A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1849.
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Kegidock, or St. George's
KEGIDOCK, or ST. GEORGE'S, a parish comprising the divisions of St. George and Meivod, in the union of St. Asaph, hundred of Isdulas, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 2 miles (S. E.) from Abergele, on the road to Holyhead; containing 399 inhabitants. It anciently formed part of the parish of St. Asaph, and was celebrated for a well, dedicated to St. George, to whom, as its tutelar saint, it was customary for the rich to present a horse, in order to procure his benediction upon the rest of their stud. It is also memorable as the scene of the resistance which Owain Gwynedd opposed to Henry II., whose forces, after his retreat from Eulo and Basingwerk, he effectually restrained from penetrating further into Wales. On the summit of a hill called Pen-y-Parc is the stronghold which Owain occupied on that occasion, still in an entire state; it is defended on two sides by the precipitous acclivity of the mountain, and on the others by a triple intrenchment nearly a mile in circuit: in front of the east side is a fine verdant terrace, forming an agreeable promenade, and commanding an extensive and interesting view of the adjacent country. The parish is bounded on the north by the Irish Channel. Lead and tin ores are found in great abundance, but at present the mines are not worked.
Kinmel Park, the residence of Lord Dinorben, is situated here. This noble mansion, commenced by the Rev. Edward Hughes in 1780, and finished in 1783, was considerably added to by his son, the first and present Lord Dinorben, but was unfortunately destroyed by fire September 27th, 1841; it has since been rebuilt, of freestone from the Stourton quarries, Cheshire, and is fitted up in the most chaste and elegant manner. The designs were furnished by Mr. Hopper, architect, of London; and his lordship took possession of the rebuilt mansion with his family on the 14th November, 1844, when the most gratifying demonstrations of respect and welcome were evinced by his numerous tenantry and the whole neighbourhood. The principal or eastern aspect forms a frontage of 189 feet, relieved by a portico of four massive columns in the Ionic order; it is occupied by the study and library, the latter measuring fifty-five and a half feet by twenty-one and a half feet. The western façade contains a similar portico, and is occupied by the dining-room, forty feet by thirty-one, and the drawing-room, of the same dimensions as the library. On the north side of the mansion is a fine terrace, extending the whole length of that front, and commanding an interesting view of the Irish Channel and the Vale of Clwyd. The park is well stocked with deer of the choicest kind. The scenery from the house is rich and beautiful; the grounds are extensive, and the gardens tastefully laid out. His late royal highness the Duke of Sussex, for several years, spent some weeks here during the shooting season. In the vicinity is Dinorben, an ancient mansion-house, from which his lordship takes his title of baron, created in the year 1831.
The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £10. 3. 4., and in the patronage of the Crown. Certain appropriate tithes of the division of St. George have been commuted for a rent-charge of £36, and the rectorial tithes for one of £272. 18. 6., with a house, and a glebe of about half an acre; certain appropriate tithes of the Meivod division have been commuted for a rent-charge of £64. 15. 6., and the rectorial for one of £6. The church, dedicated to St. George, is a small edifice, restored by Lord Dinorben, and very pleasantly situated: both it and the churchyard are much admired for their neatness. In 1836, a mausoleum, or sepulchral chapel, was erected at the north-east end of the church, under the superintendence of Mr. Jones, architect, of Chester, as a burial-place for the Kinmel family. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyan Methodists. A school for girls is supported by the noble family residing at Kinmel; and three Sunday schools are held, one of them in connexion with the Church, and the others belonging to the dissenters.
KELLAN, in the county of Cardigan, South Wales.—See Cellan.
KELSTERTON (CÎLSTRYM), a hamlet, in the ecclesiastical district of St. Mark, parish of Northop, union of Holywell, Northop division of the hundred of Coleshill, county of Flint, North Wales, 3 miles (N. E.) from Northop; containing 136 inhabitants. It borders on the Dee, and extends some miles over the sands of that estuary, which are dry at low water, and might be brought into cultivation at a trifling expense. A large ale and porter brewery was erected here in 1818, being the first established in the county; the principal consumption is in the immediate neighbourhood, at Chester, and in the adjoining counties. Edw. Bate, Esq., of Kelsterton House, has considerably improved the appearance of the neighbourhood; and the view of the estuary from this hamlet, especially from the croft opposite the mansion, is very fine. The Chester and Holyhead railway passes here.
KENARTH (CENARTH), a parish, in the union of Newcastle-Emlyn, Higher division of the hundred of Elvet, county of Carmarthen, South Wales; comprising the market and post town of Newcastle-Emlyn, from which the church is distant 2½ miles (W. N. W.); and containing 2044 inhabitants. This parish is beautifully situated on the river Teivy, over which the turnpike-road from Carmarthen to Cardigan is here carried by a stone bridge. It comprises by admeasurement 6429 acres, almost wholly inclosed and in a good state of cultivation, and of which about 400 acres are woodland, and of the remainder two-thirds arable and one-third pasture. The soil is various, some parts being light and others clayey, and along the sides of the river are some rich meadows, with a fine loamy earth: a considerable number of cattle are bred in the parish, and the other produce comprises chiefly corn, butter, and cheese. The lands consist of hills and dales, well wooded with plantations of larch, oak, ash, and different kinds of fir; the surrounding scenery is diversified, and in many parts highly picturesque, the views embracing the narrow but fertile Vale of Teivy, and the adjoining country, abounding with a variety of interesting features. Near the church is the celebrated salmon-leap on the Teivy, where that river pours its waters over several continuous rocky shelves, upwards of twenty feet in extent, forming a pleasing cascade: from the difficulty of passing this leap, the fish, in their ascent up the stream to deposit their spawn, are frequently much injured. In the neighbourhood are some handsome seats, of which the principal within the parish is Gelly-Dywell, beautifully wooded with fine old oak timber, and rich plantations.
The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £4. 6. 8., and endowed with £400 royal bounty, and £800 parliamentary grant; patron, the Bishop of St. David's; impropriator, the Rev. A. Brigstocke: the great tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £266. 13. 4., and the vicarial for one of £133. 6. 8. The church, dedicated to St. Llawddog, is a neat edifice, about fifty feet long and twenty-five broad, containing 230 sittings, and occupies a gentle eminence just above the falls of the Teivy previously noticed. At Newcastle-Emlyn are two other incumbencies; and the Calvinistic Methodists, the Independents, and Baptists have places of worship in the parish, in which Sunday schools are held. A Church school is kept at Kenarth, and the parish contains the workhouse of the Newcastle-Emlyn union.
KENNARTH (CENARTH), a hamlet, in the parish of St. Harmon, union and hundred of Rhaiadr, county of Radnor, South Wales, 2½ miles (N. N. E.) from Rhaiadr; containing 487 inhabitants. It forms the lower, or southern, portion of the parish, and is intersected by the Merthyd brook, which joins the river Wye in the vicinity. The parochial church stands in this hamlet, and the road from Rhaiadr to Llanidloes passes along the vale, crossing the Merthyd by a bridge close to the church. Here are some elevated mountains, the loftiest of which is called Moel Howel.
Kenvig (Cefn-Y-Figyn), Lower
KENVIG (CEFN-Y-FIGYN), LOWER, with Pyle, a parish, comprising the greater portion of the borough of Kenvig, in the union of Bridgend and Cowbridge, hundred of Newcastle, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 11½ miles (S. S. E.) from Neath; containing, exclusively of Pyle, and including Skeir, 297 inhabitants. This place, which is of considerable antiquity, derives its name from its situation on a ridge of ground above a bog. It was anciently of much more importance. As forming part of the great lordship of Glamorgan, it passed by right of conquest, with the other possessions of Iestyn ab Gwrgan, the last Prince of Glamorgan, to Fitz-Hamon, the Norman invader, who included Kenvig among the estates reserved to himself and not apportioned to his companions. Under FitzHamon, his descendants, and their successors, the town increased in importance; and in the reign of Edward II., its immunities were augmented through the influence of this monarch's favourite, the younger Spencer, who obtained for it, in common with other towns in his lordship of Glamorgan, a new charter from the crown. The castle, town, and lordship of Kenvig, about the middle of the fourteenth century, formed part of the dower of the widow of Hugh le Despencer, on her marriage with Guy de Brien. The charter endowing the place with municipal privileges was confirmed by Thomas le Despencer, lord of Glamorgan, in 1360, and renewed by his son Edward, in 1396, and by his daughter Isabel, in 1423. According to the Annales Marganenses, the town was attacked by the Welsh in 1232.
The decay of the old town, castle, and church are ascribed to an overwhelming inundation of the sea, which took place about the middle of the sixteenth century, and covered with sand an extensive tract in the neighbourhood of the coast. From the desolating effect of this calamitous event the town has never since recovered; it now forms only a small straggling and insignificant village, near the open coast of the Bristol Channel. Kenvig contains about 750 acres of inclosed land, and 800 acres of waste, which latter are principally composed of sandbanks and rabbit warrens, about twelve miles in extent, reaching from Skeir rocks to Briton-Ferry. These sand-banks have been planted with the arundo arenaria, in order to bind them: and, on taking a farm on the adjoining moor, the tenant usually covenants in his lease to give annually the labour of a day or more, in proportion to the extent of his farm, for planting it. The bog referred to in the etymology of the name of this place has, from time immemorial, formed a lake, which is nearly two miles in circumference, and, though situated close to the seashore, and encompassed with sand, never imbibes any muriatic properties. Prior to the desolation caused by the furious encroachment of the sea, the road from Cardiff to Swansea and Carmarthen passed through the town; it was subsequently diverted so as to pass about a mile and a half to the north.
Kenvig still retains its municipal privileges, and is governed by a constable of the castle, a portreeve, an unlimited number of aldermen, a recorder, hayward, two ale-tasters, and an indefinite number of burgesses. The constable of the castle is appointed by the lord of the manor; and the portreeve is chosen by the constable out of three burgesses selected by the aldermen at the court leet held at Michaelmas: the aldermen consist of persons who have served the office of portreeve. The recorder and hayward are named by the portreeve; the sergeantat-mace is appointed by the constable from a list of four burgesses returned to him by the jury at the October court leet, and the ale-tasters are chosen by the same officer. The burgesses are elected by the portreeve and a jury of eight burgesses, who may be sworn in at any time, and may confer the freedom on whomsoever they please, and of whom, according to ancient municipal regulation, the freedom can only be claimed by the sons of burgesses born after their father's admission. All the burgesses are entitled to common pasture, without stint, upon the extensive wastes belonging to the borough, of which there are about 250 acres that are fit for pasture; and the revenue of the corporation is about £25 per annum. The borough comprises within its jurisdiction the whole of Lower Kenvig, the whole of the hamlet of Higher Kenvig, and part of that of Trissient, the two last being in the adjoining parish of Margam. It also forms a lordship of itself, with a superior manorial jurisdiction over North Cornelly, South Cornelly, and Scarveur.
This borough, which is one of the most ancient in Wales, prior to the passing of the act of 1832, for "Amending the Representation of the People," was contributory with Cardiff, Aberavon, Cowbridge, Llantrissent, Loughor, Neath, and Swansea, in the return of a member to parliament; the right of election here being in the burgesses at large, resident and non-resident, in number 230. It is now contributory with Swansea, Aberavon, Loughor, and Neath, which have been raised into an independent district, returning one member. The right of election is vested in the old resident burgesses, and 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. The number of tenements of this value within the limits of the borough is very inconsiderable. The mayor of Swansea is the returning officer. The town-hall, of which the lower part has been converted into a public-house, was built about the beginning of the present century, at an expense of £400. Two fairs were formerly held annually; the first commenced on Whit-Tuesday, the second on the eve of St. James the Apostle, and each continued eight days. The line of the great South Wales railway passes in the vicinity of Kenvig.
The living is a discharged vicarage, with that of Pyle consolidated, rated in the king's books at £4. 8. 11½., endowed with £800 royal bounty and £800 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor; present net income, £95; impropriator, C. R. M. Talbot, Esq. The ancient church, dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene, was confirmed and granted, with its appurtenances, about the commencement of the thirteenth century, to the abbey of Margam, by Henry, Bishop of Llandaf, on the petition of Walter, abbot of Tewkesbury. The present parish church is at Pyle. Of the castle, there are no other remains than part of one of the towers, rising to the height of about twelve feet above the sand, beneath which the remainder is buried; and some vestiges of the moat that surrounded it. About 300 yards to the south of it were the ancient church and cemetery, where human bones are frequently exposed to view by the drifting of the sands. The Roman Via Julia Maritima is supposed to have taken its course by this place, between which and the village of Margam is an inscribed stone, about five feet in height and one in diameter, on which are the words Punpeius Carantorius, with some curious characters that have exercised the ingenuity of antiquaries. On the south-east side of the parish is a large extra-parochial farm, called Skeir, containing 21 inhabitants, the boundary line between which and Kenvig having been covered with sand by the storm above noticed, a commission was held for ascertaining it, pursuant to an act obtained in 1554, relating to the destruction caused by the seasand in Glamorganshire.
KERRY (CERI), a parish, in the poor-law union of Newtown and Llanidloes, Upper division of the hundred of Montgomery, county of Montgomery, North Wales, 3 miles (E. by S.) from Newtown; containing 2104 inhabitants, of whom 1254 are in the Lower, and 850 in the Upper division. The name is of doubtful etymology. Some deduce it from Ceri, the "mountain ash," with which the district is thought formerly to have abounded. Others consider it to be a corruption of Caerau, "fortified places," there being remains of this kind in the parish and its vicinity, which, in consequence of being situated near the English border, were the scene of frequent contests: but this is evidently erroneous, inasmuch as the place is called by the same name so early as the sixth century, long prior to the construction of those numerous defences which border warfare rendered necessary. The late Rev. Mr. Jenkins, an ingenious antiquary, and vicar of the parish for many years, was of opinion that the place derived its name from some chieftain, or petty prince, of remote antiquity, whose patrimony it was; a practice which prevailed to a considerable extent in the early ages of the Britons. He further supposed that the chieftain might have been Ceri Hîr Lyngwyn, grandfather of the valiant Caractacus.
In ancient times Kerry, or Ceri, comprehended a district containing the parishes of Kerry and Moughtrey, the church being then called Llanvihangel yn Ngheri, "the church of St. Michael in Kerry;" and formed a comot in the province of Ferregs, co-extensive with what is now the Upper division of the hundred. The first event of moment mentioned with relation to it is, that it was the scene of a determined, but bloodless, struggle between the celebrated Giraldus Cambrensis, Archdeacon of Brecknock, and Adam, Bishop of St. Asaph, regarding the right to the church, which, although it had for some time been considered as belonging to the diocese of St. David's, was claimed by that prelate, who forthwith raised a strong body of men from Powys, to assist, if necessary, in enforcing his claim. Giraldus, on being apprised of this, despatched messengers to two chieftains of this country, Einon Clyd and Cadwallon, requesting military aid in asserting the rights of the church of St. David's, determining to anticipate the bishop's design. Having arrived at Kerry, he entered the church, and ordering the bells to be rung, in token of possession, celebrated mass. Meanwhile messengers having been sent hither by the bishop, announcing his approach to dedicate the church, the archdeacon commissioned some of his clergy, attended by the dean of the district, to inform him, that if he came as a friend, he would be kindly received; but if not, he urged him to advance no further. The latter, however, desisted not from his purpose, and was met by the archdeacon and his clergy at the entrance to the churchyard, where a contention arose, each party asserting their respective right to the church. The bishop, putting on his mitre, and taking his pastoral staff in his hand, approached with his attendants, on which also the opposite party, dressed in their surplices and sacerdotal robes, with lighted tapers and elevated crucifix, came forth in processional order; and each began to excommunicate the other; but the archdeacon ordering the bells to be rung three times, in confirmation of his sentence, the bishop and his party mounted horse, and hastily rode off, amid the shouts and pelting of the crowd which so unusual an occurrence had caused to assemble.
According to Matthew Paris, Henry III., having led an army to the relief of the castle of Montgomery, which the Welsh were then besieging, and compelled them to abandon their enterprise, advanced further into their country, and was opposed by Llewelyn ab Iorwerth, at a place corruptly called Cridia, in the Vale of Kerry. After employing much time in cutting down a large wood, which had frequently protected the Welsh from previous aggressions of the English forces, he took and demolished a castellated mansion situated in the centre of it, and thereby deprived them of one of their most important posts. The position of the place being highly favourable, he then, with the advice of his minister, Hubert de Burgh, commenced the erection of a castle upon the site of the former edifice; but, during the progress of the work, he was so harassed by the Welsh, who intercepted his convoys, and cut off his foraging parties, that, after three months' labour and considerable expense, he was obliged to abandon his design, and agree to a truce. The conditions were, that he should raze to the ground the works which he had constructed, since called "Hubert's Folly," and that the Welsh prince should pay 3000 marks for the materials, and agree to do homage for the lordship of Kerry. In one of the rencontres which took place at that time, Wm. de Breos, lord of Brecknock, was made prisoner by the Welsh.
This large parish, which contains nineteen townships, is situated in the southern part of the shire, and is bounded on the north by the parishes of Newtown and Llanmerewig, on the south by Radnorshire and Salop, on the east by Churchstoke, and on the west by Moughtrey. It is about thirteen miles in length, and from three to five in breadth, and comprises 21,420 acres, of which about 4000 acres are arable, 5000 pasture, 4000 meadow, 6920 sheep pasture, and 1500 wood and plantations; about 12,000 acres are old inclosed land, and the rest are mountainous and lately allotted as sheep-walks to different farms, under an act passed in 1797. The surface is diversified and interesting, consisting of valleys, hills, and mountains, and having a good background formed by the hill of Corndon in Shropshire. Above the village are the two narrow picturesque vales of the Mule and the Miheli, and below are the vale of the Mule, after its junction with the Miheli, and that of Ceibutrach, environed on both sides by ridges of hills, of which those on one side are lofty and extensive, and afford pasturage in summer to from 12,000 to 15,000 head of sheep. The scenery is much and deservedly admired, and an excursion of four miles and a half from Abermule, on the Welshpool road to the village of Kerry, cannot fail to charm the traveller by the variety and beauty of the prospects. In the time of the later princes of Wales the district was covered with almost impenetrable woods, and in the reign of Henry VIII. Leland describes it as a forest without deer; but it has since been nearly stripped of its sylvan clothing, though extensive plantations have been formed, which, in the course of a few years, will contribute greatly to the embellishment of the scenery of the Vale, the soil being highly favourable to the growth of trees. The system of agriculture has been much improved of late years throughout the district. The soil is of an argillaceous nature, and the chief dependence of the farmer is grain, cattle, and sheep. About five or six men are usually employed in three flagstone quarries, and three or four in two building-stone quarries; there are four water grist-mills, a sawing-mill, and a bone-mill. The parish contains the villages of Kerry, Llwynycowrid, Sarn, Bahaillon, and Pentre. The first of these has a very neat appearance, and contains 219 inhabitants; it stands on the road from Newtown to Bishop's-Castle, and the new line of road between Builth and Newtown, which connects North and South Wales, passes through the west end of the parish. The chief mansions are Dôlevorgan, Black Hall, Brynllywarch, Forest, and Snowfield House, the last of which is a modern building in the early English style of architecture. Petty-sessions for the Upper division of the hundred were formerly held at the village, on the last Friday in every month.
The living is a vicarage, rated in the king's books at £17. 8. 4.; net income, £330, with a glebe-house; patron and appropriator, the Bishop of St. David's. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, and stated by Giraldus Cambrensis to have been rebuilt in 1176, is now principally in the later style of English architecture, with some modern alterations. It consists of two aisles, separated by eight Norman arches supported on columns and octangular pillars, and has a massive square tower at the west end, surmounted by a wooden belfry. The edifice is eighty-nine feet eight inches in length and forty-six feet four inches in breadth, and contains 607 sittings. The font, which is octagonal and very ancient, is adorned in each department with devices emblematical of the Crucifixion. A monumental tablet has been erected to the memory of Giraldus; and on the north side of the window in the south aisle is a handsome monument, erected at an expense of £525, to the late Richard Jones, Esq., a native of Black Hall, and the benevolent founder of the Black Hall Institution, in the parish: it consists of a white marble bust of the founder, on one side of which is a boy writing, and on the other a girl reading, resting on a pedestal of variegated marble. Neat marble tablets have also been put up to the memory of the Rev. Mr. Jenkins, the Rev. Mr. Davies, Miss Herbert, and others. The churchyard is kept in a state of unusual order and neatness, a circumstance which induced Mr. Hulbert, the historian of Shrewsbury, to say, that "whoever visits Newtown, or its neighbourhood, should not omit to visit Kerry; its churchyard, which may very properly be designated 'the garden of graves,' exhibiting among the tombs the snowdrop, the primrose, the polyanthus, the pink, and the gilliflower, mingling with sweet-scented and small evergreen shrubs, and displaying charms not to be realized among the tombs of departed greatness." A chapel of ease formerly stood in the township of Gwernygo, but no remains of the building can now be traced. There are places of worship for Baptists and Independents.
The Black Hall Institution was founded in 1787, by the above-named Mr. Jones, who had been a purser in the royal navy, to be "free and open to all Christians, Jews, Turks, and Infidels, that will attend for instruction, that they may hear and learn, and fear the Lord, the great Jehovah." At his decease he bequeathed to trustees funded property consisting of £1000 in the three per cent. Consolidated Bank Annuities, £1050 four per cent. ditto, and £1000 five per cent. Bank Annuities (the last of which has been advanced on mortgage to the commissioners of the first district of roads in Montgomeryshire), directing the interest to be applied in feeding, clothing, and educating poor children of the parish, and apprenticing poor boys; the charity to be called by the above-mentioned name. He also bequeathed £700 three per cent. Consolidated Bank Annuities to the same trustees, for the support of a Sunday school, established also in 1787, to be called the Kerry Charity Sunday School on the Black Hall Institution. The income of the charity, including some former bequests, amounts to about £150 per annum, of which £93 are paid to the master, who himself pays the mistress; the remainder of the income is expended in providing the children with food and clothing. The school-house, a large brick building, stands near the church, and has been repaired and improved at different times, partly by subscription, and partly from the funds of the charity. The other contributors to education in the parish were, John Jones, who in 1718 granted £5 for books; the Rev. Richard Lloyd and James Lloyd, who in 1741 made a gift of similar sums, the interest secured on the Dole Howell estate; Evan Humphries, who also assigned a rent-charge; Evan Williams, who in 1720 gave £10, and Matthew Edwards, in 1723, £20, both sums secured on the tolls of the first district of Montgomeryshire roads; and William Pugh, who in 1823 presented a donation of £100; besides which there is an annual payment of £5 from the rectorial tithes. Divers bequests, including one of £300, in 1839, by Mrs. C. Careless, daughter of a former vicar of the parish, have also been made at different times for the benefit of the poor; the produce of which, amounting annually to upwards of £30, is distributed by the vicar and churchwardens agreeably to the intentions of the donors.
On the hills, and in other parts of the parish, are numerous intrenchments, fortifications, and barrows, evincing this neighbourhood to have frequently been the arena of military contentions, unrecorded in history. In the garden of the parsonage house, in the township of Trêvlan, is a high mound of earth encompassed by a moat, supposed, from its unfinished state, to be the work attempted to be erected by Henry III.
KEVENLLEECE (CEFN-LLŶS), a parish, and contributory borough, in the union of Rhaiadr, hundred of Kevenlleece, county of Radnor, South Wales, on the road from Newtown to Builth, 1½ mile (S. W. by S.) from Pen-y-Bont; containing 379 inhabitants. This place, the name of which signifies the "palace ridge" or "hill," is of considerable antiquity. A castle of great strength was erected here at an early date, which is sometimes called "Castell Glyn Ithon," from its being situated on an eminence in a glen watered by the Ithon, by which river it was nearly encircled; the ruins form an interesting object amid the surrounding scenery. Mention of this fortress occurs in a list of border castles in the early part of the reign of Henry III., preserved in the British Museum. The parish comprises 4003 acres. It is extremely hilly, and, being for the most part destitute of wood, is in general of dreary aspect; the tops of some of the hills, however, command prospects of striking interest. Leadore and coal are supposed to exist within its limits, but all attempts that have been made to procure them have proved fruitless.
Kevenlleece is a borough by prescription, and probably owes that distinction to the existence of its ancient castle. The corporation comprises a bailiff, constable, and burgesses, who are nominated by the steward of the manor, and presented by the jury of the court leet, which consists of burgesses, summoned by the steward; none of the officers, however, possess any privileges, that of assisting in the election of a member of parliament having been taken away by the Reform Act. The borough includes within its limits, which were not altered by the Boundary Act, about one-fifth of the parish, extending about two miles from east to west, and half a mile from north to south. It contributes with Radnor, Rhaiadr, Cnwclas, Knighton, and, by the act of 1832, "for Amending the Representation of the People," with Presteign, in sending a member to parliament. The right of voting was formerly in the burgesses at large, nearly 200 in number, but is now vested, by the above act, in the old resident burgesses only, if duly registered according to its provisions, and 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 at least £10, provided he be capable of registering as the act demands. The present number of houses in the borough of this value is only three. Knighton gives name to the hundred, the polling-place for which, on the election of a knight for the shire, is at Pen-yBont, in the adjoining parish of Llanbadarn-Vawr.
The living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at £8. 19. 4½.; patron, the Bishop of St. David's: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £196; and there is a glebe of forty-six acres, valued at £40 per annum. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is romantically situated on the right bank of the river Ithon, amid high hills, and is somewhat difficult of access in winter; it consists of a nave and chancel, with a low tower covered with a shelving roof. There is a place of worship for Independents, endowed with a farm in the parish of Llansantfraid, called Craigieuan, bequeathed by a lady named Jones, and now producing £25 per annum. Thomas Palmer, in 1712, bequeathed certain lands for the use of the poor. The Rev. Hugh Powell, in 1714, gave £32 for a similar purpose; and William Lewis, in 1831, left £60, one moiety of the interest to be distributed among decayed farmers, and the other moiety to be given to a schoolmaster. With these sums, other lands and tenements have been purchased, and a house built, so that the parish now holds property producing £21. 2. per annum, which sum is distributed on the 13th of January, among decayed farmers, in sums varying from £1 to £4. There is no settled day school in the parish.
Kidwelly, or Cydweli
KIDWELLY, or CYDWELI, an incorporated market-town, and a parish, with separate jurisdiction, locally in the hundred of Kidwelly, in the union of Llanelly, county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 9 miles (S. by E.) from Carmarthen, and 225 (W.) from London; containing 1563 inhabitants, of whom 1297 are in the borough, and the remainder in the suburbs. This is a place of great antiquity, and by some historians is supposed to have been the scene of the battle between Ambrosius and Vortigern, which Bede states to have been fought in the year 458. According to Camden, this part of the principality was for many years occupied by the Scots under the sons of Keianus, who were finally expelled by the illustrious British prince, Cunadda. In the reign of William Rufus, William de Londres, one of the twelve knights who attended Fitz-Hamon in his successful attempt upon Glamorgan, and to whom the lordship of Ogmore, in that county, was afterwards assigned, subsequently made a conquest of this district, where he is said to have erected the castle, to which the town was indebted for the importance it attained. The erection of this fortress, however, is attributed with greater probability to one of his descendants, Maurice de Londres, who, according to Camden, after a troublesome war, made himself master of Kidwelly, and fortified the old town with walls and a castle. It afterwards became the scene of some important military events. In the year 1114, the town and fortress were surprised and taken by Grufydd ab Rhŷs, who retained possession only for a short time; and after their re-capture, Gwenllian, wife of Grufydd, a woman of masculine intrepidity, with a view to recover her husband's territories, placed herself at the head of a body of forces, and, attended by her two sons, attacked Maurice de Londres at a place in the vicinity of the castle, where she was defeated, made prisoner, and put to death by her adversary, one of her sons being also slain, and the other made captive: the place where this battle was fought is still called Maes Gwenllian, or "Gwenllian's field." In 1148, Cadell, one of the sons of Grufydd ab Rhŷs, issuing from Carmarthen with a powerful body of forces, ravaged and laid waste the country around this town. The castle was repaired and strengthened, in 1190, by Rhŷs ab Grufydd, but was subsequently demolished in 1233, by Grufydd, son of Llewelyn ab Iorwerth, Prince of North Wales, who had come into this part of the country to oppose the invasions of the Earl of Pembroke, and, hearing that a plot had been concerted by the inhabitants of Kidwelly, to betray him into the power of the English, fired the town, and marched to Carmarthen.
By the marriage of the grand-daughter of Maurice de Londres with Henry, Earl of Lancaster, the castle and lordship of Kidwelly became the property of this nobleman, and the exclusive jurisdiction at present exercised in the town and lordship owes its origin to the erection of the estates of this earldom into a county palatine in the reign of Edward III. These estates, by descent, became vested in the crown in the reign of Henry VII., who granted the castle and lordship to the celebrated Rhŷs ab Thomas, to whose assistance that monarch had been materially indebted for the success of his efforts to obtain the throne. On the attainder of Grufydd, grandson of Rhŷs, they again reverted to the crown. In the reign of Charles I. they were sold to the Vaughans of Golden Grove, in this county; and, after the death of John Vaughan, Esq., early in the present century, became the property of his devisee, Lord Cawdor, whose son and successor, Earl Cawdor, is the present proprietor. The lordship, honour, and liberty of Kidwelly comprises the comots, or hundreds, of Carnawllon, Iscennen, and Kidwelly, and contains sixteen parishes and nineteen manors. By virtue of a grant from King Charles I., the successive lords have claimed and exercised exclusive jurisdiction within the lordship, independently of the rest of the county of Carmarthen, and also various extensive and important privileges. The lord's officer holds the offices of bailiff itinerant, and bailiff of the liberties of the castles and lordship within the said liberty; and he is also coroner, escheator, and steward of the courts baron, which are held separately for each hundred. He has the return of all writs which run in the liberty, excepting only non omittas writs; and, as bailiff of the liberty, summonses, for the assizes and quartersessions, the grand and petit jurors of that part of the county which lies within its peculiar jurisdiction.
The town occupies a low and uninteresting situation on the banks of the Gwendraeth Vâch, or Lesser Gwendraeth river, which divides it into two portions, called respectively the Old and the New Town: the former of these, situated on the western side, is connected with the latter by a handsome stone bridge. The prosperity of this once important place seems to have been completely annihilated by destructive fires and other misfortunes, prior to the reign of Queen Elizabeth, when its inhabitants were at the lowest ebb of poverty, as appears by a memorial drawn up on their behalf by a native of the town, and presented to Sir George Carew, Knight Marshal. The Old Town was formerly surrounded with walls, having three gates, over one of which, in Leland's time, were the remains of a town-hall, with a prison underneath. It now consists, with few exceptions, merely of hovels; and the New Town contains very few respectable dwelling-houses, the majority being thatched cottages of inferior appearance. The air is salubrious, and the place is considered very healthy.
The advantages which it derived from its situation on a navigable river, within half a mile of its influx into the great bay of Carmarthen, having ceased, from the obstruction of the navigation with sand, which formed a dangerous bar across the mouth of the river, its commerce, once flourishing, in consequence declined; and latterly, the opening of collieries, and the establishment of copper-works, at Llanelly, to which this port is a creek, transferred nearly all the remaining trade of Kidwelly to that place. Many fruitless attempts were made to improve the navigation of the river, and various sums were expended in unavailing efforts to remove the obstructions that impeded it; the sands, however, which formerly accumulated, have now totally disappeared through the operations of nature. Some docks, and a short canal, were constructed here about the year 1766, by Mr. Keymer, a private individual; the docks are situated about half a mile from the town, and the canal was intended to convey coal from the mouth of the neighbouring pits to the vessels in the harbour. This navigation was some time since transferred to a company, known as the "Kidwelly Canal Company," by whom it was extended a distance of two miles up the Vale of Gwendraeth, and a branch three miles and a half in length was constructed to communicate with Penbrey harbour: it now extends for fifteen miles. The South Wales railway will run by Kidwelly. Here were both iron and tin works; the former have been entirely abandoned, and the latter are now conducted only on a very limited scale. The exports are, coal to the opposite side of the Bristol Channel, and corn, cheese, and other agricultural produce to Bristol. Markets were held by charter, on Tuesday and Friday; but that on Tuesday has been discontinued, and the other, from the proximity of Carmarthen and Llanelly, has become merely a market for butchers' meat and vegetables. Fairs are held on August 3rd and October 29th.
There are five charters in the possession of the corporation, of which the four first, dated, respectively, the 30th of Edward III., 22nd of Henry VI., 32nd of Henry VIII., and 4th of Edward VI., are under the seal of the duchy of Lancaster, within which the borough is comprised. The fifth was granted by James I., under the great seal, in the sixteenth year of his reign, August 7th, 1618, and, having re-constituted the borough, is the present governing charter. The style of the corporation is, "the Mayor, Aldermen, Bailiffs, and Burgesses of the borough of Kidwelly, in the county of Carmarthen;" and the government is vested in a mayor, twelve aldermen, two bailiffs, twelve principal burgesses, a recorder, deputy-recorder, town-clerk, chamberlain, two serjeants-at-mace, and an indefinite number of burgesses. Of these officers, the mayor, who is chief magistrate, coroner, and clerk-of-themarkets, is appointed by the common-council, which consists of the mayor, aldermen, bailiffs, and principal burgesses, and is the governing body of the corporation, from among the aldermen, on the Monday next after Michaelmas-day, the charter day. The aldermen, of whom one is a magistrate, are chosen for life, and the bailiffs, who are also sheriffs, for a year, by the common-council, from the body of principal burgesses: the principal burgesses are elected for life by the council, from the burgesses. The recorder, who is a justice of the peace, the town-clerk, and the chamberlain, are also appointed by the council, during pleasure; and the serjeants-at-mace are chosen from the burgesses by the mayor.
The freedom is acquired by birth, limited, however, to the eldest sons of freemen, born after their fathers' admission. It is also to be obtained by election of the common-council, who may choose burgesses to whatever extent they please; in practice, one person is generally nominated by the mayor every year, and thereupon elected by the council. The privileges of the burgesses include exemption from serving on all county juries, and the right of grazing five head of cattle and thirty head of sheep each upon the uninclosed lands that belong to the corporation; these lands are stated to comprise about 730 acres, and are supposed to contain valuable beds of copper-ore, to which the corporation lays claim. General sessions are directed by the charter to be held before the mayor, the recorder, or, in his absence, the deputy-recorder, and the alderman who should be elected a justice as before mentioned, or any two of them, including the mayor, for the trial of all offences within the borough short of felony; and the charter declares that no other justice of the peace shall interfere with the concerns of the borough. Quarter-sessions are regularly held, and cases of misdemeanor are occasionally tried, before a jury selected by the bailiffs from among the burgesses; but it most frequently happens that there are no cases for trial. A court of record is also directed by the charter to be held within the borough before the mayor and recorder, or their sufficient deputy, every Monday fortnight, for the trial of all actions, real, personal, and mixed, under £200 in amount; and the hundred court of Kidwelly may also by the same authority take place before the mayor and steward every three weeks; but both these courts have entirely fallen into disuse, though some proceedings appear to have occurred in the former within the present century. The revenues of the corporation consist of about fifty acres of inclosed land, let upon long leases to a large number of tenants; a further inclosure of twenty acres, lately made; a considerable number of chief rents of small amount; and rent derived from a lease of certain copper-mines under the uninclosed lands: the whole producing a net income of about £120. The town-hall is a tenement possessing no features worthy of notice, which has been fitted up for the purpose.
The parish of Kidwelly is divided into St. Mary's within, and St. Mary's without the borough, each division separately maintaining its own poor. The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £7. 10., and in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor; present net income, £120: the impropriation belongs to the Maliphant family. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, and situated in the New Town, is an ancient cruciform structure, with a square embattled tower at the western end, surmounted by a very lofty spire; over the entrance is a figure of the Virgin, and in the interior is a monumental effigy of a priest, with an inscription now illegible. An ancient tombstone was dug up on the north side of the church, in 1846; it bears the figure of a female head, judging from the head-dress, with an inscription which is much defaced. There are places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, Independents, Wesleyans, and Particular Baptists; a National school, chiefly supported by voluntary contributions; and six Sunday schools, one of them in connexion with the Established Church. A rentcharge of 6s. 8d., assigned by Howell Thomas in 1666, is distributed in bread among the poor annually; another of 10s. has been lost. At Penallt, near this place, was anciently a small priory of Benedictine monks, founded about the year 1130, by Roger, Bishop of Sarum, who dedicated it to St. Mary, and made it a cell to the abbey of Sherborne in Dorsetshire; it continued to flourish till the Dissolution, at which time its revenue was £38: the present remains are very inconsiderable.
Leland, speaking of the castle, in the reign of Henry VIII., states that it was then "meately wel kept up," "veri fair, and doble waullid;" having been repaired by Alice de Londres, wife of one of the Dukes of Lancaster, and again in the reign of Henry VII. The remains of this edifice occupy a bold rocky eminence on the western side of the Gwendraeth Vâch, and are more perfect than any other of a similar character in the principality. Their appearance is grand and imposing, the ruins comprising a quadrangular area, inclosed by strong walls defended with massive circular towers at the angles, and also with bastions in the intervals; the principal entrance, which is on the west side, is under a magnificent gateway, flanked by two round towers, and is still in good preservation. Many of the state apartments are almost entire, and the groined ceilings of some of them, together with other portions of the edifice, display interesting features of the early style of English architecture. A signet-ring, supposed to be of the early part of the fourteenth century, was found near the castle some years ago.
KIFIG (CYFFIG), a parish, in the union of Narberth, Lower division of the hundred of Derllŷs, county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 5 miles (W. by S.) from St. Clear's; containing 486 inhabitants. The parish is intersected by the old road from St. Clear's to Narberth. The living is a perpetual curacy, formerly dependent on the church of Laugharne, but lately endowed as a separate incumbency with £8 per annum by the vicar of that parish, and with £600 royal bounty; net income, £56; patron, the Vicar of Laugharne. It is held with the living of Marros. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £185, and the vicarial for one of £40. There is a place of worship for Baptists, with a Sunday school held in it. Zacharias Thomas bequeathed a rent-charge of 13s. 4d. to the poor in 1681.
KILAY (CILE), a hamlet, in the parish of Llandarog, hundred of Iscennen, union and county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 8 miles (E. S. E.) from Carmarthen; containing 265 inhabitants. The Gwendraeth Vâch river flows through this hamlet.
KÎLCARW (CÎL-CARW), a hamlet, in the parish of Llangendeirn, hundred of Kidwelly, union and county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 7½ miles (S. E. by E.) from Carmarthen; containing 529 inhabitants. Kîlcarw forms the south-eastern portion of the parish; it occupies a part of the district between the Gwendraeth Vawr and Gwendraeth Vâch rivers, and the road from Llannon to Llangendeirn passes through it. Mynydd Llangendeirn, extending parallel with the latter river, is situated here, and, from its deep indentations, gives name to the hamlet, Cîl Carw implying "the retreat of the stag."
KÎLGEE (CÎL-GU), a hamlet, in the parish of Llanyre, union and hundred of Rhaiadr, county of Radnor, South Wales, 5½ miles (S. E.) from Rhaiadr; containing 222 inhabitants. It forms the northern portion of the parish, and is bounded on the east by the river Ithon, on the banks of which is some marshy ground. The parochial church is situated in this hamlet.
KÎLGERRAN (CÎL-GARON), a parish, and formerly an incorporated market-town, in the union of Cardigan, hundred of Kîlgerran, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 2¼ miles (S. S. E.) from Cardigan; containing 1149 inhabitants. This place owes its origin to the erection of a castle, of great strength and extent, the original foundation of which is involved in much obscurity: some writers attribute it to Roger de Montgomery, and others to Gilbert, Earl of Clare. In 1164, this important fortress was taken from the English by Rhŷs ab Grufydd, Prince of South Wales, by whom it was considerably strengthened; and in the following year the Normans and Flemings made an unsuccessful attack upon it. During the civil war between Rhŷs's two sons, Grufydd and Rhŷs, the former of whom had succeeded to his father's dominions, it was captured in 1199 by Grufydd, from whom, however, it was wrested by William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke, about the year 1204. Llewelyn ab Iorwerth, in 1215, included the capture of this castle among his numerous conquests in this part of the principality, but ceded it, in the following year, to a native chieftain named Maelgwyn, from whom it was retaken in 1222, by the Earl of Pembroke. This nobleman immediately commenced the erection of a new fortress, which was finished by the garrison, during the earl's absence in London, whither he had been summoned to attend the king. The castle thenceforward continued annexed to the earldom of Pembroke, until the decease of the youngest son of Earl William, when the vast estates of the family descended to coheiresses, and the castle and lordship of Kîlgerran were separated from the earldom. The importance of the castle imparted a proportionate degree of consequence to the town, which was endowed with corporate privileges, and continued to flourish until the decay of the former, on which it underwent a like decline.
It is now only a small village, consisting of one street, about half a mile in length, the houses in which are mean, straggling, and irregularly built, with the church at the western extremity. The river Teivy, which runs on the east and north to its estuary below Cardigan, here winds in majestic reaches along the vale to which it gives name, and which at every bend presents some fresh features of novel and picturesque beauty. In sailing up the Teivy, in one part of its course, the hanging woods that clothe the sides of the environing hills recede from the margin of the stream, and leave room for a narrow strip of meadow land, whilst the varied scenery on the opposite bank is terminated by the august ruins of the castle, on the summit of a projecting rock rising precipitously from the brink of the river. Upon the Cardiganshire side of the Teivy, the noble woods which give name to the valuable estate and mansion of Coedmore, cover the sides and summit of the rock, partially disclosing at intervals impending masses, which contrast finely with the sylvan beauties of the scene. Pursuing the course of the river, rich groves, alternating with the naked rock, continue to excite the admiration of the traveller, till he arrives within a short distance of Llêchrhŷd bridge, where the vale expands on either side, margined by luxuriant meadows, from which the hills recede, beautifully varied with churches, seats, and cottages, embosomed in the foliage of successive plantations. In the parish are three mansions, namely, Glàndovan, the seat of Robert Frederick Gower, Esq., of which family was Admiral Sir Erasmus Gower, who accompanied Earl Macartney in his embassy to China, and greatly distinguished himself in the naval service of his country; Castell Maelgwyn, the property and residence of Abel Lewis Gower, Esq.; and Rhôs-yGilwen, the elegant modern mansion of John Humphreys, Esq., who obtained this estate by marriage with Catherine, daughter of the late Thomas Colby, Esq., of Fynnonau, and erected the present house.
There are extensive slate-quarries in the parish, which are actively worked, and enjoy a facility of communication with the sea by means of the Teivy, which is navigable as high as Llêchrhŷd bridge, about three miles above Cardigan. The market, held on Wednesday, has fallen into disuse; but fairs take place annually on August 21st and November 12th, for the sale of cattle, horses, pigs, &c. The place has long since lost many of its municipal privileges, but still retains a semblance of its former importance in the appointment of a portreeve, who receives the tolls taken at the fairs, a town-clerk, two bailiffs, and an indefinite number of burgesses. Two courts are summoned every year by the bailiffs under warrants from the portreeve, the one soon after Michaelmas-day, and the other at Easter, upon days fixed by the portreeve for the time being; and at the first-named of these courts, the jury, who are burgesses, present one of the burgesses to fill the office of portreeve after remaining three years on the list. The town-clerk and bailiffs are chosen by the portreeve; and the freedom is acquired by presentment of the jury at one of the courts leet, when persons are admitted, who, after the expiration of a year, become entitled to the privileges of burgesses. These privileges consist of exemption from toll, and the use, under certain regulations, of a large tract of uninclosed grazing land, containing from 60 to 100 acres, and some stone and slate quarries.
The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £9, and in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £190, and there is a glebe of nine acres, valued at £9. 10. per annum; also a glebe-house. The church, dedicated to St. Llawddog, was an ancient structure, in the early style of English architecture, with a square tower at the western end, but the body of the edifice was some years ago taken down and rebuilt, with the aid of a grant of £100 from the Church-Building Commissioners, and £60 from the late Abel Anthony Gower, Esq.: it is now in a very respectable condition. In the churchyard is a rude stone, bearing an inscription now illegible, but evidently a Roman monumental stone. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, and Calvinistic Methodists. A National school-house, with a master's house attached, was built in 1845, at a cost of upwards of £500, defrayed by local subscription, and grants of £100 from the National Society, and £90 from the Committee of Council on Education. Four Sunday schools are also held, one of thom in connexion with the Established Church. The ruins of the castle rank among the most striking, extensive, and picturesque remains of ancient fortresses in South Wales. They stand on the edge of a rock rising perpendicularly from the southern bank of the Teivy, and consist of several bastions of different forms, with portions of the curtain wall: the castle had two wards, the plan of which, with the position of the integral parts, may be clearly traced. It is at present, together with that of Pembroke, held by grant from the crown (made in the reign of James II.), by Pryse Pryse, Esq., of Gogerddan, in the county of Cardigan.
KÎLGWYN (CÎL-GWYN), a chapelry, in the parish of Nevern, union of Cardigan, hundred of Kemmes, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 2½ miles (S. S. E.) from Newport; containing 444 inhabitants. The chapel is dedicated to St. Mary; it is situated at the foot and near the south-eastern declivity of Carn Ingli mountain and common, on the former of which are some ancient carneddau.
Kîlieucha (Cîliau Uchâf)
KÎLIEUCHA (CÎLIAU UCHÂF), a hamlet, consisting of the Lower division of the parish of Llandysilio-Gogo, in the union of Aberaëron, Lower division of the hundred of Moythen, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 16½ miles (W. N. W.) from Lampeter: the population is returned with the parish. The Cynin and another stream here fall into the bay of Cardigan, the shore of which is bold and precipitous, with eleven fathoms at low water a short distance from the coast. A few craft are engaged in the culm and limestone trade. There are several respectable residences scattered over the neighbourhood; and here is an ancient mansion, called Cwm Cynin, the property of the family of Parry, now converted into a farmhouse. The Earl of Richmond, after being joined by Rhŷs ab Thomas, is stated to have encamped in this district with his army previously to proceeding against Richard III., and to have been hospitably entertained at Llwyn Davydd, now a considerable village, by Davydd ab Evan, to whom he presented a golden goblet, which is said to be in the possession of the Vaughans of Golden Grove. Capel Cynin, a chapel dedicated to St. Cynin, is situated in the hamlet: having been suffered to fall into decay, it was rebuilt in 1820 by the parishioners. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £200 private benefaction and £2000 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Vicar of Llandysilio-Gogo; income, £75. The parochial church is also situated in the hamlet. Y Garn Wen, or "the white heap," is a circular formation of loose stones, about sixty-eight yards in diameter, divided into three compartments, with a low stone rampart surrounding it; within a short distance to the south-west is an appendage, composed of three acres of ground, formerly encompassed with a mound of earth: the whole is situated above the farm of Ciliau, near the coast. Not far from Llwyn Davydd are vestiges of what is supposed to have been a castle, comprising two circumvallations, 200 feet in diameter, with high mounds and deep ditches, and containing in the centre what has the appearance of a tumulus; it is conjectured to be the site of Castell Meib Wynion, or, "the castle of the sons of Wynion," captured in 1164 by Rhŷs ab Grufydd.
KÎLKEN (CÎL-CAIN), a parish, in the union of Holywell, Northop division of the hundred of Coleshill, county of Flint, North Wales, 4 miles (W. by N.) from Mold; containing 1267 inhabitants. This parish is supposed by some to have derived its name from Cîl, "a retreat," and Cain, "fair," or "pleasant." Others deduce it from Eurgain, niece to St. Asaph, second bishop of the see which, after his canonization, obtained its name from him. Eurgain was brought up and educated by her uncle, and, during the general persecutions which at that time assailed the establishment of the Christian religion, retired to the district included in the present parish of Kîlken, in a vale under Moel Vammau, the loftiest of the Clwydian mountains, where she built a cell, and lived in solitude and devotion. From her pious and exemplary life she acquired the appellation of Eurgain, signifying "the fairness of gold;" and shortly afterwards a church was erected near the site of her hermitage, and consecrated to her memory: the vale in which she dwelt is still called Nant Cain, and the brook which runs from the mountain that shelters it also retains the name of Cain.
The parish comprises 6343 acres, of which 2400 were inclosed under an act in 1793: about 1000 acres are still common or waste. The soil is gravelly, with the exception of some stiff wet earth, and the surface is in general diversified with undulations and hills, the tracts between which form productive and well-wooded vales. The village is pleasantly situated on the river Alyn, and the vicinity is enlivened by finely varied scenery. On the mountain of Moel Vammau, near the confines of the parish, is the Jubilee Column, erected to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of George the Third's accession to the throne. The neighbourhood abounds with mineral wealth, and mines of lead are wrought to some advantage. Fairs are held on March 14th, July 7th, and October 12th. The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £6. 6.; patron, the Bishop of St. Asaph; net income, £300. The vicarial tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £264. 2. 4., and there is a glebe of 8½ acres, valued with house, &c., at £20 per annum. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is remarkable for its fine roof of carved oak, supposed to have been removed hither from Basingwerk Abbey, on the dissolution of monasteries, and which has been recently restored in an admirable manner, by subscription, by Ambrose Poynter, Esq., secretary of the Royal Institute of British Architects. Previously to the late repair, the roof was in a state which threatened immediate ruin; a complete restoration was therefore necessary, and this was effected most ingeniously without taking the work down for the purpose. This interesting relic forms one of the finest roofs, if not the finest, in North Wales; the trusses are supported by figures of angels bearing escutcheons charged with the emblems of the Passion, and grotesque figures ornament the corbels. During the repairs, several curious remains of antiquity were brought to light, among which is the ancient font, especially worthy of notice for its peculiar form and its sculptured ornaments. There are places of worship for dissenters, who also support two Sunday schools. Some trifling charities have been left for distribution among the poor, chiefly arising from bequests by Roger Mostyn the elder and the younger; and some other small ones have been lost. Four almshouses were purchased, in 1810, for a sum of £126, which was made up by a bequest of £50 by Miss Jane Edwards, in 1806; a like sum refunded by Robert Jones, who was assisted when in distress by the parish; and a gift of £30 by the friends of an idiot, Benjamin Richards, who was a charge upon it. These almshouses produce about £6 per annum.
In the mountainous districts of the parish are several small camps, and numerous tumuli. Near Kîlken Hall, in the vale of Nannerch, is the celebrated Fynnon Leinw, or "flowing well," which Camden describes as flowing and ebbing with the tide: but this peculiarity has long ceased to distinguish it. It is a copious and limpid spring, and is much resorted to for bathing, for which purpose it has been inclosed, and is said to possess properties fully equal, if not superior, to those of the far-famed spring at Holywell.
KÎLKENNIN (CÎL-CENIN), a parish, in the union of Aberaëron, Lower division of the hundred of Ilar, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 9¼ miles (N. W. by N.) from Lampeter; comprising the Upper and Lower hamlets, and containing 647 inhabitants. This place is remarkable in history as the scene of a slaughter committed, in 1210, by Rhŷs and Owain ab Grufydd, at the head of a chosen band of 300 men, on a superior body of English and Welsh troops, under the command of their uncle Maelgwyn. John, King of England, had reinforced Maelgwyn with a body of auxiliaries, to aid him in recovering possession of the estates wrested from him by Llewelyn ab Iorwerth, the reigning Prince of North Wales, and by him given to Maelgwyn's nephews. These latter, unable to meet in open combat the force under their uncle's command, here approached his camp secretly by night, and, furiously rushing upon his unarmed soldiers, slew many of them, and compelled the rest, among whom was Maelgwyn himself, to seek safety by flight.
The parish is situated on the road from Aberystwith to Lampeter, and is bounded on the north by Llanbadarn-Trêveglwys, on the south by CiliauAëron and Llanvihangel-Ystrad, on the east by Trêvilan, and on the west by Llandewy-Aberarth. It is computed to contain about 3400 acres, part of which is arable land, producing chiefly barley and oats. The ground is exceedingly hilly, tolerably sprinkled with trees of oak, ash, and fir, and partly skirted by the river Aëron. In the parish are Tŷmawr and Tŷglyn, both neat residences. Besides the village of Kîlkennin, is a hamlet called Newbridge; there are a mill employing two hands, and a small woollen manufactory giving occupation to about six persons. The living is vicarial: the impropriate tithes have been commuted for a rentcharge of £106. 13. 4., the vicarial for one of £53. 6. 8., and there is a glebe of four acres, valued at £4 per annum. The church, dedicated to St. Cannen, was rebuilt about the year 1835, in the later style of English architecture, by public contributions; it is forty-eight feet long and twenty broad, and contains about 150 sittings. A Sunday school is supported in connexion with the Established Church; and there are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans, with a Sunday school held in each of them. On the summit of an eminence in the parish are the remains of an ancient castle, called Bwlch-y-Castell, of which no particulars have been recorded.
KILLEY (CÎL-LE), with Prysg, a parcel, in the parish of Llangattock, union and hundred of Crickhowel, county of Brecknock, South Wales, 1 mile (W.) from Crickhowel; containing 3697 inhabitants. It is situated in a pleasing vale, watered by a tributary of the river Usk, and abounds with limestone, the quarrying and burning of which give employment to a number of persons: a tramway proceeds from the quarries to the Brecknock canal, which crosses the hamlet. The ancient and extensive park of Cîl-le Lan was an appendage of the castle of Crickhowel, on the other side of the river Usk, with which there was a connexion by a private bridge: this bridge has long since been demolished, but its abutments were discovered about seventy years ago, when a high flood carried away part of the soil of the river. Within the limestone rock, in a recess of the mountain termed Tarren y Cîl-le, is a cave of considerable dimensions, called Eglwys Vaen, or "the stone church." There are two large carneddau on the Carno mountain, where a battle was fought between Ethelbald, King of Mercia, and Rhodri Molwynog, a prince of North Wales, in which the latter is said to have been victorious.