A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1849.
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BETTWS, a parish, in the union of Llanelly, hundred of Iskennen, county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 8 miles (S.) from Llandilo-Vawr; comprising the Upper and Lower divisions, and containing 1109 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated within a short distance of the turnpike-road leading from Llandilo-Vawr to Swansea, is about five miles in length, from east to west, and about a mile and a half in breadth. It is bounded on the north by the parish of Llandebie, on the south and east by the river Loughor, which separates it from the county of Glamorgan, and on the west by Mynydd-Mawr. A considerable part of the surface is mountainous and barren; the level portion contains some tracts of woodland: the soil is partly a loamy earth, resting on clay, and partly peat and bog; a small quantity of grain is grown, but the chief produce is cheese and butter. The parish is watered by the river Amman, and two brooks called Cathan and Nantyfin. Slate is quarried, and coal and ironmines are worked, a railroad having lately been made to the port of Llanelly. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £800 royal bounty, and £1000 parliamentary grant; net income, £98. The tithes of Bettws have been commuted for a rentcharge of £200, payable to the Bishop of St. David's. The church, dedicated to St. David, is about fifty feet in length and fifteen in width, and contains 250 sittings. There are places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, Independents, Wesleyans, and Baptists, with a Sunday school held in each; and a day and Sunday school in connexion with the Established Church is conducted in the parish, the master receiving a salary of £40 per annum, of which £10 are contributed by Lord Dynevor, £20. 10. raised from school-pence and subscriptions, and the remainder paid by the incumbent of Christ-church, Cwmamman. The district of Cwmamman is partly in this parish, and partly in that of Llandilo-Vawr, which see.
BETTWS, a parish, in the union of Bridgend and Cowbridge, hundred of Newcastle, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 4 miles (N.) from Bridgend; containing 438 inhabitants. This parish is pleasantly situated on the river Ogmore, not far from its confluence with the Severn, and is watered also by the rivulets Llynvi and Garw, which bound it on two sides. On the north and north-east lies the parish of Llangeinor, on the south that of St. Bride's Minor, and on the west the parish of Llangonoyd. The lands consist of well-cultivated fields, good pastures, woods, and mountains; the scenery, which is plentifully interspersed with oak, is rich and beautiful, and the views from different parts of the parish diversified and extensive, especially that from the lofty eminence of More-gila, which embraces among many other interesting objects, the fine vale of Glamorgan. In the immediate neighbourhood are some handsome seats. Coytrehŷn, the seat of Morgan Popkin Traherne, Esq., is a handsome mansion, occupying a retired and agreeable situation on the declivity of a hill, surrounded with luxuriant plantations, with the river Ogmore flowing at the base. It commands a beautiful view of the surrounding country, and of the confluence of the Ogmore with the Severn in the distance. This estate was anciently the property of the Powells, from whom it passed by marriage to the families of Popkin and Traherne. Within half a mile of Coytrehên, a small but elegant residence has been erected, in the Elizabethan style of architecture, under the direction of Mr. Traherne, for his sister, the widow of the late George Jenner, Esq., of Doctors' Commons.
Iron is wrought, and the parish abounds with excellent coal. The coal, till lately, was procured only for the supply of the inhabitants of the district; but a vein was opened about twenty years ago by John Edwards Vaughan, Esq., of Rheola in the Vale of Neath, who worked the coal on a larger scale, and for its readier conveyance laid down a tramroad, communicating with the Porthcawl tramroad. For several years past, the collieries have been extensively wrought by Sir Robert Price, M.P. for Hereford, large quantities being required for sale at Bridgend, and for exportation at Porthcawl harbour, in addition to what is used at the Tondu iron-works, in the parish of Newcastle. The coal is conveyed to the lastmentioned place along a tramway two miles in length, constructed at the expense of Sir Robert Price, and to Bridgend and Porthcawl along the Porthcawl railway. Some veins of coal are worked also by other individuals, and the produce disposed of to the country people.
The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the vicarage of Newcastle, which is endowed with the whole tithes of this parish, lately commuted for a rent-charge of £140. The church, dedicated to St. David, is not distinguished for its architectural features; it is fifty-nine feet in length, and eighteen feet in breadth. There is a place of worship for Unitarians, which has a small endowment; also one or two Sunday schools. The Coytrehên estate is charged with an annual payment of £2, arising from a bequest by Anthony Powell, in 1786; and £1. 10. per annum is secured by a deed-poll on the Bridgend turnpike-trust: both sums are distributed at Christmas, among about eighteen poor persons who do not receive parochial relief. Dr. Richard Price, an eminent nonconformist divine, and moral and political writer, was born at Ty'nton, in this parish, in February, 1723; he died at Hackney, in Middlesex, on the 19th of April, 1791, and was interred in the burial-ground in Bunhill-Fields. His publications on the events of the American and French Revolutions acquired for him a high reputation as a political writer, and distinguished him for a power of observation and reflection, which was equally conspicuous in his metaphysical productions.
Bettws, or Llawr-Y-Bettws
Bettws, or Bettws-Caedwen
BETTWS, or BETTWS-CAEDWEN, a parish in the union of Newtown and Llanidloes, upper division of the hundred of Newtown, county of Montgomery, North Wales, 4 miles (N. by E.) from Newtown; containing 821 inhabitants. This place is pleasantly situated on the small river Bechan, which falls into the Severn at Aber-Bechan. The western branch of the Montgomeryshire canal to Newtown passes through the eastern part of the parish, which is also intersected by the turnpike-road from that town to Welshpool; another road from Berriew to Llanwnnog runs through the village. The parish contains about six thousand acres of land, all inclosed, the commons having been divided pursuant to an act for inclosing the waste lands within the manors of Cŷdewain, Hopeton, and Gorddwr Uchŷv, obtained in 1796. The road leading from BrYnderwen Bridge to Garthmael is beautifully picturesque; the high grounds on the north side are richly planted, from the base to the summit, with trees and shrubs of various kinds, and the scenery, which is enlivened by the meandering of the river Severn, presents one of the most pleasing and interesting spectacles in this part of the principality, especially in the autumn, when every variety of tint is seen to advantage on the wood-crowned heights.
The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £10; present net income, £211, with a glebe-house; patron, the Bishop of St. Asaph; impropriator, Lord Sudeley. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £230, and the vicarial for one of a similar amount, with a glebe of four acres and a half; a tithe payment of £8 a year is also made to the parish clerk. The church, dedicated to St. Beuno, a saint of the sixth century, belonged to the ancient nunnery of Llanllugan, founded prior to 1290, for sisters of the Cistercian order. It is a plain neat structure, with a handsome tower, which was built in the year 1531, by John ab Meredith, whose effigy, engraved on a brass plate bearing a Latin inscription, ornaments a tablet of porphyry erected to his memory on the north side of the chancel. There is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists; also a day school, held in the church tower, partly supported by subscription; and one or two Sunday schools.
An almshouse was founded in 1709, for four poor persons of this parish, and four of the adjoining parish of Trêgynon, by Arthur Weaver, Esq., who also left £4 per annum to keep it in repair, and to purchase fuel for the use of the inmates: three aged women and one old man inhabit the Bettws portion. He likewise gave £6 per annum to be distributed among the poor of the same parishes, and charged the payment of both sums on certain tithes, at present possessed by Lord Sudeley, who pays the amount, together with a benefaction of three guineas annually, left by Arthur Blayney, Esq., for the use of the poor. Edward Guest bequeathed £200, the interest of one moiety to be given to the poor, and that of the other to the minister for the time being; he also gave £2. 2. per annum for the use of the poor, payable by the vicar. These sums are secured by mortgage on the tolls of the Welshpool and Newtown turnpike-roads, as is likewise another bequest of £26 by Richard Blayney. Edward Lloyd gave a rentcharge of £2, charged on a house in the parish of Meivod, to be equally shared between this parish and that of Llanllwchaiarn. The produce of these charities for the poor is distributed in small sums about Christmas among those who receive no parochial aid.
On the summit of a lofty conical hill of steep ascent, commanding an extensive prospect of the Vale of Severn and the surrounding country, is Castell Dôl-y-Vorwyn, or "the Castle of the Virgin's Meadow." The name is supposed to allude to the traditionary story of Havren, daughter of Locrinus (the son of Brutus, first king of Britain) by Essyllt, daughter of the king of Germany, whom Locrinus had taken captive in his wars against Humyr, king of the Huns. Locrinus, having espoused Essyllt, in violation of a former pledge given to Gwenddolan, daughter of Corineus who had accompanied Brutus into Britain, was compelled by a threat of hostilities to fulfil his engagement to the latter; and, concealing Essyllt, whom he pretended to have banished from the kingdom, married Gwenddolan, according to his engagement. On the death of Corineus, which followed soon after, Locrinus divorced Gwenddolan, and declared Essyllt queen; but on the death of Locrinus, Gwenddolan assumed the government, and in retaliation caused Essyllt and her daughter Havren to be drowned in the river Severn. From this circumstance the river is supposed to have derived its name, originally "Ys Havren," and by contraction Savern, from which are deduced the Latin name Sabrina and the English Severn. The castle is said by Camden to have been originally built by Prince Bleddyn ab Cynvyn, between the years 1063 and 1073; but Dugdale refers its erection to Davydd ab Llewelyn, about the year 1245. In the Welsh Chronicle (Brut y Tywysogion) it is said to have been taken by Llewelyn ab Grufydd, in 1269. It was besieged in the year following by the Earl of Lincoln and Roger Mortimer, to whom the garrison, being in want of water, surrendered: the latter commander, in 1278, obtained from Edward I. a grant of it, together with the castles of Cêdewain and Kerry. The castle was of a quadrangular form, about fifty yards in length and twenty-five yards in width, and built of the small rag-stone found in the neighbourhood: a portion of the north wall, with some parts of the interior, are the only remains. On the more accessible sides of the hill on which the castle is built, it is defended by deep intrenchments cut in the solid rock; and the base is surrounded by a deep dingle, thickly planted with wood, where a small stream rises, which, after pursuing a course of nearly a mile, falls into the river Severn. A brass pot, an earthen jug, and some other ancient relics, were dug out of the ruins some years since, and are at present preserved at Gregynog. About half a mile north-west of the village is Pen-y-gaer, a British camp, defended by a triple intrenchment; there are also several smaller encampments in various parts of the parish. In the township of Dôlvorwyn is a mineral spring, strongly impregnated with sulphur and iron, and esteemed highly efficacious in cutaneous diseases.
The ancient mansion of Gregynog, in this neighbourhood, was the residence of the late Arthur Blayney, Esq., who was distinguished for his unwearied endeavours to promote the prosperity and comfort of his tenantry, and for his public-spirited encouragement, regardless of the sacrifices made by himself, of every undertaking calculated to advance the interests, or conduce to the convenience, of the county. His house was always open for the hospitable reception and entertainment of travellers. His tenants were aided in every suitable attempt to improve their farms, which were invariably held at a moderate rental; and their convenience was carefully studied in the construction and alteration of the farm-houses and offices. The habitations of the cottagers on his estates were always comfortable, and had a small plot of ground attached, for the support during summer of a cow, for which he gratuitously supplied them with hay in winter. The roads in the neighbourhood were greatly improved, and the churches repaired and embellished by him; whilst his beneficence was extensively diffused among the poor, in the praiseworthy solicitude to seek for deserving objects, and afford them that timely assistance which might enable them to provide for themselves in future. This benevolent man died at Gregynog, at an advanced age, in the year 1795.
BETTWS-BLEDRWS, a parish, in the union of Lampeter, upper division of the hundred of Moythen, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 3¼ miles (N. E.) from Lampeter, on the road to Trêgaron; containing 227 inhabitants. It comprises an area of 1600 acres. At a short distance from the road is Dery Ormond, an elegant mansion, erected in 1827, and beautifully situated under the shelter of a lofty hill covered with luxuriant plantations. The grounds, which are tastefully laid out, are ornamented with a small sheet of water, formed by the expansion of a rivulet by which they are intersected, and over which is a bridge of handsome design. Though not upon a very large scale, this is one of the best houses in the county, and forms an interesting feature in the scenery of the place. Lead-ore is supposed to lie under the surface of the parish, but no attempt has been made to work it. The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £4. 7. 8½., and endowed with £400 royal bounty; patron, the Bishop of St. David's. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £120, and there is a glebe of ten acres, valued at £15 per annum; also a glebe-house. The church, dedicated to St. Bleddrws, is a very neat well-built edifice, altered and repaired in 1831, with a tower surmounted by a well-proportioned spire cased with slate: the interior is furnished with ranges of seats with high backs, elevated above each other, erected at the expense of John Jones, Esq., of Dery Ormond. There are places of worship for Baptists and Calvinistic Methodists. Between Dery Ormond and the Teivy is an intrenchment, called Castell Goedtrêv, situated on a farm to which it gives name.
Bettws-Clyro, or Capel-Bettws (Bettws-Claerwy)
BETTWS-CLYRO, or CAPEL-BETTWS (BETTWS-CLAERWY), a chapelry, in the parish of Clyro, union of Hay, hundred of Painscastle, county of Radnor, South Wales, 4 miles (N. by W.) from Hay; containing 218 inhabitants. The views here embrace a pleasing variety of landscape, enlivened by the windings of the river Wye. The chapel is distant about two miles from the church of Clyro; divine service is performed in it only a certain number of Sundays in the summer months. The tithes of the chapelry are included in the commutation for those of the parish. There is a separate assessment for the support of the poor.
BETTWS-DISSERTH (BETTWS-DISERTH), a parish, in the union of Builth, hundred of Colwyn, county of Radnor, South Wales, 8 miles (N. E.) from Builth; containing 132 inhabitants. The parish is pleasantly situated near the source of the river Edw, or Edwy, on the turnpikeroad leading from Builth to New Radnor; and is bounded on the north by the parishes of Kevenlleece and Llandegley, on the south by that of Llansantfraid-in-Elvel, on the east by the parish of Glâscomb, and on the west by that of Disserth. It comprises 1885 acres, of which 230 are arable, 870 pasture, 90 woodland, and the remainder common; the soil is wet and clayey, and yields but small quantities of grain, cattle and sheep being the chief dependence. Some parts of the substratum have been thought to consist of coal; but an endeavour to procure it, made some time since, on a farm called Tyncoed, was unattended with success, though a shaft was sunk to a considerable depth: attempts have also been made to discover lead, but they have been equally unsuccessful. The surrounding scenery is generally pleasing, but not distinguished by any peculiarity of feature from that which prevails throughout this part of the principality. The Kiddy brook runs through the parish; the principal hills are Gilwern and Bryntidder, and the gentlemen's seats Wernhwsmon and Hendy.
The living is a perpetual curacy, consolidated with the rectory of Disserth: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £74. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is forty feet in length and twenty in breadth. This is one of the parishes from which children are apprenticed under the will of the Rev. Rice Powell, of Boughrood. Elizabeth Jones, in 1746, bequeathed a rent-charge of £2 on a farm called Gwern-Vawr, in this parish, to be given to the poor at the discretion of the minister and six of the principal inhabitants; but the payment has been discontinued since 1820, although a rent-charge of £1, bequeathed by an unknown benefactor, from the same farm, is regularly distributed among the poor not receiving parochial aid. There are some sulphureous springs in the parish, but they are not strongly impregnated, nor are they used for medicinal purposes.
BETTWS-GARMON, a parish, in the hundred of Isgorvai, union and county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 5 miles (S. E.) from Carnarvon, on the road to Bethgelart; containing 111 inhabitants. The scenery in this neighbourhood is magnificently grand, and strikingly varied. Part of the base of Snowdon is within the parish, and previously to the formation of the new line of road to Llanberis and Capel Curig, the principal ascent to that mountain was from this place, where a guide is still constantly in attendance to conduct the adventurous traveller to the summit. Behind the church is the mountain Moel Aelian, which rises to the height of 2377 feet above the level of the sea; and on the south of it is Mynydd Mawr, of less elevation, but seen to greater advantage from the road. Both these mountains abound with copper-ore, and they were lately excavated with considerable success; but the want of capital caused the discontinuance of the works, although it is said there are not more promising mines in the principality. On the summits of the two mountains are the remains of watch-towers, or exploratory stations, erected to defend the pass; and at the foot of Mynydd Mawr is a bold rock, called Castell Cidwm, supposed to have been the abode of some ancient British chieftains. The abrupt and mountainous elevations which form so prominent a feature in the scenery, are finely softened and contrasted by the lakes in the parish, which are much resorted to by tourists and by artists, who find in the beautiful scenery around them some of the finest subjects for the pencil. Of these, the principal are Fynnon Lâs, Llyn Côch, Llyn-y-Nadroedd, and Llyn Fynnon-yGwâs, forming the several sources of the river Avon, or Tarddeni. Llyn Cwellyn, one of the most celebrated lakes in this part of the principality, and one of the two in Wales containing char, is partly within the parish; in which also is Nant Mill, remarkable for its beautiful cascade. Fairs are held on August 17th and September 22nd and 26th.
The living, usually styled a perpetual curacy, is vicarial, and is endowed with £600 royal bounty and £200 parliamentary grant; net income, £62. 10.; patron, the Bishop of Bangor; impropriator, Lord Newborough. The great tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £16. 13. 1½., and those payable to the perpetual curate for one of £14. 6. 4. The church, dedicated to St. Garmon, and romantically situated in a vale bounded by lofty mountains, has been rebuilt under the superintendence of Mr. George Alexander, architect, of London, at an estimated expense of £350, chiefly received from persons unconnected with the parish. It is a neat small edifice, surmounted by a belfry and cross, with a two-light window beneath. There is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, with a Sunday school held in it. On the side of a hill, about one mile west of the church, is a fine spring of water, called St. Garmon's well, of reputed efficacy in the cure of rheumatic and eruptive disorders.
BETTWS-GWERVIL-GÔCH, a parish, in the union of Corwen, hundred of Edeyrnion, county of Merioneth, North Wales, 6½ miles (W. N. W.) from Corwen; containing 279 inhabitants. The village is situated on the road from Bala to Ruthin, and on the small river Alwen, over which here is a bridge of three arches. The vale of Alwen is pleasingly picturesque, particularly at Point Llyny-Gigvran, where the hills along the banks of the stream, from the base to the summit, are thickly clothed with trees: the Alwen is here crossed by a bridge of one wide arch. The parish is about ten miles in circumference, and not more than one-half is under cultivation. It forms part of the district which is noted for the knitting of woollen hose. A farm called Bottegîr, in the county of Denbigh, but within its limits, was the residence of Col. William Salusbury, who bravely defended Denbigh Castle, for fourteen weeks, against the besieging body of parliamentarians under Major-General Mytton, and then surrendered only upon the most honourable terms. Fairs are held on June 22nd, August 12th, September 16th, and December 12th, for hornedcattle, horses, sheep, and pigs; that in August is one of the largest lamb-fairs in North Wales. The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £5. 4. 7.; patron and impropriator, the Bishop of St. Asaph. The incumbent's tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £142, and the glebe comprises thirteen acres, valued at £30 per annum: a rent-charge of £3 is paid to the rector of Llangwm. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is in the early style of English architecture: near the entrance is a piscina. Close to the church is a well, called St. Mary's. There is a small place of worship for Wesleyans; and two Sunday schools, one of them conducted by the Wesleyans in their meeting-house, and the other by the Calvinistic Methodists in a farm-house, are attended by a few adults and children. Griffith Roberts, Esq., of Bodynllyn, in 1812, bequeathed a sum of £50, the interest to be distributed among twenty of the poorest inhabitants on Christmas morning, which is accordingly carried into effect.
Bettws Ieuvan or Evan (Bettws-Ieuan)
BETTWS IEUVAN or EVAN (BETTWS-IEUAN), a parish, in the union of Newcastle-Emlyn, lower division of the hundred of Troedyraur, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 5 miles (N.) from Newcastle-Emlyn; containing 426 inhabitants. This parish is situated a short distance east of the turnpike-road leading from Cardigan to Aberystwith, and on the road from Newcastle-Emlyn to Aberporth and Penbryn. It is bounded on the north and east by the parish of Penbryn, on the south by Troedyraur and Llandyvriog, and on the west by the parishes of Blaenporth and Brongwyn. It comprises by computation about 2500 acres, chiefly arable land, of a light soil, and producing barley and oats, with a small portion of wheat. On the south flows the river Cerri, the banks of which are ornamented with woodlands of considerable extent and beauty. A villa has been lately built on the bank of the brook Medeni, which divides the parish. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed, with that of BrongwYn, to the vicarage of Penbryn: the impropriate tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £82. 10., and the vicarial for one of £77. 10. The church, dedicated to St. John, is a small edifice in the early English style; it has of late years been repaired, and has received 250 additional sittings, the whole of which are free, the Incorporated Society for the building and enlargement of churches and chapels having granted £25 towards defraying the expense. There is a place of worship, or schoolroom, for Independents.
BETTWS-LEIKE (BETTWS-LEICI), a chapelry, in the parish of Llandewy-Brevi, union of Trêgaron, upper division of the hundred of Moythen, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 6 miles (N. by E.) from Lampeter; containing 364 inhabitants. It is situated in the pleasant vale of the Aëron, on the left bank of that river; and is bounded on the north by the chapelry of Gwynvil, on the south by the chapelry of Gartheli, on the east by its own parish, and on the west by Llanbadarn-Odwynne. It comprises by computation about 1200 acres, a small part of which is wood, and the remainder nearly equally divided between arable and pasture; the soil is tolerably good, and the chief produce barley and oats. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £1000 royal bounty; net income, £50; patron, the Perpetual Curate of Llandewy-Brevi. The chapel, which was erected in 1805, is forty-two feet long by eighteen broad. A schoolroom has been lately built, partly at the expense of the National Society, and partly by voluntary contributions. This chapelry separately maintains its own poor.
Bettws-Y-Coed, or Bettws-Wyrion-Iddon
BETTWS-Y-COED, or BETTWS-WYRION-IDDON, a parish, in the union of Llanrwst, hundred of Nantconway, county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 3 miles (s.) from Llanrwst, on the road to Holyhead; containing 451 inhabitants. This parish derives its name from an ancient religious establishment, called Bettws Wyrion Iddon, or "the bead-house of the children of Iddon," on the site of which the present church was built. It was formerly only a township in the parish of Llanrhychwyn, from which it was separated in the sixteenth century. The village is delightfully situated in a vale, surrounded on all sides by the Carnarvonshire and Denbighshire mountains, and near the confluence of the rivers Conway and Llugwy. Across the former of these rivers, about half a mile above the church, is an iron bridge of one noble arch, beautifully ornamented with the rose, thistle, and shamrock, with an inscription in Roman capitals, purporting that it was constructed in the year in which the battle of Waterloo was fought, and thence called Waterloo bridge. Over the latter river is a bridge of singular construction, called Ponty-Pair, or the Cauldron Bridge, consisting of four arches, resting upon masses of rugged precipitous rocks of romantic appearance, which in high floods exhibit below the bridge several cataracts of striking beauty. This picturesque structure was projected and partly raised by one Howel, a mason from PenllYn, who, about the year 1468, had previously erected a bridge over the Lledr. His passage across that stream having been obstructed by a flood, whilst on his journey to Conway, to attend the assizes, he removed to the spot, and built the bridge at his own expense, receiving no other remuneration than the voluntary donations of travellers. He then removed to this place, where he commenced Pont-y-Pair bridge, but died before its completion. The scenery here consists of rocky mountains, in the fissures of which are to be seen trees of stately growth; and the whole neighbourhood abounds with strikingly magnificent and finely contrasted features.
The three rivers, Conway, Llugwy, and Lledr, unite within the parish, and, in their course through the mountainous districts, form the numerous and majestic cataracts for which Bettws is celebrated. Of these, the principal are the falls of the Conway and Llugwy. The first river, rushing with impetuosity through rocks of tremendous height, which contract the passage of the waters, after descending from a great elevation, forms four smaller falls, which are seen in succession from the same spot; and just below the junction of the Conway and the Lledr is a deep, wide, and still piece of water, called LlYn-yr-Avanc, or "the beavers' pool," from its being the resort of the beaver, the skin of which was anciently prized more highly than that of the ermine. About two miles from the village is the cataract of Rhaiadr-yWenol, or "the waterfall of the swallow," formed by the river Llugwy, which, after pursuing its course for some distance in a straight rocky channel, along narrow meadows inclosed by mountains of majestic elevation, falls into a hollow of amazing depth, the sides and summit of which are shaded with trees that have taken root in the fissures of the rocks. The whole of the neighbouring mountains abound with lead-ore, but none of the mines have been worked for some time: a few of the inhabitants are engaged in spinning woollen yarn and knitting stockings. A considerable variety of quartz crystal, of a beautiful whiteness, is found in the parish. Fairs are held annually on May 15th and December 3rd.
The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £800 royal bounty, and £200 parliamentary grant; net income, £101; patron, the Bishop of Bangor; impropriator, Lord Willoughby de Eresby, whose tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £50. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is a small but interesting edifice, romantically situated near the confluence of the Conway and Llugwy. Among other ancient monuments, it contains an altar-tomb to the memory of Grufydd ab Davydd Gôch, son to Davydd Gôch, natural son of Davydd, brother of Llewelyn the last prince of Wales, on which is a recumbent effigy in plate armour, with an inscription in a very perfect state: this beautiful relic, which is the production of the thirteenth century, is injudiciously concealed by the erection of a pew over the monument. There are places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists and others. A Church school, open to all the poor children of the parish, was founded in 1821, by Lord Willoughby de Eresby, who contributes £10 per annum towards its support; the master receives in addition fees from the scholars amounting to about £9, and has a house and garden rent-free. There are also two Sunday schools, both connected with the dissenters, and one of them containing as many as 280 adults and children. The interest of a bequest of £10 by Evan Evans in 1780, is distributed among the poor at Christmas.
Bettws-Yn-Rhôs, otherwise Bettwsaber-Gelau
BETTWS-YN-RHÔS, otherwise BETTWSABER-GELAU, a parish, in the union of St. Asaph, hundred of Isdulas, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 4 miles (S. S. W.) from Abergele; containing 911 inhabitants. The village is pleasantly situated at the base of a lofty mountain, by which it is sheltered on one side, and has a fine opening towards the north, commanding a full view of the Irish Sea. About a quarter of a mile from the village is a copious chalybeate spring, which was much resorted to some years since, but its efficacy has been greatly weakened by the influx of other waters. Coed Côch, the seat of John Lloyd Wynne, Esq., is a splendid mansion, with an elegant portico of five fluted columns of Penrhŷn slate stone. Fairs are held on February 20th, May 8th, August 15th, and November 20th. The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £12. 15. 5.; patron and appropriator, the Bishop of St. Asaph. The appropriate tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £180. 3.2., and the vicarial for one of £398. 12. 10., with a glebe of six acres and a half, valued at £9 per annum, and a house: the parish clerk likewise receives £8 per annum as a commutation. The old church, dedicated to St. Michael, was, previously to the Reformation, a chapel of ease to Abergele; a very neat new church, containing 428 sittings, was erected in 1839. There are places of worship for Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists.
A National school has been erected by subscription, aided by a grant of £39 from the National Society, in which about forty children from this and the adjoining parishes receive gratuitous instruction. The school is supported partly by a small subscription, and partly by a rental of £10 issuing from a tenement and thirty-seven acres, called Aelwyd Uchâv, assigned on the inclosure of waste lands. The master also receives part of the rental of three other tenements, called Gydar, Dôlwyd Bâch, and Rhŷd-y-Saeson, in the parish of Llansantfraid-glanConway, amounting to £33. 10., of which the remainder is divided among the poor in clothing and money on St. Thomas' day. This property contains above twenty-nine acres, and was purchased in 1729, for £180, the produce of various bequests, and of subscriptions from Dr. Jones, the then vicar, and other individuals. Altogether, with the fees from some pay-scholars, the master has an income of above £40 per annum; exclusively of a house and garden rent-free. The Rev. Robert Anwyl, vicar of the parish, who died in 1816, bequeathed £300, the interest to be applied for the benefit of the school, on the death of a party who was sixty-five years of age in 1836. There are also three Sunday schools, conducted by gratuitous teachers; one is in connexion with the Established Church, and the other two with the dissenters. A rent-charge of ten shillings on Pen-y-bryn farm is applied for the benefit of the poor. Another of £5, charged by Mrs. Griffiths on Pen-fordd-deg farm, was given up in 1832, by a resolution of the vestry, who consented to receive £100 from the present possessor as compensation: of this sum, £54. 13. 4. were expended in erecting four cottages on a parish allotment, at present inhabited by paupers; and the residue, £45. 6. 8., was applied towards rebuilding the house on Dôlwyd Bâch farm, destroyed by fire.
Bishopston, or Llan-Deilo-Ver-Walt
BISHOPSTON, or LLAN-DEILO-VER-WALT, a parish, in the union and hundred of Swansea, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 6½ miles (S. W. by W.) from Swansea; containing 491 inhabitants. This place derives its name from having formerly belonged to the bishops of Llandaf, who held the manor in free alms. The custom of the manor is, that copyholds not only descend to the youngest son or daughter, but also in the collateral line, to brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, &c.; and there is an ancient tenement, called Culver House, which is held by service of grand serjeantry at the king's coronation, the tenure having been recognized by a late court of claims. The village is pleasantly situated in a fertile vale near the sea. The small village of Caswell, in the parish, gives name to Caswell bay, remarkable for the grandeur of its rocky scenery, and for the variety and beauty of the shells thrown up on the shore. A spring of water, issuing from a rock close to the beach, which is covered by the sea at high water, is said to retain its freshness, perfectly free from any saline mixture, when the sea retires. Lead-ore exists in the parish, and was formerly procured; within the last few years the mine was reopened, when the implements of the former miners were discovered, and several tons of good ore were raised, but the works have again been discontinued.
The living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at £9. 6. 8.; net income, £242, with a glebe-house; patron, the Bishop of Llandaf. The church, dedicated to St. Teilo, has no particular claim to architectural description. There are places of worship for Independents and Calvinistic Methodists. Mrs. Catherine Rees, in 1728, bequeathed £100 to be invested in the purchase of land, out of the rent of which £2. 8. are appropriated to the instruction of children, and the remainder is distributed among the poor of the parish. The school is situated near the church, and is principally supported by school-fees: a Sunday school is held in the same room. A sum of £4. 15., principally arising from a bequest of £20, by William Hamon, in 1785, and from one of £100, by — Bateman, in 1832, is distributed at Easter and Christmas. Here was formerly a chapel, which has long since fallen into ruins. The Rev. Edward Davies, the learned author of the Celtic Researches, and the Mythology of the Ancient Britons, was for many years rector of this parish, where he died and was buried, in January 1831.
BLAENAËRON (BLAEN-AËRON), a hamlet, in the parish and union of Trêgaron, lower division of the hundred of Penarth, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 2 miles (N. W.) from Trêgaron; containing 287 inhabitants.
BLAENAU, a hamlet, in the parish of Llanvihangel-Cwm-dù, union and hundred of Crickhowel, county of Brecknock, South Wales, 7 miles (N. by E.) from Crickhowel; containing 140 inhabitants. This place is situated at the upper extremity of the vale of Cwm-dû, among the Black mountains.
BLAENAU, a hamlet, in the parish of Llannon, union of Llanelly, hundred of Carnawllon, county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 11 miles (S. E. by E.) from Carmarthen: the population is returned with the parish. It is situated near the source of the Gwili stream, where coal abounds, and contiguous to the southern declivity of the Mynydd Mawr mountain, over which the road from Llanelly to Llandilo-Vawr passes, after proceeding through this place. An old tramroad is carried along its western division from the mountain to the seacoast; and there is also a canal through the hamlet to Penbrey and Kidwelly harbours. Iron-works have been established; and extensive works are carried on for raising anthracite coal.
BLAENAU, with Tîr Rosser, a hamlet, in the parish of Llandebie, union of Llandilo-Vawr, hundred of Iscennen, county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 7 miles (S. S. W.) from LlandiloVawr; containing 251 inhabitants. The eastern part of the lofty mountain of Mynydd Mawr, which abounds with coal and limestone, is situated within this hamlet. A small tributary of the Loughor river passes through it, on the banks of which are some pleasing cottages and well-wooded knolls. There are numerous coal-pits in the district.
BLAENAU, with Llan, a hamlet, in the parish of Llangendeirn, hundred of Kidwelly, union and county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 6 miles (S. E. by S.) from Carmarthen; containing 634 inhabitants. This hamlet forms the north-western part of the parish, and the road from Llangendeirn to Llandarog passes through it.