A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1849.
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Bachelden, or Bacheldre
BACHELDEN, or BACHELDRE, a township, in that part of the parish of Churchstoke which is in the hundred of Cawrse, in the incorporation of Forden, county of Montgomery, North Wales; containing 137 inhabitants. The tithes of this township, and of Lower Hopton, which are payable to the warden of Trinity Hospital in Clun, have been commuted for a rent-charge of £166.
BÂCHYMBYD, with Ysceibion, a hamlet, in the parish of Llanynys, union and hundred of Ruthin, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 2 miles (N. W.) from Ruthin: the population is returned with the parish. It is situated near the left bank of the Clywedog, which falls into the river Clwyd a short distance off. Lord Bagot has a fine seat here, remarkable for its pleasant situation, and the extent of its ancient woods, some of the chestnut-trees having acquired a very large growth: the estate came into the possession of this noble family by the marriage of Sir Walter Bagot with Jane, daughter and sole heiress of Charles Salusbury, Esq.
BADLAND, with Kinnerton and Salford, a hamlet, in the parish of Old Radnor, within the liberties of the borough of New Radnor, union of Kington, county of Radnor, North Wales, 2 miles (N. E.) from New Radnor: the population is returned with Kinnerton.
BAGILLT, a rising town and hamlet, in the parish and union of Holywell, Holywell division of the hundred of Coleshill, county of Flint, North Wales, 3 miles (E. by S.) from Holywell; containing about 2300 inhabitants. This place, which is divided into Bagillt-Vawr and Bagillt-Vechan, is situated close on the southern shore of the estuary of the Dee, on a road which, branching off from the great Chester and Holyhead road at Northop, runs through Flint, and rejoins the main line at Holywell. The Chester and Holyhead railway also, opened in 1848, passes by Bagillt. The Halkin mountain, rich in mineral treasures, rises on the south-west; and on the western side of this eminence, the ancient line of demarcation called Wat's Dyke proceeds through the township to its termination by the Dee, near Basingwerk Abbey. Here are very extensive collieries, affording employment to upwards of 250 men, and yielding annually more than 40,000 tons of coal, which is chiefly exported coastwise to Ireland, the Isle of Man, Liverpool, and the distant parts of North Wales. There are also at this increasing place three separate and extensive establishments for smelting lead-ore, which annually produce upwards of 25,000 tons of that metal; and connected with them are refineries for extracting from the lead the proportion of silver which it contains: the amount of the latter metal thus annually procured, averages above 300,000 ounces. Subordinate to these principal establishments are extensive works for manufacturing the lead into sheets, pipes, and bars; and in the various departments nearly 600 men are constantly employed. Steam-vessels, which maintained a constant communication between Holywell and Liverpool, used to ply daily between the latter place and the quay at Bagillt, but they have been discontinued.
A church, dedicated to St. Mary, a beautiful structure in the pointed style, was erected some years ago, chiefly by the munificence of the late David Pennant, Esq., and the aid of Jesus' College, Oxford. The living is a perpetual curacy; income, £150; patron, the Vicar of Holywell. A National school has been built near the church, capable of containing 230 children; an infants' school is also supported in connexion with the Established Church, together with a Sunday school. There are places of worship for Independents, and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists; a British school is supported by the dissenters, and they have three Sunday schools. Between Gadlys and Pentre Bagillt is an eminence, called Bryn Dychwelwch, or "the Return Hill," from a tradition that it is the spot where Henry II. gave the order to his forces to retreat, when engaged in the battle of Counsyllt, or Coleshill; for the particulars of which, see the article on Holywell.
BAGLAN, a parish, in the union and hundred of Neath, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 4 miles (S.) from Neath, on the road to Cardiff; comprising the townships of Higher and Lower Baglan, and containing 548 inhabitants, of whom 137 are in Higher, and 411 in Lower, Baglan. This parish, which comprises 2500 acres, is delightfully situated in the midst of rich and beautifully diversified scenery, bounded on one side by mountains whose acclivities are thickly wooded, and commanding over the lower grounds a magnificent view of Swansea bay. The beauty of its situation, and the local advantages it possesses, have made it a favourite place of residence; and within its limits, in addition to the neat cottages which are profusely scattered over its surface, is a greater number of gentlemen's seats than is usually to be found in a single parish. The village has an air of rural simplicity, and a prepossessing appearance of cheerfulness and tranquillity. The soil is of different kinds, part being meadow and grazing land of good quality, and some tolerably good arable land; but the greater portion of the parish consists of mountainous ground, affording merely pasturage for sheep, and on the side next the sea are extensive banks and plains of sand. There are several veins of coal of a good bituminous quality, of which some are worked; and a considerable quantity of fine clay is obtained, part of which is used in the manufacture of earthenware, and part conveyed to the different copper-works in the neighbourhood; together with some iron-ore, which is smelted at the Neath Abbey iron-works. A creek, called Baglan Pill, which falls into the Neath a little below BritonFerry, affords a facility for conveying the produce of the mines, and other commodities, in craft of from twenty to thirty tons' burthen. The great South Wales railway, also, will pass near Baglan.
The living is a consolidated vicarage with that of Aberavon, both endowed with the great tithes. The church, dedicated to St. Baglan, is a neat and appropriate building, and the churchyard is shaded with yew-trees of luxuriant growth. In 1844 a National school for boys and girls was established at Pant-y-Swan; it is supported by subscription, and intended for the parish of Briton-Ferry as well as this parish. In 1846 a school was commenced at Tonmawr, which is maintained by a stoppage of 6d. per month on the wages of the men, and 3d. on the wages of the boys, employed by the Tonmawr Coal Company. There are also three Sunday schools in the parish, one of them in connexion with the Church, held in the National school; one held by the Calvinistic Methodists in their place of worship, by Pant-y-Swan; and the third belonging to the Independents, held near the Tonmawr colliery. A sum of £2 per annum, chargeable upon the turnpike-trust of the Neath district, is annually distributed among the poor, together with two sums amounting to 7s. 6d.; the whole principally arising from a donation of £30 by Richard o'r Bwlch, and one of £12. 10. made by George Williams of Blaen Baglan.
Of the gentlemen's seats with which the parish is adorned, the principal are, Balgan House, the residence of Howel Gwyn, Esq., once the residence of the Rev. William Thomas, by whom it was built, the friend of Mason and Gray, who were his occasional visiters; Baglan Hall, the seat of Griffith Llewellyn, Esq.; Baglan Cottage and Greenfield Lodge, two ornamental cottage residences on the road-side, both the property of that gentleman; and Baglan Lodge. Mynydd-Gaer, in the parish, a small circular intrenchment, is supposed to be either of British or of Danish origin.
BALA, a township, market and assize town, and the head of a union, in the parish of Llanycil, hundred of Penllyn, county of Merioneth, North Wales, 18 miles (N. E.) from Dôlgelley, and 204 (N. W. by W.) from London; containing 1257 inhabitants. This place derives its name, which signifies "a running out," from its situation near the efflux of the Dee from the adjoining lake of Llyn Tegid. Its early history is involved in obscurity, and nothing peculiarly remarkable has been with certainty recorded of it. The high artificial mount called Tommen-y-Bala, at the south-eastern extremity of the town, is thought to have been constructed by the Romans, who built a small fortress upon its summit, to protect the pass towards the sea, and overawe the turbulent inhabitants of the district. This mount was afterwards used by the Welsh, as one of a chain of forts which they established across this portion of the principality, for the purpose of defending themselves against the invasions of the lords-marcher. A branch of the Roman Watling-street, passing from the station Mediolanum, in Montgomeryshire, to that of Heriri Mons, near Festiniog, proceeded through or very near the present town of Bala; and at the upper end of the lake, the remains of a Roman station, now called Caer Gai, are very conspicuously situated, around which a great quantity of Roman bricks lie scattered. A castle was erected here, in 1202, by Llewelyn ab Iorwerth, Prince of North Wales, probably, as Mr. Pennant supposes, on or near the site of a more ancient castelet, called "Castell Gronw Bevr o Benllyn." Some vestiges of it are still traceable on the eastern side of the Dee, near the point where that river emerges from the lake. Bala was probably dependent upon the castle of Harlech, and in the reign of Edward II. was committed to the custody of Einion de Stanedon, constable of that castle: in the reign of Edward III. both these places were given in fee-farm to Walter de Manni, a distinguished military commander, who was appointed sheriff of this county for life.
The town, which consists of one wide street and a smaller one, not lighted, but well supplied with water, is situated on the road from Dôlgelley to Corwen, near the north-western extremity of the lake; and although in an unfertile district, and destitute of all the advantages derived from water-carriage, in appearance it is excelled by few towns in the principality. The surrounding country consists chiefly of wild moors and heathy mountains, from which circumstance Bala has become the general rendezvous of gentlemen resorting to this part of Wales for grouse-shooting. A reading-room has been established. There are two factories for carding wool; and Bala and its neighbourhood have for a long series of years been noted for the knitting of woollen stockings, socks, and gloves, but this manufacture has of late been on the decline: in the year 1830, 32,000 dozen pairs of stockings, 10,000 dozen pairs of socks, and 5500 dozen pairs of gloves, were made. The hosiery is distinguished for the softness of its texture, which causes it to be held in high esteem for winter wear, and universally recommended by the medical faculty. The market, which is on Saturday, is well attended; and fairs are held on the Saturday before Shrovetide, chiefly for hiring servants, and May 14th, July 10th, October 24th, and November 8th, chiefly for the sale of live stock: that in July is a great fair for lambs.
Bala was anciently a corporate town, and till about the middle of the last century appears to have exercised in some measure the privileges it had received at a very early period from various sovereigns. The earliest document extant which throws any light upon the history of the borough, is a charter bestowed by Edward II., in the fifth year of his reign, dated the 18th of February, 1311, at Windsor; in which the king grants the town to his beloved burgesses of Bala, to be held by them and their successors in fee-farm for ever, upon paying yearly to the Exchequer of the Crown at Carnarvon, the sum of £10. 2. This charter, although it does not contain any grant of liberties, yet partly implies that the place was a royal free borough. Other charters were conferred upon the inhabitants in the 17th of Edward II., 5th of Edward III., and 2nd and 20th of Richard II.; and of these, the charter of Edward II., which is a highly interesting record, founded upon due inquiry into the circumstances of the district, grants that the town shall be a free borough, and its inhabitants free burgesses, with the privilege of choosing a mayor and two bailiffs. It gives freedom from toll and other exactions as well in England as in all other lands of the king, permission to have a guild merchant with a hanse, and the usual franchises for regulating trade. It also allows a free prison within the borough, for all trespasses there, except cases of life and limb; and institutes a weekly market on Saturday, and two fairs, one on the vigil, feast, and morrow of the Apostles Peter and Paul, and the other on the eve, day, and morrow of the Invention of the Holy Cross; together with other liberties and privileges of the usual kind. These valuable customs, which doubtless existed for centuries in full operation, have lately, though not within the memory of man, fallen into disuse, and the venerable borough, having in this manner lost its constitution, is now under the jurisdiction of the county magistrates. The spring assizes, and the winter and summer quarter-sessions for the county are held here; as also is a county debt-court, established in 1847, and having jurisdiction over the registration-district of Bala. The town-hall is a plain substantial building, in the principal street: attached to it is one of the county bridewells, which is under the regulation of the magistrates for the hundred, but is too small to admit of an extended system of classification.
A chapel of ease was erected by subscription, in 1811; it is a small plain structure, with a low tower surmounted by a spire. There are places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, Independents, and Wesleyans; and the great annual meeting of the Calvinistic body in Wales, called the Bala Association, is held in the town. Academies have been established here of late years for the education of young men, connected respectively with the Calvinistic Methodists and the Independents. The Calvinistic Methodist College was founded in 1837, to educate candidates for the ministry, and prepare young men as schoolmasters: the students are at present about twenty in number. It is supported by the Calvinistic Methodist congregation in North Wales, Liverpool, and Manchester, and in part from the interest of a small fund derived from the same source. The education is free, the only expense incurred by the students being for board and lodging, which they provide for themselves in the town. Of the candidates for the ministry, a few proceed to University College, London, or the Scottish universities. The lecture-room is an apartment attached to the meeting-house; it is spacious, in good repair, and well furnished with maps, &c.: there is a library connected with the academy, containing encyclopedias, books of history, and some standard English authors, but consisting principally of works upon divinity. The Independent College was established at Llanuwchyllyn in 1842, and removed to Bala in November of the same year. Its objects are precisely similar to those of the other academy; it is supported by collections, donations, and subscriptions from the Independent body of North Wales, and by the profits of a periodical called the Dysgedydd, or "the Instructor." The students are about twelve in number; their education is quite free, and they receive £12 per annum each towards their support. Those intended for the ministry proceed to any college to which they can gain admission; some have gone to Airedale College, in Yorkshire, some to what is called the Presbyterian College, at Carmarthen, but the majority to the academy at Brecon.
A Grammar School was founded under the will, dated 1712, of Dr. Edmund Meyrick, chancellor of St. David's, who bequeathed land for the instruction of thirty poor boys of North Wales in a grammar school, and for providing each of them with clothing. The "Bishops of St. Asaph and Bangor for the time being, and the heir of Ucheldre for the time being," were appointed visiters and trustees; but it appears that the funds are now in the hands of the Principal and Fellows of Jesus' College, Oxford, who appoint the master of the school. The number of boys is thirty; the master has a salary of £80 per annum, with a house and some land, and £60 per annum are expended in clothing for the scholars, who are all chosen by the master. The value of the endowment has considerably increased of late years. In 1842 a charity school was commenced here, under the general endowment left by Dr. Williams in the last century, from which the master receives £25 per annum; and in 1843 a British School was established, which is partly supported by subscriptions and donations, but principally by the parents of the children. There are also two or three Sunday schools. The poorlaw union of which this town is the head, was formed January 10th, 1837, and comprises the five parishes and townships of Llanddervel, Llangower, Llanuwchyllyn, Llanvawr, and Llanycil; it is under the superintendence of twelve guardians, and contains a population of 6953. The Rev. T. Charles, of Jesus' College, one of the founders of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and an indefatigable promoter of Sunday schools and circulating charity schools, resided at Bala, where he died in 1814; and was interred in the parochial church. He also distinguished himself as the author of an extensive work, in the Welsh language, entitled Geiriadur Ysgrythyrol, or a "Scriptural Dictionary."
Bala lake, called also Llyn Tegid and Pimble mere, is the largest in Wales, being about four miles in length, and in some places nearly a mile in breadth; its greatest depth, which is opposite Bryn Goleu, is about forty-six yards. Its overflowings, when the wind rushes from the mountains at the upper end, occasion much damage: in stormy weather it receives a great accession of water from the mountain torrents, and rises to the height of seven or eight feet above its ordinary level, covering a considerable portion of the vales of Penllyn and Edeyrnion, and even endangering the security of the town itself. The river Dee has its source under Aran Penllyn, a high mountain at the head of the lake, and has been said by Giraldus Cambrensis, Drayton, and others, to flow through the lake without mingling its waters; as the Rhone is fabled to pass through the lake of Geneva, and the classic Alpheus through the Adriatic sea. This assertion is partly founded on the circumstance that salmon, which are plentiful in the river, are never found in the lake; while gwyniaid, which swim in shoals in the lake, are never seen, except rarely, in the river: but this may be accounted for by the instinct which all creatures exhibit, in resorting only to those haunts most congenial to their habits, and most convenient for feeding and shelter. The lake abounds with pike, perch, trout, and eels: there are also a few roach, and innumerable gwyniaid (so called from the whiteness of their scales), a species of fish found only in Alpine waters, and resembling whitings in flavour, which spawn in December, and are caught in great numbers in spring and summer. The fishery, in the thirteenth century, belonged to the abbot and monks of Basingwerk: the whole is now the property of Sir W. W. Wynn, Bart., who has a handsome villa, called Glàn Llyn, pleasantly situated upon the margin of the lake. From the summit of Tommen-yBala, at the north-eastern extremity of this fine sheet of water, the view to the south-west is exceedingly grand: on the right it is fringed by a line of rich meadows, and on the left is the bridge, under which the Dee passes; a large rocky hill, the sides of which are well clothed with wood, rises over it in picturesque beauty, and hence the eye is directed along a ridge of craggy elevations, to the lofty Arans, with their two pre-eminent summits, Aran Mowddwy and Penllyn. On the north-west soar the Arenigs, Vawr and Vach, with the cloud-encircled summit of Cader Idris terminating the prospect.
The local tradition vulgarly connected with the formation of this lake, in common with most other large pieces of water in the principality, is, that it occupies the site of the palace and grounds of a rich, haughty, and irreligious prince, whose wealth, acquired by acts of rapine and murder, was preserved by oppression and the violent exercise of arbitrary power; till at length, disregarding the warnings he had often received from a superhuman agent, he drew down upon himself the vengeance of an offended God, and his magnificent mansion was suddenly swallowed up, whilst celebrating the birth of his eldest son's first-born, and surrounded by a gay concourse of lords and ladies, whom he had invited to participate in the festivity. The towers and parapets of the palace are credulously reported to have been frequently seen, by the boatmen of former times, when the bright full moon reflected its lustre upon the surface of the unruffled waters.
BANGOR, a parish, in the union of NewcastleEmlyn, upper division of the hundred of Troedyraur, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 5½ miles (E.) from Newcastle-Emlyn; containing 210 inhabitants. It is pleasantly situated on the river Teivy, the banks of which, in this part of its course, present finely varied and beautifully picturesque scenery. The land, which is mostly inclosed and in a state of cultivation, usually produces good crops. Blaen Dyfryn, the property of John Lloyd Davies, Esq., to whom it passed by marriage, is pleasantly situated here. The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £5. 6. 8., and endowed with £200 royal bounty, with the rectory of Hênllan annexed; present net income, £163; patron, the Bishop of St. David's. The tithes of Bangor have been commuted for a rent-charge of £87; and there is a glebe of fifty-two acres, valued at £45 per annum. The church, dedicated to St. David, is a small plain building, occupying a remarkable situation above a bold reach of the river. Near it is a circular mount surrounded by a moat, called Castell Pistog, which is said to be the burial-place of the slain in a certain battle supposed to have been fought here. A rent-charge of £1 per annum is distributed at Christmas among the poor, arising from a bequest by Rees David Morris.
BANGOR, a city, port, parish, and, jointly with Beaumaris, the head of a union, in the hundred of Isgorvai, county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 9 miles (N. E.) from Carnarvon, and 238 (N. W. by W.) from London; containing 7232 inhabitants, of whom 4987 are in the borough. The origin of this small but ancient city is involved in great obscurity. Leland, on the authority of the Chronicle of John Harding, stales that, prior to the establishment of Christianity in Britain, Condage, a prince of the early Britons, erected a temple here, which he dedicated to Minerva. Upon the correctness of this testimony, rests the supposition that the city existed during the continuance of the Roman empire in Britain; but the sole evidence of its having been occupied by the Romans is derived from a hewn block of gritstone, three feet four inches in length, and eighteen inches broad, found at Tŷcôch, two miles distant from the city, bearing a Latin inscription of undoubted antiquity, but which is the only relic of the Romans known to have been discovered in the immediate neighbourhood. At a further distance from the city, at Vaenol, some labourers in 1819 discovered the upper stone of a quern, or handmill, about two feet below the surface, and beneath it a collection of silver Roman coins, with a pair of small antique brass spurs.
The earliest authentic account of the place occurs in the history of the first religious establishment founded here, which, according to some authorities, originated with Deiniol, or Daniel, son of Dynawd, or Dúnothus, abbot of the monastery of Bangor-Iscoed, in the county of Flint; who is said to have built a college for the instruction of youth, and for the support of the clergy, in this part of North Wales, about the year 525. This college continued to be dependent on the parent establishment at BangorIscoed, from which it is supposed to have derived its name, till the year 550, when Maelgwyn Gwynedd, King of North Wales, called by Gildas "Maglocunus," endowed it with lands and divers privileges, and erected it into a see, of which Daniel was consecrated first bishop by Dubricius, Archbishop of Caerlleon-on-Usk. Daniel died about four years after his consecration, and was buried in Ynys Enlli, or Bardsey Isle, at that time the usual place of interment for men of distinguished sanctity. According to other authorities, it appears that Dúnothus, abbot of Bangor-Iscoed, who, in the year 597, headed a deputation of seven bishops and a great number of learned men, to meet St. Augustine, whom Gregory the Great had sent into Britain to propagate the Christian faith, founded a small establishment on or near the site occupied by the present cathedral, as a cell to the abbey of Bangor-Iscoed, and placed in it monks from that institution. This small monastery afterwards became the asylum of the few brethren that escaped the massacre of the monks of BangorIscoed by Ethelfrith, King of Northumberland, who, in 607, advancing to Caerlleon-ar-Ddyvrdwy (now Chester) against the Britons, whose army he defeated in a decisive battle, fell with fury upon the monks of Bangor-Iscoed, then assembled near Caerlleon to assist their countrymen with their prayers, and put about 1150 of them to death. About fifty only saved themselves by flight into the mountains, and afterwards united with the brethren at this place in forming a religious establishment, to which they transferred the name of their ancient monastery, Bancôr, the "chief society," or Bon côr, the "good choir."
Notwithstanding the uncertainty of the original foundation of the religious fraternity at Bangor, it appears that the place was erected into a see about the year 550, and that Deiniol was the first bishop. It continued, no doubt, to be a suffragan bishopric to the archiepiscopal see of Caerlleon, though no regular succession of its bishops is recorded for a space of nearly 300 years. The first of Daniel's successors of whom there is any mention, is Elvod, who, according to the Annales Menevenses, died in 811. The see is said to have been endowed with additional lands by Rhodri Mawr, and also by his son and successor, Anarawd, in gratitude for a victory over the Saxons, on the banks of the Conway. In 925, Sisyllt ab Clydawc gave some lands to the church; and King Athelstan is stated in the archives of the cathedral to have been a benefactor to the see. Mordav, Bishop of Bangor in 940, together with Chebur, Bishop of St. Asaph, accompanied Hywel Dda, King of Wales, to Rome, in order to obtain from the pope a confirmation of that monarch's celebrated code of laws.
In 973, Iago, sovereign of North Wales, having been expelled from his dominions by a rival prince named Howel, applied for assistance to Edgar, King of England, who, desirous of fomenting the quarrel, advanced with an army to Bangor, and compelled Howel to allow him an equal share in the sovereignty. The English monarch, during his continuance in this city, assumed a sovereign authority in Wales. He confirmed the privileges of the see, and augmented its possessions with lands and other gifts, erecting also, on the south side of the cathedral, a church, which he dedicated to St. Mary, and which, according to Browne Willis, was used as a parochial church till the reign of Henry VII. Coins of this king's reign have been recently found near the cathedral. In 1071, the city suffered material injury, and the cathedral was destroyed by an English army that invaded this part of the principality. About the year 1080, Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester, in order to assist his descent upon the Isle of Anglesey, and to secure the conquests he had already made in North Wales, erected a castle, about a quarter of a mile south-east of the city, on the ridge of hills which bounds the vale. Of this castle, no particular event is recorded in the history of the principality; probably after the restoration of Grufydd ab Cynan to the throne from which the earl had expelled him, it was either destroyed immediately, or suffered to fall gradually into ruins. The city recovered from its devastation, but the cathedral remained in a ruinous state till 1102, when a synod was held at Westminster, for the reformation of the Church, at which Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, presided, assisted by Girard, Archbishop of York, Roger, Bishop of Salisbury, and others; and at which also Hervé, or Herveus, Bishop of Bangor, the first Welsh prelate that ever attended a council in England, and who had been consecrated in 1093 by Thomas, Archbishop of York, was present. The members of this synod, lamenting the decay of religion in this part of North Wales, which they attributed in a great degree to the destruction of the cathedral, gave large sums of money towards its restoration. Giraldus, who accompanied Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury, in his circuit to preach the crusades through Wales, relates in his Itinerary, that they visited the city of Bangor, and were well received by the bishop of that diocese, with whom they remained one night; and that on the following day, after the celebration of mass by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Guianus, Bishop of Bangor, was compelled by his importunity to take the cross, to the infinite regret of all the people.
From this time, Bangor appears to have remained in a flourishing state till the year 1211, when King John, invading North Wales, encamped his forces on the banks of the river Conway, and detached a portion of his army to burn the city. This they accomplished; and, entering the cathedral, they took Robert the bishop (who had succeeded to the see upon the death of the prelate elected in place of Giraldus, who declined the office) from before the high altar, and made him prisoner, but afterwards liberated him, on the payment of a heavy ransom. During this reign, Bangor suffered great devastation in the wars that were carried on between the king and Llewelyn; and in the reign of Henry III., it was dreadfully ravaged by the continual struggles for empire between that monarch and Davydd ab Llewelyn, whom Richard, at that time Bishop of Bangor, and a partisan of the King of England's, excommunicated. In these wars the cathedral was again destroyed, and the bishop, taking refuge in England, was honourably entertained for nearly twenty years in the monastery of St. Alban's.
On the final invasion of Wales by Edward I., the neighbourhood of Bangor became the scene of several engagements, and, in particular, of that disastrous conflict in which fifteen knights, thirty-two esquires, and one thousand soldiers, were slain by the Welsh forces under Richard ab Walwyn, after crossing the Menai strait, at low water, by a bridge of boats. At this time Anian, Bishop of Bangor, being in high favour with Edward, obtained from that monarch the restoration of various endowments, which had been confiscated during the preceding reign, together with many additional grants and extended privileges. He procured a grant of Bangor House, in Shoe-lane, London, as a town residence for the prelates, when attending their duties at court; and for the better maintenance of the episcopal dignity, he obtained by letters-patent from the crown the return of all writs, with all waifs and estrays, in his several manors, and also in the villages of Tregaian, Abydon, and Bôdychan. In 1284, having had the honour of baptizing the young prince Edward, who was born that year at Carnarvon, he received a grant of the two ferries of Porthaethwy and Cadnant, and the manors of Bangor, Castell-Mawr, and Garthgogo in the county of Carnarvon, with the cantred of Trefôs in the Isle of Anglesey; and, two years afterwards, a confirmation to himself and his successors of a third part of the tithes issuing out of the king's demesnes, mills, and lead-mines, in England and Wales. When Edward I. made his extent, or survey, of the revenues of the Prince of Wales, the Bishop of Bangor procured a commission from Chancery, to inquire into the tenures of his see; the survey taken, called the Bishop's Extent Book, is still preserved among the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum. In 1329, Matthew de Englefield obtained for the inhabitants the grant of an annual fair on the eve, day, and morrow of St. Luke, and of another on the eve, day, and morrow of St. Trillo.
In the reign of Henry IV., John Swaffham, having written a book in condemnation of the doctrines of Wickliffe, was advanced to the see, as a recompense for his services. During the rebellion of Owain Glyndwr, Llewelyn Bifort, a Welshman, having been promoted to the bishopric by that chieftain without the sanction either of the king or of the Archbishop of Canterbury, his name appears, in 1406, among the chief persons who were outlawed for the part they took in that rebellion. This prelate was made prisoner, in 1408, by the king's troops, in the battle fought in Yorkshire, in which the Earl of Northumberland was slain; but not having taken any active part in the engagement, or borne arms against his sovereign, his life was spared. The conspiracy excited by Owain Glyndwr against the authority of Henry IV., is said to have been contrived chiefly in the house of David Daron, Dean of Bangor, who was outlawed by that monarch. During this insurrection the city was devastated, and the cathedral destroyed; the latter continued in a state of ruin for nearly ninety years, till Bishop Dean, or Denny, rebuilt the choir, and, on his subsequent translation to the see of Salisbury, left his mitre and crosier, which were of considerable value, to his successor at Bangor, on condition that he should complete those other parts of the building which had been already begun. In the reign of Richard III., Dean Kyfin, who was instituted about the year 1480, was a zealous and active partizan of the Earl of Richmond, the success of whose enterprise he materially contributed to promote, and from whom, after his accession to the throne by the title of Henry VII., he obtained a grant of lands, and permission to endow a chantry in the south transept of the cathedral, at the entrance of which he was interred.
During the civil commotions in the reign of Charles I., the city became the scene of great desolation. The services of the Church were suspended, and the cathedral was used as a stable for the horses of the parliamentarian troops; the monuments, shrines, and other decorations of this venerable structure were defaced and mutilated, and the revenue of the see was alienated and appropriated to the use of the parliament. It was, however, restored to the see after the interregnum; and, in the first of James II., Humphrey Lloyd, bishop of the diocese, obtained an act of parliament for augmenting the revenues of the see, providing for the repair of the cathedral, and the maintenance of the choir. This act annexed to the bishopric the archdeaconries of Bangor and Anglesey, and gave two-thirds of the tithes of the comportionate rectory of Llandinam to the chapter, as trustees, for the support of the choir, and the repair of the fabric. In Bangor originated the celebrated Bangorian controversy, between Dr. Benjamin Hoadley, who presided over the see from 1715 to 1721, when he was translated to Salisbury, and Dr. Thomas Sherlock, who succeeded him in this diocese, and was also translated to Salisbury in the year 1738, on the advancement of Dr. Hoadley to the see of Winchester.
The city is delightfully situated in a vale, bounded on the south by lofty and precipitous rocks, and having at the eastern extremity a fine opening towards the adjacent straits of the Menai, commanding an extensive view of the beautiful bay of Beaumaris, bordered on the opposite side by the rocky shores of Anglesey and the town of Beaumaris. It consists principally of one street, from which others branch off on the north side, and of some smaller streets on the acclivity of an eminence on the south side; with several small streets on the lower ground, near the sea: it is lighted and macadamised. The neighbourhood comprehends a variety of pleasing and picturesque scenery, and in many parts is characterised by features of striking grandeur. At the distance of a few miles, on one side, are the rugged mountains of Snowdonia, and on the other the wide expanse of Beaumaris bay; while in the immediate vicinity of the town are varied walks and rides abounding with objects of romantic interest.
The vast sums expended by government in the improvement of the Holyhead road, and the stupendous works which have been raised in prosecution of that object, together with the more recent opening of the Holyhead railway, have contributed to the importance of the city, and, combining with the natural advantages it possesses, might elevate it to a very prominent rank among the commercial towns of the principality. Bangor, however, which is a member of the port of Beaumaris, carries on little or no trade of importance: coal and the common necessaries of life are the only goods brought to it, and these are landed from the ships upon the coast, and conveyed away in carts at low water, without the aid of quays or wharfs. The coast is accessible to ships of eight hundred tons' burthen, which can enter the bay at any state of the tide; and all vessels, however large, can ride securely in the channel, well sheltered from storms, except in violent easterly gales, to which they are exposed. Steam-packets ply regularly between Bangor and Liverpool. The Bangor slate-quarries are noticed under the head of Llandegai. The market is on Friday, and, during the summer, a market is also held on Tuesday; they are well supplied, but provisions of all kinds are dear. The fairs are on April 5th, June 25th, September 16th, and October 28th. There are also large cattle fairs, called "Borth fairs," held at the Menai bridge, in the parish, on August 26th, September 26th, October 24th, and November 14th, to which a greater number of cattle is brought than to any other fairs in North Wales.
By the act for "Amending the representation of the people in England and Wales," Bangor was constituted one of the six contributory boroughs within the county, which unite in the return of a member to parliament. 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 tenements of this value within the limits of the borough, which are minutely described in the Appendix, is about one hundred and ninety. The mayor of Carnarvon is the returning officer. A county debt-court is fixed here; it was established in 1847, under the general small-debts' act, and its powers extend over that part of the registration-district of Bangor and Beaumaris which is in the county of Carnarvon. The town-hall and shambles are situated nearly in the centre of the town.
Prior to the Union of England and Ireland, a variety of plans were suggested for conducting the great road from London to Dublin over the Menai strait, in lieu of the ancient ferry; but it was not until the increased communication between the two countries, subsequently to the Union, had invested the subject with much additional importance, that it obtained the consideration of government. In 1801, official instructions were given to Mr. Rennie, to survey the strait, and to propose a plan and estimate for a bridge. That eminent engineer accordingly prepared four designs, two of them for crossing, by means of a cast-iron arch or arches, with others of stone at each extremity, at the rock called Ynys-yMôch, or "Pigs' Island," about one hundred yards from the ferry, where the present suspension bridge has since been erected; and two for crossing at the Swelly rocks, half a mile further southward. But though no objection was offered to the plans, they were not carried into execution; and nothing further was done regarding the measure until the year 1810, when a parliamentary committee was appointed to inquire into the state of the roads from Shrewsbury and Chester to Holyhead. This committee having reported that no injury would result to the navigation of the Menai by the construction of a bridge across that strait, as proposed by Mr. Rennie, notwithstanding the propagation of contrary opinions by meddling or interested persons, instructions were issued from the Treasury to Mr. Telford the engineer, to survey the above-named roads, and to take into consideration the best lines that could be adopted, and the best mode of crossing the strait. Mr. Telford proposed two designs, one applicable to the Swelly rocks, and the other to Ynys-y-Môch. The latter, which was intended to consist of a cast-iron arch, five hundred feet in the span, was accompanied with his decided preference, and both were transmitted by the Lords of the Treasury to the parliamentary committee again appointed, in 1811, to inquire into the state of these roads. Still, although the erection of a bridge on one of the plans furnished by that able engineer was strongly recommended by the committee, no means were then adopted for carrying either into effect.
In 1815, the state of the Irish road through Wales being again brought under the consideration of parliament, an act was passed appointing a commission to direct the accomplishment of the proposed improvements, and authorizing a grant of money from the Treasury. The commissioners appointed Mr. Telford their principal engineer, who, in 1817, was requested to state his opinion regarding the erection of a bridge, on the suspension principle, across the Menai, and, if he deemed it practicable, to prepare a plan and estimate. Early in the following year, therefore, this gentleman presented to the commissioners a report, design, and estimate, fixing upon Ynys-y-Môch as the most proper situation. This is a mass of solid rock, rising steeply from the edge of the water, nearly adjacent to the Anglesey shore, with which it is connected by a narrow reef, dry at low water. The opposite, or Carnarvon shore, is composed of clay, shale, sandstone, &c., lying in strata much resembling coal measures; and rises from the surface of the water perpendicularly to the height of about forty feet, above which the ground still rises to the ridge separating the valley of the strait from that of the city of Bangor. The breadth between the shores, at high water, is three hundred and six yards, and at low water one hundred and sixty. Mr. Telford proposed that the distance between the centres of the supporting pyramids should be five hundred and sixty feet, the roadway to be preserved uniformly one hundred feet above the reach of spring-tides, and the height of the pyramids to be fifty feet above the level of the roadway. The main chains were to be sixteen in number, with a deflection of thirtyseven feet; and their extremities were to be secured in a mass of masonry built over stone arches between each of the supporting piers and the adjacent shore, four on the Anglesey side, and three adjoining the Carnarvonshire shore, each arch to be fifty feet in the span. The roadway was divided into two carriage-ways, each twelve feet wide, with a footpath between them, four feet in width.
This design having been approved of by the commissioners, a report was made to the Lords of the Treasury, which was laid before parliament, and a grant of £20,000 was obtained for commencing operations, which took place in July 1818. In 1819, the commissioners, in spite of considerable opposition, obtained another act of parliament, which not only empowered them to build the bridge, levy tolls, and purchase Bangor ferry, but to make a new road from the bridge across the Isle of Anglesey to Holyhead. The first stone was laid on August 10th, at which period the number of men employed amounted to upwards of two hundred. In the early part of 1821, it was determined, in lieu of securing the chains over stone arches, to carry them through tunnels, and fasten them to the solid rock that lines the shore. This alteration in the original plan allowed the arches to be sprung at the distance of sixty-five feet above high-water mark, those next the main piers being made semicircular, and those towards the land gradually diminishing segments, the crowns of the whole being parallel with the superincumbent roadway. Thus, there is only as much masonry over the arches as is necessary for a proper entablature and cornice; and the small piers being tapered from ten feet to seven and a half in thickness at the spring of the arches, whereby the latter were increased from fifty feet to fifty-two and a half in the span, a greater degree of lightness and elegance has been imparted to the structure. At this period, about four hundred men were employed on the work; and the first cargo of iron-work was delivered on the 3rd of August, the whole having been contracted for to be made of the best hammered iron at Shrewsbury, whence it was conveyed by canal to Chester, and from that port hither by sea.
In 1822, application was made to parliament for an act to extend the period for completing the bridge, which, as stated in the former act, would have expired in July 1823; and the number of workmen, owing to the forwardness of the work, was gradually reduced towards the close of this year. The new act, which received the royal assent on the 7th of July, 1823, besides extending the time for completing the bridge to July 1825, invested the commissioners with additional powers; and the Lords of the Treasury were authorized to issue £108,498 for completing the bridge, and for payment of the sum awarded by a jury for the purchase of Bangor ferry, viz. £26,394. The fixing of the main chains was commenced on October 24th; and, to prevent the roadway sinking in the middle below a horizontal line, by their expansion, it was determined that the roadway and side railing should have a rise of two feet towards the middle: in order, also, that the deflection of the main chains might not be lessened to the same extent, it was resolved to increase the height of the pyramids, so as to make their elevation fifty-two feet above the level of the road under the archways. The last chain was raised on the 9th of July, and the whole having been connected by the end of August, the suspension of the roadway bearers was commenced, and a passable road was formed by the 24th of September, on which day many of the gentry and other inhabitants of the neighbourhood crossed the bridge. The roadway is constructed of deal planks, resting upon sleeping rods, and consists of two carriage-ways, each twelve feet in breadth, with a foot-way, four feet wide, secured by iron railings, running the whole length between them: these roads are formed of two tiers of planks, three inches thick, lying longitudinally, with a third and upper tier placed transversely, and secured at each end by guards of oak, to prevent the carriage-wheels injuring the vertical rods. The bridge was opened on January 30th, 1826; and, as the expense of the work had been defrayed by a loan from the public, the first vehicle allowed to cross it was the London and Holyhead mail, on its way down, about half-past one in the morning. Very soon after its completion the bridge sustained considerable damage from a violent tempest, owing to the motion of the main chains; to remedy which, four sets of transverse braces were introduced between each series of chains, to prevent them from coming closer together. Between each two lines of braces, consisting of cast-iron tubes, is a diagonal lacing of wrought-iron, which, with the tubes and bolts, forms a stiff frame between each series of chains. The reparation of the bridge was considerably retarded by gales during the spring; but the additional securities suggested in consequence of the late storms were carried into effect in the early part of the summer, and have served the intended purpose; this magnificent work having braved, uninjured, the storms of succeeding years.
Another work of extraordinary engineering skill, in the same neighbourhood, and also spanning the Menai Straits, is the Britannia tubular bridge, forming part of the line of the Chester and Holyhead railway. This gigantic piece of mechanism takes its name from a rock in the middle of the straits, called the Britannia rock, upon which the central pier of the bridge is raised. On each side of the central pier is a space of four hundred and sixty feet; then rise two other piers, near the water's edge, one at each side of the straits; and beyond these side piers, at a distance of two hundred and fifty feet, are two walls of enormous bulk. The wall on the Carnarvonshire shore is of inconsiderable length, the adjacent land being high and bold, and the railway passing along its surface to the immediate vicinity of the bridge: the wall on the Anglesey shore, however, forms the commencement of a vast embankment, on which the railway is raised to the bridge level. The two water-spaces of four hundred and sixty feet each, and the two other spaces of two hundred and fifty feet each, are occupied by eight iron tubes, placed in two parallel lines. These tubes are thirty feet high, outside measure, and fourteen feet wide; the weight of each of the four long ones is about one thousand seven hundred tons, and that of each of the four short ones about eight hundred tons, making a total of at least ten thousand tons of iron, exclusively of the iron used in other parts of the bridge. The masonry, it is believed, cost about £200,000, containing a million and a half cubic feet of stone. The three piers are composed of blocks of stone seven and eight feet long; they rise to about two hundred and thirty feet above low-water mark, and their summit is seventy feet higher than the upper surface of the tubes. As ornaments to the walls on the shore are four lions, two at each end of the bridge: these contain about eight thousand cubic feet of stone, and though in a couching posture, their height is twelve feet; the greatest breadth across the body is nine feet, the length twenty-five feet. In the whole, including the piers and the landward buildings, the length of this splendid bridge is one-third of a mile. The engineer to the railway company is Robert Stephenson, Esq., through whose determined perseverance the tubular principle was adopted here and at Conway. In the article on the latter town the invention, and method of construction, of the tube-bridges, are described.
The course of the railway in the vicinity of Bangor is as follows. Leaving the Aber station, which is about five miles east of the city, it is carried over the Ogwen river-valley by two extensive viaducts, thirty-five feet high, consisting of twenty-four arches, and embracing a fine view of Penrhyn Castle, with its park, on the right, and of the Snowdonian mountains on the left. At the west end of what is termed the Ogwen cutting, commences a tunnel of 440 yards, cut through the Llandegai hills; after which, the Cegin river and valley are crossed by a viaduct 200 yards long, elevated sixty-two feet above the level of the stream, and supported on nine arches: to the right is Port-Penrhyn, in the parish of Llandegai. The line again enters into the bowels of the earth through the Bangor tunnel, formed in the rock, at a depth of from 160 to 200 yards, on the south side of the city: this was one of the most laborious works in the whole line, extending 920 yards in length, through slaty rock, and greenstone. Near its extremity is the Bangor station, one of the largest stations on the line, 137 feet long, of beautiful design and admirable proportions, and, like all the other stations, well adapted to the purposes of traffic, and the passengers' convenience: the length of the platform is 260 feet. This station occupies nearly all the space between the Bangor and Belmont tunnels; it stands on an elevation, and commands a good prospect of the city, of the ocean, and Puffin Island. The Belmont tunnel, under what are called the Carnarvon mountains, is 726 yards long, has four shafts, and passes through rock of the same description as that at Bangor. The entrance to each tunnel is in the massive Egyptian style; the roof of each remains in the natural state, unlike the roof of the Llandegai tunnel, which is arched with brick-work. The line soon after reaches the Menai tube-bridge, and passes into Anglesey. A general account of the railway is given under the head of Holyhead. In 1845 an act was passed for the construction of a railway to be called the North Wales Railway, from Bangor, through Carnarvon, to Porth-Dinllaen; but the design has been altogether abandoned.
The see comprises the whole of the Isle of Anglesey; the whole of the county of Carnarvon, with the exception only of three or four parishes in the hundred of Creuddyn; the greater part of the county of Merioneth; and two deaneries in the county of Montgomery. It is divided into the two archdeaconries of Merioneth, and Bangor and Anglesey; the latter until recently comprised two archdeaconries, which were annexed to the see in the 1st of James II. By the act 6th and 7th William IV., c. 77, it was proposed to unite the diocese to that of St. Asaph, on the next avoidance of either; but the union being deemed injurious to the interests of the Church in the principality, the design has been abandoned. The ecclesiastical establishment consists of a bishop, dean, chancellor, treasurer, the two archdeacons, a prebendary or canon, three other canons, two vicars choral, an organist, lay clerks, choristers, and other officers. The chapter is composed of the dean, chancellor, treasurer, archdeacons, and four canons.
The CATHEDRAL CHURCH, dedicated to St. Daniel, and, after repeated demolitions, principally rebuilt and restored by the liberality of Bishops Dean and Skeffington, is a cruciform and embattled structure, chiefly in the later style of English architecture, displaying portions in the early and decorated English styles, with a low massive embattled tower at the west end. Though not remarkable for any richness of embellishment, it has a pleasing symmetry in its proportions, and an appropriate simplicity of character, which are much improved by its situation in a spacious open area, on one side of which is a fine avenue of trees, forming in summer a pleasant promenade. The Interior is extremely well lighted by ranges of six windows, in the later English style; in each of the aisles of the nave and transepts, and at the extremities of the latter, as well as at the east end of the choir, are larger windows of elegant design and lofty dimensions. The nave is one hundred and forty-one feet in length, sixty feet wide, including the aisles, and thirty feet high; the roof is supported by ranges of six obtusely pointed arches, resting on octagonal fluted columns, on square plinths, and ornamented with annular capitals, which separate it from the aisles. Between the eastern extremity of the nave and the choir, and also forming entrances into the transepts, is an area, whose roof, of loftier elevation, is supported by four obtusely pointed arches, resting upon corbel heads, originally intended to sustain a central tower. The choir, which is a well-proportioned Latin cross, is of the same height as the nave, and sixty-three feet in length to the altar-screen, above which rises to the roof the large east window, twenty-seven feet high, and thirteen feet and a half in width: this window was put up about sixty years since. The transepts are ninety-six feet in length, from north to south, and thirty-two feet and a half in width, and are partly in the decorated and partly in the later style of English architecture. The present internal arrangement, which is rendered necessary from the want of a parochial church, differs materially from that of cathedrals in general. The organ-screen is placed across the nave, nearly in the centre, dividing it into two portions, of which the eastern is connected with the choir, and contains the bishop's throne and family pew, and the prebendal stalls, of highly enriched tabernacle-work. The western portion, with the choir and transepts, is regularly pewed and fitted up. This western portion of the nave is appropriated to the performance of morning and evening service, every Sunday, in the Welsh language, according to the usual ceremonies of the Church; in addition to which are two full cathedral services in the choir, performed in the English language. The whole length of the cathedral is 214 feet, and its breadth along the transepts ninety-six feet; the tower is sixty feet high, and, but for the premature death of Bishop Skeffington, would have been raised to the height of 120 feet.
There are few monuments of importance, either for their antiquity or for their architectural character. The tomb of the renowned Grufydd ab Cynan, King of North Wales, on the left side of the altar, was formerly surmounted by a shrine, which was destroyed during the parliamentary war; and under an arch at the south end of the transept is the effigy, in stone, of his successor, Owain Gwynedd, recumbent on a sarcophagus ornamented with a cross fleury. Several of the bishops have been interred in the cathedral, but there is nothing worthy of notice in the small monuments that have been raised to their memory. A gravestone marks the place of interment of William Wynne, M.A., author of a History of Wales, chiefly compiled from the chronicles of Caradoc of Llancarvan.
The north aisle of the choir has been separated from the remainder, to serve the purposes of a chapter-house, consistorial court, and library. In the last is preserved a manuscript of Bishop Anian's, forming a volume of moderate size, entitled Liber Pontificalis Dñi Anniani Bangor Episcopi, containing a missal, which, in addition to the rubric, includes thirty-two offices and numerous anthems set to music for the use of the cathedral of Bangor and other churches. This volume appears to have been drawn up by the bishop about the year 1291, and to have formed one of those provincial diversities in the mode of performing the service of the Church, that were prohibited by the statute of Uniformity, in the preamble of which it is expressly named. During the commotions in the time of Owain Glyndwr, the volume was lost, but it was restored to the church by Bishop Ednam, in 1485. It was again carried away, during the occupation of the cathedral by the parliamentary troops, in the reign of Charles I., but was afterwards recovered by Bishop Humphreys.
The Episcopal Palace, in which Mr. Pennant, in 1770, observes that "the prelate is indifferently lodged," was, after its previous demolitions, almost entirely rebuilt by Bishop Skeffington, in the early part of the sixteenth century; it was much improved by Bishop Warren, and other alterations and additions were made by his successor, Dr. Majendie. The Deanery, a handsome building to the north-west of the cathedral, and adjoining the cemetery, was erected late in the seventeenth century.
The parish of Bangor, of which the city forms but a small portion, comprises 6510 acres. It was united with that of Pentîr previously to the year 1402, when the latter was wrested from it by the abbot of Valle Crucis, who, however, in 1444 was compelled to restore it, after which they continued united till the Reformation. In an action tried at Shrewsbury, in 1657, they were again re-united, and they have ever since been reputed to form one parish, of which Pentîr is considered only a township, and to which its church is now deemed a chapel of ease. The tithes of the whole are equally divided between the vicars choral, who perform the parochial duty, previously to which arrangement, the vicars were accustomed to begin the service in the choir, and after proceeding to the first lesson for the day, in the English language, to retire to the nave and finish the service in the Welsh language. The living is thus a consolidated comportionate vicarage, not in charge, in the patronage of the Bishop: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £800 per annum. Of the ancient parochial church, founded by Edgar, and dedicated to St. Mary, not a single fragment is remaining. The site of an old chapel was sold, some years since, and the money applied to the redemption of the land-tax. A house has been built near the cathedral, on another plot of ground, as a vicarage-house, in which one of the vicars resides. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists, and Roman Catholics.
The following is a correct account of the services performed every Sunday in the cathedral church, and the chapel of ease at Pentîr: morning parochial service in the Welsh language, together with a sermon, at a quarter past nine o'clock, within the nave of the cathedral; and morning choral service in the English language, with a sermon, at half past eleven, within the choir: evening parochial service in the Welsh language, with a sermon, at the chapel of ease, at two o'clock: evening choral service in the English language, with a sermon, at a quarter past four, in the choir; and evening parochial service in the Welsh language, at six o'clock, in the nave. Thus there are five services and five sermons upon each Sunday, commencing at a quarter past nine o'clock in the morning, and carried on without intermission until half past seven in the evening; three of the services and sermons being in the Welsh, and two in the English language. The sacrament of baptism is administered every Sunday, and whenever occasion requires. The communion is celebrated every month, both in the English and Welsh languages, in the cathedral; and four times a year at the chapel of ease: it is also celebrated upon all the great festivals, together with the performance of divine service and the preaching of sermons. The weekday services are as follows: English parochial service on all Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the year, and every day in passion-week; and choral service on all saints' days, vigils, and state holidays: divine service also, in the Welsh language, on some principal festivals, and on the Wednesdays and Fridays in Lent. The vicars choral and parochial, senior and junior, assisted by a curate, perform both the English and Welsh services, aided in the former by the bishop and dean, and occasionally by the other members of the chapter.
The Free grammar school was founded in 1557, by Geoffrey Glynn, LL.D., advocate of the court of Arches, and brother to Dr. William Glynn, Bishop of Bangor. He bequeathed the friary house, with its appurtenances, and all his lands in North Wales and elsewhere, in trust to the Bishops of Bangor and Rochester, and their successors, for its foundation and endowment; also £400 in money, to be invested in the purchase of land, of the yearly value of £20, to be divided equally among ten poor scholars on the foundation. The trustees dying before the intentions of the testator could be carried into effect, the completion of the design devolved upon Sir William Petre and others, who, with the concurrence of the bishop, determined upon the statutes and regulations for its government. These were drawn up by Dr. Alexander Nowell, Dean of St. Paul's, and the school was established by letters patent in the third year of the reign of Elizabeth. The revenue arising from the endowment is £360; there are at present about fifty day pupils, and the master has the privilege of taking boarders. Two scholarships were founded in Jesus' College, Oxford, by Bishop Rowlands, in 1609, to which, after his own kindred, the scholars of Bangor, Beaumaris, and Bottwnog have the preference. The ancient friary was formerly appropriated to the use of this establishment, but early in the present century it was taken down, and a brick building erected upon its site, comprising a good house for the head master, valued, with twenty acres of land adjoining it, at £130 per annum, a house for the usher, valued with land at £45, and a commodious schoolroom, to which a play-ground is attached. The present salary of the master is £100, and of the usher £50, exclusive of their houses and lands. A scheme was submitted to the court of Chancery in 1848, having for its object an augmentation of the value of the ten Glynn scholarships, so that the scholars might be boarded, and educated in all the branches of learning taught at the school, at a small annual cost only to the parents.
Bishop Rowlands also bequeathed an estate for the endowment of an almshouse, which he had founded during his lifetime, for six single men, one from each of the parishes of Bangor, Aberdaron, Meylltyrn, Penmynedd, Llangrystyolys, and Amlwch. To each of them were formerly allowed two shillings per week, and six yards of frieze annually for clothing. The almshouses have been rebuilt, upon an enlarged scale, on the south side of the cathedral cemetery, and now afford two rooms to each of the inmates, who, from the increased value of the land, have each nine shillings per week, with a suit of clothes annually, a proper supply of bedding, linen, and coal, and a matron to attend on them, who, in addition to a residence and a supply of coal and bedding, is allowed five shillings per week. The total income of the charity, including the dividends on £480. 19. three per cent consols., &c., is £215. 13. per annum. In addition to these gifts, the same benefactor bequeathed £100 for the repair of the cathedral; and Dean Jones, in 1719, gave £100 for purchasing an altar-piece, the whole of his books to the chapter library, and £100 towards the establishment of a permanent parochial school for poor children.
A National school for boys and girls was erected in 1822, by subscription, aided by a grant of £90 from the society in London. At Vaenol, in the parish, is another National school, built in 1816, also by subscription, aided by a grant of £30 from the society; a third has been erected at the village of Pentîr, near the chapel, and the town contains an infants' school in connexion with the Established Church. In the town is also a school appertaining to the Independents, supported chiefly by an endowment from the late Dr. Williams, though partly consisting of pay-scholars; and the town and parish contain as many as seventeen Sunday schools, in all of which the instruction is gratuitous. There are several clothing-clubs; and various benefactions, arising from lands, tenements, and money, and producing in the whole about £20 per annum, are distributed periodically in wine to the sick poor, in bread to paupers, &c. At a short distance from the town, on the London road, stood the Carnarvonshire and Anglesey Loyal Dispensary, instituted in 1809, in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the accession of George III. to the throne, as a testimony of loyalty and affection to their sovereign, by a party of gentlemen, who had determined to celebrate that day by the establishment of some permanent charity, and finally resolved upon building a dispensary for gratuitously supplying the poor with medical and surgical assistance. This edifice was removed in 1845, and a much more commodious, substantial, and elegant building, affording the additional advantages and usefulness of an infirmary, has been erected on a salubrious site contiguous to the Menai-Bridge road. The expense of the establishment is defrayed by subscription among the gentry resident in the neighbourhood. The poor-law union of Bangor and Beaumaris was formed May 30th, 1837, and comprises twenty-one parishes and townships in Anglesey and Carnarvonshire; namely, Aber, Bangor, Beaumaris, Llanddaniel-Vab, Llanddona, Llandegai, Llandegvan, Llandysillio, Llanedwen, Llanfinnan, Llangoed, Llaniestyn, Llanllêchid, Llansadwrn, Llanvaes, Llanvair-Pwllgwyngyll, Llanvair-Vechan, Llanvihangel-Din-Sylwy, Llanvihangel-Ysceiviog, Penmon, and Penmynedd. It is under the superintendence of thirty guardians, and contains a population of 25,902, of whom 16,503 are in the parishes of Aber, Bangor, Llandegai, Llanllêchid, and LlanvairVechan, all in the county of Carnarvon.
A house of friars preachers was founded here prior to the year 1276, which was probably enlarged or rebuilt about the year 1299, by Tudor ab Gronow, Lord of Penmynedd and Trecastle, who, from that circumstance, has been commonly regarded as its founder, and who was interred in the chapel of the establishment, in the year 1311. In the seventh of Edward VI., the site was granted to Thomas Brown and William Breton; and it subsequently became the property of Dr. Geoffrey Glynn, who bequeathed it, with other possessions, as above related, for the endowment of the free grammar school. Of the castle erected near the city, by the Earl of Chester, there are still some slight vestiges. A few traces may be discerned of its walls, which appear to have extended 120 yards on the south-east, and about sixty-six yards on the south-west, terminating in a precipice; on the north-east they appear to have extended for more than forty yards, and on the north-west the natural strength of its situation rendered any other defence of the castle unnecessary.
BANGOR-ISCOED, a parish, in the union of Wrexham, comprising the townships of Eyton, Pickhill, Ryton, and Sesswick, in the hundred of Bromfield, county of Denbigh, and the township of Bangor, in the hundred of Maelor, county of Flint, North Wales; the whole containing 1257 inhabitants, of whom 596 are in the township of Bangor, 5 miles (S. E.) from Wrexham, on the road to Whitchurch. This place, which has received the adjunct of Iscoed to distinguish it from the city of Bangor in Carnarvonshire, was the station Branchorium of Richard of Cirencester, and is generally thought to have been the Bovium, or Bonium, of Antonine. It was the site of the most ancient monastery in Britain, which having also been intended as a school for religious instruction, became a great seminary for learning. From this institution, the foundation of which is ascribed by some to Lucius, King of Britain, under whose auspices Christianity is said to have been firmly established in this country, the place obtained its British name Ban-Gôr, which was changed by the Saxons into Banchornabyrig, a name descriptive of its importance as a privileged town. Pelagius, the noted arch-heretic, who is affirmed to have been a native of Britain, was educated at this monastery, of which he became abbot, about the commencement of the fifth century. The Pelagian heresy was principally eradicated by St. Germanus, who is said to have introduced considerable improvement into the institution.
Augustine, having been sent by Gregory the Great to re-establish Christianity in England by converting the Saxons, endeavoured to extend the power of the Church of Rome by usurping an authority over the British prelates. But the latter resisting, a great council of the clergy was convened, at which seven bishops and many learned men from the monastery of Bangor were present: the British deputies continued firm in their refusal to submit to St. Augustine, or aid him in his intended conversion of the Saxons; in consequence of which the mortified missionary is said to have denounced the judgment of God against them, predicting that, as they would not accept peace with their Christian brethren, they would soon have war with their pagan enemies, and that they would find death by the swords of those to whom they had refused to preach the word of life. This threat, if ever uttered, was accomplished a few years afterwards, in the battle of Chester, by the slaughter which actually took place of 1150, out of 1200, monks who had gone forth to pray for the success of their countrymen, the Welsh, against the Northumbrian Saxons, by whom, under Ethelfrid, that ancient city had been attacked. The Saxons, having defeated their opponents, and taken possession of Chester, advanced to Bangor, where they entirely destroyed the monastery, and committed its valuable library to the flames. They then intended to penetrate into Wales, but their passage over the Dee at this place was disputed by Brochwel Yscithrog, Prince of Powys, who successfully resisted all their attacks, until relieved by Cadvan, King of North Wales; Meredydd, King of South Wales; and Bledrus, sovereign of Cornwall. The confederate princes called to their aid the services of Dynawd, or Dúnothus, abbot of Bangor, and one of the fifty monks that had escaped the general massacre of his brethren, who delivered an oration to the army, which he concluded by ordering the soldiers to kiss the ground, before the action commenced, in commemoration of the communion of the body of Christ, and to take up water in their hands out of the river Dee, and drink it, in remembrance of his sacred blood. This act of devotion infused a confident courage among the Welsh, already ardent for revenge for the calamities they had recently endured; and they encountered the invaders with such bravery as entirely to defeat them, with the loss of above 10,000 men, compelling Ethelfrid, with the remainder of his army, to retreat into his own country.
From this disastrous infliction the monastery of Bangor never recovered: the surviving monks were dispersed throughout the country, some of them settling in North Wales, and others probably serving as a supply to the ministry of the Church in South Wales, and in Armorica. At one period the entire establishment here is said to have consisted of two thousand four hundred brethren, of whom one hundred officiated by turns for one hour, thus performing divine service both day and night, whilst many of the others laboured for the benefit of the community. The ruins of the vast pile of buildings that composed the monastery, are described by William of Malmesbury, a short time after the Norman conquest, as consisting of numerous half-demolished churches and mutilated remains. At present the only vestiges that can be traced, are parts of the foundations, extending for a considerable distance along the eastern bank of the river Dee, which flows between the sites of two of the ancient gates, of which they still retain the names; the one being called "Porth Kleis," one mile southward of the church, on the road to Overton; and the other "Porth Wgan," one mile and a quarter west-north-westward from it, on the road to Wrexham.
The village is pleasantly situated on the eastern bank of the Dee, which is navigable to this place, and is here crossed by a handsome bridge of five arches, connecting the counties of Denbigh and Flint. According to a manuscript preserved in the Wynnstay library, Bangor was the scene of some events connected with the parliamentary war. In February, 1644, "the bridge was betrayed to Colonel Mitton, who, coming over Dee, took prisoners Sir Gerard Eaton, Sir Robert Eaton, with others:" about the same time, "Bangor began to be fortified for the king;" and in the following December, "the king's soldiers burnt Bangor-upon-Dee and other great houses that if fortified might annoy the garrisons of Salop and Chester." The parish contains about eight thousand acres, of which about five thousand are composed of a stiff clay, the remainder being meadow land, generally of a sandy loam: the ground is chiefly flat, and about two thousand acres are subject to inundation from the Dee. The scenery in many places is beautiful and richly picturesque, the noble sweeps of the river being frequently overshadowed by thick hanging woods, which fringe its elevated banks.
The living is a rectory, with the perpetual curacy of Overton annexed, rated in the king's books at £39. 6. 8.; present net income, £1200; patron, the Marquess of Westminster. A rent-charge of £701. 13. has been awarded in lieu of the tithes of Bangor, and there is a glebe of 2½ acres, valued at £3. 15. per annum; with a glebe-house. The church, dedicated to St. Dynawd, abbot of the monastery when Augustine landed in England, and who was canonized after his death, appears to have been built at various periods, though the greater part of it is of modern erection. The communion-table, of white marble, and the floor within the rails, of black and white marble, were the gift of Mr. Lloyd; and the altar-piece and tablets, of mahogany with gilt mouldings, were presented by Mr. Peter Lloyd, in 1775: the font, which is very ancient, is ornamented with sculptured heads and shields bearing the Cross of Calvary, surmounted by the Welsh plume. The arms of the several rectors of the parish, from the year 1662 to the present time, with the dates of their respective induction, are arranged in the hall of the rectory. The Roman road to the station Banchorium passed through the village, a little to the south of the church; and, in digging graves in the churchyard, Roman pavements are occasionally found.
The endowed school in the township of Bangor, in which about 30 children are taught free, was founded in 1728, by Lady Dorothy Jeffreys, widow of Chief Justice Jeffreys, who gave £500 to be laid out in the purchase of lands for teaching and apprenticing poor children: the income at present is £45. 15. per annum. There is a schoolroom for the boys, and the girls assemble in a cottage. The master and mistress receive a salary of £30 from the endowment, and are allowed to take pay-scholars; they have also the rent of two cottages belonging to the trust, and a house rent-free from the rector of the parish. The appointment is vested in Sir Philip de Malpas Grey Egerton, Bart., of Oulton Park, the sole trustee. All the townships participate in the benefit of this school, as well as in that of placing out poor boys as apprentices from the residue of the income of the charity; the premium is eight guineas, and about three boys are apprenticed every two years. There is also a school supported by subscription, attended by boys and girls, and connected, like the preceding, with the Established Church; it was founded in 1836, and in 1846 an infants' school was commenced, which is conducted in a schoolroom under the same roof. The subscriptions in support of the boys' and girls' school amount to £55 per annum, and those for the infants' school to £24.
There are several charitable donations and bequests, most of which are participated in by the other townships. Of these the principal are, a tenement in Holt parish, left by E. Price, jun., in 1681, and consisting of 5½ acres and three cottages, yielding a rent of £14 per annum; a sum of money given by Sir Gerard Eyton in 1786, producing 20s. per annum, paid by the Leather-sellers Company, of London; a gift of £25 by Kenric Eyton in 1769, vested in the Whitchurch and Wrexham turnpike trust, paying an interest of 25s.; another of £40 by Thomas Tunna in 1748, with which, and other funds, a plot of ground was purchased in Holt parish, consisting of three cottages and a large garden, let at £77 per annum; and a tenement called the Graig, comprising a house, garden, orchard, and 3¾ acres of land, and £200 in money, by Mr. Peter Lloyd, yielding in the whole £22 per annum. The proceeds of these gifts are periodically distributed in bread and money. The produce of other charities, namely £60 by Thomas Lloyd, £50 each by the Rev. Hugh Morris, and Edward Price, sen., £26 by Sarah Davis for education, and £10 by the Rev. John Lloyd, has been lost; or most of it, as is supposed, applied to provide bells for the church.
BARDSEY ISLE, a small extra-parochial island in St. George's Channel, near Cardigan bay, locally in the parish of Aberdaron, in the hundred of Dinllaen, union of Pwllheli, county of Carnarvon, North Wales; lying off the promontory of Lleyn, from which it is separated by Bardsey Race, three miles in breadth; and containing 90 inhabitants. This island, from the remotest known period of antiquity, seems to have been the resort of devotees, who, retiring from the cares of the world, sought an asylum here, in which they passed the remainder of their lives and were buried. St. Dubricius, Archbishop of Caerlleon, resigning his see, retired to this solitary spot, where, dying about the year 522, he was interred; but his remains were removed in the twelfth century to Llandaf. Prior to the time of St. Dubricius, this may have been a retreat of the Culdees, the first religious recluses in Britain, for whose secret worship of the Almighty its remote situation was peculiarly auspicious. Before his death, perhaps before his arrival, a monastery was founded; it was afterwards dedicated to St. Mary, and became very eminent for its sanctity. In the reign of Edward II., according to the Sebright manuscripts, a petition was presented to that monarch by the abbot, complaining of exaction on the part of the sheriff of Carnarvon, which procured redress. The monastery continued to flourish till the Dissolution, when its revenues amounted to £58. 6. 2. There are only some small portions of the abbey remaining: the site was granted by Edward VI. to Sir Thomas Seymour, and afterwards to the Earl of Warwick.
The island, now the property of Lord Newborough, is two miles and a half in length, and one and a half in breadth. From the violence of the current which runs through the sound, it obtained the British name Ynys Enlli, or "the island in the current;" and the Saxons, from its being a favourite retreat of the bards, named it Bardsey, or "the island of the bards." The inhabitants are partly occupied in agriculture, and partly in fishing; the soil is fertile, and large quantities of lobsters and oysters are sent to Liverpool in sailing-vessels every week. The scenery is grand, the sea coming in with the full Atlantic swell. The shores and sand-banks in this part of St. George's Channel render the navigation exceedingly dangerous, and numerous vessels have been lost: to prevent the recurrence of similar disasters, a lighthouse, with a flashing light, was erected on the island in 1821, and lighted for the first time on the 24th of December in that year. The tower is a substantial and handsome square structure, seventy-four feet high, surmounted by a lantern ten feet high; and, being built on an elevation sixty-two feet above the level of the sea, the light is 146 feet above highwater mark at spring tides. The erection of this lighthouse has been attended with the utmost benefit to the vessels connected with the port of Liverpool.
BARELAND, with Burva, a township, in the parish of Old Radnor, union of Kington, liberties of the borough of New Radnor, county of Radnor, South Wales, 3 miles (S. W.) from Presteign; containing, with the township of Evenjob and Newcastle, 345 inhabitants. It is situated on the border of Herefordshire; and is passed on the west, at the distance of about half a mile, by that remarkable work of the Saxons, Offa's Dyke. It is assessed jointly with the township of Evenjob for the support of its poor.
BARMOUTH (ABER-MAW), a sea-port and market-town, in the parish of Llanaber, union of Dôlgelley, hundred of Ardudwy, county of Merioneth, North Wales, 10½ miles (W. by S.) from Dôlgelley, and 222 (W. N. W.) from London; containing 930 inhabitants. The present name of this place is an Anglicism of the original name AberMaw, denoting its situation at the mouth of the river Maw or Mawddach; and was adopted in 1768, at a meeting of the masters of vessels belonging to the port, when, in consideration of the increase of the shipping, it was deemed expedient to have an English name inscribed upon the sterns of the vessels. The town is beautifully situated on the northern side of the river, at the point where it pours its waters into Cardigan bay; the estuary of the Maw, which forms the port, is a mile in breadth at high water. The beach is a fine smooth sand, extending from the harbour northward to Traeth Artro, where the small river Artro falls into the sea; and is peculiarly adapted to the purpose of sea-bathing, for which the water of the bay is still more efficacious than that on other parts of the coast, owing to the frequent agitation of the tides, which in St. George's Channel are violent, and dash furiously on the rocks that line this part of the coast. The air is rendered mild and salubrious by the situation of the town at the base and on the acclivities of high hills, which shelter it from the north and north-east winds. The view from the beach is strikingly magnificent; the hills on the opposite shores of Carnarvonshire are seen in the distance towards the west, and towards the north the view of the sea is bounded by lofty mountains, apparently forming majestic ramparts for the defence of the coast, and beyond which, in clear weather, may be seen the peak of Snowdon, towering above the rest. The appearance of the town, as viewed from the sea, is peculiarly romantic: the houses, rising in successive tiers from the base nearly to the summit, are scattered along the brow of the hill, which is a barren rock, and assume a character singularly picturesque.
On the banks of the river is found a profusion of scurvy grass, the efficacy of which, in conjunction with the benefit of sea-bathing, is supposed to have originally made Barmouth a place of resort for invalids; and the salubrity of the air, the fineness of the beach, the beauty of the surrounding scenery, and the varied and interesting excursions which the environs afford, have contributed to render it a place of fashionable resort during the summer months, and to raise it to an eminent rank among the watering-places on the Welsh coast. There is an excellent hotel, provided with every accommodation, to which a capacious boarding-house is attached; and numerous respectable lodging-houses have been erected. Warm and cold sea-water baths have been built by the proprietor of the hotel, through whose exertions many improvements have been made in the town: opposite to the hotel is a billiard-room, erected by the same gentleman; and assemblies are held at the hotel during the season.
Among the excursions in the neighbourhood are, a pleasing ride to Harlech Castle, about ten miles north of the town, a great part of which is over the fine sands that stretch along the coast; and the ride from Barmouth to Dôlgelley, about the same distance towards the east, which comprehends a finer range of varied scenery, and of interesting and magnificent objects, than can be found within the same distance, in this or perhaps in any other country. The road to Dôlgelley is conducted along the slope of a vast mountain, which impends over it for about two miles; and on the opposite side is skirted by the river, which forms a small arm of the sea, and at high water reflects the masses of barren rock that rise from its steep banks, occasionally interspersed with hanging woods, and varied with spots of luxuriant verdure. Beyond this point, the road winds beautifully through the lower hills, at a little distance from the river, which is seen through the different openings, partly concealed by intervening eminences, and sometimes expanding into a broad lake, from the margin of which, on either side, rise lofty and abrupt promontories, some of them rugged and barren, others half clothed with purple heath, and others again richly wooded. The banks of the river are occasionally enlivened by a few scattered rural dwellings, erected on the acclivities, at a great height above its channel; and on the opposite side, several rivulets, descending from the mountain with impetuosity, and after rains swelled into torrents, discharge themselves into the river. In the back ground, towering above the mountains which bound the view, is seen the lofty Cader Idris, on the other side of Dôlgelley. Throughout the whole of this ride the most pleasing and the most sublime features of landscape are strikingly grouped, and the most interesting varieties are beautifully combined. The waterfalls in the neighbourhood of Dôlgelley, and the Druidical remains on the road to Harlech, are objects of great attraction, and are deservedly admired.
Prior to the war with France, the inhabitants carried on a commercial intercourse with Ireland, Spain, and Italy. The trade is now principally coastwise, and consists chiefly in the exportation of timber, poles for collieries, bark, copper and lead ore, black-jack, manganese, turnery, webs, and slates; and in the importation of corn, flour and meal, coal, limestone, American and Baltic timber, hides, and grocery. The harbour is formed by the mouth of the river Maw being partially closed by a small island, called Ynys-y-Brawd, or the Friar's Island, and a gravel beach to the south: the island defends it from the billows of the ocean, and anciently afforded pasturage for sheep and cattle, but owing to the shifting of the sands, a great part is now inundated. The entrance is rendered somewhat difficult and dangerous, in consequence of these sands, the principal of which are the banks called the North and South Bars; vessels of considerable burthen can only enter and depart at spring tides. In the year 1802 the harbour was greatly improved by the erection of a small pier, or embankment of stone, under the authority of an act of parliament, and at a total expense of £1660; the depth of water was thus increased, and the loading and unloading of vessels considerably facilitated. At the same time a new quay was constructed. A buoy has been laid down upon each of the bars, and a beacon has been erected near the pier; so that the natural obstacles opposed to the growth of the port have been in a great measure removed. The river Maw, over which is a ferry at this place, is navigable for boats of under twenty tons' burthen to within two miles of Dôlgelley. The sea has made considerable encroachment on this part of the coast: to the north of the town was formerly a verdant plain, about half a mile long, and a quarter of a mile broad, now entirely covered by the waters, and over which passed the line of road that has since been cut along the rocky elevations to the right. Ship-building and the tanning of leather are carried on, the latter to a considerable extent. A great quantity of peat is obtained in a neighbouring turbary, through which a canal has been cut, walled on each side with stone, by means of which and the river Maw this species of fuel is conveyed in vessels either to Barmouth or Dôlgelley. Here are two weekly markets, on Tuesday and Friday; and fairs are held on Shrove-Monday, Whit-Monday, October 7th, and November 21st.
In 1830, through the instrumentality of the Rev. Frederick Ricketts, a chapel of ease was erected, at an expense of £2000. It is a neat cruciform structure, in the later style of English architecture, containing 470 sittings, one-third of which are free, in consideration of a grant of £300 from the Incorporated Society for building, enlarging, and repairing churches and chapels. Within its walls a Sunday school is kept. There are places of worship for Independents, and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists, to which are also attached Sunday schools. In 1841, two schoolrooms were erected by means of a grant from the National Society, and large subscriptions from the resident clergy and gentry: the master and mistress are supported by subscriptions, by payments from the scholars, and an endowment of £7. 7s. per annum; they have also a house each, and the rent of a similar house each. In 1846 a British school for boys and girls was established, which is held in the Calvinistic Methodist meeting-house, and supported partly by subscription, but principally by fees. A branch establishment belonging to the Merchants' Hospital in London, was established in 1828.