A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1849.
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'Fagan's, St. - Flemingston', in A Topographical Dictionary of Wales, (London, 1849) pp. 332-338. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-dict/wales/pp332-338 [accessed 2 March 2024]
FAGAN'S, ST., a parish, in the union of Cardiff, hundred of Dinas-Powys, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 4 miles (W. N. W.) from Cardiff; containing 424 inhabitants. This parish takes its name from the saint to whom its church is dedicated, and who, according to the traditional testimony on the subject, arrived in Britain about the year 180, to preach the doctrines of the Christian religion, and founded the church here, which has been consequently regarded as one of the earliest Christian establishments in the island. In later times, St. Fagan's became celebrated as the scene of a sanguinary battle between the recreant leaders of the parliamentary forces in the principality, and Colonel Horton, who was sent by Cromwell, with a small army, to enforce the order for disbanding them. The former, among whom were Major-Generals Stradling and Laugharne, having embraced the cause of royalty, contrived to keep their forces under arms, and to augment their number by fresh recruits of such as were favourable to the king; and having increased their army to 8000 men, they confidently advanced to meet Colonel Horton, who had stationed his forces at St. Fagan's. The battle was fought on the 8th of May, 1648, and terminated in the defeat of the Welsh troops with great slaughter, and the capture of many of their principal officers. Among the slain, on the part of the Welsh, were sixty-five of this parish alone; and in the ensuing harvest, so great was the scarcity of labourers, that the crops were chiefly cut and gathered by women. This victory was considered by the parliament to be of such importance, that a day of public thanksgiving was appointed on the occasion. The village, which is situated on the river Ely, a stream abounding with trout and other fish, has a very prepossessing appearance; it lies on a substratum of limestone, and is abundantly supplied with excellent water. Plenty of coal is found within five miles of the place, and it is supplied at a moderate price to the limeworks in the parish. The great South Wales railway will pass through St. Fagan's.
The living is a rectory, with the chapelry of Llanilterne annexed, rated in the king's books at £14. 9. 7.; patron, Earl Amherst: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £383, with a glebe of seventy-four acres, valued at £110 per annum, and a good parsonage-house, built in 1795, by the incumbent. The church is a very neat edifice, in excellent repair. There is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, with a Sunday school held in it. In connexion with the Established Church are two day and Sunday schools, one of which, taught by a master and his wife, is under the patronage of Lady Harriet Clive, of Oakley Park, Salop; the mistress of the other receives an endowment of £2. 10. per annum, arising from the remaining half of a gift of £100 by the Rev. John Cook in 1729: both schools were commenced in 1846. The only charitable bequest for distribution among the poor, consists of a grant of £10 by William Horton for the benefit of ten widows, which, with £5 accumulated interest, was invested some years since in the Cardiff savings' bank: the interest is distributed according to the intentions of the donor. Of another gift of £5 by Mary Williams nothing is now known. There is an ancient castellated mansion, formerly belonging to the family of Lewis, the heiress of which conveyed it by marriage, together with a large estate in this county, to a late Earl of Plymouth; it is still habitable, and is now appropriated to the use of Lady Harriet Clive's school, and as a residence for the master's family.
FARRINGTON, a lordship, in the parish, and partly within the borough and partly in the hundred, of Knighton, county of Radnor, South Wales, 1½ mile (S. E.) from Knighton; containing 117 inhabitants. It is situated between the roads which branch off from Knighton to Ludlow and Presteign, and comprises a district on the southern bank of the river Teme, lying between the counties of Salop and Hereford. Offa's Dyke passes on the west, between it and the township of Cwmgilla.
FERRYSIDE, a village, in the parish of St. Ishmael's, hundred of Kidwelly, union and county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 4 miles (N. W.) from Kidwelly: the population is returned with the parish. This small village, from its situation on the south-eastern bank of the river Towy, near its influx into Carmarthen bay, has risen into notice and esteem as a watering-place, and, from its proximity to Carmarthen, promises to become in a short time a valuable appendage to that rapidly improving town. The sands are remarkably fine, affording delightful walks along the margin of the sea; the air is pure and salubrious; and the surrounding scenery abounds with objects of interest and beauty; advantages which, united with the facilities for sea-bathing which the place affords, and the accommodations that have been provided for visiters who frequent it for that purpose, have already raised it to a degree of importance among the places of similar resort on this coast. It contains several genteel private dwellings and respectable lodging-houses for visiters; and the neighbourhood affords a variety of excursions. There is a daily post; a regular communication is carried on with Carmarthen by means of passageboats, and the South Wales railway will run through the place: the vicinity affords an abundant supply of coal, and its spring water is excellent. The view directly from the village, across the river, embraces the tastefully ornamented lawns of Llanstephan Place, with the mansion, and the luxuriant plantations above it; on one side the venerable and picturesque ruins of Llanstephan Castle, and on the other the village church, half-embosomed in trees; with the noble stream of the Towy, which is here a mile in breadth, in the foreground of the whole. About a mile east, situated on a rising ground, is the mansion of Iscoed, formerly the residence of the Mansell family, of whom it was purchased by the late General Sir Thomas Picton.
At the suggestion of Dr. Burgess, Bishop of St. David's, a church was erected by subscription, aided by a grant from the Incorporated Society for building and enlarging churches and chapels, in consideration of which assistance 192 seats were reserved for the poor. This church, which is dedicated to St. Thomas, was opened for divine service in 1828, and is a neat and appropriate structure, in every respect adapted to the accommodation of the inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Vicar of St. Ishmael's for the time being, and was endowed by the late Rev. Edward Picton with £4 per annum, to which have been added £600 royal bounty; net income, £23. There is a place of worship for Particular Baptists, and two Sunday schools are held, one of them in connexion with the Established Church, and the other with the dissenting congregation. Among the attractions of the place may be mentioned the scientifically conducted apiary of Dr. Bevan, author of the "Honey Bee," to which visiters are allowed admission.
FESTINIOG, a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Ardudwy, county of Merioneth, North Wales, 19 miles (W. by N.) from Bala; containing 3138 inhabitants. This parish is bounded on the north-east and north by the parishes of Penmachno and Dôlwyddelan, in Carnarvonshire; on the south by Maentwrog, and on the west by Llanvrothen, both in the county of Merioneth. It comprises, according to the poor'srate assessment, 8431a. 1r. 33p., of which a large portion is woodland, and the remainder arable and pasture: there are also about 7000 acres of common or waste land, not included in the assessment. The extreme length of the parish is about ten miles, and its breadth nearly six. The hilly parts are stony, and have a thin sterile soil, but in other places the earth is generally light and gravelly, except in the vicinity of the river, where it is loamy, and occasionally very rich: oats constitute the principal produce, very little barley being grown, and still less wheat, five or six acres of the latter making the extreme produce of any one year. The surface is rugged and uneven throughout the larger part of the parish, and its prevailing features are wild rocky hills festooned with beautiful copses, in which, among various kinds of trees, oak is the most conspicuous, and which reach down to the rich valley below, forming a pleasing picture of pastoral, sylvan, and romantic scenery, wherein the sublime and beautiful are strikingly contrasted or harmoniously united. The village is pleasantly situated on an eminence between the rivers Dwyryd and Cynvael, on the road from Yspytty-Ivan and Bala to Trêmadoc and the western coast, and commands a delightful prospect down the Vale of Festiniog towards Maentwrog, Tan-y-Bwlch, and Traeth-Bâch.
This beautiful vale, which is partly included in this parish, and partly in that of Maentwrog, was first celebrated by Lord Lyttelton, about the year 1756, since which time it has been visited by numerous tourists, who have described its pictorial beauties in terms of merited eulogy. The Dwyryd winds pleasingly through the centre of the vale, reflecting the lofty hills on each side, the slopes of which are, in many places, well clothed with wood, finely varied with projecting rocks and verdant sward, and contrasted with the rich corn-fields and meadows skirting its margin. It meets the tide at the lower extremity, and expands into a broad estuary, called TraethBychan, opening to the sea in the northern part of Cardigan bay. This river, which, before its union with the Cwmmorthyn at the top of the vale, is called the Cynvael, separates the parishes of Festiniog and Maentwrog, and in its course receives the tributary streams of the Cymmerau, Llychryd, and Velenrhŷd.
The principal eminences in the parish are the Mannod hills, and the Moelwyn mountains; the summits of the latter not only command a pleasing home view of the interesting beauties of the vale, but embrace a wide and varied prospect of the surrounding country. There are various small alpine lakes in the vicinity, the principal of which are Morwynion, Gammell, and Mannod, all much frequented by anglers, particularly the first, the trout caught in them having the most delicious flavour. Near the village are two interesting cataracts, called the Falls of the Cynvael: the upper is composed of three steep rocky precipices, over which the waters of the Cynvael are impelled into a dark deep basin, overshadowed by flanking rocks. About 300 yards below this the river is crossed by a rustic stone bridge, and at an equal distance lower down occurs the other cataract, consisting of a broad sheet of water sweeping over a slightly shelving rock, about forty feet high, from the bottom of which it rushes with murmuring impetuosity, through a narrow chasm, glistening among the loose fragments of rock that oppose its progress, and, falling from slope to slope, at length gains a smoother channel and winds placidly along the vale to its junction with the Dwyryd. Between this and the bridge, a tall columnar rock, called Pulpit Hugh Llwyd o Gynvael, or "Hugh Lloyd of Cynvael's Pulpit," resting upon a broad base, rises from the bed of the river, detached from those rocks which form its wood-fringed sides. The Hugh Lloyd from whom it takes its name was a reputed sorcerer in the time of James I., and is said to have delivered his incantations from the summit of this isolated rocky pillar, for which dark purpose its situation in a deep umbrageous glen was well calculated. There is also a great variety of picturesque and romantic scenery in the vicinity of a spot called Cwm Cwmmorthyn, near which are four small lakes, named Cwmmorthyn, Dû Bâch, Trwstyllon, and Conglog. On the road to Bala, is a place where, after heavy rains, the waters descend from the mountains with tumultuous rapidity, and form a stupendous waterfall. The vale is liable to frequent inundations, which, when the land floods and tide meet, overspread a considerable portion of its surface; but their injurious effects have been partially obviated by the construction of embankments.
Plâs Tan-y-Bwlch, or Tan-y-Bwlch Hall, the seat of Mrs. Oakeley, is the principal residence in the parish. It is charmingly situated on a declivity, at the north-western extremity of the vale, embosomed in full-grown plantations, whose luxuriant foliage fringes the steep rocky side of the mountain above it: the structure has lately been renovated, and the grounds have received extensive alterations and embellishments, conferring upon them much additional beauty. There are also two ancient mansions, now occupied by farmers, the one called Dôl-y-Moch, and the other Plâs yn Pengwern.
Five slate-quarries are profitably and actively worked here, employing altogether about 1050 men and boys; and their produce, in beauty and goodness, is equal to that of any quarries in the principality. The slate rock lies in strata like coal, and its precipitous escarpments form vast walls, extending from north to south, or from north-east to south-west. When the superincumbent earth is removed, the slate is split into portable blocks by means of wedges and levers, or, when these instruments are insufficient, by the application of gunpowder: the pieces are then conveyed to an open space, and divided with a hammer and wedge into thin laminæ or plates of various sizes. The largest and best shaped are called "queens," the next in size "princesses," the next "duchesses," the next "countesses," and "ladies," and the smaller "doubles:" all these are generally sold by the thousand, and the rough heavy ones, called "ton slates," by weight. The labourers in the quarries, called "blasters," "borers," &c., are several hundred in number, and often work in very dangerous situations, standing on ledges projecting over immense precipices, and descending to their stations with the aid of a rope tied round the waist. When a blast, or explosion of gunpowder, takes place, timely notice is given, by the blowing of a horn; and the echo of the explosions, which are sometimes heard to the distance of five or six miles, reverberating from cliff to cliff, is indescribably grand and appalling. The splitting and dressing of slates, performed by men called "choppers," are operations requiring great skill and much practice. The slates are conveyed by a tramway from the quarries to Port-Madoc, a distance of about thirteen miles.
Festiniog is a place much resorted to during the summer months by tourists, on account of the beauty of the surrounding scenery; and for their accommodation it has a good inn, with a boarding-house attached: the roads in the neighbourhood have been much improved, and are in good order. A markethall was erected in 1843, and a market is now held here every Saturday. Fairs are held on March 7th, May 24th, the first Friday after Trinity, on June 30th, August 21st, September 26th, October 23rd, and November 13th. Festiniog contains a branch post-office; and petty-sessions for the district take place at the inn at Tan-y-Bwlch, on the first Monday in every month.
The living is a rectory, with that of Maentwrog annexed, rated in the king's books at £10. 4. 2.; present net income, £242; patron, the Bishop of Bangor. The tithes of Festiniog have been commuted for a rent-charge of £141. 18. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, was a very ancient structure, about 130 feet in length, with a gallery erected in 1829. It was removed in 1843, and a new edifice built in 1844 and 1845, on a site about fifty yards distant from the old one; this is one of the neatest and most commodious churches in North Wales, and is much admired: accommodation is afforded for 479 persons, and in consequence of a grant from the Incorporated Society 375 of the sittings are declared free. The rectory-house is beautifully situated on the bank of the river Dwyryd. An additional church, dedicated to St. David, has been built in the neighbourhood of the quarries, capable of accommodating 350 persons with sittings, all of which are free; it is a structure in the early English style, designed by Mr. Jones, of Chester, and erected at the cost of that benevolent and charitable lady, Mrs. Oakeley, of Plâs Tan-y-Bwlch, who also liberally endowed it. There are places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, Independents, and Wesleyan Methodists. A National school for boys and girls was established in 1829, for the parishes of Festiniog and Maentwrog, for which a neat building of English architecture was erected near the village by subscription among the inhabitants, aided by a grant of £62 from the parent society in London; it is partly supported by subscriptions, and partly by small payments from the children. Another school, in connexion with St. David's ecclesiastical district, has been since built at the expense of Mrs. Oakeley, by whom it is supported. More recently, a school on the British system has been built in the parish, by subscription; and there are as many as nine Sunday schools, one of them in connexion with St. David's church, and the others with the dissenters. A sum of £3 per annum, secured by the trustees of a Calvinistic meeting-house in the parish of Llanvawr, near Bala, for money lent, the produce of various bequests, is distributed among the poor at Christmas. £50 were given by a Mrs. Jones, in 1703, the proceeds to be appropriated to apprenticing children. The poor-law union of which this place is the head, was formed May 8th, 1837, and comprises the fifteen following parishes and townships; namely, Festiniog, Llanbedr, Llandanwg, Llandecwyn, Llanvair, Llanvihangel-y-Traethau, Llanvrothen, Maentwrog, and Trawsvynydd, in the county of Merioneth; and Bethgelart, Dôlbenmaen, Llanvihangel-y-Pennant, Penmorva, Trêvlys, and Ynyscynhaiarn, in the county of Carnarvon. It is under the superintendence of twenty-two guardians, and contains a population of 15,437.
In or near the parish is Tommen-y-Mûr, the site of the Roman station Heriri Mons: it lies on the south-eastern slope of a hill, and the station is well defined, measuring about 200 yards by 300; the agger preserved on three sides, with an enormous mound raised artificially at the northern end. Two Roman roads are said to have intersected each other in this vicinity, one leading from Segontium, near the present Carnarvon, to Mediolanum, in Montgomeryshire; and the other from Conovium, at Caerhên, near Conway, to Loventium, at Llanio, in Cardiganshire. Within the parish one of these roads, now called Sarn Helen, signifying "Helen's causeway," or Ffordd Helen, "Helen's way," may yet be distinctly traced, though for the most part covered with turf. It is said to have been constructed by Helena, daughter of a Duke of Cornwall, and consort of the Emperor Maximus, or by Helena, wife of Constantius, and mother of Constantine; but its appellation may be a corruption from Ffordd Lleon, signifying the "legionary way." Near it are the remains of Beddau Gwŷr Ardudwy, "the graves of the men of Ardudwy," which are about six feet long, and were formerly marked at each end by two upright stones, from two to three feet high, and one broad, long since removed. These graves denote this to have been the scene of some unrecorded conflict. The tradition connected with them is, that the men of Ardudwy, in order to people their territory, entered the Vale of Clwyd, and forcibly bore off several of its fair inhabitants; but they were pursued by the men of Clwyd, and overtaken at this place, where a sharp conflict ensued, in which the former were defeated and slain. They nevertheless appear to have secured the affections of the females, who, rather than return home, are said to have rushed into an adjacent piece of water, called from this circumstance Llyn-y-Morwynion, or "the maidens' lake," and there to have perished. A silver seal was found near the mountain of Moelwyn, in 1831, bearing the inscription "S. LODOWICI. EPI BANGOREN. AD CAUSAS," being the seal of Lewis, Bishop of Bangor, who is supposed by some to have been the Bishop of Bangor who, taking part in the insurrection of Owain Glyndwr, was made prisoner in a battle that was fought in Yorkshire, in February 1408, and deprived of his bishopric.
FISHGUARD, a market-town and parish, in two divisions, the Upper and Lower, situated in the poor-law union of Haverfordwest, hundred of Kemmes, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 15 miles (N.) from Haverfordwest, 25 (N.) from Pembroke, and 249 (W. by N.) from London; containing 2013 inhabitants. The origin of the present town is of comparatively recent date, but the parish in many respects affords striking indications of remote antiquity. The Druidical relics which abound in the vicinity prove it to have been a resort of the votaries of that ancient religion, for the solemnization of their rites; and the extensive remains of foundations of old buildings still existing in a district within the parish, called Caerau, or "the fortifications," in which, though it has been for ages under cultivation, the progress of the plough is still occasionally obstructed, are strong evidences of its having contained a numerous population at a very early period. According to Mr. Fenton, the historian of Pembrokeshire, this district was inhabited by an ancient race long before the invasion of Britain by the Romans, whom he supposes to have subsequently had a settlement in this place, in which opinion he is confirmed, in some degree, by the discovery, near the spot, of Roman coins, chiefly of the Lower Empire. In the early part of the fifth century, St. Dubricius is said by Bale to have lived in retirement here, and to have presided over a school, which was numerously attended by the inhabitants of the surrounding country, for some time prior to his elevation to the archiepiscopal see of Caerlleon. Pwll Dyvrig, a spot in the romantic Vale of Gwayn, in the parish, which derived its name from that circumstance, is pointed out as the place of his retreat; and almost within the memory of man, games in honour of that saint were annually celebrated on his festival.
At the time of the Norman Conquest of England, this place was a small and unimportant fishing-village, which, from its situation at the mouth of the river Gwayn, was called, by the Welsh, Aber-Gwain. Soon after that period, an Anglo-Norman leader, named Martin de Tours, or de Turribus, whose services under the Conqueror had been rewarded by a grant of lands in Devonshire, on the coast of the Bristol Channel, being desirous of extending the limits of his possessions, fitted out an expedition to act against such part of the Welsh coast as he should find least prepared for defence; and having sailed round the south-western extremity of Pembrokeshire, he succeeded with little difficulty in landing his troops here, and in subduing the territory, which subsequently formed the ancient lordship of Kemmes, and one of the lordships marcher. In the subsequent partition of the conquered territories among his followers, Martin assigned the town of "Aber-Gwain," and nearly the whole of the district which is at present comprehended within the parish, to Jordan de Cantington, who introduced into his newly-acquired possessions an English colony. The name of the village was changed to Fish Garth, the latter word signifying in the Anglo-Saxon language a "weir;" and of this name the modern appellation of Fishguard is only a slight corruption. Jordan made repeated attempts to excite in his Welsh and English subjects sentiments of reciprocal conciliation, and peaceable subjection to his authority, but in these endeavours he was invariably frustrated by their mutual dissensions, and he finally gave the whole to the abbey of St. Dogmael's, which had been founded by his patron, Martin de Tours, in the vicinity, and in the possession of which it remained till the period of the general dissolution of religious houses.
The origin of the present town, or at least its elevation from an obscure and inconsiderable fishingvillage to some degree of importance, may be referred to the sixteenth century, when Newport, the head of the barony of Kemmes, being visited with a desolating pestilence, the inhabitants were driven from it and compelled to seek safety in all directions. Many of them, attracted by the open situation of the place, and the purity of its air, established themselves at Fishguard, which, from these advantages of its situation, had entirely escaped the contagion; and to this circumstance are usually ascribed the first increase and the present prosperity of the town, which, however, only obtained the privilege of a market towards the close of the last century, through the exertions of the late William Knox, Esq. In the year 1797, a French force of about 1500 men, under the conduct of General Tate, effected a landing on this coast, within a few miles of the town; but after committing some ravages in the neighbourhood, they were made prisoners by the troops under Lord Cawdor. This event, though generally referred to Fishguard, took place in the adjoining parish of Llanwnda.
The town is beautifully situated on the river Gwayn, near its influx into St. George's Channel, and is divided into the Upper and Lower town, the former on the summit of a hill commanding an extensive marine view, and the latter occupying the banks of the river, over which is a neat stone bridge of five arches. The Upper Town includes the principal portion, containing the church, market-place, and chief shops, and consisting mainly of three streets, diverging from a common centre; partially paved, but formed of houses irregularly built and of indifferent appearance. Some improvements, however, have taken place, and a better style of building and greater regularity prevail in the houses of more modern erection. The inhabitants are abundantly supplied with water of excellent quality, and the springs are so numerous, that wherever the ground is opened, water is found at a small distance below the surface. The parish comprises an area of 3430 acres: the soil is tolerably fertile; the lands, with a trifling exception, are inclosed, and the greater portion is in a superior state of cultivation. The scenery is finely diversified, assuming in some parts a striking boldness of character, and in others a pleasing combination of picturesque and romantic features. The situation of the town, upon a small bay in St. George's Channel to which it gives name, and the shores of which are distinguished for the beauty of their scenery; the salubrity of its atmosphere; the abundance and cheapness of the commodities brought to its markets; and the facility for sea-bathing, contribute to render Fishguard desirable as a place of residence, and attract to it numerous visiters during the summer. As a proof of its salubrity, the number of aged inhabitants is, perhaps, greater than in any other place of equal population in the kingdom: from a return of the bills of mortality made by the vicar, in compliance with an order from government, from 1813 to 1830 inclusive, it was found that in every year of the above period there was a majority of persons from seventy to ninety, and often to one hundred, years of age.
Fishguard bay extends a distance of three miles in a direction from east to west, and about a mile and three-quarters from north to south, varying in depth of water from thirty to seventy feet, in proportion to the distance from the fine bold shore by which it is inclosed. The bottom is firm, affording good anchorage to ships of the largest size, which may ride in safety in all parts of the bay during the prevalence of gales from any point of the compass, except north and north-east. According to a survey made by Mr. Spence, in 1790, by order of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, this bay was reported to be the only place between Milford Haven and St. Tudwal's Roads, off Carnarvonshire, where large vessels navigating the Irish Channel could at that time put in for shelter. The harbour, which is capacious and easy of access, is situated on the western side of the bay; it is irregular in form, being about 2400 feet in length, and about 1160 feet wide at the entrance, which is free from obstruction either from rocks or a bar. The erection of a pier, which was strongly recommended by the engineer who surveyed the bay, would greatly tend to improve it; and according to an estimate delivered by the engineer, a suitable pier might be completed, for the accommodation of 100 sail of merchant-vessels of the usual class, at an expense of £14,785. The harbour was again surveyed, under the direction of the Lords of the Admiralty, by the late Mr. Rennie, who confirmed the preceding report, and recommended, in addition to the proposed pier from Fort Point, the construction of a breakwater from Cow and Calf Point. The expense of both these works, according to Mr. Rennie's estimate, would not exceed the sum of £80,000, and their construction would render the harbour one of the safest and most commodious on the coast for vessels of almost all descriptions. But in consequence of neither of the above plans being carried into effect, the prosperity of the place has been greatly retarded, and, owing to the very indifferent state of the present small pier, Fishguard has become much impoverished: while its pier was in good repair, not only its own shipping, but vessels from other ports, were accustomed to put in and remain here, for a greater or less period, making Milford their port only as a matter of necessity. It was originally intended that Fishguard bay should be the terminus of the South Wales railway, but a deviation seems likely to be adopted, which will terminate at Abermawr, some miles distant from the town. A few particulars of the line are given under the heads of Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire, and a fuller account under that of Glamorganshire.
The trade, which is very inconsiderable, consists chiefly in the exportation of corn and butter to Bristol and Liverpool, and the importation of shop goods; of coal and culm from Milford and Swansea; coal from Newport, Cardiff, &c.; limestone from Milford; and timber. Some of the larger vessels belonging to the port are engaged in the general carrying-trade from Bristol, Liverpool, Milford, and London, to Ireland, &c. The Irish packets, and vessels bound for Liverpool, often put in here, when driven by stress of weather. The herring fishery, which formerly afforded employment to a considerable number of the inhabitants, becoming unproductive, has been some time discontinued, with the exception of procuring a supply for the immediate neighbourhood only. Lead-ore has been found within the parish, but not in sufficient quantity, nor of quality rich enough, to encourage any attempts to work it; slate of very good quality abounds in the neighbourhood, and iron-ore has been found near the town. The market is on Thursday, and is well supplied with grain, and with provisions of every kind: an act for establishing a market was obtained in 1834. The fairs are on February 5th, Easter-Monday, WhitMonday, July 23rd, and November 17th.
Fishguard is thought to have been anciently an incorporated borough, and is traditionally reported to have possessed a charter, granted by King John, which was lost during the great civil war of the seventeenth century; but the only officer appointed in the present day is a mayor, whose election is merely nominal, as there are now no burgesses, or other vestige of borough jurisdiction. This mayor, who is chosen from among the tenants of the manor, which formerly belonged to the crown, is selected by the lord's steward, and submitted by him to the jury present, who, upon their oaths approving of the appointment, allow the candidate to be sworn in. There is a district in the parish still known by the name of "The Borough," which is co-extensive with the manor. By the act of 1832, for "Amending the Representation of the People," the place is constituted a contributory borough with the boroughs of Haverfordwest and Narberth, in the return of a representative to parliament. The right of election is vested in every male 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 present number of tenements of this value within the limits of the borough, is sixtyfive. The sheriff of Haverfordwest is the returning officer. Fishguard is also one of the polling-places for the election of a knight for the shire.
The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £4. 0. 5., endowed with £200 royal bounty and £800 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor; present net income, £111. The tithes have been commuted for £230 payable to J. Hughes, Esq., and £70 payable to the vicar: there is a glebe of twelve acres, valued at £16 per annum. The church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is pleasantly situated in the Upper Town, and is a neat small edifice, but not distinguished by any peculiarity of architecture. A handsome vicarage-house, called Vicar's Park, from the name of the plot of glebe on which it stands, has been erected by the present incumbent, the Rev. Samuel Fenton, M.A., which has much improved the entrance into the town from Haverfordwest. Fishguard, previously to the erection of the present church, is said to have comprised two distinct parishes, now forming only one; and the ruins of three ancient chapels, called respectively LlanVihangel, Llan-Vartin, and Llan-Ist, may still be traced: of these, two probably were parochial churches, and the third a chapel of ease to one of them. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, and Calvinistic Methodists; and five Sunday schools, one of them in connexion with the Established Church.
The hills in this parish, inclosing the romantic Vale of Gwayn, were formerly thickly strewed with Druidical relics, of which several vestiges may still be traced; and near the site that was occupied by the ancient town called Caerau, three Roman urns have been found, containing numerous coins, of Gallienus, Posthumus, Claudius, and some other emperors; but the coins were melted down soon after their discovery. In various parts of the parish are tumuli, some of which have been found to contain relics of the rudest ages, urns of the coarsest workmanship, implements of stone, bones, ashes, and curiously wrought stones. Near the town are several tumuli, or artificial mounds, intrenched as if for military purposes, and called Castellau, or, "the castles," probably from that circumstance: these Mr. Fenton supposes to be sepulchral monuments of a remote age, and to have been reduced to their present form, which is a truncated cone, and probably surmounted by forts, during the wars between the Welsh and the invading Saxons. On the bank of the river Gwayn, in a secluded and romantic situation, stands the neat mansion of the late Richard Fenton, Esq., barristerat-law, and author of the "Historical Tour through Pembrokeshire;" it is pleasantly embosomed in a thick grove of trees, and is now the property and residence of his eldest son. Upon Fort Point, on the north-east of the town, is a battery, but the guns from disuse and neglect have become unserviceable. A mineral spring in the parish was formerly in high estimation for its efficacy in the cure of numbness of the limbs and other complaints.
Flemingston, otherwise Flimston
FLEMINGSTON, otherwise FLIMSTON, a parish, in the union of Bridgend and Cowbridge, hundred of Cowbridge, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 4 miles (S. E. by S.) from Cowbridge; containing 74 inhabitants. This place is said to have derived its name from the descendants of Sir John Fleming, one of Fitz-Hamon's knights, who was settled at St. George's on the river Ely; and there are some remains, near the churchyard, of a castellated mansion in which they resided. The village is pleasantly situated upon an elevated part of the fertile Vale of Glamorgan, and its appearance bears evident marks of antiquity. An extensive tract of country, previously unproductive, called Flimston Moors, has been drained. The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £4. 18. 9.; present net income, £196; patron, the Earl of Dunraven. Edward Williams, commonly called "Edward Williams the Bard," was a native of this village, in which he resided till his death, at the advanced age of eighty. He was by trade a stonemason, and laboured at that employment whilst his strength permitted him. His first attempts at poetry were in the Welsh language; his literary acquirements, considering his station in life, were extensive, and his knowledge of the antiquities of his country was profound. Mr. Malkin, speaking of this selfeducated genius, observes that, "had his talents been noticed in early life, the public would probably have gained an eminent architect, or sculptor, without losing a valuable antiquary." During the last thirty years of his life he is said never to have lain down in bed, being greatly afflicted with asthma.