A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1849.
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In this section
EDERN (EDEYRN), a parish, in the union of Pwllheli, hundred of Dinllaen, county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 7 miles (W. N. W.) from Pwllheli; containing 624 inhabitants. This parish comprises 1360 acres. It is situated on the shore of Carnarvon bay, and has an excellent harbour called Porth-Dinllaen, whence steamers and sailingvessels ply regularly to Liverpool with pigs, poultry, and eggs, bringing back coal for the supply of the neighbourhood. A new line of road from CapelCurig was made to this port early in the present century, by Mr. Madocks, with the view of its becoming the station for the Irish mail-packets; but Holyhead still retained the preference. That gentleman also greatly improved the pier at Porth-Dinllaen, the construction of which was commenced in the reign of George I., who gave £600 towards defraying the expense. Some further and more recent particulars of the port are given under the head of Nevin. The living is a discharged rectory, with the perpetual curacies of Pistill and Carngïwch annexed, rated in the king's books at £8. 5. 10.; present gross income, £362, with a glebe-house; patron, the Bishop of Bangor: the tithes of Edern have been commuted for a rent-charge of £175; and there is a glebe of five acres, valued at £10 per annum. The church, dedicated to St. Edeyrn, is a small edifice, displaying some features in the early style of English architecture, and is lighted by six windows, of which one at the east end consists of three lancet-shaped lights. At Groesfordd, a short distance from the village, is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists. A Church school was established in 1846, and there are two Sunday schools, both connected with the Calvinistic body.
EDNOL (EDNAWL), a chapelry, in the parish of Old Radnor, union of Kington, within the liberties of the borough of New Radnor, county of Radnor, South Wales, 4 miles (N. E. by N.) from New Radnor; containing 50 inhabitants. This chapelry is situated on the eastern side of the tract called the Forest of Radnor. Divine service has been discontinued in the chapel, owing to its proximity to the chapel of Kinnerton, and church of Cascob.
Edren's, St. (St. Edryn)
EDREN'S, ST. (ST. EDRYN), a parish, in the poor-law union of Haverfordwest, hundred of Dewisland, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 10 miles (N. N. W.) from Haverfordwest; containing 182 inhabitants. This parish, which is of very small extent, is for the most part inclosed and cultivated. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £800 royal bounty, and £200 parliamentary grant; net income, £85. It is now in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor, having been exchanged by the Dean and Chapter of St. David's, for the living of St. Elvis', under a clause in a recent act, which allows the exchange or union of small livings for the purpose of making a better provision for the clergy. The impropriation remains with the Chapter as before. There is a place of worship for Baptists, with a Sunday school held in it. The grass in the churchyard is asserted by many persons to be a specific for preserving both men and cattle from the effects of the bite of a mad dog: it is the perquisite of the parishclerk, by the sufferance of the incumbent.
EDWINSFORD, a hamlet, in the parish of Llansawel, union of Llandilo-Vawr, Lower division of the hundred of Cayo, county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 8½ miles (N.) from LlandiloVawr; containing 182 inhabitants. This hamlet is situated in an agreeable and well-wooded vale, on the right bank of the river Cothy, and on the road from Llandilo-Vawr to Lampeter. The seat of Sir James Hamlyn Williams, Bart., forms a fine object fronting the road, with an ample demesne to the left, on the other side of the river, which flows here at the northern foot of a very elevated hill, called Moelvre.
Egermont, otherwise Egremont
EGERMONT, otherwise EGREMONT, a parish, in the union of Narberth, Lower division of the hundred of Derllŷs, county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 5 miles (N. by W.) from Narberth: containing 140 inhabitants. This parish borders on the county of Pembroke, and is pleasantly situated on the eastern branch of the river Cleddau; it is about two miles and a half in length, and, in the widest part, about two miles in breadth. The scenery, though pleasingly varied, is not distinguished by any peculiarity of feature. Stone of very good quality for building is found, and some quarries are worked. The living is a donative curacy, endowed with £1000 royal bounty; net income, £51; patron and impropriator, Rowley Addenbroke Mansel, Esq. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, was rebuilt in 1839, in a plain but neat style, partly by means of a grant of £40 from the Incorporated Society. There is a stone with an inscription in very rude characters; it was found in the churchyard, and is now in the western end of the church. On an elevation above the church are some vestiges of an ancient encampment.
EGLWYSAEL, county of Anglesey, North Wales.—See Llangadwaladr.
EGLWYS-BÂCH (EGLWYS-BÂCH), a parish, in the union of Llanrwst, chiefly in the hundred of Isdulas, county of Denbigh, but comprising also the township of Maenan, which separately supports its own poor, in the hundred of Llêchwedd-Isâv, county of Carnarvon, in North Wales, 6 miles (N.) from Llanrwst, on the road to Conway; containing 1632 inhabitants, of whom 1204 are in the Denbighshire portion, and 428 in that of Carnarvonshire. Its length from north to south is seven miles, and its breadth four; the surface is very hilly, and there is a great variety of soil, some being extremely barren, and some, on the contrary, tolerably fertile, yielding good crops of corn. The Denbighshire portion of Eglwys-Bâch consists of four townships. The village is situated in a pleasing and fertile vale, watered by the small river Tudor, and the vicinity abounds with agreeable and richly varied scenery: on the west side of the parish flows the river Conway. Near the north-western extremity of the parish is Bodnod, the head of the township of that name, and the residence of William Hanmer, Esq., to whom it passed by marriage with the heiress of the family of Lloyd, who appear to have held this property in the reign of James I. The old mansion was taken down by the late John Forbes, Esq., and a new one erected on a different site, in 1792, which was considerably enlarged and improved by the present proprietor, in 1829. It is a handsome edifice, pleasantly situated, and commanding extensive and richly diversified views over the Vale of Conway to the Snowdonian mountains. There are two other mansions, viz., Pennant Ereithlyn, belonging to the family of Edwards; and Maenan, to that of Lenthal. The manufacture of flannel is carried on by handloom weavers. From the Denbighshire part of the parish is a ferry across the river Conway, and near this point the navigation of the river is in some degree obstructed by the Arw rocks, which prevent vessels from ascending the river, except at spring tides. Fairs are held on February 24th, May 11th, August 24th, and November 24th; and a court leet and a court baron take place annually, in April, for the manor of Maenan, which extends over the whole of that portion of the parish within the county of Carnarvon, and claims all the privileges anciently enjoyed by the abbots of the monastery that formerly existed there.
The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £6. 13. 4.; present net income, £220, with a glebe-house; patron, the Bishop of St. Asaph; impropriator, Lord Willoughby de Eresby. The church, dedicated to St. Martin, was entirely rebuilt in 1782, and is a neat spacious edifice, with a low square tower. There are one or two places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists. A National school, erected in the village by subscription, was endowed in 1835, by the Rev. Howel Holland Edwards, with a grant of £700 in the three per cent. reduced Bank annuities, now producing £21 per annum. The Calvinistic Methodists, also, have a day school, and three Sunday schools, in the parish. The parishioners are in possession of a bond of the trustees of the turnpike-road leading from Wrexham to Ruthin, &c., for £169. 12., and paying an interest of £8. 12. 8., charged on the tolls, arising principally from a grant of a similar instrument for £100, assigned to the vicar and churchwardens by Thomas Kyffins, in 1762. The interest is distributed in coal and clothing among the poor, who also receive the benefit of a rent-charge of £5.4. per annum, charged on the estate of Penllyn, the gift of an unknown donor, the amount being distributed on Sundays in bread among twelve aged women.
EGLWYS-BREWIS, a parish, in the union of Bridgend and Cowbridge, hundred of Cowbridge, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 4 miles (S. by E.) from Cowbridge; containing 24 inhabitants. This is a small parish, comprising only about 367 acres, of which seventy are in pasture, and the rest arable, except three acres of waste; it is situated near the southern extremity of the county, and not very distant from the coast of the Bristol Channel. There are a few limestone-quarries; but they are only worked for building and agricultural uses within the parish. The surface is generally level, and the soil a stiff clay, producing wheat, barley, oats, and turnips, with a few ash and elm trees. The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £3. 18. 6½.; patron, John Dillwyn Llewelyn, Esq., who is lord of the manor and principal landed proprietor: the tithes have been commuted for a rentcharge of £75. The church is a very small ancient edifice, dedicated to St. Brise, measuring thirty-three by twenty-one feet, and containing two pews, the remainder of the seats being open. The glebe-house has been lately repaired, and there is a glebe of thirty acres attached to the living, valued at £41. 5. per annum.
EGLWYS-CUMMIN (EGLWYS-CYMMYN), a parish, in the union of Narberth, Lower division of the hundred of Derllŷs, county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 4 miles (S. W.) from St. Clear's, near the road to Haverfordwest; containing 349 inhabitants. This parish, which is of considerable antiquity, derives some degree of celebrity from an allusion made to it by Sir John Pryce, in his history of the Welsh wars, as the place in which a peace was once concluded; and a memorial of this event is preserved in the name of "Peace Park," given to the spot on which the negotiations were transacted. The parish is of great extent, and is situated at the south-western extremity of the county, on the borders of Pembrokeshire. It is bounded by the parishes of Marros, Pendine, and Kifig; and two streams intersect it, which, after pursuing a subterraneous course for a considerable distance, discharge their waters into Carmarthen bay. A considerable portion of it is uncultivated. The living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at £8, and in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £200, and the glebe comprises three acres and a half, valued at £3. 12. per annum; with a glebe-house. The church, dedicated to St. Margaret, contains a monument to the memory of Sir John Perrot, who was the first sheriff of the county of Pembroke: on the chalice of the communion-plate is inscribed, in old letters, Poculum Ecclesiæ de Eglos Skymine, with the date 1574; the word Skymine, signifying "bleak," being supposed to allude to the situation of the church on a lofty unsheltered eminence. There is a place of worship for Independents, with a Sunday school held in it. Zacharias Thomas, in 1682, bequeathed to the poor not receiving parochial relief a rent-charge of £1. 6. 8. Some vestiges of an ancient military earthwork exist in a field here, which, from that circumstance, has obtained the appellation of "Castell Park."
EGLWYSILAN (EGLWYS-ILAN), a parish, in the union of Cardiff, hundred of Caerphilly, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, on the road from Cardiff to Merthyr-Tydvil, which runs through the whole length of the parish; comprising the market-town of Caerphilly, and part of the town of Newbridge; and containing 3813 inhabitants. This parish is bounded on the east for a considerable distance by the river Romney, or Rumney, and on the west is bounded by the Tâf. It is bordered on the north by the parish of Llanvabon, on the north-west by Llanwonno, on the west by Lantwit-Vairdre and Pentyrch, on the south by Whitchurch and Llanishen, and on the east by Ruddry and the Monmouthshire parish of Bedwas. The area, by admeasurement, is 13,619 acres, of which about one-half is pasture, one-fourth arable, 1902 acres common, and about 1000 woodland. In the parish were formerly several ancient family mansions, of which Energlyn, or Genau'r-Glyn, alone remains, and even this is uninhabited; but there are several other, mostly modern, residences, namely, Dyfrynfrwd, Pwll-yPant, Pont-y-Pandy, Hendredenny, Watford, and Pen-y-Rhôs. The Vann, which was for ages the seat of the family of Lewis, ancestors of the Earl of Plymouth, to whose representative it now belongs, still forms an interesting object in descending the hill towards Caerphilly. The surface of the parish is partly undulated, and partly mountainous. Its prevailing soils are gravel, clay, and peat, with alluvial sand; the chief produce is corn, and cattle and sheep are reared to some extent. The prevailing timber is oak, and plantations of fir, with ash and beech: besides the rivers Tâf and Romney, there are numerous brooks; and the most conspicuous of the hills are called Eglwysilan, Mynyddmais, Craigyrallt, and Twynygraishir.
The parish is rich in mineral wealth, especially coal, which is worked to great advantage. Iron-ore is raised at its south-western extremity, under Castell Côch; and marble, limestone, gritstone, sandstone, and a variety of building-stone, are likewise raised in the parish. Near Newbridge are situated the original works of Messrs. Brown and Co., for the manufacture of chain-cables, the iron-work of suspension bridges, &c.: the suspension bridges over the Thames at Hammersmith, the Tweed, and the Tawy near Llandovery, and the chain-pier at Brighton, were made at these works, which afford employment to about 100 persons, and manufacture annually from 1000 to 1200 tons of iron. In the same vicinity are plate-works belonging to the Tâf-Vale Iron Company, and some other works. There are also three woollen manufactories in the parish, which employ about fifty persons; and a pipe-factory at Nantgarw, where about thirty are engaged. The Glamorganshire canal and the Tâf-Vale railway open a cheap and expeditious communication with Cardiff, where the produce of the works is shipped.
The living is a discharged vicarage, with that of Llanvabon annexed, rated in the king's books at £6. 13. 1½., and in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Llandaf, to whom the impropriation belongs; net income, £150. There is a glebe-house, and the glebe contains ten acres. The church, dedicated to St. Helen, is situated on the brow of a lofty hill, at a considerable distance from any habitation but the vicar's and another house, and is almost inaccessible, during some weeks in the winter, to the majority of the parishioners. It is in the early English style, having been erected about 1200, as is conjectured from the similarity of a part of the building to portions of Caerphilly Castle; and measures about seventy feet in length, by thirty-five in width. At Caerphilly and Glyn-Tâf are separate incumbencies. There are places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, Independents, and Baptists. Mrs. Anne Aldworth, of Bristol, by will dated in 1729, left certain lands in the parishes of Eglwysilan and Llandaf, in this county, and Bedwas, in the county of Monmouth, to endow a school for the education of poor girls, natives of Eglwysilan and Bedwas. The property produces about £140 per annum, the greater part of which is appropriated to the support of three schools, viz., two in this parish, one of them at Newbridge, the other at Caerphilly; and a school in Bedwas parish. There is a school for boys and girls at Nantgarw, partly supported by subscription; and about twelve Sunday schools are held in the parish, three of which are in connexion with the Established Church. Two small charities left to the parish are unproductive: the first was a bequest of an acre and a half of moorland, by David Thomas, in 1709, but it has been so mixed up with property purchased by Lord Dynevor, that it is impossible to identify it; the other was a bequest in 1752, by William David, of a rent-charge of £1 on his freehold property, which became void under the provisions of the Mortmain Act.
Within the parish are situated three interesting ruins, viz., Caerphilly Castle, described in the account of that place; Castell Morgrais; and Castell Côch, or "the red castle," at the south-western extremity of the parish. The last is so called from the colour of the stone used in its erection. Its origin is ascribed to Ivor Bâch, who, having succeeded in compelling Robert, Earl of Gloucester, and lord of Glamorgan, to restore the ancient laws of the Welsh to his native vassals in this part of the principality, placed in it a garrison of 200 men, to command the pass of two valleys which here converge. The situation of these ruins is very striking, embracing a magnificent prospect of the rich Vale of Glamorgan, with the sea, and the distant hills on the English coast. They consist principally of two circular bastions of unequal sizes: in front is a steep precipice, and behind, a wide and deep fosse, excavated in the solid rock, which rises to a considerable height above it. About a mile higher up the river, on its eastern bank, is a celebrated spring, called Fynnon Tâf, or "the well of Tâf," the water of which is justly held in much estimation for its efficacy in the cure of rheumatic disorders. It is sometimes called Fynnon Dwym, or "the tepid well," and is the only thermal spring in South Wales. An extraordinary flood, in the year 1799, is said to have laid bare some Roman masonry adjoining this well, which was covered again by subsequent inundations of the Tâf. There are some other springs, whose waters are considered serviceable in the cure of pulmonary diseases.
William Edwards, the self-taught architect of Ponty-Pridd, who rose gradually by his own talents to be the most celebrated bridge-builder in this part of the kingdom, to which he added the profession of a dissenting minister, and the business of farming, was born in this parish, in 1719, being the youngest son of a farmer. He very soon became remarkable for the firmness and neatness of his masonry, the principles of which he is said to have formed upon a careful study of the remains of Caerphilly Castle; and in the course of a few years, his reputation for bridge architecture, the erection of smelting-works, &c., was fully established. He died in 1789, highly respected for his talents, probity, and charitable disposition; and his remains were interred in the churchyard here. Three of his sons practised the same branch of architecture as their father, and greatly distinguished themselves in it.
Eglwys-Newydd, or Llanvihangel-Y-Creiddyn-Uchâv
EGLWYS-NEWYDD, or LLANVIHANGEL-Y-CREIDDYN-UCHÂV, a chapelry, in the parish of Llanvihangel-y-Creiddyn, union of Aberystwith, hundred of Ilar, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 14 miles (S. E.) from Aberystwith; containing 1131 inhabitants. This place derives the latter of these names from its relative situation in the parish, and the former from the erection of a church, in 1803, by the late Thomas Johnes, Esq., on the site of a previous edifice built here in 1620, by the Herberts of Havod, for the convenience of the family, and the accommodation of the miners employed in the adjoining district of Cwm Ystwith. Havod, the seat of the late Mr. Johnes, was originally the residence of a branch of the Herbert family, who, embarking in the mining adventures of the neighbourhood, built a house here, which, from the nature of the ground and the badness of the roads, being inaccessible except during the summer, obtained the appellation of "Havod," signifying a summer residence. The Herberts planted extensively, and contributed, much more than is generally believed, to develop those natural beauties the improvement of which has been too exclusively ascribed by writers to a later period. From them the estate passed, by marriage with the daughter and heiress of the last male representative of that family, to Thomas Johnes, Esq., ancestor of the late Mr. Johnes. The latter gentleman in 1783 made it his principal residence, and, perceiving the further improvement of which the spot was susceptible, projected those extensive embellishments which have rendered it one of the most attractive and admired seats in the principality. Mr. Johnes commenced his improvements by taking down the old house, and erecting on its site a mansion of moderate size, with a library, in which was deposited a rare collection of books and manuscripts, formed with great labour and expense; a printing-press was established, and in this seclusion some valuable works were printed, which procured for Mr. Johnes a high reputation as a translator. The interior of this mansion was destroyed in 1807, by an accidental fire; and, with the exception of a very small portion of the books, the whole of the library, consisting of many thousand volumes, several of the paintings, and nearly all the furniture of the house, were consumed. The conservatory was saved, and the walls of the house were left standing: the mansion was soon rebuilt, nearly in the same style, and, with some slight alterations, the subsequent internal arrangements were the same. Mr. Johnes died in 1816; the estate was afterwards long in Chancery, and in 1833 was sold for £70,000 to the Duke of Newcastle. His Grace, after adding largely to the property, and expending upwards of £20,000 in rescuing the house and grounds from the dilapidations they had suffered through neglect, parted with the estate in 1845, including the whole of the woods, farming stock, furniture, library, wines, &c., for the sum of £95,000, to Henry Hoghton, Esq., the present possessor, who has made it his residence. The mansion is now being entirely rebuilt on an extensive scale, from the plans of Mr. Salvin, of London. The design is the irregular Italian villa, with low projecting roofs, a campanile, and terraces: the material used is the native stone, combined with Bath and Portland stone. The situation of the house is admirable; the lawn slopes gracefully down to the river Ystwith, and immediately behind rises a beautifully wooded hill, while on the other side of the stream are seen sheepwalks crowned with rocks.
The grounds, which are very extensive, and laid out with exquisite taste and judgment, comprehend a rich and diversified assemblage of every thing that is beautiful and picturesque, and impressive in romantic scenery. The natural advantages of the spot have been improved by every variety of embellishment, and numerous walks have been formed through the grounds, in such directions as to bring successively into view the various beautiful features with which the scenery abounds, and the many objects of natural grandeur with which they are powerfully contrasted. The river, in its course through the grounds, now plunges down a rocky ravine in a sheet of white and glittering foam, now flows darkly along, shadowed by the graceful branches of the mountainash, while the massive-foliaged oak groups more richly with the glossy Spanish-chestnut and the darksome fir. The handsome church of Eglwys-Newydd forms an interesting feature in the landscape; and on the brow of a hill is an obelisk, erected to the memory of Francis, fifth Duke of Bedford, with an inscription commemorative of the services which that nobleman rendered to agriculture.
Independently of the mansion and grounds of Havod, Mr. Johnes bestowed extraordinary attention and unlimited expense in improving the surrounding district, which he changed into a highly cultivated and richly wooded tract: the face of the country has been materially altered by extensive and thriving plantations; the lands have been brought into good cultivation, and are to the utmost as productive as the nature of the soil will allow. Numerous cottages of pleasing and comfortable appearance have been built for the labourers employed in cultivating the farms; and a very considerable number of the inhabitants of the hamlet of Llanvihangel-y-CreiddynUchâv, and its vicinity, have found employment upon the estate. Altogether the estate comprises 14,850 acres, consisting chiefly of large tracts of wild and romantic mountain sheep-walk, interspersed with cultivated farms and extensive woods. According to Mr. Malkin, 400,000 larch-trees, of which very few failed, 50,000 alders, and 200,000 other trees, chiefly elm, beech, birch, and the common and the mountain ash, were planted by Mr. Johnes in the year ending June 1797. From October 1797 to October 1798, 10,000 oak-trees were planted, of one and two feet in height. From October 1798 to April 1799, fiftyfive acres were set with acorns; and, during the same period, 25,000 ash-trees, of which number not more than five hundred died, and 400,000 larch-trees, which all throve, were planted on the Havod estate. The whole number of trees planted from 1796 to 1801 was 2,065,000, and from that period the plantations were increased with nearly 200,000 trees every year for many years. About 1390 acres on the estate are now covered with wood.
The LIVING is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £1000 royal bounty, and £1200 parliamentary grant; patron, Henry Hoghton, Esq.; net income, £97, derived partly from the tithes, and partly from a rate upon the lands, estimated according to an old survey. The chapel, situated within the precincts of the Havod grounds, was rebuilt at the expense of Mr. Johnes, from a design by Mr. Wyatt, in the later style of English architecture, with a square tower at the west end; it has since been for the most part again rebuilt, and beautified, and is now unquestionably one of the neatest churches in the principality. The font, which stands in the centre, is of artificial stone, beautifully carved. The southern, or rather south-western, transept forms the pew of the Havod family; its window is wholly of ancient stained glass that belonged to one of the Dutch churches, from which it was removed during the French revolution, at the close of the last century. Several of the Herberts of Havod are buried in the chapel, to some of whom it contains monumental tablets: there is also a splendid monument, by Chantrey, to the memory of the late Miss Johnes, on which are finelysculptured figures of herself and her weeping parents. Before the foundation of the present chapel in 1620, a chapel was maintained at Llantrisaint, nearer to the mother church, by Vron Gôch mine, where the remains of a cemetery are still plainly visible. Schools for boys and girls are supported by Mr. Hoghton. An account of the celebrated Devil's Bridge, and the falls of the Mynach and the Rheidiol, in the vicinity of Havod, will be found in the article on the parish.
Eglwys-Rhôs, Llan-Rhôs, or Llanvair-Yn-Rhôs
EGLWYS-RHÔS, LLAN-RHÔS, or LLANVAIR-YN-RHÔS, a parish, in the poor-law union of Conway, hundred of Creuddyn, county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 2 miles (N. by E.) from Conway; containing 630 inhabitants. This parish is celebrated as having been at a very early period the residence of the sovereigns of North Wales. It contained the ancient royal palace of Deganwy, commonly called Gannock by the English invaders of North Wales, situated about a mile to the west of the church, on a hill commanding the river Conway, and which, for ages prior to the entire subjugation of the principality, formed the military station most earnestly contended for by the native Welsh and their Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman invaders. Deganwy is mistakenly supposed by Camden to have been the Roman station called in the Itineraries Dictum: it appears, however, from the testimony of the Welsh historians, that a city certainly existed here at a very remote period; and by some it is stated that the castle of Deganwy was erected in 550, by Caswallon Law Hîr, the first sovereign of North Wales, who made this the seat of government, but afterwards removed his court to Aberfraw, in Anglesey. He nevertheless left his son and successor Maelgwyn, surnamed Gwynedd, resident in the castle, from which that prince subsequently removed to a place called Penrhyn, also in this parish, where he had built a palace, styled "Llŷs Maelgwyn Gwynedd," in which he resided until the period when the pestilence called Y Vâd Velen, or "the yellow fever," nearly depopulated this part of the country: he then sought refuge from the plague in the parish church of Eglwys-Rhôs, but, notwithstanding, fell a victim to it, as had been predicted, and was there interred. The successors of this prince usually resided either at Deganwy, or at Caer Seiont, adjacent to the modern Carnarvon: the former city is said to have been destroyed by lightning, in the year 810, when it ceased to be a royal residence. The Welsh appear subsequently, however, to have erected a fortress here, which aided in defending the great rampart of the Snowdonian mountains against the repeated attempts made to pass it by the AngloSaxons.
In the latter part of the eleventh century, when Hugh Lupus, Earl of Chester, overran nearly the whole of North Wales, this castle was rebuilt by that nobleman's zealous officer, Robert of Rhuddlan, who, in 1088, encamped a considerable army near its walls. In the same year, Grufydd ab Cynan is said to have entered the Conway with three ships, and, landing under the castle at high water, to have left his vessels on shore at the recess of the tide, and proceeded to ravage the neighbouring country. Returning from his predatory incursion, and driving before him a large booty of men and cattle towards his ships, Robert, who witnessed the spectacle with indignation, descended from his fortress, attended only by a single soldier, and without any defensive armour but his shield. The Welsh attacked him with missiles, and, having filled his shield so full of darts that it fell under the weight, rushed upon him in a body, and striking off his head, fastened it to the mast of one of their ships, and sailed away in triumph. Llewelyn the Great afterwards destroyed this castle, which was rebuilt by Ranulph de Blundeville, Earl of Chester, in 1210. In the following year, the English monarch, John, led his army to the castle of Deganwy, where he posted it for some time; but Llewelyn so infested the roads with his light parties, that John and his forces were reduced to the greatest extremities of distress. Their supplies of provisions from England being intercepted, they were compelled to feed upon the flesh of their horses; and the soldiers, whenever they stirred from the camp, were liable to be cut in pieces; the Welsh, from their knowledge of the country, and the use they made of it, having the advantage in almost every skirmish. After thus sustaining severe losses, the English king, stung with disgrace, and breathing vengeance against the valiant natives, was compelled to break up his camp, and retreat into England. In 1212, an unsuccessful attack was made on the fortress by the Welsh prince, Llewelyn ab Iorwerth; it was surrendered to him two years afterwards, and appears to have been dismantled.
Henry III., in his invasion of North Wales, in 1245, halted with his army on the eastern bank of the estuary of the Conway, not daring to pass that river, and enter into the mountainous recesses of the country, while the enemy vigilantly hovered around him in detached parties. Finding on the point of a promontory of this parish, which projects into the Conway, the ruins of the castle of Deganwy, and determined that his expedition should not be entirely fruitless, he began to rebuild the fortress, that its garrison might be able to intercept the enemy's incursions into that part of the principality of which the English had already secured possession. During the ten weeks that Henry employed in erecting the castle, his army, which was encamped in the open field, was exposed to many dangers and difficulties. The weather becoming exceedingly cold towards the close of the summer, the soldiers suffered much by being thinly clad, and by having no other shelter than tents made of linen; while at the same time they were occasionally reduced to great distress by a scarcity of provisions, receiving only a precarious supply from Chester and from Ireland. They were also much harassed, and their numbers reduced, by the incessant attempts made by the Welsh to cut off their straggling parties, and storm their camp in the night: in one of these conflicts, however, the English, gaining the advantage, brought in triumph to their camp the heads of nearly one hundred Welshmen. Henry having, in spite of all the efforts of the Welsh, at length completed this important fortress, placed in it a numerous garrison, with abundant supplies of military stores, and returned into England, at the end of October, with the wasted remnant of his army. In 1257, the castle was vigorously besieged by Llewelyn ab Grufydd, Prince of North Wales, who, however, was soon compelled by the approach of the English army, led by Henry III. in person, to abandon his enterprise. The king advanced to this place, where, by the aid of a fleet belonging to the Cinque-Ports, he was enabled to maintain his army until Michaelmas, when he once more retired into his own dominions.
The advantages afforded to the English invaders of North Wales by the castle of Deganwy were of incalculable importance. Situated on the coast, it was open to receive continual supplies; commanding one of the principal passes into the country of Snowdon, across the estuary of the Conway, its numerous garrison was enabled to cut off the excursive parties of the Welsh; and being likewise a place of great strength, both in situation and structure, it afforded to the English a secure retreat upon any disaster. But the strength of the fortress did not suffice to prevent its being taken and finally destroyed in the year 1260, by the Welsh prince Llewelyn; and it appears to have been never subsequently rebuilt.
The village of Eglwys-Rhôs is situated in a small valley, surrounded on all sides by hills, whose summits and acclivities are adorned with extensive woods of full-grown oak, and in the vicinity of the river Conway, which forms the western boundary of the parish. Near it is Bôdscallen, a seat of the Mostyn family, an ancient mansion embosomed in rich woods, and commanding, from an elevated terrace, a beautiful view, over the tops of the trees that grow beneath it, of the town of Conway, part of the river Conway, and the vast mountains which form the background of this interesting picture. Gloddaeth, another seat belonging to the family, is beautifully situated on the acclivity of an extensive hill, richly decorated with plantations of trees of every variety. The upper grounds command some of the most extensive views in the principality, which present themselves in varied forms and in new combinations at almost every step. Among the interesting features composing these prospects, may be noticed the windings of the river Conway, towards Llanrwst, and the lofty towers of the castle, and the ancient walls of the town, of Conway; beyond which are the mountains of Moel Siabod, the Drûm, Carnedd Llewelyn, and Carnedd Davydd. From a greater elevation in the grounds is seen the influx of the river into the sea, the view being bounded on the left by the smaller Penmaen mountain, and on the right by Great Orme's Head, or Llandudno rocks; between which may be discerned the fine bay of Beaumaris, the vast promontory of Penmaen Mawr, the Isle of Anglesey, and the insulated rock of Priestholme. A large part of the mansion of Gloddaeth was built in the reign of Elizabeth, with whose arms and those of the Earl of Leicester the great hall is decorated. A handsome structure was erected some years ago, by Lord Kirkwall, under the hill on which the ruins of Deganwy Castle are situated: from the summit of this hill a fine view is obtained of the castle, town, and bridge of Conway. The ruins of Marle, the seat of Owen Williams, Esq., which was accidentally destroyed by fire in 1750, are seen through the venerable oaks by which this mansion was surrounded. In the neighbouring parish of Llandudno are several copper-mines, in which a considerable portion of the inhabitants of this parish obtain employment; and even within the limits of the latter, some spirited attempts have been made for the discovery of lead-ore.
The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £800 royal bounty, and £1200 parliamentary grant; net income, £167; patron, the Bishop of St. Asaph. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £489. 19. The church, dedicated to St. Hilary, is a small, but ancient and venerable, cruciform structure, with a peculiarly effective bell-gable. It has an east window of good proportions filled with modern stained glass, which was put up in 1820, at the expense of Mrs. Frances Mostyn; the window of the south transept is ornamented with some ancient stained glass of great brilliancy. This church has for many years been the place of sepulture for the Mostyn family, of which the last male heir, Sir Thomas Mostyn, Bart., was buried here in May, 1831. A glebe-house has been erected, the expense of which was defrayed by voluntary subscription. There are places of worship in the parish for Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists, with a Sunday school held in each of them. A parochial school, for the instruction of the children of this and the adjoining parishes, was founded and endowed with £1000 by Mrs. Frances Mostyn, in 1822; and a spacious building, including schoolrooms and a comfortable house for the master, who has also a garden and orchard, has been erected for it, principally at the expense of that lady. In this school, which is conducted on the National system, and is both a day and Sunday school, about sixty children are gratuitously instructed.
In 1623, Lewis Owen, of Twickenham, in Middlesex, serjeant-at-law, bequeathed £7 per annum, a charge on the tithes of the parish, for preaching twelve sermons yearly: this sum is paid to the perpetual curate. He also devised a small sum to be expended for the poor in bread weekly, but this benefaction has fallen into disuse. The same benevolent individual bequeathed a fourth of his moiety of the rectorial tithes of Conway, to be expended in providing clothing for the poor of this parish; the sum received varies from £10 to £18 annually, and is distributed, as directed, on St. Thomas's day among poor old men and women, according to the number and poverty of their families. The poor of this parish, in common with those of Llandudno and Llancystenyn, are also entitled to receive a distribution of barley, beef, and cloth, the donor of which is unknown, but which is considered as a charge upon the domain and mansion of Gloddaeth: the amount of the charity is about £50 annually; the barley is distributed every third week, and the beef and cloth at Christmas. A bequest of £20 by Thomas Evans, in 1732, has been lost.
Since the destruction of the castle of Deganwy by Llewelyn ab Grufydd, in the year 1260, this fortress has formed only a heap of ruins, among which are still traceable a few of the outworks; and at a short distance are some small remains of a circular tower, or half-moon battery, apparently of a later date than the ruins of Deganwy. The latter occupy the summits of two low hills near the river Conway; the walls, of which only a few fragments now remain, appear to have crossed the space between the hills, and to have been continued up their acclivities.
Eglwys-Vâch, or Llanvihangel-Capel-Edwin
EGLWYS-VÂCH, or LLANVIHANGEL-CAPEL-EDWIN, county of Cardigan, South Wales.—See Scybor-y-coed.
Eglwys Vair Y Chyrig (Eglwys Fair A Churig)
EGLWYS VAIR Y CHYRIG (EGLWYS FAIR A CHURIG), a chapelry, in the parish of Hênllan-Amgoed, union of Narberth, Lower division of the hundred of Derllŷs, county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 11 miles (N. W. by N.) from St. Clear's; containing 288 inhabitants. It is situated in the upper part of the vale of the river Tâf, and on the border of Pembrokeshire. The South Wales railway will pass in the vicinity. The greater part is inclosed and well cultivated, and there are a few respectable residences. The chapel, which is dedicated to St. David, is a chapel of ease to the rectory of Hênllan-Amgoed. The tithes have been commuted for £70 payable to the rector, and £35 to an impropriator.
EGLWYS-WEN, county of Pembroke, South Wales.—See Whitechurch.
EGLWYS-WRW (EGLWYS-EIRW), a parish, in the union of Cardigan, hundred of Kemmes, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 6 miles (S. S. W.) from Cardigan, on the road to Haverfordwest; containing 560 inhabitants. This parish anciently formed an inferior lordship, dependent on the superior one of Kemmes. It is intersected by the river Nevern, and is included in a very mountainous district, of which the most remarkable height is that called Percelly, forming the centre of a long range extending across the county in a direction from east to west. The summit of the mountain commands a prospect of great extent; and over this elevated range passed the ancient Via Flandrica, or "Flemish Way," a Roman road which has obtained that appellation from the erroneous supposition of its having been constructed by the Flemings, who settled in this part of the principality in the reigns of Henry I. and Henry II. The parish comprises 3664 acres; it is almost entirely inclosed and under cultivation, and the soil is in general fertile. The village, which is situated near the base of the Percelly mountains, is one of the most pleasing in the county, and contains a good inn and several respectable houses. The scenery in the neighbourhood is bold, and finely varied, and the hills are richly clothed with wood: Berllan is an elegant mansion, beautifully situated in grounds which are tastefully laid out, and adorned with luxuriant plantations. A fair is held on the Monday before November 22nd.
The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £3. 13. 4., and endowed with £200 royal bounty, and £200 parliamentary grant; patron, the Lord Chancellor; impropriators, John Davies, and George Griffiths, Esqrs., whose tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £170, and who are also possessed of a glebe of 30a. 1r. 14p. valued at £21. 10. per annum: the vicarial tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £80, with a glebe of 25a. 27p., valued at £15.10. per annum, and a glebehouse. The church is dedicated to St. Eirw; and in the time of Elizabeth there was a chantry chapel in the churchyard, said to have contained the tomb of this saint. The Baptists have a place of worship in the parish; and two Sunday schools are held, one of them in connexion with the Baptists, and the other with the Calvinistic Methodists. A sum of £20 per annum was left to the poor of Eglwys-Wrw by John Jones, of Pantyderri, in the year 1729, but the bequest is at the present time unproductive. Near the church is a large tumulus.
EIDDA (EIDDE), a township, in the parish of Yspytty-Ivan, poor-law union of Llanrwst, hundred of Nantconway, county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 4 miles (S. W. by W.) from Pentre-Voelas; containing 412 inhabitants. The river Conway, which flows from a lake not far distant, runs here, and separates the two counties of Carnarvon and Denbigh. An almshouse for six poor aged women was founded in the township by Mrs. Catherine Vaughan.