stones, to furnish materials for the wall of Llwydiarth Park, a stone coffin was discovered in the centre, containing two skeletons, the head of one being placed by the feet of the other, and an urn, in which were some burnt bones and ashes. There are numerous carneddau in this and the adjoining parishes of Garth-beibio and Llanervul, varying in diameter from ten to twenty yards; and a great number of smaller dimensions. In the centre of each of these, when opened, is found a cist-vaen, or stone coffin, over which the cairn is always more protuberant: the outer circumference, like that of the great cairn above-mentioned, is generally formed of large upright stones, and those contained within are piled loosely in circles around the tomb, the interstices being filled up with stones of a smaller size. Besides these, which are undoubtedly the sepulchres of native British chieftains, there is, on the neighbouring hills, and more especially on that called Pen Coed, a great number of barrows, supposed to be the graves of their followers; they all exhibit evident marks of fire, and in some the heat appears to have been so intense, that the stones were partly vitrified.
In the hamlet of Moelveliarth are the remains of a small fort with intrenchments; and in Maesllymysten is a small camp, on the summit of a precipitous eminence, defended by a deep ditch on the only side on which it is accessible. On the summit of an opposite hill, called Mopart, and, running completely across it, is a ditch as large as Offa's Dyke, probably intended to prevent incursions from the mountains above. A pair of ancient millstones was found in digging for turf in the hamlet of Cyfin, in the year 1828, at a depth of nearly two feet from the surface. Fynnon Gadvan, or "St. Cadvan's well," was formerly in great repute for the marvellous efficacy attributed to its water, and was covered with a building, the stones of which, of remarkably large size, were remaining some time ago. There is a chalybeate spring in the township of Cyfin; but it is not much resorted to. William Jones, an eminent poet and critic, was born in the parish, in 1729, and was interred here in 1795; the Cambrian Register contains a sketch of his life, and some notice of a history which he published of this parish and the parishes of Garth-beibio and Llanervul.
LLANGADWALADR (LLAN-GADWALADR), a parish, in the hundred of Malltraeth, union and county of Anglesey, North Wales, 7 miles (S. W.) from Llangevni; containing 553 inhabitants. This parish, which derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Cadwaladr, is situated on the road leading from Aberfraw to Llangevni, and on that from the former town to Carnarvon. It is also intersected by the Chester and Holyhead railway, and is bounded on the northeast by the parish of Trêvdraeth, on the north-west by that of Aberfraw, on the south-east by Newborough parish and the Malltraeth sands, and on the southwest by the parish of Aberfraw and the sea. It comprises by computation 2132 acres, of which 100 acres are covered with trees, between 200 and 300 are rabbit-warrens, formerly a source of considerable profit, and the remainder of the area is arable and pasture. The surface is boldly undulated, and naked of wood except on the demesne of Bôdorgan, the prevailing south-west wind from the sea being unfavourable to the growth of trees; the scenery is in some parts pleasingly varied, and the distant views embrace numerous interesting objects, with the whole range of the Carnarvonshire mountains. The soil is for the most part fertile; the chief produce is wheat, barley, oats, and potatoes. Bôdowen, the ancient seat of the Owens of Orielton, in Pembrokeshire, was sold by Sir Hugh Owen, in 1808, to the late Mr. Hughes of Kinmel, father of Lord Dinorben; the house was erected about the beginning of the seventeenth century, and is now tenanted by a farmer. Bôdorgan, the seat of Owen Fuller Meyrick, Esq., rebuilt in a handsome style about seventy years since, is celebrated for its spacious and wellstocked deer-park, and its very superior garden, from which pines and other choice fruits have obtained first-rate prizes at the horticultural shows in London. Common road and grit stone are quarried in the parish. It is watered by the stream of Frechwen, and contains the hamlet of Hermon, and a cornmill.
The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £16. 7. 11., and in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £245; there is a glebe-house, and the glebe comprises eighteen acres, valued at £25 per annum. The church was originally called Eglwys Ael, but obtained the name of Llangadwaladr on its being rebuilt about the year 650 by Cadwaladr, the last of the Welsh Kings of Britain, whose grandfather Cadvan, or Catamanus, had been buried here. The present church, chiefly in the decorated and later English styles, is an elegant structure, fifty-two feet long and sixteen wide, containing about sixty sittings, and consisting of a nave and chancel, with a north and south transept attached to the latter, and called respectively the Bôdorgan and Bôdowen chapels, of more recent erection than the rest of the edifice. The Bôdorgan chapel, forming the north transept, was originally built by Richard Meyrick, Esq., in 1640, and rebuilt in 1801, in an inferior style, which exhibits a striking contrast to that of the Bôdowen chapel, constituting the south transept, erected by Anne, widow of Colonel Hugh Owen, of Bôdowen, in 1661. This last, from the beauty of its style and the richness of its details, is one of the most elegant specimens of ecclesiastical architecture in this part of North Wales; its windows, two of which are large, though partly divested of the stained glass with which they were originally embellished, are still strikingly beautiful. The window of the chancel is also of elegant design, and was formerly enriched with brilliant stained glass, inserted at the expense of Meyric ab Llewelyn ab Hwlkyn, in 1535, as appears by an inscription below the figures; though greatly mutilated, there is still enough of the original glass remaining to bear testimony to its pristine beauty. On the lintel of the south door of the nave is a rude inscription of great antiquity, which has been decyphered thus:—catamanvs rex sapientisimvs opinatisimvsomnivm regvm. About three-quarters of a mile to the south of the church are the ruins of the chapel of Llanveirian, which appears to have been originally a parish church, and afterwards a chapel, having been finally suffered to fall into decay, about the year 1775. The present rector has caused the cemetery to be inclosed with a stone wall, and some yew-trees to be planted within the area, marking the site of the ancient edifice.
There is a place of worship for Independents, in which also is held a Sunday school, attended by about ninety scholars, who are instructed gratuitously. A Church day school has been established in the adjoining parish of Trêvdraeth. Mrs. Clara Meyrick, in 1826, left the interest of £227. 5. 5. three per cent consols., to be expended in clothing for the poor at Christmas; and her grand-daughters, Mary Fuller and Clara Tapps, in 1831 bequeathed a sum of £100 each, in the same stock, the dividends to be applied in a similar manner; but those charities, though placed in the names of the above parties, in fact emanated from the benevolence of Mrs. Fuller, the mother of the latter ladies, and the daughter of the first named. Sir Hugh Owen, of Bôdowen, Bart., bequeathed a rent-charge of £2, and Owen Jones, of Marian, one of 10s., both of which are distributed in small sums among the poor generally after Christmas. A grant of £5 by Griffith Williams, vested in the hands of the churchwardens, has been lost to the poor. In 1728, the sum of £30 was bequeathed by Mary Maurice, to be laid out in land by the owner of Pantglâs Issa, and the produce to be distributed by him and the churchwardens, at Christmas, among six of the poorest parishioners; this, with the interest of £10 left by Thomas Humphreys in 1731, is dispensed on the 1st of January in every year.
LLANGAFO (LLAN-GAFFO), a parish, in the union of Carnarvon, hundred of Menai, county of Anglesey, North Wales, 5 miles (N. W. by N.) from Carnarvon; containing 139 inhabitants. This parish derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Caffo, who flourished in this part of Wales about the middle of the sixth century. It is intersected by the Chester and Holyhead railway, opened in the year 1848, and is also situated on the road leading from Newborough to the great Holyhead road, and which crosses it a little to the southeast of Llangevni. The parish is bounded on the north and north-west by the parish of Trêvdraeth, which is separated from it by the Malltraeth river; on the south-west and west by the parishes of Llangeinwen and Newborough; and on the east and south-east by Llanidan parish. It comprehends an extensive tract of land, of which a large portion is marshy, some part hilly, and the remainder inclosed, and in a fair state of cultivation. In 1790, an act of parliament was obtained for more effectually embanking the marshes called Malltraeth and Cors Ddeugae, under the provisions of which 230 acres were allotted to the several owners of property in Llangafo. The arable land of the parish comprises by admeasurement 1007 acres, and the pasture 504; the soil is in general fertile, and the lower grounds afford excellent pasturage for cattle. Coal is profitably worked at Berw, in or near the parish. The scenery, though pleasingly varied, is not distinguished by any peculiarity of feature; but the higher grounds afford some fine views over the adjacent country. About half a mile from the church is situated the ancient mansion of Dinam, the residence for a very long period of the ancestors of the Rev. Richard Pritchard, rector of Llanvair-Pwllgwyngyll and Llandysillio, who now occupies it.
The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the rectory of Llangeinwen; the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £205. The church, a small ancient edifice, situated on an eminence overlooking the Malltraeth marsh, has been recently rebuilt, at an expense of about £1200, from the designs of Messrs. Weightman and Hadfield, of Sheffield. The structure will accommodate 200 persons, consisting of a nave and chancel, with a tower and spire; it is built of limestone rubble, and dressings of Sturton stone, and forms a very good specimen of the early English style of architecture. The interior is fitted up in a neat and appropriate manner, and the details throughout appear to have been carefully studied: it has open benches. As a whole the church is effective from its simplicity and the absence of pretension. In the adjoining parish of Llangeinwen are two day schools, one carried on under the superintendence of the rector, and almost entirely at his expense; the other conducted on the system of the British and Foreign School Society. Some small charitable donations have been made at various times, the principal of which are, a bequest, in 1623, of a rentcharge of 52s. per annum to be distributed every alternate Sunday in bread, left by Lewis Owen, Esq., of Twickenham, and payable out of the lands of Dinam; and two benefactions, one of £20 by the Rev. Thomas Holland, and another of £10 by Owen Cadwallader, the interest of both which sums, together with 5s. from some other bequest, is paid by Holland Griffith, Esq., of Berw, and distributed in small sums at Christmas among such poor as receive no parochial aid. Two gold coins of the Emperor Constantine, in a good state of preservation, were found near the church, in the year 1829; and several silver and copper coins of that and other emperors have been discovered.
LLANGAIN (LLAN-GAIN), a parish, in the Higher division of the hundred of Derllŷs, union and county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 4 miles (S. S. W.) from Carmarthen; containing 403 inhabitants. This parish is beautifully situated on the north bank of the river Towy, which is here navigable for vessels of considerable burthen; and comprises a large extent of arable and pasture land, inclosed and in a good state of cultivation. The soil is extremely favourable for the growth of corn, of which great quantities are raised of a quality not surpassed in any other part of the principality. The scenery is richly diversified, the views comprehending a portion of the beautiful Vale of Towy, with the ivy-mantled ruins of Green Castle overhanging the river, and other picturesque and pleasing features. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £800 royal bounty; net income, £85; patron and impropriator, F. Bludworth, Esq., whose tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £55. 18. The church, dedicated to St. Synin, is a neat edifice, occupying the summit of a lofty eminence, which commands varied and extensive prospects over the surrounding country and the bay of Carmarthen. There is a place of worship for Independents, in which also a Sunday school is held. Leland, describing the remains of Green Castle, says, "four miles from Llanstephan, on the same ripe, is a place or cliffe called Green Castle, where ships used to lie at anchor;" to which Camden adds, "it is also called Castle Mole, and supposed to be the Humphreys Castle of Dr. Powel, and built by Uchtred, Prince of Merioneth, A. D. 1138."