A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1849.
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DALE, a village and parish, in the union of Haverfordwest, hundred of Rhôs, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 13 miles (S. W. by W.) from Haverfordwest; containing 392 inhabitants. This village is supposed to have derived its name from a contraction of De Vale, the name of one of its ancient lords, in whose time it was dignified with the title of a borough, and appears to have enjoyed certain immunities. It still preserves the right of pasturing cattle on a plot of ground, called Dale Meadow, after the lord of the manor has cleared off the hay, which privilege was granted to the holders of burgage tenements by Henry VII., who, when Earl of Richmond, landed at this place, on his expedition to wrest the crown of England from Richard III. Here he was met by Rhŷs ab Thomas, who advanced from Carew Castle with a well-disciplined and well-appointed band of followers, to join the standard of the earl, with whom he was present at Bosworth Field, and to whose success he materially contributed, not only by his influence in adding to the number of Henry's partisans, but by his valour and discretion in the field.
Dale is situated on a little bay forming one side of the entrance into Milford Haven, and affording, in Dale Roads, good anchorage for small vessels, which may ride in safety in two or three fathoms at low water. Block-houses were built here in the reign of Elizabeth, and a chain is said to have been drawn across the mouth of the Haven, from St. Anne's here to Angle Point on the opposite side, to obstruct the passage of the Spanish Armada. St. Anne's lighthouses were originally erected in 1712, by William Allen, Esq., to whom a lease was granted by the crown for ninety-nine years, which term expired in 1813: they were rebuilt and again opened in 1800. The lantern of one of them contains eleven lights, and has an elevation of 160 feet; that of the other has sixteen lights, at an elevation of 195 feet. Copper-ore was formerly worked in the parish. A fishery is carried on, employing six boats, chiefly in taking lobsters, oysters, and herrings, during their respective seasons; and there is a small trade in the importation of coal and culm from the interior of the county. The parishioners at large have the right of pasturing cattle on Pickleridge common.
The scenery is of a bold and striking character; and from the higher grounds are obtained some extensive and pleasing views over St. George's Channel to the south and east, and of the adjacent country to the north. Dale Castle, formerly the mansion of the Allens, passed by marriage with the heiress to John Lloyd, Esq., of Mabus, in the county of Cardigan, and is now the property of his grandson, John P. Lloyd Allen Phillips, Esq. It is an embattled structure, and has been modernised and greatly improved by the addition of two spacious wings, communicating with the centre by two circular projecting towers; the edifice now forms one of the finest castellated mansions in the county, and, from its situation, is a prominent and interesting object in the scenery of the place. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £800 royal bounty; net income, £65; patron and impropriator, Mr. Phillips. The church, dedicated to St. James, and rebuilt in 1761 at the sole expense of John Allen, Esq., is a neat edifice, consisting of a nave and chancel, and containing an elegant font of marble, presented to the parish by the same gentleman. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists, and a Sunday school is held in the church. Along the cliffs by which this part of the coast is bounded, are remains of several ancient encampments, apparently of Danish construction.
DAROWEN (DÂR-OWAIN), a parish, in the union and hundred of Machynlleth, county of Montgomery, North Wales, 6 miles (E. by N.) from Machynlleth; containing 1041 inhabitants. This parish, the name of which signifies "Owain's oak" or "forest," is bounded on the north-west by the river Dovey, and on the north-east by the Twymyn, which flows into the Dovey at its northern extremity. It comprises about 9000 acres of land, of which only about 4000 are inclosed and under cultivation, the remainder being in commons, chiefly appropriated as sheepwalks. A considerable quantity of peat is obtained, for consumption in the neighbourhood. There are three lead-mines, one in Fridd Cwm Bychan, another at Cwm Dû, and the third at Dylivau: but the quantity of ore produced being inconsiderable, the working of them has been discontinued. The manufacture of flannel is carried on. The turnpike-roads from Machynlleth to Newtown through Carno, and to Welshpool through Mallwyd, run through the western and northern parts of the parish.
The living is a discharged vicarage, not rated in the king's books; net income, £98, with a glebehouse; patron, the Bishop of St. Asaph. It was instituted in the year 1545, by Bishop Robert Warton, at the request of Richard ab Grufydd, rector. The rectory is a sinecure, rated at £10. 17. 11., also in the gift of the Bishop; net income, £79. The church, dedicated to St. Tudyr, is in the early style of English architecture: it is situated in the township of Noddva, the name of which signifies "a place of refuge," the limits of safety being probably described by three stones, one, called Carreg Noddva, standing about one mile to the east; another large stone, rising nearly three yards above the ground, about a mile to the south; and a smaller one about the same distance north-east. There are places of worship for Wesleyan Methodists, Calvinistic Methodists, and Independents. A National school, capable of accommodating 120 children, was built in the year 1841; and six Sunday schools are held in the parish, one of them in connexion with the Established Church, three belonging to the Wesleyans, and the other two to the Calvinistic Methodists. Richard Rowlands, Rowland ab Prichard, and Thomas Jones, at periods unknown left £5 each to the poor, the interest of which is paid out of the Rhiwvelen estate, and distributed with a sum of £3. 10., a moiety of the rent of a small tract of mountainous ground bequeathed to this parish and that of Cemmes, by Derwas Griffith, about a century since. A gift of £21. 15. by an unknown donor has been lost, the security having been placed in the hands of an attorney, and not recovered upon his death. At the distance of about half a mile westward from the church, on the summit of the hill Vron Gôch, in the township of Noddva, are the remains of an ancient encampment; and on the top of another hill, called Bwlch Gelli Lâs, is a tumulus, near which, on the sheepwalk of the farm Berllan Dêg, a celt and several brazen instruments of warfare were found some years ago.
Dr. John Davies, author of the Welsh and Latin Dictionary, and the Welsh Grammar, and one of the translators of the Bible into the Welsh language, was appointed to the sinecure rectory of this parish by Bishop Parry, in 1615. It was also held by Dr. Randolph, Bishop of Oxford, and afterwards of London. St. Tudyr, son of Arwstyl Glof, who flourished in the seventh century, is stated in the Genealogy of the Saints to have been interred here. The wake, or feast, of his dedication is annually observed on the 25th of October, or the Sunday next after it; and the diversion is continued the following day, by what is called Curo Tudyr, "the beating of Tudyr," generally performed by the boys, one of whom carries a long pole, or branch of a tree, upon his shoulder, the rest beating it with clubs, probably to perpetuate the remembrance of the persecution which that saint endured.
David's (St.), or Llanvaes
DAVID'S (ST.), or LLANVAES, a parish, composed of the Lower and Upper divisions, the former constituting part of the borough of Brecknock, the latter included partly in the hundred of Devynock, the portion in which is designated "the township," and partly in the hundred of Pencelly; in the union and county of Brecknock, South Wales; containing 1422 inhabitants, of whom 1236 are in the Lower, and 186 in the Upper, division. This parish, which is situated at the confluence of the Tarrell with the Usk, comprises some extensive tracts of arable and pasture land; the total area is 2880 acres, whereof 230 are common or waste. The scenery is finely varied, and the views from the higher grounds are highly picturesque, comprising a number of interesting objects. Frwdgrêch, the elegant seat of Samuel Church, Esq., and Dinas, the residence of John Lloyd, Esq., both of them in this parish, are described in the article on Brecknock, in which will also be found a minute account of other objects of importance, situated within the limits of St. David's, but forming conspicuous features in that borough and its environs. The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £5. 15. 7½., and endowed with £400 private benefaction, and £400 royal bounty; present net income, £160; patron, the Archdeacon of Brecknock. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £260, and the vicarial for £77. The church is situated in the borough.
DAVID'S (ST.), a city and parish, in the union of Haverfordwest, hundred of Dewisland, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 16 miles (W. N. W.) from Haverfordwest, 26 (N. W.) from Pembroke, and 265 (W. by N.) from London; containing, with the Close, 2413 inhabitants. This city has been described by several historians as occupying the site of the Roman station Menapia, both from the evidence of various ancient roads leading in a direction towards it, and the position of that station as noticed in the Itineraries. But later writers are of opinion, chiefly from the absence of all military works or other relics of the Romans, that the site of Menapia was nearer the sea, on or not far from a sandy tract called "The Burrows," and that it is now covered either by an accumulation of sand, or by the sea itself, which has encroached considerably upon the shore in the vicinity. That the district constituting the parish of St. David's was inhabited at a very early period is obvious, from the Druidical remains with which it still abounds. In the fifth century it appears to have been called by the Welsh Mynyw, which is also variously written Menyw and Manyw, and is probably compounded of the words Mân and Yw, signifying "small yew-trees," which were formerly very plentiful in the neighbourhood; though divers other etymologies have been proposed. Its Roman name, which was perhaps a Latinized modification of the British Mynyw, was also altered into Menevia, which is still retained in the style of its bishops, who are called Episcopi Menevenses.
The history of the present city commences with that of the saint to whom it owes its name, who is also the patron saint of Wales, and to whom its origin is ascribed. St. David was the son of Xantus, Prince of Caredigion, and Non, daughter of Gynyr, of Caer Gawch in Mynyw, or Menevia, a chieftain who lived about the middle of the fifth century, and who, embracing a religious life, gave all his lands to support the church, which was probably the first endowment of the see of Menevia. The period of David's birth is not with certainty known, but may be assigned to the middle of the fifth century. The author of his life in the Acta Sanctorum considers him to have been born in 445; Cressy, in 462; and others, at a still later period. In Leland's Collectanea it is related that St. David was baptized by Elveus, Bishop of Menevia; that he was brought up in a place now called Hên Fynyw, or "Old Menevia," and that Gistilianus, Bishop of Menevia, was his uncle; from which it appears that this place had been made the seat of an episcopal see at least before David had arrived at years of maturity. Being advanced to the priesthood, and having long studied in the Isle of Wight, under Paulinus, a disciple of St. Germanus, David proceeded to propagate the truths of Christianity among the Britons, and to assist in uprooting the Pelagian heresy, in which he exhibited such surpassing abilities, that he collected around him a considerable body of disciples, many of whom were afterwards canonized for their superior wisdom and piety. His reputation, indeed, became so well established, that at a great synod held at LlandewyBrevi, in the county of Cardigan, he was preferred to the archbishopric of Caerleon, the capital of Gwent, on account of the increasing infirmities of the holy Dubricius, who then enjoyed that high dignity. David, however, only accepted it at the unanimous request of the bishops, clergy, and laity present at the synod, and on condition that he should be allowed to remove the metropolitan see from Caerleon to this place, where St. Patrick had already founded a monastery, over which David presided, and which he is said to have held in greater favour than all the other religious houses in the diocese. The archbishop, with the consent of his nephew, the renowned King Arthur, accordingly removed the seat of the primacy to Menevia, called by Giraldus Cambrensis Vallis Rosini, which Capgrave translates "the Rosy Valley," and Sir R. Colt Hoare "the Vale of Rhôs;" and established it at his college in this vale, near the western extremity of Wales; the place being afterwards called by his countrymen, from respect to his memory, Tŷ Ddewi, "the House of David," or "St. David's," which appellation it has ever since retained. During his primacy he had for his suffragans the bishops of Worcester, Hereford, Bangor, Llandaf, Llanelwy or St. Asaph, Llanbadarn (near Aberystwith), called in Latin Paternensis, and Margam. The two first were at an early period accounted English bishoprics, and the two last being dissolved, the succeeding archbishops had only the bishops of the other three Welsh dioceses as suffragans.
The period of the death of David, and the age at which he died, are as undetermined as the time of his birth. Pits considers this event to have occurred in the year 544; Giraldus Cambrensis, and John of Tynemouth, in 609; and Bishop Godwin in 647; whilst all four concur in ascribing to him the almost incredible age of 147. Ussher, and St. David's biographer in the Acta Sanctorum, are also of opinion that he died in 544; but the former states that he was only eighty-two years old, and the latter ninetyseven. He was interred in the cathedral which he had founded, and many years after his decease was canonized by Pope Calixtus II.; but the distinction which he attained, as patron saint of Wales, is comparatively of modern origin. His immediate successor is stated by Giraldus to have been Ceneauc, or Kenanc, called also Kinothus, who was also interred in the cathedral, and was succeeded by St. Teilo, the celebrated Bishop of Llandaf; but in Bishop Godwin's list of successors the name of Eliud appears next to that of David.
The city and cathedral of St. David's were repeatedly exposed to the desolating effects of incursive warfare in the early ages, and the events which marked the progress of one had an equal influence on that of the other. In the year 808, during the reign of Cynan Tyndaethwy, they were reduced to ashes by the West Saxons, which disaster was followed by a destructive murrain among the cattle in the surrounding district. In the reign of Anarawd, in the year 911, St. David's was utterly destroyed by the Danes: on this occasion a desperate battle was fought in the vicinity, in which Maylor, one of the Welsh princes, was slain. Bishop Godwin records that, in the time of Samson, the twenty-fifth archbishop, there were seven suffragans to the see, viz., the bishops of Exeter, Bath, Hereford, Llandaf, Bangor, St. Asaph, and Ferns in Ireland. This prelate, in 915, according to Browne Willis, on account of a pestilential disease which then raged here, withdrew to Dôl in Brittany, taking his pall with him: he appears to have died there; and his successors in the see, either for want of the pall, or for some other reason, were deprived of the title of archbishop, although they still exercised the power of consecrating the Welsh bishops of Llandaf, St. Asaph, and Bangor, until the reign of Henry I. At that time, a Norman ecclesiastic, named Bernard, not chosen by the Welsh clergy, as had been the custom, but forced upon them by the English monarch, yielded an extorted submission to the see of Canterbury, which has continued to the present time; the bishops of St. David's and the other Welsh dioceses, being thenceforward suffragans to the primate of all England. The first mention of the archdeaconry of St. David's occurs in this reign, about the year 1128, when it was held by one William, whose successor was the celebrated Giraldus Cambrensis, who was afterwards elected by the chapter to the bishopric, but not consecrated.
Meanwhile, events of great importance to the city had occurred. In 982, during the reign of Howel ab Ievav, Geofryd, son of the Danish king Harold, laid waste the church of St. David's and its possessions; and towards the close of the same century, the Danes again landed, slew Bishop Urgenau, or Morgenau, and destroyed with fire and sword the inhabitants and their property. The reigning sovereign, whose two sons had been interred here, being unable to restrain the desolating progress of these marauders, was compelled to purchase their departure by paying them a tribute of one penny for every man in his dominions, commonly called "the Tribute of the Black Army," and is said to have died of grief in consequence. In 1077, in the reign of Trahaern ab Caradoc, St. David's was sacked and destroyed by a roving army either of Danes or Norwegians, who landed in great numbers from their ships. But notwithstanding these disasters, the city rapidly increased in wealth and magnificence, owing principally to the largesses bestowed at the shrine of its patron saint, two visits to which were deemed as meritorious as one pilgrimage to Rome. The amount of these offerings is reported to have been so great, that it was divided among the clergy of the establishment by measures, to save the trouble of counting it.
In 1077, William the Conqueror invaded Wales with a large army; but not experiencing the slightest opposition from the natives, he, with his accustomed good policy, changed his military expedition into a pilgrimage, and advanced at the head of his troops to this city, where he offered his devotions at the shrine of St. David, and received the homage of the Welsh princes. The shrine was sacrilegiously pillaged, and the city plundered, in 1087; and a few years afterwards, the Danes once more landed, plundered and burnt the church, and, taking possession of the surrounding intrenchments, settled here for some time, during which they perpetrated the most cruel outrages in the adjacent country. In 1090, the descent of the Normans on the district now forming the county of Pembroke commenced; and it is probably to the hardy valour of these invaders that the city of St. David's owed the tranquillity which it afterwards enjoyed. During the prelacy of David Fitzgerald, the immediate successor of Bernard, the Norman bishop, who, in the reign of Henry I., had surrendered the archiepiscopal authority of the see into the hands of the Archbishop of Canterbury, King Henry II. came hither, and having made his offering at St. David's shrine, was entertained by the bishop. Peter de Leia, the successor of Fitzgerald, finding the cathedral church almost in ruins, from the frequent assaults of the Danes and other piratical invaders, pulled it entirely down, in 1180, and built in its stead a new church, dedicated, as the former had been, to St. Andrew and St. David, and which constitutes the greater part of the present edifice. Before the preferment of this prelate, the chapter had elected Giraldus Cambrensis as the successor of his uncle, Bishop Fitzgerald; but the king, unwilling to elevate to that dignity a man of such influence and talents, refused to ratify their choice. The same body, however, on the death of Peter de Leia, again placed Giraldus at the head of a list of four persons, whom they nominated; but his election not being confirmed, the see remained vacant for six years, whilst Giraldus was endeavouring to procure his consecration to it; and it was ultimately filled by Geoffry de Henelawe, prior of Llanthony, whose successor was Iorwerth, or Gervase, by whom the precentorships in the cathedral were founded, about the year 1225, and in whose prelacy the new tower of the cathedral fell down, in November 1220.
During the war between Henry III. and the disaffected barons, Richard, Earl of Pembroke, Mareschal of England, and the most powerful of the barons, attacked this city, in 1223, and barbarously put to death all the king's partisans in it. In March 1248, whilst Anselm was bishop, a great part of the cathedral was thrown down by an earthquake. The office of treasurer of St. David's was founded in 1259, by Bishop Carew, and the dignity of chancellor in 1287, by Bishop Thomas Becke, who established other offices in the cathedral, some of which exist at present, though under different names. During the episcopacy of Becke, King Edward I. and Queen Eleanor, in 1284, came on a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. David. The next bishop was David Martin, who built a chapel, dedicated to St. Mary, at the eastern end of the cathedral, still occasionally called Bishop Martin's chapel, in which he was interred. He was succeeded by Henry Gower, Chancellor of England, who erected the magnificent episcopal palace of St. David's, the interesting remains of which are so deservedly admired: this prelate died in 1347, and was interred in a chapel, dedicated to St. John, which he had built for his own sepulture under the rood-loft of the cathedral. His immediate successor was John Thoresby, Chancellor of England, and subsequently Archbishop of York; and Bishop Adam Houghton, who was also Chancellor from 1377 to 1379, was another early successor. The latter drew up certain statutes, to be observed in the church of St. David's: he also built St. Mary's College, adjoining the northern front of the cathedral, for a master and seven fellows, and endowed it with £100 per annum, and a separate house for each. To this institution John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and Blanch his wife, were so great benefactors as to be reckoned joint founders with the bishop. Bishop Houghton was interred in the chapel of St. Mary; and his second successor was John Gilbert, who was twice appointed Treasurer of England. He was succeeded by Guy Mohun, who was also Keeper of the King's Privy Seal, Treasurer of England, and Treasurer of St. Paul's, London. This prelate's immediate successor, Henry Chichele, afterwards became Archbishop of Canterbury, and was accounted the most worthy and benevolent bishop of the age in which he lived.
Edward Vaughan, the eighty-second bishop of St. David's, is recorded as the last who contributed materially to the enrichment of the cathedral. He built a most elegant chapel in honour of the Holy Trinity, between the chapel of St. Mary and the choir, and adorned various parts of the church with appropriate embellishments; he is said to have also erected St. Justinian's chapel, about a mile from the city, and, dying about the year 1521, was interred in his own chapel, where was formerly a brass plate inscribed to his memory. His successor, Richard Rawlins, died in 1535, and was the last bishop buried in the cathedral. Bishop Barlow, the immediate successor of Rawlins, presided over the see thirteen years, during which he greatly impoverished it, in order, as it is said (by Browne Willis), successively to provide for his five daughters, who were married to five bishops. He is even stated to have taken off the roof of the episcopal palace, for the sake of the lead, thus occasioning so much damage to that magnificent structure, as to require the revenue of the bishopric for twelve years to repair it; but this object was never attempted, so that it now presents a vast pile of ruins. Bishop Barlow's successor, Robert Farrar, was likewise a great dilapidator: subsequently to the fall of his patron, the Duke of Somerset, he was imprisoned by the precentor and canons, and, after continuing in confinement during the remainder of the reign of Edward VI., was, in the time of Mary, adjudged a heretic, and burned at the stake at Carmarthen, in 1555. On Farrar's deprivation, Henry Morgan was elected, in 1553, but he was ejected on the accession of Elizabeth, and succeeded by Thomas Younge, the precentor, who had caused the imprisonment of Farrar, and who had been driven into exile in Germany, during the persecutions in the reign of Mary, but finally was made Archbishop of York. His successor in this bishopric was Richard Davies, a man of great learning, and one of the translators of the Bible: he was buried at Aberguilly, near Carmarthen, and his coffin has lately been discovered in the chancel of the parish church there, in consequence of which Bishop Thirlwall has placed a tablet in that church to his memory, with an inscription in the Welsh language, written by the Rev. J. Jones (Tegid). Bishop Davies was succeeded by Richard Milbourne, D.D., who was translated to the see of Carlisle in 1621, and was accounted one of the most learned, benevolent, and public-spirited persons of the age.
The next bishop was the celebrated William Laud, subsequently elevated to the archbishopric of Canterbury, and beheaded on Tower-hill in 1644. His second successor in this see was Roger Mainwaring, who was imprisoned and subjected to great persecution during the parliamentary war: he died in 1653. About this period, lands of the value of £3547 were alienated by an ordinance of the parliament from the bishopric, which continued vacant from the death of Bishop Mainwaring to the election of William Lucy, in 1660. Another vacancy, of five years and eight months, occurred in the see, which was terminated in 1704, by the appointment of George Bull, one of the most eminent divines of the last century. Robert Lowth, prebendary of Durham, who was eminently distinguished for his learning and amiable manners, was elevated to the see in 1766, but was translated in the same year to Oxford, and thence to London. Samuel Horsley, the one hundred and fifteenth bishop, was appointed in the year 1788. He was a man of great learning, and early distinguished himself by an intimate acquaintance with the mathematical sciences: amongst his publications were, a complete edition of Newton's works, and a translation of Hosea. He was promoted to Rochester in 1793, and afterwards to St. Asaph. Thus, with the divines who have since succeeded to the bishopric, has St. David's had the greatest number of prelates of any see in the kingdom: of these, twenty-six were archbishops, and twenty-one more, although they did not bear the title, retained archiepiscopal authority over the other Welsh sees; whilst many others filled the highest civil offices in the state.
The parish comprises the westernmost portion of the great rocky promontory projecting into St. George's Channel, and forming the northern boundary of St. Bride's bay; and also the small islands lying off its extremity, which gave to this headland its ancient name of Octopitarum, or Octo-petrarum. These islands, with some sunken rocks, occasion in the intervening channels exceedingly strong currents. They are eight in number, but seven of them are mere rocks, called "The Bishop and his Clerks;" the eighth, called Ramsey Island, lies about one mile from the main land, and is about three miles in length and one in breadth. At the southern end of the intervening sound is a dangerous reef of rocks, denominated "The Bitches;" and in the middle of it a rock much dreaded, called "The Horse," which is covered at high water. The whole of Ramsey Island is elevated, and at each end rises a lofty hill, imparting to it a grand appearance, and presenting various picturesque groups of rocks: on the summits of these hills, which command prospects of great magnificence, are various remains of antiquity, including intrenchments, carneddau, &c. The island contains much good arable and pasture land, and is amply supplied with water, the principal stream being powerful enough to turn a mill. "The Bishop and his Clerks," three of which afford scanty pasturage for sheep, are appurtenant to Ramsey; they are all included in this parish, and are the property of the bishop. At the eastern end of Ramsey, and scarcely separated from it, are two smaller rocky islands, one termed Ynys y Byry, or "The Kite's Island," and the other Ynys y Cantwr, or "The Precentor's Island," yielding a thick matted herbage, on which a few sheep feed. A little to the northwest of Ramsey is a bank, which is said to have been noted for its excellent fishery of cod, turbot, soles, &c., long since entirely neglected. The rocky cliffs of the islands are annually the resort of an immense number of migratory birds, including eligugs, razor-bills, puffins, &c., and were anciently likewise distinguished for their breed of falcons. The area of the parish is 10,655 acres.
The city of St. David's, exclusively of "the Close," is situated on ground sloping gently towards the sea, and at the distance of one mile from it. There were formerly five streets, called respectively High-street, St. Non's street, New-street, Shipstreet, and Pit-street; but it is now reduced in appearance to a mere village, the houses, with few exceptions, being small and meanly built. In the middle of the town stands the High Cross, where the market was held, and funerals were wont to stop; from which the High-street is continued downward to the Close, an extensive area at the foot of the hill, which comprises within its precincts the venerable cathedral, the magnificent ruins of the palace, and other buildings; exhibiting very interesting remains of the pristine grandeur of this ancient city. The Close, which is extra-parochial, is 1200 yards in circumference, and was encompassed by an embattled wall, of which there are still some remains. In this wall were four gates, corresponding with the cardinal points; but the only one remaining is the Tower Gate, situated at the bottom of the Highstreet, and forming the principal entrance into the Close. The small river Allan, celebrated for its trout, runs through the area, and is now crossed by a bridge, in lieu of an ancient marble slab, which was polished by the feet of pilgrims, and was superstitiously believed to possess miraculous properties.
The parish is very productive of grain, which in some years is shipped to a considerable extent. A haven is formed by the mouth of the river Allan, at Porth Clais, about one mile from the city, where a pier was constructed, at a very early period, to defend it from the violence of the waves, and was rebuilt in 1722. Of late years the quay has been extended, and the harbour otherwise considerably improved. To this small port, which is a creek to that of Milford, belong seven vessels, averaging about twentyfive tons' burthen, which are principally employed during winter in conveying grain (chiefly barley) and butter to Bristol and other ports on the Severn, and during summer in bringing limestone, coal, and culm from the shores of Milford Haven. The market, which was held on Monday and Thursday, has long been discontinued: fairs take place on March 12th and August 5th. St. David's has no municipal corporation, but there is an officer called mayor, whose duty consists in collecting the chief rents belonging to the bishop, within the limits of the city, which is co-extensive with one of the four cylchs, or divisions of the parish, called Cylch-y-Drêv, or "the Town Hamlet;" the remaining three being denominated Cylch-Mawr, Cylch-Bychan, and CylchGwaelod, "the Larger, the Smaller, and the Lower Hamlets." During the debates in parliament on the subject of amending the representation of the people, it was proposed by the first Reform Bill that St. David's should be contributory to Haverfordwest, but that arrangement was altered, and it was wholly omitted in the Act.
The diocese appears anciently to have comprised the whole of South Wales, and is still of great extent, containing the four counties of Brecknock, Cardigan, Carmarthen, and Pembroke; the whole of Radnorshire, except six parishes, which belong to the see of Hereford; and the hundred of Ewyaslacy, in the county of Hereford. Prior to the passing of the act 6th and 7th of William IV., c. 77, it also comprised the deanery of Gower in the county of Glamorgan, and two parishes in each of the counties of Monmouth and Montgomery. The ecclesiastical establishment consists of a bishop, dean, chancellor, treasurer, four archdeacons, a number of canons and cursal canons, two minor canons, an organist, six choristers, a master of the grammar-school, and other officers. The bishops formerly exercised almost sovereign authority throughout the diocese, particularly over the province of Dewisland, or honour of Pebidiawg, in which their jurisdiction was more absolute than the minor regality of a lordship marcher. In their instruments they called the inhabitants of Dewisland, including St. David's, their subjects; and such as dared to violate rashly, or infringe upon, their statutes, were punished by them. The mayor of St. David's acted in entire subordination to the bishops, whose statutes and mandates it was his duty to enforce; he held his court in the building which formed the south-east wing of the Tower Gate. The bishop's seneschal, or steward, was usually some person of distinction in the country; and within his jurisdiction the prelate had several inferior courts, from which an appeal lay to the supreme court at his castle of Lawhaden, which place still confers on the bishops the dignity of a baron of the United Kingdom. In some cases the bishop exercised the power of inflicting capital punishment; but on the other hand he was bound to garrison and protect the city and its suburbs, and, by his military tenure, was compelled to be present in war; in which event he made his progress with great state, being accompanied from this city, on the first day of his march, by the burgesses, carrying with them the relics and shrine of St. David, so far as permitted their return the same night. The privileges of the sanctuary of St. David's were very extensive, and much respected: the sanctity of the place was not confined to the limits of the Close, or of the city, but the whole parish, emphatically called in Welsh Plwyv Tŷ Ddewi, "the parish of the house of St. David," was overspread with chapels, crosses, and holy wells, some of the last being still held in great repute. In addition to the sumptuous episcopal palace of St. David's, the bishop had castles at Trêvdyn, about six miles distant, Llan-Vydd (now Lamphey), and Lawhaden, in Pembrokeshire; at Llandygwidd, in Cardiganshire; Llanddewi, in Brecknockshire; and Aberguilly, in Carmarthenshire; all which are now in ruins, except the last, where an establishment is still kept up. At present the bishop holds his consistorial court at Carmarthen for the whole of the diocese, at Brecknock for the counties of Brecknock and Radnor, at Haverfordwest for Pembrokeshire, and at Cardigan for Cardiganshire: at each of the three places last mentioned the principal registrar appoints a deputy.
The cathedral, dedicated to St. Andrew and St. David, is a magnificent cruciform structure, consisting of a nave, with aisles extending nearly the whole length of the building, a choir and sanctuary, north and south transepts, and a large square tower of elegant proportions rising from the intersection of the nave and transepts, surmounted by pinnacles at the angles. The exterior, with the exception of an early Norman doorway on the north side, is wholly in the three styles of English architecture: the western front was rebuilt, towards the close of the last century, by Mr. Nash, and displays a fantastic intermixture of these various styles. The principal entrance is through a grand doorway at the west end, called the Bishop's Door; but this is seldom used, the common entrance being by a handsomely enriched porch on the south side. The Nave is separated from the aisles by a row of five massive pillars on each side, alternately round and octagonal, with corresponding pilasters at each end, supporting six arches rudely ornamented in the later Norman style, above which is a double series of Norman arches, reaching to the roof of the nave, and occupied in the upper part of the higher range by the windows of the clerestory, every alternate one of which, on the south side, has been closed. There is also a range of five elegant windows, in the English style of architecture, in each of the aisles, opposite the arches which separate them from the nave. The roof of the nave is of Irish oak, divided into compartments, and ornamented with a carved pendent in the centre of each. The Choir, in which service is performed daily, is entered from the nave through the centre of a handsome stone screen, erected by Bishop Gower, and accounted, both for design and execution, one of the finest specimens of decorated English architecture. It is comprised within the four lofty arches that support the tower, three of which are of ancient English architecture, and the fourth, or western, which is occupied by the rood-loft, and is supposed to be the only one remaining of those on which the tower was anciently built by Bishop Peter de Leia, is in the Norman style: all of them spring from Norman columns. The choir contains twentyeight stalls, which are of oak, and the bishop's throne, which was executed at the expense of Bishop Morgan, and, for elegance of design and carved decorations, is probably only surpassed by that in Exeter Cathedral. In the north arch, and not in the roodloft, as is usual, is placed the organ. The Sanctuary, which is separated from the choir by an oak screen, contains a beautiful Mosaic pavement, composed of small tiles, inscribed with religious mottoes and other ingenious devices: the altar is placed under an elegant design of three arches, said to have been formerly filled with painted glass, which, combined with the handsome window above, consisting of three lancetshaped compartments, and adorned with the most elaborate tracery, had a rich appearance.
Immediately beyond the sanctuary is the chapel erected by Bishop Vaughan, in the reign of Henry VIII., an exquisite specimen of the later (or Perpendicular) style of English architecture, almost rivalling in richness and elegance the chapel of Henry VII., in Westminster Abbey: the roof, which is of freestone, is beautifully designed in fan tracery, and the sculpture, from the great care with which it is preserved by the chapter, appears almost as fresh and perfect as when first executed. Beyond a small intervening passage, and forming the eastern extremity of the cathedral, is the decayed chapel of St. Mary the Virgin, built by Bishop Martin, which has been unroofed for some years. In the same state of ruin are the aisles eastward from the transepts, which were greatly damaged by Cromwell's soldiers, who unroofed them for the sake of the lead, which they sold to one of their partisans, then in possession of the priory estate at Cardigan, who made use of it in covering the church and priory-house there. From the north aisle a considerable flight of steps forms the ascent into what was anciently the chapter-house, but is now used as a grammar-school. Under it is a room of the same dimensions, having an elegant groined roof, and being probably that in which the entertainments of the chapter took place at their audits, the upper end containing a dais, as in colleges and ancient baronial mansions. Both these ruined aisles retain vestiges of their groined roofs, with windows of beautiful proportions in the English style of architecture, and other corresponding decorations. In the north transept was formerly a chapel, dedicated to St. Andrew; and in the south was one dedicated to St. David, now called the Chanter's. The north-west door of the cathedral opens into a space much obstructed by some heavy and unsightly buttresses, which it was found necessary to erect for the support of this part of the building. Between this and the ruins of St. Mary's College were the cloisters, of which only the pillars of the arches are now remaining. The extreme length of the cathedral, including the chapels of Bishop Vaughan and Bishop Martin, is 274½ feet; its breadth along the transepts is 184 feet, and the width of the nave and aisles 76 feet.
Since the appointment of Dr. Connop Thirlwall to the see in 1840, laudable efforts have been made by the Dean and Chapter in the restoration of the fabric; though much yet remains to be done. The new works include, the restoration of the south transept, now used as a parochial church instead of the nave; the insertion of a large window with flowing tracery, in the gable of the north transept, previously blocked up; and the erection of two windows of a similar character in the aisles. The stone screen of the choir, and the rood-loft above, have been restored and partly rebuilt, and the Norman arch between the nave and choir, which was closely built up, has been opened; the steps in front of the screen have been repaired, and a new pavement of encaustic tiles laid down. W. Butterfield, Esq., of London, was the architect employed for these restorations and improvements, which have been effected partly from the funds of the Dean and Chapter, and partly by subscription.
Among the monuments are several of great beauty and antiquity. The celebrated shrine of St. David, now scarcely distinguishable from other ancient tombs, occupies a recess on the north side of the sanctuary, consisting of three arches in the ancient style of English architecture, resting on pillars of great delicacy and beauty. In the central arch was placed an image of the saint, and on the sides were images of St. Patrick and St. Denis: beneath a horizontal slab were four quatrefoil holes, for the offerings of pilgrims, of which two have been closed; and the whole was formerly enriched with precious stones, and veiled with silken drapery. In another part of the cathedral are three recumbent effigies, one of which, originally inclosed on two sides by a railing of brass, is of Bishop Gower, and the other two are attributed by Browne Willis to Thomas Wallensis, who died in 1255, and Richard de Carew, who died in 1280, though other writers have assigned them to different persons. In the area of the sanctuary is the altartomb of Edmund, Earl of Richmond, the eldest son of Owen Tudor (by Catherine, widow of Henry V.), and father of Henry VII., on which were formerly his effigy and various escutcheons and other ornaments in brass, removed by the parliamentarians, who stripped the cathedral of many of its costly decorations: the earl was first interred in the monastery of Grey friars, at Carmarthen, on the dissolution of which his remains are said to have been removed to this place. On the floor of the south side of this portion of the building are the recumbent effigies of Bishops Iorwerth and Anselm; and under recesses on the sides of the altar, are figures of two knights in armour, well executed in freestone. That on the south side, which is in good preservation, is interesting as the memorial of Rhŷs ab Grufydd, last Prince of South Wales, who died in 1196: the effigy represents a man rather advanced in years, in a recumbent posture, his vizor raised, and his head supported by a helmet, with a sword suspended at his side by a rich belt, a lion rampant sculptured on his breastplate, and another lion supporting his feet. The other effigy is that of a Welsh chieftain, named Rhŷs Gryg, and represents a younger man, similarly accoutred. Near it is the handsome tomb of Treasurer Lloyd, who died in the reign of James I. In the roofless aisle on the north side of the sanctuary are the mutilated effigies of a Knight Templar and a monk, another effigy with an inscription much defaced, and two arched ornamented recesses. Beneath a richly adorned canopy, on the south side of the dilapidated chapel of St. Mary, lie the remains of its founder; and on the opposite side is the tomb of Bishop Houghton. The decayed aisle on the south side of the sanctuary contains the monuments of various dignitaries of the cathedral, one of which is supposed to be the effigy of Giraldus Cambrensis, who was interred here. In the north transept, in which is an effigy of some dignitary, many relics of antiquity, found in the cathedral, and some of them very curious, are deposited. In this part of the edifice is a place separated by a railing, said to have been used as a penitentiary; and in the wall are some round holes, by means of which the voices of the priests officiating in the choir might be heard by the inmates. Near the west end of the cathedral stands a building, erected towards the close of the last century, as a chapter-house: this, from the inelegance of its style of architecture, and as it obstructs one of the finest views of the venerable cathedral, has been the object of general censure. Besides a room in which the affairs of the chapter are transacted, it comprises a handsome apartment, forty-two feet long, in which the audit entertainments of the chapter take place, with kitchens, cellars, &c.; the whole being surmounted by a fancifully ornamented spire. The records of the minor chapter are kept in a room over the porch on the south side of the cathedral.
The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £600 royal bounty and £1200 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Bishop of St. David's; net income, £110. The tithes have been commuted for three respective rent-charges, the largest, amounting to £720, payable to the Dean and Chapter of St. David's; the second, £320, payable to the Subchanter and Vicars-choral; and the third, £7, to the Bishop. The cathedral is used also as the parochial church, divine service being performed in the nave four times every Sunday, twice in the English, and twice in the Welsh language. Formerly there were several small chapels in the parish, most of them situated near the sea-side, adjacent to the landingplaces, so as to attract the devotion of seamen and passengers; and the offerings received at them were carried to the cathedral, and there divided every Saturday among the canons and priests. Of these, the names of four have been preserved, viz., St. Justinian's, St. Non's, Capel-y-Pistill, and Capel-yGwyrhyd. St. Justinian's is said to have been built by Bishop Vaughan, and now forms a very interesting ruin in a beautiful and romantic situation: some remains, also, still exist of St. Non's. There are three places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, two each for Independents and Baptists, and one for Wesleyans. The free grammar-school attached to the cathedral affords instruction to six choristers, the number fixed in 1501, by Bishop Morgan, who conferred upon it a handsome endowment, which, however, it lost at the time of the Reformation, by the act for the suppression of chantries. The master, who is appointed by the chapter, has from that body a stipend of £20 per annum; and each of the choristers receives £3. 8. per annum from the same source. There is also what is called the Benevolent school, established in 1812, and supported by the chapter and a few subscribers: two schools, conducted on the principles of the British system as regards religion, are maintained principally by subscription; and the master of another school receives an endowment of £1. 4. per annum, being the interest of £40 bequeathed by the late Thomas Beynon, in 1810. Of the ten Sunday schools, one, conducted by the curate of the parish, is held in the cathedral. About 1703, William Jones bequeathed to the chapter a sum of £300, which, after a suit in chancery, was vested with arrears in the three per cent. reduced annuities, producing £15 per annum, now distributed among six widows of clergymen of the diocese in equal shares. St. David's is one of the four parishes participating in the munificent bequest of Dr. Jones, made in the year 1698, for the relief of the poor and the apprenticing of children, and receives as its share £50 per annum, which are distributed according to the intentions of the donor. This sum is received from the trustees of the charity by the sub-chanter and vicars-choral, who pay £1 to each of the masters of four boys placed out as apprentices, and divide the remainder among poor persons not receiving parochial relief, in sums varying from £3 to 2s. 6d. A rent-charge of £1 per annum, the gift of Mathias Adams in the year 1700, is likewise distributed among the poor.
A college for a master and seven priests was founded here, as already observed, in 1365, by Bishop Houghton; to which John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and Blanch his wife, were so great benefactors as to be considered joint founders with the bishop. It was dedicated to St. Mary, and at the Dissolution had a clear revenue of £106. 3. 6. The buildings were connected with the north side of the cathedral by cloisters, which, with the exception of the pillars of the arches, have been destroyed; and the only part remaining of the college is the shell of its chapel, from which some idea may be formed of its grandeur and extent. The chapel was sixty-nine feet in length, and about twenty-four in width, with a square tower at the west end, which is seventy feet in height: the side walls are forty-five feet high, and in each of them were three windows in the English style of architecture, twenty-four feet high and nine broad; the east window was similar in shape, but larger in dimensions, and the whole of them were enriched with painted glass. Underneath this edifice is a vaulted crypt of equal dimensions, through which runs a small stream of water.
In addition to the cathedral and the college chapel, the remains of the episcopal palace complete the venerable and magnificent group of buildings which, with their varied architectural features, characterize the Close. This superb edifice was situated at a short distance to the west of the cathedral, on the western bank of the river Allan, and was built by Bishop Gower, in the reign of Edward III.; it inclosed a quadrangular area, 120 feet square, and presented four fronts, of which the south-east and south-west alone remain. In the latter is a noble room, measuring ninety-six feet by thirty-three, erroneously called King John's Hall, which is entered from the court by an elegant porch, in the exterior of which are two niches, containing mutilated statues of Edward III. and his queen. The apartment is lighted by lofty windows at the side, and by a rich and curious circular window at the south-west end, having sixteen radii diverging from its centre, which were originally filled with painted glass. At the other end of the hall is a drawing-room, opening into a small chapel, the freestone tower and spire of which are still standing. The bishop's apartments occupied the other remaining, or south-east, side of the quadrangle: the principal is a hall, sixty-seven feet in length and twenty-five in breadth, also entered from the court by an elegant porch, the archway of which forms a curious semi-octagon. At the southeast end, between these two halls, was the kitchen, alike convenient to the royal and the episcopal apartments, having in the centre a low pillar, from which sprang four arches, gradually diminishing into the same number of chimneys, the whole now presenting a heap of ruins. At the other extremity of the bishop's hall, was a drawing-room, opening also into a small chapel, corresponding with that at the extremity of King John's Hall; the basement story is composed of a series of curious and spacious vaults. But the most remarkable feature of these interesting ruins is the majestic open parapet surmounting the walls, and which, rising to the height of seven feet above the ceilings of the upper rooms, is formed by a succession of arches, resting upon octagonal pillars with decorated capitals. Besides its concealing the roof, and having been exceedingly ornamental to the palace, it afforded the means of defence similar to the battlements of a castle; and it was adopted by the same bishop in the fortification and adorning of Swansea Castle and Lamphey Court.
The entrance from the town to the ecclesiastical precincts of the Close is through the Tower Gate, an arched gateway flanked by two towers. One of these is a noble octagonal structure, sixty feet in height, which anciently comprised the consistory court and record office of the diocese; it now communicates with the cemetery, a spacious area on the south side of the cathedral. The other is circular, and, as it communicated only with the town, is supposed to have been appropriated to municipal purposes. The whole was secured by a ponderous portcullis. The lower part of the building consisted of a porter's lodge, and prison, and to the latter was attached a dungeon, entered only by an iron grating, through which malefactors were lowered into it.
The promontory of St. David's abounds with ancient military and Druidical remains. The Barrows, on or near which the Roman Menapia is supposed to have been situated, are overspread with tumuli; and there, according to tradition, was the site of a town called Caerlleon, "the City of the Legion." The military work situated nearest to the city is a small circular encampment, about a mile to the north of it. In the same direction is St. David's Head, projecting a considerable distance into the sea, and displaying scenery of the wildest character. At the entrance to it, from a heathy tract producing various aromatic plants, rises a lofty mass of rugged rocks, called Carn Lludw, towering in the most grotesque forms, and commanding from their summits an extensive and diversified prospect by sea and land. At the southern base of this rocky elevation lies the celebrated Maen Sigl, or Logan Stone, of enormous size, and once so delicately poised as to yield to a slight pressure; but its equilibrium was destroyed by the parliamentarian soldiers in the seventeenth century. Several ancient military inclosures of a great variety of shapes and dimensions are scattered over this part of the promontory, which is also intersected by the remains of a rampart, formed of loose stones, adjacent to which are divers square and circular areas, inclosed with stones. There is also a remarkable cromlech; the table-stone is twelve feet long, eight feet broad, and about two feet thick, and is supported by a single upright stone. A little beyond is a huge work called Clawdd-yMilwyr, "the fence of the soldiers," which consists of a high and broad rampart of loose stones, extending, like that above-mentioned, from one side of the promontory to the other, but across a narrower part of it, with two outer lines of defence. This work is supposed to have been constructed by the Northmen, who repeatedly ravaged these coasts, and of whose habitations there are still some remains in various circular inclosures within the space protected by it. The parish is interspersed with numerous carneddau, or sepulchral heaps of stones; and on Crûglas, a common about three miles in length, bestowed on the parish by Rhŷs ab Tewdwr, is a huge stone, the supposed memorial of some victory obtained here by the Welsh over some of the northern pirates. There were likewise vestiges in the parish of an ancient fosse-way, called also "the military way;" and on the southern extremity of Carnochun, or Carn Nwchwn, are the remains of some ancient fortifications, the inclosed area of one of which is about one hundred yards long and sixty broad, and is intersected by a natural perpendicular trench of great depth and width: the whole is flanked with four parallel ramparts.
Here are several metallic veins, most of them containing copper, which run in parallel directions, and are much impregnated with sulphur; but none of them are worked. In the clefts of the precipitous and abrupt rocks forming St. David's Head, is found a species of crystal, called "St. David's diamond," which, when first obtained, resembles the amethyst, and, being extremely hard, is susceptible of a better polish than most of the British gems. In this part of the promontory is also a large natural cave. The principal holy wells in the parish, now held in repute, are, one situated near St. Non's chapel, which is arched over, and the water of which is esteemed efficacious in the cure of divers diseases, particularly those of the eye; another near Porth Clais; and a third just without the southern boundary of the Close: the last has also an arched covering, which yet exhibits some specimens of the rich sculpture that characterized an elegant chapel erected near it by Bishop Houghton. At a place called Llan-Druidion is a number of springs, called the Nine Wells, the waters of which are immediately united into a copious stream.
St. David's and its immediate vicinity are distinguished as the birthplace of several eminent characters, in addition to the patron saint. Carausius, the celebrated Roman general, was born at Menapia: he assumed the government in Britain, which he conducted with great dignity and splendour, but was assassinated by his minister Alectus, at the instigation of the Emperor Constantius. According to some writers, Asser, the friend and biographer of Alfred the Great, and commonly called Asserius Menevensis, was born here, about the middle of the ninth century; but others are of opinion that he was a native of a small village called Trêv Asser, in the parish of Llanwnda, and that he obtained the surname of Menevensis from having been a monk at this place, where his uncle Novis was archbishop. John Erigena, who is also known by the names of John Patrick Erigena and John Scotus, is claimed by the Welsh as a native of St. David's, whilst, so great is the obscurity of his birth, both the Irish and the Scots regard him respectively as their countryman. He flourished in the middle of the ninth century, was a man of great learning, and, having resided for a considerable period in France, distinguished himself by some writings on school divinity, which gave offence to Pope Nicholas I. In recent times, the late Richard Fenton, Esq., F.S.A., author of an "Historical Tour through Pembrokeshire," was born in the parish.