A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1849.
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AMLWCH, a parliamentary borough, a seaport, and parish, in the hundred of Twrcelyn, union and county of Anglesey, North Wales, 20 miles (N. W.) from Beaumaris, and 266 (N. W. by W.) from London; containing 6217 inhabitants. This place, formerly an inconsiderable hamlet, inhabited only by fishermen, has, from the variety and abundance of the mineral treasures contained in the mountainous district of the parish, become a populous and flourishing town. It derived its name from its situation on a sandy beach, and its importance from the discovery of the copper-mines in its vicinity, aided by a small cove between the rocks on the coast, which afforded a facility of shipping the produce, and has been subsequently improved into a safe and commodious harbour, secured by a breakwater. The high table-land of Trysclwyn, otherwise called Parys mountain, rises at a short distance from the town into enormous rugged masses of coarse aluminous shale and whitish quartz, naturally assuming a very rude and striking appearance; while the rugged grandeur of its exterior is further heightened by the mining operations to which it has been subjected. This mountain is stated to have derived its latter name from Robert Paris or Parys, the younger, who is named as one of the commissioners on an inquisition, in the reign of Henry IV., to fine the Anglesey insurgents in the cause of Owain Glyndwr. From the discovery of certain works formed by the ancient process of mining, previously to the invention of gunpowder, it is evident that copper-ore has been worked here at a very early period; and as the ancient Britons were known to import all their brass utensils, it is equally probable that that period was during the occupation of their country by the Romans. Traces of the ancient mode of operations, by heating the rock to an intense degree, and pouring water on the surface, in order to make it split, are discernible in several places; and at Llanvaethlu, a few miles from this place, a cake of copper was found, weighing fifty pounds, and bearing a mark resembling the Roman letter L; from which circumstance it is more than probable that that people had smelting-works in the neighbourhood.
But the existence of the immense treasures which from that time had lain concealed or neglected was not thought of till the year 1762, when Mr. Alexander Frazier, a native of Scotland, visiting Anglesey in search of mines, and being struck with the promising appearance of the Parys mountain, induced Sir Nicholas Bayley, the proprietor, to make some experiments, and on sinking shafts in the mountain, copper-ore was discovered. Before a sufficient quantity of it, however, could be obtained to defray the expenses of the work, the mine was inundated with water, and the operations were consequently suspended. About two years after, Messrs. Roe and Co., of Macclesfield, applying to Sir Nicholas Bayley for a lease of the mine of Penrhyn dû, in the county of Carnarvon, obtained it only upon condition of their taking also a lease of part of the Parys mountain, called Mona mine, and carrying on a level for the purpose of continuing the works which had been previously abandoned. With this condition they reluctantly complied, and upon making a fair trial, ore was discovered; but the expense of procuring it far exceeding the profits, the adventurers, after carrying on their works at a great loss for some time, determined to discontinue operations. Their agent, however, previously to abandoning an enterprise upon which so much labour had been bestowed, and so much money expended, resolved upon making another and final effort. For this purpose he divided his men into several small companies, and having observed, near that part of the mountain which is called the Golden Venture, a spring of water which, from its appearance, he conceived must issue from a mineral bed, he ordered his men to sink shafts in several places, within 700 or 800 yards of the spot, and in less than two days they discovered, at the depth only of seven feet from the surface, that vast body of mineral ore which has been subsequently worked with so much advantage to the proprietors. This important discovery was made on the 2nd of March, 1768, and the anniversary of that day was for many years celebrated as a festival by the miners of the district, and St. Chad considered their patron saint.
In 1775, the Rev. Edward Hughes, in right of his wife, who was joint proprietor with Sir Nicholas Bayley of another part of Parys mountain, now called Parys mine, commenced a series of operations, and discovered a still larger body of mineral ore, the successful working of which laid the foundation of the immense wealth of his son, the present Lord Dinorben. The Parys mine soon after its discovery became the joint property of the Earl of Uxbridge and the Rev. Mr. Hughes, and the management was committed to Mr. Thomas Williams, a native of Anglesey, who subsequently held on lease a part of Sir Nicholas Bayley's moiety, and by his unremitting labours realized a large fortune. Under the superintendence of Mr. Williams, the works began to flourish, and in the course of a few years, several subordinate companies of melters, refiners, and manufacturers were formed at Holywell, Swansea, Ravenhead, Birmingham, Marlow, and Wraysbury; and warehouses for the sale of the copper were opened at London, Liverpool, and Bristol. These various establishments, all under the direction of Mr. Williams, formed collectively a business of almost unexampled magnitude, involving a fluctuating property of at least one million sterling, and in which numerous opulent individuals had a direct interest, and several thousand persons obtained employment. Towards the close of the last century, the immense produce of the Parys mountain exceeded the aggregate produce of all the other copper-mines in the kingdom, and had such an effect upon the market, that, for some years, a severe competition existed between the Anglesey and Cornish companies, which at length ended in a coalition, advantageous to themselves, but injurious to those manufacturers to whom the use of copper was essential. The inhabitants of Birmingham, Liverpool, Wolverhampton, and other towns interested in the trade, having made an unsuccessful application to parliament, for relief against this monopoly, an association of spirited individuals, called the "Birmingham Copper-Mining Company," purchased mines in Cornwall, and, erecting smeltinghouses in the neighbourhood of Swansea, were enabled to supply the manufacturers at a more moderate price, and thus completely destroyed the effect of the coalition. The mines in the parish continued to flourish until 1800, but from that year to 1811, the Mona mines were worked at considerable loss: to use a phrase of Mr. Williams's, "the mines were honey-combed." Owing to the poverty of the miners and the want of employment, arising from the depression of the trade, the town was brought to a state of great distress; from which, however, it happily recovered upon a new company taking a lease of Mona mine, in 1811, and by the advancement of a large capital, and the skilful management of the agents who superintended it.
The town having continued prosperous and flourishing, is now of considerable size; it is provided with excellent water from various springs in the neighbourhood. The body of copper-ore contained in the mountain is of unknown extent: and, instead of the usual process of mining, it was at one time quarried out in some parts in solid masses, which were afterwards broken into small pieces, previously to its undergoing the necessary process of separating the ore from the matrix of stone in which it is embedded. The Parys and the Mona mines are both on the same vein, which in many instances exceeded one hundred yards in breadth, descending to a great depth; and have been worked to a very considerable extent in a direct line, with numerous ramifications in various directions, from which, including open cast excavations and subterraneous workings, besides shafts, levels, &c., many hundred thousand cubic yards of earth and ore have been removed. The principal veins contain ore in what the workmen term "bellies." Since 1811, the mines have been worked under cover by the sinking of shafts and driving of levels, as is usual in mines scientifically conducted, being the only mode that can be adopted to follow the veins in depth, one part of the Mona mine being 600 feet below the base of the hill. Some idea of the quantity of ore contained in the Mona mine may be formed from the result of two contracts for three months each, made in the year 1787, exclusively of other smaller contracts during the same period: from one of these were obtained, within that time, as many as 2931 tons of good copper-ore; and from the other, 488 tons.
Divers other ores have been discovered. A bed of yellowish greasy clay, varying from one to four yards in thickness, lying above the copper-ore, and not more than two feet below the surface, contains lead in the proportion of from six hundred to a thousand lb. per ton, each ton of metal yielding no less than fifty-seven ounces of silver. Mixed with this earth are frequently found portions of the colour of cinnabar, probably indicating the presence of sulphureous arsenic silver ores, or of quicksilver. On the temporary decline of the copper-trade, works for the smelting of the lead-ore were erected on a large scale; but, owing to the high price of coal, and the decreasing demand for lead, the undertaking was ultimately abandoned. The copper-ore is generally of the yellow kind, and contains pyrites, sulphur, and from four to five per cent. of copper. Some black ore has been raised, containing from fifteen to twenty per cent. of copper; and parts of the vein have produced fine specimens of native copper, adhering, in a foliated form, to the sides of the intervening rock, and probably once held in solution and precipitated by the ferruginous quality of the substance to which it adhered.
The ore, after being raised, is broken into small lumps, and separated as much as possible from the waste; it is then conveyed to kilns, differing in shape and dimensions, in which it is exposed for a period of nine or ten months to the action of a gentle fire, the sulphur being thus separated from the copper, which is afterwards sent to the smeltinghouses. The kilns contain in general from four to thirteen hundred tons of ore, and attached to them are chambers, into which the sulphur, instead of evaporating, is conducted by means of flues in order to be condensed: the walls of the kilns, generally about four or five feet in height, and of sufficient strength to bear the lateral pressure of the ore, vary in length in proportion to the quantity they are intended to contain. The ore is heaped up to the height of four or five feet above the walls, in a long convex pile, and closely covered with stones and other matter, luted with clay, to prevent evaporation. When it is once lighted, the ore continues to burn for the period assigned, during which the chamber is cleared out as may be required. The sulphur was formerly refined into cubes and cones, principally used in the manufacture of gunpowder and vitriolic acid, and into small rolls, which were chiefly sent to London, forming the stone brimstone exposed for sale in the shops: at present it is used, in the state of flour, for making sulphuric acid. Prior to the year 1784, the whole of the ore was calcined in open kilns on the top of the hill, the sulphureous vapour exhaling from which, being condensed in the atmosphere, shed a malignant influence on the soil, and converted several hundred acres of land adjoining into a barren waste, especially between the mountain and the sea. But since the fumes have been condensed in the chambers appropriated for their reception, this extensive area of land has assumed its former appearance of comparative fertility.
The ore in the mine abounds with sulphureous acid, which, uniting with the water, flows through the fissures of the vein, and combining with the copper, holds it in solution. The water, thus impregnated, is raised into reservoirs, or pits, ranged in regular series at different elevations, according to the declivity of the ground; and iron being put into it, the acid, having a stronger affinity to that metal, detaches itself from the copper, which is precipitated to the bottom in a congeries of small granulæ. In order to expedite the process of precipitation, the iron is frequently scraped, and a fresh surface is thus exposed to the action of the acid; but by this means certain portions of the decomposed iron mixing with the precipitated copper, the quality of the latter is impaired and rendered less valuable. The proportion of copper contained in the mass thus precipitated varies from five to twenty-five per cent.; but if wrought iron be used, and suffered to remain without scraping, till it is completely decomposed by the acid, it will precipitate nearly its own weight of sediment; and a ton of sediment thus precipitated will generally produce, when dried and smelted, about twelve hundred-weight of pure copper, which is more malleable and of a finer quality than that produced from the ore. After the precipitation has taken effect in the reservoirs of the upper series, the water is drawn off into those on the next lower level, and from those again into the next lower, till the principal parts of the copper held in solution have subsided. The copper is taken from the reservoirs in the form of mud, and when dried is sent to the smelting-houses. Formerly, after the mineral water had been drawn off into the last receptacle, the iron was extracted from its solution in the acid in the form of green vitriol, or copperas; but this plan not proving sufficiently profitable, it was abandoned for the manufacture of alum, which also not realizing the gains anticipated, was in its turn relinquished. At present, the only value of the sulphate of iron in the lower pits is derived from its depositing the oxide of iron, called yellow ochre, which is refined, dried, and shipped for the use of painters. The better sort of copper-ore was at one time smelted in furnaces in South Wales and Lancashire, and only the poorer at Amlwch; but the whole is now smelted at this place. The smelting-houses are upon a very extensive scale, and contain a vast number of reverberating furnaces, the chimneys of which are more than forty feet high: the furnaces are charged every four hours, with from eighteen to twenty hundred-weight of ore and slag, producing about half a hundred-weight of regulus, from which, by refinement, nearly one-half of pure metal is obtained.
The strikingly rugged and barren aspect of the Parys mountain was formerly rendered more wild by the immense heaps of burning ore that were piled up on various parts of its surface; and the noise of the workmen employed in breaking the masses of ore which had been detached from the mountain, and the reverberated roar of frequent explosions of gunpowder used in blasting the rock, added to the dismal scene an effect truly appalling. Numbers of the workmen might be observed at different elevations on the edges of tremendous precipices, drawing up the broken ore in baskets; while others, suspended by ropes about half-way down, were employed, apparently at the imminent hazard of their lives, in perforating the steep sides of the mountain, in which, after having secured a resting-place for their feet, they opened a wide chasm, by detaching large masses of ore, that fell with prodigious noise to the bottom.
Towards the close of the last century, when the Parys and Mona mines were very prosperous and in vigorous operation, their produce amounted to 30,000 tons of available ore annually, and 1500 men were employed in them; but when, about the year 1800, the works declined, and many of the workmen were obliged to seek employment in other places, not more than 600 tons were obtained. In the year 1829, 16,400 tons, and in 1830, 15,650 tons, of copper-ore, were produced from these works, which, in the several processes of mining, dressing, smelting, and refining, afford employment to more than 1500 persons. The Mona mine now belongs to the Marquess of Anglesey; and the Parys mine jointly to the Marquess, and Lord Dinorben. Breweries, flour-mills, paint-works, and works for preparing clay for china-ware, have been established; and alkali-works on an extensive scale have been formed by Mr. Hill, to whom a lease was granted by the proprietors of Parys mines, on the condition that he would consume their sulphur on the spot. Little or no trade is carried on, except such as is immediately connected with the mining operations and the works dependent on them.
The mineral produce is shipped at Amlwch, which is considered a creek to the port of Beaumaris, and the harbour of which has been much enlarged by the proprietors of the mines. In 1793 an act of parliament was obtained for the improvement of the port and the formation of a harbour, under the provisions of which a pier was erected, in 1814; and in 1822, a breakwater was constructed, by which means this has been rendered one of the most secure and commodious harbours on the coast of North Wales. There is a lighthouse with a steady light at the entrance to it. The harbour is accessible to vessels of 300 tons' burthen; and from thirty to forty vessels, of from 30 to 200 tons' burthen, are employed in conveying the mineral produce of the district to its several destinations, and in bringing the articles requisite for carrying on the extensive works here, and the supply of the inhabitants. The principal exports are copper, ochre, salt, and corn, and the chief imports coal, old iron to be used in the precipitation of copper, and shop goods of various kinds. At Amlwch is a literary and scientific institution under the patronage of the Marquess of Anglesey, supported by some of the most intelligent and influential classes in Anglesey and Carnarvonshire, in which lectures are delivered monthly, and to which mechanics are admitted members on an annual payment of two shillings. A customary market, which is abundantly supplied with provisions of all kinds, is held weekly; and there are four fairs for the sale of cattle, on March 8th, May 4th, August 12th, and October 21st.
By the Act for "Amending the representation of the people in England and Wales," Amlwch was constituted a borough, in conjunction with Holyhead and Llangevni, contributory to Beaumaris, and sharing in the return of a member to parliament. The boundaries are minutely described in the Appendix. The right of election is vested in every male person of full age occupying, either as owner, or as tenant under the same landlord, a house or other premises of the annual value of not less than ten pounds, provided he be capable of registering as the act directs: the present number of houses worth ten pounds per annum and upwards is seventy-nine. The mayor of Beaumaris is the returning officer.
The parish comprises 9270 acres, of which 300 are waste or common land. It is divided into three parts, viz., Amlwch, Pwllcôch; Llechog, Bodynod, with Gorddwr; and Llawr-y-Llan; to which, in levying the county rate, the adjoining parishes of Bôdewryd and Gwredog are considered a fourth division. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £200 private benefaction, £200 royal bounty, and £1100 parliamentary grant; total net income, £230; patron, the Bishop of Bangor, who possesses the great tithes, which were appropriated in the reign of James I., and have been commuted for a rent-charge of £908. 14. 6., out of which the curate is allowed £80 per annum. The church, dedicated to St. Elaeth, a spacious and handsome structure with a lofty square embattled tower crowned with pinnacles, was erected in 1800, at an expense of £2500, defrayed by the Earl of Uxbridge, the Rev. Edward Hughes, and Mr. Williams. In the parish were formerly two chapels of ease, both of which are now in ruins; one, four miles to the west of Amlwch, called LlanLleianau, or "the cell of the nuns," and the other about the same distance to the south, called St. Cadog. There are places of worship for Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists, Baptists, and Independents.
Mrs. Eleanor Kynnier, in 1689, gave by deed £311, directing the interest to be appropriated to the payment of a master to teach poor children of the parish to read. A school was accordingly kept up till the year 1821, when a National school was established, and a building erected at an expense of £1200, defrayed by £300 accumulation of interest from the fund, and subscriptions by the miners and inhabitants. In aid of the annual subscriptions, the interest of Mrs. Kynnier's donation has, since that time, been applied; the total income is about £100. At this school, which is spacious and well constructed, about 140 boys and 100 girls are gratuitously taught. A Sunday school, in connexion with the Established Church, is attended by eighty boys and fifty girls; and a large number of persons, both children and adults, are instructed in sixteen Sunday schools belonging to the dissenters, by whom they are supported by subscriptions and collections made at their respective places of worship. A few donations and bequests by different benefactors, amounting in the aggregate to £36 per annum, are lost to the parish; but it is entitled to send one poor man to the almshouse at Bangor, under the will of Bishop Rowlands, the founder.
Near the extremity of the parish, bordering upon that of Llanbadrig, are the remains of the monastery of Llan-Lleianau, situated near the sea-shore, and consisting principally of some traces of the foundation, and ruins of sepulchral memorials scattered over the extensive cemetery. In 1841, as the workmen of Messrs. Parry and Jones were digging some ochre-pits contiguous, they discovered a gigantic skeleton, measuring the astonishing length of seven feet seven inches, and in perfect preservation. Not far from the same spot are the remains of a British fortress, called Dinas. The ancient well styled Fynnon Elaeth was formerly in high estimation for the efficacy of its waters in the cure of various diseases, and is still held in some degree of repute.
Amroath (Ambroth, or Amroth)
AMROATH (AMBROTH, or AMROTH), a parish, in the union and hundred of Narberth, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 7 miles (S. E.) from Narberth; containing 779 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the western shore of Carmarthen bay. It abounds with coal of a peculiarly fine quality, which, burning without smoke or any offensive smell, is much in request for drying malt and hops; for this purpose, considerable quantities are shipped from a place called Wiseman's Bridge, in vessels of fifty or sixty tons' burthen, for Bristol, and other places on the banks of the Severn. This part of the bay is celebrated for salmon, cod, and flat-fish, which are taken in abundance, for the supply of the market at Tenby, five miles distant. Iron-ore was obtained in the parish, during the existence of the Penbrey Iron Company; but the operations have been suspended since the stoppage of their works. The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £3. 18. 6½., and endowed with £600 royal bounty and £600 parliamentary grant; net income, £112; patron and impropriator, Charles Poyer Callen, Esq. The church, dedicated to St. Elidyr, is an ancient structure in the early style of English architecture, with a lofty square embattled tower, and is well fitted up. A school, for the gratuitous instruction of an unlimited number of children of both sexes, was endowed in 1789 by D. Rees, Esq., of the city of London, who gave £20 per annum to the parish, of which £5, according to the will of the testator, are distributed among the most deserving of the poor, and the remainder appropriated to the maintenance of the school, in which are at present about seventyfive children. The endowment amounts to £666. 13. 4. three per cent. consols, vested in respectable trustees; the present school-room was erected by the parish, in 1832. A Sunday school, which is supported by subscription, is attended by about fifty children, nearly all of whom participate in the benefits of the day school.
In the vicinity of Amroath are several elegant seats, of which two are within the parish. Of these, Amroath Castle, originally either the residence of Cadwgan ab Bleddyn, Prince of Powys, or the site of his palace, and subsequently the seat of the family of Elliot, at which period it was called Eare Weare, has been modernised into a marine castellated mansion. It was at this place, according to some writers, that Cadwgan ab Bleddyn gave a sumptuous banquet to the neighbouring chiefs, among whom was Gerald de Windsor, lord of Carew, with his wife Nêst, whom the son of Cadwgan afterwards carried off by force from Carew Castle, as is noticed in the account of that place. Colby Lodge is situated in a highly romantic dell, opening at one extremity towards the sea; it commands a fine sea view, and is enriched in other parts with scenery pleasingly varied, forming a beautiful and sequestered retreat.
ANDREW'S, ST., a parish, in the union of Cardiff, hundred of Dinas-Powys, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 5¾ miles (S. W.) from Cardiff; containing 497 inhabitants. This parish is situated on a line of road running along the coast, and is bounded on the north by Michaelstone-le-Pit, on the south by Sully, on the east by Llandough and Cogan, and on the west by Cadoxton and Wenvoe. It comprises by admeasurement 3149 acres, of which 800 are arable, 2000 meadow and pasture, 300 wood, and the rest common. The soil, which varies considerably, is in some places a tenacious blue clay, and in others a fine reddish-brown loam producing all kinds of grain, potatoes, &c., of good quality; beans are grown upon the clayey portion, and some parts that are wet and marshy are appropriated to the pasturage of young cattle and the growth of coarse hay, a great part of the pasture being open moorland, which is mown yearly and afterwards used for grazing. The substratum consists of magnesian and lias limestone, the latter of which is the basis of the clayey soil. The ground is rather elevated and hilly towards the inland, or northern, side of the parish, and level towards the Bristol Channel, or southern side. The wood is chiefly oak and ash coppice. The lands are subject to partial inundation from the overflowing of a small stream, called DinasPowys brook; it runs through the south-eastern part of the parish towards the south, and empties itself into the Channel. The village, which is large, is called Dinas-Powys, from an ancient fortress that existed here and also gave name to the hundred.
The living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at £14. 13. 1½., and in the patronage of the Crown: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £355, and there is a glebe of seventy-five acres, valued at £96 per annum, with a commodious rectoryhouse, built by the Rev. Windsor Richards. The church, which is antique in appearance, contains about 120 sittings. At the east end of the north aisle, parallel with the chancel, was the burial-place of a respectable family named Howel, long since extinct, resident at Bouville, and owners of a great part of the parish; it was formerly kept in repair by the Lee family, the present proprietors of part of the Bouville estate, but the aisle has been pulled down for some years, and thrown open to the churchyard. In the floor of this aisle is a stone which bore the following inscription:—"Here lyeth the body of John Gibbon James, buried the 14 of August, 1601. And Margaret Mathew, his wife, buried the 8 of January, 1631. He aged ninety-nine, she aged one hundred and twenty-four." The inscription is now nearly obliterated, from the influence of the weather since the aisle was removed. There is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, with a Sunday school held in it. Divers benefactions of small amount have been made for the use of the poor, consisting of bequests of £2 by William David, and £10 by Thomas Stevens, in 1699; of £5 by Edward Howels, in 1709; of £5 by William Morgan, in 1718; and of £5 by Thomas Thomas, in 1729. These sums were vested in trust with the overseers, but no record exists of their appropriation to charitable purposes, except, probably, in the purchase of a poor-house in the churchyard, which is now nearly a ruin. On part of the site of the ancient mansion of Bouville, situated at the north-western extremity of the parish, a farmhouse has been erected by R. F. Jenner, Esq., one of whose ancestors purchased the mansion, together with a portion of the estate: there are still some slight vestiges of the ancient building.
The fortress of Dinas-Powys was situated on the north-eastern side of the parish. It is stated to have been built by Iestyn ab Gwrgan, who succeeded to the kingdom of Glamorgan in 1043, and became possessed of the district called Trêv Esyllt by marriage with Denis, the daughter of Bleddyn ab Cynvyn, Prince of Powys. He is said to have called the castle, after his wife, Denis-Powys; but this etymology is probably incorrect, as the village is invariably called Dinas-Powys, meaning the city of Powys; and the castle, Dinas-Powys Castle, in all likelihood in honour of Iestyn's father-in-law, the Prince of Powys. It does not appear from the remains to have been built as a place of permanent residence, but as an asylum for the inhabitants and their cattle during the feuds of ancient times. The ruins merely consist of four walls, between thirty and forty feet high, and six feet thick, rudely built of unhewn stone, with battlements about five feet high, and a platform three feet wide within, inclosing an oblong area of seventy yards by thirty-five. There are two entrances; one, apparently the principal, at the east end, now, from the falling-in of the wall, presenting only a wide breach; and the other on the north side, about nine feet high, and six feet wide, arched over with rough unhewn stones. In the two walls at the end, and the wall on the north side, are ranges of square holes, nine inches in diameter, plastered with mortar, distant from each other five or six feet horizontally, and about three feet perpendicularly, which were probably intended for the admission of air. Within the area a mound of earth and stones, of very easy ascent, rises to the top of the wall on the south side; and near the northern extremity are the foundations of some walls, rather difficult to be traced, which appear to have formed two separate apartments. On the outside of the great walls, at the north-western corner, is a small heap of ruins, probably those of an arx, or tower, appendant to the castle, with which it appears to have communicated by means of a narrow door; and within the last century, there was a subterraneous passage, commencing in the side of the rocky hill forming the site of the castle, and proceeding in a direction towards this tower, but which has been filled up. The ruins of Dinas-Powys are the property of the Lee family, who have caused some parts of the walls to be repaired, to prevent their further decay.
Andrew's, St., Minor
ANDREW'S, ST., MINOR, a parish, in the union of Bridgend and Cowbridge, hundred of Ogmore, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 4½ miles (S. W.) from Cowbridge; containing 18 inhabitants. This parish derives its name from the dedication of its ancient chapel to St. Andrew, and is distinguished by the adjunct Minor from the parish of St. Andrew's, in the hundred of Dinas-Powys, in the same county. It is pleasantly situated in the great vale of Glamorgan, in the south-eastern part of the county, and near the northern shore of the Bristol Channel, distant only a few miles from the coast. It is of small extent, comprising only one estate, called Clementston, which is co-extensive with the parish. Clementston House, which has received considerable additions and improvements, and has undergone a course of thorough repair, for the residence of its present proprietor, is a handsome, well-built mansion, agreeably situated in grounds tastefully disposed. The living is a sinecure rectory, in the patronage of T. Franklin, Esq., of Clementston, who, as proprietor of that estate, pays the minister a modus of £5. The church or chapel, which appears to have been originally built for the accommodation of the family and household at Clementston, is now in ruins.
Angle, or Nangle
ANGLE, or NANGLE, a parish, in the hundred of Castlemartin, union and county of Pembroke, South Wales, 10 miles (W.) from Pembroke; containing 388 inhabitants. This place is situated at the south-western extremity of the county, in an angle of Milford Haven, affording excellent anchorage for small vessels; from which circumstance it probably obtained its name. It is traversed by the road from Pembroke to the coast. The parish is bounded on the north by Milford Haven and Angle bay, on the south and south-west by the Bristol Channel, and on the east and south-east by the parishes of Castlemartin and Rhôscrowther. It comprises by computation about 2100 acres, of which 934 are arable, 788 pasture, 160 sandy burrow, 20 wood, and 195 acres cliff, waste, &c.; the soil is generally of a sandy nature, and produces good crops of corn, hay, turnips, and potatoes. Limestone of very excellent quality is found, which, being susceptible of a fine polish, is formed into mantel-pieces; blocks are also occasionally sent for the works in Pembroke dockyard, and portions of it are wrought in various kinds of buildings: the chief part, however, is used by the farmers for manure. The surface in some parts is hilly, and the scenery, both local and distant, picturesque and interesting, the eminences commanding beautiful views of Milford Haven, the Bristol Channel, &c. In the parish are several mansions of some consideration, namely, the Castle, an ancient castellated structure; Bonjiston, formerly the seat of Lord Lion, ancestor of the present Earl Cawdor; and a seat called the Hall, a neat mansion of modern erection. There is a good village, in which the chief part of the population reside. The females are employed in platting straw for bonnets, hassocks, and matting; and during the season, the men are occupied in dredging for oysters.
The living consists of a sinecure rectory and a discharged vicarage, the former rated in the king's books at £10. 10. The latter is rated at £3. 19. 2., and endowed with £600 royal bounty; annual value, £80; patron, the Bishop of St. David's. One-fourth of the tithes is appropriated to the vicarage, and the remaining three-fourths to the rectory. The church, which is dedicated to St. Mary, measures eighty-four feet in length, including the chancels, and twenty-one feet in breadth. There is a day school, commenced in 1823, and containing from forty to fifty boys and girls, some of whom are gratuitously taught; also a Sunday school, commenced in 1830, and held in the premises of the day school. The ruins of a building that belonged to a monastic order, are situated here; and near the entrance of the Haven are the remains of an ancient building called the Block-House, directly opposite a similar one in the parish of Dale, in the hundred of Rhôs: from its situation it appears to have been erected for the protection of the entrance, probably in the reign of Henry VIII., or Elizabeth; but, from the excellency of the masonry, some tourists have ascribed to it a Roman origin.
ANGLESEY, an insular county of North Wales, surrounded by the Irish sea, except on the south-east, on which side it is separated from the county of Carnarvon by the long, narrow, and rocky strait called the Menai. It extends from 53° 6' to 53° 23' (N. Lat.), and from 4° 20' to 5° 5' (W. Lon.); and comprises, according to Evans's Map of North Wales, 173,000 acres, or upwards of 270 square miles. According to the last census, it contains 11,488 inhabited houses, 746 uninhabited, and 135 in progress of erection; and the population amounts to 50,890, of which number 24,369 are males, and 26,521 females. The annual value of real property assessed to the property and income tax for the year ending April, 1843, was as follows: lands, £129,063; houses, £15,232; tithes, £15,114; mines, £5834; quarries, £80: total, £165,323.
This island anciently formed part of the territory of the Ordovices, by whom it was variously called Ynys dywell, or "the Shady Island;" Ynys y Cedeirn, from its heroes, or powerful Druids; and Ynys Vôn, or Ynys Môn, afterwards written singly Môn, which the Romans latinized into Mona. From the first of these names, Mr. Rowlands, in his "Mona Antiqua Restaurata," supposes the Thule of the Romans to have been derived, and considers Anglesey as the "ultima Thule." The same respectable antiquary thinks that the name Môn is derived from the position of the island with respect to the other parts of Britain; that syllable, with the same sound, being found in the names of other western extremities of this and other countries inhabited by the Celtæ. Thus Cornwall was called by the Romans Danmonium (the furthest point of it being to this day called Penvonlaz, or Wlad); the Isle of Man, Moneda; and the westernmost part of Ireland, Momonia, or in Irish, Mown. The common ancient British appellation of the island, viz., Môn mam Gymru, "Môn, the mother, or nurse, of Wales," is supposed by some to allude to its productiveness, which afforded so great a supply of food to the other parts of Wales; by others the name is derived from its having been the chief residence of the Druids, whom the primitive Britons considered the parents of science and the guardians of society. This region, from its remote and insular situation, its vicinity to the Isle of Man, and the facility with which a passage might hence be made to that island, or to Ireland, appears to have been chosen by the Druids, as their most secure asylum, during the persecution which they endured from the invading Romans.
The first Roman commander who penetrated as far as Mona was Suetonius Paulinus, to whom the supreme authority in Britain was entrusted in the year 58. Having subdued the continental part of North Wales, this general crossed the Menai by means of flat-bottomed boats, and by swimming that arm of the sea at low water; and made an easy conquest of the island, in spite of the opposition of the Druids, many of whom he massacred, cutting down their groves, overturning their altars, and destroying the seminary of that order. He is thought to have made his entrance into Mona at Porthamel ferry, five miles westward from the site of the Menai suspension bridge. Before, however, Suetonius had wholly completed his conquest, his operations were interrupted by a formidable insurrection of the country in his rear, under the celebrated Boadicea; and this diversion of the Roman forces gave the remainder of the Druids a respite from persecution for fifteen years. The next attack which they experienced was under the direction of Julius Agricola, who was sent by the Emperor Vespasian to command the forces in Britain, in the year 78. This commander, on his arrival, found the Ordovices, the inhabitants of North Wales, in revolt; but he soon subdued the continental part of their territory, with great slaughter, and compelled their chieftains to take refuge in Mona. He then advanced to the shore of the Menai, opposite to Moel-y-Don in this county; and the struggling Britons, thus hemmed in, were urged to the necessity of exerting all their energies in defence of their lives, liberty, and sacred institutions. Tacitus describes the British army which lined the shores to resist the landing of the Romans, as accompanied by another army of Druids, of both sexes, and in such confusion, that he designates them as a multitude of viragoes and madmen. The auxiliaries of the Roman army having crossed the Menai on horseback to the great surprise and consternation of the Britons, a desperate struggle ensued, in which the latter were totally defeated; and the Druids, by command of the conqueror, were thrown into their own sacrificial fires. Under the Roman sway, the island is supposed to have contained one station, situated at Caer Gybi, close to the present town of Holyhead.
After the dissolution of the Roman power, and during the reign of Einion Urdd, son of Cynedda, who united under his government the kingdom of the Strath-Clyde Britons and the province of North Wales, and resided in his northern territories, the Irish Scots, under the command of Sirigi, or "the Rover," landed in Mona, and having defeated the natives, took possession of the island. On receiving intelligence of this invasion, Einion Urdd sent his eldest son, Caswallon Law Hîr, to the relief of Mona; and the latter executed his orders by routing the enemy at Holyhead, where their fleet was lying at anchor, and by slaying Sirigi in a personal encounter. About the year 443, Caswallon, having succeeded to his father's throne, made choice of Mona for his residence; and, being the eldest branch of the Cyneddian family of British princes, he enjoyed a pre-eminence in dignity, and received from the other Cambrian princes homage and obedience, as their superior lord.
From this epoch may be dated the establishment of a distinct sovereignty in North Wales, which country, however, was overrun, and for a few years, early in the sixth century, held in subjection, by the Saxon monarch, Edwin of Northumbria. About the year 817, in right of that equal distribution of the property of a deceased person among all his children, by the custom which prevailed among the Welsh, similar to the Saxon gavelkind, Howel, the younger son of Rhodri Molwynog, late sovereign of North Wales, laid claim to the island of Mona, as his share of his father's inheritance. This claim being denied by his eldest brother, Cynan Tindaethwy, the reigning prince, the contending parties agreed to decide the affair by force of arms, the result of which, in two successive battles, was favourable to Howel, who thus obtained possession of the disputed territory. But Cynan, enraged at these defeats, determined to make a vigorous effort, even at the hazard of his crown and life, to recover the island; he raised a new army, and marched against his brother, who, finding himself unable to rally a sufficient force, withdrew to the Isle of Man, leaving Mona in the possession of Cynan. During the reign of Mervyn Vrych, who had married Esyllt, daughter of Cynan Tindaethwy, Egbert, King of the West Saxons, having desolated a great part of North Wales, advanced to Mona, and overcoming the Welsh in a bloody battle fought at Llanvaes, near Beaumaris, took possession of the island, which, though soon recovered by King Mervyn, at this period lost its ancient name of Mona among the Anglo-Saxons, who henceforward called it Angles-Ey, or, "the Englishmen's Isle." Anglesey was again invaded by the Saxons in 846, under the Mercian prince, Burrhed, who perpetrated the most cruel ravages: but the young prince Rhodri, or Roderic (afterwards surnamed Mawr, or, "the Great"), who had but just succeeded to the sovereignty of North Wales, opposed a spirited resistance to the invaders, who, unable to effect the entire subjugation of the island, were soon afterwards compelled to quit it, in order to defend their own territories against the Danish incursions. The Danes, having been repulsed from England by Alfred, made a descent in the year 873 upon Anglesey, where, in two successive battles, one fought at Bryn-goleu, and the other at Menegid, they were vigorously encountered by Roderic. About this period the Welsh prince removed the royal residence from Caer Seiont, now Carnarvon, where it had been fixed by the successors of Caswallon Law Hîr, to Aberfraw, on the south-western coast of the island, where that prince had originally established it. An interval of freedom from the molestations of the Danes afforded the English another opportunity of invading Anglesey with a formidable army. The Welsh sovereign opposed them with his usual spirit, and at length fell in defence of his country, being slain with his brother Gwyriad, in one of the battles fought with the English.
According to the late king's division of the sovereignty among his three sons, the island was included in the kingdom of Gwynedd, or North Wales, the residence of whose sovereigns was at Aberfraw, in the palace which had been erected by Roderic. A large body of Danes landed in the island in the year 900; but this invasion seems only to have been distinguished by a battle fought at Rhôs-meilion, in which fell Mervyn, Prince of Powys. Early in the reign of Edwal Voel, who succeeded to the sovereignty of North Wales in the year 913, the Irish made a descent upon Anglesey, which they laid waste with great cruelty. A party of marauders from the same country made another descent in the year 966, destroyed the royal palace at Aberfraw, and slew Roderic, the youngest son of Edwal Voel. In 969 the island once more suffered from an invasion of the Danes, who ravaged the easternmost part of the county, in the vicinity of Penmon; and in a second enterprise, shortly after, they gained for a time complete possession of it. Constantine the Black, fired with the deepest resentment at the injuries received by his family from his cousin Howel, Prince of North Wales, by whom his father Iago was then held in close confinement, collected an army of Danish pirates, and in the year 979 laid waste the island; but Howel, having assembled his forces, routed the Danes in a battle fought at Gwaith Hîrbarth, in which Constantine was slain. Meredydd, a prince who ruled in Powys by right of his mother, about the year 985, gained possession of the kingdom of North Wales; but the Danes invading Anglesey soon after, took prisoner Llywarch, that sovereign's brother, with two thousand of his men, and put out his eyes, which so terrified Meredydd, that he fled into Powys, leaving his subjects of Gwynedd without a sovereign, and exposed to the ravages of any invader: in consequence of this, the Danes again landed in Anglesey, and laid waste the whole island. Soon after the accession of Trehaern ab Caradoc to the sovereignty of North Wales, in 1073, Grufydd ab Cynan thought this a favourable opportunity to assert his right to the same throne, to which he had an hereditary claim. This prince, during the late reigns, had sought refuge in Ireland, his mother being a native of that country; and having procured aid from some of the Irish princes, his kinsmen, he landed a body of troops in Anglesey, of which he soon effected the conquest. He then passed the Menai, but was defeated by Trehaern in Merionethshire, and compelled to return to the island, where he soon after received reinforcements from Ireland, enabling him to make himself master of the kingdom for which he contended.
In 1096, during the reign of William Rufus in England, and of Grufydd ab Cynan in Gwynedd, a formidable army of English, under the command of Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester, and Hugh the Red, Earl of Shrewsbury, invaded North Wales, at the secret instigation of several powerful native chieftains; and Grufydd retired to the mountains for safety. The two earls, encountering no resistance, advanced into that part of Carnarvonshire which lies nearest to Anglesey; when Grufydd, anticipating the danger which threatened the seat of his government, crossed the Menai into the island, and receiving a small reinforcement from Ireland, resolved to defend this part of his territory. At this critical moment, however, Owain ab Edwyn, lord of Englefield, one of the secret betrayers of his country, whose daughter was the wife of Grufydd, and who was himself his prime minister and adviser, openly avowed his treachery, and joined the English army with his forces. The Welsh prince, alarmed at the defection of so powerful a chieftain, and unable to oppose the increased numbers of the enemy, withdrew to Ireland. Thus again left unprotected, Anglesey fell an easy prey to the English, who took ample revenge upon its inhabitants, for the cruelties which had a little before been committed by the Welsh on the English border; they massacred many, and barbarously mutilated others. The deliverance of North Wales at this perilous period was brought about by a train of fortuitous circumstances. Magnus, son of Harold, King of Norway, having taken possession of the Orkneys and the Isle of Man, accidentally arrived at this time on the coast of Anglesey, and attempted a descent upon it. In the opposition which the English made to his landing, the impetuous valour of the Earl of Shrewsbury hurrying him into the water, the Norwegian prince levelled an arrow at him, which, through the opening of his helmet, pierced his brain through his right eye, and he fell convulsed in the sea: the Welsh regarded this as a stroke of retributive justice coming immediately from the hand of the Almighty. The death of the Earl of Shrewsbury produced some disorder among the English, and compelled them to abandon the shore: and the Earl of Chester, on this disaster, suddenly withdrew to Bangor, where he for some time fixed his abode, carrying on a desultory warfare with the people of Anglesey, whom he annoyed with frequent aggressions. The latter Earl, in the course of this expedition, erected a castle at a place called Aber-Lleiniog, on the shores of the Menai, near Beaumaris. The Norwegians, finding that the English had left nothing to plunder, immediately re-embarked; and this was the last attempt made by any of the northern nations to ravage or subdue this island.
In the year 1151, Cadwalader, brother of Owain Gwynedd, Prince of North Wales, who had long been kept in confinement by his nephew Howel, escaped from prison, and, fleeing to Anglesey, brought a great part of the island under subjection: but a formidable body of troops being sent against him by the Prince of North Wales, he was obliged to seek refuge in England. At the period of the invasion of North Wales by Henry II., in 1157, the English fleet, which, under the conduct of Madoc ab Meredydd, Prince of Powys, sailed from Chester to infest the coasts of North Wales, made a descent on Anglesey, and ravaged a part of the island; but in returning to their ships, the forces which had landed were attacked by the whole strength of the island, and entirely destroyed, and the English fleet immediately weighed anchor, and sailed back to Chester. In 1173, Davydd ab Owain Gwynedd, Prince of North Wales, forcibly took Anglesey from his brother Roderic, whom he put into close confinement: upon this occasion the island suffered considerable devastation. On the invasion of Wales by Henry III., in 1245, that monarch's justiciary in Ireland received orders to make a diversion from that kingdom on the Isle of Anglesey, which was accordingly effected in August, and the whole island laid waste; but not being promptly supported by the English king, the Irish forces were assailed by the inhabitants, when laden with plunder, and driven back to their ships.
Upon the eve of the great invasion of Wales by Edward I., in 1277, that sovereign directed a fleet from the Cinque Ports to cruise on the coast of Wales, one object being the reduction of this island, which it fully effected. Llewelyn ab Grufydd, the reigning prince of North Wales, being shortly after compelled to sue for a treaty of peace, obtained it only upon hard conditions, one of which was, that though he should continue to hold the island of Anglesey, he should pay for that permission the annual sum of 1000 marks, and that, if he died without issue, the island was to be vested in the King of England and his heirs for ever. Edward, however, remitted the yearly tribute of 1000 marks. This treaty was afterwards broken, and Edward, in his next invasion of Wales, while lying in the vicinity of Conway, again, in like manner, ordered a strong detachment of marines and other forces, in the vessels of the Cinque Ports, to take possession of Anglesey, in order not only to deprive the Welsh of the advantage of that fruitful island, as a source of provisions, but also to confine them within narrower limits, and, by dividing their attention, to facilitate his entrance into the inner recesses of their continental territory. The service was performed with complete success; the island was easily taken, as the chief persons in it supported the interests of Edward, in conformance with the oaths which they had taken at the late peace. The English in Anglesey then made preparations for crossing the Menai by a bridge of boats, constructed from the point called Moel-y-Don; but, owing to the imprudence of a part of their forces, which crossed before the completion of the bridge, and was consequently surprised and destroyed by the Welsh, the rest were compelled to remain for a time in Anglesey; nor did they finish the bridge and make good their passage until after the unfortunate death of Llewelyn, in the winter following. On the complete subjugation of the principality in this campaign, Edward allowed its inhabitants to enjoy their estates under the tenures by which they had held them under their native princes; and the rents which the inhabitants of Anglesey had been accustomed to pay were fixed at only £450 a year, although they had yielded 1000 marks annually to Llewelyn.
Though conquered, and reduced in numbers by the long war which they had so bravely maintained, the native spirit of the Welsh remained unsubdued, and was often exasperated into rebellion by the tyranny of their new masters, who found it necessary, for the maintenance of their authority, to fortify themselves in numerous strong castles. The Isle of Anglesey at this time formed the principal rendezvous of all the native chieftains, who, notwithstanding their formal submission to the authority of Edward, were unceasingly engaged in plots to throw off the English yoke, and made this the centre of several important insurrections, which were successively quelled. In 1284, Edward had appointed his favourite, Sir Roger de Puleston, sheriff and keeper of Anglesey; this powerful knight was slain, in 1294, during the insurrection led by Madoc, an illegitimate son of the late Llewelyn, who soon after gained possession of Anglesey. Edward, having quelled the rebellion in the continental part of the principality, crossed the Menai into Anglesey; and the English forces on this occasion destroyed the church, with some part of the other buildings, of Llanvaes Priory, and devastated its lands. The king, seeing the impossibility of preventing the excitement of other rebellions, which might threaten the stability of his dominion in Wales, so long as Anglesey, without an English garrison, afforded such facilities for combination, found it necessary to erect in the island a castle equal in strength and importance to the castles which he had previously founded at Carnarvon and Conway, and to place in it a garrison equally formidable. As the site of this fortress, he selected Port Wgyr, a place of great antiquity near the eastern extremity of the county, which at that time had acquired the name of Bonover, and to which the Anglo-Normans, on account of its situation in a flat on the sea-shore, gave the appellation of Beaumarais, since slightly modernised into Beaumaris. The work was completed in 1296.
The ill-fated Sir Grufydd Llwyd, who was a native of Tregarnedd, in this county, received the honour of knighthood from Edward I., in 1284, on bringing him the intelligence of Queen Eleanor's being delivered of a son (afterwards Edward II.) at Carnarvon. He subsequently did homage for his estates to this young prince, at Chester. But afterwards, indignant at insults offered to himself, and deeply resenting the wrongs and oppressions heaped upon his duped and suffering fellow-countrymen, he formed a plan for liberating them from the intolerable slavery to which he considered that he had contributed, in accepting, with other chieftains, the young prince Edward as sovereign. In 1322 he took up arms, and for a time overran some parts of North Wales with irresistible impetuosity; but at length being defeated by the English troops, he retired into Anglesey, to his house of Tregarnedd, which he had strongly fortified; and garrisoned with his followers another stronghold, called Ynys Cevni, about three-quarters of a mile distant, in a marshy part of the sands called the Malltraeth, a spot which he contrived to insulate with the waters of the river Cevni. After a desperate struggle, he was at last taken prisoner here by a body of English, and conveyed to Rhuddlan Castle, in Flintshire, where he was executed soon afterwards. In the reign of Henry IV., the custody of the castle of Beaumaris, together with the whole county and dominion of Anglesey, was granted to the renowned Henry Percy, surnamed Hotspur. During the revolt under Owain Glyndwr, in the same reign, the monks of Llanvaes Priory being suspected of favouring his designs, the English monarch, on his first taking the field against the insurgents, put some of the friars to the sword, carried the rest away prisoners, and plundered the convent.
In the great civil war of the seventeenth century, the inhabitants of the island distinguished themselves by their persevering attachment to the royal cause. So early as the year 1642, Beaumaris Castle was garrisoned for the king by command of its constable, the Earl of Dorset. Thomas, the first Lord Bulkeley, afterwards succeeded to the constableship of the fortress; and his son, Colonel Richard Bulkeley, assisted by several other gentlemen of the county, held it for the king, until June 1646, when it was surrendered on honourable terms to General Mytton: it appears, however, to have fallen again into the hands of the royalists. In 1648, the inhabitants of the whole island rose for the purpose of aiding in the restoration of the unfortunate monarch's affairs, at the time that several diversions were made in different parts of Britain, with a view to the liberation of Charles, then a prisoner in the Isle of Wight. Resolutions were immediately drawn up; and it was decided by a council of war that a general declaration should be published, subscribed by all the inhabitants from the age of sixteen to sixty.
The words of this curious document are as follows: —"We, the inhabitants of the Isle of Anglesey, whose names are hereunto subscribed, after mature consideration, and hearty invocation of the name of God for directions and assistance, do remonstrate and declare to our fellow-subjects and neighbours, whom it may concern, that we, having, according to our bounden duty and allegiance, preserved the said island in due obedience to our most dread sovereign lord, King Charles, during the time of this intestine war and rebellion; and, by God's blessing upon our careful endeavours, defended the same until the enemy had over-mastered the whole kingdom (a few strongholds excepted), this being the only county of England or Wales for two months together kept entire under his Majesty's authority and command; and being then, through the vast number of men and horse threatened to be poured in upon us (finding no possible expectance of relief), enforced to submit to the then prevailing power; do now, out of conscience towards God, and loyalty towards his anointed, with all humbleness, prostrate ourselves, our lives and fortunes, at his Majesty's feet, resolving, with the utmost exposal of all that we are or have, to preserve the said island, together with the castle and holds therein, in due obedience to his sacred Majesty, his heirs and lawful successors, against all rebellious opposers and invaders whatsoever; and do also, with sincerity of heart, profess that we will, according to our several degrees, places, and callings, maintain the true Protestant religion by law established, his Majesty's royal prerogative, the known laws of the land, just privileges of parliament, together with our own and fellow-subjects' legal properties and liberties. And we do also further declare and protest, that we shall and will account all those that do, or shall, stand in opposition hereunto, to be enemies and traitors to their king and country, and accordingly to be proceeded against, being most ready to contribute our best abilities for their reducement, and reinstating of our gracious sovereign (who hath long endured the tyranny and oppression of his barbarous and bloody enemies) to his rights, dominions, and dignity, according to the splendour of his most illustrious progenitors. Given under our hands the 14th day of July, 1648."
This declaration immediately led to an expedition for the reduction of the island, under the command of General Mytton; and, when the parliamentarian forces were descried from Beaumaris green, approaching over the mountain of Penmaen Mawr, on the opposite side of the Menai, great demonstrations of defiance were made at the former place. However, after a slight skirmish near Cadnant with Major Hugh Pennant's troop of horse, General Mytton's forces advanced without further opposition to Orsedd Migin, where they held a rendezvous, the morning after their passage across the straits. Hence they marched immediately upon Beaumaris, by way of Red-hill Park, and drew up in order of battle upon the hill; the islanders, commanded in chief by Colonel Bulkeley, and by Colonel Roger Whitely as majorgeneral, drawing up in the fields below. A smart engagement speedily ensued, in which the royalists were defeated and put to flight, with the loss of some slain and four hundred made prisoners. The town was now closely pressed and soon taken, notwithstanding that the church was obstinately defended by a number of men who had been left locked up in it by their commander. Most of the royalist commanders retired into the castle, to which General Mytton sent a summons, demanding the bodies of the two colonels, Bulkeley and Whitely, who immediately surrendered themselves to save the effusion of blood in the slaughter of the prisoners, which was threatened in case of a refusal. Unable successfully to resist the formidable force brought against it, the garrison in the castle also capitulated on honourable terms, on the 2nd of October; and articles of agreement were drawn up and signed by the parliamentarian commissioners and by those appointed for the purpose by the governor of the castle, on behalf of the inhabitants of the whole island. On the 9th of October, instruments were interchanged, in which it was stipulated that the estates of persons within the island should be relieved from sequestration, on condition of paying one twenty-fifth of their value; and that they should be permitted to compound for them at the rate of two years' income for all estates of inheritance, and for other estates in proportion. This mulct was paid by instalments, and the total amount of the money thus obtained from the island is supposed to have been about £20,000.
Anglesey is in the diocese of Bangor, and province of Canterbury; comprising the deaneries of Llivon, Malltraeth, Menai, Tal-y-bolion, Twrcelyn, and Tyndaethwy, in the archdeaconry of Bangor and Anglesey: the number of parishes is seventy-four, of which twenty-five are rectories, four vicarages, and the rest perpetual curacies. For purposes of civil government it is divided into six hundreds, having the same names as the deaneries. It contains the boroughs, market-towns, and sea-ports of Amlwch, Beaumaris, and Holyhead; the borough and markettown of Llangevni; and the market-town of Llanerchymedd. One knight is returned to parliament for the shire, and one representative for the united boroughs: the county member, and the member for the boroughs, are elected at Beaumaris; the pollingplaces for the county are Beaumaris, Holyhead, and Llangevni. It is in the North Wales circuit: the assizes and sessions are held at Beaumaris, where stands the county gaol and house of correction. There are twenty-two acting magistrates. It comprises the poor-law union of Anglesey, and parts of those of Bangor and Beaumaris, and Carnarvon: see the articles on Bangor and Carnarvon.
The exact form of the island, of which the general outline is somewhat oblong, extending in length nearly from north-west to south-east, is extremely irregular, the rocky barrier of its sea-worn shores being broken in numerous places by small bays, creeks, and other inlets. It is the only county in the principality of which the surface approximates to uniformity of character, the whole gently undulating, and there being few swells that can properly be termed hills, or hollows deserving the name of valleys. The interior being also devoid of wood, nearly all the land is inclosed, and the inclosures being seldom surrounded by the lively green of quickset hedges, the district exhibits a very dreary aspect, and impresses the beholder at first sight with an idea of sterility, which, however, does not predominate, as the land, when under proper management, is in general highly productive. The only part possessing any striking sylvan beauty is that bordering on the Menai. But although the scenery of the island is so little interesting, the traveller, after proceeding a few miles from the shores of the Menai, by looking across that arm of the sea into Carnarvonshire, will obtain a splendid view of the chain of mountains which stretches through that county, and the outline of which is varied at irregular intervals by numerous diversified peaks, above all which rises the majestic Snowdon. As the spectator recedes from the Menai, the connecting links of this magnificent chain are gradually lost, and only the insulated summits of the highest mountains remain visible in the distant horizon. The high table-land called Mynydd-y-Trysclwyn, in the north-western part of the county, is an object of especial interest to travellers, from a part of it forming the far-famed Parys Mountain, distinguished for its mineral treasures, and which has been supposed to derive its name from one Robert Parys, a commissioner in an inquisition, in the 8th of Henry IV., to fine such of the inhabitants of Anglesey as had taken part in Owain Glyndwr's insurrection. The aspect of this elevation, rising into enormous rugged rocks of coarse aluminous shale and whitish quartz, is naturally very rude; and the romantic grandeur of its outward form has been heightened by the vast mining operations which have penetrated its interior, yet in part lie open to the day like immense quarries. The most extensive tract of marsh land is that of Malldraeth, or Malltraeth, near Newborough, in the southern part of the county. It is situated on the shores of a sandy creek, extending a considerable distance inland, in a northeastern direction; and comprises about three thousand acres. Acts of parliament for inclosing it were obtained in the years 1788 and 1790, and an embankment across the lower part of it, one thousand four hundred yards long, was nearly completed, when the whole work was suddenly abandoned, and on the 23d of January, 1796, an uncommonly high tide added a breach, twenty roods long, to the space of about twenty roods which had been left unfinished. In this neglected state the work remained until early in the present century, when a scheme for erecting another embankment, upon an enlarged scale and more durable plan, was carried into execution, under the provisions of an act obtained in 1815, the work being completed in 1819.
It is probable that Anglesey originally joined the main land; for near Porthaethwy, on the shores of the Menai strait, some rocks called the Swelly rocks jut out nearly across the channel, which are supposed to be the remains of an isthmus. In the rugged openings between these rocks, the sea, for about an hour after the commencement of the floodtide, violently fluctuates and foams, owing to the meeting of two currents, called Pwll Ceris, which renders the passage very dangerous. Across the Menai strait were formerly six ferries, sanctioned by authority; but this number was reduced to five by the erection of the magnificent suspension bridge over the narrowest part of it, at the ferry of Porthaethwy, commonly called Bangor ferry. On the subjugation of North Wales by Edward I., the six ferries became the property of the Crown; but the king soon granted one of them, viz., that of Cadnant, to Einion, Bishop of Bangor, for christening the young prince Edward of Carnarvon: the rest continued in the possession of the Crown until the time of Henry VIII., who granted four of them to Richard Giffard; and Giffard, in the twenty-third year of that monarch's reign, let them on a term to William Bulkeley, from whose descendants they have since been transferred to different hands. Though the situations of the ferries appear to have been well chosen, according to the nature of the strait, yet, owing to sand-banks, to opposing tides rushing into them from each extremity, and to other natural causes, the passage is not absolutely safe by any one of them, and serious accidents have occurred at each. The most southern of the five remaining ferries is that of Abermenai, opposite to Carnarvon; the next, at a distance of three miles north-eastward, that of Tal-y-Voel. Four miles beyond is that of Moel-y-Don, and, three miles further, the Menai bridge; beyond which is that of Cadnant, now removed to Garth; and lastly, the longest of all the ferries at high water, viz., that between the town of Beaumaris and Aber in Carnarvonshire.
The shores of Anglesey are studded with several islets, of which the principal are the three following. Priestholme, also called Ynys Seiriol, and Puffin Island, is separated from the easternmost extremity of the county by a deep channel, about half a mile broad. It is of an oval form, about a mile long, and half a mile broad, extremely lofty, and has a precipitous shore on every side, except that which faces the promontory of Penmon, where the land is not quite so elevated: it slopes gradually from the summit to the edge of these cliffs, and forms a bold boundary on the west to the broad bay of Beaumaris. The next to this, proceeding along the northern coast of the island, is Ynys y Moelrhoniaid, or "the Isle of Seals," commonly called the Skerries, situated at its northernmost extremity, in front of the village of Llanrhwydrys, and about half a league from the main land, from which it is separated by a deep and dangerous channel. Its surface is composed chiefly of rocks, half covered with vegetation; and on its highest point is a lighthouse, erected about the year 1730. To this succeeds Ynys Cybi, or Holy Island, at the westernmost point of Anglesey, comprising the parishes of Holyhead and Rhôscolyn, and consisting for the most part of barren rocks and dreary sands. The channel separating the island from the rest of Anglesey is narrow, and fordable in some places at low water; the great Irish road is carried over it by means of a noble embankment, three-quarters of a mile long.
A remarkable phenomenon attends the tides on the shores of this county, more particularly in the Menai straits. It appears that two tides set in from the western sea, which are divided by the isle of Anglesey, one part passing through the Menai straits, and the other through the great channel lying between Holyhead and the Irish coast. The latter tide having to extend its influence round the greater part of the island before it can reach the north-eastern entrance of the Menai, the flow is upwards of an hour earlier at Carnarvon than at Beaumaris; and the water from the main sea begins to pour into the strait at Carnarvon while it is yet ebbing out of it at Beaumaris; consequently the water in the vicinity of Carnarvon continues falling after the direction of the current is changed. In like manner, the ebb commences at Carnarvon before it is high water at Beaumaris; and though the direction of the current in this case is also changed, yet it continues rising at the Menai bridge for a considerable time after it has begun to ebb at Carnarvon. These tides (the one entering the Menai from St. George's Channel, and the other from the Irish Sea,) meet at a place near Beaumaris, called Taraw Point.
The climate of the county, owing to the seabreezes which constantly blow over it, and the greater uniformity of its surface, is milder and less boisterous, and the snow lies upon the ground a shorter time, than in the neighbouring counties. But, from the same causes, it is incommoded with frequent mists in the autumn, in which season the inhabitants are subject to intermittent fevers: still they are in general healthy.
The soils, though various, are for the most part fertile. They consist chiefly of the following kinds, viz., a friable mould; a shallow soil on light sand; a coarse healthy soil on hard rock; a quick warm soil, invigorated by marl; a reddish and stiffish loam; and a black peaty earth, under which are generally beds of peat, forming useful turbaries. There is also an abundance of marly soils, lying in contiguity with the ranges of limestone hereafter described. The reddish loams are of excellent quality, and lie near the shores of the Menai, in the vicinity of Llanidan. The light soils, consisting of various admixtures of sandy loam, rounded pebbles, gravel, peat, &c., occupy the greater part of the island, and are best adapted for the culture of barley, peas, turnips, &c. Free loams, of a rather better quality than the last-mentioned, are found in different parts of the interior.
The agriculture of the county has very much improved since smuggling, which was formerly carried on by the inhabitants to an amazing extent, was suppressed by the vigilance of the government: within the last fifteen years, especially, the improvements have been great. The larger part of the island, however, still presents a mixed aspect of wildness and cultivation, excepting a few scattered farms, which are managed under superior systems. Of the inclosed lands, which occupy nearly the whole of its surface, about an eleventh part is actually under tillage; and of this quantity, about one-fourth is annually sown with oats, and the remainder with barley and wheat in equal portions. The rotations of crops are various, but the white corn crops of oats and barley are too frequently taken in unvaried succession, or alternately with each other, for five or six years. The average produce of oats is only from four to six times the amount of seed sown, although sometimes, under superior management, as much as from fifteen to sixteen: the produce of barley is very various; and that of wheat averages no more than that of oats, although some farmers obtain from eight to ten times the quantity sown. The cultivation of peas, which used formerly to be considerable, is now greatly diminished, and beans are hardly ever seen; but there is no part of North Wales where potatoes are cultivated so well and so extensively as in this island. Turnips were first introduced as an agricultural crop in 1765, and their culture has been since gradually increasing in extent: in 1797, there were about fifty acres under turnips, of which only seven were drilled. Anglesey is distinguished for a native species of this root, which is a small yellow garden turnip, called in the adjacent county of Carnarvon Maip sîr Von. A few small patches of land are occasionally sown with hemp. The artificial grasses are of the ordinary kinds. Burnet grows naturally on the limestone hills near Llanidan, bordering on the Menai; and the plantago maritima, or narrow-leaved sea plantain, is found wild on different parts of the sea-shore: the latter tastes like samphire, is very succulent, and is eagerly eaten by sheep. Anglesey contains about 150,000 acres of meadows and pastures, of which the natural produce is in general of a fine quality, great quantities of hay seeds being annually conveyed from it as far as the hilly parts of Denbighshire and Merionethshire. The grass lands are almost exclusively devoted to the rearing of cattle, to be sold lean to the graziers of other districts having richer pastures, where they are fattened for different places: lean cattle, therefore, constitute one of its chief articles of export. The dairies are so few, and on so small a scale, as hardly to meet the consumption of the island; nor is the cheese of good quality, for, to supply the want of that richness of which the milk is robbed for the sake of making butter, the curds are so saturated with rennet as to make it quite spongy.
The extraordinary manures are various and valuable. Lime is extensively used within a convenient distance of those parts of the island where it is burned; and sea-weed, or sea-thong, and the fucus of various kinds, are collected on the shores after storms, and either spread on the fields to be immediately ploughed in, or made into composts with various other manures. But that for which Anglesey is more particularly distinguished, is the shell-sand found on different parts of its coasts, but of the best quality in the Traeth Côch, or Red Wharf bay, in the eastern part of its northern shores; what is obtained at this place contains about two-thirds, and from that to four-fifths, of decayed shells. It is carried to every part of the island in carts and wagons, is generally laid upon the land about an inch thick, and if its fertilizing particles are not suddenly washed away by violent rains, it enriches the soil for ten or twelve years. The first time this shell-sand is known to have been used as a manure was in 1645, by the Rev. Thomas Williams, rector of Llansadwrn; at present, besides the extensive consumption of it in the island, great quantities are shipped coastwise to Denbighshire and Flintshire. Both the shell-sand and the sea-weeds are preferred to lime, upon lands that have been for some time under cultivation.
The plough in most common use is the large old kind, which was universally used in North Wales prior to the introduction of the lighter Lummas plough, about the year 1760. The mould-board is a plain plank, which turns the split over by its extreme length; and by the holder pressing much on the left handle, its nether edge forms an acute angle with a line parallel to the surface of the soil, by which means a feather-edged split is formed, which, in ley grounds, does not afford a sufficient depth of mould for the harrow. The surface resting on the ground from the heel to the point of the share is four feet long, and the friction occasioned by this large surface requires great force to overcome it.
In this county, where the rearing of cattle is in most cases the farmer's principal object, and the dairy is almost entirely neglected, the calves are not weaned until they arrive at double the age at which they are generally weaned in other counties. This partly accounts for the bull-like appearance of the oxen about the head and dewlap; but it is a received opinion that they are hardier in consequence, and may be kept on coarser pasture. The characteristics of the choice Anglesey oxen, commonly called Runts from their small size and peculiar appearance, are (says the Rev. W. Davies, in his View of the Agriculture of North Wales) the same in most points with those of the Roman oxen described by Columella. Their colour is coal-black, with white appendages; they have remarkably broad ribs, high and wide hips, deep chest, large dewlap, flat face, and long horns turning upwards: their average weight, when fat, at three or four years old, is from eight to eleven score lb. per quarter. These deep-chested and short-legged oxen are much esteemed by the graziers for their aptness to fatten; but they are not quite so well adapted for draught. Anglesey is distinguished for its Sheep, which are the largest native breed in North Wales, weighing, according as they are fed, from ten to sixteen lb. a quarter, and sometimes as much as eighteen lb.; they have black legs and faces, and are generally without horns. Whether they were originally from the same stock as the present small sheep of the county of Carnarvon, and attained their superiority in size from a milder climate and better pasturage, or are a foreign species brought over at some remote period from Ireland, cannot now be ascertained. They bear a fleece weighing from one lb. and threequarters to two lb. and a half; and are shorn about the middle of May, or early in June: some are shorn twice a year. Several experimental farmers have introduced other breeds from England. Great numbers of Hogs were formerly bred in the county for the English markets, but after the establishment of steam-boats from Dublin to Liverpool, which caused the importation of large numbers to the latter place from Ireland, this traffic declined. The native breed of Horses is of an inferior description, and their natural awkwardness and want of symmetry are increased by the universal custom of fettering them, as well as the sheep; a practice which is rendered necessary by the want of proper fences. Tender furze, bruised with mallets, or ground in mills erected for the purpose, used to be a chief article of fodder for horses, and the farmers were then accustomed to sow furze, and sometimes to let the crop at a certain price per acre, in which case it was frequently more profitable than a crop of wheat; but this system is now abandoned. Rabbits are very numerous in some places in the vicinity of the sea-coast, where the sandy soil favours their burrowing, more especially near the ruins of the monastery of Llanddwyn. Seals are frequently seen on the shores of the island. The water-rail is a constant visiter early in the spring; and that rare aquatic bird, the shag, sometimes makes its appearance on the shore near Holyhead. The horticulture of the county presents nothing very remarkable; sea-kale, which grows in abundance on the coasts, has in some places been introduced into gardens, and is found an excellent substitute for asparagus, being also somewhat earlier in the spring.
Anglesey is said to have been anciently called "the dark or shady island," in allusion to its thick groves of wood. At present its woodlands are almost wholly confined to a narrow slip along the Menai; and even here, great numbers of the trees, sinking beneath the force of the western blasts, which sweep over them loaded with saline particles, have a stunted and blighted appearance. Lord Boston, however, has some considerable woods at Lligwy, in the parish of Penrhôs-Lligwy; and a few plantations have been made elsewhere, which have flourished, with the exception of those trees immediately exposed to the westerly winds. Wherever a few trees occur in the hedge-rows, they are invariably much inclined towards the north-east, by the violent winds from the opposite quarter.
At the commencement of the present century the amount of waste land was between 12,000 and 13,000 acres, from which must now be deducted the whole extent of Malltraeth marsh, which has been embanked and inclosed. Of this amount, 9000 acres, including Malltraeth marsh, are level and highly improveable. The principal uninclosed tract on the uplands is Talwrn-Mawr, a dreary and continuous chain of wastes, intermixed with old inclosures, and running through the greater part of the county. The surface of the uninclosed level wastes is continually pared by the poor inhabitants for fuel. Some of the flat lands lying adjacent to the sea are covered with drifting sands, more especially those near the southern extremity of the county. Anglesey being comparatively destitute of coal, peat, and wood, the inhabitants are chiefly supplied with coal brought coastwise from Flintshire and Lancashire, which being sold at a high price, the poor are frequently unable to purchase it, and are thus compelled to collect the dried dung of cattle from the moors and fields, to the great injury of the soil, and the paring of the surface of sound waste land. The Anglesey Agricultural Society was established in the year 1808.
The mineral productions are of great variety and importance; but the geology of the island, which is also interesting, has received very little illustration. Its prevailing rock may be said to be clayslate, but granite occurs in a small spot near its centre; and on its south-eastern and north-eastern sides is an abundance of limestone and gritstone, in some places accompanied by a few thin and poor strata of coal. The immense produce of the island in copper is wholly obtained from the Parys Mountain mine and the Mona mine, which are in fact only portions of the same mine, distinguished under these two names to mark the possessions of two different proprietors. They are situated in the northern part of the island, in the vicinity of Amlwch, a town which entirely owes its elevation from the rank of an inconsiderable fishing-village, to the discovery and extensive working of the mineral treasures of the neighbouring high ground of Trysclwyn, in which these mines are contained. There is abundant reason to suppose that copper-ore was procured and smelted here at a very remote period; but the main stratum, after several unsuccessful attempts, was discovered only on the 2nd of March, 1768, the anniversary of which day was for many years kept as a festival by the miners. This mass was in some places found to be more than 300 feet thick, and lay in vast clusters, called stock works. Both the mines are situated on this grand vein, which has numerous branches, and was formerly worked, not, as now, by means of subterraneous excavations, but open to the day, in the manner of a quarry, the chief substance of the mountain itself consisting of copper-ore. The matrix of the ore is a dark-coloured petrosilex, over which lie strata of aluminous schistus, and a yellow earth containing ores of lead; in many places the ore is immediately covered by a thin stratum of red shale and ochre: the various strata thus bounding the ore, dip in general towards the north, at an angle of about forty-five degrees. The ore consists chiefly of the yellow sulphate of copper, the richest of which generally contains twenty-five per cent. of metal, and the same amount of sulphur. The worst ore yields nearly the same quantity of sulphur, for which it is principally worked, but produces only from one and a quarter to two per cent. of copper. These mines also contain black ore, consisting of copper mixed with galena, calamine, and a little silver; malachite, or green and blue carbonate of copper; native copper, in very small quantities; sulphate of copper, crystallized and in solution; sulphate of lead in considerable quantities, containing a tolerably large portion of silver; and native sulphur. Although the ores are not equal in richness to those obtained in Cornwall, yet they are rendered of immense value by their abundance and the facility with which they are worked. As the greater part of the ore consists of sulphate of copper, the roasting of it for the sake of the sulphur forms a considerable branch of its manufacture. The regulus of copper, which collects itself, during the process of roasting, into a globule in the centre of the ore, is separated from the rest by breaking the latter, and then smelted.
The amount of ore annually raised, and manufactured, at Amlwch, is estimated at about 16,000 tons. Towards the close of the last century, when the Parys and Mona mines were most prosperous, the quantity of available ore annually procured, amounted to no less than 30,000 tons, the raising of which afforded employment to 1500 men. The works afterwards declining, the number of men gradually decreased, so as, in the year 1809, not to exceed 600, the remainder having emigrated to Liverpool and other places; but the concern some years afterwards gradually and materially improving, the number of workmen increased in proportion, and now amounts to upwards of 1500, who are employed in the different departments of these important mining and smelting works.
The finest metal obtained is that from the sulphate of copper held in solution in the vitriolic waters, which, by pumps and other machinery, are raised from the mines into large cisterns, about two feet deep, some square and others oblong, into which are thrown quantities of old iron, brought for the most part from London and Liverpool. On the iron being thrown in, its supposed transmutation into copper, which this mineral water is so remarkable for producing, immediately commences. By the laws of elective attraction, as it is termed by the chemists, the sulphuric acid, having greater affinity with, and stronger attraction to, iron than copper, lets go the latter, which is precipitated to the bottom of the cisterns in the form of a ponderous muddy sediment, of a yellowish colour, and attaches itself to the iron, which it dissolves and retains in solution in the same manner as it at first did the copper. When this change in the circumstances of the two metals is completed, the acid menstruum containing the iron is drawn from the cisterns, and received into other pits on a lower level, leaving behind it the precipitate of copper, which is collected together, dried on the kilns, and smelted. One ton of iron will precipitate from its solution an equal weight of copper mud, which, when smelted, produces twelve hundredweight of the purest copper. The only value of the sulphate of iron in the lower pits, is at present derived from its deposition of yellow ochre, which is refined, dried, and shipped for the use of painters. "Nature," as Mr. Pennant observes, "has been profuse in bestowing her mineral favours on this spot;" for besides the above, together with an ore of zinc, which, after being properly prepared, is sent off to London, there is found, above the copper-ore, and about three-quarters of a yard beneath the surface soil, a bed of yellowish greasy clay, from one to four yards thick, containing a large proportion of lead. Of this metal one ton of the clay yields from 600 to 1000 lb. weight, containing no less than fifty-seven ounces of silver per ton of metal. The ore used at one time to be wrought, and smelted at extensive works erected for the purpose.
Next to Flintshire and Denbighshire, Anglesey claims the third place among the counties of North Wales possessing coal mines. The coal strata have all the usual accompaniments of that mineral, except ironstone; but hitherto only a small profit has been derived either to the proprietors or the public from working them, which has been attempted only on the borders of the Malltraeth marsh, and between the rivers Braint and Caint. In the former place were found,—first, sand to the depth of five feet; secondly, freestone for the next sixty-six feet; thirdly, black shale, for a further depth of six feet; fourthly, a bed of good coal, three feet and a half thick; fifthly, indurated clunch, two feet deep; and lastly, freestone to an unknown depth. In the latter occurred,—first, peat; then, gravel; next, clay; and lastly, coal metal, as the workmen term it, that is, shaly clunch, having tumblers of coal interspersed with it in irregular masses, some of which were of several tons' weight: but having reached this, the work became flooded, and was abandoned after being carried, at a great expense, to the depth of 120 feet. It has been stated, as a discouraging symptom in boring for coal in this island, that its strata dip almost perpendicularly; but the inclination of the three feet and a half coal near the Malltraeth, would seem to be only one yard in ten, which is towards the east-by-south; and the concomitants of coal, namely, freestone and limestone, appear in nearly horizontal strata, in several parts of the island.
The vast Limestone ranges of Denbighshire and Flintshire, which also form Great Orme's Head, in Carnarvonshire, are continued from this latter point, under the bay of Beaumaris, to the easternmost extremity of the island, whence they extend in the same north-western direction, along the sea-coast to Dulas, and thence beyond Amlwch to Cemmaes and the northernmost parts of the county. From several points of this range, ramifications extend quite into the interior of the island, and, in some instances, even entirely across it, as from Lligwy to Llanfinnan and Llangevni, and from Penmon, at its easternmost extremity, along the shores of the Menai, where it appears at Plâs Newydd and Llanidan. From the latter place, a line of insulated limestone rocks is continued in the same direction by Trêvdraeth, Bôdwrog, and Llanvaethlu. Between these two lines are quarries of millstone, and some inferior kinds of gritstone; and between the south-western part of the latter and the bay of Carnarvon is found a much finer freestone: some of the limestone strata are of the kind called terras limestone.
Anglesey contains a great abundance and considerable variety of Marbles, some of which are excellently adapted for sculpture and ornamental architecture. White marble is found at Llangwyvan; blue-veined grey marble and blue-veined white marble at Cemmaes, near Amlwch; black, grey, and mottled brown marbles on the northern coast (between Traeth Côch and Moelvre Point), which are in considerable demand, to be manufactured for sepulchral monuments and architectural ornaments; and asbestine marble near Cemlyn bay, in the parish of Llanvair-ynghornwy. This last kind is intersected by narrow veins of a remarkable, white, incombustible substance, of a silky appearance, which from its brittle nature, renders the stone in which it is inclosed unsusceptible of a very high polish. A green marble is found near Rhôscolyn, in Holy Island, which contains a green amianthus, or brittle asbestos; and unripe asbestos, of a waved schistose appearance, occurs in different parts of the county, more especially on the shores of the Menai, from Bangor bridge to Maes-y-Porth, opposite to Carnarvon. Serpentine is found at Maes-y-Porth, and at Cemmaes. The island also produces different kinds of Potters'-clay, both white and yellow. Fullers'-earth, both white and of a dusky colour, is found in small quantities at Mynydd-y-Twr, near Holyhead; as also is a peculiar kind of saponaceous argil. In the vicinity of Amlwch is found a kind of earth, remarkable for yielding two-thirds of pure magnesia. Steatite, or soap rock, occurs both at Mynydd-y-Twr, and in the vicinity of Llanvair-ynghornwy. Three kinds of Marl are found in the county, adjacent to its limestone rocks; these are distinguished according to their different colours, which are red, grey, and white: pits of the two former are known to be as much as 200 years old; and the white marl, at Llanddyvnan, was discovered about the year 1652, by some of the parliamentarian soldiers then stationed in Anglesey. Barytes, united with vitriolic acid, and tinged with red, occurs at Llangeinwen.
The manufactures in the county, excepting those of the mineral productions of Amlwch, are very inconsiderable. Many of the inhabitants buy quantities of the coarse wool of the mountainous districts of Carnarvonshire, at the fairs of Carnarvon and Bangor, and manufacture it, intermixed with the native wool of the island, into cloths of a deep blue, flannels, blankets, &c., for home consumption; and these manufactures are facilitated by a few carding and spinning machines in different places. Most of the remaining wool is disposed of to the Yorkshire clothiers at Chester fair. It appears that Anglesey was in ancient times a place of much commercial importance; and its exports are still of great value, consisting chiefly of copper, yellow ochre, zinc, and alkali; shell-sand, for manure; barley and oats in productive seasons; and cattle, sheep, and hogs. The number of cattle annually sent to the English market has been variously estimated, but, according to the best authority, it averages about 8000, of which 900 are yearlings, 2100 of two years old, and 5000 of three years old and upwards. Before the erection of the suspension bridge over the Menai, the numerous herds purchased here were compelled to swim in droves across that strait; and although numbers of the weaker sort were sometimes swept down by the force of the current, a distance of several miles, yet losses were seldom experienced. The annual exportation of sheep to the English market is from 5000 to 7000, and of hogs about 1000. The chief imports, besides the ordinary supplies of foreign articles, are corn and coal. An extensive illicit trade was formerly carried on by the inhabitants, more especially in the several narrow sandy coves between the rocks on the southern coast of the island, so well adapted for receiving small vessels unobserved by the revenue officers; but this has long been nearly annihilated by the vigilant measures of the government.
The natural harbours are numerous, and some of them have been much improved by art. Beaumaris, near the eastern extremity of the island, has a good harbour: the custom-house at this place is not only the controlling office to the different ports of the island, but also to others in North Wales. To the north of Beaumaris is Traeth Côch, or Red Wharf bay: this is of considerable extent, and receives the waters of the small river Torryd, but is too much exposed to winds from the north-east; an inconvenience that can only be removed by the erection of a pier. Two leagues further along the northern shore of the county is Dulas Bay, at the mouth of the Dulas river, which is narrow at the entrance, and obstructed by fragments of rock. Proceeding round St. Elian's Point is Amlwch, where, by excavating a vast rock, a harbour has been formed, about two hundred and fifty yards long and forty wide, capable of containing thirty vessels, of from one hundred to three hundred tons' burthen each. Cemlyn, or Crooked Pool bay, in the northernmost part of the island, might, at a little expense, be rendered a safe port. Holyhead, which, being only twenty leagues from Dublin, is the station for the Irish packets, had naturally a good port for the reception of small vessels, formed by some cliffs, on the summit of which stands the church of that town, and by a small island called Ynys Cybi, on which stands a lighthouse: this was rendered more commodious at the expense of government. The vast improvements now in progress will be found noticed under the head of Holyhead. Aberfraw has a small harbour, capable of admitting vessels of thirty tons' burthen, which is susceptible of great improvement; as also is that of Malltraeth, situated between Aberfraw and the south-western entrance to the Menai, at the mouth of the small river Cevenny, or Cevni. Anglesey is wholly devoid of inland navigation, natural or artificial: but it is pleasingly watered by twelve small streams, which flow from the gentle elevations of the interior in various directions to the sea: among the principal of these are the Cevenny, the Alaw, the Fraw, and the Dulas. Beaumaris is a place of considerable resort for the purpose of seabathing.
The waters immediately surrounding the shores abound with various kinds of fish, namely, cod, turbot, soles, plaice, herrings, whitings, crabs, lobsters, and oysters of different kinds. The crabs and oysters are remarkably abundant and excellent; the former are chiefly taken on the rocky coasts in the vicinities of Llanddwyn, Rhôscolyn, Holyhead, and Penmon, where they are found at low water, hidden under stones amongst the sea-weed left by the previous tide. The large kind of oysters found in the channel at the eastern extremity of the county, which separates the little island of Priestholme from the main land of Anglesey, are in great esteem, under the name of "Penmon oysters," and great quantities are annually pickled, packed in neat small casks, and exported to different parts of the kingdom. This channel is likewise remarkable for some peculiar species of fish, among which the Beaumaris shark, the Anglesey morris, and the trifurcated hake, are most worthy of notice: here are also found several rare species of muscle. Various kinds of beautiful shells are taken by the dredgers for oysters in this channel, and in Red Wharf bay. The cliffs of Priestholme island produce abundance of samphire, the gathering of which, together with the eggs of the sea-fowl, forms a hazardous employment, which is followed by many of the hardy islanders: the southwestern end of the same island abounds with the smyrnium olusatrum, or Alexanders, which, when boiled, afford a salutary repast for sailors just arrived from long voyages.
The island having long been the grand thoroughfare to Ireland, and possessing an abundance of excellent materials for making and mending roads, these mediums of communication received improvement in this county as early as in any other of the principality; and at present the old Irish mail-road, which runs the whole length of the island, from the shores of the Menai to Holyhead, as also the roads connecting the principal towns and villages, are in good repair. Early in the present century, Lord Bulkeley formed an excellent road, at his own expense, along the beautiful shore of the Menai, from Bangor ferry to Beaumaris; and various other important public improvements have since taken place, among which may be noticed the erection of the superb suspension bridge over the Menai, in the vicinity of Bangor. Great alterations were also made, early in the century, in the mail-coach route from Bangor to Holyhead, by which the distance was reduced from twenty-five to twenty-one miles, and several fatiguing ascents avoided.
The mail is now conveyed by the Chester and Holyhead Railway, which was opened in the year 1848. This important line of communication crosses the Menai by a splendid tubular bridge, and, like the old mail-road, runs the whole length of the county, to Holyhead, where superior packets are now stationed. Quitting the bridge, the railway passes along a great embankment, near the end of which rises the Anglesey Column, on the summit of a lofty eminence. It then runs parallel for some miles with the Holyhead road, leaving which, it curves in a south-western direction, and passes through some deep cuttings, and under a substantial stone bridge which forms part of the road leading to Llangafo, on the left. The line proceeds about two miles and a half north of the town of Newborough, and soon after crosses the tidal-river Cevenny by a noble viaduct of nineteen arches, forming one of the greatest ornaments of the railway. It next runs along the Trêvdraeth tunnel, about 550 yards in length, cut through some exceedingly hard rock; then intersects the parish of Llancadwaladr from east to west, and reaches the vicinity of Bôdorgan, about halfway between the Menai strait and Holyhead, and not far from the town of Aberfraw. Hence the line proceeds in a north-western direction, along ordinary cuttings and embankments, passing within a few hundred yards of Llanvaelog Rectory, and over a bleak sandy common called Tywyn Trewyn, where a beautiful view is obtained by the traveller of Cymmerau bay and the headland of Rhôscolyn, on the left. After passing under a number of bridges in rapid succession, the line again approaches the Holyhead road. It crosses the small river Alaw, and afterwards runs parallel with the great Stanley embankment, constructed by government across the sands and an arm of the sea, in order to shorten the line of the road to Holyhead. At the end of the embankment, the railway passes Penrhôs Park, soon after which it arrives at its terminus at Holyhead harbour.
The remains of antiquity are numerous, and of great interest. In ancient times Anglesey formed, as before-mentioned, a chief place of refuge for the Druids, when expelled from their previous abodes by the progress of the Roman arms; and various memorials of that remote period of its history are yet visible. The parishes of Llanedwen, LlanddanielVab, and Llanidan, on the borders of the Menai, include a district abounding with remains indicative of its having been a scene of Druidical worship, and Mr. Rowlands, in his "Mona Antiqua Restaurata," attempts to prove that this part of Anglesey was the principal seat of the religious rites of the Druids, and the residence of the Arch-druid. Among the monuments now existing are two cromlechs, contiguous to each other, in Plâs Newydd Park, the property of the Marquess of Anglesey, one of which has a table-stone of great weight, about thirteen feet long, eleven broad, and four thick. At a little distance is a carn now overgrown with vegetation, which, on being opened, was found to contain various rude apartments; and at Bôdowyr, in the same vicinity, is a cromlech whose table-stone, resting upon three strong supporters, is seven feet long, six broad, and six thick. At Tre'-vry are some small traces of stone circles. But the most remarkable monument of this period yet existing, and around which these and some smaller remains of Druidical antiquity are scattered, is what has been supposed to be the chief seat of the Druids, at a place called Tre'r Dryw. This, styled by Mr. Rowlands the Brein Gwyn, or royal tribunal, is a circular hollow, one hundred and eighty feet in diameter, surrounded originally by an immense rampart of loose stones, brought hither from a distance. It has only a single entrance: and near it are the remains of a circle of stones, with a cromlech in the midst, and of a gorsedd, or great copped heap of stones, all extremely imperfect: two of the stones of the circle are very large, one, which at present serves for the end of a house, being twelve feet seven inches high, and eight feet broad; while another, yet standing, is eight feet high, and twentythree feet in circumference. Various other cromlechs are to be seen in different parts of the island. A very large one is situated in the grounds of Lligwy, in the parish of Penrhôs-Lligwy, where are also several Druidical circles, nearly contiguous to each other, comprising numerous upright stones: the table-stone of the cromlech is of a rhomboidal form, seventeen feet and a half long, fifteen feet broad, and four feet thick, supported by several upright stones at the height of only two feet from the ground. In a field near the seat called Presaddved, in the western part of the island, are two cromlechs, one yet standing, the other fallen, the table-stones of which are about thirteen feet long, and nine broad. Near Pentraeth are two small stones standing upright, at the distance of about fifty feet from each other; and another similar one lies prostrate at a short distance: the whole are supposed to have formed some Druidical monument.
The remains of roman antiquity discovered in Anglesey are but few and inconsiderable. On the summit of Gwydryn Hill is a semicircular fortification, called Caer Idris, or Castell Idris, consisting of a triple fosse and vallum: this is thought to have been of British origin, but to have been afterwards occupied by the Romans. Various remains of fortifications in which the discriminative peculiarities of Roman workmanship are visible, are yet left standing in the vicinity of Holyhead, among which may be specified the massive walls that nearly surround the churchyard, in the form of a parallelogram, at one corner of which is a circular bastion tower; a long dry wall, twelve feet high, and in many places regularly faced, which runs along the side of the hill called Pen Caer Cybi; and Caer twr, a circular building on the summit of the same elevation, supposed by Mr. Pennant to be the ruins of a pharos, or lighthouse. At Tan-y-Cevn, on the river Braint, and in the neighbourhood of the great assemblage of Druidical remains above-mentioned, are two large quadrangular intrenchments, nearly contiguous to each other; and in the same vicinity is Caerleb, or "the moated intrenchment," also of quadrilateral form, having a double fosse and vallum, and comprising within its area the foundations of various buildings, both circular and angular. At a place called Castell, between Llanerchymedd and Tregayan, coins of several Roman emperors have been found. In the parish of Llanvlewin were dug up, about the commencement of the present century, three golden bracelets and a Roman bulla of the same metal; and near Aberfraw have been frequently found the amulets called gleiniau nadroedd, or "snake gems," supposed to have been manufactured by the Romans, and given to the superstitious Britons in exchange for the commodities of their country.
On a precipitous hill called Bwrdd Arthur, or "Arthur's Round Table," in the vicinity of Llangoed, are vestiges of an ancient fortification, surrounded by two lofty ramparts of loose stones, and called Din, or Dinas Sylwy: within the area are the foundations of oval buildings. About a mile from the village of Monachtŷ, or Mynachdŷ, are two circular encampments, formed by single ditches and ramparts, and commonly called Castell Crwn; and another British fortification, called Craig-y-Ddinas, is situated on a rocky eminence on the sea-shore of the parish of Llanvair-Pwllgwyngyll. Tregarnedd, a house in the parish of Llangevni, derived its name from an immense carnedd, or piled heap of stones, surrounded by a circle of upright stones: beneath were numerous hollow passages, formed by flat flagstones laid upon others placed edgewise. The stones of this carnedd were almost all removed a few years ago, by the tenant of the land. In a deep gully leading from Llanddona church to the sea-shore are two round tumuli, supposed by Mr. Pennant to have been thrown up by the Danes for the protection of their vessels, which were often moored in Red Wharf bay, on this part of the coast. About a mile from Monachtŷ are three of those large upright stones commonly called meini hîrion, which stand at the distance of about 500 yards from each other, the intermediate space forming nearly an equilateral triangle. Another, called Llêch-gynvarwydd, stands on an eminence near the church of that name. In the centre of Penmon Park, near Beaumaris, is a very ancient British cross, curiously and richly sculptured.
At the period of the Reformation there were, at Penmon a priory of Benedictine monks, and at Holyhead a college of prebendaries: at Llanvaes a house of Franciscan friars was existing in the reign of Henry V. There are yet extensive remains of Penmon Priory, and part of the ancient conventual church now serves as the parochial church: the round arches by which the architecture of this edifice is distinguished, and which in England are regarded as evidences of the Saxon or early Norman erection of the buildings in which they are found, are in this instance thought by some to be of ancient British construction. Near the centre of Priestholme island, or Ynys Seiriol, amidst some faint vestiges of other buildings, is an ancient tower, supposed to have formed part of a religious house, a cell to the neighbouring priory of Penmon. A portion of Llanvaes Priory is now used as an outhouse to the seat of Sir R. B. Williams Bulkeley, Bart. Many of the seventy-four parishes of the island have their churches situated near the sea-shore, and one or two of the buildings are so placed as to oblige the minister to regulate the time of divine service according to the state of the tide, which at high water completely surrounds them. Such is the case with that of Llangwyvan, on the western side of the island. The churches most distinguished for architectural curiosity are, St. Mary's, at Beaumaris, a handsome edifice; that of Holyhead; and that of Llaniestyn, a very plain building, but containing a remarkably curious font, and a sculptured slab of the fourteenth century, forming one of the most interesting antiquities in Wales. That of Llaneilian is distinguished for a handsome tower and spire, of which appendages nearly all the churches are destitute, having simply at the west end a small turret, with an arched aperture, for a single bell. Parts of some of the buildings are perhaps of the ninth or tenth century, or still earlier. The Anglesey village-church is usually cruciform, the structure small in size, commonly from thirty to sixty feet in extreme length; and low in height, the gable seldom being more than twenty feet from the ground.
Almost the only ruins of any mural fortress at present existing are those of Beaumaris Castle, which are very grand and extensive. Remains of a small fort of Norman erection, called Castell Lleiniog, are yet standing on a conical mound in Penmon parish, in the vicinity of Beaumaris. The most remarkable old mansions are, Bôdychan, about half-way between the Menai bridge and Holyhead, now used as a barn; Penmynedd, in the parish of that name; Plâs Côch, in the parish of Llanedwen, a very interesting building, admirably kept up; and Plâs Côch, in the town of Beaumaris, the ancient manor-house of the Bulkeley family, now tenanted by poor families, but still exhibiting some curious remains of ancient domestic architecture. The seats of more modern date most worthy of notice are, Plâs Newydd, the property of the Marquess of Anglesey; Llanidan, that of Lord Boston; Baron Hill, that of Sir R. B. Williams Bulkeley, Bart.; Penrhôs, that of the Stanley family; Bôdorgan, Cadnant, Carreglwyd, the Friary, HênIlŷs, Llanddyvnan, Llanvawr, Plâs Llangoed, Llwydiarth, Plâs Gwyn, Presaddved, Red Hill, Trêgayan, and Trê-Iorwerth. A few of the farm-houses and their offices are particularly well built and commodious, but the greater number are of an inferior description; and the cottages are generally of the most wretched appearance. Quickset hedges, as well as timber, flourish on the shores of the Menai; but in the interior the vast expanse of horizon, without any interruption from woods or hedges, is wearisome to the eye: there the common fences are banks of sods about four feet and a half high, with a ditch on each side. Dry stone walls are not uncommonly used to form inclosures on the larger estates; and of late years great progress has been made in the raising of quickset hedges, notwithstanding the antiquated opinion of its impracticability. Furze is sometimes sown on the banks, and both hawthorn sets and furze seed are imported from Ireland. The common household bread is made of barley or oats. Servants hired by the year generally commence their term of service on the 1st of May.
Anglesey confers the title of marquess on the noble family of Paget, the present marquess having been raised to that dignity on the 23rd of June, 1815, in acknowledgment of the bravery and heroism which distinguished his military career during the continental war.
ARDDR (ARDDAU), a hamlet, in the parish of Llanbedr, union of Conway, hundred of Llêchwedd Isâv, county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 4 miles (N. by W.) from Llanrwst; containing, with the hamlet of Dôl-y-Garrog, 144 inhabitants.
ARGOED, with Ystrad, a hamlet, in the parish and union of Trêgaron, upper division of the hundred of Penarth, county of Cardigan, South Wales; containing 793 inhabitants, of whom 692 are in the market-town of Trêgaron. The name of Argoed signifies "a sheltered and sequestered position among woods," which, with Ystrad, "a dale," is descriptive of the situation of these two hamlets in the vale of Teivy. The town of Trêgaron occupies the banks of the Berwyn, near its junction with the Teivy river.
ARTHOG CHAPEL, a hamlet, in the township of Cregennan, parish of Llangelynin, union of Dôlgelley, hundred of Tal-y-bont and Mowddwy, county of Merioneth, North Wales, 6½ miles (W. S. W.) from Dôlgelley: the population is returned with the parish. This place is situated on the road from Dôlgelley to Llwyngwrd, and on the south side of the river Maw, or Mawddach, near the influx of which into Barmouth bay is an extensive turbary, or peat moss. A great quantity of peat is dug, and conveyed in small boats down the river to Barmouth, and up to Llanelltyd, whence it is sent in carts to Dôlgelley and its neighbourhood, for fuel. Arthog, a modern mansion in the later style of English architecture, is pleasantly situated on rising ground, well sheltered by hills, of which the sides are adorned with plantations, and the summits command extensive and pleasing views, particularly of the sea-port and bay of Barmouth, and the vale of Mawddach as far as Dôlgelley. In the grounds is a highly picturesque waterfall, called Avon Cregennan. A chapel was erected, about forty years ago, at the expense of two successive proprietors of the Arthog estate, but it has neither been endowed nor consecrated; the duty is gratuitously performed by the curate of the parish, in English and Welsh alternately. In 1844 a day school in connexion with the Established Church was commenced, which is partly supported by subscription, and partly by the children's parents. There is also a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, to which a Sunday school is attached.
ASAPH, ST., a city, and parish, and the head of a union, partly in the hundreds of Isdulas and Yale, county of Denbigh, but chiefly in the Rhuddlan division of the hundred of Rhuddlan, county of Flint, North Wales, 15 miles (W. by N.) from Flint, 18 (N. W. by W.) from Mold, and 214 (N. W.) from London; containing 3338 inhabitants. The hill upon which the upper part of the city is built, and the township in which the cathedral church is situated, are called Bryn-Paulin. From this circumstance, corroborated by the peculiar adaptation of the spot for a military station, and from its position between two rivers, the proximity of an exploratory post on the brow of the hill called Bron-yWylva, or "the watch hill," and the discovery of numerous Roman coins, St. Asaph is by some writers supposed to have been occupied by the Roman forces under Suetonius Paulinus, either in advancing to the conquest of the Isle of Mona, now Anglesey, or on their rapid return to subdue the revolted Britons under Boadicea. The city, which was originally called Llan-Elwy, derived its origin and ancient name from the erection of a church on the bank of the river Elwy by St. Kentigern, commonly called St. Mungo by the Scottish historians, bishop of Glasgow and primate of Scotland. This ecclesiastic, about the middle of the sixth century, being compelled to quit his see by a pagan prince of that country, fled for refuge into North Wales, where he was kindly received by Caswallon, uncle of Maelgwyn Gwynedd, then sovereign of the country, who assigned to him the pleasant tract between the rivers Elwy and Clwyd, the site of the present city. Here Kentigern built a church of wood, and laid the foundation of an extensive monastery, similar to that established at Bangor-Iscoed, which so rapidly increased, that, during the time he presided over it, it is said to have contained not less that 965 brethren, of whom part devoted themselves to religious instruction and the performance of the services of the church, and the remainder to labour and secular pursuits. Maelgwyn, whose seat of government was then at Deganwy, on the river Conway, about eighteen miles distant, was at first opposed to this growing establishment; but he became reconciled to it, and Kentigern having converted him to the Christian faith, he allowed it to be elevated into an episcopal see, which he endowed with several lordships, and invested with many privileges and immunities. On the death of the prince by whom Kentigern had been expelled from North Britain, his successor Roderic, King of the Strath-Clyde Britons, recalled the prelate to his original charge, and reinstated him in the dignities of which he had been deprived: the latter then appointed Asaph, or Hassaph, his successor in the see of Llan-Elwy, which from him obtained the appellation of St. Asaph, by which it has since been known. Asaph, who was a native of North Wales, and eminently distinguished for his piety, dying in 596, was buried in the cathedral church, which had been probably rebuilt of stone during his prelacy. He was subsequently canonized, and his memory was held in such veneration, that the circumstance of his remains having been deposited in the cathedral contributed greatly to its prosperity, and to the high character for sanctity which it afterwards attained.
The history of the see, which includes all events of importance connected with the city, is involved in some obscurity. Its situation near the Marches exposed the latter to the attacks of hostile armies, by which it was often ravaged; and its being also a barrier, on the line of demarcation between the sovereignties of North Wales and Powys, made the city frequently an object of contention in the intestine wars among the native chieftains, by whom it was alternately laid waste. From these causes the records of the successors of Asaph, for a period of nearly 500 years, are lost. We learn, however, from the Welsh Chronicles, and on the authority of Spelman, that the Bishop of St. Asaph was among the suffragan bishops to St. David's who, in 601, were present at the meeting held with St. Augustine and his associates. And though the see may have been occasionally vacant during those times of distraction and tumult, Wharton considers it as certain that the bishops were regularly appointed. Positive mention occurs of Chebur, whom Wynne, in his History of Wales, states to have accompanied a deputation of learned men to Rome, in the year 940, to obtain from the pope a ratification of the celebrated code of laws compiled by Hywel Dda, sovereign of all Wales, at the making of which the Welsh Chronicles and the learned Spelman agree that a bishop of St. Asaph assisted. The monastery continued to flourish till nearly the commencement of the ninth century, about which time the monks were dispersed, but their lands and possessions continued with the see, which, notwithstanding the frequent assaults it experienced, retained possession of its privileges and endowments. In the year 1016, the cathedral church was begun to be rebuilt of stone, chiefly by the munificence of King Ethelred and the Archbishop of Canterbury; it was completed by Canute, soon after he had ascended the throne. Though these acts of munificence were obviously intended to conciliate the affections of the Welsh, they failed in producing the desired effect; the latter expelled all the Saxon ecclesiastics, and declared open war against them. The subsequent benefactions of Edward the Confessor, conferred on the see from the same motive, did not produce a different result; but Harold, after he had taken Rhuddlan, was more successful in his efforts for conciliation, and bestowed on the ecclesiastics considerable portions of land in Disserth.
After the Norman Conquest of England, this place suffered dreadful ravages in the fierce conflicts between the Anglo-Normans and the native chiefs. The city was laid waste, and almost deserted by its inhabitants; the bishops were plundered, and driven from their see; the episcopal chair remained vacant for some years, during this frightful period of war and devastation; and the revenues of the bishopric were seized on by the Crown. In the reign of Henry I., Hewens, Bishop of Bangor, the first Welsh prelate that ever attended an English council, being present at the synod held at Westminster in 1102 before Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, described in forcible terms the great distress to which the Welsh prelates were reduced. Shortly after, an ecclesiastic named Gilbert was appointed to the see of St. Asaph, and consecrated by Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury, assisted by the bishops of London and Rochester; and this authority of consecration, which had been previously exercised by the bishops of St. David's, was retained by the archbishops of Canterbury ever afterwards. Gilbert died in 1152, and was succeeded in the prelacy by Galfrid ab Arthur, commonly called, from the place of his birth, or from his archdeaconry, Geoffrey of Monmouth, who holds a distinguished rank among the ancient monkish chroniclers. On the invasion of North Wales by Henry II., in 1157, Owain Gwynedd, the reigning sovereign, encamped his forces for some time at a hamlet in this parish, which was subsequently called Cîl Owain, or "Owain's retreat;" and afterwards, on the nearer approach of the enemy, he retired to a stronger position at Bryn-y-Pin, five miles west of the city, from which post he frequently descended to skirmish with the English. In 1175, Godfrey, then bishop, was driven from his see by the Welsh, and Adam was appointed his successor: at a council held in London, at which Henry II. was present, that monarch gave to the deposed bishop the abbacy of Abingdon. Reyner, Bishop of the see in 1188, accompanied Baldwin Archbishop of Canterbury, who was then preaching the crusades in Wales; and exerted his personal influence in promoting the object of the primate's exertions within his diocese.
In 1241, a treaty of peace was concluded between Henry III. and Davydd ab Llewelyn, Prince of North Wales, and signed on the part of the latter by the Bishops of Bangor and St. Asaph, at Alnet, on the river Elwy, near this city. On the renewal of hostilities, in 1247, both those prelates, having taken part with their countrymen in resisting the ambitious designs of the English king, had their churches destroyed, and their lands laid waste by the English forces, and were reduced to such a state of destitution, that they were compelled to abandon their respective sees, and to subsist upon alms. The Bishop of St. Asaph retired to the abbey of St. Mary Osney, at Oxford, where he soon afterwards died. After a vacancy of two years, the Dean and Chapter petitioned Henry III. for licence to elect a bishop, and Anian, or Einion, was appointed to the see, and consecrated in 1249. His second successor, who had been confessor to Edward I., by whom his appointment was confirmed in 1268, bore the same name, and was distinguished by the surname of Schonaw: he had been a Dominican friar of Nanney, and was from that circumstance also called, by the Welsh, y Brawd dû o Nannau, "the black brother of Nannau." He obtained for his church, in 1271, from John Fitz-Alan, Earl of Arundel and lord of Oswestry and Clunn, a grant of 100 acres of land at St. Martin's, in acknowledgment of which, he was to present annually at Midsummer a pair of gilt spurs; and in 1276 he received from Edward I. a confirmation of the rights and privileges of his see. Richard, son of Fitz-Alan, confirmed and materially augmented the benefaction of his father; and in 1278, Grufydd Vaughan, lord of Yale, settled upon the bishop and his successors the manor of Llandegla.
During the invasion of the principality by Edward I, the city suffered great devastation, and, in 1282, the cathedral and the houses of the ecclesiastics were burnt to the ground, by a body of English forces in the service of that monarch. Alarmed at this calamitous event, and sensible of the continual danger to which the establishment was exposed, from the defenceless state of the city, which afforded neither shelter nor security against the frequent outrages both of the English and the Welsh, Anian was desirous of removing the seat of his diocese to Rhuddlan, about three miles distant, which, being a fortified place, might afford protection from those devastations to which, during the unsettled state of the principality, St. Asaph was constantly exposed. Edward sanctioned the design of Anian, and offered to grant a site for the erection of a new church, and one thousand marks towards the expense of the building; but the removal was not carried into effect, either from reluctance to abandon the ancient seat, which had acquired a high degree of veneration as the depository of the ashes of St. Asaph, or, as Godwin supposes, through the death of Pope Martin IV., to whom application had been made for licence to remove it; or more probably, as Browne Willis states, in consequence of circular letters from the Archbishop of Canterbury, exhorting the bishop and canons to rebuild the cathedral on its former site. In the year 1284, the building which forms the principal part of the present structure was erected. In the course of the preceding negotiations, matters had been so represented to the king, that he deprived Anian of the prelacy, seized the temporalities for his own use, and entrusted the spiritual management of the see to the Bishop of Wells; but Archbishop Peckham, who visited the see of St. Asaph, in company with the deposed bishop, convinced of the necessity of having a resident prelate, prevailed upon Edward to restore Anian to his see, and he was accordingly reinstated. During the continual struggles between the kings of England and the native princes of Wales, the bishops of St. Asaph were constantly led to embrace either one side or the other; and Leonine de Bromfield, Anian's immediate successor, adhering to the party of Edward, repeatedly excommunicated Madoc, son of Llewelyn, Prince of Wales, for his determined opposition and resistance to the English monarch. This prelate, in 1310, gave four portions of the tithes of the parish to the four vicars choral of his cathedral, for serving the parochial cure; but the vicars have now only four portions of five townships in the parish, the corn tithes of the said townships being divided into five portions, of which the bishop receives one. He also appropriated the rectories of Llansilin and Rhuddlan to the cathedral canons, and that of Llanasaph to the cathedral. He died in 1313, and bequeathed considerable property to the Church, having obtained special licence to that effect from Edward, to whom his goods, like those of other Welsh prelates deceased, would otherwise have escheated. The confirmation of an annual fair on May 1st, the anniversary of the death of St. Asaph, was obtained for the city by Davydd ab Bleuddyn, successor of Leoline, who, besides a grant of certain lands to himself and his successors, also procured a confirmation of the appropriation of Nantglyn church to the vicars choral, for saying mass in the chapel of St. Mary, in St. Asaph, which appears to have been erected about this time.
William de Spridlington, who succeeded to the see in 1375, procured, on account of its poverty, several livings to be held in commendam with it, and one for the better support of the vicars; he also obtained from Edward III. the grant of a weekly market and an annual fair, the former to be held on Monday, and the latter on the 9th of Octaber. Previously to this period, the tenants of the lordship of Llan-Elwy, or St. Asaph, were bound to find six labourers to work throughout the year in the quarry called Red Rock, or at such other work as should be appointed by the bishop, for the maintenance of the cathedral church. In 1381, this prelate released them from the imposition, on condition of their paying annually the sum of ten marks, which is stated by Bishop Godwin to have been paid in his time, and called Ardreth y Garreg Gôch, or "the rent of the red rock." John Trevaur, the second prelate of that name, being detained prisoner in the castle of Flint, in 1399, by Henry, Duke of Lancaster, was induced to pronounce sentence of deposition against his sovereign, Richard II., in favour of this ambitious nobleman, by whom, after the accomplishment of his usurpation, he was sent on an embassy into Spain. During his absence in that country, Owain Glyndwr, exasperated at his adherence and that of his clergy to the cause of the usurper, burnt the cathedral, of which he left only the outer walls standing; destroyed the houses of the canons; and reduced the episcopal palace to ashes. Trevaur, on his return, finding the insurrection of Glyndwr increasing, and his party every day gaining ground, went over to the side of that chieftain, for which reason he was expelled from his see; and being sent to Paris upon an embassy by Owain, he died there in 1410. The political troubles of this reign continuing, the see appears to have remained vacant from the time of his expulsion to his death, and the spiritualties were entrusted to the Abbot of Shrewsbury, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who also issued a mandate to the Archdeacon of Chester, to certify the names of such as preached up rebellion in the diocese of St. Asaph.
After the accession of Edward IV. to the throne, Thomas, Bishop of St. Asaph, being a strenuous adherent of the House of Lancaster, was expelled from his see. During the short restoration of Henry VI., he was reinstated with full possession of all its privileges; but upon Edward's return to power, he was arraigned on a charge of high treason, and, being convicted, was compelled to purchase his pardon by the surrender of the bishopric to Richard Redman, a prudent and learned divine, and a zealous adherent of the House of York. The cathedral, after having lain for eighty years in the desolate condition to which it had been reduced by Glyndwr, was rebuilt by the munificence of this prelate, aided by the liberal contributions of the neighbouring gentry. Bishop Redman, having countenanced the pretensions of Lambert Simnel, the feigned Duke of York, fell under the displeasure of Henry VII.; but unreservedly submitting himself to the clemency of that monarch, he continued to preside over the see till his death. The city for a long period exhibited marks of the desolation it had suffered from the insurgents under Glyndwr, and it was not till nearly a century after, that the episcopal palace was rebuilt by Davydd ab Owen, who also erected a bridge of wood over the river Clwyd, about a quarter of a mile north-east of the city, which was afterwards rebuilt of stone, but is still called Pont Davydd Esgob, or "Bishop David's Bridge."
During the civil commotions in the seventeenth century, St. Asaph suffered dreadful havoc; the revenues of the see were sequestrated by the parliament, the cathedral was desecrated, and converted into a stable for horses and oxen, and the palace was appropriated as a tavern for the sale of liquors. In this degraded state the place continued till the Restoration, when, after a vacancy of nine years, the see was filled by Bishop Griffith, who restored the cathedral, which was afterwards greatly improved by his successor, Dr. Isaac Barrow, who also rebuilt the episcopal palace, and erected and endowed almshouses for eight poor widows. During the prelacy of Dr. John Wynne, a violent hurricane blew down the upper part of the cathedral tower, which, falling into the choir, greatly damaged that part of the building; it was, however, immediately repaired by the bishop and other dignitaries of the see, aided by the gentry and clergy resident in the vicinity.
Among the bishops of St. Asaph, many have been eminently distinguished for learning and piety, and for their sedulous attention to the interests of the see. Bishop Hughes, who was promoted to the diocese in 1573, was a great benefactor both to it and to the city; he procured from the Archbishop of Canterbury a faculty to hold in commendam with the bishopric the archdeaconry of St. Asaph, which until very recently was invariably held by his successors in the see. He died in 1600, and was interred in the cathedral church. The learned William Morgan, an eminent linguist and divine, was one of the principal persons engaged in translating the Bible into the Welsh language, the first edition being printed in 1588; he also assisted in the English version commonly called Queen Elizabeth's Bible. He was translated from Llandaf to this see in 1601, and died in 1604. Parry, the successor of Bishop Morgan, and his coadjutor in the translation of the Bible, was succeeded by John Owen, who introduced the custom of preaching in Welsh in the parochial church of St. Asaph. This latter prelate repaired and beautified the cathedral, in which he placed an organ of large dimensions; and paved the road between the cathedral and the parish church, a portion of which latter he rebuilt: he also enlarged the episcopal palace. Having lived to see the revenues of his diocese sequestrated by the parliament, he died at Aber Kinsi, near St. Asaph, in 1651, and was privately buried in the cathedral, under the bishop's throne. Dr. Isaac Barrow, uncle of the celebrated mathematician of that name, was alike eminent for his munificence and his piety; he greatly promoted the interests of the diocese by his prudence, and the welfare of the city by his benevolence and charity. He died in 1680, at Shrewsbury, from which place his remains were removed to St. Asaph, and interred in the churchyard, near the west door of the cathedral. Dr. William Beveridge, sometimes styled the "Apostolic Beveridge," was equally eminent as a divine, and for his proficiency in oriental literature. He published a treatise on the excellence of the Hebrew, Chaldee, Syriac, Samaritan, and Arabic languages, with a Syriac grammar; and, among numerous devotional works, one entitled "Private Thoughts," which has deservedly acquired a high degree of admiration, and "The Church Catechism Explained, for the use of the diocese of St. Asaph." This excellent prelate, who was promoted to the see in 1704, did not enjoy the dignity for more than three years and some months; he died at Westminster in 1708, and was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral. The same virtues which had adorned his character as a parish-priest, snone conspicuously in his episcopate; contemporary writers speak in the most affectionate terms of this true ornament of the Christian Church, and when he was dying, one of the chief of his order said of him, "There goes one of the greatest, and one of the best men, that England bred." Bishop Fleetwood, who succeeded him, expended large sums of money in repairing and beautifying the cathedral, and materially contributed to the obtaining of an act of parliament, in 1712, for abolishing the custom of mortuaries due from the clergy of his diocese, in lieu of which vexatious source of revenue, the sinecure rectory of Northop was annexed to the see. Dr. Thomas Tanner, the celebrated antiquary, and wellknown author of the Notitia Monastica, for some time presided over the see: he died in 1735, and left his valuable collection of manuscripts to the Bodleian library.
The city is beautifully situated on the gentle acclivity of an eminence, washed on the eastern side by the river Clwyd, and on the western by the river Elwy, which unite at the distance of about a mile to the north. Over the Elwy, at the extremity of the principal street, is a handsome stone bridge of five arches; and over the Clwyd is a fine bridge of more modern erection, within a quarter of a mile to the east of the cathedral. The houses in the principal street are of brick, and in general small, though neatly built; the streets are well paved, but not lighted. Under the provisions of an act of parliament, passed some years ago, for making a new line of road, several handsome houses and pleasing cottages were built, which have greatly improved the appearance of the place. In the construction of the new road, which now forms the best street in the town, an elegant bridge was erected over the river Clwyd, near Bronwylva; the road was raised several feet, in order to avoid a steep hill; and some beautiful plantations were formed on both sides of it, which contribute to render the approach to St. Asaph as picturesque as it is commodious. The view of the city is peculiarly striking: its elevated position near the termination of the rich and fertile Vale of Clwyd, on an eminence crowned with the cathedral, makes it a conspicuous object from every side; and the luxuriant groves of trees in which it is deeply embosomed, give to it a pleasingly romantic appearance. The surrounding scenery, which in every direction abounds with objects of interest and beauty, is seen to great advantage from the eminence on which the city is built, and from the high grounds in the immediate vicinity. From the brow of a hill, about two miles distant from the town, on the road to Holywell, is an extensive view of a portion of the Vale of Clwyd, beautifully diversified with cornfields and meadows, groves and woods, intersected by the windings of the river, and enlivened with numerous pleasing cottages; the whole skirted with rugged and precipitous mountains, except on the right hand, where a fine view of the sea is obtained, bounded in the distance by dark receding mountains. To the south the prospect embraces the town of Denbigh, with the venerable remains of its ancient castle on the lofty summit of an isolated rock; while on the north are seen the ruins of Rhuddlan Castle, forming an interesting object in the distance. The road from St. Asaph to Denbigh is in many parts highly picturesque: the small Vale of Elwy, at the extremity of which is a bridge of one arch over that river, eighty feet in the span, called Pont-yrAllt Gôch, is richly wooded, and abounds with finely varied scenery; the Elwy sometimes rushes along the vale with the impetuosity of a torrent, and is beautifully shaded by the luxuriant foliage on its banks. The market is on Friday; and fairs are held on Easter-Tuesday, July 15th, October 16th, and December 16th, chiefly for cattle. The Chester and Holyhead railway, opened in 1848, passes five miles to the north of the city.
By the act for "Amending the representation of the people in England and Wales," St. Asaph was added to the other boroughs of the county, now eight in number, which unitedly return one member to parliament. The right of election is vested in every person of full age occupying, as owner, or as tenant under the same landlord, a house or other premises of the clear yearly value of not less than ten pounds, provided he be capable of registering as the act directs: the number of houses worth ten pounds per annum and upwards is about eighty. The boundaries of the borough are minutely described in the Appendix. The mayor of Flint is the returning officer. The powers of the county debt-court of St. Asaph, established in 1847, extend over the whole registrationdistrict of St. Asaph, except six parishes, which are under the court at Denbigh.
The diocese appears originally to have comprehended the whole territory of the ancient Princes of Powys. Its jurisdiction afterwards, and till lately, extended over the county of Flint, with the exception of the parishes of Bangor, Overton, Hanmer, Hawarden, and Worthenbury; the whole of Denbighshire, except the deanery of Dyfryn Clwyd, and the chapelries of Holt, Iscoed, and Penley; the hundreds of Edeyrnion, Penllyn, and Talybont and Mowddwy, in the county of Merioneth; the greater part of the county of Montgomery, including thirty-seven parishes; three parishes in the county of Carnarvon; and eleven parishes and chapelries in the county of Salop. By the act 6th and 7th of William IV. c. 77, it was proposed to unite the sees of St. Asaph and Bangor, on the next avoidance of either; but the change being considered injurious to the interests of the Church, the act that was passed in July, 1847, for establishing a bishopric in Manchester, contained a provision also for the preservation of the two Welsh sees. Under this act the diocese of St. Asaph comprises Flintshire and Denbighshire, the eastern part of Montgomeryshire, one deanery in Merionethshire; three or four parishes in Carnarvonshire, on the east bank of the river Conway; and a small part of the county of Salop. The ecclesiastical establishment is formed of the bishop; a dean, who is also chancellor of the diocese; two canons, four cursal canons, four vicars choral, an organist, six lay clerks, six choristers, and other officers. The bishop was formerly also archdeacon; but in 1844, two archdeacons were appointed, one for St. Asaph, the other for Montgomery.
The cathedral consists principally of the structure raised by Bishop Anian, about the year 1284, and, after its demolition by Owain Glyndwr, restored and partly rebuilt by Bishop Redman, towards the close of the fifteenth century, with the exception of the choir, which was partly rebuilt about the year 1770, by the dean and chapter. It is a plain cruciform structure, chiefly in the decorated style of English architecture, with a low embattled tower rising from the intersection of the nave and transepts, and having at the north-east angle a square staircase turret. The exterior is of simple but good design. The nave is of the decorated style, and separated from the aisles by lofty piers and arches, the details of which are plain, but of good character; it is lighted by a range of clerestory windows, square-headed and enriched with ancient tracery, and at the west end by a window of six lights, an elegant composition in the decorated style, enriched with flowing tracery of exquisite design. The transepts, which are also in the decorated style of architecture, are without aisles, and lighted by a range of windows of appropriate character, but not remarkable for their tracery. The choir, which is also without aisles, is of comparatively modern date, and though apparently an imitation of the later style, bears but a faint resemblance to any of the styles of English architecture. At the east end is a window, said to be a fac-simile of the east window in Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire, and which in 1810 was filled with stained glass, at the expense of the dean and chapter, aided by the contributions of the gentry in the neighbourhood, whose armorial bearings are emblazoned in some of the compartments. The choir was very small, scarcely affording accommodation for more than the officiating clergy, but it has lately been enlarged. The south transept is partly fitted up as a chapter-house and library, containing a valuable collection of more than 2000 volumes, which is open to the clergy of the diocese. The whole length of the cathedral, from east to west, is 179 feet, the length of the nave 119 feet, the whole breadth along the transepts 108 feet, and the length of the choir sixty feet: the height of the roof from the pavement is sixty feet, and that of the central tower ninety-three feet. There are few monuments of any interest, and, though many of the bishops have been interred within the walls, scarcely any memorials of them have been erected. An altar-tomb, with a recumbent figure in episcopal robes, is said to commemorate the munificent prelate Davydd ab Owen, who was interred here in 1512; and near the west door is a plain tomb in the churchyard, with an inscription to the memory of Bishop Barrow, who died in 1680. A monument of white marble, to the memory of Dean Shipley, was erected by subscription about the close of the year 1829, at an expense of about £600; it consists of a full-length figure of the dean in his canonicals, in a sitting posture. In the north transept is the handsome altar-tomb of Bishop Luxmoore, who was buried in a vault beneath. The organ, which has lately received several additions and improvements, is much admired by competent judges for the superior quality of its tone, and for its general effect. The churchyard was inclosed with a wall and handsome palisades in 1815, and in the following year was planted with trees and laid out in good taste. The cathedral has undergone a course of repair, out of the funds arising from the tithes of Llanrhaiadr-yn-Mochnant, granted by act of parliament, in the 54th of George III., for that purpose.
The Episcopal Palace, situated at a short distance to the west of the cathedral, was rebuilt, upon a more extensive scale and in an appropriate style, at the expense of Bishop Carey. The Deanery, about a quarter of a mile from the cathedral, and on the west bank of the river Elwy, has also been rebuilt, by the present dean. The canons' houses, which were demolished by Owain Glyndwr, have never been rebuilt. About half a century ago, a curious seal of a Bishop of Llandaf, of the fourteenth or fifteenth century, was found in a garden, near the cathedral; it passed into the possession of the late Mr. Bailey, then organist of the cathedral, and afterwards organist at Chester. The bishop holds his consistory court, which is the only court exercising ecclesiastical jurisdiction within the diocese, either himself or by his surrogate, in the chapter-house, as occasion may require, generally about nine times in the year.
The four vicars choral of the cathedral perform the ecclesiastical duties in rotation, dividing equally among them a part of the tithes of the parish, and also four out of five portions of those of Gwyddelwern, in the county of Merioneth, of which the vicar of that parish receives the fifth; but they have no cure of souls in the parish of St. Asaph. In addition to this they receive a small stipend, styled "preaching money," from the members of the chapter. The net income arising to them from the tithes of this parish is £179. The Parochial Church, dedicated to St. Asaph and St. Kentigern, is situated at the base of the eminence crowned by the cathedral, and consists of two parallel aisles, called respectively Eglwys Asaph and Eglwys Cyndeirn, St. Asaph's and St. Kentigern's churches. It is a small edifice without a tower, and is supposed to have been erected about the year 1524. The interior contains two monuments of white marble, one of them to the memory of Thomas Humphreys, Esq., of Bôd-Elwyddan, commonly called Bôdlewyddan, who bequeathed a sum of money for charitable purposes to the parish. In the churchyard, which is very spacious, are some ancient tombs, said to have been brought from Rhuddlan Abbey, two miles distant: they are of stone, and in the form of coffins, most of them having on the lids a sword and spade sculptured; one, which wants this ornament, has in lieu of it a shield with a lion rampant, beneath which passes a sword grasped by a hand, and round it the inscription "Hic jacet Ranulfus de Smalwode." There are places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, Independents, Wesleyans, and Baptists.
Certain lands were assigned by Bishop Hughes for the endowment of a free grammar school, but the grant being conditional, and the contingencies referred to not happening, it did not take effect. A grammar school is endowed, however, with part of the produce of 121 acres of land given in trust to the vicars of St. Asaph, on the expiration of certain lives, by Mrs. Elizabeth Williams, of Siamber Wen, by will dated October 25th, 1729. The lands were left for education and the clothing of poor people, the proportion of the income for each purpose not being specified: £35 are paid out of the rents to the master, and his salary is increased by a rent-charge of £5 upon a farm in the parish, left by a donor now unknown; and by the interest of £200, bequeathed by Mr. Hutchinson, of Wrexham, in 1829. The number of free boys in the school is limited to thirty. The building consists of a schoolroom, and small apartment attached for the use of the master; the school was formerly held in the cathedral churchyard, but was removed at the expense of the dean and chapter. A day and Sunday National school for boys, established in 1833, is supported by donations and subscriptions, and by an endowment of £7. 4. 9. out of the interest of a bequest of £400 by Bishop Barrow, the residue being applied to the support of his almshouses; the number of boys in attendance is about one hundred. There is also a day and Sunday school for girls in connexion with the Church, supported by subscription, and containing about seventy scholars; and in the park of Bôdlewyddan are two schools, for boys and girls respectively, maintained by Sir John and Lady Williams. The dissenters have six Sunday schools in the parish.
Almshouses for eight poor widows were founded in 1678, by Bishop Barrow, who left the above sum of £400, half for these almshouses, and half towards the maintenance of a free school at St. Asaph, which he had intended to build: he died, however, in 1680, before he had carried the design into effect. The almshouses, having fallen into decay, were rebuilt by Bishop Bagot. The widows are appointed alternately by the bishop and dean, and the families of Cevn and Llanerch; and in addition to £6 per annum from Bishop Barrow's bequest, they receive £25 per annum, the rent of two parcels of land in Gwernglevryd, comprising fourteen acres, purchased in 1747 with the produce of some consolidated charities, amounting to £150, including a bequest by Thomas Humphreys, of £60, for various charitable purposes, in 1696. Besides the above endowments, there have been given for charitable uses, £20 each by Margaret Lloyd in 1720, and Ellen Lloyd in 1726, to the poor of Meriadog and Wigvair; £100 by the Rev. William Lloyd in 1732, and £20 by Susannah Lloyd in 1750, for the poor of the parish in general; and £60 by the Rev. Robert Lloyd, to the poor of Bôdlewyddan, Bryn Paulin, Meriadog, Gwernglevryd, Talar, Vaynol, and Wigvair. These and other bequests are invested in the St. Asaph turnpike-trust, and the Denbigh and Rhuddlan trust, to the amount of £260. A portion of land also, now producing £12 per annum, was left by Thomas Foulkes for the poor. This sum, and the interest of £210 out of the £260, together with the residue of the income from Mrs. Elizabeth Williams's lands, are distributed among the poor of the parish in clothing; the interest of the remaining £50 of the £260 is expended in clothing for the poor of Meriadog and Wigvair only. A poor boy of the parish may receive benefit from Dr. George Smith's charity at Northop. The poor-law union of which this place is the head, was formed April 10th, 1837, and comprises sixteen parishes; namely, Abergele, St. Asaph, Bettws-yn-Rhôs, Bôdvari, Cwm, Denbigh, Dyserth, Hênllan, Kegidock or St. George's, Llandulas, Llansannan, Llanvair-Talhairn, Llanyvydd, Meliden with Prestatyn, Rhuddlan with Rhyl, and Tremerchion. It is under the superintendence of twenty-four guardians, and contains a population of 23,568, of whom 15,201 are in Denbighshire, and 8367 in the county of Flint.
Near the river Elwy, in the hamlet of Wigvair (which see), is Fynnon Vair, or "the well of Our Lady," situated in a richly wooded dell. This spring, which is inclosed in a polygonal basin of hewn stone, discharges about one hundred gallons per minute: the water is strongly impregnated with lime, and was formerly much resorted to as a cold bath. Connected with the well are the ruined walls of a cruciform chapel, which, prior to the Reformation, was a chapel of ease to St. Asaph, in the later style of English architecture: these remains are partly overgrown with ivy; and the ruin, elegant in itself, derives additional interest from the beauty of its situation. There are numerous elegant mansions in the parish, among which the most conspicuous are, Bôdlewyddan, the seat of Sir John Williams, Bart., lately enlarged or rebuilt in the English castellated style; Pengwern, the hospitable seat of Lord Mostyn, erected about the beginning of the last century; Cevn, rebuilt in the Elizabethan style of architecture; and Bronwylva, the residence of Colonel Sir Thomas Henry Browne, erected in the year 1660, and enlarged in 1816. In this last mansion are some valuable trophies, taken during the late war, including Napoleon Buonaparte's travelling map and books of roads of the French empire, in splendid Morocco cases, emblazoned with the imperial arms, taken from his library at Fontainbleau in the year 1815; and a French field-marshal's baton, two feet three inches in length, covered with purple velvet ornamented with golden bees, and surmounted with an imperial crown, taken in Silesia, in 1812, by a division of Blucher's corps. Mrs. Hemans, the poetess, resided for some time at Bronwylva.
In the hamlet of Meriadog are some magnificent natural caverns, extending for a considerable distance into the limestone rocks. In some parts of these the roof is more than forty feet in height; and near the river Elwy the base of the rock is perforated by a lofty natural arch, twenty-one yards in length, and thirtysix feet high, through which is a road capable of admitting a wagon loaded with hay. Various fossil remains have been found in the caverns; among which are, the skull of some remarkably large animal, with the teeth, of corresponding size, perfectly enamelled; and the tongue of an animal, as large as a deer's tongue, of which the form and grain were perfect, though the relic was completely petrified.
ASTON, a township, in the parish of Hawarden, union of Great Boughton, hundred of Mold, county of Flint, North Wales, 2 miles (N. by W.) from Hawarden; containing 303 inhabitants. On a gentle eminence stands the residence of Aston Hall. The Chester and Holyhead railway passes in the vicinity, about a mile from the mansion.
ASTON, a township, in the parish of Lydham, lower division of the hundred of Montgomery, county of Montgomery, North Wales, 6 miles (S. E. by E.) from Montgomery; containing 70 inhabitants. This township, which is situated on the border of Shropshire, on the road from Bishop'sCastle to Montgomery, formerly composed part of the manor of Teirtrêv, or "the three townships," which had a chapel attached; but subsequently this manor was divided, and Aston was connected with the parish of Lydham, the greater part of which is in the hundred of Purslow, county of Salop. It forms one of the eighteen parishes and townships incorporated for the support of their poor in the house of industry at Forden.
ATHAN, ST., a parish, in the union of Bridgend and Cowbridge, hundred of Cowbridge, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 5 miles (S. S. E.) from Cowbridge; containing 379 inhabitants. This place, according to Dr. Malkin, derives its name from St. Tathan, a nephew and one of the disciples of St. Iltutus, who lived here in retirement, about the commencement of the sixth century, and founded the parish church, in which, returning after an absence of several years, he was interred, and of which he became the tutelar saint. The parish is pleasantly situated in the most fertile part of the vale of Glamorgan, bordering upon the Bristol Channel, to which the village extends, and near the small port of Aberthaw, which is a creek to the port of Cardiff. The scenery is beautifully diversified with hill and dale, and the air is remarkably salubrious. The neighbourhood abounds with excellent limestone, the working of which, for burning as an article of manure, affords employment to such of the poorer inhabitants as are not engaged in agriculture. The living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at £15. 9. 7.; present net income, £369, with a glebe-house; patrons, the Rayer family. The church contains two monuments to the Berkrolles family. There are places of worship for Wesleyans and Calvinistic Methodists. A day school in connexion with the Established Church, commenced in the year 1843, is partly supported by subscription; and two Sunday schools are gratuitously conducted, one of them in the premises of the day school, and the other in the meeting-house of the Calvinistic body. Several persons of the names of Walter and Spencer, upwards of a century since, gave a sum of £45 for the use of the poor, twothirds of which are vested in the Cowbridge turnpiketrust, and the other third is in private hands; the interest of the whole is regularly distributed among three or four poor parishioners, under the directions of the select vestry. Another charity, amounting to £20, the gift of several persons, has been lost by the insolvency of the party to whom the money was lent.
On the edge of an abrupt acclivity, in the parish, are the venerable remains of East Orchard Castle, erected by Roger Berkrolles, or Berclos, upon whom this lordship was bestowed at the time of the Conquest, he being one of the twelve knights who accompanied the Norman adventurer Fitz-Hamon. A small rivulet winds pleasingly round the eminence on which the castle is built, and the ruined walls, mantled with ivy, present an object highly picturesque. Berclos is said to have divided his lands with the original proprietor, and out of his reserved moiety to have afforded subsistence to other families who had been dispossessed of their property by the Normans.
ATPAR, a hamlet, in the parish of Llandyvriog, union of Newcastle-Emlyn, upper division of the hundred of Troedyraur, county of Cardigan, South Wales: the population is returned with the parish. This place was formerly one of the contributory boroughs within the county, united in returning a member to parliament; but, according to the late Sir S. R. Meyrick, it forfeited its franchise by misconduct, being deprived of the privilege by a vote of the House of Commons, in 1742. It has, however, by the act for "Amending the representation of the people in England and Wales," been restored to the enjoyment of the elective franchise, and, in conjunction with Aberystwith and Lampeter, shares with Cardigan in the return of one member. The right of election is vested in every male person of full age occupying, as owner, or as tenant under the same landlord, a house or other premises of the clear yearly value of not less than ten pounds, provided he be capable of registering as the act directs. The number of these tenements within the limits of the borough, which include the hamlet of NewcastleEmlyn on the other side of the river Teivy, is seventy-eight. The mayor of Cardigan is the returning officer. Atpar is said to have been a borough by prescription, and was anciently governed by a portreeve, recorder, and two bailiffs. The burgesses were made upon the presentment of a jury, which consisted apparently of the proprietors of burgages; and were accustomed to vote, whether resident or not, for the election of a member: at present there are no burgesses alive. A belief prevails among the inhabitants, that the charter was destroyed by a fire which occurred within the memory of some now (or lately) living, and in which, there can be no doubt, many of the documents of the borough perished. The hamlet is situated on the northern bank of the Teivy, and is connected by a stone bridge with Newcastle-Emlyn, the two places forming one town of the latter name. Atpar comprises within its limits an elegant villa, called Atpar Hill; and the residence of Emlyn Cottage.