A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1849.
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MORDRYDD, a hamlet, in the parish of Llanspythid, hundred of Devynock, union and county of Brecknock, South Wales, 2 miles (S. W.) from Brecknock; containing 137 inhabitants. It is situated in the upper part of a vale, the river Tarell separating it from the hamlet of Llanspythid; and at the northern declivity of the Green Mountain. At some distance to the south, and partly within the hamlet, are the rocky and elevated conical mountains called the Brecknockshire Beacons, rising to the height of 2862 feet above the level of the sea. Gilbert Court, an old mansion built by some members of the Parry family in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, near the southern bank of the Tarell, is now a farmhouse. In the hamlet is also Dôlgoed, which formed part of the estate conferred by Bernard Newmarch on his follower, Sir John Skule: not a vestige of the mansion occupied by the knight is now visible; but on a farm called Kîlwhibarth is a large mound or barrow, which Mr. Jones is of opinion was the "mons placitorum" of the manor. The tithes have been commuted for £107, of which two-thirds are payable to the impropriator, and one-third is received by the vicar of Llanspythid.
MORETON (ABOVE), a township, in the parish of Ruabon, union of Wrexham, hundred of Bromfield, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 1½ mile (N. by E.) from Ruabon; containing 3467 inhabitants. It is rich in mineral productions, abounding both with iron-ore and coal, the working of which affords employment to a great majority of the population.
MORETON (BELOW), a township, in the parish of Ruabon, union of Wrexham, hundred of Bromfield, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 1½ mile (N. E.) from Ruabon; containing 191 inhabitants. Numerous respectable and pleasing residences are observable in various directions, among which Moreton Hall is prominently conspicuous.
MORRISTON, a chapelry, in the parish and hundred of Llangyvelach, poor-law union of Swansea, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 2 miles (N. by E.) from Swansea: its population, which is very considerable, is returned with that of the township of Higher and Lower Clâs, wherein it is situated. This village is of recent origin, and derives its name from its founder and late proprietor, Sir John Morris, who built it for the residence of the persons engaged in the copper-works and collieries in the district. It is situated on the western bank of the river Tawe or Tawy, which is here navigable for sloops of small burthen, and which, falling into the harbour of Swansea, affords a facility for the conveyance of mineral produce to that port, as does also the Swansea canal, passing close to the village. The different ranges of building are formed with great regularity, after a plan by Mr. W. Edwards, designed about the year 1768, with a view to the formation of regular streets, in the probable event of its ultimately becoming a town, from the future extension of the works, and the advantages of its situation in the heart of an extensive district abounding with mineral wealth, and on the bank of a navigable river near the sea-port of Swansea. The living is a perpetual curacy; present net income, £85; patron and impropriator, Sir John Morris, Bart. The chapel is a neat structure, and is appropriately fitted up. There are places of worship for dissenters, a National day and Sunday school, and some Sunday schools belonging to the dissenters. The chapelry is included within the boundaries of the borough of Swansea.
MORVIL, a parish, in the union of Haverfordwest, hundred of Kemmes, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 7 miles (S. E.) from Fishguard; containing 188 inhabitants. It is distinguished for the gallant resistance opposed by the Welsh to the encroachments of a party of Norman invaders, who in the latter part of the eleventh century, under the sanction of the reigning monarch, landed on the coast of Pembroke, with a view to establish themselves in such territories as they could obtain by conquest. The parish is situated in the northern part of the county, near the western declivity of the Percelly mountain, and is bounded on the south by a rivulet, which, flowing westward, falls into the river Cleddy. The scenery is not marked by any peculiarity of features, but the views are interesting, from the majestic appearance of the mountains by which the parish is nearly surrounded. The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £2, and endowed with £400 royal bounty; patron, Lord Milford: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £68. The church is dedicated to St. John the Baptist.
MOTHVEY (MYDDFAI), a parish, comprising the Upper and Lower divisions, in the union of Llandovery, Higher division of the hundred of Perveth, county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 3 miles (S.) from Llandovery; containing 1073 inhabitants, of whom 476 are in the Upper, and 597 in the Lower, division. This parish is situated on the turnpike-road leading from Llandilo, through Llangadock, to Llandovery; and is watered by the rivers Towy, Rhythan, Gwytherig, Ydw, Clydach, Brân, and Usk, which last is said to rise among the Black Mountains, a short way beyond its limits. It comprises an area of 8000 acres, of which 1500 are common or waste. The surface is boldly undulated, and in some parts hilly and even mountainous. With the exception of the rocky and sterile ground, the lands are inclosed and in a high state of cultivation, the lower parts being extremely fertile, and consisting of many well-wooded inclosures. The scenery, which is strikingly diversified, is characterised by features of picturesque beauty and of romantic grandeur. The luxuriant richness of the vales is finely contrasted with the rugged barrenness of the mountains; and the numerous rivers that flow through the lower grounds add greatly to the beauty of the scenery, which is further enlivened by the several gentlemen's seats scattered over the parish. Kîlgwyn is an elegant and spacious mansion, on the banks of the river Ydw, comprehending within the grounds, which are tastefully laid out, a variety of interesting scenery: Llwynywormwood is also a handsome residence, pleasantly situated higher up on the same stream, and commanding some interesting prospects: and Dôlgarreg is another seat, on the bank of the river Towy, surrounded with some rich and beautiful lands, and ornamental plantations. A small woollen manufacture is carried on; and there are two king's mills in the parish, Kîlgwyn and Brân, each of which pays a chief-rent of £2 to the lord of the manor, to whom also is paid a fee of 10s. on the marriage of every freeholder. A fair is held in the village on the 18th of June.
The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £6. 6. 8., and endowed with £200 royal bounty: the tithes have been commuted for £419. 14., of which £280 are payable to the Bishop of St. David's, the patron, and £139. 14. to the incumbent, who has likewise a glebe of about five acres and a half, valued at £10 per annum, and a house. The church is dedicated to St. Michael, from which circumstance the parish is sometimes called "Llanvihangel Mothvey." It is an ancient structure, situated in a vale at the foot of the mountainous district in the eastern part of the parish; but though ancient, the exterior is not distinguished by any architectural details of importance. The building is adorned, however, with many handsome monuments and tablets; the pillars by which its roof is supported in the middle are light, lofty, and graceful, and few churches in this part of the country surpass it as to the general beauty and elegance of its interior. In the chancel is a stone to the memory of Dr. Morgan Owen, who was buried here; he was promoted to the see of Llandaf in 1639, and died in 1644. In the churchyard are to be seen an ancient yew-tree, measuring twentyfive feet, and a sycamore, fifty-four feet, in girth. At Dôl Hywel was once a chapel of ease, now in ruins. From the parish register, which was formerly kept in the Latin language, it appears that, during the usurpation of Cromwell, all the marriages at this place were solemnized by John Powell, Esq. There are two places of worship for Independents, and one for Calvinistic Methodists. A day school in connexion with the Established Church is supported here; and four Sunday schools are held, one of which is conducted on Church principles. Dr. Owen, Bishop of Llandaf, bequeathed £10 per annum, payable out of the tithes of Llanegwad, for the relief of poor persons not receiving parochial aid. After some litigation, £238. 18. were awarded by a decree of the court of Chancery, in 1709, as arrears due to the parish; which sum is now invested, in the name of the churchwardens, in the Old South Sea annuities: the dividends, amounting to £7. 3. 4. per annum, are distributed every third year, and the original rentcharge of £10 twice a year. The poor also receive the interest of £200 in the three per cent. consolidated bank annuities, arising from a bequest by the late John Josiah Holford, Esq., of Kîlgwyn.
Some interesting remains, supposed to be of British and Saxon origin, are said to have been found on a farm called Pen-tŵyn by the late Mr. Holford, just mentioned; and in the year 1807, thirty small silver coins were discovered near the ruins of Dôl Hywel chapel. In a field not far from the vicaragehouse, designated Monks' Field, are two tumuli. In the mountainous district is Craig Cwm Clyd, a rock nearly sixty yards in perpendicular height. During the thirteenth century Mothvey was much frequented by physicians, among whom was Rhiwallon, who, in conjunction with his three sons, while residing here, distinguished himself by a manuscript treatise on the practice of physic, which is preserved among the Welsh manuscripts in the library of the Welsh charity school in London. Tradition affirms that his descendants continued to follow the practice of medicine in the parish till within the memory of persons living at the beginning of the present century.
MOUGHTREY (MÔCH-DRÊ), a parish, in the union of Newtown and Llanidloes, Upper division of the hundred of Montgomery, county of Montgomery, North Wales, 3 miles (S. W.) from Newtown; containing 639 inhabitants, of whom 383 are in the township of Moughtrey-Llan, and 256 in that of Esgair-Geiliog. With the parish of Kerry it constituted a district in the ancient province of Ferregs, granted by Elystan Glodryd, lord of Ferregs and Maelienydd, to his second son Morgeneu. It is situated in the southern part of the county, bordering upon Radnorshire, and comprises a large tract of land, of which one-half is inclosed and cultivated, and one-half allotted as sheep-walks to the several farms, under the provisions of the Kerry inclosure act, passed in 1797. The surface is boldly undulated, rising in several parts into abrupt eminences, and surrounded by lofty hills, which circumscribe the parish in the form of an amphitheatre. In the mountains are many singular chasms, and the entire surface of the hills was once richly wooded; the scenery is in many points highly picturesque, and the views, though partially obstructed by intervening heights, comprehend many interesting objects. The manufacture of flannel is carried on upon a limited scale, employing a portion of the inhabitants.
Moughtrey formed one of the twenty-four prebends with which Thomas Beck, Bishop of St. David's, in 1287, endowed the college of St. Mary, at Aberguilly, in the county of Carmarthen, and which were afterwards transferred by Henry VIII. to the college of Christ Church, in Brecknock. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £600 royal bounty, and £800 parliamentary grant; present net income, £86; patron, the Prebendary in the Collegiate Church of Brecknock: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £187. Prior to the passing of the act 6th and 7th of William IV., c. 77, Moughtrey and Kerry were the only parishes in the county of Montgomery that were within the diocese of St. David's, a circumstance attributable to the successful resistance opposed by the celebrated Giraldus Cambrensis, Archdeacon of Brecknock, to the forcible attempts of the then Bishop of St. Asaph to take possession of those churches, and annex them to his diocese. By that act, the two parishes were to be transferred from the jurisdiction of the Bishop of St. David's, under certain contingencies. The church, dedicated to All Saints, is an ancient structure in the early style of English architecture, in a very dilapidated condition; it stands in a vale watered by a stream which falls into the river Severn. There is a place of worship for dissenters, in which a Sunday school is also held. On a point of land between two brooks, near a hill in the parish, called the Craig, is a strong military station of small extent; and near Craig Mill are evident traces of a Roman road leading across the summit of the hills, into the county of Radnor.
MOUNT (MOEL-Y-MWNT), a parish, in the Lower division of the hundred of Troedyraur, union and county of Cardigan, South Wales, 3½ miles (N.) from Cardigan; containing 140 inhabitants, who are exclusively employed in agriculture. This desolate parish, which is situated at the southwestern extremity of the county, and on the shore of Cardigan bay, derives its name from a lofty hill of conical form near the church. At the base of this hill is a large sand bank, covering a great number of human bones, which are occasionally visible when the sand is scattered by the wind, and are supposed to be the remains of a body of Flemings, who, having effected a landing on this part of the coast, were encountered by the natives, and repulsed with great slaughter. Another account says, that the inhabitants of the parish are of Flemish origin: their ancestors, having landed here, and made an incursion into the country, were beaten back to this place; and, after a severe conflict, exterminated the inhabitants, and planted themselves in their stead. The surrounding scenery is destitute of beauty, and the only views possessing any interest are those up the Vale of Teivy, and those extending over the bay, which is occasionally enlivened by the passing of vessels. The coast is here very bold and precipitous, and the sounding within a short distance of the land is from four to seventeen fathoms. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £1000 royal bounty; present net income, £55; patron, J. Davies, Esq.; impropriators, T. Lloyd and C. Longcroft, Esqrs., whose tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £85. The church, dedicated to the Holy Cross, and situated near the sea, is an ancient edifice consisting of a nave and chancel, but is not distinguished by any architectural details.
Mounton, or Monkton
MOUNTON, or MONKTON, a parish, in the union and hundred of Narberth, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 2 miles (W. S. W.) from Narberth; containing 38 inhabitants. This place is situated in the south-eastern part of the county, and near the source of a rivulet that flows into the Eastern Cleddy. It comprises a comparatively large portion of woodland, called Canaston wood, together with some arable and pasture, which is inclosed and cultivated; the whole, however, forms but a small area. The living is consolidated with the rectory of Narberth, to which the church is now considered a chapel of ease: the tithes are the property of the Callen family. The late Mrs. Rees, of Great Canaston, left £6 a year for ever, for the purpose of having twelve sermons delivered in the chapel, being one each month; which duty is discharged by the parochial clergy of the neighbourhood, in monthly rotation.
MOYLGROVE, a parish, in the union of Cardigan, hundred of Kemmes, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 5 miles (W. by S.) from Cardigan; containing 453 inhabitants. This parish, which by the Welsh is called "Trê-Wyddel," is situated on the coast, in the north-eastern part of the county, and comprises a moderate extent of arable and pasture land, all inclosed and cultivated. The scenery is not characterised by any peculiar features, and the views over the adjacent country are destitute of interest. In general the shore is abrupt and rugged, with a good depth of water. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the discharged vicarage of Bayvill, and endowed with £600 royal bounty. The church, dedicated to St. Andrew, stands about a quarter of a mile from the village, on the left bank of a stream which falls into the sea at no great distance: it is not remarkable for any architectural details. There is a place of worship for Independents, in which a Sunday school is also held. Near the sea, on Treriffith farm, is a well termed in Welsh "Fynnon Alem," and in English "Alem's Well;" the water is a strong chalybeate, and is considered efficacious in several diseases.
MYDRIM (MEIDRUM), a parish, partly in the hundred of Elvet, but chiefly in the Higher division of the hundred of Derllŷs, union and county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 8 miles (W.) from Carmarthen; containing 1110 inhabitants. This parish is pleasantly situated in the western part of the county, and is intersected by two small rivers, called the Avon Gynin and Dewi Vawr, which, uniting to the south of it, fall into the Tâf at St. Clear's. It is bounded by the parishes of Llanvihangel-Abercowin, Llangunnock, Merthyr, Trelêch, Llanwinio, and Llanginning; and contains by admeasurement about 6000 acres of tolerably good land, easily convertible into arable or pasture, being sometimes under corn, and at other times under grass. The produce is chiefly wheat, oats, and barley; there is not much timber, but what there is consists mostly of oak and ash. The surrounding scenery is pleasingly diversified; it is enlivened by the course of the rivers which flow through the parish, in a direction from north to south, and the views over the adjacent country are interesting and extensive. About a mile from the church is Pen'rheol, a handsome mansion agreeably situated in grounds tastefully laid out; and three other residences are scattered over the parish, named Tan-y-Graeg, Cwm, and Sarnau. A fair is held on March 12th. The living is a discharged vicarage, with the perpetual curacy of Llanvihangel-Abercowin annexed, rated in the king's books at £7. 10., and endowed with £600 parliamentary grant; present net income, £120; patron, the Bishop of St. David's. The tithes of Mydrim, payable to an appropriator, have been commuted for a rent-charge of £550; and there is a glebe attached of thirty-five acres, valued at £30 per annum. The church, dedicated to St. David, is an ancient edifice of Norman architecture, in length forty-four feet, in breadth twenty; and contains a sufficient number of sittings, half of which are free. There are places of worship for Baptists, Calvinistic Methodists, and Independents. The annual sum of £8 is paid out of the tithes of this parish and Llanvihangel-Abercowin towards the support of a day school in connexion with the Church; but the name of the benefactor is not known. Three Sunday schools are held, one of them conducted on Church principles. Here are the remains of an earthwork, called Castell Brynule, extending over an area of two acres, and defended by a single rampart.
MYNACHDU (MYNACHDŶ), a hamlet, in that part of the parish of Llanycrwys, which is in the Higher division of the hundred of Cayo, in the union of Lampeter, county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 5 miles (W.) from Lampeter; containing 152 inhabitants. From the name, which signifies a "monastery," it is probable that a cell to some ancient abbey was situated here. Slight traces of a Roman road that passed from Llanio to Llanvair-ar-y-Bryn, are still discernible in the vicinity.
MYNACHLOGDÛ (MONACHLOG-DÛ), a parish, in the union of Narberth, hundred of Kemmes, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 10 miles (N. by E.) from Narberth; containing 487 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the eastern side of the county, bordering upon Carmarthenshire, and is bounded on the north by the parishes of LlanvairNantgwyn, Whitechurch, and Meliney; on the east by those of Llanvyrnach and Llanglydwen; on the south by Llandissilio; and on the west by Llangolman. It contains by computation an area of 4050 acres, of which 1850 are arable, 400 pasture, and 1800 mountainous and boggy, with little or no woodland. A great portion is occupied by part of the Percelly mountain; the remainder is inclosed, the soil being light, and producing crops of barley and oats, but no wheat. There are two slate-quarries, two mills, and a small woollen manufactory. The Eastern Cleddy river has its source here, and is joined at the extremity of the parish by two brooks named Glandy and Wern. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £1000 royal bounty; present net income, £180; patron, Lord Milford: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £52. 10., payable to the perpetual curate. The church, dedicated to St. Dogmael, and situated at the extremity of the parish, was once connected with a monastery, and is capable of containing 2000 persons, but without seats: it is not remarkable for any architectural details, and has been left in a very neglected state. There is a place of worship for Baptists; and two Sunday schools are held, one of them by the Baptists in their meeting-house, and the other by the Independents in a farmhouse.
MYNWERE (MINWEAR), a parish, in the union and hundred of Narberth, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 4½ miles (W. by S.) from Narberth; containing 149 inhabitants. This parish, from a mistaken etymology of its name, which was read Mwyn Aur, signifying "a gold mine," was thought to contain gold-ore, and some fruitless attempts were in consequence made to discover it. The name is with greater probability supposed to be derived from a weir on the Eastern Cleddy, on the banks of which river the place is situated, and which was noted for the abundance of fish taken there during the season. The parish comprises a moderate portion of arable and pasture land, all inclosed and in a good state of cultivation. The surrounding scenery is pleasingly diversified with wood, there being an extensive plantation on the north-eastern boundary; and the views of the adjacent country are not destitute of interest: Picton Castle, with its rich and well-wooded grounds, appears to much advantage on the other side of the Cleddy, together with Slebech Hall and its demesne. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £200 private benefaction, £400 royal bounty, and £200 parliamentary grant; present net income of the benefice, £50; patron and impropriator, the Hon. Baron de Rutzen, of Slebech Hall. The church of Mynwere is dedicated to St. Wonan.