A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1849.
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PRESTATYN, with Nant, a township, in the parish of Meliden, union of St. Asaph, hundred of Prestatyn, county of Flint, North Wales, 6 miles (N. N. E.) from St. Asaph; containing 404 inhabitants. This place, from which the hundred derives its name, was once a lordship, and had a castle, supposed to have been erected at a very early period by the native British inhabitants of the district. The fortress was wrested from its ancient owners, in the reign of Henry II., by the English, who had possession of it in the year 1167, when it was destroyed by Owain Gwynedd, Cadwaladr, and Rhŷs, Prince of South Wales, who then reduced the whole of Tegengle to the power of Owain. King Richard I. granted the lordship to Robert Banaster, who kept it for nearly four years, and built a town, which was afterwards burnt by Owain Gwynedd. In the seventh year of Edward I. Robert de Crevecœur laid claim to it, in right of his ancestor Banaster, and, on an inquisition taking place, it was determined in his favour. From the Crevecœurs the lordship passed by marriage to the Conways of Bôdrhyddan, and on the division of the family estates, after the death of Sir John Conway, it fell, in right of his mother, to the Rev. Richard Williams of Vron, who disposed of it to his brother-in-law, Richard Wilding, Esq. There are still some small vestiges of the ancient castle, consisting of portions of the foundation, on an elevated spot called Plâs Prestatyn, in a meadow below the mill; and likewise traces of the fosse by which it was surrounded, at some distance. The township is situated on the shore of the Irish sea, in a flat district, which is highly cultivated and richly productive of all kinds of grain, but more especially of wheat, for the growth of which the soil is peculiarly favourable. From the fine sandy beach there extends for a distance of four miles, in a western direction, a sand-bank termed Chester Bar, which is dry at low water; and other extensive banks are observable at a greater distance from the coast, projecting into the sea, and occupying the mouth of the estuary of the Dee: at the distance of half a mile from the shore the water varies from one to two fathoms in depth. The Chester and Holyhead railway, opened in 1848, has a station at Prestatyn, about twenty-six miles distant from the terminus at Chester. There are places of worship for Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists, in each of which a Sunday school is also held.
Presteign (called in Welsh Llanandras)
PRESTEIGN (called in Welsh LLANANDRAS), a parish, in the poor-law union of Presteign, partly in the hundred of Wigmore, county of Hereford, England, and partly in the hundred and county of Radnor, South Wales, in which latter portion it comprises the township of Presteign and the chapelry of Discoed, the township being 8 miles (E. N. E.) from New Radnor, and 152 (W. N. W.) from London. The entire parish contains 2228 inhabitants, and that part of it in the county of Radnor 1523, of whom 1407 are in the township of Presteign, which includes the whole of the market and assize town of Presteign, together with an extensive tract of land surrounding it on the east, south, and west. This place, of which the Welsh name is derived from the dedication of its church to St. Andrew, appears to have remained in obscurity till towards the close of the thirteenth century, and to have first risen into importance during the prelacy of David Martin, Bishop of St. David's, who was raised to that see in 1293. Bishop Martin, who continued to preside over the diocese till 1328, was a munificent benefactor to the place, obtaining for the inhabitants the privilege of holding a weekly market, which, according to Leland, was in his time celebrated for its corn, and frequented by the people of the cantrêv of Maelienydd, the central and northern portion of the county. Either from its retired situation, or its want of local importance, Presteign appears to have been altogether unconnected with any of the military events that so often disturbed the internal tranquillity of the principality, or made the Marches the scene of havoc and slaughter. During the parliamentary war in the reign of Charles I., that monarch, retreating before Cromwell, then in the neighbourhood of Hereford, appears, from an entry in an old parish register, to have passed two nights at the house of Nicholas Taylor, Esq., who lived at the Lower Heath, near "the King's Turning," probably so called from the circumstance of the king having turned thence over the hills to Newtown, in Montgomeryshire, from which place he proceeded to Chester.
The town, which is now the principal place in the county of Radnor, is pleasantly situated in the western end of a fertile vale, surrounded by hills, some of them richly wooded; and is separated from that part of the parish in Herefordshire only by the river Lug, which here forms a boundary between the two counties, and is crossed by an ancient bridge of three small arches. It has one main thoroughfare, called High-street, leading north-westward through the town from Leominster towards Knighton and Rhaiadr; from which two smaller streets, named Broadstreet and St. David's street, diverge north-eastward nearly at right angles, and parallel with each other, in a direction towards the river; the more southern of the two leading over the bridge towards Ludlow through Wigmore. Though of an irregular form, it has an air of greater neatness and respectability than most of the towns in this part of the principality; the houses are well built and of neat appearance, and, though in general small, are interspersed with several of larger size, inhabited by respectable families and professional individuals. The streets are partially paved, but not lighted; and the inhabitants are amply supplied with water, by means of pumps and open wells. The surrounding scenery is finely varied, in many parts highly picturesque; and from the hills by which the vale is inclosed are some interesting and extensive views over the country adjacent. A low eminence called Warden, a little to the west of the town, formerly the site of an ancient castle, of which there are no remains, was presented to the inhabitants by the Earl of Oxford, and has been laid out in agreeable walks, forming a pleasant promenade, which is a favourite resort of the inhabitants. It commands a very delightful prospect, embracing a fine tract of highly cultivated country, with pleasingly diversified scenery, and enlivened with numerous gentlemen's seats, among which Boultibrook and Norton House, elegant mansions situated in beautifully disposed grounds, form conspicuous objects. The river Lug is celebrated for its trout and grayling, which are taken here of superior quality.
A woollen manufacture was once carried on, but it has been for some time abandoned, and the town has now no branch of manufacture. The trade is principally in malt, of which a great quantity is made, the soil in the neighbourhood being favourable to the growth of barley; and some business is transacted in timber, brought from the counties of Hereford and Radnor, and in coal, which is conveyed by land-carriage from the Clee Hill, in Shropshire, and also from Monmouthshire, by a tramroad to Kington, in Herefordshire, and thence by land-carriage to this town. A portion of traffic arises also from its situation on the turnpike-roads leading from New Radnor to Leominister, and from Knighton to Kington; and the neighbourhood for five miles round is chiefly supplied with grocery, drapery, iron-work, and shopgoods in general, from Presteign, which has become a central depôt for those articles. The market was on Saturday, but in May 1841 the time was altered to Tuesday. Fairs are held on February 8th, May 9th, June 20th, October 13th, and December 11th: a fair was some years ago attempted to be established, but without success, on the 20th of June, being the day on which a celebrated wake occurs upon the neighbouring eminence of Warden.
This place is a borough by prescription; and there is a crown manor, styled "the Lordship, Manor, and Borough of Presteign," comprising the township of Presteign and the chapelry of Discoed. It has a bailiff and two constables, the former appointed annually at the court leet of the crown, but exercising no magisterial authority. The township is divided into the wards of High-street, St. David's street, Broad-street, and Hereford-street; the two first and the two last collect their poor's rates jointly, and the whole are united for the maintenance of the poor. The borough formerly demanded to be contributory to New Radnor, in the return of a member to parliament; but this claim to exercise the elective franchise was rejected by the House of Commons, in 1690, on the assertion of the right, from which, according to the prevailing tradition among the inhabitants, they had been previously excluded, on refusing to assist in supporting their representative. Under the "Reform Act" of 1832, the township of Presteign and the chapelry of Discoed (comprehending all that part of the parish situated within the county of Radnor), together with a small tract of the Herefordshire portion, on the banks of the Lug, immediately opposite the town, of which it contains a small suburb called Frog-street, form a contributory borough with Kevenlleece, Knighton, Cnwclas, and Rhaiadr, in returning a member for the town of Radnor. There being no freemen, the right of election is vested exclusively in every person of full age, occupying, either as owner, or as tenant under the same landlord, a house or other premises of the annual value of not less than £10, provided he be capable of registering as the act directs. The limits of the borough are minutely defined in the Appendix; the number of voters is about seventy.
In the 35th and 36th of Henry VIII. a statute was passed, ordaining that the assizes and quarter-sessions of the county, which had been previously held alternately at New Radnor and at Rhaiadr, should be thereafter held alternately at New Radnor and at Presteign, in consequence of a sheriff having been resisted in the execution of his duty, and killed in a tumult at Rhaiadr. It was subsequently arranged that the courts of assize should be held invariably at this place. By the act 2nd and 3rd of William IV., c. 64, Presteign was made a polling-station for the election of the county representative; and in 1847, one of the new county debt-courts was fixed here. The Shire-Hall, erected in 1829, at an expense of £7000, defrayed by the county, is a handsome and commodious edifice of brick and stone, with a stuccoed front; and consists of a centre and two wings, the former ornamented with four equidistant pilasters of the Tuscan order, supporting an entablature and cornice, and the latter having each a receding portico, supported by three Tuscan columns. The centre comprises the court for holding the assizes and quarter-sessions, which is conveniently arranged; the north wing contains an apartment for the grand jury, a withdrawing-room for the petty jury, offices for the clerk of the peace, and apartments for the housekeeper. The south wing includes a suite of apartments intended for the accommodation of the judges, consisting of two bed-rooms, with dressing-rooms attached, a dining-room, and a drawing-room, each thirty feet long, twenty wide, and sixteen in height. But the late alteration in the Welsh judicature has rendered these preparations less necessary, as the judges seldom protract their stay in the town beyond two days; and the apartments, which have not been yet furnished, are not likely to be occupied for that purpose. The County Gaol, comprising also the house of correction for the county, was built in 1820, on the east side of the town, at an expense of £3500. It contains three wards for the classification of prisoners, and, including the apartments for debtors, thirty-five sleeping-cells, four day-rooms, and four airing-yards: the prisoners sentenced to hard labour are employed in breaking stones, there being no tread-wheel. The whole is inclosed within a wall eighteen feet high, and the entrance is between two massive three-quarter columns, supporting an entablature.
The living is a rectory, with the chapelry of Discoed annexed, rated in the king's books at £20; patron, the Earl of Oxford. The impropriate tithes having been forfeited to the crown by the feoffees of St. Antholine's, London, in the 15th of Charles I., in consequence of their purchasing impropriations for the purpose of maintaining "factious and seditious lectures," were granted by that monarch to John Scull, B.D., incumbent of Presteign parish, and to his successors in the benefice for ever. This gift was revoked after the decapitation of the king, but was confirmed by Charles II. in the first year of his reign. The incumbent receives a tithe rent-charge of £1300, and a rent-charge of £83. 2. 10. is paid to certain impropriators. A glebe-house is attached to the benefice. The church, dedicated to St. Andrew, is a spacious and handsome structure, partly in the decorated and partly in the later style of English architecture, with a square western tower, strengthened with buttresses at the angles, and surmounted by a turret at one of them, and by pinnacles at the other three. The interior consists of a nave, chancel, and two aisles, the south aisle extending the whole length of the building, and forming a second chancel, which is claimed by the parishioners as their property; the nave is separated from the aisles by a series of six pointed arches on each side, resting upon octagonal pillars. The altar-piece is embellished with some fine tapestry, representing the Entry of our Saviour into Jerusalem, the colours of which, though not vivid, harmonize well, and the whole is in a state of good preservation: above it is an inscription, recording the name of the donor, Richard de Brampton Parva, in hac parochia, Arm., 1737; this was Richard Owen, who also gave two silver salvers, to hold the bread at the communion. There are four small galleries, and in that at the west end is an organ, presented in 1819, by the late Robert Edwards, of the town. In the chancel are handsome monuments to several deceased members of the families of Owen, Price, and Davies. There are places of worship for Baptists, Primitive Methodists, and Wesleyan Methodists. The free grammar school was founded in 1565, in the reign of Elizabeth, by John Beddoes, formerly a clothier of the town, who endowed it with some houses, and with seventy-seven acres of land, in the township of Presteign, vested in trustees. The school-house, situated in David's-street, is capable of containing ninety children; and in the rear is a piece of ground occupied, with other portions of the charity land, by the master, who has the whole proceeds and management of the property, and is bound to keep the school-house in repair. The income arising from the endowment is £150 a year, and about sixty boys are instructed. Of four Sunday schools in the parish, one is in connexion with the Established Church, and the others with the three denominations of dissenters above mentioned.
Numerous charitable donations and bequests for the relief of the poor, and various other purposes, have been made; of which the following are the principal. Nicholas Taylor, Sen., Esq., gave £30 for apprenticing a boy or girl, to which £20 were afterwards added by his son, who also bequeathed £30 to buy clothing for the poor. Ambrose Meredith, of Napleton, in 1640, gave one-half of two parcels of land, and a cottage with a garden, for apprenticing children, and the other half to the poor generally; but this charity has been lost. Sir Thomas Street, of Worcestershire, one of the judges on the circuit, gave £20, forfeited by William Whitcomb, high sheriff of Radnorshire, for his non-appearance at the assizes; towards apprenticing seven children. Margaret Price, of Pilleth, left £36. 18. 6., in 1667, the interest for apprenticing a boy, and purchasing clothing to be given to two poor people, annually: this sum, together with bequests of £50 by Mary Lewis, £30 in 1775 by Richard Carter, £50 in 1774 by Edward Price, Esq., of Aylesbury, and £20 in 1800 by the Rev. James Bull, has been invested in the Radnorshire turnpike-trust, producing £9. 8. 5. per annum, which is distributed about Easter in bread or money among the poor generally. Ellen Harris, of London, in 1630, left the yearly sum of £4, of which four marks were to be paid for four sermons, one mark to be distributed among the poor on the days those sermons were delivered, and one mark to the churchwardens of the parish, who, however, bestow their share on the poor. John Matthews, of Clerkenwell, London, bequeathed the sum of £50 to be lent without interest, for two years, to five or six tradesmen; £2. 12. per annum to be given in bread to the poor; and a fund for the distribution of six coats and six Bibles to children: the loan fund has been lost, but the other charities, charged upon nine freehold houses in Clerkenwell Close, and amounting to £5, are equally divided between the Radnor and Hereford districts of the parish. John Eccleston, Esq., of the town, gave £50 for the erection of some small houses, as rent-free dwellings for the poor. Thomas Cornwall, Baron Burford, and lord of Stapleton and Lugharnes, gave several sums of money, forfeited to him as lord of the manor, and amounting to £8. 12.; and Nicholas Scarlet, of the town, gave a rent-charge of £2; to the poor. Jane Price, in 1774, bequeathed a rent-charge of £10. 8., which, according to her directions, is expended in distributing twenty-four twopenny loaves of bread every Sunday morning among as many indigent women. Littleton Powell, Esq., of Stanage, one of the six clerks in Chancery, gave a large silver flagon for holding the sacramental wine, weighing seventy-four ounces three drachms, and valued at £25, to the church. Giles Whitehall, Esq., of the Moor, gave to the township of Presteign an engine with twelve leathern buckets, for extinguishing fires in the town; and also, in 1736, a rent-charge of £3, of which £1 was to be paid to the minister for preaching a sermon on every 31st of March, and the residue to be expended in bread among such poor as attended; but the whole is now disposed of in the latter manner, the minister declining to take any portion.
The poor-law union of which this place is the head, was formed November 8th, 1836, and comprises the following sixteen parishes and townships; namely, part of Cascob, Discoed, Norton, Pilleth, Presteign, and Whitton, in the county of Radnor; and Byton, Coombe, Upper and Lower Kinsham, Knill, Lingen, Litton with part of Cascob, Rod with Nash and Little Brampton, Stapleton with Frog-street, and Willey, in the county of Hereford. It is under the superintendence of seventeen guardians, and the Radnorshire portion contains a population of 2837.
Dr. Richard Lucas, master of the free grammar school at Abergavenny, and subsequently vicar of St. Stephen's, Coleman-street, London, and lecturer of St. Olave's, Southwark, a popular preacher of his time, was born in this town. A curious custom prevails here on Shrove-Tuesday, of one party pulling a rope upwards, and another downwards to the river, the successful party retaining the rope in token of victory; and it is predicted, that if the party pulling the rope upward prevail, grain will be cheap that year, but, if it go down, it will be dear. Tŷ Mawr, or "the great house," the mansion of the Rev. Oliver Ormerod, the present rector, was enlarged upon the site of a house built by Bradshaw the regicide; the entrance-hall, of fine old oak, being retained.
PRIESTHOLME ISLAND, county of Anglesey, North Wales.—See Penmon.
PRION, a hamlet, in the parish of Llanrhaiadr-in-Kinmerch, union of Ruthin, hundred of Isaled, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 3 miles (S. S. W.) from Denbigh; containing 176 inhabitants. Prion was at one time assessed with Cliciedig Isâv and Uchâv, for the maintenance of the poor, but now there is a general assessment for the parish. It forms a separate highway township, as also does Cliciedig. A river rises in the hilly part of the hamlet, from two sources, after the union of the waters from which it sinks under ground, and does not appear again, until it bursts forth in a copious stream from a limestone rock at the well of St. Dyvnog, near the parochial church.
PRISK (PRYSC), with Carvan, a township, in the parish of Llandewy-Brevi, union of Trêgaron, Upper division of the hundred of Penarth, county of Cardigan, South Wales; containing 150 inhabitants. These names signify a coppice on the ridge of an eminence, in allusion to the situation of the township. The population is exclusively agricultural; the tithes, payable to impropriators, have been commuted for £70.
Prysg (Y Prysg)
PRYSG (Y PRYSG), with Killey, a parcel, in the parish of Llangattock, union and hundred of Crickhowel, county of Brecknock, South Wales, 2¼ miles (S. W.) from Crickhowel; containing 3697 inhabitants. This parcel is situated on the right bank of the river Usk, and one of the roads from Abergavenny to Crickhowel passes through it. The Brecknock canal intersects it in a line parallel with the river, and the neighbourhood contains some pleasing residences, the principal of them being Dany-Park, to which was formerly attached an extensive demesne, now partly divided into cultivated inclosures. There are numerous limestone-quarries, and much of their produce is burned into lime, which is conveyed by the Brecknock canal to various places along its banks. At the south-western extremity of the district, on the banks of the Ebwy Vawr stream, which separates it from Monmouthshire, are situated the Beaufort iron-works, whence tramways diverge across the mountains to the Gilvâch coal-pits and to the Brecknock canal.
PUFFIN ISLAND, in the county of Anglesey, North Wales.—See Penmon.
PUNCHESTON, a parish, in the poor-law union of Haverfordwest, hundred of Kemmes, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 12 miles (N. N. E.) from Haverfordwest; containing 255 inhabitants. This parish is also called "Castell Mael," probably from an ancient encampment, of which there are still some vestiges. It comprises a considerable tract of arable and pasture land, the greater portion inclosed and in a good state of cultivation: the total area is 2200 acres. The surface is boldly undulated, in some parts rising into mountainous elevations; the soil is various, but in the low grounds fertile and productive. The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £5. 6. 8.; patron, the Rev. James Williams James: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £105; the glebe comprises forty-five acres, valued at £40 per annum, and there is a glebe-house. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is not remarkable for any architectural details. Here are meeting-houses for Baptists and Calvinistic Methodists, in each of which a Sunday school is also held; and the Society of Friends had formerly a place of interment in Puncheston. Of Martel, in the parish, the ancient seat of the family of Symmons, before their removal to Llanstinan, nothing now exists but the site. The remains of the encampment above noticed occupy the summit of a rocky eminence, inaccessible on one side by the precipitous steepness of the acclivity, and defended on the other sides by a deep intrenchment. The Rev. Mr. Gambold, father of the bishop of that name, and compiler of a Welsh, Latin, and English Dictionary, was for some years rector of this place.
PWLLCROCHON (PWLL-CROCHAN), a parish, in the hundred of Castlemartin, union and county of Pembroke, South Wales, 5½ miles (W. by N.) from Pembroke; containing 212 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the south side of Milford Haven, which encircles a considerable portion of it; and is bounded on the east and south-east by the parish of Monkton, and on the west and southwest by that of Rhôscrowther. It contains by admeasurement 1600 acres, of which about 1200 are in pasture and meadow, 300 arable, and 100 under furze; the soil is of a red clayey quality, and the chief agricultural produce consists of barley, wheat, and oats. Limestone is found, and two small quarries of it are worked, chiefly for private use; a small creek of Milford Haven affords great facility for conveying the produce to its destination. The living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at £9. 12. 11., and in the patronage of the Crown: the amount of rentcharge in lieu of tithes is £175, and there is a glebe of nine acres, valued at £9. 9. per annum; also a glebe-house. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a venerable structure in the decorated style of English architecture, erected in the fourteenth century by Radulph Beneger, incumbent of the parish. Radulph was interred in the south aisle, where his effigy is placed in a recess, with an inscription in old Norman characters, Hic jacet Radulphus Beneger, hujus ecclesiæ rector. On a tablet inserted in the wall is also a complimentary tribute in Latin verse; and in the outer angle of the north transept is an inscription, also Norman, A.D. 1342, Erat ista ecclesia constructa de novo, cum capella ista, per Radulphum Beneger, qui rexit ecclesiam per annos . . . . In the churchyard a skirmish took place in 1648, during the civil war. There is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, in which a Sunday school is also held. George Meares, Esq., of West Pennar, in the parish, in 1765, endowed a day school with £12 per annum, payable out of the West Pennar estate, and a house, piece of meadow land, and garden, rentfree, for the instruction of twelve children of the neighbourhood; in addition to which number, some are taught at their parents' expense. The schoolhouse, containing two rooms below and two above, which had been previously built by Mr. Meares, is kept in repair by the present proprietor of West Pennar, John Mirehouse, Esq., common-serjeant of London, who has the nomination of the master and children. Two pounds of the endowment are reserved for providing books.
PWLLHELI, a borough, sea-port, and markettown, and the head of a union, in the parish of Denio, hundred of Gaflogion, county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 20 miles (S. S. W.) from Carnarvon, and, through that town, 271 (W. N. W.) from London. This town derives its name, signifying literally the "salt pool," from the small bay (on the eastern side of the great promontory of Lleyn) on the shore of which it is situated, and which forms the estuary of several streams, that pour their waters through it into the northern part of the wide and stormy bay of Cardigan. Edward the Black Prince granted the place, together with Nevin, to Nigel de Lohareyn, in consideration of his numerous services, particularly as a reward for his fidelity and valour at the battle of Poictiers; and by charter dated at Carnarvon, in the fifteenth year after his accession to the principality of Wales, he incorporated the inhabitants. He conferred upon them all the privileges of a free borough, with exemption from toll in England and Wales, and the right of a mercatorial guild, a market, and two annual fairs, stipulating that they should pay to Nigel not less than £14 per annum; all which immunities were confirmed by Edward III., in the 33rd year of his reign.
The town is well built, amply supplied with water, paved, and lighted; it is the largest town in this part of the county, and one of the principal seaports in North Wales. The surrounding scenery comprehends many features of grandeur and of beauty; and the view from the town, embracing the whole extent of the Snowdon mountains, the Merionethshire hills, and Cardigan bay, is truly magnificent. The waste lands in this and the adjoining parishes were inclosed pursuant to an act of parliament obtained for that purpose in the 48th of George III., under the authority of which two embankments were constructed, one on each side of the town, at an expense of £10,000, by which means 3000 acres have been recovered from the sea, and are now under cultivation. The situation of the town is well adapted for carrying on an extensive commerce with Liverpool, South Wales, and Dublin; but its trade is comparatively small. The harbour, which is entered by a high round rock, called Carreg-yr-Imbill, or "the rock of the Gimlet," is accessible to vessels of one hundred tons' burthen at all states of the tide, but has been in some degree injured by the embankments above noticed, and from neglect is nearly choked up. The commerce consists entirely in the importation of coal, and of shop-goods from Liverpool; for the supply of these to the surrounding country Pwllheli forms a great depôt, and thus, though small, it is rendered a flourishing place. The market, held on Wednesday, is well supplied with fish, poultry, eggs, butchers' meat, and all other kinds of provisions, which are cheaper here than in any town elsewhere on the coast of North Wales; and, there being no other market near, it is resorted to even by persons living at the furthest extremity of the promontory of Lleyn, a distance of twenty miles. Fairs are held on March 5th, May 13th, June 28th, Aug. 19th, Sept. 24th, and Nov. 11th.
The government, by the charter of Edward the Black Prince, confirmed by Edward III., Henry IV., V., and VI., Edward IV., Richard III., Henry VII. and VIII., Edward VI., and by Mary, and Elizabeth, was vested in a mayor, recorder, two bailiffs, and an indefinite number of burgesses, assisted by a town steward, a serjeant-at-mace, and other officers. The mayor, who held his office for life, and the senior bailiff, who was chosen annually on the 29th of September, were appointed by the burgesses at large, who also nominated the junior bailiff, and elected annually to all the other offices; but the nomination of the junior bailiff was subject to the approval of the mayor, who also chose the recorder. By the act 5th and 6th of William IV., cap. 76, the corporation is now styled the "Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses," and consists of a mayor, four aldermen, and twelve councillors, forming the council of the borough, of which the municipal and parliamentary boundaries are the same. The council elect the mayor annually on November 9th, from among the aldermen or councillors; and the aldermen sexennially out of the councillors, or persons qualified as such, one-half going out of office every three years, but being re-eligible: the councillors are chosen, on November 1st, by and out of the enrolled burgesses, one-third retiring every year. Aldermen and councillors must each have a property qualification of £500. The burgesses consist of the occupiers of houses and shops who have been rated for three years to the relief of the poor. Two auditors and two assessors are elected annually on March 1st by and from among the burgesses; and the council appoint a town-clerk, treasurer, and other officers on November 9th. Previously to the passing of the inclosure act already noticed, the corporation possessed a very valuable tract of land, their private property, which, however, being waste, was under that act taken by the commissioners and sold, the borough receiving in lieu only a trifling allotment called the Gimlet rock. The land thus inclosed, designated the Great Marsh, was used by the inhabitants for pasturing sheep, cows, horses, &c., and was of much advantage to the poorer classes; and that it was the legitimate possession of the corporation, is evident from the fact that leases have been granted by them of parts of it at various periods, as the old books of the town clearly show.
This is one of the contributory boroughs which, with Carnarvon, return a member to parliament; the elective franchise was conferred in the 27th of Henry VIII. The right of election was formerly in the burgesses at large of the borough, but is now vested in the old resident burgesses only, if duly registered according to the provisions of the Reform act; and in every person of full age occupying, either as owner, or as tenant under the same landlord, a house or other premises of the annual value of at least ten pounds, provided he be capable of registering as the act directs. The number of tenements of this value, within the limits of the borough, which were altered by the late act, and are minutely detailed in the Appendix to the work, is about eighty. A court is (or until lately was) held every alternate Saturday, for the determination of all pleas and recovery of debts under 40s.; and petty-sessions are held here by the county magistrates. The powers of the county debtcourt of Pwllheli, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Pwllheli. The town is a polling-place for the election of the knight of the shire. The town-hall, erected in 1818, is a neat substantial edifice, the lower part appropriated on the market days as shambles, and the upper part containing an excellent assembly-room, and a room in which the petty-sessions are held. The borough and county prison, with two cells, was built at an expense of about £240, of which £200 were contributed by the shire, and £40 by the corporation, on whose ground the house stands.
The parochial church, situated about half a mile to the north of the town, being very small and much dilapidated, a new edifice has been erected in the town, at an expense of £1800; but funerals nevertheless continue to be solemnized at the old church of Denio. There are places of worship for Independents, Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists, and Baptists. The Rev. Hugh Jones, in the year 1695, bequeathed to Griffith Vaughan £1000 in trust, to appropriate £200 of that sum to the erection of a house in such place in any one of the counties of Anglesey, Carnarvon, or Merioneth, as he should think fit, and to vest the remaining £800 in the purchase of land for the endowment of a school for the gratuitous instruction of poor boys of those counties. The school-house was built at Pwllheli; but the money, never having been applied to the purchase of land, still remains in the hands of his descendant, the Hon. Edward Mostyn Lloyd Mostyn, who appoints the master, and pays the interest of the sum as a salary. Other schools are supported, and several Sunday schools are held. The rent of some land in the parish, which was bequeathed to the poor, is annually distributed among them at Christmas. The poor-law union of which this town is the head, was formed June 3rd, 1837, and comprises the following thirty-two parishes and townships; namely, Aberdaron, Abereirch, Bôdvaen, Bôdverin, Bottwnog, Bryncroes, Carngiwch, Ceidio, Criccieth, Denio, Edern, Llanarmon, Llanbedrog, Llandegwining, Llandudwen, Llanelhaiarn, Llanengan, Llangian, Llangwnadl, Llangybi, Llaniestyn, Llannor, Llanvaelrhŷs, Llanvihangel-Bâchelleth, Llanystyndwy, Meylltyrn, Nevin, Penllêch, Penrhôs, Pistill, Rhiw, and Tydweiliog. It is under the superintendence of forty-one guardians, and contains a population of 21,609.
PWLLYWRACH (PWLL-Y-WRACH), a hamlet, in the parish and hundred of Tàlgarth, union of Hay, county of Brecknock, in South Wales, 4 miles (S. E. by S.) from Tàlgarth; containing 171 inhabitants. This hamlet, the name of which signifies "the hag's pool," lies in a deep valley, formed by the Tàlgarth mountain on the east, and Mynydd Troed on the west, and at the source of the Rhiangoll stream, which afterwards pursues its course into the vale of Llanvihangel-Cwm-dû. The commutation of the tithes of the hamlet is included in that made for the borough of Tàlgarth, and the hamlets of Trevecca and Forest.
PYLE, with Kenvig, a parish, in the poor-law union of Bridgend and Cowbridge, hundred of Newcastle, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 11½ miles (S. S. E.) from Neath; containing, exclusively of Kenvig, 803 inhabitants. It was originally a chapelry attached to the parish of Kenvig, but since the devastation of that town and the destruction of its church by an inundation of the sea, as noticed in the article thereon, the parishes have been united, the livings consolidated into one vicarage, and the chapel of Pyle has become the parochial church. The two places are nearly of equal extent. Through Pyle now runs the turnpike-road from Cardiff to Swansea, which formerly passed through Kenvig, but was diverted from its original course after the devastation of the borough. Pyle is also intersected by the Llynvi railway, which is crossed in this vicinity by the great South Wales line. The village, though small, has a neat and pleasing appearance, and contains a commodious inn erected by the late Mr. Talbot. Near the church, on the estate of C. R. M. Talbot, Esq., is a quarry of excellent buildingstone, from which the material employed in the erection of the spacious mansion in Margam Park, belonging to Mr. Talbot, was taken.
The Pyle iron-works are situated about one mile north-east of the village, within the limits of the parish, and consist of two blast-furnaces, &c. They were established by a joint-stock company in the year 1830, and, after having been in operation about six months, were discontinued, the blast-engine and plant were sold, and the works were taken possession of by a gentleman named Ford, who holds a mortgage on the property. Mr. Ford has continued to work the coal, large quantities of which are sent to the harbour of Porthcawl for exportation, and also to the town of Bridgend, where Mr. Ford has a yard; while a considerable quantity is manufactured into coke, there being a brisk demand for that article. The South Wales line of railway, from its proximity to the works, will materially enhance the value of the property. On the south-east side of the works, a large number of workmen's cottages have been built, with a few houses of a better description for shops and public-houses, forming together the village of Mynydd-Kenvig, partly in the parish of Pyle, and partly in the Upper hamlet of Tythegston. From the village of Pyle to the Cevn Cwsc works, a distance of about two miles, where, a comparatively few years ago, only a solitary farmhouse here and there met the eye, every eligible spot is now occupied by a tenement, and the busy hum of traffic is heard throughout this once quiet neighbourhood.
The living is noticed under the head of Kenvig. The church, dedicated to St. James the Apostle, is a handsome structure, appropriately fitted up. There is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, with a Sunday school held in it. John Waters in 1515 left £20, and Thomas Loughor, in 1744, £50, which sums with other money have been invested in the purchase of land producing £8. 4. 11. per annum, distributed at Christmas among the poor. Near the church is a spring called Collwyn Well, the water of which has been long celebrated for its medicinal properties. In the year 1832, an inscribed stone was discovered not far from the church, in taking down the walls of an old pound: it lay in a ditch close by, until Mr. G. G. Francis, of Swansea, rescued it from destruction, and deposited it among the antiquities in the Royal Institution at Swansea, in 1835. Pyle lies upon the Roman Via Julia Maritima; the inscription on the stone is Roman, and runs IMP. MC. PIAVONIO. VICTORINO. AVG., referring to Victorinus, one of the thirty tyrants. Some coins of the same emperor have been found in the county.