A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1849.
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LLANRHYCHWYN (LLAN-RHYCHWYN), a parish, in the union of Llanrwst, Uchgorvai division of the hundred of Nantconway, county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 1½ mile (W. by N.) from Llanrwst; containing 551 inhabitants. This parish, which is exceedingly mountainous, contains an abundance of pyrites, worked by a company from Liverpool, who ship the produce at the adjoining quay of Trêvriw, on the Conway, which river forms the eastern boundary of the parish, and is navigable from its mouth below the town of Conway up to Trêvriw. There are also three extensive slate-quarries within its limits, at the distance of about one mile and a half from the shipping-place, in which upwards of 100 persons are employed; lead-ore has been obtained here, and some small veins of it are now being worked. Numerous varieties of quartz crystals are found, some of them of a beautiful amethystine colour, and of considerable value.
The living is a perpetual curacy annexed to the rectory of Trêvriw. The church, dedicated to St. Rhychwyn, is situated among barren mountains, at a considerable distance from any houses, and, from the rudeness of its architecture, appears to be of great antiquity. It is vulgarly observed of this simple structure, that it was erected prior to the invention of the saw and plane, since no indication of the use of these instruments can be discovered in any part of the edifice. In the east window are the remains of some handsome stained glass, with a mutilated date, which seems to have been MCCCCXXII. There are one or two places of worship for dissenters, by whom five Sunday schools are supported; and two trifling bequests, producing about 13s. per annum, are distributed among the poor at Christmas. Taliesin, the celebrated British bard, who flourished about the middle of the sixth century, is stated to have resided in the parish, near a small lake or pool called Geirionydd.
LLANRHYDDLAD (LLAN-RHÛDDLAD), a parish, in the hundred of Tàlybolion, union and county of Anglesey, North Wales, 8 miles (N. W. by W.) from Llanerchymedd; containing 725 inhabitants. This parish is of small extent, and situated on the shore of the Irish Sea, which washes the western side of it. The surface is boldly varied, and the higher grounds embrace an interesting prospect over the sea, and of the adjacent country, which abounds with pleasing, and in some parts picturesque, scenery. The village, called Rhydwyn, and of small size, is situated about a mile from the foot of Moel Rhyddlad, one of the highest mountains in the isle of Anglesey, and for that reason selected by Colonel Mudge as one of his principal stations in making the trigonometrical survey of North Wales. Considerable quantities of manganese, and some copper-ore, it is said, have been found upon this mountain; but no mines have been opened. Sulphur-ore has been discovered upon a farm called Cevn-dû-bâch, about a mile east of the Moel: the mine is not however worked upon an extensive scale, and the quantity of ore raised has been inconsiderable.
The living is a discharged rectory, with the livings of Llanvlewin and Llanrhwydrus annexed, rated in the king's books at £14. 11. 8.; present net income, £530, with a glebe-house; patron, the Bishop of Bangor. The tithes of Llanryhyddlad have been commuted for a rent-charge of £266. 11., and the glebe comprises fifty acres, valued at £41. 13. 4. per annum. The tithes of the ancient parish of Llandugwell are received alternately by the rectors of this place and Llanvechell. The church, dedicated to St. Rhyddlad, is a small edifice, not distinguished by any architectural features of importance. There are places of worship for dissenters; one or two day schools; and two Sunday schools, one of them belonging to the Calvinistic Methodists, and the other to the Baptists. Several charitable donations and bequests are distributed among the poor at Christmas. The principal of these is a bequest by William Lloyd, more than a century since, with which a piece of land near the church of Llanvair-Ynghornwy was purchased, which was exchanged in 1821, under the provisions of the act of the 55th and 56th of George III., for other lands with two cottages, containing in the whole ten acres, and worth £11 per annum. Another gift is a charge of £4. 4. on property in the parish of Bôdedern, arising from a bequest of Edmund Griffith; and there are numerous small rentcharges, producing about 13s. 6d. The church lands consist of several parcels, amounting in the whole to 30¾ acres, and yielding a rent of £17. 16. 6. Sir William Williams, Speaker of the House of Commons in the reign of Charles II., was born in this parish, of which his father, Dr. Hugh Williams, founder of the families of Wynnstay, Bôdelwyddan, and Penbedwr, was rector from 1633 till 1670.
LLANRHŶSTID (LLAN-RHŶSTYD), a parish, in the poor-law union of Aberystwith, Lower division of the hundred of Ilar, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 9 miles (S. by W.) from Aberystwith, on the road to Cardigan; comprising the townships of Llanrhŷstid-Hamminiog and Llanrhŷstid-Mevennydd, and containing 1608 inhabitants. This place, though at present of little importance, has been distinguished in history from an early period. In 987 its church was demolished by the Danes, in one of their descents upon South Wales. The castle of Llanrhŷstid, called also Dinerth Castle, in 1080 belonged to Iestyn ab Gwrgan, Prince of Glamorgan, and was then sacked by Rhŷs, Prince of South Wales. It was destroyed in 1135, by Owain Gwynedd and his brother, aided by Hywel ab Meredydd and Rhŷs ab Madog ab Ednerth; and, having been re-erected, was besieged and taken, in the year 1150, with several other fortresses, by Cadell, Meredydd, and Rhŷs, the sons of Grufydd ab Rhŷs, Prince of South Wales, who, enraged at the spirited resistance of its defenders, whereby they lost some of their bravest troops, put the garrison to the sword. It was fortified by Roger, Earl of Clare, in 1158, and, about the close of the same century, was besieged and taken by Maelgwyn ab Rhŷs, who slew the garrison left to defend it by his brother Grufydd, and in 1204 razed it, with several others, to prevent its falling into the hands of Llewelyn ab Iorwerth.
The parish is situated on the shore of Cardigan bay, and bounded on the north by the parish of Llanddeiniol, on the south by that of Llansantfraid, and on the east by Llangwyryvon. It comprises by admeasurement 8650 acres, of which 2250 are arable, 600 meadow, 5200 pasture, 400 uninclosed common, and 200 woodland. The surface is ornamented with the stream of the Gwyre and several other rivulets, and interspersed with oak and ash, and some recent plantations of larch; it is marked by moderate elevations in several parts, and in the vicinity of the sea are some fine level tracts. The lands are in general well cultivated, the chief produce being wheat, barley, and oats. The seat of the ancient family of Lloyd is situated here, and is now occupied by a family of the name of Philipps. The village is situated near the influx of the Gwyre into the bay of Cardigan, and consists only of a few cottages, indifferently built. Fairs are held on the Thursday before Easter, on November 12th (a fair for hiring servants), and the Thursday before Christmas; and at Lluest Newydd others take place on Sept. 23rd, on Oct. 8th, and the second Friday after the 10th of the same month. The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £6. 13. 4.; patron, the Bishop of St. David's: the tithes have been commuted for £620, of which a sum of £450 is payable to the Dean and Chapter of St. David's, and one of £170 to the vicar. The church, dedicated to St. Rhystyd, occupies an elevated situation above the village, and is of considerable antiquity. There are places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, and Baptists; a day school; and five Sunday schools, one of which is in connexion with the Church, and the other four with the dissenters. Leland mentions the remains of a large edifice here, which some suppose to have been a nunnery; but there are now no vestiges of it, nor any authentic account of such an establishment having existed here.
LLANRIAN (LLAN-RHIAN), a parish, in the poor-law union of Haverfordwest, hundred of Dewisland, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 5 miles (N. E.) from St. David's; containing 912 inhabitants. It is situated near the north-western extremity of the county, and on the coast of St. George's Channel, by which it is bounded on the west and north; the scenery is pleasing, and the views over the Channel and the adjacent country are interesting and extensive. The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £6. 11. 3., and endowed with £200 royal bounty, and £600 parliamentary grant; present net income, £105; patron, the Bishop of St. David's. The church, dedicated to St. Rheanus, is not remarkable for any architectural details of importance. There are places of worship for Baptists and Calvinistic Methodists. A day school is endowed with £9 a year, the interest of money left by the late Mr. David Thomas, of Trevyne, towards the support of a schoolmaster; and with £3 a year from the executors of the late Mrs. Davies, of Carnachan-wen. Of four Sunday schools, one is in connexion with the Established Church. Near the church are some Druidical remains, consisting of many large stones, most of them now broken: they were formerly erect, and, in their arrangement and general appearance, formed in miniature, according to Mr. Fenton, a tolerably correct representation of Stonehenge.
Llanrûg, or Llanvihangel-Yn-Rûg
LLANRÛG, or LLANVIHANGEL-YN-RÛG, a parish, in the hundred of Isgorvai, union and county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 3½ miles (E.) from Carnarvon, on the new line of road to CapelCurig; containing 1760 inhabitants. This parish is separated from that of Llandeiniolen by the river Seiont, the northern boundary of Llanrûg; and has the parish of Llanberis on the east and south, that of Llanbeblig also on the south, with the town of Carnarvon (in Llanbeblig) on the west. It comprises 4105 acres, of which 2067 are arable, and 50 wood. The land is stony and mountainous; and some of the elevations, especially that on which the church is built, command wide prospects of the sea and the country adjacent, embracing the Snowdon range of mountains on the east, and the bay of Carnarvon on the west; in certain states of the atmosphere even the Irish hills being distinctly visible. The soil is gravelly, and the produce consists chiefly of barley, oats, and potatoes; the land is for the greater part inclosed and in a good state of cultivation: the waste was inclosed by an act of parliament obtained about the year 1809. The farms are small, seldom comprehending more than one hundred acres, and such of the inhabitants as are not engaged in agriculture, are employed in the quarries and the neighbouring mines. There are several good mansions in detached situations, inhabited by opulent families, among which are the beautiful small villa of Glangwnna, deeply embosomed in woods on the bank of the river Seiont; Plâs Tirion, Pantavon, Llwynybrain, Havod, Brynbrâs Castle, Tŷ'n-y-Coed, and Tŷ Gwyn.
The parish contains the village of Cwm-y-Glo; and many of the inhabitants were formerly occupied in working the quarries, which produce slate of a reddish hue, or of a brown colour, of a very durable substance, and not apt to open or crack when exposed to the weather; but the number of persons thus engaged has latterly been much diminished. Of the several quarries, the largest, Glyn-Rhonwy, belongs to Lord Newborough; the others are on crown property: the whole of them do not employ above a hundred men. The slates used to be brought down the Llanberis lakes in boats, and thence conveyed by carts to Carnarvon; but since the new line of road has been formed, they have been brought by carts the whole of the way. There are indications of copperore on Caer Cwm-y-Glo, and also on a mountainous rocky farm termed Llwyncoed: some small veins have been actually laid open; and in a rock near the lake, close to the new road, and on the same farm, a vein of asbestos, or amianthus, has been found. At a short distance higher up, and near the boundary of the farms Llwyncoed and Glyn-Rhonwy, is a vein of white soapy clay, resembling fullers'-earth, which dips into the lake, and may be taken up from a boat. Numerous curious specimens of fossils, minerals, and crystals, are to be obtained in the mountainous district of the parish.
The living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at £5. 12. 6.; patron, the Bishop of Bangor: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £200. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is a small, venerable, cruciform structure in the later English style, without tower or steeple, but having at the west end a pointed arch, rising above the roof, and surmounted by a cross, under which a bell is suspended. It is sixty-two feet long, and twenty-seven broad, and nearly all the sittings are free. On account of its elevated situation it is seen from a great distance in every direction, and it has been rendered still more conspicuous by being whitewashed all over, not even excepting the roof. There are places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, Wesleyans, and Independents; a National school, established in 1834, by subscription aided by a grant of £15 from the National Society; and six Sunday schools, conducted gratuitously by the dissenters. Mr. John Morris, in 1710, bequeathed land for apprenticing poor boys of this parish and the town of Carnarvon, now containing in the whole about 107 acres, and producing £58. 9. 10. per annum, including 35 acres on an inclosure of the common of Llanrûg in the year 1819; two or three boys are annually apprenticed from each, according to the will of the testator, and the benefit is enjoyed by both places equally: a premium of £10 is given with each boy, and he also receives £1 annually for clothing. About £1 is distributed in bread to the poor, arising from the rent of two cottages erected on the common from two bequests.
In several parts of the parish are remains of cottages, or huts, probably the abodes of the aboriginal inhabitants at some period of remote antiquity. They are generally in clusters of eight or ten each, and appear to have formed distinct villages: they are called cuttiau 'r Gwyddelod, or "the Irishmen's huts." Their shape is usually circular; two stones on one side of each seem to mark out the entrance, and a large upright stone probably points out the fire-place: the walls, which are about two feet high, and three in thickness, are composed of small stones without mortar. Near the huts are frequently found remains of the "quern," or stone handmill, consisting of two stones, one concave and the other convex, with a place for an iron handle; and stone and brass celts have also been found in the vicinity of these ancient habitations, which are generally distributed through the parish, and of which the number of circular form exceeds 300. Davydd Thomas, the celebrated bard, better known as "Davydd Ddû o Eryri," was interred at this place; and Dr. Edwards, who accompanied Commodore Anson in his voyage round the world, and held the office of surgeon on board the Tamer frigate, was a native of the parish, and son of one of its rectors: he also lies buried in the churchyard.
LLANRWST (LLAN-RWST), a markettown, the head of a union, and a parish, partly in the hundred of Nantconway, county of Carnarvon, but chiefly in the Uchdulas division of the hundred of Isdulas, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 20 miles (W. by S.) from Denbigh, 26 (W. by N.) from Ruthin, and 217 (N. W. by W.) from London; containing 3905 inhabitants, of which 3524 are in Denbighshire, and 381 in the Carnarvonshire portion, consisting of the township of Gwydir. This town is of very great antiquity, and in the year 952 was the scene of an important battle in the contests maintained at that period, for the sovereignty of Wales, between the sons of Hywel Dda and those of Edwal Voel. The former, assembling their forces in South Wales, laid waste the territory of North Wales as far as the river Conway, but were opposed by the latter at the town of Llanrwst, where, after an obstinate conflict, in which many of considerable rank were slain on both sides, the sons of Edwal Voel were victorious. These, pursuing their enemies into South Wales, retaliated upon their territories for the ravages which had been inflicted on their own.
The town is pleasantly situated on the eastern bank of the river Conway, which here forms the boundary between the two counties, four miles to the north of the road to Holyhead, and in the spacious and beautiful Vale of Llanrwst, environed by majestic and well-wooded hills, the land at the foot of which is well watered, and exceedingly productive. It is large, well built, and amply supplied with water, but consists principally of small houses and shops; the streets are spacious and well paved. Over the river is an elegant bridge of three arches, built about the year 1636, under an order from the privy council of Charles I., from a plan by Inigo Jones, who is erroneously stated to have been a native of this place: the expense of its erection, amounting to about £1000, was conjointly defrayed by the two counties which it connects. Two of the arches are strikingly handsome; the third, having been rebuilt in 1703, is somewhat inferior: the central arch, which forms a much larger segment of a circle than the other two, is nearly sixty feet in span. Excellent roads have been made, communicating with the London, Liverpool, and Holyhead roads, and also with Denbigh and St. Asaph; the improved state of which has caused a considerable increase of visiters, during the summer months, to the picturesque and much admired scenery of this neighbourhood.
Llanrwst was formerly noted for the making of harps. At present the spinning of woollen yarn, and the knitting of stockings, constitute the principal trade, the town being situated at the north-western extremity of the hosiery district of North Wales, and forming, next to Bala, the principal market for that article; the first of these branches, however, is in a very low state, there being only one mill, in which not more than four or five persons are employed. The river Conway is navigable from its mouth to Trêvriw, about two miles from this town, for vessels of sixty tons' burthen, which bring coal, lime, timber, and grocery for the supply of the inhabitants of Llanrwst and the neighbourhood, and carry back the produce of the slate-quarries and mines of the adjoining parishes. The market, held on Saturday, is well supplied, particularly with corn, which is not sold by sample, but in small quantities suitable to the circumstances of the purchaser: it is the general mart for the inhabitants of the surrounding district, to a distance of twenty miles in some directions. Fairs, chiefly for the sale of cattle, corn, and wool, take place on the first Tuesday in February, on March 8th, April 25th, June 21st, August 10th, September 17th, October 25th, on December 11th, and the second Tuesday after that day. At the June fair a great quantity of wool is sold to the clothiers of Yorkshire, and at the September and October fairs great numbers of cattle are sold to the English drovers. The market-place is a spacious square area, in the centre of which stands the town-hall, lately rebuilt. The old town-hall was a plain substantial structure, erected at the expense of Maurice Wynne, Esq., of Caer Melwr, as appeared from a stone over the principal entrance, bearing the arms of the Wynnes, and the initials of the founder, with the date 1661: above this was a clock, with a cupola, containing the market bell, and surmounted by a large gilt eagle. This edifice has been rebuilt by Lord Willoughby D'Eresby, with an additional floor for a corn-market. The general quarter-sessions for the county were formerly held here, but the practice has been discontinued since the removal of the assizes from Denbigh to Ruthin. The powers of the county debt-court of Llanrwst, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Llanrwst. The petty-sessions for the Uchdulas division of the hundred of Isdulas are held here; and under the Boundary Act, Llanrwst is a polling-place in the election of knights for the shire.
The parish is upwards of forty miles in circumference, and comprises, in the Denbighshire portion, 15,000 acres, of which 8300 are arable, 6000 pasture, and 700 woodland; and in the Carnarvonshire portion 7694a. 3r. 22p., of which about 293 acres are arable, 6588 pasture, 693 wood, and the remainder water, roads, and waste. The soil of the lower grounds consists principally of a mixture of argillaceous earth and vegetable mould, the latter generally diminishing in quality as the elevation of the land increases. Some parts of the surface rise into lofty hills and mountains, including Moel Siabod and Moel Seiviog, the former reaching an elevation of 2878 feet above the level of the sea; on the summit of the latter three parishes meet. The chief agricultural produce is wheat, oats, barley, potatoes, and the various grasses; and in the spring, summer, and autumn months, the higher grounds afford abundant pasturage for horses, cattle, and sheep. Clay-slate and greywacke are quarried for fences, for building purposes, and the repair of roads; and there are leadmines in each division of the parish. The forest-trees consist principally of oak, of larch, spruce, and Scotch firs, of ash, beech, sycamore, birch, and alder.
Llanrwst being situated in the rich and fertile Vale of Llanrwst, the environs of the town partake very largely of the beautifully picturesque scenery for which the district is celebrated, the most prominent and striking features being the precipitous woods and lofty cliffs of Gwydir. The surface is diversified with hill and dale, woods, rocks, and water, together with moors, pastures, and arable land; uniting, in their perpetually varying combinations, to produce pictorial scenes of the highest order. The Vale of Llanrwst, which is neither so widely extended as the Vale of Clwyd, nor so contracted as that of Llangollen, is regarded by the admirers of scenery as exhibiting the most varied assemblage of beautiful features which the pencil could delineate. The prospect of the dense woods and towering hills that inclose it on each side, is enlivened by the river Conway, which every where presents an animated scene, either of small vessels arriving at, and departing from, the village of Trêvriw, or of the diminutive boats called coracles, used in fishing for salmon and smelts, both which, together with various kinds of trout, eels, &c., are supplied to the neighbourhood.
The gentlemen's seats in the vicinity and more remote localities contribute to the powerful effect of the different views. They comprise Gwydir, the Abbey, Cyfdŷ, Belmont, Plâs Madoc, Penloyn, the Cottage, Hêndre House, Oaklands, Beaver Grove, and Tan-y-Celyn, a neat residence on the banks of the Conway. The ancient mansion of Gwydir, finely situated amongst woods of oak, which clothe the rocks projecting between the rivers Conway and Llugwy, near the foot of a lofty precipice called Carreg-y-Gwalch, or "the rock of the falcon," was erected, according to some initials and a date over the gateway, by John Wynne ab Meredydd, in 1555, and comprised an extensive but somewhat irregular pile of building, ranged in a quadrangular form, and consisting of an inner and an outer court. This edifice was taken down in 1816, since which time the present structure, on a much smaller scale, has been built: a portion of the former mansion still remains, and has been fitted up in an antique and elegant style. Above this stood another edifice, called the Upper Gwydir, erected in the year 1604, by Sir John Wynne, which was pulled down a short time ago.
The living comprises a sinecure rectory and a discharged vicarage, united by act of parliament passed in 1678, and in the patronage of the Bishop of St. Asaph; the former rated in the king's books at £12, and the latter at £6. 5. 5. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £900, and there is a glebe-house, with appendages, valued at £50 per annum. The church, dedicated to St. Grwst, Rhystyd, or Restitutus, and situated close to the river, is said to have been originally erected on ground given by Rhûn, son of Nevydd Hardd, a chieftain of one of the fifteen tribes of North Wales, to expiate the murder of Prince Idwal, a son of Owain Gwynedd, by order of Nevydd, to whom Owain had entrusted him to be fostered, according to the custom of the country. The present structure, supposed, from its style of architecture, to have been erected early in the fifteenth century, was thoroughly repaired, and a tower added to it, at the sole expense of the late rector, the Rev. H. Holland Edwards, prebendary of Westminster. It contains 743 sittings, and is ninety-two feet long, and thirty-three broad.
Adjoining it, on the south side, is the Gwydir chapel, a handsome square castellated edifice, the interior of which is decorated with a profusion of carved work. It was built by Sir Richard Wynne, from a design by Inigo Jones, in the seventeenth century, as a burial-place for his family, the deceased members of which had previously been interred in the chancel of the church, and contains several elegantly engraved brasses, exhibiting portraits of members of the family. It has a carved and fretted roof, said to have once belonged to the conventual church of Maenan Abbey, situated about three miles distant. On the eastern wall is a slab of white marble, recording the pedigree of the founder, and tracing his ancestors to Owain Gwynedd, Prince of North Wales. On the southern wall is a monument to the memory of Sir John Wynne, Bart., a learned antiquary, and an indefatigable gleaner of materials for the illustration of Welsh history, which were published under the title of the "History of the Gwydir family;" also to that of his great-grandfather Meredydd, and his wife Sidney, daughter of Sir William Gerard, Chancellor of Ireland. In the centre of the chapel, upon the floor, lies the stone coffin of Llewelyn the Great, who died in 1240, and was interred in the abbey he had founded at Conway, whence the monks afterwards removed to Maenan: at the Dissolution, the coffin was brought from Maenan to the parish church of Llanrwst, where it remained obscured by rubbish until placed in its present more appropriate situation. The same attention has been paid to another piece of antiquity, placed near it, viz., a recumbent armed effigy of Howel Coytmor, grandson of Davydd, brother to Llewelyn ab Grufydd: he was owner of the Gwydir estate, which was sold by one of his descendants to the family of Wynne.
There is a separate incumbency at Garthgarmon, a parochial chapelry in the parish; and at Gwydir, half a mile distant from the town, is a private chapel belonging to Lord Willoughby D'Eresby. An additional church, dedicated to St. Mary, and in the early English style, capable of seating 350 persons, was commenced in 1841, by subscription, on a site given by his lordship, for the accommodation of those who do not understand Welsh, in which language the service is exclusively performed in the mother church. This edifice, which, being situated on an ascent, forms an interesting object at the entrance to the town from Pentre-Voelas, was consecrated October 28th, 1842; and the necessary endowments for the minister, repairs of the church, and general purposes, were provided by the Rev. H. H. Edwards. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists; a Church school, a British school, and a number of Sunday schools.
An old foundation in the parish, called Jesus' Hospital, is supposed to have been originally endowed with the impropriate tithes of Eglwys-Bâch, a parish of eight townships, of which the rector had tithe from but one, called Bodnod township, the other seven paying to an impropriator. It appears that the hospital was founded by Sir John Wynne, Knt., of Gwydir, in 1612, for the support of a warden and twelve poor men; and that a free school within its walls was established by the same benefactor, the master of which was to have £20 per annum, and an usher £10, with a house and garden each. The allowance to the warden was £20, and the salaries of the teachers were subsequently augmented to £25 and £15: the remainder of the tithes was to maintain the almsmen, and to provide them every other year with warm gowns. Another history of the charity however is, that the true founder was a gentleman of the name of Williams, and that Sir John Wynne was merely an instrument for carrying his benevolent intentions into effect. The endowment of the hospital and its school with the tithes of Eglwys-Bâch, which were even then of considerable amount, is believed to have been the intention of Sir John Wynne; but this, it is said, has always been denied by his descendants and by the heirs of Gwydir, who have contended that this disposition of the tithes is not sustained by deed or other legal writing. The present Lord Willoughby D'Eresby, to whom the impropriation of Eglwys-Bâch has devolved as the representative of the family, also resists the claim of Jesus' Hospital to the endowment; and the question now at issue is, whether these tithes, of which the annual amount has exceeded £600, were settled to maintain the hospital, or are a lay impropriation in the Gwydir family in its own right, out of which certain payments were charitably, but gratuitously, made for nearly 200 years. The almshouses have ceased to be occupied by the poor, as rent-free tenements, since 1811; but it should be mentioned that Lord Willoughby D'Eresby distributes different sums of money annually to a certain number of needy persons, in the parish, though these payments are claimed to be voluntary, and wholly unconnected with the proceeds of the tithes. The houses are still standing; they are built of stone, and in tolerable repair, consisting of five tenements on the ground-floor and the same number above. About the year 1812, one of the ground tenements was destroyed to make a passage to a house then sold by Lord Willoughby to Mr. Evan Pritchard, which house is said to have been the property of the hospital, and former residence of the warden: the old house has since been taken down and rebuilt. On a stone tablet in the wall that separates the almshouses from the churchyard is this inscription: "Jo Winn de Gwyder Fil Mauricii Miles et Baronnetta fundavit A°. 1610." A salary of £40 per annum is paid out of the endowment to the master of the hospital school, one of the three day schools in the parish.
Among the contributors to the other charities of the parish have been Dame Mary Mostyn, John Salusbury, Morris Hughes, and Evan Davies, of whom the last-named, in 1766, left it property amounting to upwards of £600. About £800 have been invested in the funds and in turnpike-trusts, producing annually £35. 8., and among other charitable uses, a portion of this income is distributed to the poor between Michaelmas and Christmas. The poor-law union of which this town is the head, was formed April 29th, 1837, and comprises the following seventeen townships and parishes; namely, GwernHowell, Gwytherin, Llanddoget, Llangerniew, and Pentre-Voelas, in the county of Denbigh; EglwysBâch and Maenan (in the parish of Eglwys-Bâch), Tîr-Ivan, Eidda, and Trêbrys (in the parish of Yspytty-Ivan), and Llanrwst and Gwydir (in the parish of Llanrwst), in the counties of Denbigh and Carnarvon; and Bettws-y-Coed, Dôlwyddelan, Llanrhychwyn, Penmachno, and Trêvriw, in the county of Carnarvon. It is under twenty guardians, and contains a population of 12,322.
LLANSADWRN (LLAN-SADWRN), a parish, in the union of Bangor and Beaumaris, hundred of Tyndaethwy, county of Anglesey, North Wales, 3 miles (W.) from Beaumaris; containing 455 inhabitants. This parish is situated in the eastern part of the county, within four miles of the Menai suspension bridge, and on the road from Llangevni to Beaumaris. It is bounded on the north by the parishes of Pentraeth and Llanddona, on the south by the parish of Llandegvan, on the east by Beaumaris, in Llandegvan, and on the west by the parish of Penmynedd; comprising by computation 2891 acres, of which 1700 are arable, 1103 pasture, and the remainder woodland and waste. In general the lands are inclosed and well cultivated; the soil is fertile, and the chief produce corn, cattle, and a few sheep. The houses of the inhabitants are scattered over the parish in detached situations, not forming any village; and the surrounding scenery, though not characterised by any peculiarity of feature, is pleasingly rural. The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £7. 6. 0½.; patron, the Bishop of Bangor: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £400. The church, dedicated to St. Sadwrn, from which circumstance the parish derives its name, is a small but neat edifice, consisting of a nave, chancel, and north transept, and was thoroughly repaired at a considerable expense in 1829. It contains 140 sittings, of which fifty are free. In the transept, projecting from the wall, is the head of an ecclesiastic, well executed in stone; and outside the same part of the edifice is the head of a bear, with a muzzle and chain, also curiously carved in stone. A fragment of stone has been found, which is now placed within the transept under the head above-mentioned, bearing an inscription in Roman characters, in which the word "Saturninus" seems to shew that the stone was part of a monument of St. Sadwrn, by whom the church is supposed to have been founded about the year 600. The inscription is the more remarkable as making mention of the wife of this holy personage. A Church day school is held; and there is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, in which a Sunday school is held.
The farms of Bryn Eryr and Rhôs Owen, left by Dr. Rowlands for the support of his almshouses at Bangor, are in this parish. Rowland Jones, in the year 1715, bequeathed a tenement called Gorslâs, the rent of which he appropriated in equal shares, amounting to £2. 5. for each, to the poor of this parish and that of Pentraeth. Mrs. Roberts, in 1756, left £150, the interest of which she directed to be given in equal shares to three of the poorest and most deserving housekeepers of Llansadwrn: this sum was invested in a mortgage on the tolls of the Holyhead road, and now produces an income of £7. 10. annually. The amount of both charities is distributed at Easter and Christmas among the most necessitous poor. With numerous other benefactions, amounting in the whole to £41, the principal contributors to which were Humphrey Williams, in 1741, and Griffith Rowland, in 1765, of sums of £10 each, ten small cottages were erected on ground granted by the late Lord Bulkeley at £1. 1. per annum; they are now occupied rent-free by ten families put in by the vestry.
In a field adjoining Trevor, in the parish, are the remains of two cromlechs; the larger, which was supported on two upright stones more than ten feet high, fell down in 1825. Near an old family mansion called "Castellior," are some vestiges of an ancient fortress, which, from several relics of antiquity discovered in the immediate vicinity, is supposed to be of Roman origin. Havodty Rhydderch is the name of an ancient residence, apparently of some member of the Bulkeley family, to the representative of which it still belongs. It is now tenanted by a farmer; but from its more considerable size not many years since, and from various architectural features still remaining, its original importance may be easily imagined. The chief room now left appears to have been the hall of the mansion, and its fireplace, presenting an obtusely pointed arch, is a good specimen of the comfort of former days. The hollowed moulding of the arch bears a motto, with heraldic devices, belonging to the Bulkeleys; the motto being si deus nobiscum, quis contra nos? which likewise occurs, in English, on one of the windows of the family's old residence in the town of Beaumaris. The principals of the ancient roof are also yet to be seen in the apartment. In the marsh near the base of Llwydiart mountain, fossil oak-trees, acorns, and nuts are found, several feet below the surface, retaining all their original freshness.
LLANSADWRN (LLAN-SADWRN), a parish, in the union of Llandovery, Lower division of the hundred of Perveth, county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 3 miles (N. N. W.) from Llangadock; comprising the Upper and Lower divisions, and containing 1192 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated in the north-eastern part of the county, is intersected by the turnpike-road from Llandilo-Vawr to Llandovery, and by a small rivulet tributary to the river Towy. It comprises 7064 acres, consisting of a mountainous district of considerable extent, and a large portion of common, which was inclosed by an act of parliament passed in 1809, and, with the other lands, is in a good state of cultivation. The scenery is finely diversified, and the views from the higher grounds are rich, embracing an extensive tract of country. Abermarlais, the seat of the late ViceAdmiral Sir Thomas Foley, is a handsome modern mansion, erected by him, near the site and from the ruins of an ancient mansion, which originally formed the baronial residence of Sir Rhŷs ab Thomas, and is noticed by Leland: the edifice is situated in grounds comprehending much picturesque scenery.
The living is a discharged vicarage, with the perpetual curacy of Llanwrda annexed, rated in the king's books at £6. 10., and in the gift of Lady Foley; present net income, £165, with a glebehouse. The tithes of the parish have been commuted for £351. 15., of which £263. 14. 9. are payable to Lady Foley, and £87. 18. 3. to the vicar; the incumbent has also a glebe of three acres, and is allowed £15 per annum from the impropriator. The church is dedicated to St. Sadwrn. Lady Letitia Cornwallis presented to it a silver-gilt chalice, flagon, and paten, with the inscription; "donum Letitiæ Cornwallis, 1739." There are several places of worship for dissenters, a day school at Abermarlais, and some Sunday schools. In the above-mentioned year Lady Letitia Cornwallis bequeathed £400 for endowing a free school for this parish and that of Llanwrda, the selection of the master or mistress to be by the vestry of this parish alone; and also gave £1000, the interest to be divided among four maiden gentlewomen of the county; £800 to purchase a proper piece of ground, and habitation, for them, and a schoolhouse, and residence for the master or mistress; £200 to provide furniture for the use of the four almswomen; and £200 for new furniture, and for repairing and beautifying the gentlewomen's house and the school; any residue to be expended in buying shoes and stockings for the poorest children of the two parishes: she likewise gave £50, the interest to be distributed on Christmas-eve among the poor of this place. These sums not having been applied to the purposes prescribed by the will of the testatrix, a decree for the payment of them, with the accumulations, was obtained in 1782, and the money vested in the three per cent. bank annuities; when the original bequest of £400 for the school was found to have increased to £1435, the £1000 to £3587, the £200 for buying the first furniture to £717, the second £200 to a similar sum, the £50 for the poor to £179, and the £800 building fund to £2504. 11.; and independently of the last sum, the whole amount invested was £6636. In 1794 this sum of £6636 had accumulated to £9228; and the dividends, amounting to £276. 17., are chiefly disposed of as follows, namely, £166. 2. among the four gentlewomen, £65 to the school, and £5. 7. 7. to the poor. The school premises, situated in Llanwrda, consist of a dwelling-house for the master, with a schoolroom, a field of two and a half acres, and a garden. The almshouses comprise four tenements (with a garden annexed), erected, like the school premises, out of the building fund; and the inmates, in addition to the yearly sum above specified, are entitled to receive a portion of the dividends on £526. 7. 3., accumulated from re-investments of the surplus fund. The £5. 7. 7. are annually distributed among the poorer parishioners, who further receive 10s., arising from a rent-charge granted by William Thomas Howell, out of the estate of Edwinsford, in the parish of Llansawel; and also have the benefit of £5 per annum for instructing children, £5. 5. for apprenticing them, and forty gallons of barley per month; all derived from the estate of Abermarlais.
LLANSADWRNEN (LLAN-SADYRNIN), a parish, in the Higher division of the hundred of Derllŷs, union and county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 2 miles (S. W.) from Laugharne; containing 237 inhabitants. This parish, which derives its name from the dedication of its church, is pleasantly situated on the bay of Carmarthen, and is but of small extent; the land is inclosed and in a tolerable state of cultivation. In the limestone rock near the coast is a curious and beautiful cavern of large dimensions, formerly a retreat for smugglers. The scenery is pleasingly varied; and the views, extending over the bay and the adjacent country, are interesting, and combine some features of picturesque character. The living is a rectory, annexed to the vicarage of Laugharne, and rated in the king's books at £6: the tithes have been commuted for £197, and the glebe comprises twenty-three acres, valued at £20 per annum. In the parish are the remains of Broadway House, an ancient mansion, formerly the residence of John Powel, Esq., Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, and Keeper of the Great Seal in the reign of James II. He was one of the judges who sat on the trial of the seven bishops that were committed to the Tower by order of that monarch, in 1688; and by his inflexible integrity they were absolved of the charge laid against them. He died in 1696, aged sixty-three, and was buried in the church of Laugharne, where a monument was erected to his memory, bearing an inscription eulogizing his conduct on the memorable trial.
LLANSAMLET (LLAN-SAMLED), a parish, in the union of Neath, hundred of Llangyvelach, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 4 miles (N. E. by N.) from Swansea; comprising the Higher and Lower divisions, and containing 3375 inhabitants, of whom 1105 are in the Higher, and 2270 in the Lower, division. This parish is separated from that of Llangyvelach by the river Tawe on the west, and is intersected in the middle by the turnpike-road from Swansea to Neath. It extends six or seven miles upward from the sea, to a place called Glais, which is at the northern extremity of it, nearly opposite to Clydach in the parish of Llangyvelach. The village is situated on the river, forming a kind of suburb to Morriston in Llangyvelach; and between it and the sea, the country is dreary in the extreme, from the absence of vegetation, and the accumulation of vast mounds of slag, the refuse of the great coppersmelting works that are carried on here. In some parts, however, particularly in the Upper division, the lands are in a fair state of cultivation. One of the most picturesque features of the parish is Glànbrane, a good house, situated near the summit of a lofty eminence, and commanding a fine marine view; and Gwernllwynwith, formerly the property of the Morgans of Birch Grove, is also a substantial mansion.
There are some extensive collieries, the principal of which afford constant occupation to about 500 men. It is supposed that coal has been worked here from a very early period, and the opinion receives some confirmation from an ancient record of the time of Henry VI., describing the jointure of Elizabeth, widow of Thomas de Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, and referring, among other possessions, to Kilvey, in this parish: "Kilney vel Kilvey tertia pars terr' et domin' et minæ carbonum, &c." The manor of Kilvey was granted by the parliament to Cromwell, a considerable time before the unfortunate King Charles was beheaded. Besides the collieries, the parish contains the copper-works already alluded to, affording employment to a great number of persons; a large rolling-mill; and a spelter-work: the produce is conveyed to the port of Swansea by the river Tawe, which runs close to the works, and is navigable for three miles. The great South Wales railway, and the Swansea-Valley railway, will both pass by Llansamlet. A large portion of the parish is included within the limits of the borough of Swansea.
The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £800 royal bounty; net income, £150; patron and appropriator, the Bishop of St. David's. The church, dedicated to St. Samled, is a small edifice, consisting of a nave and chancel, neatly fitted up. The southern part of Llansamlet parish, and one of the hamlets of St. Mary's, Swansea, built by the sea, on the eastern bank of the Tawe, form an ecclesiastical district with a church of its own. There are several places of worship for dissenters, three day schools, and ten Sunday schools. Mr. Lewis Thomas, in the year 1708, bequeathed a rent-charge of £2 per annum, which, with another trifling benefaction of a similar description, of 12s., in the same year, by Mr. John Jenkin, is annually distributed among the poor on St. Thomas's day; as is likewise, among poor widows, on Christmas day, a sum of £3. 18. 6., the interest of £130. 17. 11. three per cent. consolidated bank annuities, purchased with a gift of £100 by John Harry, in 1809. A bequest of a rent-charge of £2 by Thomas Popkins, in 1751, has not been paid for many years, being void under the statute. About 500 Roman coins were found near the Gwindy, in Llansamlet, in the year 1835.
LLANSANNAN (LLAN-SANNAN), a parish, in the union of St. Asaph, Higher division of the hundred of Isaled, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 8 miles (W.) from Denbigh, on the road to Llanrwst; containing 1406 inhabitants. It derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Sannan, the intimate friend and companion of the father of St. Winifred, who lived here in religious seclusion, and was buried near the remains of the latter at Gwytherin. The village is situated at the head of the narrow vale of the river Aled, which rises in Llyn Aled at no great distance, and in its course along the vale forms some interesting cascades. The parish comprises about 13,000 acres, of which 6000 are common or waste; the soil, though various, is tolerably fertile. The surrounding scenery is almost totally devoid of beauty, the country presenting little more than an uninviting prospect of dreary wastes and mountainous ground. In the small vale near the village is Dyfryn Aled, a splendid mansion, built by the late Mrs. Yorke, the heiress of the estate, and situated on the slope of a hill opposite the old house, which was for several generations a seat of the Wynne family. Fairs, chiefly for the sale of cattle, horses, sheep, and wool, are held annually on May 18th, August 17th, October 26th, and November 30th. The living is a vicarage, in the patronage of the Bishop of St. Asaph, rated in the king's books at £5. 0. 10.; present net income, £376, with a glebehouse. The church is an ancient edifice, occupying a somewhat romantic situation, but possessing no architectural details of importance. There are places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, Baptists, and Independents; a day school, and some Sunday schools. The benefaction-table in the church records four charities, amounting to £60, the interest of which was to be dispensed to the sick and destitute; but it would appear from Gilbert's returns of 1786, and other documents, that the principal was borrowed by the parish to defray certain repairs of the church: a small sum was paid annually out of the church-rate until 1835, when the vestry resolved to discontinue it, and it is therefore lost to the poor.
Llansannor (Llan-Sannwr), otherwise Thaw
LLANSANNOR (LLAN-SANNWR), otherwise THAW, a parish, in the union of Bridgend and Cowbridge, hundred of Cowbridge, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 4 miles (N.) from Cowbridge; containing 204 inhabitants. It is situated on the river Ddaw or Thaw, which rises in the parish, and, proceeding by Cowbridge, which it occasionally separates from this parish in its course, falls into the Bristol Channel, about six miles distant, where it forms the little harbour of Aberthaw. Llansannor is bounded on the north by Llanhary, on the south by Llanblethian, on the east by Ystrad-Owen, and on the west by Penllyne; and comprises by computation about 1100 acres, of which 500 are arable, 40 woodland, and the remainder pasture: the soil is chiefly of a sandy quality. The surface, for the most part level, is diversified in some places with hill and dale, and the scenery is particularly pleasing where interspersed with plantations of various kinds of fir. There are some quarries of limestone. Llansannor House, formerly the residence of the lord of the manor, and Brigam, are both now in a greatly dilapidated condition, and in the occupation of tenants; near the latter are the remains of an old castle, which was of some note in this part of the county. The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £7. 15. 7½.; present net income, £120, of which £10 are paid as a modus for Llansannor House demesne; patron, J. Bailey, Esq., M.P., who is chief proprietor in the parish, by purchase from J. F. Gwyn, Esq. The church, dedicated to St. Senewyr, is a small ancient edifice; at the south end of the chancel is a recumbent effigy of a warrior clad in armour, with a sword and shield, the head resting on a lion, and at the feet a dog. A Sunday school is held in the church. Mr. Edward Thomas, of Argoed, in the parish, in 1778, bequeathed to the poor half the rent of a house and croft, now producing £4 per annum. At a farmhouse called Pantlewydd, in the parish, still owned and occupied by the family, resided Mr. Thomas Trueman, a great collector of antiquities of the county, and whose MS. volume of pedigrees is extant in several copies: his ancestor came from Nottinghamshire, and was an officer on the Cromwellian side in the civil war.
LLANSANTFRAID (LLAN-SANT-FFREAD), a parish, in the hundred of Pencelly, union and county of Brecknock, South Wales, 4 miles (S. E.) from Brecknock; containing 203 inhabitants. It derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Bridget, or Bride, otherwise called St. Fread, an Irish female saint, who appears to have been so highly venerated in Wales, that no fewer than nineteen churches in the principality have been consecrated to her memory. The western part of the parish obtained the appellation of Scethrog, by which it is at present distinguished, from Brochmail Yscythrog, Prince of Powys, to whom it descended by inheritance from his mother, who was a daughter of Brychan, Prince of Brycheiniog. It does not appear that Brochmail ever resided upon this lordship, although some think that he was buried in the neighbouring parish of Llandevailog-Vâch, where a rudely carved stone of very remote character commemorates the interment of some British personage. After the conquest of the ancient Brycheiniog by Bernard Newmarch, the lordship of Scethrog was conferred on one of his followers, named Miles Pitcher, or Pychard, by whom, or by one of his immediate descendants, a castellated mansion was erected on the bank of the river Usk, subsequently called the Tower, and of which there are still some remains incorporated with a farmhouse built upon the site.
The parish is pleasantly situated on the river Usk, and intersected by the turnpike-road from Brecknock to Crickhowel and Abergavenny. With the exception of a comparatively small portion, the lands are all inclosed, and in a good state of cultivation; the parish comprising by computation about 2000 acres, of which three-fourths are arable, and the remainder pasture and meadow, with between fifty and sixty acres of wood. The soil is a gravelly loam, generally fertile and productive; the surface is undulated, in some parts hilly, and abounds with richly varied scenery. The views from the higher grounds, particularly from the Allt Hill, on the north-eastern side, comprehend many features of interest and beauty. Among the most prominent of these may be noticed, in the foreground, the fertile and romantic Vale of Usk, with the river, celebrated for its trout-fishing, winding, for a distance of four miles in the parish, through a succession of fine scenery, having richly wooded eminences on its banks. In the distance is the majestic range of the Brecknockshire Beacons, with which the softer aspect of the vale is well contrasted. Buckland Park, a spacious mansion, originally erected about a century ago, by Roger Jones, Esq., member for the county, is beautifully situated on the bank of the Usk, and sheltered by a lofty mountain, barren towards the summit, but having the acclivities near its base richly clothed with wood. The house was much enlarged in 1839, and has two fronts, of which that towards the river commands an extensive view up the Vale of Usk, and the other a more confined but still romantic view of the mountains that inclose the vale on the south.
The living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at £6. 4. 7.; patron, T. Watkins, Esq. Previously to the Reformation, the advowson was vested in the owner of the manor of Scethrog; it was subsequently granted to Roger Vaughan, of Porthaml. Some of the tithes, anciently appropriated to the free chapel of Pencelly, are now held by the lord of the manors of Buckland and Scethrog. The incumbent's tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £262; there is a glebe-house, and the glebe comprises 26a. 2r. 30p., valued at £33. 7. per annum. The church, rebuilt in 1690, and affording accommodation for about 400 persons, consists of two low aisles, with a cupola at the west end, and is situated close to the road side. A gravestone to the memory of David Watkins, of Scethrog, who died on the 2nd of November, 1618, aged eighty-eight, records that he, his father, and his grandfather, lived in the parish for 300 years: probably it may signify, only, that they were severally living in three different centuries. There is a place of worship for Independents; also a small day school in connexion with the Church, and a Sunday school held in the meeting-house. Some bequests made for the benefit of the poor, having been neglected, are now nearly lost; but there are still three separate pieces of poor's land, containing together about five acres, and let at rents amounting to £5. 10. per annum, which sum is generally distributed on New Year's day among the poor not receiving parochial relief, in sums varying from five to ten shillings.
The Roman road from Caerleon to the Gaer near Brecknock, passes through the parish, from Cathedine on the east to Llanhamllêch on the west; and at Scethrog is a cylindrical stone, bearing an inscription in Roman characters, of which only the letters VICTORINI are legible, and supposed to commemorate the interment of a son of Victorinus. This stone, after being used as a garden roller, now stands in a hedge by the road side, covered with dirt and weeds. The walls of the castellated mansion erected by Miles Pychard, and the small remains of which are incorporated in the walls of a farmhouse, as above noticed, appear to have been from two to three yards in thickness; and a stone near the farmhouse is said to bear a date, now covered with whitewash, from 700 to 800 years old: traces of a moat are still visible.
The Rev. Thomas Vaughan, a man of eccentric habits, but of great genius, was a native of this parish, of which he was rector. He was ejected from his living during the usurpation of Cromwell, and subsequently became eminent for his skill in experimental philosophy, chemistry, and oriental literature; he was also a respectable Latin and English poet. A catalogue of his numerous publications has been preserved by Wood in his "Athenæ Oxonienses." His brother, Henry Vaughan, M.D., author of the "Olor Iscanus," and other fine poetry, resided for some time in the parish, where he died in 1695, and was interred in the churchyard.
LLANSANTFRAID (LLAN-SANT-FFRAID), a parish, in the union of Aberaëron, Lower division of the hundred of Ilar, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 11 miles (S. by W.) from Aberystwith; containing 1222 inhabitants. The village, which stands on the road from Cardigan to Aberystwith, consists only of a few houses of mean appearance: the parish is noted for its abundant produce of barley. The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £6. 13. 4., and endowed with £400 parliamentary grant; present net income, £91; patron, the Bishop of St. David's: impropriators, the Vicars Choral of St. David's. The church, dedicated to St. Bridget, has been rebuilt, and is a commodious edifice, agreeably situated near the shore of Cardigan bay. There are places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists and Independents, and three Sunday schools, one of which is in connexion with the Established Church. Leland has recorded the existence here of a large building, but he was unable to determine whether or not it was the abbey of Llanfride, of which mention is made in the book "De Dotatione Ecclesiæ S. Davidis." Giraldus also speaks of Llansanfride nunnery, but it is equally uncertain whether this was situated here.
Llansantfraid-Glàn-Conway (Llan-Sant-Ffraid), otherwise Diserth
LLANSANTFRAID-GLÀN-CONWAY (LLAN-SANT-FFRAID), otherwise DISERTH, a parish, in the union of Conway, hundred of Isdulas, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 3 miles (S. E. by E.) from Conway; containing 1286 inhabitants. This parish, of which the name Llansantfraid implies "the church of St. Fread," is situated in the pleasant Vale of Conway, and bounded on the west by the river Conway, on the east by Llandrilloyn-Rhôs and Llanelian-yn-Rhôs, on the south by Bettws-yn-Rhôs, Llangerniew, and Eglwys-Bâch, and on the north by Eglwys-Rhôs and Llancystenyn. It comprises by measurement 5047a. 2r. 33p., principally arable land; the surface is generally hilly, and the scenery in many places beautiful, the higher grounds commanding a fine view of St. George's Channel. The agricultural produce is chiefly wheat and barley, and the timber for the most part oak. Hendre-waelod, an ancient family mansion, is pleasantly situated on the bank of the Conway. Plâs-ucha, another fine old house, now inhabited by a farmer, was formerly occupied by a landed proprietor named Holland: and Bryn-'steddvod is the paternal residence of the Venerable Hugh Chambres Jones, Archdeacon of Essex. The village stands on the eastern bank of the river, on the road from Abergele to Llanrwst, within five miles of the Irish Sea.
The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £7. 6. 8.; patron, the Bishop of St. Asaph. The tithes have been commuted for £366. 5.1. payable to the bishop, £273. 12. 7. payable to the rector, £18. 15. 6. to the parish-clerk, and £75. 18. to the vicar of Llandrillo-yn-Rhôs: the glebe, belonging to the rector, comprises 17a. 2r. 16p., valued at £35 per annum; and there is a glebe-house. The church, dedicated to St. Fread, was rebuilt in 1839, principally through the munificence of the Ven. Hugh Chambres Jones, and is a neat plain edifice in the Norman style: some elegant remains of ancient stained glass are preserved in the east window. A coin of Canute was found in the walls of the old building. There are places of worship for Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists, Baptists, and Independents; two day schools, in connexion with the Church; and seven Sunday schools, one of which is conducted on Church principles. In 1773 a schoolroom was built with the early benefactions of several individuals, on a piece of waste land called Brynrhŷs; and Mr. Thomas Roberts subsequently made a small donation to the parish, the interest of which was appropriated to the instruction of some poor children until about 1813, when the principal was called in and expended in building two cottages, which have since been occupied by paupers. In a wood near Bryn-y-Pobtŷ is an entire cromlech of considerable size; and in the farmyard at that place is a copious spring of water, strongly impregnated with saline particles; and, within a few feet of it, a strong chalybeate spring, which deposits also a quantity of sulphur on the sides of the well.
LLANSANTFRAID-GLYN-CERIOG (LLAN-SANT-FFRAID-GLYN-CEIRIOG,) a parish, in the union of Corwen, hundred of Chirk, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 2½ miles (S. S. W.) from Llangollen; containing 572 inhabitants. This parish is situated, as the name implies, on the river Ceiriog; and comprises 2274 acres, of which 800 are, or until very lately were, common or waste land. The village occupies a low and very retired situation, entirely encompassed by lofty hills. The parish contains slate of excellent quality, of which some extensive quarries are worked with profit. The manufacture of flannel is carried on to a considerable extent; and on the stream of the Ceiriog are two fulling-mills, with large bleaching-grounds attached. Fairs are held on February 14th, May 1st, August 1st, and November 1st.
The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £600 royal bounty; and its annual income now exceeds £200, having been augmented by the combined munificence of the Governors of Queen Anne's Bounty, and the patron, Viscount Dungannon, the latter of whom has given a convenient and valuable glebe, and contributed handsomely to the erection of a parsonage-house. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £150. The church, dedicated to St. Bridget, has been restored by the Viscount, in the pointed style, at an expense exceeding £800, and for beauty of architecture is now second to few parish churches in the principality. There are two places of worship for Baptists. A commodious National school has been some time built, with a house for the master; it is chiefly supported by subscription, and is also used as a Church Sunday school. Three small charities, amounting together to £5. 14., are distributed annually among the poor: the larger part of this sum is the rent of six acres of inclosed land, called Tîr-y-Tylodion; but there are no documents connected with the charities to indicate the benefactors. A chalybeate spring in the parish, formerly in great repute for its medicinal efficacy, is now nearly lost by drainage.
LLANSANTFRAID-GLYN-DYVRDWY (LLAN-SANT-FFRAID-GLYN-DYFRDWY), a parish, in the union of Corwen, hundred of Edeyrnion, county of Merioneth, North Wales, 3 miles (N.) from Corwen; containing 183 inhabitants. This parish, which was anciently a chapelry to Corwen, is pleasantly situated in the north-eastern extremity of the county, bordering on Denbighshire, and lies upon the banks of the river Dee. It comprises four hundred and fifty acres, consisting of inclosed arable and pasture land, the whole of the waste within its limits having been inclosed by private agreement among the landholders, in the year 1807. The soil is principally stony and argillaceous; and the surface for the most part hilly, only a small tract on the margin of the Dee being subject to inundation: the Dee, which bounds the parish on the south, is here joined by a little rivulet called the Morwynion, descending along its eastern border. The scenery is varied, in many parts beautifully picturesque; and from Tŷ'n-y-Caerau, above Rhagat, is a fine view extending over the fertile Vale of Edeyrnion, where the Dee, in its numerous windings, appears and disappears amidst flourishing woods and plantations, assuming the appearance of small lakes scattered through the vale, in which the town of Corwen forms a prominent and interesting feature, and beyond which the Berwyn range of mountains is seen with peculiar advantage. The village has been considerably increased in size of late years, by the erection of twelve houses, together with a large malthouse; and many improvements have taken place in the parish.
The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £1. 17. 1., and endowed with £400 royal bounty; present net income, about £100, with a glebe-house, lately erected; patron, the Bishop of St. Asaph. The church, dedicated to St. Fread, or Bride, who flourished about the sixth century, is a neat and ancient edifice, in the early style of English architecture, appropriately fitted up: in the churchyard are three old yew-trees of remarkably fine growth. There are places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists and Baptists; one or two day schools, and three Sunday schools. Griffith Roberts, in 1812, bequeathed £20, the interest of which is distributed among the poorest persons, on Christmasmorning, according to the will of the donor. In the village is a small building, now a dwelling-house, called Carchardŷ Owain Glyndwr, or "Owain Glyndwr's prison house," in which that renowned chieftain is said to have confined the captives whom he took in battle.
LLANSANTFRAID-IN-ELVEL (LLAN-SANT-FFRAID-YN-ELFAEL), a parish, in the union of Builth, hundred of Colwyn, county of Radnor, South Wales, 5 miles (N. E. by E.) from Builth; containing 313 inhabitants. This parish, which derives its name from the dedication of its church, is pleasantly situated on the turnpike-road from Builth, through New Radnor, to Kington in the county of Hereford; and is bounded on the north by Bettws, on the south by Aberedw, Llanvareth, and Caregrina, on the south-east by Glâscomb, and on the west by Disserth. It comprises by computation 4000 acres, of which 500 are arable, 2000 meadow and pasture, with some wood, and 1500 common land; the surface is boldly undulated, and the hills present a singular, and, in some instances, a fantastic, variety of form and aspect. The lands, with the exception of the more hilly parts, are inclosed and in good cultivation; the soil in the lower grounds is of a clayey nature, but not unproductive, and the acclivities of the hills afford pasturage for sheep. The surrounding scenery, though in some parts pleasingly varied, is distinguished rather by features of wildness than of beauty; mountains of various elevation, interspersed with fertile tracts of land and denuded eminences, meet the eye almost on every side. In some situations the views are fine, particularly where enriched by plantations of fir and oak. The river Edwy, which joins the Wye about four miles below Builth, separates the parish from Glâscomb; and within less than a mile westward of the church is a neat house, pleasantly situated, and forming a good object in the scenery of the place. The village stands on an eminence, and commands a prospect of the Vale of Edwy.
The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £5. 14. 9½.; patron, the Bishop of St. David's: the vicarial tithes have been commuted for an annual rent-charge of £198, and the incumbent has erected a handsome house, almost adjoining the church, which has much improved the appearance of the neighbourhood. The church is a small ancient edifice, consisting of a nave and chancel, with a tower at the west end, the upper part of which, having fallen, has been replaced by a slanting roof; it contains about 200 sittings, of which 50 are free. The churchyard, which contains some fine old yew-trees, has a very picturesque appearance, and commands a good view of the surrounding mountains. There is a Sunday school, in connexion with the Established Church, commenced in 1838. An estate called Forest Colwyn, partly in this parish, and partly in that of Caregrina adjoining, forms part of the endowment of the Boughrood charity for the apprenticing of poor children and other charitable uses; and this place is one of the sixteen parishes or places that participate in the apprenticeships of that munificent charity. Hugh Evans, in 1720, bequeathed a rent-charge of £2 to be paid at Midsummer and Christmas, and distributed among such poor as receive no parochial relief; and a rent-charge of £1, derived from an unknown donor, for decayed housekeepers, has been lost.
There are some slight vestiges of Colwyn Castle, erected here in 1242, by Ralph Mortimer, on the site of an encampment supposed to have been of British origin, for the protection of his newly-acquired lordship of Maelienydd; from which fortress the circumjacent hundred of Colwyn derived its name. They consist chiefly of the ancient lines of defence, and of a mound, now covered with underwood and fir-trees. A barrow near the site of the fortress, on being opened some time ago, was found to contain a rude urn with burnt bones, &c. Near a stream in the parish, called Camnant-Rhôs, a tributary to the river Edwy, is a mineral spring, the water of which is strongly impregnated with sulphur.
LLANSANTFRAID-YN-MECHAN (LLAN-SANT-FFRAID-YN-MECHAIN), a parish, in the union of Llanvyllin, partly in the Upper division of the hundred of Deythur, and partly in the Lower division of that of Pool, county of Montgomery, North Wales, 6 miles (E. by N.) from Llanvyllin; containing 1399 inhabitants, of whom 884 are in the main body of the parish, on the northern side of the river Vyrnwy, and the remainder in the several hamlets of Collvryn, Llanerchila, Trêdderwen-Vawr, and Trêwylan, on the southern side of the same stream. The parish is beautifully situated in a very picturesque portion of the Vale of Vyrnwy, and is divided into two parts by the river which gives name to that rich and fertile vale. It comprises a very extensive tract of arable and pasture land; and in some parts of it is found abundance of peat, which forms the principal fuel of the inhabitants. The scenery is varied, and from the higher grounds the vales of Salop and the Severn, with the lofty hills by which they are bounded, are pleasingly conspicuous. The turnpike-road from Shrewsbury, by Llanvyllin, to Bala, passes through the village. Fairs are annually held on the Tuesday before Easter, on May 22nd, and October 3rd.
The living is a discharged vicarage, in the patronage of the Bishop of St. Asaph, rated in the king's books at £5. 17. 6.: the tithes have been commuted for £809. 15., of which a sum of £570 is payable to the impropriate rector; £215 to the vicar, who has a glebe of about thirty-five acres, and a house; and £24. 15. to another impropriator. The church, which appears to have been built at different periods, is a neat structure, principally in the early style of English architecture, and contains some good monuments: in 1830, the old benches were replaced by pews. There are places of worship for Independents, Wesleyans, and Calvinistic Methodists; a day school, in connexion with the Church; and four Sunday schools, belonging to the dissenters. The poor have some small rent-charges appropriated to them. One of 20s. by John Williams, of the county of Salop, in 1714, on a field termed the Poor's Meadow, situated in the village, is distributed among eight decayed housekeepers on every 1st of March. Another of £1. 6. was created in 1754, by Edward Whitfield, on a piece of land called Erw Cae Howel, to provide twelve loaves of bread to be given to twelve of the poorest parishioners on every "Welsh Sunday," thereby meaning the Sundays on which the service is performed in Welsh. A third charge, of £2 per annum, created by Mrs. Jane Jones, in 1768, is payable out of a farm called Waen; but it has been latterly withheld under the plea of the statute of mortmain. The tablet in the church records a bequest by Mrs. Griffiths of Gravel-Hill, of £100, the interest of which sum, and of £20 left by Mrs. Seddon in 1805, is distributed annually on Trinity Monday among the poor.
There are remains of several British camps in the parish. In the hamlet of Trêwylan, in a meadow which has the appearance of having once been a morass, is a post corresponding exactly with the description given by Cæsar of the ancient British posts; it is seen very distinctly from the Meivod road, about a quarter of a mile from Pont-y-Pentre. On the hill called the Voel, on the Llanvyllin road, are the remains of an old British camp, the site of which is in some degree concealed by the partial plantation of the hill; but the fosse and dyke are clearly discernible from Pont-y-Pentre and the Llangedwin road. There was also a post on the latter road, occupying the summit of Winllan Hill, and its intrenchments, though not so clearly defined, may still be traced. About two miles distant are vestiges of an ancient encampment, called Clawdd Côch, which, from its form, is supposed to have been of Roman construction. The situation of this post near the confluence of the rivers Tanat and Vyrnwy, and commanding the entrance into the vales of the Severn and Tanat, and also into that of Llansantfraid, was highly advantageous for the defence of the mines of Llanymynech, which are considered to have been worked by the Romans. Being so close to the river Vyrnwy, it has suffered some demolition, part of the intrenchment on that side having been washed away by the river. This post, which is but little known, has been thought by some antiquaries to be the Mediolanum of Antoninus; but its relative distance from Heriri Mons, or Tommen-y-Mûr, on one side, and from Rutunium and Uriconium, on the other, does not agree with that mentioned in the Itinerary.
LLANSAWEL (LLAN-SAWEL), a parish, in the union of Llandilo-Vawr, Lower division of the hundred of Cayo, county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 11 miles (N.) from Llandilo-Vawr, on the road to Lampeter; comprising the hamlets of Edwinsford, Genol, Glyn, and Wen; and containing 982 inhabitants. This parish is pleasantly situated on the small river Cothy, and is also intersected by a tributary of that stream, which falls into it near the village: over each is a neat bridge. The lands are for the greater part inclosed and in a state of good cultivation; the scenery is diversified with wood and water, and from some of the higher grounds are fine prospects embracing a tract of well-cultivated country. Edwinsford, called in Welsh "Rhŷd Odyn," the seat of Sir James Hamlyn Williams, Bart., is beautifully situated on the eastern bank of the river Cothy, and approached by a stately avenue of trees: the mansion appears to have been formerly of greater size; the grounds, which are extensive and judiciously disposed, comprehend much attractive scenery. A structure on one of the highest hills, erected by an ancestor of the present proprietor, probably as a fortress, though subsequently used as a place of amusement, and which formed a conspicuous object in the view, has long since been suffered to fall into decay. A market, formerly held at Llansawel, has been for many years discontinued; but fairs still take place annually on the first Friday after the 12th of May, on July 15th, October 23rd, and the first Friday after the 12th of November. By the Boundary Act this was made a polling-station in the election of the knights for the shire.
The living is a vicarage, annexed to that of Cayo. The tithes have been commuted for £334, of which £232 are payable to the impropriator, and £102 to the vicar; the incumbent has also a glebe of four acres, valued at £4 per annum. The "impropriator's division" of the parish comprises an area of 7167 acres. Besides the church, there is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, with a Sunday school held in it. A day school in connexion with the Established Church is held in a building in the churchyard. William Jones bequeathed £10, directing the interest to be divided among the poor communicants of the parish, but this money was lost by being placed in the hands of a person who became insolvent. The poor of the body of Calvinistic Methodists here, participate in the benefit of Mrs. Mary Griffiths' charity at Llangeitho, which amounts, for distribution among them, to from £15 to £20 annually. John Thomas Philipps, preceptor to William, Duke of Cumberland, and other members of the royal family, and author of some well-known Latin Epistles, was a native of this place, to which he intended to bequeath £60 per annum for the support of a school for the children of the poor inhabitants, but dying before his will was duly signed, no legacy was ever received.