A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1849.
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GREENFIELD, a hamlet, in the parish and union, and partly within the limits of the borough, of Holywell, in the Holywell division of the hundred of Coleshill, county of Flint, North Wales, 1¼ mile (N. E.) from Holywell; containing 2112 inhabitants.—See Holywell.
GRESFORD, a parish, in the union of Wrexham, partly in the hundred of Bromfield, county of Denbigh, and partly in that of Mold, county of Flint, North Wales, 3 miles (N. E.) from Wrexham; containing 3928 inhabitants, of whom 574 are in the township of Gresford. This place is supposed to have derived its name, anciently Croesfordd, or "the road to the cross," from its situation near an ancient cross (within half a mile to the south of the present church) of which the shaft is still remaining. The parish is very extensive, comprising upwards of 12,000 acres; and the village is delightfully situated on the western side of the road from Wrexham to Chester, near the head of a beautiful valley, which opens into the Vale Royal of Cheshire, a tract of country remarkable for the richness of its soil, the beauty of its scenery, and the pleasingly diversified views which it presents. The little Vale of Gresford is one of the most lovely valleys in the principality, abounding with interesting objects, enlivened by the meanderings of the river Alyn through its meadows, and finely varied with richly wooded eminences, on one of which stands conspicuously the beautiful church, remarkable for the elegance of its architecture and for its picturesque appearance. The plantations and pleasure-grounds attached to the elegant villas and rural mansions which are scattered throughout this small but romantic dell, combine, with the natural beauties of its scenery, to render it in every respect one of the most attractive spots in this part of the country. Deeply sheltered in the vale is Gresford Lodge, a stately mansion, designed by Sir Jeffrey Wyatville, and one of the most tasteful and highly-finished edifices erected by that distinguished architect. In the parish are also Erddig, situated in a detached portion of it, the grounds of which are disposed with great taste, and beautifully adorned with wood; Gwersyllt Park; Trêvalyn Hall, the ancient mansion of the Trevors; Trêvalyn House; and several other mansions. It is bounded on the east by the Dee, and intersected by the Alyn, a tributary of that river; and on the banks of these streams, and of the Pulford brook, are extensive but not very rich tracts of meadow, which are frequently flooded: the soil is tolerably good. Coal is found within the parish, and mines are worked to a considerable extent in Gwersyllt township, where are also some mills for drawing wire, which afford employment to a small number of persons. The Chester and Shrewsbury railway runs along the Vale of Gresford, parallel with the river Alyn, and has stations at Rossett and Gresford. Fairs for cattle are held on the second Monday in April, the last Monday in August, Easter-Monday, June 24th, August 21st, and October 22nd.
The living is a vicarage, rated in the king's books at £21. 2. 3½., and endowed with five-sixteenths of the great tithes; present net income, £714; patron, the Bishop of St. Asaph. The impropriate tithes of the township of Gresford have been commuted for £102. 2., and the incumbent's tithes in the township for £76. 8.: the impropriate and vicarial glebes in the township comprise 184a. 3r. and 17a. 1r., respectively; and there is a glebe-house. The church, dedicated to All Saints, is a spacious and elegant structure, in the later style of English architecture, with a lofty square embattled tower, of fine proportions. This tower is richly ornamented on the summit with figures of the twelve apostles, alternated with crocketed pinnacles; and in the south-west angle with an elaborately enriched ogee canopy, surmounting a niche of beautiful design, in which is a statue of Henry VII. The interior of the church consists of a nave, chancel, and north and south aisles; the roofs of all these are of oak, panelled, and profusely ornamented with fruit and flowers exquisitely carved. The rood-loft screen, of very superior workmanship, is still remaining entire, and in the chancel are twelve ancient stalls of oak richly carved. In the north aisle is a beautiful niche, surmounted by an enriched canopy, and in the south aisle a piscina of elegant design; in several of the windows of the church are some fine remains of stained glass. Under an arch in the north aisle is an ancient stone coffin, on the lid of which is a shield charged with armorial bearings, round which is inscribed Hic jacet Gronow ap Iorworth ap Dafydd, &c., with the date 1321; and under a flat arch in the south aisle is an altar-tomb, with a recumbent effigy clothed in chain mail, supposed to represent Madoc ab Llewelyn ab Grufydd. There are several monuments to the Trevor family of Trêvalyn, one of which, erected in 1638, during his lifetime, is to the memory of Sir Richard Trevor and his wife Catherine, who are represented in a kneeling posture; the inscription records that he served thirty years in the wars in Ireland, was governor of Newry and the counties of Down and Armagh, and vice-admiral of North Wales, and that he lived to see his great-grandchildren. In the chancel are, a monument by Westmacott, to the memory of J. Parry, Esq., formerly M. P. for the county of Carnarvon; and a white marble tablet to William Egerton, Esq., with a bust of this gentleman, finely executed by Chantrey. Within the last few years, a monumental brass, executed by Messrs. Waller, has been placed in the church; an instance of the revival of the ancient art of engraving monumental brasses. The bells of the church are particularly melodious. A chapel at Rossett has been lately rebuilt and endowed by John Townshend, Esq., of Trêvalyn, and made a district church, with a portion of the parish ecclesiastically assigned to its minister for pastoral purposes. There was formerly a chapel of ease at Allington, but no vestiges of it are now discernible, except the cemetery. The dissenters have several places of worship.
Dame Margaret Strode, widow of Sir George Strode, of the Inner Temple, London, by will, in 1715, gave £500 in trust to the Bishop of St. Asaph and others, for the purchase of lands, the produce of which was to be appropriated to clothing and instructing three boys and three girls of the parish, and, if the funds would suffice, to apprenticing them to masters and mistresses of the Church of England. Of this sum, £450 were vested in the purchase of some land in the parish. Dame Dorothy Jeffreys, of Acton, in the parish of Wrexham, in 1728, gave £50 in trust for the instruction of poor children of this parish; and in 1758, the sum of £114 which had accumulated from the former legacy, and £86 from the latter, making together £200, were placed out in mortgage on a farm purchased by the parish, which realizes five per cent. interest. The annual income available from these endowments is £26, for which sum a few children are gratuitously taught in a large Church school for boys and girls, otherwise supported by school-pence and subscriptions. In the Rossett district is the Lavister infants' school, established in 1846, by Mrs. Barker, of Boughton, near Chester, at the expense of her family; and at Merford is a third school, conducted, like the others, on Church principles, and in which sixteen children are taught at the expense of Mrs. Griffiths, of Trêvalyn Hall. There are several Sunday schools in the parish, of which by far the most considerable is held in the Gresford school-house, and the others are supported by the dissenters. Mrs. Shakerley, of Lower Gwersyllt, in 1757, bequeathed £200 for the purchase of lands, directing the rental to be applied in clothing, and apprenticing to husbandry and housewifery, six children of the parish; no application having been made for apprenticing for several years, this sum has accumulated, and the proceeds now amount to £45 per annum. Mrs. Jane Shakerley, in 1777, bequeathed £100, to be applied in the same manner as the last-named bequest. Mrs. Anne Shakerley, in 1748, and the dowager Lady Williams, each bequeathed £100, directing the interest to be laid out in clothing the aged poor of the parish, to which purpose is also applied the interest arising from the other benefactions, when no premiums are paid for apprenticing children, according to the intention of the respective benefactors. Near the church, and adjacent to the school-house, are two unendowed almshouses. John Davis, of London, in 1595, bequeathed a rent-charge of £13. 6. 8. on his estate at Allington to the poor of the parish, among whom are also distributed the proceeds of other charitable bequests.
Wat's Dyke may be distinctly traced along the eastern bank of the river Alyn, in a direction towards Caergwrle. Sir Richard Trevor, whose monument is in the church, was born in the parish, and resided at the ancient mansion in the hamlet of Allington, or, as it is sometimes called, Trêvalyn: in this old Hall is his portrait, with some emblematic allusions to his former life as a warrior, and his subsequent application to devotion and retirement. At Merford is an ancient British camp, called "the Roft," on an eminence commanding prospects of great extent and variety, chiefly over the Vale Royal of Cheshire; and in the hamlet of Erddig is another strong intrenchment, called "the Roman Fort."
GRESHOLM, an island, situated off the hundred of Rhôs, county of Pembroke, South Wales, six leagues (N. W.) from Milford Haven. This is one of the largest and most central of a line of isles and rocks which extends in a western direction, at some distance from Skomar Isle on the coast of Pembrokeshire, and terminates at the "Smalls," on which is a lighthouse. Gresholm is lofty, steep, and nearly circular, and is generally the first land seen on approaching Milford from the west. Between this island and the "Smalls," but nearer the latter, is a ledge of rocks, about a mile long, visible at low water, and named the "Hats and Barrels;" and about a league from Gresholm, nearly in the same direction, are others, called "Skettle," or "Kettle bottom." All these rocks are extremely dangerous to navigation, as the sounding is upwards of thirty fathoms immediately to the north and south. At the distance of a league from Gresholm, north-by-west, lies a sunken rock, named the "Pope;" and three leagues to the north-east is the "Augre bank," or "Taradr," connected with the "Mascus," a piece of foul ground which is occasionally dry at low water. This range of rocks presents such opposition to the flood tide, that it is generally high water on the coast from two to four hours before it manifests itself amongst them, and the ebb tide is of course equally late.
GRONDRE, a hamlet, in the parish of Killymaenllwyd, union of Narberth, hundred of Dungleddy, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 3 miles (N. by E.) from Narberth; containing 12 inhabitants. It forms an inconsiderable and detached portion of the parish, all the rest being situated in the hundred of Derllŷs, county of Carmarthen.
GRWYNE-VAWR (GRWYNAU-FAWR), a township, in the parish and hundred of Tàlgarth, union of Crickhowel, county of Brecknock, South Wales, 6¾ miles (N. E.) from Crickhowel; containing 24 inhabitants. This township takes its name from the Grwyne-Vawr stream, which rises in the fastnesses of the Black Mountains, passes along the vale here, in the same wild district, and falls into the river Usk near the border of Monmouthshire. It forms the south-eastern extremity of the parish, and is bounded on the east by a detached portion of the county of Hereford.
GRWYNE-VECHAN (GRWYNAU-FECHAN), a township, in the parish and hundred of Tàlgarth, union of Crickhowel, county of Brecknock, South Wales, 4¼ miles (N. N. E.) from Crickhowel; containing 93 inhabitants. This place occupies a valley among the Black Mountains along which flows the Grwyne-Vechan stream, which gives name to the township, previously to joining the GrwyneVawr, two miles distant. The tithes of this township and that of Grwyne-Vawr have been commuted for £105, of which £70 are payable to the Dean and Canons of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, and £35 to the Vicar of Tàlgarth. The area of the two townships is 4739 acres, of which 3000 are common or waste land.
GUILSFIELD, or, in Welsh, CEGIDFA, a parish, in the Lower division of the hundred of Pool, county of Montgomery, North Wales, 2¾ miles (N.) from Welshpool; containing 2577 inhabitants. This parish, the Welsh name of which signifies "a place abounding with hemlock," is bounded on the east by the river Severn. The turnpike-road leading from Welshpool to Oswestry intersects it in two branches, one passing through the village, and the other, which is the more frequented, in a direction parallel with the river Severn, and between it and the Montgomeryshire canal. The parish contains about 16,000 acres of land, the greater part of which consists of old inclosures: about 2000 acres were inclosed by an act passed in 1787. Near the village are several genteel residences, among which the splendid mansion of Garth claims particular notice; it is a modern structure in the decorated style of English architecture, built by the late Rev. Richard Mytton. There is a flannel manufactory at PoolQuay, a hamlet in the parish. The river Severn is navigable up to this hamlet, and the Montgomeryshire canal passes through the eastern part of the parish: a branch from the latter, formed at an expense of £2000, extends from near TredderwenVawr to within half a mile of the village of Guilsfield, a distance of about three miles. The pettysessions for the hundred were held here until the year 1830, when they were removed to Welshpool. The hamlets of Gungrog-Vechan and Trelydan, and part of those of Garth, Hendrehên, Llan with Trawscoed, Llanerchrochwell, Tirymynach, and Varchwel, are within the liberties of that borough.
The living is a vicarage, rated in the king's books at £11, endowed with a fourth part of the tithes (the remainder belonging to Christ-Church College, Oxford), and in the patronage of the Bishop of St. Asaph; net income, £360, with a glebe-house. The church, dedicated to All Saints, is in the decorated style of English architecture, and consists of a nave with a clerestory, north and south aisles, and a lofty square embattled tower surmounted by a shingled spire. The aisles are each separated from the nave by a row of four arches, supported by massive pillars; over the south aisle is a gallery, and at the west end of the church another. The roof is divided into compartments, handsomely adorned with carved work; the font is of considerable antiquity, and in the windows is some ancient stained glass. Among the monuments is a handsome one of veined marble to the memory of the Rev. James Egerton and his family. The churchyard is ornamented with twelve exceedingly fine yew-trees, which, according to a document in the possession of John Jones, Esq., of Crosswood, were planted in the reign of William and Mary, and are all of the same age. The parishregister commences in the year 1573. There are places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists and Independents.
A National school for boys and girls, in which about fifty or sixty are at present instructed, is supported partly by subscription, partly by school-pence, and partly by a rent-charge of £10 on a farm in the township of Llanerchrochwell, bequeathed by Stephen Thomas: a sum of £7. 6. 8., principally arising from a bequest of a rent-charge of £5 by Benjamin Thomas, is expended in annually clothing some of the most deserving children. The school-house was built by subscription of the principal landed proprietors, and by a grant from the National Society, on ground at the north-east side of the churchyard. Another endowment, of £4. 16. per annum, is paid towards the support of a private dame's-school; and a British school has been established in the parish, within the last few years. Besides a Church Sunday school, there are five Sunday schools belonging to the Calvinistic Methodists, held in their five places of worship here.
Divers bequests have been made for the benefit of the poor, the produce of which is chiefly distributed in bread and clothing. Among these are, a sum of £110 by John Davies, in 1731; £200 by Charles Christopher, in 1757; £90 by Elizabeth Lloyd, in 1778; and £12 by—Wynne, of Trelydan: which, with accumulations of interest, the whole amounting to £446, were invested in a mortgage on the tolls of the second district of the Montgomeryshire turnpike-roads, now yielding £22. 6. 8. a year. Other charities are, that of Hester Farmer, who granted a farm, now let at £21. 12. per annum, which the poor of this parish are entitled to receive every fourth year; a bequest of £32, by Thomas Rogers, in 1729; and another of £20, by Ann Parry, in 1776: besides which, there are grants of several rent-charges, namely, £2. 10. by Robert Griffiths, in 1634; one of 14s. by Richard ap William ap Ievan, in 1608; £3 by Thomas Rogers, in 1650; £1 by Robert Thomas David Gôch, in 1663; £2 by Margaret Griffiths, in 1708; £2 by Elizabeth Lloyd, in 1716; one of £3 by Thomas Gollings, in the same year; and £5 by William Jones, in 1735. Some other small bequests and rent-charges, which may have amounted to about £9 per annum, have been lost through negligence, or the failure of parties entrusted with the payment.
On a high hill, called the Garva (Gaer-Vawr), not far from the village, are vestiges of a Roman encampment; and beyond it a Roman road may be traced for nearly a mile, on the road to Pont-yscowryd. Several ornaments of gold, supposed to be relics of the Romans, have been found near this camp; one is in the shape of a wild boar, about two inches long and one high, and probably decorated a helmet.
GUMFRESTON, a parish, in the hundred of Narberth, union and county of Pembroke, South Wales, 1½ mile (W. by N.) from Tenby; containing 128 inhabitants. This place, from its pleasant situation, and the highly medicinal properties of some springs here that are strongly impregnated with iron, is likely to be more resorted to at no distant period. Three of these springs, slightly differing in the properties of their waters, but similar in their ferruginous impregnation, rise in the churchyard, and fall into a stream which flows through the parish; the water is said to have been found highly efficacious in relieving various disorders. Coal of hard quality is found, and worked for the supply of the immediate neighbourhood. The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £9. 12. 3½.; patron, the representative of the late Thomas Meyrick, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £154; and there is a glebe of twenty-six acres, valued at £25. 4. per annum. The church is a handsome structure, romantically situated in a wooded dell, where it is concealed from distant view, excepting only its square tower, which forms a pleasing object; the parsonage-house is agreeably situated, and has been of late years much enlarged and improved. A schoolroom was erected adjoining the churchyard, in 1836, at an expense of £26, by the Rev. G. N. Smith, rector of the parish: no day school is held, but a Sunday school is supported by the clergyman and his friends. There are only three farmhouses and twelve cottages in the parish.
GUNGROG-VECHAN (GYNGROG-FECHAN), a hamlet, in the parish of Guilsfield, within the limits of the borough of Welshpool, county of Montgomery, North Wales, 1 mile (N. E.) from Welshpool: the population is returned with the parish. This hamlet occupies an eminence on the left bank of the river Severn, and is intersected by the Ellesmere and Montgomeryshire canal. It is nearly surrounded by the parish of Welshpool, and is therefore placed within the parliamentary limits of that borough, under the Reform Act: it has always been included within the municipal limits of the borough. The impropriate tithes for this hamlet and those of Trelydan and Garth, payable to the Dean and Chapter of Christ Church, Oxford, have been commuted for a rent-charge of £211. 10., and the vicarial tithes for one of £72.
Gwaenyscor, or Gwannysgor (Gwaen-Esgâr)
GWAENYSCOR, or GWANNYSGOR (GWAEN-ESGÂR), a parish, in the union of Holywell, Media division of the hundred of Prestatyn, county of Flint, North Wales, 8 miles (N. W.) from Holywell, on the road to Holyhead; containing 355 inhabitants. This parish, which is embosomed in hills, and surrounded by lofty mountains, contains about 792 acres. It abounds with lead-ore; and very extensive mines were for many years worked with considerable advantage to the proprietors, but they have been discontinued. The village is pleasantly situated at the base of a ridge of hills, on the summits of which are numerous verdant tumuli, supposed to be the sepulchres of persons of distinction at some remote period. The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £9. 8. 1½., and endowed with £200 royal bounty; present net income, £178, with a glebe-house; patron, the Bishop of St. Asaph. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a small edifice of modern erection, romantically situated amid lofty mountains; and is distinguished for possessing the oldest and most perfect register in the principality, and perhaps even in the kingdom. It commences in the year 1538, at which time orders for keeping parish registers were first issued; the entries are regular and entire, and the whole is in excellent preservation. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyan Methodists, with a Sunday school held in each of them.
GWASTEDYN (GWASTADEDD-FAWR), a hamlet, in the parish of Nantmel, union and hundred of Rhaiadr, county of Radnor, South Wales, 2 miles (E. by S.) from Rhaiadr; containing 456 inhabitants. This hamlet is situated at the western extremity of the parish, and a great part of it is occupied by a very lofty hill, on which one of the largest, if not one of the most perfect, carneddau in the county is found. It consists of a large pile of stones, supposed to contain between thirty and forty cartloads, thrown into nearly a square form, with a hollow in the centre; but this ancient sepulchral monument has sustained so much injury from the destructive effect of ages, that few traces of order are now observable. Dyfryn wood terminates the declivity of this hill on the west; and the valley on the east is populous and well cultivated. The road from Builth to Rhaiadr passes along the left bank of the river Wye, which bounds the township, parish, and county on the south-west.
GWEMPA, a hamlet, in the parish of Llangendeirn, hundred of Kidwelly, union and county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 5 miles (S. S. E.) from Carmarthen; containing 261 inhabitants. This hamlet occupies the southern portion of the parish, and is situated on the left bank of the GwendraethVechan river, which is here crossed by a bridge, on the road from Carmarthen: the valley along which the river flows contains some well-cultivated farms.
GWENDDWR (GWEN-DDWR), a parish, in the poor-law union of Builth, hundred of Tàlgarth, county of Brecknock, South Wales, 7 miles (S. by E.) from Builth; containing 522 inhabitants, of whom 256 are in the North division, 201 in the South division, and 65 in the hamlet of Trawscoed. This parish, the name of which signifies "the fair water," is bounded on the east and north-east by the river Wye, which separates it from the county of Radnor, but is not navigable in this part of its course. It is also traversed on that side by the turnpike-road from Hay to Builth, which runs parallel and close to the river. The parish comprises 8262 acres, whereof 3224 are common or waste land. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £800 royal bounty, and £700 parliamentary grant; net income, £123; patron, J. Bailey, Esq. The tithes, which anciently belonged to the priory of D'or, were purchased from the crown, during the reign of Elizabeth, by Sir David Williams, under whose will a portion was vested in trustees for certain charitable purposes, which has been commuted for a rent-charge of £101; the other portion has been commuted for £148. 10. The church, dedicated to St. Dubricius, has a substantial steeple, but possesses no other claim to architectural notice. Some writers are of opinion that the celebrated seminary presided over by St. Dubricius was situated on the western bank of the Wye, in this parish. There is a place of worship for dissenters, with a Sunday school held in it.
GWERN-HOWELL (GWERNI-HYWEL), an extra-parochial district, in the hundred of Isaled, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 2 miles (W. S. W.) from Pentre-Voelas; containing 108 inhabitants. This place is said by some to belong to the parish of Corwen, though detached, and thirteen miles distant from the church of that parish. It was assessed with the parish of Cerrig-y-Druidion for the old property tax. There is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, with a Sunday school held in the same building.
GWERN-Y-BWLCH, a hamlet, in the parish of Cemmes, union and hundred of Machynlleth, county of Montgomery, North Wales, 7½ miles (E. by N.) from Machynlleth; containing 515 inhabitants. It is situated on the right bank of the river Avon Yale, which falls into the Dovey, and on the road from Newtown to Machynlleth. Through a break between the mountains a distant view of Cader Idris is obtained; and this bwlch, or gap, gives name to the hamlet, which contains a great portion of common, affording sheep-walks to the contiguous farms.
GWERSYLLT, a township, in the parish of Gresford, union of Wrexham, hundred of Bromfield, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 2½ miles (N. N. W.) from Wrexham, on the road to Mold; containing 969 inhabitants. This hamlet, which is sometimes regarded as divided into Lower and Upper Gwersyllt, is pleasantly situated on elevated ground, commanding in some parts a fine view of the Vale Royal of Cheshire. Coal-mines are in active operation; also two mills for drawing wire. There is a place of worship for Baptists. Wat's Dyke, an ancient boundary between England and Wales, is distinctly visible in this hamlet, first pursuing a northern course from the point of the Alyn, near Kumick's Mill, and then following the eastern bank of that river, until it leaves the parish in a direction towards Caergwrle. At the mansion of Upper Gwersyllt resided Colonel John Robinson, who distinguished himself in the civil war of the seventeenth century; the grounds command a fine view of the Hope mountains and of Caergwrle Castle, and the walks by the side of the river Alyn are romantically beautiful. Lower Gwersyllt, soon after the Restoration, became the property of the ancient and respectable family of Shakerley, who made several benefactions to the poor of the parish, and who abandoned the place on account of a calamitous fire which occurred in April, 1738. This ancient seat, however, is still occupied. The tithes have been commuted for £180. 2. 6. payable to the Dean and Chapter of Winchester, and £81. 17. 6. payable to the vicar of Gresford.
GWIDER (GWYDRE), a hamlet, in the parish of Llanthoysaint, union of Llandovery, Lower division of the hundred of Perveth, county of Carmarthen, South Wales; containing 187 inhabitants. The parish church of Llanthoysaint is situated in this hamlet.