A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1849.
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LALESTON, a parish, in the union of Bridgend and Cowbridge, hundred of Newcastle, county of Glamorgan, in South Wales, 1½ mile (W.) from Bridgend; comprising the Upper and Lower hamlets, and containing 507 inhabitants, of which number 293 are in the Upper, and 214 in the Lower, hamlet. This parish derives its name from Lalys, a native of Palestine, and an eminent architect, whom Richard de Granville brought over with him on his return from the Holy Land, and employed to build the abbey of Neath in this county. As a reward for the ability which he displayed in his erection of that magnificent structure, Richard bestowed on him this manor, to which Lalys gave his name, and on which he resided, until, after erecting several churches and castles in the principality, he was appointed architect to Henry I., and removed to London. In 1226 the "town of Lagelstune" was burned by the Welsh. The village bears every appearance of antiquity; the windows of the houses are square, and the doorways arched with stone: near the church is a handsome residence. In the Upper division of the parish are extensive collieries, in full operation: iron-ore also abounds, but it is not worked to any great extent. A fair for cattle is annually held in the village on the second Monday in March. The living is consolidated with the vicarage of Newcastle: the church, dedicated to St. Illtyd, is a spacious and venerable structure, the tower of which was built by Lalys. There is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists; and one or two Sunday schools are held. Thomas Bennet, of Laleston House, Esq., in 1762, bequeathed the sum of £52. 10., vested in the Bridgend turnpike trust, the interest of which is distributed annually at Christmas among the poor not receiving parochial relief; and £600, to be appropriated in equal portions to repairing and beautifying the churches of Laleston, Newton, and Pyle, which was carried into effect by his executors.
LAMBSTON, a parish, in the union of Haverfordwest, hundred of Rhôs, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 3½ miles (W. N. W.) from Haverfordwest; containing 319 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated in the western part of the county, and at no great distance from St. Bride's bay, is bounded on the north by the parish of Camrhôs, on the south by Steynton, on the west by Nolton, and on the east by St. Martin's, Haverfordwest. It comprises by recent measurement 1760a. 2r. 5p., the greater portion being arable. The surface is undulated, and the soil for the most part rests on a rabby substratum; the chief agricultural produce is wheat, barley, and oats: there is a very small quantity of woodland. A small rivulet intersects the parish, and falls into the Western Cleddau. The former mansion of the principal landowner is now a farmhouse. There are two villages, the larger of which is called Sutton, and the smaller Portfield Gate. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £200 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Master and Fellows of Pembroke College, Oxford; net income, £164. The tithes have been commuted for a rentcharge of £140, and there is a glebe of above thirteen acres and a half, valued at £10 per annum. The church is a plain structure, affording accommodation to about ninety persons. There are places of worship for Baptists and Wesleyans; a Church school; and two Sunday schools, one of them in connexion with the Church, the other belonging to the Baptists.
Lampeter (Llan-Bedr) Pontstephen
LAMPETER (LLAN-BEDR) PONTSTEPHEN, a borough, market-town, and parish, and the head of a union, partly in the Upper division of the hundred of Troedyraur, but chiefly in that of the hundred of Moythen, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 27 miles (E.) from Cardigan, and 203 (W. by N.) from London; containing, with the hamlet of Trêvycoed, 1507 inhabitants. The name signifies "the church of St. Peter," the distinguishing appellation of Pont-Stephen having been added from a bridge over the river Teivy, at the distance of about half a mile, erected, as has been vaguely conjectured, by King Stephen, in one of his inroads into Wales. That monarch is also said to have encamped in a meadow near the river, thence called "The King's Meadow;" and in an adjoining field was formerly a subterraneous apartment, called "The King's Cellar," to which led a curious flight of stone steps, removed some time ago by a farmer, for the sake of the materials. But from ancient Welsh pedigrees, the bridge appears to have been the work of an inferior manorial proprietor in this neighbourhood, called Stephen, whose name was used to designate this useful erection, and thus became conjoined with that of the adjacent town and parish.
This seems to have been formerly a place of greater extent and importance than it is at present, "the men of Llan-Bedr" being repeatedly mentioned in terms of distinction in the Welsh Chronicle. To the south-west of the town is a plot of ground still called Mynwent Twmas, "St. Thomas' churchyard," where fragments of leaden coffins have been frequently dug up; the street leading towards it is also called St. Thomas' street, and tradition reports the ruins of the edifice to have been visible about 200 years ago. The ancient lords of the place are represented to have been men of great wealth: their mansion was delightfully situated on the declivity of an eminence to the west of the town; and some remains yet exist of a causeway which, according to tradition, led from it to the western door of the church. The castle of Lampeter is stated to have been demolished, towards the middle of the twelfth century, by Owain Gwynedd, Prince of North Wales, in an expedition against the Normans and Flemings in Cardiganshire and the parts adjacent; it is supposed to have stood in a meadow on the right of the road leading to Aberystwith, the site being marked by a lofty artificial mound, surrounded by an intrenchment. In 1188, Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury, Giraldus Cambrensis, John, abbot of Whitland, and Sisillus, abbot of the monastery of Strata-Florida, here successively exerted their eloquence in preaching the crusades.
The town, which is small, has been much improved by the erection of many good houses on leases granted by J. S. Harford, Esq., of Peterwell, who is lord of the manor. It is pleasantly situated in the beautiful Vale of Teivy, on the northern bank of that river, which here forms the boundary between the counties of Cardigan and Carmarthen, and in a cultivated tract of small extent, surrounded on every side by mountains of considerable elevation. The town is amply supplied with water from the river, and also from springs in the neighbourhood. Its principal architectural ornament is the College of St. David, the establishment of which has greatly tended to promote the prosperity of the place. A new bridge has been built across the Teivy, and an act of parliament was obtained some years ago for the construction of a new line of road from the town to Llandovery. The inhabitants procure grocery and various other articles of domestic consumption from Bristol, which are brought by sea to Aberaëron, and thence by land carriage a distance of thirteen miles; coal of a bituminous quality from Newport and Llanelly, which is brought to the same port; and stone-coal and culm by land from Llandebie and Llandyvaen, a distance of about thirty miles. An agricultural society is supported. The market is on Saturday: three principal fairs, in addition to others of inferior note, are held annually on the Wednesday in Whitsun-week, July 10th, and October 19th. The parish comprises an area of 5200 acres.
The earliest charter of incorporation of which there is a copy extant, is that of Henry VI., whose grant, however, recites others as far back as the reign of Edward II. That under which the borough is now governed was granted by George III., in the 54th year of his reign. It recites that Lampeter was a very ancient borough, in possession, as well by prescription and custom as by grants and charters, of numerous liberties, which it had enjoyed from time beyond memory; and that, as the records and early documents of the place had been for the greater part lost, it was necessary to confirm to the burgesses all their fairs, markets, and other immunities. This the charter accordingly did, re-constituting the corporation under the title of "The Burgesses of the borough of Llampeter-Pont-Stephen," and enacting various regulations for the due election of officers, and the proper management of the affairs of the town. The members of the corporation are a portreeve, town-clerk, beadle or bailiff, and an indefinite number of burgesses. Two courts leet are held for the borough on days appointed by the steward of the lord of the manor, the one at Michaelmas, and the other at Easter; at the former of which the jury, who are selected by the steward, present to him a portreeve and beadle from among the burgesses: the office of town-clerk is generally filled by the steward. The portreeve, by virtue of his office, acts as a magistrate for the borough, concurrently with the justices of the peace for the county. The town-clerk is entitled to a fee of half-a-crown on the admission of a freeman; and the privileges of the burgesses include the right of common on certain waste lands comprising about twenty acres, and freedom from the tolls within the borough, which belong to the owner of the Peterwell estates. In order to become a burgess, it is necessary to be presented by the jury to the steward.
Lampeter is contributory with Cardigan, Aberystwith, and Atpar, in the return of a member to parliament. The right of election was formerly in the burgesses at large; it is now, by the act of 1832, for "Amending the Representation of the People," vested in the old resident burgesses only, if duly registered according to the provisions of the act, and in every male person of full age occupying, either as owner, or as tenant under the same landlord, a house or other premises in the borough of the annual value of £10 and upwards, provided he be capable of registering as the act directs: the number of tenements of the annual value of not less than £10 is about fifty, and the total number of voters about 150. This is one of the polling-places in the election of a knight for the shire. The powers of the county debt-court of Lampeter, established in 1847, extend over the registration-districts of Lampeter and Trêgaron. The town-hall is a commodious edifice, erected in 1818, at the expense of Richard Hart Davis, Esq., lord of the manor: the lower part is appropriated to the market.
The foundation of St. David's College, at this place, is to be attributed to the benevolent and indefatigable exertions of the late Dr. Burgess, Bishop of Salisbury, whose pious exertions for a period of upwards of twenty years as Bishop of St. David's, were at length crowned with complete success by the erection of this noble college, and by securing for it a respectable endowment. Having represented to His Majesty George IV. the necessity that existed for such a foundation, as many of the persons intended and best qualified for the ministry in Wales could not incur the expenses of a suitable education at Oxford or Cambridge, he induced that monarch to enter heartily into the project, by aiding it with his purse, by bestowing on it several advowsons, and by granting it a charter, which secured to the college numerous advantages. The foundation-stone was laid by the bishop on the 12th of August, 1822, and the building was completed and opened for the reception of students in 1827, at the expense of about £20,000. Of this amount, £6000 were contributed by the government, £1000 by the king, and the remainder was produced from collections made by the bishop among the clergy of his diocese and the public during many preceding years. The site of the edifice, containing nearly three acres, was purchased for £100; to this above four and a half acres were subsequently added, at a cost of £400, and the whole area, with the exception of the ground occupied by the college itself and the house of the viceprincipal, is laid out in pleasure-grounds and walks. The building, which was erected from a design by Mr. C. R. Cockerell, is a handsome quadrangular structure, containing a house for the principal, apartments for the visiter and four professors, rooms for above seventy students, a chapel, hall, and library, with the usual collegiate offices; the vice-principal occupying a detached residence. The library already presents a collection of 18,000 volumes, of which half were the gift of the bishop, and is always accessible to the students under very moderate restrictions.
The charter is dated the 6th of February, 1829, and after reciting the motives under which the college was founded, grants to the establishment, in pursuance of an act previously passed, the advowsons of the rectories of Llangoedmore in the county of Cardigan, and Llanedy in the county of Carmarthen, the vicarage of St. Peter's in the town of Carmarthen, and the sinecure rectories of Llangeler in the same county, and Llandewi-Velvrey in Pembrokeshire, together with all the rights belonging to them. It declares the college shall be perpetual, for the education of persons destined for holy orders, and shall consist of a principal, two or more tutors, and the same number of professors. It appoints the Lord Bishop of St. David's for the time being, visiter, and declares that the principal, &c., and their successors, shall be a body corporate, under the name of the "Principal, Tutors, and Professors of St. David's College in the county of Cardigan and principality of Wales," having a common seal, with license to hold the above advowsons, and to purchase lands and advowsons for the use of the college, so that the value of the further advowsons and lands thus held in mortmain shall not exceed £4000 annually above all charges; also to possess charitable bequests and benefactions, and other contributions and gifts; and to sue and be sued under the said name. The charter next grants the advowsons to the heads of the college and their successors, upon trust, to present to the livings as they shall become vacant, such persons, being members of the college, as the visiter shall appoint. It also ordains that the principal, &c., shall act according to statutes, rules, and ordinances framed by the visiter for the good government of the college, with power to the latter to alter the same so far as the changes shall be in accordance with the charter, and the laws of the realm. The charter recites that His Majesty had appointed the Rev. L. Lewellin, of Jesus' College, Oxford, to be the first principal, and other persons named, as first tutors and professors; and declares that on the first vacancy in the headship, the Regius professor of Divinity, the Margaret professor of Divinity, and the Greek Professor, in the university of Oxford, shall nominate two masters of arts either of Oxford or Cambridge, whom they deem fit to supply the office, and that the visiter shall select one of them as the principal; that, on the succeeding vacancy, the like duties shall be exercised by the same professors in the university of Cambridge, and so on alternately on every vacancy; and on their neglect, that the visiter shall appoint a qualified person. No statutes have been yet drawn up according to the charter, but provisional regulations, comprising general principles, have been framed preparatory to the others. The visiter attends annually either in person or by his sub-visiters, of whom he has the appointment, and who report to him the state and condition of the college. The establishment at present consists of a principal, who is also treasurer, professor of Greek, and senior professor of theology, with a salary and emoluments amounting to £850; a vice-principal, who is professor of Hebrew and junior professor of theology, and has a salary and emoluments amounting to £650; a professor of Welsh, with salary, &c., £250; a professor of mathematics, and a professor of natural philosophy. The two last professorships are merely honorary, or sinecures, the funds not admitting at present of any salaries. The number of students is about fifty.
Several scholarships have been founded by friends of the institution. During the lifetime of Dr. Burgess, he paid £40 per annum for the support of four scholarships of £10 each, chiefly derived from funds supplied by individuals who selected the bishop as the channel of their bounty. The principal source of these was, a bequest of £100 and a share in the Regent's canal, by Francis Burton, Esq., and £179 bequeathed to the bishop by Mrs. Martha More, for "his charities in Wales;" the remainder was supplied from his own purse. At his decease, Dr. Burgess left £3000 three per cent. consols., of the interest of which, £40 were to be allotted to the continued maintenance of the four scholarships above-mentioned, and, after Mrs. Burgess's death, the residue to be applied in the endowment of new scholarships, or for such other purposes as the visiter should think proper. Of these four scholarships, the bishop directed that two should be named the Eldon, out of compliment to the peer of that name, who at the bishop's request had obtained the benefices connected with the college, from the crown; that the third should be called the Burton, and be adjudged, like the two first, to students natives of the principality, who should pass the best examination in Hebrew, the classics, the Welsh language, and the evidences of Christianity; and that the fourth should be called Mrs. Martha More's, and be open to all the members of the college for the best examination in the history and contents of the Bible, and in the evidences of Christianity. The Van Mildert is an open scholarship, arising from a grant of £500 by the late Bishop of Durham, now vested in £545. 14. three per cent. consols., and producing £16 per annum. Another open one of £10, called the Harford scholarship, proceeds from an annual grant of that sum, by John S. Harford, Esq. A further one of similar amount, named the Derry Ormond scholarship, is the result of a bequest of £333. 6. 8. three per cent. consols., by the late John Jones, Esq., of Derry Ormond, in 1832; and another has been founded bearing the name of the benefactress, from a bequest of £400 three per cent. consols., by Mrs. Hannah More, in 1830. The Butler scholarships, of £20 each, arose from a bequest of £2000 three per cent. reduced, by the Rev. Robert Butler, the interest to be applied to the general use of the college. The heads of the college have likewise founded another scholarship, named the Coity, after the parish in Glamorganshire containing an estate yielding £23 per annum for the scholarship, purchased for £621, a portion of a larger amount of £1403, the total of various sums placed at the disposal of the college. From the same fund a college scholarship has been formed of £10 per annum, the interest of a sum of £200 lent on the bond of two individuals, to be adjudged to such student as exhibits most proficiency. There is a premium for the best essay in Welsh on any proposed doctrine of the Gospel, named the "Creaton Essay," arising from a gift of £200 by the Rev. Thomas Jones, of Creaton, Northampton; and recently, some scholarships have been founded by Thomas Phillips, Esq., of Brunswick-square, London, to whom the college is also indebted for part of its library.
The funds of the college are aided by a grant from government of £400 per annum, to continue until the six livings presented to the college shall produce £950, which it was calculated would, with the fees, meet the yearly expenditure of the college: the total annual receipts are about £3000. A sum of £500 has been presented to the college by Mrs. Burgess, the lady of the late bishop, towards the erection of a suitable room, connected with the library, to receive the 9000 volumes bequeathed to it by her husband. Of the funds yet unappropriated, but which it is intended shall form a fund for repairs, are, a sum of £1296 consols., the balance remaining of the buildingfund, after the erection of the college; and a bequest of £500 by the late Lord de Dunstanville, for the use of the institution.
Students may obtain a testimonial after a residence of four years, the first two and a half of which are chiefly devoted to classical learning, logic as read at Oxford, and the six books of Euclid; after this the students undergo an examination, when, if found to have acquired a sufficient proficiency, they are advanced to the divinity class, in which they continue for the remainder of the term, employed in theological reading and the study of Hebrew, but at the same time attending the lectures of the first division to preserve their classical acquirements. Each member of the divinity class is required every week to furnish an analysis of some portion of Bishop Burnett's work on the Articles, and the students from Wales to compose themes in the Welsh language; and all in succession are expected to deliver an essay in English on a subject furnished by the principal, before the whole of the members on Saturdays, in the college hall. The course of chapel service is performed alternately in Welsh and English, by the divinity students in rotation, being limited to a selection from the prayers of the liturgy, and a chapter of the Bible, morning and evening; on Sundays two full services are read, and a sermon preached after each by one of the heads of the college. The time for residence each year embraces between seven and eight months, forming two terms, one commencing on the 1st of March, and the other on the Friday before Michaelmas. The fees for tuition are £12. 12. per annum, for rent £5, and the general annual expense seldom exceeds £48, but each student is expected to make a deposit of £15 at the commencement as caution money; to pay a guinea as a matriculation fee; to provide himself with an academic dress, and to furnish his apartment. The college is open to all who can pass a certain examination, but it is intended to benefit peculiarly the inhabitants of the principality. In connexion with it is a good grammar-school.
The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £6. 13. 4.; present net income, £240; patron, the Bishop of St. David's. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for a rentcharge of £229 a year. The church, dedicated to St. Peter the Apostle, has been entirely rebuilt; it is a very handsome edifice, consisting of a nave and chancel, and when the tower shall be completed it will add greatly to the beauty of the surrounding landscape. In the chancel are some fine old monuments of the Millfield family; and from it is an opening to the vault, where repose several of the Lloyds, of Peterwell. The churchyard commands a fine view of the Vale of Teivy. There are places of worship for Independents, Wesleyans, and Calvinistic Methodists; and four Sunday schools, one of them in connexion with the Church. The poor-law union of which this town is the head, was formed May 15th, 1837, and comprises the following fourteen parishes and townships; namely Lampeter-PontStephen, Bettws, Cellan, Llangyby, Llanvair-Clydogau, Llanwenog, Llanwnnen, Silian, and Trêvilan, in the county of Cardigan; and Llanybyther, Llanycrwys, Llanllwny, Llanmihangel-Rhôsycorn, and Pencarreg, in the county of Carmarthen. It is under the superintendence of eighteen guardians, and contains a population of 9866.
In the town and its vicinity are numerous remains of military intrenchments, and other works of early date, monuments of the fortitude and persevering opposition which the Welsh displayed in defending their territory from the inroads of invading armies. A little northward of the church is an artificial mound of earth, supposed to be either a sepulchral tumulus, or the site of a fortress; and near Olwen is another artificial elevation, the site of a Roman encampment, where part of a Roman mill was discovered some time ago. Eastward of this, on the summit of a hill called Alltgôch, are the prostrate stones of a Druidical temple, on one side of which is a Roman camp of considerable extent, and on the other a British, or Flemish, encampment, of an oval form, and much larger. There are traces of other fortifications, and also of a Roman road which led from Loventium, at Llanio, to Menevia, at or near St. David's. A house in the town, called the Priory, is supposed to occupy the site of a conventual establishment, of which no record has been preserved; there are some low ruined walls in the garden belonging to it. In the vicinity are some mineral springs, but they are not much resorted to.
LAMPETER-VELVREY (LLAN-BEDR-FELFRE), a parish, in the union and hundred of Narberth, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 3 miles (E.) from Narberth; containing 1025 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated in the rich and fertile Vale of Lampeter, and on the south side of the river Marlais, extends for nearly six milesk from east to west, and about three miles from north to south. The surrounding scenery is pleasingly varied; and the place, which is of considerable antiquity, contains several objects of historical interest. Limestone is found in abundance, and is quarried for building purposes, and also burnt into lime as a manure for the supply of the neighbouring country. The living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at £10, and in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £470; the glebe comprises 33a. 2r. 28p., valued at £30 per annum, and there is a glebe-house. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, is a very ancient structure, consisting of two aisles separated by plain pointed arches; in the north aisle is an altar-tomb to a member of the Philipps family, of Lampeter House. There are places of worship for Baptists and Independents, with a Sunday school held in each of them; also a very handsome building erected as a day school through the exertions of the Rev. William Seaton, the rector, in 1845. John Jones, M.D., in 1698, bequeathed certain lands and tenements for the relief of poor families, and for apprenticing children of the parishes of Lawrenny, Cosheston, St. David's, and Lampeter-Velvrey, now producing a considerable sum annually, which is distributed in proportion to the number of deserving objects in the different parishes; the ratio for this place being two-sevenths, and the sum for distribution among the poor generally, £30, which is partly divided between decayed farmers and poor widows not receiving parochial relief, in sums of from £4 to £10, and partly applied to apprenticing children, the usual premium being £4.
A posting-inn at the entrance of the county from Carmarthen, distinguished by the name Tavern Spite, occupies the site of the ancient "Tavarn y Spytty," an hospitium that belonged to Whitland Abbey, upon the bank of the river Tâf; and Blaengwyddno, now a farmhouse, was the grange of that religious establishment. To the south-west of the latter place are some very extensive earthworks, called Castell Meherin, on the summit of a high ridge commanding a full view of the sea, and forming one of a chain of forts continued in a north-western direction along this part of the coast; and in a field adjoining the turnpike-road, a little to the north-east, are two semicircular embankments, commanding the passage of three several valleys.
LAMPHEY (called by the Welsh LLANFFYDD), a parish, in the hundred of Castlemartin, union and county of Pembroke, South Wales, 2 miles (E.) from Pembroke, on the road to Tenby; containing 407 inhabitants. This place, commonly called Lampha, and so spelled on a communion salver bearing date 1743, seems to owe its name to the title of the church; the compound Welsh word Llanffydd, "the church of the faith," having been perhaps corrupted by the Flemings to Lanfoi, and gradually to the modern orthography Lamphey. It was probably among the earliest of the settlements of the Normans in South Wales: according to Buck, as quoted by Grose, it was the head of a lordship marcher; and it anciently contained one of the princely residences of the bishops of St. David's, of which there are considerable remains. At what period it first became the property of the archiepiscopal, and subsequently episcopal, church of St. David's is not precisely known; but a deed dated at Lamphey, in the middle of the thirteenth century, by Bishop Carew, is still extant; and, according to Giraldus Cambrensis, it appears to have been the residence of a bishop in the time of Arnulph de Montgomery, who possessed himself of this part of the principality in the reign of Henry I. At least a great part of the episcopal palace (even the whole of it, according to some writers) was built by Bishop Gower, in 1335. The various styles of architecture which characterize its ruins show plainly that it was the work of successive periods, and that it did not attain the splendour for which it was remarkable, but by the accumulated additions and improvements of its successive proprietors, of whom Gower probably built the great hall and the square tower, distinguished for their beautiful open parapets.
This portion of the possessions of the see of St. David's was alienated to the crown in the time of Bishop Barlow, by Henry VIII., who granted Lamphey to Devereux, Viscount Hereford, father of the unfortunate Earl of Essex, whose youth was passed in this place. After the attainder of the earl, in the reign of Elizabeth, the estate was purchased by Sir Hugh Owen, of Orielton, by whose descendant Sir John Owen, Bart., it was sold to Charles Matthias, Esq., who in 1823 erected a handsome mansion, called Lamphey Court, with a fine portico of four Ionic columns, near the ruins of the ancient episcopal palace. Besides this seat, the parish contains several genteel residences belonging to other families. Portclew, a mansion rebuilt some years ago, is beautifully situated on an eminence overlooking Freshwater bay, where the fine smooth and firm sands are alike inviting for walking or riding. Lamphey Park occupies a pleasant situation on the north side of the valley, in grounds which contain some pleasing scenery and are tastefully disposed; and North Down is also a genteel residence. The house of Lamphey Park is situated in the midst of what was formerly the deer-park, of which the boundary wall remains: the view hence westward is singularly fine, embracing within half a mile both the venerable ruins of the palace and the adjacent modern mansion of Lamphey Court, and further on, the town of Pembroke, its magnificent castle towering over it, and the river, as an expansive lake, stretching beyond it in the distance.
The parish, which in form is nearly a parallelogram, is washed by the sea on the south side, where is the picturesque little bay called Freshwater bay, with a good bathing place. It comprises about 2000 acres of meadow and arable land in nearly equal quantities. The village, with its lofty-steepled church built by the Flemings, stands in a fine valley, screened on the south from the Atlantic storms by gradually rising ground, whence a noble view is obtained of the Bristol Channel, and in tolerably clear weather, of the opposite coast of Somerset and Devon, together with Lundy Island: steamers and coasting-vessels pass close by the rocky promontory forming the west side of the bay. Limestone of excellent quality is quarried to a considerable extent for building purposes, and also burnt into lime.
The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £5. 8. 11½., and endowed with £600 royal bounty; present income, £115; patron, the Bishop of St. David's. No tithes are payable from the land in that part of the parish which was alienated from the see in the reign of Henry VIII., and which constitutes a large portion of it, including the park, which alone contains many hundred acres of fine land. The titheable portion, under the Commutation Act, is subject to a rent-charge of £60 payable to the bishop, and one of £73 to the vicar, who has also a glebe of four acres, valued at £12 per annum. The church was thoroughly repaired in 1826, partly by subscription, and partly by an additional churchrate, aided by a grant of £100 from the Incorporated Society for promoting the erection and enlargement of churches and chapels. Two hundred additional sittings were obtained, of which, in consideration of the gift from the society, 135 are for ever free and unappropriated. A National day and Sunday school has been established, for which a commodious room, with a neat cottage for the master, was erected in 1828, by means of a grant from the National Society of £70, and £50 given by Mr. Matthias, the deficiency being made up by the vicar.
The remains of the ancient palace, nearly adjoining the village, amply display its former splendour. They consist of the great hall, seventy-six feet in length and twenty in width, the walls of which are surmounted by an elegant open parapet of delicate tracery; another apartment, sixty feet long and twenty-six wide; the chancel of the chapel, of which the east window, still entire, is a beautiful composition, enriched with elegant tracery; the grand entrance on the west; and the square tower above noticed, now inclosed within the gardens of the new mansion, in which it forms an interesting object. The greatest attention is paid to the preservation of these fine ruins, and every precaution has been taken by the proprietor of Lamphey Court to arrest the decay into which this venerable pile was rapidly falling from previous neglect.
LAMVA (LLAMPHY), a hamlet, in the parishes of St. Bride's Major and Ewenny, union of Bridgend and Cowbridge, hundred of Ogmore, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 3 miles (S. E. by S.) from Bridgend; containing 149 inhabitants in St. Bride's Major, and 25 in Ewenny parish.
Lantwit-Major, or Llanilltydvawr
LANTWIT-MAJOR, or LLANILLTYDVAWR, a parish, in the union of Bridgend and Cowbridge, hundred of Cowbridge, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 5 miles (S. by W.) from Cowbridge; containing 1027 inhabitants. This place, originally called by the Welsh Caer-Wrgan, derived its subsequent name of Llan-Illtyd, of which its more general appellation Lantwit is only a modification, from the dedication of its church to St. Illtyd, or Iltutus; and its distinguishing adjunct Vawr, or Major, from its pre-eminence over other places of the same name. The parish, which is of considerable extent, comprises one of the most interesting districts in South Wales, and appears to have been inhabited from a very remote period; but whether originally by the ancient Britons or the Romans cannot be satisfactorily ascertained. Modern writers are of opinion that the small village of Boverton, in the parish, was the site of the Roman station Bovium, placed in the Itineraries on the line of the Julia Via Maritima, between the stations of Isca Silurum (now Caerleon) and Nidum (Neath). This opinion derives weight, not only from the affinity between the names, and the coincidence of its situation between those two stations, but also from the course of a Roman road, which has been distinctly traced, leading to some camps of Roman construction near that village, where also other relics of Roman antiquity have been discovered.
In the fifth century, a college was established here, or rather revived, on the ruins of a more ancient institution, said to have been founded by the Roman Emperor Theodosius, which, after his name, was called by the Welsh "Bangor Tewdws," and in which the heresiarch Pelagius is said to have been educated. This more ancient institution was destroyed by a band of Irish pirates, who, landing on this part of the coast, are said to have carried away by violence its principal, Maenwyn, better known as St. Patrick, the apostle and tutelar saint of Ireland. Soon afterwards, St. Germanus, who was sent into Britain by the Gallican bishops, to suppress the Pelagian heresy, is supposed to have been hospitably entertained at Boverton, where the native reguli continued to reside occasionally till the overthrow of their power by Robert Fitz-Hamon; and, associating the old college of Theodosius with the name of Pelagius, Germanus selected the site of that institution at Lantwit, then called Caer-Wrgan, for the foundation of one of those seminaries for the education of the British clergy, which he deemed it expedient to erect, as a powerful means of eradicating this heresy. In the establishment of the institution he was greatly assisted by the king of the country; and, on its completion, he placed it under the superintendence of Illtyd, or Iltutus, who had accompanied him into Britain, and under whose management it flourished exceedingly, and was amply endowed by Meuric, Arthur, and Morgan, successive reguli of this part of Wales. Scholars flocked to the seminary from all parts of Christendom, among whom were the sons of British nobles and of foreign princes, besides numerous others, amounting at one time to more than 2000 pupils. For the accommodation of this large number there were not less than 400 lodging apartments and seven halls, or colleges. The course of instruction adopted by Iltutus embraced not only such sacred and profane literature as was requisite for clerical education, but also husbandry and other useful arts; and the common plough now in use in some parts of Wales is still called St. Illtyd's plough, in honour of Iltutus, who was regarded as the inventor of it. For many generations this seminary continued to be the university of Britain, and to be frequented by illustrious persons of all countries, till its revenue was transferred to the abbey of Tewkesbury, soon after the Norman Conquest, when the universities of England acquired the ascendancy, and that of Iltutus sank into comparative obscurity. That holy and learned man is said to have presided over the institution for the protracted term of ninety years; and among the eminent persons who were his pupils may be enumerated Gildas, the historian; David, who removed the episcopal see from Caerleon to St. David's, and who ultimately became the patron saint of Wales; Paulinus, Bishop of Leon in Spain; Samson, successor to David in the see, and afterwards Bishop of Dôl in Brittany; Talhaiarn, a celebrated bard and a distinguished saint; and Taliesin, an eminent bard. According to Sir Henry Spelman, a large assembly was convened in the church of the establishment here, in 560, to negotiate a treaty of peace between Morgan, regulus of this part of the country, and his uncle Trioc, whom the former most treacherously slew, afterwards making his peace with the Church by paying to this establishment the annual tribute of a pot of honey and an iron kettle. The school lingered for a long period in comparative insignificance, and was not finally closed till the reign of Henry VIII., when the remaining portion of its tithes, and an annual payment called the abbot's rent, being all that was left to it of its ancient endowments, were seized by that monarch, and, together with the revenue of the dissolved monastery of Tewkesbury, conferred on the Dean and Chapter of St. Peter's, in the city of Gloucester, which that sovereign had recently erected into a bishopric.
The parish is situated on the coast of the Bristol Channel, in the Vale of Glamorgan, and comprises a large tract of arable and pasture land, inclosed, and in a high state of cultivation. The soil, of which the substratum is a blue limestone, is, for richness and fertility, almost unequalled in any part of South Wales; and the surrounding scenery, though not in general distinguished by any striking peculiarity of character, is occasionally diversified by features of picturesque beauty and romantic grandeur. A long range of hills, running in a direction from east to west, separates the mountainous parts of the county from the level districts of the spacious and fertile Vale of Glamorgan, which is enlivened with numerous villages and churches, and enriched with thriving plantations embowering some of the seats and villas of the gentry.
The village, which is situated in the south of this pleasing Vale, displays obvious indications of its original extent and importance, and has in every respect the appearance of a considerable, dilapidated town. It occupies a large extent of ground, but presents several chasms in its streets, some of which are nearly choked up with the ruins of decayed houses, and others are scarcely distinguishable, except by their situation within the limits of the town, from the different roads that appear to converge towards this place, as a common point. The town-hall is still remaining, and in a state of good repair. It resembles in its appearance those ancient buildings which in some places are called court-houses, and church-houses, though of much larger dimensions: the ascent to it is by a double flight of steps at one end. Over it is a bell on which the clock strikes, said to have been presented to St. Iltutus by the pope, and by Holinshed to have been taken, among other spoils, by an army which King Edgar, towards the latter end of his reign, brought into Glamorganshire, to chastise the Welsh, who had rebelled against him: on removing this bell, in the year 1815, it was found to bear the inscription "Ora pro nobis, Sancte Iltute." The bell itself, however, and the style of its inscription, says a recent writer, prove that it is not the bell of the saint, but that it was cast at a later period, when his name had become reverenced. The ancient gaol has been demolished only within the last seventy years; and the name of "Gallows way" is still retained in the road where executions usually took place, and where human skeletons have been found at various times. But whatever municipal privileges Lantwit may appear, from these circumstances, to have formerly possessed, have long been lost, even, according to some authorities, since the time of Henry VII. That it formerly carried on a considerable trade with the coasts of Somersetshire appears evident; and the dialect of that county is said to have been prevalent here within the memory of men living at the commencement of the present century. A fair is held annually on June 22nd. In the vicinity is the ancient port of Colhow, near Colhugh, where, during the reign of Henry VIII., vessels frequently sheltered; though now, by the changes which have taken place on this part of the coast, it is avoided by mariners as dangerous. The remains of the ancient harbour may still be traced, and, notwithstanding the great encroachment made by the sea, the foundation of the pier, and the piles of wood by which it was defended on the western side, are still visible at low water.
Though the village of Boverton is far inferior in extent and population to Lantwit-Major, yet, as the seat of the ancient reguli of this portion of the principality, and also as the principal place prior to the establishment of the schools of Iltutus, it has in all ancient documents held the precedence, and given title to the manor, which is to this day in the court rolls styled the "Lordship of Boviarton and Lantwit." After the conquest of this part of Wales by the Normans, the manor was held by Robert FitzHamon, from whom it passed to the succeeding lords paramount of Glamorgan, as part of his great lordship. It became vested in the crown in the reign of Henry VII., who granted it to his uncle, Jasper, Duke of Bedford, by whom it was given to Grufydd Voss, whose daughter and heiress conveyed it by marriage to Roger Seys, Esq., from which family it passed by marriage to Robert Jones, Esq., of Fonmon Castle, who sold it to the late Elias Vanderhorst, of Bristol. From him it passed into the possession of John Tunno, Esq., and in 1838 was purchased by Sir J. J. Guest, Bart., its present proprietor.
The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £14. 13. 9., and having the rectory of Llysworney annexed; present net income, £410; patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Gloucester. The tithes of the parish have been commuted for £771. 7. 11., of which a sum of £481. 7. 11. is payable to the Dean and Chapter, who have also a glebe of twelve acres, valued at £25 per annum; £220 are payable to the vicar, and £70 to an impropriator. The advowson belonged to Iestyn ab Gwrgan, and, together with the rest of his property, was seized by Robert Fitz-Hamon, and conveyed with the lordship of Glamorgan, by marriage of his only daughter, Mabel, or Mabli, to Robert Fitz-Henry, by whom it was conferred on the newly-founded abbey of Tewkesbury, upon the dissolution of which it was granted by Henry VIII. to the Dean and Chapter of Gloucester.
The present church, dedicated to St. Illtyd, is a spacious and venerable pile of building, erected, according to an old manuscript, by Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, and lord of Glamorgan, in the reign of Henry VI., and comprising, in addition to that portion of it in which divine service is performed, a more ancient structure, separated from the former by the tower, to the west of which it is situated. From this latter a door opened into a dilapidated building, in a line with it, called the Lady Chapel, the walls of which were ornamented with busts and figures of saints, now destroyed; this chapel, which is almost a ruin, was forty feet and a half in length. The old church, which was sixty-four feet and a half long, is said to have been deserted on account of the dampness of its situation; but this would have equally operated against the erection of a contiguous structure of larger dimensions. Nearly in the centre of it are two monumental stones, brought, as it is said, in 1730, by Mr. Thomas Morgan, schoolmaster and parish-clerk, from a place called the "Great House," where it is supposed there was formerly a church: these are minutely described in the sixth volume of the Archæologia Londinensis, accompanied with plates. One of them bears the following inscription: NE PETRA CALCETUR QUE SUB JACET ISTA TUETUR. In a room behind the altar, probably that used for the vestry, is a gigantic figure of a man in the costume of the time of Henry VIII., elaborately sculptured in freestone (of the kind found near the river side at Bridgend, in this county), with an English inscription, simply stating it to be the statue of "Prince Richard Hopkins:" this is described in the same publication. Near the statue is the bust of a child, sculptured in alto-relievo; and in a niche near the altar is the figure of a person kneeling, rudely sculptured, and habited in a costume similar to that of Hopkins. The more modern church, which is ninety-eight feet in length and fifty-three in breadth, consists of a nave, with a north and south aisle, and a chancel, and has a very handsome altarpiece.
In the churchyard, near the south entrance, is a stone placed flat in the ground, which appears to have been part of an ancient cross, carved with knots and other devices; it is about six feet in length, and is said to have been placed there by Morgan, who removed it also from the "Great House." On the north side of the church, likewise in the churchyard, is a curious stone called St. Illtyd's Cross, noticed by Gough in his Additions to Camden, which was erected in the sixth century, in honour of that saint, by Archbishop Samson. Upon the western side of it is inscribed, in the several compartments, "Crux Iltuti," "Samson redis," and "Samuel egisar" (for excisor), Samuel being the name of the sculptor; and on the eastern side is "Samson posuit hanc crucem pro anmia (instead of anima) ejus." The stone is elaborately carved, and was once the pedestal of a cross; its height above the ground is six feet three inches, and its breadth is two feet six inches at the bottom, and one foot ten inches at the top. A very curious monumental stone of about the ninth century, forming originally the shaft of a cross, which anciently stood near the porch of the church, and which, on the interment of a corpse of extraordinary size, having been undermined in digging the grave, fell down upon the coffin, and was covered with earth in filling up the grave, was, in 1789, discovered by Mr. Edward Williams, who was led to search for it by a traditional story relating to it, at that time current in the neighbourhood. This stone, which is nine feet in height, two feet four inches broad at the base, and one foot seven inches at the upper end, and about one foot three inches in thickness, bears the following inscription: "In nomine Dî Summi incipit crux Salvatoris, quæ preparavit Samsoni Apati pro anima sua et pro anima Juthahelo rex et Artmali Tegat crux me." It appears, from the old register of Llandaf, that Juthahel, King of Glamorgan, and Artmael, King of Gwent, bestowed lands and conferred great privileges on the churches of St. Illtyd. This ancient stone must have been buried before the continuator of Camden copied the inscriptions on St. Illtyd's monument, as he makes no mention of it, which he doubtless would have done had it been then visible. After it had been raised out of the grave in 1789, it lay on the ground till 1793, when Mr. Williams obtained assistance and placed it in an erect position against the east side of the church porch. Close to the wall of the lower or old church is another stone worthy of notice, of a pyramidal form, about seven feet high, and curiously carved, having a deep groove on the inside, next the wall; it has been supposed to have formed part of a heathen altar, but how or for what purpose it was placed there has not been satisfactorily explained.
There are places of worship in the parish for Wesleyans, Baptists, Independents, and Calvinistic Methodists. A Church school, established in 1831, is supported chiefly by voluntary contributions; and five Sunday schools are held, one of them in connexion with the Church, and the others with the dissenters. The only charity is a bequest of a rentcharge of £3. 10., by Robert Powell, in 1726, for a distribution of bread weekly among poor widows not receiving parochial aid: this amount is disposed of according to the will of the donor. Two other charities have been discontinued for a number of years; one, a bequest of £200 by Margaret Seys, in 1700, for teaching ten children and apprenticing one; and the other, a bequest by Iltid Nicholas of £20, for the use of the poor.
About a mile and a half from the village of Boverton, on the lofty cliffs overhanging the Bristol Channel, are the remains of two Roman camps. That on the eastern cliff, which defends one side of the valley of Colhugh, is called the "Castle Ditches;" it is a very strong post, accessible on one side only: the other, which is also upon the sea-coast, is about two miles distant from Castle Ditches. In many of the gardens and small inclosures at Boverton, and in its vicinity, human skeletons have been discovered, and Roman coins dug up. Of the latter, several were found in November 1798, which were sold to the Rev. Robert Nicholl and others; those in the possession of that gentleman are coins of Nero, Vespasian, Domitian, Nerva, Trajan, Adrian, Antoninus Pius, and other Roman emperors. They were found by some labourers employed in filling up an old quarry not far from Eglwys-Brewis, near Boverton, and are of silver. There are several remains of the ancient collegiate buildings in different parts of the parish: the house in connexion with the rectorial tithes, which were severed from the monastery of Iltutus soon after the Norman Conquest, is still a respectable edifice, with hanging gardens descending towards the church, and having several spacious rooms.
Lantwit-juxta-Neath, or Lantwit, Lower (Llan-Illtyd)
LANTWIT-juxta-NEATH, or LANTWIT, LOWER (LLAN-ILLTYD), a parish, comprising the three townships of Clyne, Lantwit, and Resolvend, which separately maintain their own poor, in the union and hundred of Neath, county of Glamorgan, South Wales; adjoining the borough of Neath, and containing 1532 inhabitants, of whom 879 are in the township of Lantwit. This parish is situated on the river Neath, and comprises a considerable extent of country, which is richly wooded, and enlivened with much beautiful and pleasingly diversified scenery. The surface is finely varied, and from the higher grounds are obtained some extensive views. The soil is various; coal and ironore are found in different parts, and there are some large quarries of paving-stone of good quality. In the parish are Penrose and Evans's colliery, Lions' colliery at Ynys Vâch, Melingryddan foundry, Forchdwm colliery, and Ynys Neath colliery. The living is consolidated with the rectory of Neath: the church is dedicated to St. Illtyd, from which circumstance the parish derives its name, properly "LlanIlltyd," but contracted into "Lantwit." There was formerly a chapel in the parish, called Ynys Vâch, but it was never consecrated, and was suffered many years since to fall into decay. The Independents have a place of worship at Melin-y-Cwrt, and the Calvinistic Methodists one at Ynys Vâch: a Sunday school is held in each of them. Morgan Jenkins, in 1692, bequeathed a small portion of land for the benefit of the poor, but this charity has long been unproductive, as in like manner has been a gift of £5, by Mary Jones, or Gwillim, in 1743.
LANTWIT-VAIRDRE (LLAN-ILLTYD-FAERDRE), a parish, in the union of Cardiff, hundred of Miskin, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 2 miles (E. N. E.) from Llantrissent; comprising the Higher and Lower divisions, and containing 2192 inhabitants. This parish is bordered on the east by the river Tâf, and abounds with coal, which is worked for exportation: a tramroad from the collieries communicates with the Glamorganshire canal. There are several smaller collieries, worked by shaft, for home consumption. At Treforest, near the river, are the tin-works of Messrs. Crawshay, said to be the largest in the kingdom; and higher up the Tâf, in the north-eastern part of the parish, at Newbridge, are some very extensive works for the manufacture of patent wrought-iron railway-plates. The river is crossed by two bridges, over one of which is a tramroad, connecting the iron-works with the canal, which passes within a few yards on the other side of the river. The Tâf-Vale railway, also, runs through or near the parish. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £1000 royal bounty, and £1400 parliamentary grant; net income, £100; patron, the Vicar of Llantrissent, to whom the vicarial tithes belong; impropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Gloucester. The impropriators' tithe rent-charge is £150, and the vicar's £21; the impropriators have also a glebe of 105½ acres, valued at £60 per annum. The church, dedicated to St. Illtyd, is situated in a sequestered spot, and surrounded only by a few cottages; having become exceedingly dilapidated, it some time ago underwent a thorough repair. There are places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, Independents, Baptists, and Wesleyans. A National school is held in a schoolroom in the churchyard, and seven Sunday schools are supported, one of them in connexion with the Established Church. Morgan Griffith, in 1644, gave by will a rent-charge of £2 for the benefit of four poor families who should inhabit four houses, towards the erection of which on the waste ground near the church, he bequeathed twenty marks, at the same time recommending his friends to aid the work with the timber and stones upon their lands: an almshouse with several rooms was accordingly built, which is occupied by four persons in the receipt of parochial relief.
Laugharne, otherwise Tàlycharn
LAUGHARNE, otherwise TÀLYCHARN, an incorporated sea-port and market-town, and a parish, in the Higher division of the hundred of Derllŷs, union and county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 12½ miles (S. W.) from Carmarthen, and 228 (W.) from London; containing 2010 inhabitants, of whom 1389 are in the township of Laugharne. The ancient British name of this place, Tàlycharn, or Tàlycoran, from which was derived its subsequent appellation of Llacharn, since modernised into Laugharne, is supposed to have originated in its situation above the mouth of the river Coran, which here falls into the Tâf, near the influx of the latter river into Carmarthen bay: from this circumstance, also, it is not unfrequently called in the Welsh histories Abercoran. It appears to have attained a considerable degree of importance at a very early period, and to have been distinguished as a fortified place prior to the Norman invasion. Of the original foundation of the castle nothing satisfactory has been recorded: it is, however, supposed, that the Princes of Dynevor had either a palace or a fortress at this place, which subsequently fell into the hands of the Norman invaders, who, for the greater security of the territories which they usurped in this part of the principality, replaced it with a castle of greater strength. Frequent mention of this castle occurs in the Welsh annals. During the continued struggles between the Normans and the Welsh, who were ever upon the alert to recover the territories of which they had been dispossessed, and also in the numerous contests that arose between the native chieftains, for the extension of their dominions, it was, from its strength and importance, an object of frequent contention, and alternately in the possession of the belligerent parties.
Henry II., on his return from a fruitless expedition into Ireland, in 1172, passed through this place, where he was met by Rhŷs ab Grufydd, the last sovereign prince of South Wales, who entertained him in the castle, paid him homage as his vassal, and received from him his son Howel, whom that monarch had long held as a hostage. In the year 1215, the castle, together with several other fortresses, at that time in the hands of the Normans, was taken and destroyed by Llewelyn ab Iorwerth, Prince of North Wales; but was rebuilt in the following reign, by Sir Guido de Brian, who, having espoused one of the daughters of Prince Rhŷs, obtained the lordship of Tàlycharn, and procured for the town a charter of incorporation, with many valuable privileges, conferring on the burgesses an extensive grant of land, of which they still retain possession. On the death of Sir Guido, the lordship of Tàlycharn descended to one of his two daughters and coheiresses, who married Owen Laugharne, of St. Bride's, in the county of Pembroke. The castle is said to have been again destroyed, by the forces under Llewelyn ab Grufydd, Prince of North Wales, in 1256; from which time few particulars of its history are recorded till the reign of Henry VII., though it was probably rebuilt within that period, as that monarch, among other grants, in compensation for his great services, gave the castle and its dependencies to Sir Rhŷs ab Thomas, who had attended him to Bosworth Field, and by his valour and influence had contributed materially to the success of the enterprise which placed him on the throne. On the attainder of the grandson of Rhŷs, the castle reverted to the crown. During the civil war in the reign of Charles I., it was first garrisoned for the king, but was taken, in 1644, by the parliamentarian forces, under General William Laugharne. Subsequently, when this commander had embraced the royal cause, it was besieged by Cromwell; it held out for three weeks, but several breaches having been made in the walls, the garrison surrendered upon honourable terms, and the castle was soon afterwards dismantled.
The town is beautifully situated on a level plot of ground, inclosed on every side, except towards the sea, by lofty eminences richly clothed with timber. It consists principally of one long and spacious street, intersected at right angles by a shorter thoroughfare, leading to that part of it called the Cors, in which are some new buildings. The houses are in general well built, and of respectable appearance; the streets are partially paved, and the inhabitants are amply supplied with water. Its sheltered situation protects it from the keenness of the winds, and renders it peculiarly desirable as a residence for persons of delicate health; whilst on the eminences by which it is immediately encircled are several neat cottage residences, adapted to those whose constitutions may require the influence of the sea-breeze and a bracing atmosphere. The surrounding scenery is pleasingly diversified, and from the higher grounds are obtained extensive prospects over the bay of Carmarthen, and the adjacent country, which abounds with picturesque beauty. The appearance of the town, which is considered one of the cleanest and best built in South Wales, embosomed in an amphitheatre of verdant hills, and ornamented with the venerable remains of its ancient castle, is truly romantic; and the advantages of good society and retirement which it affords, with the abundance and moderate price of provisions, are among the attractions that it offers to families who may be desirous of combining economy with comfort. A reading-room has been established.
The port is a creek to that of Llanelly; its trade is very small, being almost confined to the exportation of butter and corn, which it shares with St. Clear's. The haven, formed by the river Tâf, at a short distance from the town, is accessible to vessels of considerable burthen. The parish is divided into two portions, called respectively the Town Hamlet and the Parish, and comprises a large tract of arable and pasture land, nearly all of which is inclosed and in a good state of cultivation: in the Parish portion are 5185 acres. The soil, though varying with the surface, is in general fertile and productive; and the labouring inhabitants, with the exception only of such few as are connected with the small extent of trade carried on at the port, are principally employed in agriculture. The market, which is abundantly supplied with corn and with provisions of all kinds, is on Friday; and fairs are held annually on May 6th and September 28th.
The borough was first incorporated by Sir Guido de Brian, who granted to his burgesses of "Tallacharn" all the good laws and customs which those of "Karmardin" enjoyed, together with liberty to choose two competent burgesses "for one portreeveship" twice a year, namely at Michaelmas and Easter; and other privileges, including free common in his forest of Coed Bâch, all the common pasture in the marsh of Tàlycharn, called Menetors, and all the free common of Makerells. The charter which contained the grant of these immunities was confirmed by Henry III., and ratified and enlarged by Edward VI.; but the regulations laid down by these monarchs do not appear to have been acted upon, as in the appointment of a portreeve the corporation acknowledges only the authority of the original charter, and in all other matters proceeds according to custom and to bye-laws, which latter, commencing in the tenth year of Queen Anne, are entered from time to time in the corporation books. The members and officers of the corporation are, a portreeve, a recorder or town-clerk, two common-attornies, a bailiff, four constables, and an indefinite number of burgesses; the principal governing body consists of the portreeve and a jury of burgesses. Two principal courts are held at the town-hall on the first Monday after Michaelmas, and the first Monday after Easter-Monday, in every year; at which the bailiff appoints from eighteen to twenty-one of the burgesses as a jury for the ensuing half-year; and these burgesses, upon being sworn, elect a portreeve, who, with twelve of the jury, constitutes a court. The jury, who may vote by a mere majority, make bye-laws for the government of the borough, elect the officers, grant leases, and dispose of the rents of the corporation; subject, however, to the approval of the portreeve, by whom all presentments "must be confirmed and signed before they can take effect." The recorder, who officiates as clerk of the court, is chosen for life by the jury at any court or adjournment. The bailiff, who is crier and keeper of the market-place, is appointed by the portreeve at the Michaelmas court, for a year; and the commonattornies, who collect rents and superintend repairs, are, with the constables, elected by the jury at the same time and for the same period as the bailiff. The burgesses who have become such by right, consist of sons and sons-in-law of burgesses, and apprentices that have served seven years with a burgess in the town; but others may be admitted by favour of the jury.
The property of the corporation, which is of considerable value, consists of lands and buildings, the waste land throughout the township, and tolls of corn. Of the lands the principal portion, amounting to about 330 acres lying near the town, is divided into seventy-six shares, varying in value from £2 to £5 a year each, and of which twenty shares are at Haydon, sixteen at Moor, and forty at Undercliff; the Haydon shares containing about ten acres each, the Moor four or five, and the Undercliff one acre and a half; and the whole being in the occupation of the seventy-six senior burgesses, who hold upon payment of nominal rents, and are entitled to vote for the county member. Other property is let in about 170 parcels, in most instances to different tenants, and produces an income of £70. The toll of corn brought into the town for sale, to which the corporation claims the right, has been relinquished in consequence of a dispute; and the portreeve, by whom the produce, which was of very small amount, was received, has now a salary in lieu of his former privilege. The boundaries of the borough are co-extensive with those of the township of Laugharne, which is bordered on the north by the parish of the same name, on the north-west by the parish of Llandawke, on the west by that of Llansadwrnen, on the south by Carmarthen bay, and on the east by the river Tâf. The town-hall is a neat building of ordinary dimensions, with a small square tower, situated at the point of intersection of the principal street with the smaller one, where is a commodious market-place.
The living is a vicarage, rated in the king's books at £6, with the rectory of Llansadwrnen annexed; present net income of the benefice, £411, with a glebe-house; patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Winchester; impropriators of the parish, Lord Kensington, and G. Watkins, Esq. The church, dedicated to St. Martin, is a spacious and venerable cruciform structure, in the early style of English architecture, with a square embattled tower, supported on pointed arches: it occupies a picturesque situation on an eminence under a richly wooded bank, by which it is partly concealed from view. The walls of the building are strengthened with projecting buttresses, and within are covered by numerous tablets. At the west end is a handsome organ, presented to the church at an expense of above £400, by the late Vice-Admiral Laugharne. Among the monuments contained in the church is a large mural tablet, bearing a long inscription, to the memory of Sir John Powell, one of the judges who presided at the trial of the seven bishops, in the reign of James II.; he resided at Broadway House, a little to the west of the town, and, dying at the age of sixtythree, was interred here in 1696. A richly embroidered mantle is still preserved in it, supposed by some to have belonged to Sir Guido de Brian; but it has been suggested that it is rather a priest's vestment, as there are saints' effigies represented on the sides. The chapels of Kifig and Marrôs, formerly dependent on the church, were endowed with £8 per annum each by the Vicar of Laugharne, and subsequently by the Governors of Queen Anne's Bounty, the former with £600 and the latter with £800, and are now united into one benefice, in the patronage of the Vicar of Laugharne. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists. National schools for boys, girls, and infants, are supported; and several Sunday schools are held, one of them in connexion with the Established Church.
Matthew Warren, in 1656, granted a rent-charge of £2. 12. upon the Black Horse inn, Thomas-street, Bristol, for the purpose of distributing a shilling's worth of bread in penny loaves on each Sunday among twelve poor widows or old maids of the town; and Jane Morgan, and Mary Griffiths, in 1811, gave each £52 to be applied in a similar manner. In 1681, Zacharias Thomas granted a rent-charge of £4 for the use of the poor, two-thirds to be appropriated to the relief of those in the town, and one-third to that of persons in the rural district. In 1731, Letitia Cornwallis gave £100, the interest to be annually distributed on the 6th of January among the most necessitous cottagers: this charity remained dormant for some years, but being, with other bequests of the benefactress, placed in Chancery, an order was made after the report of the master in 1782, that the funds had accumulated to £358. 15. Bank Annuities, the dividends on which were regularly distributed according to the directions of the donor until 1821, when it was found necessary to make other applications to the Court of Chancery, through the death of trustees. Theodosia, sister to Admiral Laugharne, in the year 1822, among other benefactions, bequeathed £1800, in trust to the vicar and churchwardens, who, after the payment of certain annuities to one or two servants, were to appropriate the proceeds to the payment of £30 the salary of the organist, and to keeping the stove of the church in repair, and well supplied with fuel; the residue to be disposed of among the aged and infirm poor at Christmas. The same lady left £300 to establish a school of industry in the town, after the termination of a certain annuity. It also appears that Elizabeth Foster bequeathed £150, the interest to be applied to the instruction of children in reading, and the Christian religion; the proceeds go towards the support of the infants' school.
The remains of the ancient castle, on the summit of a cliff at the mouth of the river Tâf, near the southern extremity of the town, are extensive, and in an excellent state of preservation, forming an interesting and prominent feature in the scenery of the place: near the gateway is a handsome modern edifice, which was the residence of the late Col. Starke, by whom the interior of the castle and the adjoining ground were tastefully laid out. About a mile from the town are some remains of an ancient building, called Roche's Castle, which, according to local tradition, are said to be the vestiges of an ancient monastery, though by whom founded, or for what order of brethren, is not known.
The family of Laugharne have been settled at this place ever since the marriage of their ancestor, Owen Laugharne, with the daughter of Sir Guido de Brian, Lord High Admiral of England, and anciently lord of Tàlycharn. Descended from this family, and probably a native of this town, was Lieutenant-General William Laugharne, who first distinguished himself as an officer in the parliamentarian army, but who, afterwards joining the royalist party, garrisoned Laugharne, Tenby, and Pembroke, for the king, and at the last-named place was taken prisoner. He was tried for his life, together with Colonels Powell and Poyer, who had also been made prisoners by Cromwell; and they were all found guilty of high treason. After sentence of death had been passed upon these three officers, Cromwell was induced to consent that it should be carried into execution only upon one of them, and gave orders to determine by lot which should be the victim. Three papers were folded up for this purpose, on two of which was written "Life given by God," and the third was left blank. According to an arrangement agreed upon by the prisoners, the lots were drawn by a child, and the fatal blank was assigned to Colonel Poyer, who was shot in Covent Garden, on the 25th of April, 1649. Dr. Josiah Tucker, Dean of Gloucester, an eminent divine and a celebrated literary and political writer, was born in this parish in the year 1712, and died at the advanced age of eighty-seven, in the year 1799. His writings were chiefly on subjects connected with the times in which he lived, and, though masterpieces of the kind, possess little interest at present. He was the liberal patron of that premature and extraordinary genius, John Henderson, who, under his auspices, prosecuted his studies at Oxford, where he took his degree of B. A., and died at the age of thirty-one, in 1788. Reynal Pecock, of whom little more is stated than that he was a very learned man, was also a native of this parish. Mrs. Bevan, who left a large sum of money for the support of schoolmasters to travel from place to place, was a resident at Laugharne.
LAVAR, ABOVE, a division, in the parish of Llansantfraid-Glynn-Ceriog, poor-law union of Corwen, hundred of Chirk, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 3 miles (S. S. W.) from Llangollen: the population is included in the return for the parish. It takes the adjunct from its situation on the river Ceiriog, which passes through the division.
LAVAR, BELOW, a division, in the parish of Llansantfraid-Glynn-Ceriog, poor-law union of Corwen, hundred of Chirk, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 4½ miles (S.) from Llangollen: the population is returned with the parish. The adjunct to its name is derived from its being situated in the lower part of the Vale of Ceiriog. Several of the inhabitants are employed in the manufacture of flannel.
Lavernock, otherwise Larnock
LAVERNOCK, otherwise LARNOCK, a parish, in the union of Cardiff, hundred of DinasPowys, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 7½ miles (S. by W.) from Cardiff; with 85 inhabitants. The living is a rectory not in charge, consolidated with the living of Penarth; the church, dedicated to St. Lawrence, is situated close to the water's edge, the parish lying on the shore of the British Channel. Lead-ore has been obtained here, but the works are now discontinued. The principal substratum is lias limestone, in which the usual fossils abound; in the cliffs under this limestone are found tripoli, and lapis cariosus, or rotten stone, intermingled with a red marly earth, in which are imbedded blocks of gypseous alabaster.
Lawhaden, or Llewhaden (Llanhauden)
LAWHADEN, or LLEWHADEN (LLANHAUADEN), a parish, in the union of Narberth, hundred of Dungleddy, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 3½ miles (N. N. W.) from Narberth; containing 634 inhabitants. This place, which derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Aidan, Bishop of Lindisfarne, who died in the year 651, was for many years distinguished as the principal residence of the bishops of St. David's, who had a magnificent castle or palace here with a very extensive park, and forest of red deer, noticed by Leland. This truly splendid structure, which was built entirely of hewn stone, was the favourite residence of Bishop Beck, who contributed greatly to its embellishment; it was adapted in every respect to the purposes of domestic convenience, and had every appendage of luxury and state. The exact time of its original foundation is not known; but from a deed of feoffment, bearing date 1383, it appears that John Fowley was at that time constable of the castle and master of the board of works to Bishop Hoton, who conveyed to him and to Ellen his wife certain lands in the vicinity, which are now the property of his descendants. In the reign of Henry VIII., Lawhaden Castle, together with the other episcopal palaces of the diocese, was stripped of its leaden roof by Bishop Barlow, who subsequently availed himself of the dilapidation which he had caused, as a plea for carrying into effect his purpose of transferring the bishop's seat altogether to Carmarthen. From this period the palace was suffered to fall into decay; but the ruins, which are still venerable and majestic in their appearance, afford imposing evidence of its pristine grandeur.
The parish comprises a large tract of rich arable and pasture land, which is inclosed and in a good state of cultivation. The village is situated on the summit of a lofty ridge overhanging the river Cleddy, and commanding a fine view of the adjacent country, which abounds with varied scenery. Within the parish are some highly interesting and pleasingly romantic features, among which are, the church, beautifully situated on the margin of the river, under a richly wooded eminence; the majestic and venerable ruins of the ancient castle immediately above it; and Ridgeway, an elegant modern mansion, erected by the late I. H. Foley, Esq., and occupying a portion of the lands granted to the ancestor of that gentleman by Bishop Hoton, in the year 1383. In the village is also a good family house belonging to a descendant of the Skyrmes, whose ancestor accompanied Oliver Cromwell into the principality during the parliamentary war, and obtained a settlement at this place.
Lawhaden until recently constituted a prebend in the cathedral church of St. David's, rated in the king's books at £17. 17. 1., and annexed to the chancellorship of the cathedral by Bishop Beck, in 1287. The living is a discharged vicarage, with the perpetual curacy of Bletherston annexed, rated in the king's books at £8. 18. 6½.; present net income, £152, with a glebe-house; patron, the Bishop of St. David's. The tithes of Lawhaden have been commuted for £315, of which a sum of £210 was payable to the chancellor of St. David's, who had also a glebe of 170 acres, worth £160 per annum, and £105 are payable to the vicar, who has a glebe of forty-five acres, valued at £50 a year. The church, dedicated to St. Aidan, is an ancient and venerable edifice, with a handsome tower, and in its retired and beautiful situation forms an interesting and romantic feature in the scenery around the village. There are places of worship for Independents and Calvinistic Methodists; and three Sunday schools, one of them in connexion with the Church, and the others belonging to the dissenters.
The remains of the ancient castle form a majestic and venerable ruin, on the summit of a precipitous eminence, commanding a magnificent prospect. The site was originally surrounded by a moat, over which was a drawbridge leading to the principal entrance, a noble gateway defended by two circular towers; this portion of the building is still in a state of tolerable preservation. There are also the remains of two octagonal towers, which appear to have contained the state apartments and rooms of residence; of part of a small but very elegant chapel; and some portions of the outer walls. Some fragments of the park walls are yet remaining, and the land which they now serve to inclose is some of the richest in the county. The prevailing character of the architecture is the early English, and the ruins have a most beautiful and picturesque appearance from every point of view. On the roadside are the remains of an ancient building, covered with ivy, which is said to have been founded by Bishop Beck, as an hospitium for pilgrims visiting St. David's shrine. Lawhaden Castle was the head of the barony in right of which the Bishops of St. David's claim their seat in the house of peers.
LAWRENCE (ST.), a parish, in the union of Haverfordwest, hundred of Dewisland, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 8½ miles (N. by W.) from Haverfordwest; containing 223 inhabitants. This parish is situated in the north-western part of the county, and comprehends a moderate extent of arable and pasture land, of which the greater portion is inclosed and in a good state of cultivation, the soil, though varying in different parts, being in general fertile. The total area is 1328 acres. The surface is boldly undulated; the scenery, though not distinguished by any peculiarity of feature, is generally pleasing, and from the higher grounds some good views are obtained. The great South Wales railway will pass in this vicinity. The parochial rates are assessed by the ploughland. The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £3. 18. 9., endowed with £400 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Crown: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £80, and there is a glebe of thirty acres, valued at £20 per annum; also a glebe-house. The church is dedicated to St. Lawrence, from which circumstance the parish derives its name: it is not distinguished by any architectural details of importance. There is a place of worship for Welsh Calvinistic Methodists. A Church Sunday school was commenced in 1840.
LAWRENNY (LAWRENNEY), a parish, in the hundred of Narberth, union and county of Pembroke, South Wales, 5 miles (N. N. E.) from Pembroke; containing 432 inhabitants. This parish probably derived its name from the word Llan-yrynys, meaning "the church on the island," as the church stands on a neck of land almost surrounded by water. It is situated on a branch of Milford Haven, over which is a ferry, and comprises a large portion of inclosed and well-cultivated land; the surrounding scenery is pleasingly diversified, and in some parts enriched with noble plantations. Lawrenny Hall, now a ruin, the ancient seat of the late Hugh Barlow, Esq., who represented Pembroke and its contributory boroughs in eight successive parliaments, is beautifully situated on a point of land between Milford Haven, on the west, and a wide creek branching from it to the north-east, towards Cresswell Quay. The demesne, which is co-extensive with the parish, is embellished with a rich variety of scenery, presenting an agreeable contrast of wood and water; and the luxuriant groves that shaded the ancient mansion are still seen in every point of view, embosoming the venerable church, which formed an interesting and highly picturesque object in the views from the Hall. Limestone, both for building and for manure, abounds in the parish; and the quarrying and burning of it afford employment to a portion of the inhabitants. A number of persons are also engaged, during the winter season, in dredging for oysters, which are found here in great abundance, and conveyed principally to the London market, in boats from Chatham and Rochester in the county of Kent, for the loading of which the coast affords every facility.
The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £13; patrons, the Heirs of the late Mr. Barlow: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £165, and the glebe comprises twenty acres, valued at £30 per annum. The church, dedicated to St. Caradoc, is a venerable cruciform structure, in the early style of English architecture, with an elegant square embattled tower, which is seen to great advantage from almost every side, rising above the rich foliage by which the body of the church is concealed. In a sepulchral chapel belonging to the family is a splendid monument to the memory of the late Mr. Barlow, consisting of an altar-tomb of variegated marble, on which is placed an elegant sarcophagus of white marble, bearing the arms of Barlow and Crespigny: this monument was erected by his widow, who was of the latter family, and who also placed in the chapel two superb vases of alabaster, four feet in height, supported on pedestals of white marble. There is a place of worship for Wesleyan Methodists. This is one of the four parishes to which Dr. Jones bequeathed, in 1698, considerable property for the relief of decayed housekeepers and the apprenticing of children, with a discretionary power to his executor and brother, the Rev. William Jones, to whose memory there is a handsome mural tablet in the church of this place, to add other parishes. The portion assigned to Lawrenny from the produce of this charity, is one-seventh, or about £35 per annum, which is appropriated pursuant to the directions of the testator, £3 being given towards apprenticing a poor boy, and the remainder divided among widows and housekeepers, in sums varying from £2 to 5s.