A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1849.
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Vaenol, or Vaynol
VAENOL, or VAYNOL, a township, in the parish and union of St. Asaph, hundred of Rhuddlan, county of Flint, North Wales; containing 209 inhabitants. This place until lately constituted a prebend in the Cathedral Church of St. Asaph. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £398. 10. 2.
Vainor, or Vaynor (Y Faenor or Maenor)
VAINOR, or VAYNOR (Y FAENOR or MAENOR), a parish, in the union of MerthyrTydvil, hundred of Pencelly, county of Brecknock, South Wales, 3½ miles (N. by E.) from Merthyr-Tydvil; containing 2286 inhabitants. This parish comprises the hamlets of Coedycummer, Dyfryn, and Gelly, in which last is the church; and is situated on the Lesser Tâf river, about two miles to the left of the turnpike-road from Brecknock to Merthyr-Tydvil. It comprises 6660 acres, of which about 4000 are common or waste land; the remainder produces very good crops of grain, and excellent pasturage for sheep and cattle. The surrounding scenery is pleasingly diversified, and the country abounds with interesting objects; the views over the counties of Brecknock, Monmouth, and Glamorgan, are extensive and picturesque. Limestone is found in various parts, and the procuring of it affords employment to a portion of the inhabitants; the people are chiefly engaged in agriculture, and in the ironworks at Merthyr-Tydvil. For the accommodation of persons occupied in the works of that place the village of Coedycummer, in this parish, appears to have arisen; it is built upon a tract of common, without any regard to regularity or order, and is almost exclusively inhabited by persons employed in the works, since the establishment of which the parish has greatly increased in population. Some leadore has been occasionally discovered above Coedycummer, near the turnpike-road, though not in sufficient quantity to remunerate the labours of the miner. Two woollen manufactories have been carried on for some years; but the number of people engaged is very inconsiderable.
The living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at £8. 3. 11½., and in the patronage of the Crown; present gross income, £292, arising from tithes producing £260, and the glebe land £32. The advowson, prior to the Reformation, was vested in the lords of Brecknock, but was forfeited on the attainder of the Duke of Buckingham, in the reign of Henry VIII., since which time it has remained with the princedom of Wales. The church, dedicated, according to some authorities, to St. Gwundoline, and, as others state, to St. Gwenvrwi, is an ancient edifice, consisting of a nave, chancel, and small tower, and is pleasantly situated on the western bank of the Lesser Tâf, upon a shelving ledge of ground, which appears to have subsided from the adjoining hill, or to have been torn from it by some violent convulsion. It is a dark, low building, not possessing any architectural claim to notice. In the outside wall is a stone commemorating the decease of a woman who lived during seven successive reigns, and died at the advanced age of 108 years. The parsonage-house is an indifferent building, with about twenty-seven acres of glebe land attached. There are places of worship for Independents, Calvinistic Methodists, and others; two Sunday schools in connexion with the Established Church, and four connected with the dissenters.
An ancient stone, with an inscription greatly defaced, and which is supposed to have been part of an old cross, was formerly placed within a hundred yards of the twelfth milestone on the turnpike-road from Brecknock to Merthyr, as a gate-post in a wall on the right-hand side of the road. At present, however, it is not to be found, having been removed of late years. These crosses, in remote periods, were used for a variety of purposes: they were principally set up as landmarks, for the division of property; when placed in a hedge, they prohibited foot-passengers from making a path across the field; when on the road-side, and inscribed with the name of one of the primitive fathers of the British Church, they were intended to denote that Christianity had been preached in that place, and to inspire sentiments of devotion in the minds of travellers. In process of time they multiplied exceedingly, and there is scarcely a parish in the principality which did not once contain several of them. There are numerous carneddau, or heaps of stones, in the parish; two of which are particularly distinguished, and are named respectively Y Garn Wen, and Y Garn Ddû, or "the white" and "the black cairns." Near the church is a natural cavern, called Ogov Glaig, from which issues a small brook; and in the same vicinity is an artificial mound, or barrow, but nothing is known of its origin, though it may probably have been raised over the remains of some persons of eminence interred here. In various parts are pannau, or cavities, which are very common in limestone tracts. Hywel Rhŷs, a poet of considerable genius, though poor and unlettered, and who was author of several productions of considerable merit, was born in the parish; he died in 1799.
VAINOR (FAENOR-LÂS), a hamlet, in the parish of Glâscomb, union of Kington, hundred of Colwyn, county of Radnor, South Wales, 8 miles (E.) from Builth; containing 303 inhabitants. This hamlet is situated between the Glâscomb and Bryngwyn hills; and a small stream, which flows into the river Edwy, passes through it. Vainor forms onehalf of the parish, of which the hamlet of Drewern constitutes the other. At a place called Little Hill are four upright stones, erected, it is said, to commemorate a battle fought in the neighbourhood.
VAINOR (FAENOR), a hamlet, in the parish of Nantmel, union and hundred of Rhaiadr, county of Radnor, South Wales, 3 miles (E. N. E.) from Rhaiadr; containing 262 inhabitants. It comprises a vale in the upper part of the parish, near the source of the Dulas stream, which flows into the river Ithon.
VAINOR-ISA (FAENOR-ISÂF), a township, in the parish of Llanbadarn-Vawr, union of Aberystwith, Lower division of the hundred of Geneu'rGlyn, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 1 mile (N. N. E.) from Aberystwith; containing 202 inhabitants. It lies on the sea-coast, and has several pleasing residences. A portion of it is included within the boundaries of the contributory borough of Aberystwith, to the schools at which place the children of the township have access. The Duke of Leeds, as lord of the manor of Vainor, receives five shillings per ton on the coal brought coastwise to Aberystwith, by virtue of a grant made by Charles I.
VAINOR-UCHA (FAENOR-UCHÂF), a township, in the parish of Llanbadarn-Vawr, poorlaw union of Aberystwith, Lower division of the hundred of Geneu'r-Glyn, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 2 miles (E. N. E.) from Aberystwith; containing 367 inhabitants. The northern part of this township is partially wooded; and here are some large upright stones, standing apart, which are apparently of great antiquity: it is bounded on the south by the river Rheidiol.
VAN, a township, in the parish of Bedwas, union of Cardiff, hundred of Caerphilly, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 1 mile (E.) from Caerphilly; containing 58 inhabitants. The remainder of the parish is in the hundred of Wentlloog, county of Monmouth, and is connected with this township by Bedwas bridge, across the river Romney, which separates the two counties.
VARCHWEL, a hamlet, in the parish of Guilsfield, partly in the hundred of Pool, and partly in the liberties of the borough of Welshpool, county of Montgomery, North Wales, 4 miles (N. E.) from Welshpool; containing 212 inhabitants. The Guilsfield branch of the Montgomeryshire canal commences near this hamlet. The tithes of Varchwel, Burgedin, and Rholescyn, have been commuted for £344 payable to the Dean and Chapter of ChristChurch, Oxford, and £117 payable to the vicar of Guilsfield. The impropriate and vicarial glebes comprise two acres each.
VELINDRE (TRÊF-Y-FELIN), with Trêgoed, a township, in the union of Hay, in that part of the parish of Glàsbury which is in the hundred of Tàlgarth, county of Brecknock, in South Wales, 4 miles (S. W.) from Hay; containing 410 inhabitants. It is situated at the north-western extremity of the Black Mountains of Tàlgarth. Trêgoed, in the hamlet of that name, is the seat of Viscount Hereford; and in the hamlet of Velindre is Gwernyvet, formerly the seat of the family of Williams, but now a farmhouse, and the property of Colonel Wood, in right of his mother, who was the daughter of the late Sir Edward Williams. The unfortunate monarch, Charles I., in his wanderings in this part of the country after the battle of Naseby, dined with Sir Henry Williams at Gwernyvet, on the 6th of August, 1645. At Velindre was situated a chapel of ease (demolished about the middle of the last century); also what was called the Lord's mill, which is implied in the name, signifying "mill-town." There are places of worship for Baptists and Independents, the latter endowed with a farm designated Blaenau Bâch, in the parish, said to have been purchased with the aggregate amount of several small bequests and donations, and now yielding a rental of £20. In 1612, Sir David Williams, of Gwernyvet, left twenty shillings per annum, to be paid out of the tithes of Gwenddwr, towards repairing the road from Velindre to Tyie Glâs; thirty shillings from the same source, to the poor of Velindre and Aberllynvi; and £5 a year, to be distributed either in food or clothing, to the most distressed poor in the neighbourhood of Gwernyvet, the family seat. The property left for these purposes having very much increased in value, the sum of £8. 0. 6. is now paid towards the repair of the road; £6. 8. 6. as the bequest for the poor of Velindre and Aberllynvi; and £22. 2. 6. are distributed in meat and clothing to the poor resident about Gwernyvet.
VELINDRE, a hamlet, in the parish of Llangendeirn, hundred of Kidwelly, union and county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 6 miles (S. S. E.) from Carmarthen; containing 335 inhabitants. This hamlet is situated on the northern declivity of some elevated ground, about a mile and a quarter to the south of the parochial church.
VENNI-VÂCH, a township, in the parish of St. John the Evangelist, Brecknock, hundred of Merthyr-Cynog, union and county of Brecknock, South Wales, 1½ mile (W.) from the town of Brecknock; containing 148 inhabitants. This place is beautifully situated under a luxuriant wood, facing the south, to which circumstance may be attributed the numerous verandas that embellish the cottages, and add so much to their picturesque appearance. The township is bounded on the west by the river Yscir, and on the south by the Usk. At its western extremity, and in the angle formed by the rivers Usk and Yscir at their confluence here, stood Caer Vong, or Caer Bannau, the ancient metropolis of Bleddyn ab Maenarch, which was razed to the ground by Bernard Newmarch. This Norman invader, having defeated Bleddyn in battle, and usurped his territories, built a fortress for their defence near the confluence of the Honddû with the Usk, for the erection of which the remains of Caer Vong furnished materials, and also for building the town of Brecknock, which rose from its ruins around the newly constructed fortress. Caer Vong, now called The Gaer, is supposed to have been originally the site of one of the earliest stations of the Romans, in the province of Britannia Secunda. According to Mr. Strange, who has described it in the Archæologia, it forms a quadrilateral area, 624 feet in length, and 426 feet wide, rounded at the angles. The foundation of the wall by which it is inclosed is still entire, and is seven feet in thickness: in some places this wall is remaining to the height of from three to six feet above the ground, with some of the facings entire. A fragment of brick inscribed LEG. II. AVG., two gold coins of the Emperor Nero, and a silver coin of Trajan, discovered at this place, were, according to Mr. Strange, in the possession of the proprietor of the soil. About a quarter of a mile from the farmhouse now occupying part of the area, in a lane leading to Brecknock, is a stone, about six feet in height, having two figures rudely cut on it in relief, and part of a Latin inscription.
At a short distance from The Gaer, towards the east, were the lines of a British encampment, plainly discernible till overspread by the luxuriant woods of Venni; they are now entirely concealed by those woods, and consequently not to be traced without the greatest difficulty. A mile to the north-east is Peny-Crûg, one of the largest and most perfect remains of the strongholds of the ancient Britons in South Wales. Its form is elliptical, including an area nearly 600 yards in circuit, defended all round by three high ramparts, which are for the greater part entire. It occupies a commanding situation on the summit of a lofty hill, overlooking the town of Brecknock, and having the only entrance on the east. The prospect from this height is very extensive and exceedingly beautiful, comprehending the Vale of Usk, with the winding course of the river from below Bwlch to the tastefully disposed grounds of Penpont and Abercamlais. On the south rises the magnificent chain of mountains called the Beacons, and on the north is the small but highly picturesque Vale of Honddû. Among the numerous interesting objects which this splendid view embraces are, the ivymantled ruins of Brecknock Castle; the venerable towers of St. John's and St. Mary's churches; the luxuriant woods of Pennoyre, Frwdgrêch, Dinas, Penpont, and Venni; and the numberless heights of varied aspect which fill up a large tract of country, abounding in beauty and variety, and combining the most prominent features of pleasingly picturesque and strikingly romantic scenery. Upon an eminence formerly called Pen-Cevn-y-Gaer, and now Slwch Tump, at the eastern extremity of the parish, are the remains of an encampment, similar in form to that of Pen-y-Crûg, but of smaller dimensions, defended by a double fosse, which is in some places nearly destroyed.
Verwic (Y Ferwig)
VERWIC (Y FERWIG), a parish, in the Lower division of the hundred of Troedyraur, union and county of Cardigan, South Wales, 2¼ miles (N.) from Cardigan; containing 456 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated on the coast of St. George's Channel, is celebrated in the Welsh annals for the resistance opposed by the natives to a body of invading Flemings. The latter had effected a landing on a part of the beach, called Traeth-y-Mount; and in the desperate battle which ensued, these invaders were defeated with dreadful carnage, and their dead bodies were strewn in heaps on the sands. This conflict took place on the first Sunday after Newyear's day, which, from that event, was styled Sul Côch, or "the red Sunday," and the battle was fought near a farm named Nant-y-Flynion, from the small brook in the neighbourhood, close to which the enemy landed. The bones of the slaughtered Flemings buried on the coast, are still discoverable when the sands are scattered by the winds. The parish is skirted by the river Teivy, and comprises about 3000 acres, of which one-sixth part is common or waste. The river abounds with salmon, trout, turbot, dories, sewin, and various other kinds of fish, in taking which the inhabitants are chiefly employed during the season.
The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £10. 13. 4., endowed with £200 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor; impropriators, Arthur Jones, Esq., and the Miles family. A rent-charge of £240 has been awarded as a commutation in lieu of tithes, of which sum the impropriators receive two-thirds and the vicar one-third. The church, dedicated to St. Pedrog, is a small ancient edifice, and consists of a nave and chancel separated by a large pointed arch, with a tower communicating with the nave by a similar arch of smaller dimensions; the font is elaborately ornamented, and over the porch is the date 1627. There are places of worship for Baptists and Calvinistic Methodists, with a Sunday school held in each of them. On a tenement here is to be seen a barrow, from which it has obtained the name of Crûg, but nothing is known of the origin of the work.
VORLAN, a township, in the parish of St. Mary's, or Maenclochog, union of Narberth, hundred of Dungleddy, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 9 miles (N. by W.) from Narberth; containing 47 inhabitants. This township is of very small extent, and the vicar of the parish was formerly the only inhabitant of it that was assessed to the relief of the poor.
VRO, a parcel, in the parish of Llangynider, union and hundred of Crickhowel, county of Brecknock, South Wales; containing 542 inhabitants. The parochial church is situated here. The parcel is bounded on the north-east by the river Usk, and on the north-west by the Crawnon brook, which flows into that river near where an ancient castle is said to have stood. A bridge crosses the Usk, on the line of road leading from Crickhowel to Brecknock and to Tàlgarth. The Brecknock canal passes through the place, along the western bank of the river; and the hills abound with limestone, the quarrying and burning of which afford employment to many of the inhabitants.
VRO, a hamlet, in the parish of Llanthetty, hundred of Pencelly, union and county of Brecknock, South Wales, 7 miles (N.) from MerthyrTydvil; containing 324 inhabitants. It comprises a portion of the upper part of the Lesser Tâf valley, which contains some pleasing scenery; and includes Tâf Vechan chapel, the living of which is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £800 royal bounty, and £200 parliamentary grant: patron, the Rector of Llanthetty parish.
VYNNE (FINAU), a lordship, in the parish of Aberguilly, Lower division of the hundred of Elvet, union and county of Carmarthen, South Wales; containing 544 inhabitants. This place belongs to the Bishop of St. David's, and possesses some peculiar privileges, distinct from the rest of the parish. A court leet is regularly held, and a portreeve and constables are appointed. A rate is also collected for the repairs of the roads, exclusively of that for the rest of the parish; but there is no separate assessment for the maintenance of the poor.