A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1849.
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LLANGYBI (LLAN-GYBI), a parish, in the union of Pwllheli, hundred of Eivionydd, county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 5 miles (N. E. by N.) from Pwllheli; containing 726 inhabitants. This parish, which derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Cybi, an eminent British saint, who flourished towards the close of the sixth century, is pleasantly situated in the south-western part of the county, and nearly in the centre of the promontory that separates Cardigan bay from the bay of Carnarvon. It is bounded on the north by the parishes of Llanelhairn and Clynnog, on the south by the parish of Llanarmon, on the east by those of Llanvihangel-y-Pennant and Llanystyndwy, and on the west by that of Carngiwch; and comprises 4306 acres, of which 1705 are arable, 2571 meadow and pasture, and 30 woodland, consisting principally of oak, ash, and larch. The soil, to a considerable extent, is moist and gravelly, producing chiefly barley, oats, and potatoes; the lands are mostly inclosed, and in a good state of cultivation. The surface is generally level, and the surrounding scenery is pleasingly diversified, comprising some fine views of the adjacent country, which is watered by several small streams, and abounds with varied and picturesque beauty. In the parish is the residence of Trallwyn; also an old mansion named Glasfryn, lately restored, and now inhabited. The Carnarvon and Pwllheli turnpikeroad runs through the parish, which has also good cross-roads.
The living is a rectory, with that of Llanarmon annexed, rated in the king's books at £15.3.4.; present net income, £450; patron, the Bishop of Bangor. The tithes of Llangybi have been commuted for a rent-charge of £226. 10. The church is a spacious structure, consisting of a nave, chancel, and north aisle, and measuring fifty-nine feet in length and seventeen and a half in breadth; in 1828 it underwent a thorough repair, the roof being raised and new windows inserted, and it is now one of the best ecclesiastical edifices in this part of the county. There are places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists and Independents, and three Sunday schools. An almshouse was founded in 1760, by William Price, Esq., of Rhiwlas, who endowed it with a rentcharge payable out of the estate of Pentyrch Uchâv, for six poor men, who receive £1 per quarter, with a sufficient allowance of fuel, and are nominated by Rice Thomas, Esq., of Coed Helen, heir of the founder: the six houses are substantially built of stone, but the almspeople do not reside in them, letting them to the parish officers at 25s. each. The Rev. Evan Griffith, in 1724, bequeathed £100, directing the proceeds to be annually distributed among the poor of this parish and Llanarmon. Near the church is a fine chalybeate spring, called Fynnon Gybi, inclosed with a stone wall, and having stone seats round it; the water was formerly in great repute for its efficacy in the cure of scorbutic complaints, and is still found beneficial in chronic cases. On the summit of Garn Pentyrch, or Garn Llangybi, a high conical hill, is a very extensive and perfect ancient British encampment.
LLANGYBI (LLAN-GYBI), a parish, in the union of Lampeter, Upper division of the hundred of Moythen, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 4 miles (N. N. E.)from Lampeter; containing 274 inhabitants. It lies upon the road from Lampeter to Trêgaron; and is bounded on the north by the parish of Llandewy-Brevi, on the south by that of Bettws-Bledrws, on the east by that of LlanvairClydogan, and on the west by the chapelry of Gartheli, in Llandewy-Brevi. The lands, which are watered by the river Dulas, are in general inclosed, and the soil is tolerably fertile, producing good barley and oats. The place constituted a prebend in the ancient collegiate church of Llandewy-Brevi, rated in the king's books at £1. 6. 8. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £800 royal bounty; net income, £60; patrons, alternately, Lord Carrington and Captain G. L. Vaughan, the impropriators, whose tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £90. The church, dedicated to St. Cybi, is a small edifice, consisting only of a nave and chancel. There are places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, Independents, and Presbyterians: the last is supposed to be the most ancient congregation of dissenters in the principality, having first assembled here about the year 1663. Two Sunday schools are supported by the Independents, and one by the Methodists. On a hill above the river Teivy is a large intrenchment, called Castell Goedtrêv; it gives name to the farm on which it is situated.
LLANGYNHAVAL (LLAN-GYNHAFAL), a parish, in the union and hundred of Ruthin, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 4 miles (N. by E.) from Ruthin; containing 502 inhabitants. This parish, which derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Cynhaval, who flourished about the beginning of the seventh century, is situated in the rich and fertile Vale of Clwyd, and sheltered by the fine range of mountains which bounds the vale and parish on the east. It is traversed by the road from Ruthin to Holywell, and bounded on the north by the parish of Llangwyvan, on the south by that of Llanbedr, on the east by that of Kîlken, and on the west by the parishes of Llanynys and Llanychan. It comprises by admeasurement 2300 acres, of which 1000 are mountainous, and nearly all the remainder arable. The scenery is diversified and highly picturesque, and the views over the adjacent country abound with interesting features. A very considerable portion of the parish is uninclosed and uncultivated, but of the rest the soil is sandy, and the chief produce is barley. Among the many gentlemen's seats sprinkled over the Vale of Clwyd, that of Plâs-Draw, situated in this parish, is considered the most beautiful; PlâsIssa, also, a modern mansion, is elegantly built.
The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £15. 15.; patron, the Bishop of Bangor: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £400, and there is a glebe of thirteen acres and a half, valued at £20 per annum; also a glebe-house. The church is a neat whitewashed edifice, sixty feet long and forty-two wide, and contains 400 sittings; it occupies a pleasant situation in the centre of the parish, and commands an extensive and beautiful view of the vale. There is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists. A Church school is supported, and two Sunday schools; one of these latter is in connexion with the Church, and the other with the Calvinistic body. Thomas Roberts bequeathed £43 to the poor, Edward Wynn £20, Strange Pedler £10, and John Doulben £10, which, together with some smaller benefactions, have been invested in the purchase of a portion of land called Gevel-y-Pwll, producing £7. 7. per annum. William Wynne, in 1723, left the interest of £100, which is now paid out of a large farm called Plâsynllan, and applied towards the support of the above-mentioned day school; and a few other annual charities of small amount, together with the produce of the land already named, are distributed on St. Thomas's day and Good Friday among the poor. In the chain of hills by which the parish is bounded on the east, the highest, called Moel Vammau, is surmounted by a column erected to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the accession of George III.
LLANGYNIDER (LLAN-GYNIDR), a parish, in the union and hundred of Crickhowel, county of Brecknock, South Wales, 4 miles (N. W.) from Crickhowel; containing 2775 inhabitants, of whom 2110 are in the hamlet of Blaen, 542 in that of Vro, and 123 in the hamlet of Dyfryn. This place derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Cynyd, or Cynydr, who lived in religious seclusion in Glamorgan, in the sixth century, and in commemoration of whom a festival was annually celebrated here, on the 1st of August. In ancient records it is frequently called "Llan-Gynyd-EglwysYail," from the Yail, a small stream that passed near the church; and "Llan-Gynyd-Eglwys-Vesey," from an old chapel, of which the ruins were formerly visible on the bank of the Crawnon, about two miles from the village. The parish extends from the southern bank of the Usk to the confines of Monmouthshire and Glamorgan, and is bounded on the north by that river, which separates it from the parish of Llanvihangel-Cwm-Dû. On the south-west it is bounded by the river Romney, which divides it from the parish of Gellygaer, in the county of Glamorgan; on the south by the parish of Bedwelty, in the shire of Monmouth; and on the west by the parish of Llanthetty. It comprises by recent admeasurement 13,992 acres, of which about 8000 are mountain land affording pasturage to large flocks of sheep, and the remainder inclosed arable and pasture, with some wood. The adjacent country is finely varied, in some parts beautifully picturesque; and the view of the mountains by which the parish is surrounded is strikingly beautiful: among these, the lofty conical mountain called the Sugar Loaf, on the border and within the limits of Monmouth, and the Irvol, or Hirvoel, commonly called Durvoel, in the adjoining parish of Llanthetty, partly clothed with larch-trees of stately growth, are prominent and interesting features. The soil is light, inclining in some parts to gravel, and in others well adapted for wheat and barley, the latter of which is produced of superior quality.
In the mountain district bordering on the counties of Monmouth and Glamorgan, and from six to nine miles distant from the parish church, a vast increase of population has taken place, occasioned by the residence of miners and colliers belonging to works situated in the adjoining parishes. The parish abounds with iron-ore, coal, and limestone; and on the river Romney are some iron-works, conducted by the Bute Iron Company, and giving employment to between 300 and 400 men. The Brecknock and Abergavenny canal, extending from Pontymoel, near Pontypool, in Monmouthshire, to Brecknock, traverses the lower part of the parish, and on its banks is a wharf for lime and coal. The tramroad commonly called the Trivel Road, communicating with the canal at Tàlybont, in the parish of Llanthetty, passes along the Trivel mountain in this parish; and the lower part of Llangynider is traversed by the turnpike-road leading from Llangattock to Brecknock. Fairs are annually held in the village, by prescriptive right, on April 20th, October 7th, December 1st, and the Wednesday before Christmas-day.
The living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at £13. 14. 7.; present net income, £418; patron, the Duke of Beaufort. The church, a plain small edifice, situated in the hamlet of Vro, consists of a nave and chancel, and contains about 240 sittings: the parsonage-house was erected at the expense of the Rev. William Davies, the incumbent. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists; a day school in connexion with the Church, built by Mr. Bailey, M.P.; and about twelve Sunday schools, one of which is conducted on Church principles. Mrs. Frances Griffiths, in 1761, left £10, the interest of which is divided annually, on Easter-eve, among the poor not receiving parochial relief; and Miss Sarah Prytherch, in 1787, bequeathed £8 per annum, payable out of a farm in the parish, to be distributed on the first of January, by the minister and churchwardens.
It is believed that a Roman vicinal road from Caerphilly to Bedwelty, and thence over Bedwelty common, upon which are manifest and unequivocal traces of a causeway, leading through the mines of Bryn Oer to Llanvrynach, in the Vale of Usk, passed along the high ridge of the Trivel Ddû mountain, in the parish. On this mountain, some time ago, a celt was found, which was in the possession of the late Archdeacon Payne. Near the source of the river Romney is a ford called Rhŷd-y-Milwyr, or "the soldiers' ford," but from what circumstance it obtained that appellation is unknown. On the Trivel Glâs mountain is a large natural cavern, termed Stabl Vawr, or "the great stable," above which is a large heap of stones, most probably raised as a beacon, as, upon examination, no sepulchral deposit was found beneath it, denoting it a cairn. Tradition points out the site of an ancient castle near the high road to Brecknock; but nothing of its history is recorded, and probably it was only a lodge for the residence of a forester under the lords of Trêtower castle.
LLANGYNIEW (LLAN-GYNYW), a parish, in the union of Llanvyllin, Lower division of the hundred of Mathraval, county of Montgomery, North Wales, 2 miles (N. by W.) from LlanvairCaereinion; containing 647 inhabitants. It derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Cynyw, an eminent British saint, who flourished in the sixth century, and was son of Gwynlliw, and brother of Catwg the Wise. That it is of remote antiquity is quite evident from the numerous British encampments, apparently of the very earliest character, which are scattered over the hills in various parts of the parish; and that it was occupied by the Romans, or at least known to that people, has been conjectured on probable grounds by several writers, both from the situation and the quadrangular form of a camp in the hamlet of Mathraval, which subsequently became the seat of the ancient Princes of Powys. This station, situated on the bank of the river Banwy, at no great distance from its junction with the other branch of the river Vyrnwy, and at the western extremity of the Vale of Meivod, near the turnpike-road from Llanvair to Meivod, has not only been supposed to be a Roman station, but by some antiquaries has been identified with the long-lost Mediolanum of the Itineraries. The reasons upon which they establish their hypothesis are, the common opinion entertained by all writers, that, from the coincidence of the situation with the distances laid down in the Itineraries of Antoninus and Richard of Cirencester, the site of that station is to be looked for either in the Vale of Meivod, or in that of the Tanat; that the western part of the former of these two vales is the spot where the ancient Roman Watling-street and the Via Devana would intersect each other, if continued in straight lines; that there are no other remains of Roman origin near this place, which at all correspond with the distances given in the Itineraries; and lastly, the prevailing custom of the early Saxon princes of Britain to erect their palaces on the sites of stations that had been occupied by the Romans. On the opposite side of the river, in a wood called Gwern Ddû, is a circular intrenchment; and in a field beyond it is a circular mount: both these Mr. Pennant thinks were appendages to the principal station at Mathraval, which he concurs with Burton in supposing to have been the Mediolanum of the Romans.
About the latter end of the eighth century, the Princes of Powys, in order to guard against the frequent incursions of Offa, King of Mercia, into the eastern portion of their territories, transferred the seat of their government from "Pengwern Powys," now Shrewsbury, where it had been previously established, to Mathraval in this parish. Here they either built a palace, or enlarged one previously erected, which continued to be their chief residence till towards the close of the twelfth century, when Gwenwynwyn, son of Owain Cyveiliog, having taken "Castell Côch yn Mhowys," now Powys Castle, removed the seat of government to that place. The Eisteddvodau, or triennial assemblies of the bards and minstrels, were regularly held at Mathraval, with great solemnity; and Owain Cyveiliog, who, as Prince of Powys, resided in the castle of this place, and Cynddelw Brydydd Mawr, his poet laureate, who lived at Llêchwedd-Isâv, near the banks of the Vyrnwy, both bards of the first eminence, who flourished during the middle of the twelfth century, the best era of Welsh poetry, composed on those occasions some of their finest odes, of which many are preserved in the Welsh Archæology.
After the removal of the seat of government to Castell Powys, the palace of Mathraval, which was deserted by the Princes of Powys, fell into the possession of Robert Vipont, a powerful baron in high favour with John, King of England, who rebuilt, or at least repaired and fortified, the ancient castle. In 1212, Llewelyn ab Iorwerth, Prince of North Wales, having made an incursion into Powysland, invested the castle here, which, from having been recently fortified by Vipont, was strong enough to hold out against his assaults, till King John, marching from England with a considerable force to the relief of the baron, compelled Llewelyn to retire with his confederate forces. At the same time, in order to prevent any similar attempt on the part of that prince, the king ordered the castle to be burnt to the ground, since which period it has been in ruins.
The parish is situated nearly in the centre of the county, on the turnpike-road leading from Oswestry to Llanvair. It is bounded on the south and west by the parish of Llanvair, and on the north and east by the Banwy and Oweddyn, or Mechan, both branches of the river Vyrnwy, which unite a little below Mathraval, and separate this parish from the parishes of Llanvihangel and Meivod. It extends nearly four miles in length, and from a mile and a half to three miles in breadth; and comprises by admeasurement 4440 acres, of which, by computation, 1300 are arable, 1600 pasture, 1060 meadow, and the remainder woodland. Nearly three-fourths of the lands are old inclosures; the rest was inclosed under the provisions of an act obtained in 1810, which extended also to the adjoining parish of LlanvairCaereinion, and part of that of Castle-Caereinion. The surface is greatly undulated, rising in many places into hills of considerable elevation; and the scenery, which is strikingly diversified, is enriched in several parts with woods of luxuriant growth, and enlivened by the branches of the river Vyrnwy. At Mathraval Fridd and Park are not less than 350 acres of woodland, containing some of the finest oaktrees in the county, which is much celebrated for that species of timber: many of the young trees, not more than nine inches in girth at the butt, are sixty feet in height, and for cleaving are thought to be among the best in the kingdom; while those of more mature growth are unrivalled in the stateliness of their appearance, forming a majestic feature in the scenery of the place. From several of the hills, which are generally of conical form, are some noble and magnificent views over the surrounding country, comprehending the most picturesque portion of the district called Powysland. From the summit of Penyborth, in the hamlet of Cynhinva, more especially, is a prospect remarkable for its extent and grandeur. Towards the east are seen the open and fertile plains of Salop, as far as the high lands of Cheshire and Staffordshire, with the Wrekin, the Breiddyn, the Clee hills, and the Radnorshire range; and on the west are the lofty mountains of Plinlimmon, Cader Idris, the Arans, the Berwyn chain, and the Arenigs, with numerous other Welsh hills, among which one of the peaks of Snowdon is plainly discernible. The branches of the river Vyrnwy still retain their wonted celebrity for various kinds of fish of very superior quality, which obtained for them the appellation "Piscosi Amnes." On the Banwy is a beautiful waterfall, near Dôlanog bridge, partly within the parish of Llanvair.
The soil in the arable land is loamy, in the meadow loamy and alluvial, and clayey in the pasture and woodland; the chief produce of the parish is oats, barley, wheat, peas, and butter and cheese. There are several small turbaries, which formerly supplied the inhabitants with fuel, but are now almost exhausted; they appear to have been formed from timber which, being collected in hollows, and becoming decomposed, constituted a peat soil of considerable depth. In one of these turbaries, a little to the north of the church, the pieces of timber found in a horizontal position were chiefly oak and birch; but as the surface was lowered by the removal of the peat for consumption, the stumps of trees that were found in an upright position were of fir, and, on the application of fire, easily ignited and blazed freely. From this circumstance it is evident, that the fir is a species of timber of no modern date in this part of the principality, and also that turbary water is a preservative of timber, especially of fir. The substratum of the peat soil, which is now only a few feet deep, is a shell marl of considerable depth; and between the peat and the marl is a layer of moss and sedges, apparently in their original state. On analyzing the marl, it was found to contain seven parts and one-tenth of extraneous vegetable matter, five-tenths of a part of siliceous earth, eighty-nine parts and eight-tenths of carbonate of lime, and two parts and six-tenths of waste, being a portion of water. According to this analysis, the marl, containing nearly ninety per cent. of carbonate of lime, is highly valuable as a rich calcareous manure for land. The parish contains four corn-mills, in each of which about three hands are employed.
The living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at £5. 13. 4.; present net income, £336, with a glebe-house; patron, the Bishop of St. Asaph. The church, dedicated to St. Cyniw, and situated at the eastern extremity of the parish, near the bank of the Banwy, is a venerable structure in the early style of English architecture, measuring forty-nine feet by twenty-one, and containing 177 sittings. It has the remains of the ancient screen and rood-loft, embellished with some exquisite carvings in oak, and in the east window are some small remains of stained glass; the old font, which is of large dimensions, is still preserved. In the churchyard are six venerable yew-trees. There are places of worship for Independents and Calvinistic Methodists; a Church day school, and three Sunday schools, one of which is in connexion with the Church. Some minor charitable donations and bequests have been made by various individuals, the produce arising from which, amounting to £6. 16., is annually distributed in small sums among the poor of the parish; but the principal bequest, a rent-charge of £5, by Samuel Home, in 1804, is partly distributed in coal, on St. Thomas's day.
The only remains of the ancient castle of Mathraval, the supposed Roman station Mediolanum, consist of vestiges of the vast rampart of stones and earth, with a deep fosse on three sides of the quadrangular area which it occupied, the fourth side being defended by the steep eminence overhanging the river. The inclosed area is about two acres in extent, and each side of it about 120 yards in length; at the north-eastern angle, which impends over the river, is a lofty exploratory mount, on which probably was a castelet, commanding a full view up and down the vale. Several relics of antiquity have been dug up amid the ruins near this spot, among which were some tiles having protuberances at one extremity, apparently to connect them, also some silver dishes, an old sword, and some silver coins. Within the area is a farmhouse, situated near the mount, and which, together with the greater part of the hamlet of Mathraval, belongs to the Powis estate. In the eastern part of the parish are the remains of two other encampments, forming, with Mathraval, an equilateral triangle, each of the sides of which is about a mile in length. One of these encampments, which are thought to be of British origin, is situated on a conical hill called Garthen, in the hamlet of Llangyniew, and appears to have been surrounded with three ramparts of earth and two fosses, inclosing a circular area 70 yards in diameter within the inner wall, and 140 yards in diameter within the outer. The other occupies the summit of a hill in Mathraval Fridd, and comprises an elliptical area conformable to the shape of the hill, seventy-two yards in the longer, and forty-four yards in the shorter, diameter. It is encircled by two ramparts and one fosse, except on the western side, where, being less defended by the nature of the ground, it is protected by four ramparts and three fosses; the distance between the two ramparts is twenty yards, and between the additional ramparts on the western side, ten yards. Both these camps occupy an elevated site, commanding an extensive view of the adjacent country. There is a very powerful spring in the parish, strongly impregnated with sulphur.
The Rev. Dr. Evans, rector of Llanymynech, and canon of St. Asaph, was born in this parish, and was buried in the church, where a marble tablet was erected to his memory. He was a distinguished Welsh scholar and critic, and assisted Dr. Burney in writing his History of Music, and Mr. Edward Jones in his collection of Welsh airs. Among his papers was discovered a letter from one of his friends, requesting his literary assistance in the following terms: "A friend of mine, of the name of Samuel Johnson, talks of writing a dictionary of the English language, and would be much obliged to you for sending a list of those English words which are derived from the Welsh."
LLANGYNOG (LLAN-GYNOG), a parish, in the union and hundred of Builth, county of Brecknock, South Wales, 3½ miles (S. S. W.) from Builth; containing 54 inhabitants. It derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Cynog, an eminent British saint, who suffered martyrdom about the close of the fifth century. The parish is situated in the northern portion of the county, on the turnpike-road leading from Brecknock to Builth; and is bounded on the north by the parish of Llanddewi'r-Cwm, on the south by that of Gwenddwr, on the east by the county of Radnor, and on the west by the lofty range of the Eppynt hills. It comprises about 2000 acres, 1000 of which are comprehended in a dreary and mountainous tract extending beyond the confines of the parish, and the remainder consists of about one-sixth arable, the same of woodland, and two-thirds of meadow and pasture. The soil is poor, producing only a little oats and barley; the farmers depend chiefly on the rearing of sheep and a few hardy cattle, for which the hilly grounds afford but inferior pasture. The Eppynt hills are partly within the parish; and from their summits extensive views are obtained over the adjacent country: the immediate neighbourhood, through which runs the small river Dihonwy, exhibits only wild and mountainous scenery. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £800 royal bounty; net income, £69; patron, the Bishop of St. David's. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £44, payable to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners. The church, an ancient, mean edifice, possessing no claim to architectural notice, stands a little eastward from the mountain road between Brecknock and Builth, on the brow of the Eppynt hills, in a very bleak situation, sheltered only by some larch and fir trees by which the churchyard is surrounded. It is a remarkably small church, measuring only thirtyone feet and a half, by seventeen feet.
LLANGYNOG (LLAN-GYNOG), a parish, in the union, and Upper division of the hundred, of Llanvyllin, county of Montgomery, North Wales, 8 miles (N. W.) from Llanvyllin; containing 516 inhabitants. This parish derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Cynog, the eldest of the sons of Brychan, Prince of Brycheiniog; he suffered martyrdom in the fifth century, was buried at Merthyr-Cynog, in the county of Brecknock, and was canonized after his death. It is bounded on the north and east by the county of Denbigh, on the south by the parish of Hîrnant, on the west by that of Pennant; and comprises by admeasurement 974a. 3r. 22p. of cultivated land, and by computation 2500 acres of common or waste. The village is beautifully situated on the turnpike-road from Llanvyllin to Bala, in a pleasing but narrow vale, watered by the river Tanat, and sheltered by lofty mountains: there is a bridge over the stream, on the line of the turnpike-road. The scenery is strikingly diversified, abounding with features of picturesque beauty, and of rugged grandeur; and the views over the adjacent country, on the east comprising part of Denbighshire, and on the west part of Merioneth, from which latter the parish is separated by the fine range of the Berwyn mountains, are interesting and extensive. In the mountainous district of the parish are mines of lead, quarries of slate, and other mineral works. The soil is in general fertile in the agricultural part, producing good crops of wheat, barley, oats, and grass; and peat, which forms the principal fuel of the inhabitants, is found in abundance.
The lead-mines, which are the property of the Earl of Powis, have been worked for about a century, and were productive of immense profit to an ancestor of the present owner. The ore is of the species called galena, or "potters' ore," and is found in a rake vein extending in a direction from east-by-south to west-by-north, which is noticed by Williams, in his "Mineral Kingdom," published in 1789, as being perhaps the richest then discovered in the island. In the centre of the vein was a breadth of five yards of clean ore, so pure as to be immediately conveyed from the mine to the smelting-house, exclusively of a breadth of several feet on each side, which, being mixed with spar, required previous dressing to prepare it for smelting. The vein has been worked to a depth of more than ninety yards, and during a period of forty years yielded upon the average about 4000 tons of ore annually, producing to its proprietor a clear yearly revenue of £20,000. About the commencement of the present century this mine, the working of which had been for some time discontinued as the influx of water rendered it impracticable, was leased by a company who drove a level beneath the mine, in order to draw off the water, and continued the working of it for some time. In the course of their operations the miners occasionally found masses of pure ore, weighing from seventy to one hundred lb. each; but, after prosecuting their labours for some time, the works were again neglected. Of late years, however, the old shaft having been reopened, the mine has produced about one hundred tons of ore annually: the machinery employed is driven by a stream of water, brought from a distance of seven miles at a very considerable expense.
At Craig-y-Gribbin, in the parish, are some quarries of excellent blue slate, of a strong and durable quality, in raising which about three persons are at present occupied. From the veins of quartz that pervade the entire mass of the rock in which they are quarried, they exhibit a rough surface; and some of the slabs contain beautiful cubes of mundic. These slates are procured for the supply of the neighbouring districts, and a small quantity is sent to the Montgomeryshire canal at Newbridge, near Llanymynech, for conveyance by water to more distant parts. In the rock of Llangynog, which has a lofty and almost perpendicular elevation on the north side of the village, is another quarry, employing about twenty-six persons, from which great numbers of slates of similar quality are obtained, and brought down the steep declivity of the rock in sledges containing about five cwt. each, with extreme danger to the persons engaged in this arduous task. When the sledge is loaded, and drawn to the edge of the declivity, the conductor sits upon it, passing over his shoulders a rope which is fastened at each extremity to the front, and being also assisted with a pole. Then raising his feet from the ground, he begins his descent down a narrow winding path, guiding the sledge by opposing his feet to the projecting points of the rock, which would divert it from its course; governing its accumulating velocity by pressing firmly with his feet upon the ground; and sustaining the weight of the carriage by the rope that passes over his shoulders. Sometimes the guide, passing the rope over his shoulders as in the former case, instead of sitting upon the front of the sledge, descends backwards; and, when in danger of being overpowered by the weight and the accumulated velocity of the sledge, slipping the rope over his head, detaches himself from the carriage, and throws it sideways over the precipice, regarding only his own preservation. In either case the descent is attended with extreme danger, and the least inattention or want of dexterity on the part of the guide, would expose him to inevitable destruction. The parish contains a woollen manufactory, in which about three persons are employed; and fairs are annually held in the village on May 6th, August 9th, and September 3rd.
The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £4. 8. 11½.; patron, the Bishop of St. Asaph: the tithes have been commuted for £140 payable to the rector, and £2. 5. to the parish-clerk; and a glebe-house is attached to the benefice, together with a glebe of six acres and a quarter, valued at £10 per annum. The church, rebuilt in 1790, is fortyeight feet long and twenty broad, and contains 160 sittings. There are places of worship for Independents and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists; a day school, established in 1847 by some dissenters in the neighbourhood; and four Sunday schools, one of them in connexion with the Church. Evan Jones, in 1797, gave the interest of £20 in support of a school, and also bequeathed a house for its use; if no school should be held, he directed the proceeds to be distributed among the poor. Elizabeth Lloyd, in 1730, left a rent-charge of £2, a moiety to be distributed among the poor of this parish, and the other moiety among those of Pennant; the sum is accordingly so disposed of, in small sums, every Easter Monday. A brass celt was found near the village, some time since. The parish contains a mining level called Ogov, or "the cave," driven under a vast depth of slaty rock, and which appears to have long ceased to be recognised as a work of art.
LLANGYVELACH (LLAN-GYFELACH), a parish, in the union, and partly within the limits of the borough, of Swansea, and partly in the hundred of Llangyvelach, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 4 miles (N. by W.) from Swansea; comprising the townships of Higher and Lower Clâs, Upper and Lower Mawr, Upper and Lower Pen Derwi, and Upper and Lower Rhwngdwy Clydach; and containing 9394 inhabitants. About the year 990, Howel, Prince of South Wales, and his nephew Edwin, having entered the dominions of Ithel, Prince of Glamorgan, and ravaged them without mercy, were met, on their return, at a place called Cors Eineon, in this parish, by Howel, the brother of Ithel, who had suddenly raised the country in their rear: having assembled an immense multitude, armed with the first weapons they could obtain, he here routed his enemies with great slaughter, and recovered the plunder which they were carrying away. The parish is situated in a district abounding with mineral wealth; it is more than ten miles in length, and in many parts six in breadth, comprising 27,305 acres, of which 7223 are common or waste land. It includes the western side of the Swansea valley, or Vale of Tawe, from a short distance above Swansea up to Pontardawe, and stretches from that side of the valley as its basis away to the confines of Carmarthenshire. Upon the base-line lie Morriston, a place of some size, Clydach, and Pontardawe: the first presents the aspect of a manufacturing population, but at Clydach and Pontardawe, though there are works at or near each, rural features predominate. The village of Llangyvelach lies westward of this baseline, and towards the Carmarthen border the surface is mountainous. Clasemont, the property of Sir John Morris, Bart., has been taken down; and the only seat now deserving notice, within the limits of the parish, is Penlle'rgaer, an elegant residence.
The principal mineral production is coal, which is procured in large quantities, and the working of which affords employment to a great part of the population. The copper-works established here for the manufacture of ore imported for the purpose, and the collieries, are conducted by different companies on a very extensive scale, the former furnishing occupation to more than 1500, and the latter to 2000, men. The Pontardawe tin-works are situated in a pleasant part of the vale, a little below the village of that name, and are now the property of John Parsons, Esq., of Graig Cottage. They were erected about fourteen years since, at a considerable outlay, and the number of persons employed is about 140; the make is about 2000 boxes of tin-plates per month, and the wages, which are all paid in cash, exceed, with incidentals, £500 monthly. The Swansea canal intersects the parish, in its course up the western bank of the river Tawe. In 1847 an act was passed authorizing the construction of a railway from Nantmelyn, in the parish, to Ynis-y-Mond, in the parish of Cadoxton, to be called the Swansea and Amman Junction Railway: it will consist of a main line of nearly four miles and a half, with above two miles of branches. A fair is held on March 1st in the village of Llangyvelach, in which petty sessions for the hundred also take place.
The living is a vicarage, rated in the king's books at £9. 14. 9½., and in the patronage of the Bishop of St. David's: the tithes have been commuted for £1050, of which £845 are payable to the impropriator, and £205 to the vicar. The church, dedicated to St. Cyvelach, is a very neat and compact structure, consisting of a nave and chancel, the former rebuilt a short time ago: the old tower, which still remains, is detached from the present, as it was from the former, edifice, standing at a short distance from the nave: in the sepulchral chapel belonging to the family of Penlle'rgaer, is an elegant cenotaph of black marble. The situation of parish-clerk is worth from £70 to £100 per annum, arising chiefly from a charge of two shillings and sixpence upon each plough used on every farm in the parish; it is in the gift of the Bishop. At Morriston is a separate incumbency; and another has been lately founded at Clydach, under the act 6th and 7th Victoria, cap. 37: the latter is in the gift of the Crown and the Bishop, alternately; net income, £150. There are places of worship for Independents, Baptists, Particular Baptists, Calvinistic Methodists, and Unitarians. Day schools are held in different parts, in connexion with the Church; and the parish contains eighteen Sunday schools, four of them conducted on Church principles.
Lewis Thomas, in the year 1642, left a messuage and tenement called Tîr Bâch, and also a sum of £20, the produce to be annually divided on Christmas-eve among the poor not receiving parochial aid: the piece of land contains about ten acres, with a small cottage, but is not worth more than about £5 per annum; and nothing has been received from the property since the early part of the present century, when it is said to have been taken possession of by a descendant of the testator. In 1733, Mary Williams bequeathed a rent-charge of £2 for erecting and maintaining a free school, in the parcel of Rhwngdwy Clydach, and the sum was paid to a schoolmaster at Gellyonen until 1808, since which time nothing has been received, though a school was built by subscription in the place named by the testatrix. Mary Rogers, in 1789, gave £500, the interest to be expended in clothing six men, and an equal number of women, at Christmas, and the residue then left to be retained by the minister for his trouble in seeing the trust performed; the fund is vested in the three per cent. reduced annuities, yielding an interest of £19. 13. 6., of which £12 are allotted to the clothing of three poor men and women in each division of the parish, and the remainder is paid to the vicar. Thomas Price, of Penlle'rgaer, bequeathed a rentcharge of £4 on a farm called Abergwenlais, the amount to be distributed among the poor on Christmas-eve and Good Friday, and he likewise charged the land with an annual payment of £4. 10. for instructing ten children. A few other small charities have been either lost or are unproductive; among which are a bequest by Alexander Amyas of £40, in 1773; a grant of £20 by one of the Penderry family; and another rent-charge, variously stated at £2, and £7. 10., on a tenement called Havod, in the parish of Bettws, county of Carmarthen. Penlle'rgaer, near the western confines of the parish, is the only place besides Loughor having any claim to be regarded as the site of the Roman station Leucarum; its claim consists partly in its appellation, which may be translated "the camp summit," and partly in the discovery of fragments of ancient walls, in a situation likely to have been chosen by the Romans for a military post. Near the top of Mynydd Maen Coch, in the parish, is a stone circle called Carn Llêchart, in a state of almost perfect preservation.—See Morriston, Clâs, &c.
Llanhamllêch, or Llan-Amllêch (Llan-Ammwlch)
LLANHAMLLÊCH, or LLAN-AMLLÊCH (LLAN-AMMWLCH), a parish, consisting of two divisions, Lower and Upper, in the hundred of Pencelly, union and county of Brecknock, South Wales, 3 miles (S. E. by E.) from Brecknock; containing 324 inhabitants, of whom 211 are in the hamlet of Llanhamllêch, or Lower division, and 113 in that of Llêchvaen, or the Upper division. The name of this parish, signifying the "church on many flat stones," is in allusion to the strata of the rock on which the church is built, and the fragments of slate with which the churchyard abounds. The greater portion of the parish, together with the advowson of the living, formed part of the possessions of Sir John Walbeoffe, one of the companions of Bernard Newmarch in his conquest of the ancient principality of Brecknock, and remained in the hands of the descendants of that family till it became extinct. In the reign of James I., the manor and living became the property of the Powells, with whom they have since continued.
This parish, which comprises about 1130 acres, is beautifully situated on the north bank of the river Usk, and on the turnpike-road from Brecon to Crickhowel, which passes through the village: on the west it is bounded by the Brynŷch brook. The lands are chiefly arable; but there are some good meadows near the Usk, affording excellent pasturage for cattle. The soil, composed of clay and gravel, is tolerably fertile, and the inhabitants are principally employed in agricultural pursuits. The scenery is richly diversified and highly picturesque: the river, in many parts of its winding course, forms a beautiful feature in the landscape; and the distant views embrace many objects of romantic grandeur, among which are the Brecknockshire Beacons, and the Sugar Loaf and other mountains in the county of Monmouth. Peterstone Court, a spacious and well-built mansion, is situated near the site of the old residence of the Norman family of Walbeoffe, in grounds ornamented with a stately avenue of elms and a small group of oak-trees. The Hay railway, from Brecknock to the rich agricultural districts of Herefordshire, runs through the northern part of the parish.
The living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at £6. 1. 8; patron, the Rev. Thomas Powell: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £255, and there is a glebe of forty acres, valued at £40 per annum. The tithes were charged by a member of the Walbeoffe family with the payment of nine shillings annually to the priory of Malvern, which, upon the dissolution of that establishment, was received by the crown. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, and supposed to have been originally founded by one of the Walbeoffes, was, with the exception of the old tower, rebuilt by a parochial rate in 1802, and is a neat plain edifice, consisting of a nave and chancel: the chancel was formerly filled with raised tombs, which, since the rebuilding of the church, have been placed on a level with the pavement. The tower is embattled, and is a fine specimen of the later style of English architecture, though not elaborately ornamented, and from every point of view forms a highly interesting object. The churchyard is remarkably picturesque, and is adorned with some fine yew-trees, several of which, though of great age, are flourishing in full vigour. The old parsonage-house appears to be of very ancient date, probably coeval with the settlement of the first Norman family, for besides the Norman arches that constitute the doorways, and the stone mullions of the windows, several stones have been found in the walls, ornamented with the Norman or Saxon scrolls, and on one of them is an inscription in the Saxon character, of which the word "Meridic" is legible. In the hamlet of Llêchvaen was a chapel of ease, which fell down about a century since, and has not been rebuilt; the central situation of the parochial church, and its sufficiency of accommodation, rendering it unnecessary. There is a place of worship in Llêchvaen for Calvinistic Methodists, with a Sunday school held in it. The Peterstone estate is charged by Miss Walbeoffe with the yearly payment of £2. 8., which is regularly distributed among the poor of the parish; and a bequest of £3 per annum, by the same lady, is charged on lands in the parish of Llanvrynach, for apprenticing a child from this place every second year with a premium of £6.
On a farm called Mannest, in the parish, and upon the summit of an eminence that overlooks the villages of Llanhamllêch, Llanvigan, and Llanvrynach, and commands a very extensive prospect over the fertile Vale of Usk, are the remains of a cist-vaen, under an aged yew-tree, and surrounded with stones apparently from a dispersed cairn, under which it had been concealed for many ages: at what period it was opened is not known. It consists of three upright stones, two forming the sides, about five feet in length, and one at the end, about three feet wide: the whole height does not exceed three feet from the ground. By some writers this relic has been supposed to be of Druidical origin, and by others to be the remains of a hermit's cell: by topographers it is usually designated Tŷ Illtyd, or St. Illtyd's hermitage. The crosses and characters appear to be nothing more than the rude efforts of pilgrims and visiters to leave some memorial of themselves behind, by inscribing the initials of their names, and other devices, on the stones of the monument. The parish was anciently crossed by the Roman Via Julia Montana.
LLANHARAN, a parish, in the poor-law union of Bridgend and Cowbridge, hundred of Cowbridge, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 6 miles (N. by E.) from Cowbridge; containing 306 inhabitants. This parish is situated under the southern declivity of a ridge of hills; near the South Wales railway, and on the road from Bridgend to Llantrissent, Merthyr-Tydvil, and Cardiff. It is bounded on the north by Peterstone-super-Montem, on the south by Llanilid, on the east by Llantrissent, and by St. Bride's Minor on the west. The surface is undulated and hilly, and the high grounds command good views, comprehending the Bristol Channel, and the adjacent country intersected by the river Ely; the soil in many parts is gravelly, in others peaty and boggy, and most kinds of agricultural produce are raised. Llanharan House is a handsome modern mansion, situated under the shelter of a lofty ridge of hills, with a south-eastern aspect; the grounds are richly wooded, and present an agreeable irregularity of surface, embracing much pleasing scenery: from the upper part of the house are obtained extensive and interesting prospects. In Llanharan House is a valuable collection of Welsh manuscripts, formed by Llewelyn Sion, an eminent bard of Glamorgan, illustrative of the system of bardism, preserved in the Gorsedd Morganwg, in which he presided in 1580. Llanelay is a good residence of a mixed style of architecture, situated on the bank of the river Ely, and sheltered on the north by the lofty hill of Garth. Craig Matthew, a venerable structure, was formerly the seat of the Matthews, and afterwards of the Gibbons. The parish abounds with mineral wealth, and several of the inhabitants are employed in some collieries, which are chiefly worked for the supply of the immediate vicinity; limestone is found in great quantities, and lead and iron ores have been discovered: magnesian limestone in one place lies above the coal, which rises again beyond it to the south. The living is a rectory, consolidated with the rectory of Llanilid: the church, which is dedicated to St. Julius and St. Aaron, is thirty-four feet long and fifteen wide, and contains about ninety sittings. Mrs. Mary Lougher left £60 to the poor of the parish, but only £15 of the sum are now available; £100 were bequeathed by the late Mr. Gibbon, of Newton House, near Cowbridge, and £120 by the late Dr. Hoare, Principal of Jesus College, Oxford: the income arising from these bequests, £12. 1., is annually distributed among the poor.
LLANHARY (LLAN-ARAU), a parish, in the union of Bridgend and Cowbridge, hundred of Cowbridge, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 4 miles (N. N. E.) from Cowbridge; containing 268 inhabitants. The lands of the parish are generally inclosed, and in a good state of cultivation; and a portion of its substrata consists of coal of good quality, which is worked for the supply of the immediate neighbourhood. The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £5. 12. 8½.; present net-income, £120; patron, E. Ballard, Esq. The church is dedicated to St. Arau. There is a place of worship for Independents; also a dameschool in connexion with the Church, and two Sunday schools, one of them conducted on Church principles, and the other belonging to the Independent body. Mr. Gibbon, of Newton House, near Cowbridge, bequeathed £200, the interest of which is annually distributed among the poor, shortly after Christmas; being a portion of a benefaction of £500 left by that gentleman, the residue of which he directed to be divided equally among the parishes of Llanharan, Llantrissent, and Llanblethian.
LLANHOWEL (LLAN-HOWEL), a parish, in the union of Haverfordwest, hundred of Dewisland, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 4½ miles (E. by N.) from St. David's; containing 160 inhabitants. It is situated in the north-western part of the county, nearly in the centre of a peninsula stretching into St. George's Channel, and terminating in the promontory called St. David's Head. The living is a discharged vicarage, with that of Llandeloy annexed; patrons and impropriators, the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral of St. David's. The tithes of Llanhowel have been commuted for £67 payable to the impropriators, and £42 payable to the vicar: the vicar's glebe comprises eighty-one acres, valued at £60 per annum. The church, dedicated to St. Hoel, presents no details of importance.
LLANIDAN (LLAN-IDAN), a parish, in the union of Carnarvon, hundred of Menai, county of Anglesey, North Wales, 7 miles (S. W. by W.) from Bangor; containing, exclusively of the chapelry of Llanvair-y-Cwmmwd, 1370 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated on the western shore of the Menai strait, was in ancient times one of the principal stations of the Druids, being included in a large district, in which the arch-druid, the sub-druid, and other priests of that order had their abode. From this circumstance are derived the names of the several hamlets of the parish, of which Tre'r Dryw was the seat of the arch-druid; Tre'r Beirdd, that of the bards; Bôdowyr, the residence of Druidical priests; and Bôd Drudan, a habitation of the Druids. Suetonius Paulinus, who entirely destroyed the authority of these priests in Britain, is said to have landed his forces at Porthamel, not far from this place, at a spot still called Pant yr Ysgraf, or "the valley of skiffs," from his having transported his infantry across the Menai in flat-bottomed boats. Being, however, almost immediately compelled to retreat by the insurrection under Boadicea, the Roman general was unable to make any permanent settlement here; nor have any remains undoubtedly Roman, either of this or a later period, been discovered, with the exception only of a few coins that have been occasionally dug up in the neighbourhood. The parish comprises 4001 acres, of which 30 acres are common or waste. The lands, with some trifling exceptions, are inclosed, and in a good state of cultivation. Limestone abounds in the parish, the quarrying and burning of which afford employment to several of the inhabitants, great quantities being prepared for manure, and shipped in the Menai, to be conveyed coastwise to Liverpool and other places. Llanidan Hall, a seat of Lord Boston's, commands fine prospects. At Bryn Siencyn, near the strait, in the parish, fairs are held on March 11th, April 14th, September 13th, October 12th, and November 12th.
The living is a discharged vicarage, with the perpetual curacies of Llanddaniel-Vab, Llanedwen, and Llanvair-y-Cwmmwd annexed, rated in the king's books at £10; present net income, £292: one-third of the great tithes belongs to the vicar, and the remainder to Lord Boston, who is patron. The church, dedicated to St. Nidan, was appropriated to the convent of Bethgelart; its revenues shared the fate of that establishment in 1535, and the advowson was granted by Queen Elizabeth to Edward Downam and Peter Ashton. In 1605 those grantees sold the advowson to Richard Prytherch of Myvyrian, whose daughter conveyed it by marriage to the Llwyds of Lligwy, on the extinction of which family it was purchased, with the rest of their estates, by Lord Uxbridge, who bequeathed it to the father of the present Lord Boston. The present church was erected only a few years ago, at some distance from the former edifice; it cost upwards of £600, and is apparently of substantial construction, but is much inferior in style to the old building. The latter, which has been for the most part demolished, was an interesting church, and one of the most important religious structures in the isle of Anglesey. Its situation, also, was somewhat peculiar, it being erected in an inclosure almost circular, surrounded by "tall ancestral trees," and immediately behind the mansion of Lord Boston, from which it was not twenty yards distant. The reasons assigned for its desertion were, that it required so much reparation as to make it more advantageous to raise a new edifice; and next, that the population having shifted to the spot called Bryn Siencyn, it was desirable to choose a site for the new church in that part of the parish. There are several places of worship for dissenters; a Church day school, at Bryn Siencyn; and three Sunday schools, all of them belonging to the dissenters. The Rev. Henry Rowlands, in 1616, bequeathed to the poor a rent-charge of 8s. on his estate of Plâs Gwyn, besides which there are some small rent-charges amounting to about as much more, and a few charitable donations and bequests; principally a sum of £1 paid annually by Lord Boston, and a similar amount from a bequest by an unknown donor to be divided among twenty old men. Two small charities have been lost.
Of the Druidical antiquities with which the parish abounded, and of which so exact an account has been given by Mr. Rowlands in his "Mona Antiqua Restaurata," but very few are at present in any tolerable state of preservation, and of many there are scarcely any vestiges. The spacious grove and temple of Tre 'r Dryw are now hardly distinguishable; and only a few of the stones that formed the sacraria are remaining to mark out the site: Bryn Gwyn, the grand consistory of the Druidical administration, a circular cavity 180 feet in diameter, was surrounded originally by an immense rampart of earth and stones, and had near it a circle of stones, one of which, now forming part of the gable of a dwellinghouse, is above twelve feet in height and of proportionate bulk. Tre 'r Beirdd, "the seat of the bards," has been almost entirely demolished, the materials having been used for building; its site is now occupied by two small tenements. Bôdowyr contains a cromlech, supported on several upright stones, in a tolerably perfect state, but the circle has been removed. Trêvrŷ has only three upright stones remaining, at a great distance from each other; the foundations have been removed, and the site was levelled by the plough in 1827. Tan Ben y Cevn remains in an entire state, though concealed from observation by the brambles with which it is overspread. Two upright stones only are left at Llŷslew; and of numerous others, noticed by Mr. Rowlands, not the slightest vestiges can be traced. Caer Lêb, or "the moated intrenchment," supposed to have been the residence of the arch-druid, is in good preservation, and forms a quadrangular area, defended by a double rampart, with a broad intervening ditch, and surrounded on the outside by a ditch of smaller dimensions; within the area are foundations of square and circular buildings. It is now doubted whether Caer Lêb be not a Roman encampment; and it is asserted that a paved road, similar to a Roman road in construction, runs by the north-eastern side of the work, and across the adjoining common towards the Menai; the road lies about three feet below the soil, and has been of late exposed in several places. Castell Idris, built on the summit of a rock, and defended on the accessible sides by three walls in the form of a crescent, is a fortress of British origin, but of later date than the time of the Druids; it is a place of great strength and in good preservation, though overgrown with brambles, and concealed by a young plantation of forest-trees. The Rev. Henry Rowlands, already mentioned, author of the "Mona Antiqua Restaurata," published in 1723, was vicar of the parish at the time he wrote that work.
LLANIDLOES (LLAN-IDLOES), a borough, market-town, and parish, and, jointly with Newtown, the head of a poor-law union, in the Upper division of the hundred of Llanidloes, county of Montgomery, North Wales, 26½ miles (S. W.) from Welshpool, 22 (W. S. W.) from Montgomery, and 193 (W. N. W.) from London; containing 4261 inhabitants, of whom 2742 are in the borough. This parish, which is of considerable extent, derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Idloes, an eminent British saint, who flourished about the middle of the sixth century. The town is situated in a fertile vale, watered by the river Severn, which has its source within the parish, and almost surrounded by hills of moderate elevation, some of them crowned with thriving plantations, and others richly cultivated. The scenery of the vale is beautifully picturesque, and the banks of the river are enlivened with some pleasant villas and handsome residences: the hills that surround the town form a striking contrast to the barren heights seen in the distance, among which the great mountain of Plinlimmon, partly within the limits of the parish, forms a conspicuous and interesting feature. Llanidloes occupies a favourable site on the southern bank of the Severn, and on the turnpike-road from Shrewsbury through Newtown to Aberystwith. It consists principally of two spacious streets, intersecting each other nearly at right angles, and has been improved and enlarged by the erection of several respectable houses. On the western side, and in a picturesque situation near the vicarage-house, is a stone bridge of one arch over the river; and another handsome stone bridge of three arches has been erected, at an expense of £3000, over the same river, near the place where it receives the tributary stream of the Clywedog, which, after flowing some distance through the parish, falls into the Severn. The inhabitants are amply supplied with water.
The approaches to the town are remarkably fine, especially that from Aberystwith, and the environs abound with features of rural simplicity and romantic beauty. On the road leading from Aberystwith, having passed over a bridge about two miles from Llanidloes, is a genteel house, called Glandulas, the grounds belonging to which are planted with a variety of fir, lime, elm, chestnut, beech, and other trees; a beautiful trout-stream flowing close to the house. Upon the south side is Maenol, a very handsome large house, erected in the Elizabethan style, and forming an ornamental feature in the scenery; and immediately bordering on the town is Glandwr, a beautiful residence, having grounds disposed with great taste, and planted with trees, flowering-shrubs, and annuals. Dôl Llŷs, in the parish, commands a delightful view of the Vale of Severn, with the windings of the river and the rich and finely varied scenery on its banks, terminated by the high mountains in the distance. Mount Severn, an elevated and truly romantic spot, overlooking the river, which winds beautifully below the house, commands an interesting view of the picturesque cottage of Nant-y-Brace, embosomed in the trees that crown the opposite bank. There are some pleasing views to the south-east, and in many parts of the neighbourhood are fine prospects over the adjacent country, which is richly diversified. Besides the Severn, the Clywedog and the Dulas water the parish; and about two miles from the town, on the road to Trêveglwys, is a spacious pool called Llyn Ebyr, extending over a surface of about fifty acres, and abounding with pike, eels, and perch; it is frequented by wild fowl, and during the summer season is the resort of parties of pleasure, for whose accommodation several boats, belonging to gentlemen in the vicinity, are kept upon the pool.
The manufacture of flannel has been established from a very early period in this town, which sixty years ago was the only place in the county where that material was made, the produce being conveyed by packhorses to the market of Welshpool for sale. Since that period, however, it has been outrivalled by Newtown, which, within the last five and forty years, has obtained great eminence in the production of flannel of a finer texture, though probably less durable, than that of Llanidloes. The manufacture here has, notwithstanding, continued to increase, and there are at present six carding-mills within the limits of the parish, and eighteen fulling-mills, and nearly 35,000 spindles constantly in operation in the town and neighbourhood, affording employment to considerably more than 2000 hands. All the spinning and weaving were formerly carried on in private houses and cottages, but of late years eight or nine factories have been erected, in which most of the same kind of work is now done, and three of which are very superior buildings. About 300 pieces of flannel, averaging in length 150 yards each, are manufactured here, and sent every fortnight to the market at Newtown, held every alternate Thursday. There are several malt-houses and kilns in the town and its vicinity, as well as tanneries and corn-mills. The market is held on Saturday, and is abundantly supplied with wool, grain, and provisions of every kind. The market-house, or town-hall, an ancient edifice of timber and plaster, is situated in the centre of the town; but it is little used at present, in consequence of a very spacious hall having been built, near the Trewythen Arms hotel, in the second story of which the wool-market is kept, whilst below are the shambles, butter-market, &c. Fairs take place annually on the second Saturday in February, the first Saturday in April, on May 11th, the Saturday next preceding the 24th of June, on July 17th, the second Saturday in September, the first Friday in October, the 28th of that month, and the Saturday before December 16th. Sheep-fairs are also held every Thursday from the 26th of May to the 26th of June inclusive, which are attended by shepherds of both North and South Wales.
The town received its first charter of incorporation from John de Charlton, lord of Powys, in the 18th year of the reign of Edward III., and obtained other successive charters, the last of which was granted by John Tiptoft, lord of Powys, in the 26th year of Henry VI. Under these charters, which have been lost, or destroyed by accident, the government was vested in a mayor, recorder, and an indefinite number of aldermen and burgesses, assisted by a coroner, two serjeants-at-mace, and other officers. The mayor was elected by the burgesses annually at the court leet of the lord of the manor, in the first week after Michaelmas, and might, if he chose to qualify, act as a magistrate within the borough, but was not ex officio a justice of the peace: the recorder was appointed by the lord of the manor, and held his office for life. By the act 5th and 6th of Wm. IV., c. 76, the corporation is styled the "Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses," and consists of a mayor, four aldermen, and twelve councillors, together forming the council of the borough, of which the municipal and parliamentary boundaries are identical. The council elect the mayor annually on November 9th out of the aldermen or councillors; and the aldermen triennially out of the councillors, or persons qualified as such, one-half going out of office every three years, but being re-eligible: the councillors are chosen by and out of the enrolled burgesses annually on November 1st, one-third going out of office every year. Aldermen and councillors must have each a property qualification of £500, or be rated at £15 annual value. The burgesses consist of the occupiers of houses and shops, who have been rated for three years to the relief of the poor. Two auditors and two assessors are elected annually on March 1st, by and from among the burgesses; and the council appoint a townclerk, treasurer, and other officers on Nov. 9th.
The elective franchise was granted in the 27th of Henry VIII., when Llanidloes was constituted a contributory borough to Montgomery; and it exercised that privilege till the year 1728, when, together with Llanvyllin and Welshpool, it was disfranchised by a vote of the House of Commons, which restricted the right of election to the burgesses of Montgomery alone. This resolution being directly at variance with a previous one in 1680, by which the right had been confirmed, the burgesses, by the statute of the 28th of George III., were granted the power of asserting their claim to vote for a member for Montgomery before any future committee of the House, and of making any appeal, within twelve calendar months, against any subsequent decision. The act for "Amending the Representation of the People," in 1832, restored the franchise to the borough, in common with others in the county which had been deprived of it; and it is now one of the five that contribute with Montgomery in the return of a representative to parliament. The right of voting is vested in every male person of full age occupying, either as owner, or as tenant under the same landlord, a house or other premises in the borough of the annual value of not less than £10, provided he be capable of registering as the act directs: the present number of tenements of this value within the limits of the borough, which were somewhat confined by the Boundary Act, and are minutely detailed in the Appendix to this work, is 113. Llanidloes is also a polling-place in the election of a parliamentary representative for the shire. The county magistrates and county coroner exercise jurisdiction within the town, and the former hold a petty-session for the hundred on the first Monday in every month. The powers of the county debtcourt of Llanidloes, established in 1847, extend over the parishes of Llanidloes, Llangurig, and Trêveglwys. A court baron for the manor of Arustley, the jurisdiction of which extends over the hundred, takes place every third Monday, for the recovery of debts and determining of actions under the amount of £2, by process similar to that of the supreme courts at Westminster.
The parish is bounded on the north by that of Trêveglwys; on the south by the parishes of Llangurig and St. Harmon, the latter of which is in Radnorshire; on the east by that of Llandinam; and on the west by Llanbadarn-Vawr, in the county of Cardigan. It comprises by admeasurement 17,278 acres, of which 4078 are sheep-walks, and the remainder inclosed land, consisting of arable and pasture. The surface being hilly, and in some parts mountainous, the soil is various, though generally fertile, producing wheat, oats, and barley; the lower grounds, which are tolerably well wooded with oak, fir, and other trees, are in a good state of cultivation, and the declivities of the hills afford pasturage to numerous flocks of sheep. In 1816 an act of parliament called the "Arustley Inclosure Act" was obtained for improving the common and waste in the vicinity, under the provisions of which considerable portions of land in this parish have been inclosed, and are now under cultivation. Lead-ore has been found, and some mines were formerly worked, but not with sufficient advantage to remunerate the adventurers, and they were consequently discontinued: the hills abound with coarse slate, and in the vicinity are some quarries of stone of good quality for building.
The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £4. 3. 4.; present net income, £151, with a glebe-house; patron, the Bishop of Bangor; impropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Bangor, Sir W. W. Wynn, Bart., and the Vicar of Llangurig. The church, dedicated to St. Idloes, was originally founded towards the close of the fifth, or at the beginning of the sixth century. The present structure consists of a nave and aisle, with a tower more ancient than either. The aisle was built about 200 years since, and is separated from the nave by clustered columns, the capitals of which are decorated with palm leaves, and by finely pointed arches; the roof of the nave is of carved oak, ornamented with figures of cherubim holding shields charged with armorial bearings, exquisitely carved. According to tradition, these were brought hither from the abbey of Cwm Hîr, in the county of Radnor, and the date upon one of the shields (1542) corresponds with the time of the dissolution of that establishment. An elegant screen from the same monastery formerly separated the chancel from the nave, but it was removed in 1816, when the chancel and south wall were rebuilt, and has not been restored; at the same time the church was new-pewed, the expense of both amounting to £1600: a new set of bells was hung in the tower, in 1825, at a cost of £200. The area is very spacious, and there is a small gallery; the sittings will accommodate 550 or 600 persons. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists; a National day and Sunday school, for boys and girls; and fourteen Sunday schools for children and adults, supported by the dissenters. The Rev. Dr. David Lloyd bequeathed a rent-charge of £2. 12., to be apportioned out in bread on Sundays to the poor. Catherine Lloyd left £100, with which, and its accumulated interest, two properties, called Tŷ'n-y-Vron, and Crowlwm, were purchased; the one containing twenty-nine acres and a quarter, to which an inclosure allotment of twenty-one acres was subsequently added, and the other ten and a half acres, afterwards increased by an allotment of eleven acres and threequarters; the whole now producing a rent of £33. 15., which is appropriated towards the support of the National school. A rent-charge of £14 by the Rev. Dr. Jenkin Bowen, of Welford, Gloucestershire, and another of £2. 10. by Evan Glynne, of Glynne, are distributed among the poor.
Within the limits of the parish is partly included the lofty mountain of Plinlimmon, or, more properly, Pumlumon, "the five-peaked mountain," which is the highest in the several chains of which it forms the centre; and from this place the ascent to its summit is usually made. The sides and summit are, like the adjacent hills, entirely destitute of wood, and present a barren and gloomy aspect: the summit is formed of two small heads, on each of which is a carnedd, that on the higher peak being pyramidal, and perhaps intended as a beacon. Scattered around are patches of coarse grass, intermixed with heaps of loose stones and fragments of rock in the wildest confusion. From the highest points, which are frequented by numerous birds, such as herons, cranes, snipes, ravens, and plovers, is obtained a prospect of vast extent, comprehending on the south the hills of Cardiganshire and Radnorshire, on the west Cardigan bay and St. George's Channel, on the north Cader Idris, and part of the Snowdon range of mountains, separating the counties of Carnarvon and Merioneth; on the north-east the Breiddyn hills in Montgomeryshire, and on the east part of the counties of Hereford and Salop. This mountain derives a considerable degree of interest from its giving rise to the rivers Severn, Wye, Rheidiol, and Llyvnant, of which the first is secondary only to the Thames in commercial importance, while the Wye and the Rheidiol surpass all other rivers in Britain for the beauty of their scenery. The Severn, here called by its ancient British name of Havren, rises on the northern side of the mountain, in a strong chalybeate spring, and is quickly joined and increased by numerous other springs rising near its source, and by several mountain torrents, before it reaches the town of Llanidloes. The Wye rises from two powerful springs on the south-eastern side of the mountain, and, after a long circuitous course, falls into the Severn below Chepstow. The Rheidiol has its source in the pool of Llygad Rheidiol, and falls into the Irish Sea at Aberystwith; the Llyvnant issues from a pool called Glâs Lyn. The height of the mountain is 2463 feet. At Melin Velindre, on the route to Plinlimmon, is a romantic cataract; and near the sheep-farm of Blaen Havren the Severn rolls its waters over a lofty ledge of slate rocks, in which they have formed gullies of various picturesque shapes.
LLANIESTYN (LLAN-IESTYN), a parish, in the union of Bangor and Beaumaris, partly in the hundred of Tyndaethwy, and partly within the liberties of the borough of Beaumaris, county of Anglesey, North Wales, 3½ miles (N. W. by N.) from Beaumaris; containing 275 inhabitants, of whom 129 are in the former, and 146 in the latter, portion. This parish, which derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Iestyn or Iestin, son of Geraint, is situated nearly in the centre of the promontory separating Beaumaris Roads from the Irish Sea, and comprises a small tract of land, the greater part of which is inclosed and cultivated. The scenery is distinguished by features rather of a bold than pleasing character, and the country adjacent is studded with eminences of considerable elevation. The distant views are interesting and extensive, reaching over the Menai Strait on the south, and the Irish Sea to the north.
The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to that of Llangoed. The church was granted in 1243, by Prince Llewelyn, to the priory that he had recently founded at Llanvaes, to which establishment it belonged at the Dissolution. The present building is for the most part of the fifteenth century; it is one of the plainest churches in the island of Anglesey, and consists only of a nave, or single aisle, but contains two highly interesting relics, namely, a sculptured slab commemorating the saint after whom the church is named, and a remarkably curious font probably of the twelfth century. The slab, which is now, for better preservation, placed vertically in the wall, is of the fourteenth century, being some centuries after the time of the saint; and is surpassed in antiquarian value by few monumental effigies in Wales. It is of curious workmanship, and bears a figure of the saint in sacerdotal vestments, having a pastoral staff in the right hand and an open scroll in the left; round the waist is a broad girdle, from which hangs a cord and tassel similar to that worn by the monastic order of St. Francis. The inscription on the slab, in old characters, has been variously read by different antiquaries, but the following is the tenour, as correctly given by the Hon. Daines Barrington, and adopted by Mr. Pennant: "Hic jacet Sanctus Yestinus, cui Gwenllian, Filia Madoc et Gryffyt ap Gwilym, optulit in oblacoem istam imaginem p. salute animarum s." The monument is noticed by Rowlands, in his "Mona Antiqua Restaurata," and an account of it was read before the Society of Antiquaries, in 1776, and published in the fifth volume of the Archæologia: an accurate engraving of it, also, with two views of the font, is comprised in the Archæologia Cambrensis for October 1847. The income arising from a few small charitable donations and bequests amounting to £24, which have been vested in the purchase of land, and produce a rental of £2. 2., is annually distributed among the poor; and the parish has erected three cottages upon another portion of the land so bought, which, with one before existing on it, are given to poor families to live in rent-free.
LLANIESTYN (LLAN-IESTYN), a parish, in the union of Pwllheli, principally in the hundred of Dinllaen, and partly in that of Gaflogion, in the Lleyn division of the county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 8 miles (W. by S.) from Pwllheli; containing 1090 inhabitants. This parish, which derives its name from the dedication of its church, is pleasantly situated at the head of a small valley opening towards the south, near the south-western extremity of the county, almost in the centre of the great headland that separates the bay of Carnarvon from that of Cardigan. It is bounded on the southeast by the parishes of Llangian and Bottwnog, and on the north-west by those of Tydweiliog and Penllêch; and comprises about 4500 acres, nearly equally divided between arable and pasture land. The scenery, though bare of wood, is interesting and picturesque, being greatly diversified with hill and dale; and the soil, some of which is light earth and other parts heavy clay, produces chiefly barley and oats. In the mountainous part of the parish are some appearances of lead-ore and nikel, but the veins are not of sufficient extent to promise remuneration to the adventurer, and no works have been opened. The village is seated at the base of Carn Madryn, a lofty, barren, isolated hill, which was formerly one of the strongholds of Roderic and Maelgwyn, sons of Owain Gwynedd, to whom this part of the principality belonged. The summit of the hill was once surrounded by a wall, still traceable in its whole circuit, and remaining in some parts to the height of several feet; within the area are foundations of circular buildings, and near the base of the mountain are the remains of numerous circular and quadrilateral buildings, the walls of which are in many instances tolerably perfect. The upper part of the mountain is supposed to have been occupied by the chieftains during their sojourn in this stronghold, and the base by their vassals and subsidiary forces, who, during times of invasion, came hither with their cattle for security.
The living is a rectory, with the perpetual curacies of Bôdverin, Llandegwining, and Penllêch annexed, rated in the king's books at £21. 3. 9.; present net income, £595, with a glebe-house; patron, the Bishop of Bangor. The tithes of the parish have been commuted for a rent-charge of £371, with a glebe of 23a. 2r. 31p., valued at £30 per annum. The church, dedicated to St. Iestyn, is a spacious and handsome structure, partly in the later Norman, and partly in the early English style of architecture, consisting of a nave, south aisle, and chancel, the whole seventyeight feet long and forty-two broad, and containing about 500 sittings. The aisle is separated from the nave by a range of pentagonal pillars and circular arches, and is lighted by a series of elegant lancetshaped windows: some fragments still remain of the exquisitely carved oak screen that divided the chancel from the nave. The pulpit and the reading-desk are attached, the former to the northern, and the latter to the southern, wall. There are two places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, and one for Independents; a day school; and four Sunday schools, three of which belong to the dissenters. The rental of a tenement bequeathed by Roger Jones, in 1621, and now producing £13 per annum, is distributed among the poor at Christmas: there is also a sum of 12s. 6d., a portion of £5 interest, payable on a turnpike-bond of the trustees of the Conway road; and about a similar sum from an ancient rent-charge, disposed of in like manner.