A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1849.
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In this section
- Llangammarch (Llan-Gam-March)
LLANGAMMARCH (LLAN-GAM-MARCH), a parish, in the union and hundred of Builth, county of Brecknock, South Wales, 9 miles (W. S. W.) from Builth, on the road to Llandovery; comprising the townships of Penbyallt and Trêvllŷs, and containing 1062 inhabitants. The western and southern parts of this parish are mountainous, and in some places the soil is boggy; but the country adjacent is, notwithstanding, far from being unproductive; and much stately and valuable timber is found in the vicinity. On descending into the Vale of Llangammarch from the Eppynt hills, the north side of which is steep, and in parts even precipitous, the prospect is luxuriant and picturesque, commanding the river Irvon from Llancamddwr to the influx of the river Dulas, throughout which part of its course its banks are finely wooded. The village is situated on the Irvon, which flows into the Wye near the town of Builth; and on the turnpikeroad from that town to Llandovery. A manufacture of fine flannel is carried on, employing about a dozen persons.
The living is a discharged vicarage, with the perpetual curacies of Llanwrtyd and Llanddewi-Abergwessin annexed, rated in the king's books at £8. 14. 5., and in the patronage of the Bishop of St. David's; present net income, £209. The church, dedicated to St. Cammarch, is situated on a projecting rock between the rivers Irvon and Cammarch, and consists only of a nave and chancel, in a very dilapidated condition: it was formerly much larger, having an aisle which, becoming ruinous, was taken down, and never rebuilt. The Calvinistic Methodists have two places of worship, one of which, situated at Cevn Llanddewi, is endowed with a tenement called Pen-llêchvâch, in the parish, purchased by subscription among the congregation, and now let for £5 per annum. A day school is partly supported by subscription, but chiefly by school-pence; and there are three Sunday schools. Margaret Jones, by will dated May 22nd, 1782, bequeathed the reversion of £400 three per cent. annuities, on the death of Harriet, wife of John Robotham, of Hampstead, in the county of Middlesex, then upwards of sixty years of age, to the curate, churchwardens, and overseers of Llangammarch, in trust for the establishment and endowment of a free school, and also the reversion, on the death of the same party, of £200, the interest to be applied in clothing old persons; £50, the interest to be employed in clothing young people; and £50, the interest to be appropriated for an annual feast to the trustees. Hugh Perry, of Brecknock, in 1730, charged a tenement with the payment of 20s. annually, after the decease of his daughter, to be distributed among the poor of the parish; but it is not now paid.
Near the ancient mansion of Caerau is a circular artificial mount, 240 feet in circumference, and 18 feet high. It is supposed to have been the site of an ancient British or a Roman fortress; but as there are neither any remains of the walls nor of the fosse, it is impossible to ascertain its exact origin. No Roman coins, or other antiquities of that people, have ever been discovered here; but from its situation, it is not unlikely to have been the site of a watch-tower on the Roman road from Carmarthen to the station at Cwm, in the county of Radnor.
James Howel, a voluminous writer and an eccentric wanderer, author of the "Epistolæ Hoelianæ," the "Lexicon Tetraglotton," "Londinopolis," "Dodona's Grove," and other works, was born at Cevn-Bryn, in the parish; as was also his elder brother, Dr. Thomas Howel, Bishop of Bristol. Their father was curate of Llangammarch from 1576 to 1631. Theophilus Evans, author of several theological and other works, resided in the parish, of which he was vicar for many years. His first publication, entitled "Pwyll y Pader," appeared in 1739, and contained a comment on the Lord's Prayer, in several sermons written in the Welsh language; in the same year he printed his "Drŷch y Prîv Oesoedd," a brief history of the Britons, a work much read in South Wales, and in 1752 he published, in the English language, a "History of the Modern Enthusiasm." He was a learned antiquary, a man of great benevolence, and devoted to study all the time which was not employed in the performance of his pastoral duties. Being for many years afflicted with a scrofulous complaint, he was the first to discover the medicinal virtues, in such disorders, of the mineral waters in the neighbouring parish of Llanwrtyd, of which he published an account. In 1763, he resigned the living of Llangammarch in favour of his son-in-law, father of the late Theophilus Jones, Esq., the historian of the county of Brecknock, who was born in the parish: this gentleman's history of his native county evinces extensive acquirements, and great industry and perseverance; he died at Brecknock, but was buried at Llangammarch.
LLANGAN (LLAN-GAN), a parish, in the union of Narberth, chiefly in the Lower division of the hundred of Derllŷs, county of Carmarthen, and partly in the hundred of Dungleddy, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 16 miles (W.) from Carmarthen; containing 640 inhabitants, of which number 603 are in the Carmarthenshire, and the remainder in the Pembrokeshire, portion. On the banks of the Tâf, in this parish, stood the famous Tŷ Gwyn ar Dâf, or "the white house on the Tâf," the occasional residence of Hywel Dda, sovereign of all Wales, who, about the year 940, convoked at this place a grand national council, for the purpose of compiling and enacting the laws which have given so much celebrity to his reign, and which are still known as "the laws of Hywel the Good." In order to add solemnity to the convocation, and to implore the divine wisdom to assist their counsels, the king remained here with his whole court during Lent, in the constant exercise of prayer and other acts of devotion. Soon after the destruction of the monastery of Bangor-Iscoed, in North Wales, and the slaughter of nearly all the brethren of that extensive establishment, by the Northumbrian Saxons, a religious society was settled at this place, under the auspices of Paulinus, son of Urien Reged, a disciple of St. Germanus; in which originated the abbey of Albalanda, or Whitland, afterwards erected near the site, and called by the Welsh, after the name of the former institution, Tŷ Gwyn ar Dâf, "the white house on the Tâf."
According to some historians, this establishment was founded by Rhŷs ab Tewdwr, Prince of South Wales, in the reign of William the Conqueror; but Bishop Tanner, with more probability, ascribes it to Bernard, Bishop of St. David's, who presided over that see from 1115 to 1147. It is related in the Welsh annals, that Cadwaladr, brother of Owain Gwynedd, Prince of North Wales, during the disputes which arose between him and his nephews, the sons of Owain, intrusted the custody of his newly erected castle of Cynvael to the abbot of Tŷ Gwyn ar Dâf, or Whitland, who defended it with obstinate valour against the assaults of the young princes. After a determined resistance, protracted till the walls of the castle were beaten down, and the whole of the garrison either slain or wounded, the abbot effected his escape from the ruins, through the assistance of some friends in the camp of the enemy, and retired into his abbey. The abbey, dedicated to St. Mary, was for brethren of the Cistercian order, but latterly had an establishment of only eight monks. It continued till the Dissolution, at which time its revenue was estimated at £153. 17. 2.; its site was granted, in the 36th of Henry VIII., to Henry Audley and John Cordel.
The parish is pleasantly situated on the river Tâf, and intersected by the old Whitland road from Carmarthen to Haverfordwest. It comprehends a large tract of arable and pasture land, the whole of which, with a very small exception, is inclosed and in a good state of cultivation; the soil is fertile, and the surrounding scenery agreeably diversified, and in many parts highly picturesque. The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £3, and endowed with £400 royal bounty, and £1200 parliamentary grant; present net income, £86; patron, the Bishop of St. David's. The tithes are divided between the impropriator's lessee and the vicar, the former of whom has two-thirds, and the latter one-third: a part of the parish, which anciently belonged to the abbey, is tithe-free. The church, dedicated to St. Canna, is a neat edifice, built in the year 1820, and consisting of a nave and chancel, the former erected by a parochial rate, and the latter at the expense of the lessee of the impropriate tithes. A Sunday school is held by the Independents in a farmhouse here. The existing remains of Whitland Abbey are very inconsiderable, serving only to point out the site, in a sequestered valley sheltered by groves of stately trees, to the right of the turnpike-road. In 1837, a pond in a farm-yard, occupying part of the site of the abbey, was drained out, when the bases of several clustered pillars of the conventual church were discovered; westward of which, foundations of cloisters and monastic cells, a doorway, encaustic tiles, and several other architectural fragments, were brought to light. Of the royal palace of Tŷ Gwyn, which was comparatively a small building, designed chiefly for a hunting-seat, no vestiges at present are discernible.
LLANGAN (LLAN-GANNA), a parish, in the union of Bridgend and Cowbridge, hundred of Ogmore, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 3½ miles (N. W. by W.) from Cowbridge; containing 238 inhabitants. This parish, which comprises 1175 acres, is separated on the north by the river Ewenny from the parish of Coychurch, and on the north-east by a rivulet, called the Canna, from that of St. Mary Hill. Its surface is rather flat, and its northern boundary is subject to inundation; the soil is fertile, and in some parts argillaceous, and intermingled with fragments of the limestone which forms the substratum. The entire parish, with the exception of fifty-six acres, consists of rich arable and pasture land. The limestone is worked to a considerable extent, as also was formerly the lead-ore found imbedded in it; but the latter is now neglected. The valuable mine of Tewgoed, now exhausted, was on an east and west vein, called, from the colour of its contents, "the red vein," which was joined obliquely from the north-west by three others, called "blue veins:" at the junction of each of the latter with the former was a body of rich steel-grained ore, but that of the blue veins was galena, or laminar potters'-ore. The court leet of the manor is held by the Earl of Dunraven and Capt. Sir George Tyler, R. N., alternately.
The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £12. 16. 0½., and in the alternate patronage of the Earl of Dunraven and Sir George Tyler; present net income, £244: the glebe contains about sixty acres of good land, with a glebehouse; and the tithes have been commuted for a rentcharge of £152. 10. The church, a small neat edifice, is dedicated to St. Canna, the mother of St. Crallo; the latter founded Coychurch, and was nephew of St. Illtyd, the founder of Lantwit-Major. In the churchyard is the stone head of a cross, sculptured like the crosses at Coychurch and Lantwit, and which, although it bears no legible inscription, is considered, from the inscriptions upon the latter, to have been erected by Samson, pupil and successor of St. Iltutus in the college of Lantwit, to the honour of his patron and master. In front of the church is a fine cross, in the early style of English architecture, with an elegant shaft rising from a pedestal which is ascended by four steps, and ornamented in the capital with well-sculptured representations of the Nativity, Baptism, Transfiguration, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension, of our Saviour: this cross escaped the destruction to which, during the usurpation of Cromwell, these relics of our ancestors were commonly devoted, as monuments of superstition. There is a place of worship for Independents, with a Sunday school held in it, at Treos, a village situated in the western end of the parish.
A sum of £3. 15. is distributed at Whitsuntide among such poor as receive no parochial relief, being the produce of the following charities; namely, a bequest of £10 by Florence Rees, in 1781, and two others of £15 and £5 by Margaret Davids and an unknown donor, respectively, which sums were expended in repairs of the church, the interest however continuing to be paid from the parish rates; the moiety of the rent of a cottage and two pasture fields, in St. Mary Hill parish, yielding £4 per annum, bequeathed by Edward Thomas, in 1778; and lastly, the interest of £10, bequeathed by Lewis Thomas, in 1797. It appears also that Mrs. Mary Powell gave £100, the proceeds of which are applied to the same purpose.
LLANGANTEN (LLAN-GANTEN), a parish, in the union and hundred of Builth, county of Brecknock, South Wales, 2 miles (W.) from Builth; containing 177 inhabitants. This parish obtained a melancholy celebrity from the death of the gallant Llewelyn ab Grufydd, Prince of North Wales, and the last independent sovereign of that country, who, after the brilliant success which had attended his arms at the straits of Menai, came to his castle at Aberedw, near Builth, to hold a conference with the chiefs of the district. While at that place, he was surprised by the unexpected arrival of an English army under the command of Sir Edmund Mortimer and John Giffard, who had obtained intelligence of his movements; and was compelled to make a hasty retreat to Builth, in the hope of finding security in the castle there till he could organize his forces to repulse the enemy. But being denied entrance into the castle by the garrison, he advanced westward for nearly three miles up the vale of the Irvon, and crossed the river a little below the church of Llanynis, by a bridge called Pont-y-Coed, intending either to return into North Wales through Llanganten, Llanavan-Vawr, and Llanwrthwl, and thence into Montgomeryshire, or probably to join his friends in the counties of Carmarthen and Pembroke, against whom Edward had sent an army under Oliver de Dyneham. Having passed the Irvon, he stationed the few troops that accompanied him on the north bank of the river, where, the ground being higher and more precipitous than on the opposite side, and also covered with wood, a few men might defend the bridge against very superior numbers. In this situation he preserved a communication with the whole of Brecknockshire, and, relying upon the impracticability of the enemy's passing the river during the winter season, he waited for reinforcements from the west. The English forces, who afterwards came up with Llewelyn, having made some fruitless attempts to obtain possession of the bridge, would perhaps have been compelled to abandon the pursuit, had not Sir Elias Walwyn discovered a place at which the river was fordable, at some little distance, where a detachment of the English army crossed the river. It then unexpectedly attacked Llewelyn's forces in the rear, and easily defeated them.
Upon this occasion, Llewelyn, either during the pursuit, or while watching the movements of the main body of the English army, which still remained on the opposite bank of the river, was attacked and slain in a small dell in this parish, about 200 yards from the scene of action, by Adam de Francton, who plunged a spear into his body, and immediately joined in pursuit of the fleeing enemy. On his return from the pursuit, probably in search of plunder, he discovered that the person whom he had wounded, and who was still alive, was the Prince of Wales, and on stripping him, he found a letter in cypher and his privy seal concealed upon his person. Elated with this discovery, Francton immediately cut off his head, and sent it as an acceptable present to the English king, then at Conway. The body of the unfortunate prince was dragged by the soldiers to the spot where the road from Builth now divides into two branches, one leading to Llanavan, and the other to Llangammarch, and was there interred. The dell in which he was killed is to this day called Cwm Llewelyn, or "Llewelyn's dingle," and the spot where he was interred, Cevn Bedd Llewelyn, or "the ridge of the grave of Llewelyn," by which name the village at that place is known.
The parish is situated on the high road leading from Builth to Llangammarch and Llandovery; it is bounded on the south by the river Irvon, which divides it from the parish of Llanynis, and on the north by the Whevri. It comprises by computation 2800 acres, of which about 580 are arable, the same number pasture, and an equal quantity meadow and woodland; the soil is in general light and gravelly, and the surface, without being hilly, considerably undulated. The scenery is pleasingly varied, and though not distinguished by any striking peculiarity of feature, is agreeably enlivened by the streams which nearly circumscribe the parish, and the banks of which are in many places richly clothed with wood. Kilmeri, in the parish, was formerly a place of some note, but time has changed it into a common farmhouse.
The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £1000 royal bounty; net income, £64; patron, the Bishop of St. David's: about four acres of glebe land are attached to the living, but there is no parsonage-house. The church is dedicated, according to some authorities, to St. Catherine, and to others, to St. Canten, from which latter saint the parish is supposed to derive its name. It is a small edifice, situated in a narrow dell near the south bank of the river Whevri; it contains no monuments, and is distinguished by no architectural details of importance. There is a congregation of Independents, in whose meeting-house a Sunday school is also held. The sums of £2. 10. to the poor, and 10s. to the minister for preaching a sermon, are paid annually at Christmas, arising either from the estates of Rees Price, Esq., or from those of William Price, Esq., who died in 1718. Mrs. Parry, in 1721, bequeathed a rentcharge of twenty shillings, issuing from a tenement in the parish of Llanthetty, to be paid to the poor of this parish on the Thursday before Easter, with power to distrain in the event of non-payment.
On a promontory formed by an angle of the river Irvon, not far from its junction with the Wye, and occupying a strong situation on the bank of the former stream, is a mound of earth, surrounded by a moat, and nearly circumscribed by the winding of the river: this fortification is called Castell Caerberis, but there are no records of its origin or history. A mineral spring, the water of which is strongly impregnated with sulphur, was discovered in 1831, on the banks of the Whevri. It is covered when the water of the river is high, a circumstance that may account for its having remained so long unnoticed. The soil in its immediate vicinity is clayey, and the substratum is composed of rotten clay slate, which, on the banks of the river, contains nodules or balls nearly circular, from four to twelve inches in diameter, and in which, when broken, are found specimens of spar.
Llangar, or Llangaer (Llan-Gar)
LLANGAR, or LLANGAER (LLAN-GAR), a parish, in the union of Corwen, hundred of Edeyrnion, county of Merioneth, North Wales, 1 mile (S. W.) from Corwen; containing 250 inhabitants. The name of this place, signifying "the church of the camp," is most probably derived from an ancient fortification which occupied the summit of a hill called Carn Wèn, in the immediate vicinity of the church, and of which there are still some vestiges, though nothing is known of its origin or history. The parish is pleasantly situated near the confluence of the rivers Dee and Alwen, and on the turnpikeroad from Corwen to Bala. It comprises about 1300 acres of inclosed arable and pasture land, and an extensive tract of common and waste, producing abundance of peat, which is the principal fuel of the inhabitants. The surrounding scenery is agreeably diversified with lofty hills and pleasing vales. The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £5. 7. 11.; patron, the Bishop of St. Asaph: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £233. 4., and there is a glebe of six acres. The church, dedicated to All Saints, is a neat ancient edifice, in the early style of English architecture. Five children of this place are eligible for gratuitous instruction in the school at Cynwyd, in the parish of Gwyddelwern, under the will of Hugh Roberts, who bequeathed a sum of money for the support of that school, in the year 1807; and two poor women are fully clothed annually by the Vaughan family, of Rûg, under Mrs. Lumley Salusbury's charity at Corwen.
LLANGASTY-TÀLYLLYN (LLAN-GASTY-TÀL-Y-LLYN), a parish, in the hundred of Pencelly, union and county of Brecknock, South Wales, 5½ miles (E. S. E.) from Brecknock; containing 104 inhabitants. The name of this parish is derived from the dedication of its church to St. Gasty, or Gastayn, an eminent British saint, who flourished in the fifth century, and is said to have been preceptor to Cynog (son of Brychan), who was murdered on the Van mountain, in the parish of Merthyr-Cynog. Its distinguishing adjunct Tàlyllyn, is descriptive of its situation in front of the beautiful lake called Savaddan, on the banks of which the church is agreeably placed. The manor was granted by Bernard Newmarch to Reginald Walbeoffe, and, after successively passing to the families of Williams, Parry, and Davies, was, with the exception of the advowson of the living, sold by the last to Philip Champion Crespigny, Esq., from whom it passed to his descendant, Charles Fox Champion Crespigny, Esq. A short time ago it was purchased by the present proprietor, Major James Price Gwynne Holford, of Buckland.
The surface of the parish, which comprises 2119 acres, is partly hilly, and partly flat. The only river is the small stream of the Llynvi, but a considerable portion of Llyn Savaddan is included within the parish. From the summit of a long dorsal eminence, called Gallt yr Esgair, partly in this parish, and partly in that of Llansantfraid, and which, from the imperfect remains of fortifications still visible, appears to have been occupied as a military post, is obtained a most magnificent prospect, less extensive than that from the Beacons, but infinitely more pleasing, and combining a richer variety of features. On the south it embraces the picturesque Vale of Usk, with the frequent windings of the river, whose banks are clothed with verdure; on the west the town of Brecknock, with the adjacent country, skirted in the distance by Bwlch Aberbrân; on the north the mansions and grounds of Pont-y-Wall and Trephilip, and the country about Tàlgarth, with the Radnorshire hills in the background. At the foot of the eminence is the lake of Savaddan, or Llangorse Mere, on the banks of which are the church and village of Llangorse, the church of Cathedine, the church of Llangasty-Tàlyllyn, and the picturesque ruins of Blaenllynvi Castle; and at the distance of rather more than half a mile from the western extremity of the lake is the beautiful village of Llanvihangel-Tàlyllyn. The soil of the parish is generally light and gravelly, except near the margin of the lake, where it is rather wet and heavy: about thirty acres are common or waste. The high road from London to Brecknock, through the town of Crickhowel, passes close by the south-western extremity of the parish.
The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £4. 18. 9.; patron, the Rev. Richard Davies: the tithes have been commuted for a rentcharge of £260, and there is a glebe of six acres. The church, beautifully situated on the margin of the lake, is a dark, ancient, and decayed edifice, with a tower of more modern erection, containing four bells; the interior is particularly well pewed, and the steps leading to the old rood-loft are still remaining. A small school is supported in the adjoining parish of Llansantfraid, for the benefit of the poor in Llansantfraid and Llangasty-Tàlyllyn.
LLANGATHEN (LLAN-GATHAN), a parish, in the poor-law union of Llandilo-Vawr, Lower division of the hundred of Cathinog, county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 4 miles (W. by S.) from Llandilo-Vawr; containing 1108 inhabitants. This parish is delightfully situated in a fertile district, celebrated for the richness and the diversity of its scenery. It is bounded on the north by the parish of Llanvihangel-Kîlvargen, on the east by the parishes of Llandeveyson and Llandilo-Vawr, on the west by that of Llanegwad, and on the south by Llanvihangel-Aberbythic, from which it is separated by the river Towy, winding gracefully along the beautiful vale of the same name. It comprises 5513 acres, of which, by admeasurement, 1873 are arable and 3400 meadow and pasture, and, by computation, 240 woodland and roads; the surface is undulated, the soil in general clayey, and the cultivation of wheat, barley, and oats, with the rearing of cattle, forms the principal employment of the farmers. The parish derives its chief attraction from the enchanting Vale of Towy, which extends for upwards of thirty miles in length, comprehending every variety of scenery, and embracing some of the most magnificent views in the principality. The village, situated on the turnpikeroad from Carmarthen by Aberguilly to LlandiloVawr, has a cheerful appearance, and is much enlivened by the number of travellers passing through it; the environs present some richly wooded eminences, and luxuriant plantations belonging to the several villas and noble mansions. Limestone exists in great abundance, and lead-ore is frequently obtained in small quantities. Fairs are held on April 16th and September 22nd, and at Dryslwyn on July 1st and August 13th.
Near the margin of the Towy, the finest river in South Wales, is Grongar Hill, celebrated by the poet Dyer, and forming one of the most interesting objects in the vale, out of which it rises to a very considerable elevation: under the shelter of a black thorn, still remaining on its summit, Dyer is said to have composed his beautifully descriptive poem. From this spot is obtained a most enchanting prospect over the whole vale, with the river sometimes seen boldly sweeping round the base of some of the abrupt eminences for which the scenery is distinguished, and in other places intercepted from the view by the projection of similar elevations, which rise in various parts of the vale. The hills on both sides are clothed with thriving plantations, chiefly of oak and fir, ornamented with stately mansions, and with scattered villages of rural and picturesque appearance. This beautiful spot comprises two valuable farms, the property of Walter Philipps, Esq., of Aberglâsney, one of the most ancient and spacious seats in this part of the principality, and memorable as the early residence, if not the birthplace, of the poet, who, in his poem of the "Country Walk," alludes to its pleasant situation beneath Grongar Hill. Sir Rice Rudd, Bart., formerly proprietor of this estate, conveyed by deed to the proprietor of Aberglâsney £25 per annum, in trust for a charity founded in the town of Carmarthen by Bishop Rudd and his widow; and in the event of the proprietor of Aberglâsney refusing to act, the owner of the Golden Grove estate, the bishop and chancellor of the diocese of St. David's, and the mayor and recorder of Carmarthen, are appointed trustees. The proprietor of Aberglâsney has erected a neat and comfortable inn, for the accommodation of the visiters who are attracted by the prospects for which the situation is celebrated, or by the other scenes of interest in the vicinity.
In the parish also is Court Henry, the property and residence of the Rev. George Wade Green. This gentleman has enlarged and greatly improved the mansion; and, on the elevated ground immediately behind, commanding one of the most beautiful prospects in the county, has at his own expense erected a church for the accommodation of his family and the neighbourhood, consisting of a nave capable of holding 150 persons, and a gallery, in which is placed an excellent organ. Court Henry is supposed to have derived its name, according to some writers, from its having been the residence of Henry VII., who, while Earl of Richmond, is said to have occasionally held his court here; but with greater probability, from Henry ab Gwilym, whose daughter was married to Sir Rhŷs ab Thomas. It is pleasantly situated, the adjacent grounds partaking of the general character of the scenery. The other seats are, Havodnethyn, Brynhavod, and Bridshill.
The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £6. 13. 4., and endowed with £200 parliamentary grant; patron and impropriator, the Bishop of Chester: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £390, of which £260 are payable to the bishop, and £130 to the vicar. The church, dedicated to St. Cathan, and standing on a lofty eminence, will accommodate 400 persons with sittings, and contains a stately monument to the memory of Bishop Rudd and his lady, whose effigies are finely sculptured. There are two places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, who support two Sunday schools. A small day school for girls, in connexion with the Established Church, is held in the lodge of Court Henry, under the patronage of Miss Key and the Rev. Mr. Green; and two Sunday schools are maintained also in connexion with the Establishment, one of them being held in the parish church, and the other in the church at Court Henry. In 1777, Diones, widow of the Rev. Thomas Lloyd, rector of Hornsea, bequeathed £400, or sufficient to produce £12 per annum, in the 3 per cent. reduced annuities, which she directed to be distributed among ten poor persons; and the vicar accordingly receives and divides the interest in May and November.
On Grongar Hill is a very perfect encampment, comprising about eight acres, within a quadrilateral area, having two entrances in the shorter side of the parallelogram; and not far from it to the west, are the ruins of Dryslwyn Castle, on the summit of an abrupt hill in the vale: the remains of this castle, which was erected by the ancient Princes of South Wales, and derived its name from its difficulty of access, are very inconsiderable, but nevertheless form an interesting and picturesque feature in the landscape. Near the church are some slight vestiges of the ancient Capel Pen Arw; and within a short distance is a spring, the water of which was formerly in high reputation for its efficacy in the cure of rheumatism and diseases of the eye.
LLANGATTOCK (LLAN-GATWG), a parish, in the union and hundred of Crickhowel, county of Brecknock, South Wales, 1 mile (S. S. W.) from Crickhowel; containing 4334 inhabitants. This parish, which forms a part of the beautiful vale of Crickhowel, derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Catwg, or Cadoc the Wise, an eminent British saint, who flourished in the sixth century. It is situated on the southern bank of the river Usk, and immediately opposite to the town of Crickhowel, being connected with that place by a handsome stone bridge of thirteen arches, in the centre of which is the point of division between the two parishes. On this side of the Usk is a road leading in a south-eastern direction down the vale to Llanelly, where it is continued over the river Clydach, by a bridge, and afterwards joins the road from Abergavenny to Merthyr: the same road is continued up the vale, towards the north-west, through Llangynider, Llanthetty, and other parishes, to Brecknock. The parish comprises by computation 12,300 acres, of which 2500 are arable, 3500 pasture, 300 wood, and the remainder mountain and waste. The scenery is beautifully diversified, and the views from the high grounds extend over the Vale of Usk and the surrounding country, abounding with objects of interest, and with features of romantic beauty, among which is the fine and imposing contrast supplied between the rugged and lofty rocks of Llangattock, and the refreshing verdure of the adjacent valley. The soil rests on dry gravel, and the chief agricultural produce is hay, wheat, barley, and turnips. The parish consists of the hamlets or parcels of Penallt, Prysg, and Killey or Kille.
In the environs of the village are, Llanwysc Villa, a handsome house, built under the superintendence of Mr. Nash, by the late Admiral Gell, who, after his retirement from the naval service, passed the remainder of his days here; Llangattock Place, formerly the property of Dr. Ford, an eminent physician, and accoucheur to Queen Charlotte, consort of George III., who, on discontinuing his practice, retired to this parish, in which he purchased an estate; Glanusk Park, a handsome mansion in a park beautifully planted, and well stocked with deer, and round which the river Usk winds itself in a semicircular form; Llangattock Park; Glanonney; Dany Park; and Llangattock Court. The wood growing on the different estates consists of oak and beech, and extensive plantations of young larch.
The parish is rich in mineral treasure, abounding with iron-ore, coal, and limestone of excellent quality. On the bank of the river Ebwy Vawr, which separates the parish from that of Bedwelty, in the county of Monmouth, are the Beaufort iron-works, so called from their being established on lands let on lease for ninety-nine years by the Duke of Beaufort. At this place a furnace for smelting iron-ore was erected by Messrs. Kendall, in the year 1780, since which time new furnaces, a forge, and other works have been added. Both the ore, and the pit-coal for working it, the latter of which is charred into coke upon the spot, are obtained contiguous to the works, and limestone is found within a short distance. These extensive works are now rented under the original lessees, Messrs. Kendall, by Joseph Bailey, Esq., the present proprietor, and give employment to nearly 3000 persons. The machinery in them is set in motion by steam-engines of considerable power; and the mountains in the vicinity are intersected in all directions by tramroads, connected with the several departments of the works. The Brecknock and Abergavenny canal, which passes through the parish in its course from Llangynider to Llanelly, communicates near Brecknock with the Hay railway, and extends in the opposite direction to Pontymoel, near Pontypool, in the county of Monmouth, where it joins the Monmouthshire canal. There is a tramroad and inclined plane for conveying limestone from the Tarren rocks to the canal; and Mr. Bailey has a steam-carriage and tramroads for the carriage of coal from his mines in Monmouthshire to the wharf near the village of Llangattock.
The living is a rectory, with the perpetual curacies of Llanelly and Llangeney united, rated in the king's books at £31. 13. 9.; present net income, £1123, with a glebe-house; patron, the Duke of Beaufort. The church is an ancient structure, in the decorated style of English architecture, with a remarkably strong embattled tower at the west end, supposed to have been erected in the reign of Stephen, and the ground area of which has been converted into a commodious and excellent vestry-room, and furnished at the expense of Joseph Bailey, Esq., of Glanusk Park. The body of the church consists of a chancel, and of two aisles, separated from each other by a range of pillars and arches, and having originally distinct arched roofs of timber, which, being decayed, were, about sixty years since, replaced by one plain flat ceiling. By this alteration the internal beauty of the church was greatly impaired, and its external appearance rendered heavy by the substitution of a single covering in place of the original double roof. The edifice measures eighty-six feet by forty-five, and contains about 700 sittings. In the body of it is a plain stone, inscribed to the memory of Dr. Ford, who died in 1795, aged seventy-eight. From the "Liber Llandavensis," it appears that a church was consecrated here about the close of the eleventh century, by Herewald, Bishop of Llandaf, of which probably the tower of the present church, apparently of more ancient date than the other parts of the edifice, is the only portion remaining. Part of the parish is included in the ecclesiastical district of Beaufort, formed in 1847. There are places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, Primitive Methodists, Wesleyans, and Independents; a Church day school; and some Sunday schools, one of which is in connexion with the Church.
On the mountains in the parish are evident traces of the manufacture of iron at a very early period, most probably by the Romans: the sites of ancient blomeries may be easily distinguished by the heaps of cinders which are still remaining; and a vicinal Roman road leading through the iron-mines of Bryn Oer, perhaps to some Roman forges, once situated at Llanvyrnach, in the Vale of Usk, may be traced at no great distance. The mountain called Carno is noticed by Dr. Powell as the scene of a sanguinary conflict that took place in the year 728 between Ethelbald, King of Mercia, and Roderic Molwynog, Prince of North Wales, in commemoration of which two large heaps of stones, or "carnau," were raised, thus giving name to the eminence. One of these cairns was opened by the late Archdeacon Payne, when a sepulchral kist was found, in which there was no deposit: the other had been previously opened by some workmen, employed to build a lodge for a gamekeeper under the lord of the manor. The ancient park of Kille-Lan, or Cîl-le Lan, now called Llangattock Park, was originally of great extent, and formed an appendage to the castle of Crickhowel, with the lands of which, on the opposite side of the Usk, it was connected by a private bridge, long since demolished: a great flood that happened here, about seventy years ago, by carrying away the soil, exposed to view the abutments of this bridge. In the upper part of the park are some very small remains of a moated building, at which place a neat and elegant shooting-box has been built for the Duke of Beaufort. In the summer of 1847 a cairn was found in the park, evidently the burial-place of a warrior; and a few months later, some Roman coins were discovered in the same grounds. In a recess of the mountain called Tarren-y-Kille, within the limestone rock, is a cavern of considerable dimensions, but of no very singular appearance, called by the country people Eglwys Vaen, or "the stone church."
Among the incumbents of the parish have been two successive bishops of Llandaf, namely, Dr. Hugh Lloyd, and Dr. Francis Davies. Dr. Lloyd, a native of Cardiganshire, and fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, having become archdeacon of St. David's prior to the breaking out of the civil commotions of the seventeenth century, was ejected from all his preferments for his attachment to the royal cause, by the parliamentarians, who, in 1645, seized upon the revenue of the church of St. David's. In 1660, however, he was promoted to the see of Llandaf, and restored to his archdeaconry of St. David's, which he was allowed to hold in commendam: in 1661, he was presented by Henry, Lord Herbert of Raglan, Chepstow, and Gower, to the rectory of this parish, which he also held in commendam. He died in 1667. Dr. Davies, a native of Glamorganshire, and likewise fellow of Jesus' College, at the commencement of the civil war held the rectory of Llangan, in Glamorganshire. From this he was ejected by the parliamentarians; but his piety and exemplary conduct recommended him so far to some of the leading men of the age, that he was allowed to retain a fourth part of the revenue of his rectory for a few years. He was afterwards appointed chaplain to the Countess of Peterborough, and at the Restoration was replaced in his former preferment, and subsequently promoted to the archdeaconry of Llandaf, of which see he was made bishop on the death of Dr. Lloyd, whom he also succeeded in the rectory of Llangattock, holding it in commendam. He died in 1674.
The late Rev. H. T. Payne, A. M., archdeacon of Carmarthen, and for upwards of thirty years rector of the neighbouring parish of Llanbedr, was a native of this place. He was no less distinguished for the strict discharge of the duties of his pastoral office, than eminent for his literary attainments, with which he united the most polished and engaging manners. He chiefly devoted his leisure time to antiquarian researches, and was ever ready to impart the result of his studies, for the general propagation of knowledge. Indeed, although he never concentrated the powers of his highly cultivated mind on any literary undertaking of his own, there was scarcely a work on the antiquities and topography of Wales, published within the last thirty years of his life, which was not largely indebted to his pen. He died on Easter Sunday, 1832, and was interred in the churchyard of Llanbedr, in the vault which contained the remains of his wife, who died in 1828.
LLANGEDWIN (LLAN-GEDWYN), a parish, in the poor-law union of Llanvyllin, Cynlleth and Mochnant division of the hundred of Chirk, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 10 miles (W. S. W.) from Oswestry, and on the road from Shrewsbury to Bala; containing 332 inhabitants. This place was formerly a chapelry to Llanrhaiadr-yn-Mochnant, but was separated from it by act of parliament, and formed into a parish of itself. It comprises 1219 acres, of which 162 are common or waste land. The village is pleasantly situated on the banks of the river Tanat; the neighbourhood abounds with pleasingly varied scenery, and contains some good mansions, the residences of respectable families: Llangedwin Hall, the property of Sir W. W. Wynn, Bart., is a handsome house with ample grounds tastefully laid out. Slate of good quality has been discovered within the parish. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £400 private benefaction, and £400 royal bounty; net income, £90; patron, Sir W. W. Wynn; appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of St. Asaph: the tithes have been commuted for £235. 2., of which £3 are paid to the parish-clerk. The church, dedicated to St. Cedwyn, is a small neat edifice, surmounted by a cupola containing one bell. There is a day and Sunday National school. Mr. Strangeways, in 1730, bequeathed £100 to the poor, secured upon certain lands, the property of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn; the interest is annually paid, and distributed with some smaller bequests among such parishioners as are named by the clergyman and churchwardens. Mrs. Frances Williams Wynn, also, by will in 1803, left the sum of £100, vested in the three per cent. consols., the interest whereof provides coal at Christmas for poor families selected with the concurrence of the parochial officers; the coal is bought by the farmers, and delivered free of expense at the houses of the poor.
LLANGEINOR (LLAN-GEINWYR), a parish, in the poor-law union of Bridgend and Cowbridge, hundred of Ogmore, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 7 miles (N. by E.) from Bridgend; containing 363 inhabitants. The rivers Ogmore and Garw run through the parish. It contains iron-ore and coal, but the latter only is worked, and that merely for local consumption. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £600 royal bounty, and £200 parliamentary grant; net income, £71; patron and impropriator, C. R. M. Talbot, Esq. The church is dedicated to St. Gwinewr. There is a place of worship for Particular Baptists at a place called Cwmgarw, about a mile and a quarter from Llangeinor village: a Sunday school is also held in this meeting-house. Robert Jenkins, Esq., in 1760, and his widow, Anne, in 1770, left £20 each, and the late Dr. Hoare, Principal of Jesus' College, Oxford, gave £127. 10., invested in the three per cent. Bank annuities, for the benefit of the poor; among such of whom as do not receive parochial relief, the interest of these sums, £6. 7. 6., is distributed on Christmas-eve. A sum of £47. 10., the grant of an unknown person, has been lost. In this parish is one of the ancient court-houses now generally called church-houses; it is appropriated to paupers.
LLANGEINWEN (LLAN-GEINWEN), a parish, composed of an Upper and a Lower division, in the union of Carnarvon, hundred of Menai, county of Anglesey, North Wales, 3 miles (N. W. by W.) from Carnarvon; containing 943 inhabitants. This parish, which is of considerable extent, derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Ceinwen, a female who was distinguished for the sanctity of her life, about the middle of the fifth century. It is pleasantly situated on the shore of the Menai strait, which is here a mile in breadth, and opposite to the town of Carnarvon, to which there is a ferry from this place, called Tàl-y-Voel. A road from the ferry passes through the parish to join the Holyhead road, and another from the same place runs by the church to the ancient town of Newborough. Llangeinwen has the parishes of Llangafo and Llanidan on the north and north-east, the parish of Newborough on the north-west and west, and the Menai strait on the east and south; and comprises, according to a recent survey, 3519 acres, of which 2500 are arable, 416 meadow and pasture, and 603 common and woodland, the latter bearing a very small proportion to the former. The surface is varied, in some parts composed of hills of considerable elevation; and the surrounding scenery is finely diversified. The higher grounds afford interesting views, reaching over the adjacent country, and embracing the Menai strait, the bay of Carnarvon, and the Snowdon range of mountains. The lower lands, through which the Braint river runs into the strait, are wet and marshy; but in the other parts the soil is a deep rich loam, well adapted both for grain and pasture, and producing good wheat and barley. In the parish are, Maes-y-Portle, the residence of the Lloyd family, long settled in this place; Tàlgwynedd, a handsome mansion erected by the Rev. R. R. Hughes; and Menaivron, a neat and commodious mansion in the Elizabethan style. The villages are, Dwyrain and Groeslon Grin. The district abounds with limestone of excellent quality, of which extensive quarries are worked at Quirt, Gelliniog-Wèn, Rhŷd-y-Gaer, and Penrhyn Bâch, affording employment to a considerable number of men; the produce is partly burnt into manure for the supply of the neighbourhood, and great quantities are exported by the Menai to different places on the coast.
The living is a rectory not in charge, with the perpetual curacy of Llangafo annexed, and in the patronage of Mrs. Hughes; net income, £664. The tithes of the parish have been commuted for a rentcharge of £540. The church, having fallen into decay, was rebuilt in the year 1812, and enlarged in 1839 by the erection of a cross building, and a tower, containing a vestry-room on the ground-floor and a gallery above, by which the total number of sittings was increased to 310. At the time of the enlargement, the edifice of 1812, which measures fifty-four feet by fifteen, was thoroughly repaired, and stone window-dressings inserted, to correspond with the new portion. The church is destitute of interest as a building, except that it contains a font of the twelfth century, preserved from the ancient structure, and remarkable for its purity of design and the freedom of touch discernible in it. There are places of worship for dissenters. In 1836, the incumbent built a schoolroom, and house for a master; the school is carried on under his superintendence, and almost entirely at his expense. A British school has been recently built; and there are three Sunday schools, one of them in connexion with the Established Church. The amount of several bequests to the poor of the parish in money and land (on which latter a rent-charge of £3, by Ellen Owen, was appropriated to apprenticing a poor boy) is annually distributed at Christmas, according to the wishes of the respective donors; but nearly half of the money-benefactions have been lost by the insolvency of parties to whom different sums were lent. An allotment of two or three acres was awarded to the parish some time since on the inclosure of the common lands, on which fifteen cottages were built for paupers.
At Quirt are the remains of a chapel, for many years used as a stable, and now converted into a dairy: figures of the apostles, painted on the walls, were formerly remaining, and over the east window were preserved allegorical figures of Time and Death. Near the boundary of the parish is a rude upright stone, with the inscription FILIVS. VLRICI. EREXIT. HVNC. LAPIDEM., supposed to be a monument to the memory of some chieftain interred beneath it. In the quarries at Gelliniog Wèn great numbers of human bones are frequently found, which are thought to be the remains of natives who at some period fell at this place in defending their country against the Danes.
LLANGEITHO (LLAN-GEITHO), a parish, in the union of Trêgaron, Lower division of the hundred of Penarth, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 8 miles (N. by E.) from Lampeter; containing 431 inhabitants. This parish is bounded by the river Aëron, and comprehends some richly diversified scenery. It comprises an area of about 3000 acres, of which two-thirds are arable, and the remainder pasture, with about 100 acres of woodland, producing chiefly oak and ash. The lands are inclosed, the soil is fertile and productive, and most of the farmers are owners of the grounds they cultivate; the principal agricultural produce is barley and oats. In the parish are the old mansions of Court Mawr, and Parkea, the latter the residence of an ancient family, but the former at present in the occupation of a farmer. The village of Llangeitho, situated within an adjoining parish, is sheltered nearly on all sides by hills of varied aspect, whose declivities and summits are in some parts clothed with wood of luxuriant growth, and in others covered with verdure: that part of it which is not shut in by the surrounding hills, commands a fine prospect of the Vale of Aëron. Fairs are held on March 14th, May 7th, August 4th, October 9th, and the first Monday after November 12th.
The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £6, and endowed with £200 royal bounty; patron, the Bishop of St. David's: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £115, and there is a glebe of above twenty acres, valued at £20 per annum; also a glebe-house. The church, dedicated to St. Ceitho, and rebuilt in the year 1819, is a neat edifice, consisting of a nave and chancel, and romantically situated on an isolated and richly wooded spot, separated from the village by the river Aëron; it is appropriately fitted up, but not distinguished by any architectural details of importance. A Church school has been recently built on the glebe land, near the church; and there are two Sunday schools in the parish, one of which is in connexion with the Church. The Rev. Daniel Rowlands was for some years rector of the parish, and was greatly esteemed as a popular preacher; but, from teaching particular tenets, he was suspended from the exercise of his pastoral functions, and became the founder of a body, first called after him "Rowlandists," but now Calvinistic Methodists. He died on the 10th of October, 1790, aged seventy-seven, and was interred in the churchyard of the parish: a plain stone monument to his memory is affixed to the wall of the church, on the outside. In 1777, £600 were granted, it is believed by Mary Griffiths of the parish of Talley, with which a farm of 133 acres, named Gellyddewi, in the parish of Pencarreg, was purchased, for relieving distress among the Calvinistic Methodists of this parish, and Talley, Llansawel, Cayo, and Llanvynydd; and for promoting education. The income amounts to £50 a year, and is applied to the relief of the poor of the Calvinistic body: the portion received by this place is generally about £15 or £20 a year, but no sum is fixed, as the income is divided according to the number requiring relief in each place named in the deed of endowment. The society of Calvinistic Methodists at Llangeitho formerly had a place of worship in that parish, but subsequently to the date of the endowment, a new meeting-house was built in the village of Llangeitho, in the adjoining parish of Llandewy-Brevi; a large congregation attends this meeting-house from Llangeitho and several other parishes, and the poorer members of it are considered admissible to the benefit of the charity.
LLANGELER (LLAN-GELER), a parish, in the union of Newcastle-Emlyn, Higher division of the hundred of Elvet, county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 5 miles (E. by S.) from NewcastleEmlyn; containing 1747 inhabitants, of whom 612 are in the Upper division, and 1135 in the Lower. This parish is situated on the north-western extremity of the county, and upon the turnpike-road from Carmarthen to Cardigan. It is bounded on the north by the parishes of Bangor and Llanvair-Orllwyn, in the county of Cardigan, from which it is separated by the river Teivy; on the south by the parish of Convil, on the east by that of Llanvihangel-ar-Arth, and on the west by that of Penboyr. It comprises by computation 6414 acres, of which nearly 2000 are arable, 3480 pasture, 900 waste, and the remainder woodland. The surface is undulated, and the scenery pleasingly varied, embracing a portion of the fertile and picturesque Vale of Teivy with its winding river; besides which there are several brooks running among the hills, contributing materially to the interest of the locality. Llŷs Newydd is an elegant mansion, beautifully situated in grounds tastefully laid out; and there are two other mansions of recent erection. A few hands are employed in a slate-quarry, and about half a dozen in two small factories.
The living consists of a rectory and a vicarage. The rectory, which is a sinecure, rated in the king's books at £12. 18. 9., was formerly in the gift of the Crown, but, after the foundation of St. David's College at Lampeter, was appropriated to that establishment: the vicarage, which is discharged, is rated in the king's books at £6. 13. 4., and endowed with £200 royal bounty; patron, the Bishop of St. David's. The tithes of the parish are divided into two portions, called respectively the Grange and the Gwlâd: of the latter, the principal of the college receives two-thirds, and the vicar one-third; of the former, one-third belongs to the Llŷs Newydd family, and of the remainder, two-thirds are appropriated to the principal, and one-third to the vicar. The whole have been commuted for £430, of which £244 are payable to the rector, who has a glebe of half an acre, valued at 10s. per annum; and £122 to the vicar, who has a glebe of forty-four acres, valued at £40 per annum, and a glebe-house: the impropriator's portion amounts to £64.
The church dedicated to St. Celer, is a plain and neat edifice, in good repair, sixty feet in length and eighteen in breadth, and containing 360 sittings, a considerable number having been added of late years, towards defraying the expense of which the Incorporated Society granted the sum of £70. An ancient chapel of ease, dedicated to St. Mary, and thence called "Capel Mair," has been entirely demolished. A monumental stone, bearing an inscription in rude characters, said to be in the Welsh language, is still remaining. There are places of worship for Independents, Baptists, and Calvinistic Methodists; and four Sunday schools, one of which, in connexion with the Church, is held in a schoolroom lately erected by subscription. Near the church is a spring called St. Celer's, which was formerly in great reputation for its supposed medicinal virtues.
LLANGELYNIN (LLAN-GELYNIN), a parish, in the union of Conway, hundred of LlêchWedd-Isâv, county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 3 miles (S. by W.) from Conway; containing 270 inhabitants. This parish, which derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Celynin, who flourished towards the close of the sixth century, is situated at the north-eastern extremity of the county, bordering upon Denbighshire. A memorable battle was fought at Cymryd, in or near the parish, in the year 880, between the forces of Anarawd, Prince of North Wales, and those of Edred, Earl of Mercia, who attempted the conquest of the country. In this conflict Anarawd was completely victorious; he drove the Mercians from the field of battle, and continued to pursue them until they were finally expelled from the principality: the victory was called Dial Rhodri, or "Roderic's revenge," as Anarawd thus fully avenged the slaughter of his father Roderic in a descent of the Saxons upon Anglesey. The village, which is small, is beautifully situated in a fertile vale under the mountain called Tàl-y-Van. The surface of the parish is mountainous, the lands partially inclosed and cultivated, the soil various, and the surrounding scenery marked with features rather of boldness than of beauty. The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £7; patron, the Bishop of Bangor. The incumbent's tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £250, and the glebe comprises five acres: a rent-charge of £5 is paid to the parish-clerk. The church is a small ancient edifice, in a state of considerable dilapidation. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyan Methodists; a day school in connexion with the Church, and a Sunday school belonging to the Independents. The Rev. Launcelot Bulkeley, in 1718, bequeathed £60, the interest to be paid to four widows, who are appointed at a vestry, and regularly receive the donation.
LLANGELYNIN (LLAN-GELYNIN), a parish in two divisions, Higher and Lower, in the union of Dôlgelley, hundred of Tàlybont, county of Merioneth, North Wales, 6 miles (S. W.) from Dôlgelley; containing 1033 inhabitants. This parish, which stretches along the coast of Cardigan bay, was the residence of Ednowain ab Bradwen, one of the fifteen tribes of North Wales, in the time of Edward I.: vestiges of his house, termed Caer Bradwen, and Llŷs Bradwen, are still to be seen in the township of Cregennan; and near them are the remains of a Druidical circle. In the reign of Henry IV., Ednyved ab Aaron, grandson of Ednowain, entertained Owain Glyndwr after his defeat by that monarch, and secreted him in a cave near the church of this parish, which was from that circumstance named Ogov Owain, or "Owain's cave:" it is now almost choked up with sand. At a place called Castell, now a farmhouse, near Rhôs-Levain, an important battle is said to have been fought at some remote period, but no particulars are recorded of it.
This parish, the length of which is about eleven miles and the average breadth one mile, is bounded on the north by the parish of Llanaber, on the south by that of Llanegrin, on the east by that of Dôlgelley, and on the west by that of Towyn, from which it is separated by the river Dysynni. It comprises by admeasurement 8559 acres, of which, by computation, 2009 are arable, 2239 meadow and pasture, 99 woodland, and the remainder mountain sheep-walks. The lands in some parts are flat, in others considerably elevated; and command views of bold and romantic scenery, the beauty of which is much increased by oak, ash, larch, and fir plantations: the soil is in general a red earth, but comprehends some turbaries, whence the inhabitants obtain peat and turf. The parish contains the mansions of Arthog, Ynysvaig, Glanywern, Cevncamberth, and Hendre, all of which are modern except the last; and four villages, named Llwyngwril, Vriog, Tanyr-Allt, and Pwll Arthog: there are four corn-mills. The sea has made great encroachments on the shore of this neighbourhood, from which a remarkable sand-bank studded with rocks, called Sarn-y-Bwch, stretches into the great bay of Cardigan, at the mouth of the river Dysynni.
The living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at £15. 10. 2½., and in the gift of the Parry family: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £400. The church is dedicated to St. Celynin. The proprietary chapel of Arthog, in the parish, situated on the road from Llwyngwril to Dôlgelley, contains 140 sittings, of which 80 are free. There are places of worship for Independents, Baptists, and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists; also a burialground for the Society of Friends. The Rev. Mr. Morgan, in 1739, bequeathed a tenement called Tŷcroes, and Miss Elizabeth Thomas, another, in 1803, called Pîg-yr-Allt, in trust: the rents, amounting to £18 a year, are paid to the master of a Church school, situated at Llwyngwril. Another Church school is held at Arthog; and the parish contains four Sunday schools, connected with the four meeting-houses above mentioned, in which they are held. On a farm called Llanvendigaid are the ruins of a chapel of ease. Near the village of Llwyngwril are vestiges of a British encampment; and on the hill above it, called Gwastad Merioneth, is a small plain, on which are numerous Druidical remains: from this plain a very extensive prospect is obtained of the surrounding country. In a turbary at Ty'n Coed, opposite to Barmouth, a copper urn, nineteen inches deep, and fourteen inches and a half in diameter at the top, and eleven and a half at the bottom, was found in 1826. At the farm Tyddyn Bâch lived Mary Thomas, an invalid, who subsisted for several years without any solid food, and almost entirely without nourishment; and in this parish was born the noted astrologer named Arise Evans, an impostor of considerable fame among the class which so much prevailed during the reigns of Queen Elizabeth and King James I.
LLANGENDEIRN (LLAN-GYNDEYRN), a parish, in the hundred of Kidwelly, union and county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 5 miles (S. E.) from Carmarthen, on the road through Llannon to Swansea; containing 2624 inhabitants. Its name is derived from "Llan," a church, and "Cyndeyrn," a Welsh saint, son of Arthog ab Ceredig, and whose festival occurs on the 25th of July. The place is thought to have been anciently the residence either of some of the native princes of South Wales, or of some chieftain of distinction in the earlier periods of Welsh history; and the remains of an old mansion, called Hên Blâs, or "the old hall," which have been converted into a stable, appear to confirm that opinion. With the exception of a very small portion, the lands are inclosed and in a good state of cultivation; and the substratum consists of various valuable minerals, chiefly coal, iron, and limestone, the procuring of which affords employment to many of the inhabitants. A ridge of excellent limestone extends across the parish, in a direction parallel with the strata of coal, which rest upon it; iron-ore is found, and there are also strata of very fine black and speckled marble. The limestone is worked to a large extent for the supply of the adjacent districts; the marble, which is of fine quality for chimney-pieces and other ornaments, is sent from the quarries in great quantities to Bristol, and different parts of the principality; and the coal is also wrought on a considerable scale. All the marble burns into white lime, the bitumen with which it is coloured being sublimed by calcination. A fair is held annually on the 5th of August.
The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £600 royal bounty, and £1200 parliamentary grant; net income, £88; patron and impropriator, Rees Goring Thomas, Esq. The church, dedicated to St. Cyndeyrn, is a spacious and plain edifice; and the churchyard is one of the finest and most agreeably situated in the country. There are three places of worship for Independents, two for Baptists, one for Calvinistic Methodists, and one for Wesleyans. A Church school for the gratuitous education of poor children was endowed by Mrs. Catherine Goldfrap, a native of the parish, in 1784, with money then producing £25 a year, but now only £20. 6. 3., to which £3 per annum are added from subscription: there are about eighty boys and girls in the school, thirty of whom are taught by means of the endowment, and the rest at the expense of their parents. Of the eight Sunday schools that are supported, one is conducted on the principles of the Established Church. Glyn Abbey, a private house in the parish, is supposed to occupy the site of an ancient religious establishment, of which the only existing memorial is the name. Formerly there were numerous seats in the parish, and no fewer than seven magistrates were resident here; but the seats have all been deserted by their proprietors, and most of them converted into farmhouses.
LLANGENEY (LLAN-GENEU), a parish, in the union and hundred of Crickhowel, county of Brecknock, South Wales, 1½ mile (E. by S.) from the town of Crickhowel; containing 427 inhabitants. It derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Ceneu, one of the daughters of Brychan, Prince of Brycheiniog, who, devoting herself to a life of religious retirement, had an oratory here, and was canonized after her death. The parish comprises 2250 acres, of which 750 are common or waste land. It is bounded on the south by the river Usk, and intersected by the stream Grwyney, which, after flowing in a southern direction for two miles through it, falls into the Usk at this place. The country is agreeably diversified, and the prevailing scenery is characterized by features of beautiful simplicity; the vale of the Grwyney, in which the village is embosomed, is inclosed by lofty hills clothed by the richest groves, and the stream is bordered on each side by meadows of fine verdure. In the neighbourhood are several good mansions and villas: within the parish are situated Court-y-Gollen, a spacious mansion, built by the Rev. Richard Davies, at a convenient distance from the turnpike-road between Abergavenny and Crickhowel; and Sunny Bank, a handsome modern house, erected by its late proprietor, Robert Williams, Esq., and since considerably enlarged and improved. At Grwyney is a carding and spinning business, in which about six persons are engaged; and on the river from which this small village derives its name are two paper-mills, for the manufacture of the coarser kinds of paper, together affording occupation to about sixteen persons. Near the village is an iron forge, which formerly gave employment to a considerable number of men, in converting into bars the pig-iron made at the Sirhowy works, but which, from some litigation, was suspended. The turnpike-road leading from the town of Abergavenny, in the county of Monmouth, to the town of Crickhowel, traverses the southern part of the parish, passing through Grwyney.
The living is a perpetual curacy, united, with that of Llanelly, to the rectory of Llangattock. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £320; and there is a glebe of about eight and a half acres, valued at £14 per annum: a certain portion of the tithes is paid to the sexton, who claims it by a prescriptive right, recognised in a terrier dated 1720. The church, situated on the western bank of the river Grwyney, over which is a stone bridge of one arch, is a neat and substantial edifice, in good repair, consisting of a nave, chancel, and south aisle: the last appears to have been built or repaired about the commencement of the seventeenth century; the nave is separated from the aisle by a series of five pointed arches, resting upon octangular pillars. There is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists. A schoolhouse has been recently built, with aid from the Committee of the Privy Council, and the National Society: a day and Sunday school is held in it. John Howel, in the year 1620, bequeathed two fields, called Dwygae Llangeney, in trust to the wardens, to appropriate the rents to the repairs of the church and the two neighbouring bridges, in equal portions, after deducting a part to be distributed among the poor at Christmas. The fields contain about five acres, two of which are woodland held by the parish, whence timber was cut in 1836 for the repairs of the church of the value of £42; the other portion of the land, which lies on the north-west side of the river Grwyney, is let at £1. 12. per annum.
In a field near the confines of this parish and those of Crickhowel and Llanbedr, is a stone inscribed turpilli ic iacit pvveri trilvni dvnocati; and in the grounds of Court-y-Gollen, near the turnpikeroad, is a large Maen Hîr, a rude erect stone, thirteen feet high, three feet three inches broad, and eighteen inches thick. Some vestiges of an encampment may be traced on an eminence in the parish, called Pen-y-Prisc, which is supposed to be of Roman origin, but no satisfactory account of it has been recorded. On the farm of Pen-y-Darren is Fynnon Geneu, or "Ceneu's well," to the water of which was formerly attributed great efficacy in the cure of diseases of the eye; and another well near Sunny Bank is said to possess petrifying qualities. Near Fynnon Geneu a farmer, in removing the remains of an old building which was thought to have been the oratory of St. Ceneu, discovered a very ancient bell of singular form and construction, conjectured to have been used by that saint in calling the people to prayers; this curious piece of antiquity was in the possession of the late Venerable Archdeacon Payne, by whose permission it was exhibited before the Society of Antiquaries in London, in the year 1809.
LLANGENNECH (LLAN-GENNECH), a parish, in the union of Llanelly, hundred of Carnawllon, county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 4 miles (E. N. E.) from Llanelly; containing 893 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the western margin of the river Loughor, by which it is separated from the county of Glamorgan; it is intersected by the rivulet called Morlais, a tributary to that stream, and also by the road from Pont-ar-Ddulas to Llanelly. The surface is varied; the lands for the greater part are inclosed and cultivated, and the soil is generally fertile: the surrounding scenery is pleasingly diversified. Within the parish is Llangennech Park, formerly the property of the Stepneys of Llanelly House, and now the residence of Richard J. Nevill, Esq. Coal of very superior quality, which obtains a high price in the London market, is found in the parish; and works upon an extensive scale have been for some time past established by a company, who, in addition to the fine beds discovered on the Park estate, have opened new pits of coal, and also of culm, of which considerable quantities are exported. Facilities of conveyance are afforded by the Llanelly railway, which proceeds through the parish to its terminus at the Llanelly docks. Two fairs are held annually on June 16th and October 23rd, in the village. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £200 royal bounty, and in the gift of Edward Rose Tunno, Esq., who is also impropriator, and who has lately augmented the income of the benefice, previously £82, with a farm producing £40 per annum. The church is dedicated to St. Gwynog. There are places of worship for Baptists and Independents. A school for boys, conducted on the principles of the Established Church, is supported entirely by Mr. Tunno; and here are also three Sunday schools, one of them in connexion with the Church, and the others belonging to the dissenters.