A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1849.
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LLANARTHNEY (LLAN-ARTHNEU), a parish, in the hundred of Iscennen, union and county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 6 miles (W. by S.) from Llandilo-Vawr, and 7 (E.) from Carmarthen; containing 2171 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the south bank of the river Towy, and is bounded on the east by LlanvihangelAberbythic and Llandebie, on the south by Llannon, on the west by Llangunnor, and on the north by Aberguilly, Llanegwad, and Llangathen. It comprises by admeasurement about 11,000 acres, nearly all inclosed; comprehending a considerable part of the mountain of Mynydd Mawr, and a large tract of arable and pasture land, divided into about equal portions, with between 2000 and 3000 acres of wood. The soil generally, and particularly on the lower grounds, is as good as any in the principality, and in a state of high cultivation. Oak is the prevailing kind of timber.
The village, through which passes the turnpikeroad from Carmarthen to Llandilo-Vawr, is surrounded by a profusion of the richest and most picturesque scenery: situated on the south bank of the Towy, in one of the finest reaches of that beautiful river, it appears to be entirely inclosed by lofty eminences of singularly diversified aspect. To the south rise some of the richly-wooded heights on the Myddelton estate; the distant hills which form one side of the Vale of Cothy, receding to the north, open a passage for that stream to its confluence with the Towy. Other objects possessing interest no less from their historical association than from their venerable antiquity, form striking features in the landscape. The shattered walls of Dryslwyn Castle crown an isolated rocky eminence that rises abruptly from the vale; and a little further westward is a larger eminence, called Grongar Hill, rising in like manner from the vale, and distinguished as the subject of one of Dyer's most popular poems: but preeminent above the rest, in historical interest and romantic grandeur of appearance, are the ancient towers of Dynevor Castle, seen in the distance, above a forest of aged oaks, which clothe the sides of a considerable declivity.
Myddelton Hall, originally the property of David, brother of Sir Hugh Myddelton, and lately that of Sir William Paxton, who built the present mansion, occupies an eminence at a short distance from the vale, commanding an extensive and magnificent prospect over the surrounding country. It is an elegant and spacious structure of Grecian architecture, with a noble portico. The grounds are very extensive, and laid out with great taste. Among the numerous improvements made by the late proprietor, Sir William, is an elegant tower, raised to the memory of Nelson, on the highest summit of the long ridge of mountains which extends from below Llandilo-Vawr to the sea, forming the southern boundary of the vale. This building, the ground-plan of which is triangular in form, consists of three circular towers connected by walls terminating with an embattled parapet, above which the towers at the angles rise to the height of several feet. From the centre of the pile rises an hexagonal turret of considerable elevation, forming an observatory, from which an almost unbounded prospect is obtained. On the second story of the main structure is a sumptuous banquetingroom, and in the several fronts of the basement story are spacious arched entrances, over which are tablets with appropriate inscriptions in English, Welsh, and Latin, in praise of the hero to whose honour the building was erected. Within the park are some strongly impregnated chalybeate springs, the waters of which were submitted to an analysis by Drs. Saunders and Babington, by direction of Sir William Paxton, and found to contain, in one gallon, sixteen cubic inches of carbonic acid gas, four inches of atmospheric air, four grains of carbonate of lime, five grains of carbonate of iron, six grains of muriate of soda, three grains and a quarter of muriate of lime, and two grains of sulphate of lime: hot and cold baths have been erected near them. Capeldewi is also a handsome seat in the parish. Fairs are held on June 5th and 6th, and the first Monday after July 12th; and at Voel Gastell, in the neighbourhood, on the northern declivity of the mountain of Mynydd Mawr, another is held on June 24th.
The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at 8, and endowed with 200 royal bounty; net income, 170; patron, the Bishop of St. David's. The church, dedicated to St. David, is a plain edifice, with a low square tower, and presents no architectural details of importance: in the churchyard are the remains of an ancient Saxon cross, now forming part of a stile at the entrance. The original church is traditionally stated to have stood about 400 yards to the north of the present edifice, on the bank of the Towy, by an extraordinary overflow of which river it is said to have been destroyed: the site is still called Hnllan, or "the old church." In the parish were formerly two chapels of ease, of which one is now in ruins, and the other occupied by dissenters. There is a place of worship for Baptists; the Calvinistic Methodists have two places of worship, and a third congregation of the same body assembles in the chapel above noticed, in which divine service according to the rites of the Church of England is occasionally performed, in order to retain possession. Five Sunday schools are held, one of them in connexion with the Church. Some time ago, a ring of pure gold, with a medallion of the Virgin Mary having a lamb in her arms, was discovered in a field in the parish.
Llanasaph, or Llanasa (Llan-Asaph)
LLANASAPH, or LLANASA (LLANASAPH), a parish, in the union of Holywell, Llanasaph division of the hundred of Prestatyn, county of Flint, North Wales, 6 miles (N. W. by W.) from Holywell; containing 2669 inhabitants. On the accession of Henry VI., this place was granted by the king to his widowed mother, Catherine of France, as was the greater part of the county of Flint; and in the time of Edward VI., Dudley, Earl of Warwick, had a grant of two townships, Picton and Axton, with license to alienate them to Pyers ab Howel, ancestor to the present Sir Pyers Mostyn, Bart. The parish is situated on the south-western shore of the estuary of the Dee, near its influx into the Irish Sea, and at the northern extremity of the county; and is bounded by the parishes of Newmarket, Gwaenyscor, and Meliden on the west, and on the south by Whitford. It comprises by measurement 6000 acres, of which about 4000 are arable, and 2000 meadow and pasture, with a small portion of woodland, producing oak, ash, sycamore, and elm. The surface is somewhat hilly towards the south, and there is a level of about 2000 acres on the sea-shore: the highest point within the limits of the parish, called Gorseddau, has an elevation of 779 feet. In 1812, an extensive tract of rich land was recovered from the sea, by means of an embankment nearly two miles in length, at an expense of 4000, which was defrayed by the freeholders; and 1200 acres, adjoining the Point of Air lighthouse, are now under cultivation, producing plentiful crops of grain of every description, particularly wheat: the land thus inclosed constitutes the new township of Trewaelod. The soil of the parish on the higher lands is light; and on the lower, rich and well adapted for the cultivation of corn. An agricultural experiment of a singular kind was made here in 1814, in the cultivation of hollyhocks, with which 147 acres were planted; and extensive buildings were erected for manufacturing the produce: the object of the undertaking was never publicly known, and, after some years of spirited but unavailing efforts, the adventurers were obliged to abandon their scheme.
The village is situated in a valley, and the vicinity is picturesquely adorned with some genteel residences. Talacre, the property and residence of Sir Pyers Mostyn, is pleasantly situated in the township of Gwespyr, nearly adjacent to the shore, and commands fine views of the bay of Llandulas and the Irish Sea. A former mansion, which was built in the reign of James I., and considerably enlarged in 1710 by Capability Brown, was taken down in 1825, and a new one erected on its site, which was destroyed by fire in 1827, before it was entirely completed, and which has been rebuilt, in the decorated style of English architecture. It is one of the most distinguished mansions in the principality, both as regards the beauty of its style, and the rich and diversified prospect it commands. The whole of the materials, except the slates, were obtained upon the estate, the ornamental mouldings, chimney-pieces, and windowframes being composed of the fine freestone for which the neighbouring quarries are celebrated, whilst the floors, doors, and furniture are made of oak grown in the neighbouring woods. Golden Grove, an elegant mansion in the Elizabethan style, of the date 1578, occupies a sheltered situation among the hills, adorned with woods and plantations, and embracing prospects of great extent, variety, and magnificence, including the whole of the Snowdonian range of mountains. The residence of Gyrn is a handsome building of modern erection, in the castellated style of English architecture, having four lofty and elegant towers. It occupies an elevated situation, commanding a beautiful and varied prospect of the estuaries of the Dee and Mersey, with their respective shores, the Hillbre islands, and the Irish Sea; immediately below it is the Point of Air lighthouse, and that of the Black Rock forms a striking object in the distance. Its gallery of paintings, which contained some productions of the Italian and Flemish masters, was lately sold for 2500.
The parish is noted for the abundance and value of its mineral productions. At Trelogan are extensive lead-mines belonging to the crown, not now wrought, but which were worked for 150 years with great profit; and throughout the southern part of the parish are other mines of lead and calamine; whilst the northern and eastern parts abound with valuable strata of coal and extensive quarries of freestone of the finest quality, all lying near the beach, and in full operation, their produce being shipped to various parts of the kingdom, the Isle of Man, America, &c. Here commences the extensive coal tract of Flintshire, which extends south-eastward, parallel with the shores of the Dee. A new road was lately formed along the sea-shore, at a considerable expense, by the principal landed proprietors of the neighbourhood, from Greenfield, in the parish of Holywell, to Talacre. The Chester and Holyhead railway, opened in 1848, runs for upwards of four miles through the northern part of the parish. The lighthouse at the Point of Air belongs to the corporation of the Trinity House, and was erected for the accommodation of vessels navigating the Irish Sea and the estuary of the Dee river. It stands at the mouth of the Dee, on quaggy sand, near low-water mark, and the tide sometimes rises under it to the height of twenty feet. A previous lighthouse occupied a site half a mile further inland. The present building is constructed of iron: the principal framing, and the nine strong pillars on which the structure rests, are of cast-iron; the lantern framing is cast from one of the brass guns recovered from the wreck of the Royal George at Spithead. The entire weight of metal employed in the erection exceeds 120 tons. A brilliant white light, fifty-five feet above the ordinary level of the sea, is exhibited south-eastward up the Dee, towards Chester; and also westward, towards Anglesey: a red light is displayed northward, towards Hoyle Bank. Accommodation is afforded for two light-keepers, and for such stores as are in immediate demand. The design was furnished by Messrs. Walker and Burgess, engineers, of London.
The living is a vicarage, rated in the king's books at 9. 11. 5., and endowed with the rectorial tithes of the townships of Axton (except the hay tithe) and Trelogan, and with seven-fifteenths of the small tithes of the whole parish; patron and impropriator, the Bishop of St. Asaph. The tithes have been commuted for 651 payable to the bishop, and 300 to the vicar, who has also a glebe of fourteen acres valued at 20 per annum, and a glebe-house. The church, dedicated to St. Kentigern and St. Asaph, is a spacious and exceedingly neat structure, 240 feet in length and 42 feet in breadth, built, except the east end, in 1737, and consisting of a nave, chancel, and north aisle. The chancel is ornamented with a handsome window of stained glass, brought from Basingwerk Abbey, and presented by Harry ab Harry, a native of this parish, who purchased the site of that house, after the Dissolution. Llanasaph church was granted as an impropriation, in 1385, to Lawrence Child, Bishop of St. Asaph, to supply the cathedral with lights, and for repairing the injury which it sustained during the wars. There are places of worship for Wesleyans, Calvinistic Methodists, and Independents; and, in the house at Talacre, a Roman Catholic chapel. Thomas ab Hugh, by will dated in 1671, bequeathed 30 for the erection of a school, which was accordingly raised, and is used as a boys' and girls' school in connexion with the Church. A girls' school is held at Talacre, under the patronage of Sir Pyers and Lady Mostyn, which is open to all denominations; and there are five Sunday schools in the parish, belonging to the dissenters. Thomas ab Hugh likewise gave 50 to buy bread for the poor, for which purpose also 20 were assigned by Edward Owens, in 1672; 6 by John Conway, in 1697; 22 by Edward Roberts, in 1702; and 50 by Roger Mostyn, in 1731. The greater part of these sums has been vested in the purchase of a tenement in the parish of Llandrillo-yn-Rhs, now producing 15 per annum, which is expended in bread, given every Sunday to the poor.
In the township of Gwespyr stood a chapel, dedicated to St. Beuno, of which only a small fragment of a wall is now remaining; it was used as a chapel of ease prior to the Reformation, but since that period divine service has not been performed in it. Numerous tumuli are dispersed among the higher grounds of the parish; in one part are eighteen in an unbroken line, with several others lying at a short distance from them. Offa's Dyke forms for some distance a boundary line between this parish and those of Whitford and Newmarket, after which it enters Llanasaph, and separates the townships of Golden Grove and Kelston, whence it is continued to the sea-shore near Talacre. Its course in the parish is upwards of four miles, in which it is nearly perfect in many places, though in others it can only be traced with great difficulty; it is most distinctly seen at the lodge leading to Golden Grove.
Llanavan (Llan-Afan), or Llanavan-Y-Trawsgoed
LLANAVAN (LLAN-AFAN), or LLANAVAN-Y-TRAWSGOED, a parish, in the union of Aberystwith, Upper division of the hundred of Ilar, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 8 miles (S. E.) from Aberystwith; containing 411 inhabitants. This parish, the "Stuccia" of ancient geography, derives its present name from the dedication of its church to St. Avan. It is pleasantly situated on the river Ystwith, which here forms a fine bold curve, and is enriched on both its banks with pleasingly varied and highly picturesque scenery: a neat stone bridge has been erected over the river. The number of acres in the parish is computed to be 1911, of which 1311 are arable, 90 meadow, 160 woodland, and 350 waste land. The surface is in general hilly, but gently slopes as it approaches the Ystwith, on the banks of which are some finely cultivated farms. The prevailing timber is oak, with some extensive plantations of fir. In the parish is Cross Wood, a neat mansion pleasantly situated in grounds tastefully laid out, the seat of the Earl of Lisburne, who has made several important additions to the house; the new dining-room, especially, is greatly admired for its grand and just proportions: the library, removed from Mamhead, contains a valuable selection of books, chiefly old, and among the family pictures is one of the celebrated Earl of Rochester. Lead-ore was formerly procured here, at the Grogwynion mines, which have lately been reopened: the mines were worked so early as the time of the Romans, as appears from some of their levels still remaining, which are easily distinguishable by the smallness of the aperture, merely sufficient for the admission of the human body, and by the smoothness which the interior surface of the sides presents.
The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, 97; patron and impropriator, J. P. B. Chichester, Esq., whose tithes have been commuted for a rentcharge of 136. The church is a neat structure, consisting of a nave, chancel, and south transept, under the last of which is the vault of the Lisburne family. It was finished in 1840, at the expense of the parish, liberally assisted by the Church-Building Society, the Earl of Lisburne, and others. The old font, octangular in its form, is still preserved; and among the communion plate is a curious ancient dish of silver, gilt, and embossed with twelve figures, of which ten represent warriors, and the other two dragons; all arranged in couples, and engaged in combat: tradition represents it as the gift of one of the lords of Cross Wood. The church is situated within half a mile of the river, and in the churchyard is a fine avenue of yew-trees, leading from one of the entrances of the churchyard to the south transept. There is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, with a Sunday school held in it; and a Sunday school is supported in connexion with the Established Church.
LLANAVAN-VAWR (LLAN-AFAN-FAWR), a parish, in the union and hundred of Builth, county of Brecknock, South Wales, 6 miles (N. W. by W.) from Builth; comprising the township of Llŷsdinam, and containing 975 inhabitants, of whom 258 are in the first, 219 in the second, and 246 in the third, division of the parish; the remainder being included in the above-mentioned township. This parish comprises 9337 acres, of which 367 acres are common or waste land. The surface is abruptly broken into precipitous eminences and deep glens, and the soil varies in richness in proportion to the degree of elevation. On the higher lands it is dry and light, having little or no depth: in the lower parts the common lands consist chiefly of turf, and peat composed of decayed vegetables, about four or five inches in depth, resting on a bed of blue or greyish clay; and in the deep glens the soil is in general a stiff clay, which increases in depth when approaching to the banks of streams, and is better adapted for tillage than for pasture. The parish is bounded on the north by a small stream called the Whevri, and the scenery of the neighbourhood is strikingly varied, and in many places highly picturesque.
The living is a vicarage, with the perpetual curacies of Llanavan-Vechan, Llanvihangel-Abergwessin, and Llanvihangel-Brn-Pabuan annexed, rated in the king's books at 9. 8. 9.; present net income, 273; patron, the Bishop of St. David's. The tithes of the parish, including the township of Llŷsdinam, have been commuted for a rent-charge of 470, of which two-thirds are payable to the Dean and Chapter of St. David's, and one-third to the vicar, who has also a glebe of twenty acres, valued at 20 a year, and a glebe-house, called Persant, pleasantly situated on the bank of the Whevri, about a quarter of a mile below the church. The church, dedicated to St. Avan, consists of a nave of considerable length, with a low massive tower at the western end, containing five bells, which appears from a tablet on the south side of it, to have been built at the expense of the parishioners, in 1765: the body of the edifice was rebuilt at the cost of the parish, in 1814, and is very neat. It is said that several of the vicars are interred beneath the altar-piece, but there are neither monuments nor inscriptions in the church. In the churchyard is to be seen an altar-tomb, with the inscription Hic jacet Sanctus Avanus Episcopus; the stone is of a hard and durable kind, and the letters, which are deeply cut, are in a very perfect state. There is a long-established place of worship for dissenters; and four Sunday schools are supported, three of them by the Independents, and the fourth by the Baptists. The parish is entitled to participate in the Boughrood charity at Brecon for apprenticing poor children under the grant of the Rev. Rice Powell, who bestowed extensive estates for the purpose. Brniogar, formerly the residence of a branch of the Gwynne family of Garth, was anciently a distinguished mansion. At a small distance from the church is a Maen Hr, or upright stone, supposed to be Druidical. A poet named Mby Clochyddyn, "the sexton's son," who flourished in the latter part of the fourteenth century, and was author of a poem in praise of Gwenhwyvar, wife of Hywel ab Tydyr ab Griffith, and who, by some writers, is identified with Macclav ab Llywarch, was born in this parish.
Llanavan-Vechan, or Llanvechan (Llan-Afan-Fechan)
LLANAVAN-VECHAN, or LLANVECHAN (LLAN-AFAN-FECHAN), a parish, in the union and hundred of Builth, county of Brecknock, South Wales, 5 miles (W. by S.) from Builth; comprising a portion of the hamlet of Gwravog, the rest of which is included in the parish of Llanlleonvel; and containing, exclusively of Gwravog, 172 inhabitants. This parish, consisting of 3357 acres, is situated on the banks of the river Irvon, which, in its course from west to east, divides the parish into two nearly equal portions. The high road from Builth to Llandovery, by Llangammarch, passes through the village. That part of the hamlet of Gwravog which is within the parish forms a narrow slip of land on the south side of the river Irvon, and is united in the assessment to the queen's taxes, as well as for the support of the poor, with the rest of the hamlet in Llanlleonvel. The northern part of the parish has a gently undulated surface, while the southern is hilly, comprising part of the northern declivities of the Eppynt hills. On the north side of the Irvon, and near the bank of that river, are some fertile meadows, and luxuriant groves of picturesque appearance; but the general aspect of the neighbourhood is not pleasing. At the extremity of a narrow glen, on the south side of the river, is a frightful precipice called Y Graig Dd, from which the dell receives the name of Cwm y Graig Dd, or "the vale of the black rock:" this rock, which is but scantily clothed with wood, appears, when viewed from the higher grounds, to afford a comfortable shelter to the inhabitants of the vale beneath, while, as viewed from below, its appearance is altogether terrific. The parish is separated from that of Llanganten by the Havrena stream. The soil of the upper lands is light, but that of the lower, especially as they approach the river, is clayey; and the whole is for the most part cold: about 500 acres are common or waste. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the vicarage of Llanavan-Vawr; the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of 115, of which the vicar of Llanavan-Vawr receives one-third, and the Dean and Chapter of St. David's two-thirds. The church, dedicated to St. Avan, and situated on the north side of the high road, is a small edifice, covered with slate, which is procured from the mountains, in lamin varying from one inch to three inches in thickness. There is a place of worship for Independents, with a Sunday school held in it. Gwravog was formerly a family mansion, but, like many others in this part of the country, has been deserted by its proprietor, and is now a farmhouse.
LLANBABO (LLAN-BABO), a parish, in the hundred of Tlybolion, union and county of Anglesey, North Wales, 6 miles (N. W. by W.) from Llanerchymedd; containing 155 inhabitants. The name is derived from the dedication of the church to its supposed original founder, Pabo, one of the ancient native princes of Wales, who, for his valour in defending his country from the aggressions of the Scots and Picts, was styled Pabo Post Prydain, or "the support of Britain," and after his canonization became one of the most venerated saints of the principality. This parish is of small extent; it is situated near the north bank of the river Alaw, and is separated from the chapelry of Llanerchymedd by the extensive marsh called Cors-y-Bol, which is impassable except during a dry summer. The lands, though principally marshy, are well cultivated, and the soil is productive. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the rectory of Llandeusant: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of 205; and there is a glebe of five acres and a half, valued at 4 per annum. The church, said to have been founded by Pabo in the year 460, is a small plain edifice, remarkable only as containing an ancient monument of that saint, which was discovered about the middle of the seventeenth century, buried nearly six feet below the surface of the ground, and was afterwards placed in an upright position in the building. This monument, which is of stone, appears to have formed the lid of a sarcophagus, and has the effigy of the saint in a recumbent posture, habited in a long loose robe, fastened in front with button loops; the head is crowned, and the right hand grasps a sceptre. Along the edge of the stone, on the left side of the figure, is a commemorative inscription in Latin.
Llanbadarn Is Yn Y Croythen (Llan-Badarn-Y-Creuddyn)
LLANBADARN IS YN Y CROYTHEN (LLAN-BADARN-Y-CREUDDYN), a township, in the parish of Llanbadarn-Vawr, poor-law union of Aberystwith, Upper division of the hundred of Ilar, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 4 miles (E. S. E.) from Aberystwith; containing 883 inhabitants. This large township, which forms a portion of the district of this extensive parish lying south of the river Rheidiol, extends from that river to the northern bank of the Ystwith, and contains some pleasing residences, the principal of which is Nant Es. The township is in general well wooded, and the roads from Aberystwith to Rhaiadr and Llanidloes and to Cardigan pass through it.See Llanbadarn Uch.
LLANBADARN-ODWYNNE (LLANBADARN-ODYN), a parish, in the union of Trgaron, Lower division of the hundred of Penarth, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 9 miles (N. N. E.) from Lampeter; containing 504 inhabitants. This place derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Paternus, and its distinguishing adjunct from its conspicuous position on the summit of a lofty eminence. It is situated near the river Aron, and from the higher grounds is obtained a fine view of the Vale of Aron, which abounds with pleasing and richly varied scenery. Llanbadarn constituted a prebend in the collegiate church of Llandewy-Brevi, founded by Thomas Beck, Bishop of St. David's, in 1187, and the prebend was rated in the king's books at 6. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to that of Llandewy-Brevi; impropriators, the Earl of Lisburne, and R. Price, Esq. The church is a small edifice, consisting only of a nave and chancel, situated on a lofty eminence; and from the churchyard is an interesting view of the vale beneath, and an extensive prospect over the surrounding country. There are two meeting-houses for Calvinistic Methodists, one of which is the largest dissenters' place of worship in this part of Wales. Two Sunday schools are supported by the same body.
LLANBADARN-TRVEGLWYS (LLANBADARN-TRF-EGLWYS), a parish, in the union of Aberaron, Lower division of the hundred of Ilar, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 11 miles (N. N. W.) from Lampeter; containing 1045 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated on the river Arth, and on the road from Aberystwith to Lampeter, is bounded on the north by Llansantfraid, on the south by Klkennin, on the east by Nantcwnlle, and on the west by Llandewy-Aberarth. The area is 5560 acres, of which 600 are common or waste land. The surface is hilly, and the soil generally very poor; barley and oats are the chief agricultural produce, and the prevailing kinds of timber are oak and ash. A woollen manufactory affords employment to a few persons; and there are two corn-mills. The parish constituted one of the prebends in the ancient collegiate church of Llandewy-Brevi, and, as such, was rated in the king's books at 12. The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at 6, and endowed with 1200 parliamentary grant; patron and impropriator, the Bishop of St. David's: the tithes have been commuted for 175 payable to the impropriator, and 70 to the vicar. The church, dedicated to St. Padarn, or Paternus, is a very old plain building, affording accommodation to about 130 persons. The Calvinistic Methodists have three places of worship, with a Sunday school held in each of them; and a Sunday school is supported in connexion with the Established Church.
Llanbadarn Uch Yn Y Croythen (Llan-Badarn-Y-Creuddyn)
LLANBADARN UCH YN Y CROYTHEN (LLAN-BADARN-Y-CREUDDYN), a township, in the parish of Llanbadarn-Vawr, union of Aberystwith, Upper division of the hundred of Ilar, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 12 miles (E.) from Aberystwith; containing 874 inhabitants. It is situated in the upper part of the parish, which is wild and mountainous, and on the eastern bank of the river Rheidiol, which rushes in foaming torrents along a rocky bottom, in a deep, precipitous gulph, with its sides covered with thick brushwood, until it is joined by the Mynach at a short distance. The small chapel of Yspytty-Cynvyn, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is in this township: it was rebuilt in 1827. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with 1000 royal bounty and 600 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the landholders in that part of the parish which is above Nant Lymystaw, who pay sixpence in the pound, on an old survey, towards the minister's stipend; net income, 104. In the burial-ground are four large stones (the largest eleven feet high and six broad), standing upright, and forming the periphery of the quadrant of a circle having the chapel in the centre: they are probably part of an ancient Druidical inclosure. Through the burial-ground of the chapel a footpath leads to a rude wooden bridge, called the Parson's Bridge, composed of one plank, thrown over a vast chasm, between two precipitous rocks, beneath which the Rheidiol dashes with great force.
LLANBADARN-VAWR (LLAN-BADARN-FAWR), a parish, comprising the sea-port, borough, and market-town of Aberystwith (from which the church is about one mile distant, to the south-east), and several townships and hamlets, partly in the Upper and partly in the Lower division of the hundred of Geneu'r-Glyn, and partly in the Upper division of the hundred of Ilar, county of Cardigan, South Wales; containing 11,239 inhabitants. The name of this extensive parish is derived from the dedication of its church, and the distinguishing adjunct from the pre-eminence it enjoyed with respect to other parishes of the same name, and also to distinguish it from the adjoining town of Aberystwith, which was anciently called Llanbadarn-Gaerog, or the "walled Llan-Badarn." St. Padarn, or Paternus, to whom the church is dedicated, was an ecclesiastic of considerable celebrity; he is said to have studied under Iltutus at Lantwit-Major, in Glamorganshire, and is associated with Teilo and David in the Welsh Triads, as one of the three blessed visiters. He is supposed to have founded a religious establishment here, which afterwards was erected into a see, of which he became the first bishop, and a suffragan to the archbishop of St. David's. Paternus continued to preside over this see for twenty-one years, during which time he erected several churches, and founded several monasteries in the province of Caredigion, now comprised chiefly in the county of Cardigan, in which he placed colonies of monks from the principal establishment at Llandabarn. At the end of that period, being recalled into Brittany, where he was made bishop of Vannes, he was succeeded in this diocese, which was subsequently called, after its first diocesan, "Paternensis," by Cynoc. The see appears to have flourished for nearly a century, and notice of a bishop of Llanbadarn occurs in the minutes of a synod held in the county of Worcester, in the year 601; but about this time the place is said to have lost its episcopal privileges, in consequence of the violent conduct of the inhabitants, who killed their bishop; and the church is thought to have been annexed, after the dissolution of the see, to that of St. David's. The name of the diocesan who thus became the victim of their fury, is not mentioned in existing annals, neither is there any particular record of the event; Humphrey Llwyd supposes it to have been Bishop Idnerth, to whose memory there is a monumental inscription in the parochial church of Llandewy-Brevi. The suffragan bishop of Llanbadarn was one of the deputation appointed to meet St. Augustine on his landing in England, with a view to resist the encroachments which were apprehended from Rome, by opposing every attempt on the part of that missionary to establish the supremacy of the pope over the British Church.
The church was destroyed in 987, by the Danes, whose ravages in this part of the principality were carried to so great an extent, that Meredydd, Prince of South Wales, compounded with these ferocious invaders for the security of his territories, by the payment of one penny for every man within his dominions; a charge which was called "the tribute of the black army." In 1038, this place was reduced to ashes by Grufydd ab Llewelyn ab Sitsyllt, who wrested it by violence from the hands of Howel ab Edwin. In the year 1106, when Ithel and Madoc, who were in alliance with Henry I., ravaged all the county of Cardigan, with the exception of this place and Llandewy-Brevi, it suffered only an attack upon its sanctuary, from which several of Owain ab Madoc's men, who had taken refuge there, were dragged by force and put to death. Gilbert Strongbow, who, in 1109, erected the castle of Aberystwith, in this parish, gave the emoluments of the church to the monastery of St. Peter, at Gloucester, in the year 1111; but the ancient establishment does not appear at that time to have been dissolved, for mention occurs in the Welsh annals, in the year 1136, of the death of John, arch-priest of Llanbadarn; and in the same record, in the year 1143, the death of Sulien ab Rhythmarch, a man of great knowledge, and one of the college of Llanbadarn, is noticed. In 1116, Grufydd ab Rhŷs, who had been invited into this part of the principality to assist in recovering from the Norman settlers the territories which they had usurped in the province of Cardigan, encamped his forces at Gls Crg, in the parish of Llanbadarn, previously to his unsuccessful attempt on Aberystwith Castle: his failure in the enterprise was by some superstitiously attributed to an act of impiety of which he was guilty, in taking some cattle, to refresh his forces, from within the limits of the extensive sanctuary then attached to Llanbadarn church. Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury, attended by Giraldus Cambrensis, visited the place, in 1188, on his tour to preach the crusades throughout the principality; upon which occasion it is especially remarked by Giraldus, in his Itinerary, that the revenue of the monastery was chiefly enjoyed by one family, and that the affairs of the establishment were in a very bad state. The church was subsequently appropriated to the abbey of Vale Royal, in the county of Chester, founded by Edward I. During the insurrection headed by a native chieftain named Rhŷs ab Meredydd, in 1287, Llanbadarn-Vawr was the principal place of rendezvous for the English forces in South Wales.
The PARISH, which extends on an average about fifteen miles in length and six in breadth, is intersected by the rivers Ystwith and Rheidiol, and by the roads from Machynlleth and Newtown, respectively, to Aberystwith. It comprehends a district distinguished for the abundance of its mineral wealth, and contains by computation 44,800 acres, whereof 2000 are meadow, 10,500 pasture, 22,300 open land, waste, and sheep-walks, 3000 in wood and plantations, and 7000 arable, which last is in the following proportions: wheat 1200 acres, barley 2000, oats 2400, potatoes 1200, turnips 100, and peas and vetches the same quantity. The surface is very hilly, and in some parts even mountainous; the soil is light, in many places only affording scanty pasturage for sheep, but the crops on the arable lands are, notwithstanding, generally good. The scenery, particularly in the vales, is very beautiful, and richly and agreeably diversified, embracing many features of romantic grandeur; and from the higher grounds are extensive and interesting views of the bay of Cardigan, and the adjacent country. A particularly fine prospect is obtained from the summit of Craig Glais, a dark blue cliff near Aberystwith, whence the stone used in building the town has been principally procured. The hills are partially cultivated, and some of them are well calculated to produce corn, but the system of tillage, though it has been considerably improved of late years, has not yet attained any great degree of excellence: turnips are much grown, the landlords encouraging, and in fact, binding, their tenantry, to cultivate them, as well as other produce of the fields. Oak and fir are the prevailing kinds of timber, but ash, elm, and beech are also very generally planted.
The village is pleasantly situated under a high ridge on the banks of the river Rheidiol, and consists of several straggling streets, of considerable length. In the neighbourhood, and within the parish, are several noble mansions and elegant seats, of which the principal are, Nant Es, a solid and substantial mansion, beautifully situated in a richly wooded vale, comprising much pleasing scenery; Gogerddan, also an extensive demesne; Glanrheidiol, Cwmcynvelyn, and Pen-y-Glais. The principal mineral produce is lead-ore. From some lead-mines here, which were worked upon a very extensive scale, and produced a large proportion of silver, Sir Hugh Myddelton chiefly derived the princely revenue which he patriotically expended, in the reign of James I., in supplying the metropolis with water by means of the New River. After this period they were continued in successful operation by Mr. Bushel, who obtained from Charles I. the privilege of establishing a mint for coining silver in the castle of Aberystwith, as noticed in the article on that town. Some of them are worked at the present time, and the mines in the parish generally are very productive; several hundred persons are employed, and attempts are constantly making to discover new veins. In the year 1847, the Goginan mine produced 1446 tons of ore; the Gogerddan, Bog, and Darren mines, 194 tons; &c. The situation of the parish, on the coast of Cardigan bay, is highly favourable for the exportation of its produce; and the turnpike-roads afford great facilities of intercourse with the neighbouring districts.
The LIVING is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at 20, and endowed with 450 private benefaction; present net income, 135, with a glebehouse; patron, the Bishop of St. David's; impropriator, J. P. Bruce Chichester, Esq. The church, dedicated to St. Padarn, and situated near the centre of the village, is an ancient and venerable cruciform structure, in the early English style, with a large square tower rising from the centre, supported on four massive columns, and surmounted by a low spire. The chancel contains several monuments to the principal families of the neighbourhood, including some, that may be more particularly noticed, to the families of Nant Es and Gogerddan. One of the most interesting is a monument of white marble, sculptured by Flaxman, to the memory of Harriet, daughter of Viscount Ashbrook, and lady of Pryse Pryse, Esq., of Gogerddan, above which is a canopy exquisitely carved, in the most elaborate style of later English architecture. In the churchyard are two ancient British crosses without any inscription. At Aberystwith; at Yspytty-Cynvyn, in the township of Llanbadarn Uch yn y Croythen; and at Llangorwen, in the township of Clarach, are separate incumbencies. There is a chapel of ease at Tŷ'n-y-Llidiart, in the township of Parcel-Canol. The number of places of worship for dissenters, including those at Aberystwith, is about twenty-five, for Baptists, Independents, Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists, and Roman Catholics: the Calvinistic Methodists are the most numerous body. Day schools are supported in different parts, and there is a large number of Sunday schools. Roderick Richards, of Pen-y-Bont, in 1752, bequeathed 104; Jacob Evans, late of Penlanolew, in 1760, 40; and John Jones, in 1783, 50, for the instruction of children. Lewis Jones, late of Caeau Bch, bequeathed 200, in 1808, for teaching children of four hamlets; Richard Lewis, late of Abercumdole, left 150, in 1810, towards instructing the children in the hamlet of Parcel-Canol; and John Jones, in 1833, left 200 for the support of the charity school, erected in the village of Llandabarn. There are also some smaller charitable donations and bequests for the poor, producing about 7. 10., distributed in oatmeal at Christmas. The Roman Via Occidentalis, commonly called the Sarn Helen, passed through the parish; and about a mile eastward from the church are the remains of Gls Crg, the fortified post occupied by Grufydd ab Rhŷs prior to his attack on Aberystwith Castle. Near Aberystwith is Pls Crg, in the last century a very perfect specimen of an early fortified house, but which now presents very little of the original structure. Davydd ab Gwilym, an eminent Welsh poet, was born at Broginin, in the parish, in 1340: he became bard of Glamorgan, and is said to have written 150 poems; he died in 1400, and was buried at Ystrad-Flr, or Strata-Florida. Lewis Morris, an antiquary of some eminence, and surveyor of the mines royal, was interred in the church of Llandabarn; he had for some time preceding his death resided at Penbrn in this county.
LLANBADARN-VAWR (LLAN-BADARN-FAWR), a parish, in the union of Rhaiadr, hundred of Kevenlleece, county of Radnor, South Wales; comprising the village of Pen-yBont, where is a receiving-house for letters; and containing 448 inhabitants. This parish comprises by admeasurement 3646 acres of land. It is situated on the river Ithon; and the high road from Builth to Newtown runs through it, passing close by the church, within a few hundred yards of which it is crossed by the road from Kington, Presteign, and Knighton to Rhaiadr and Aberystwith. The surface is for the most part irregular, and the soil in the low lands consists chiefly of clay: about 320 acres are common or waste land. The mansions are, Pen-y-Bont Hall, an elegant residence, with extensive woods, and Peny-Bont Court, which, from its elevated situation, forms a pleasing object. The village of Pen-y-Bont, the post-office at which is dependent on the offices at Kington and Rhaiadr, consists of about a dozen houses, one of them an excellent inn, built in 1840, at which the petty sessions for the hundred of Kevenlleece are occasionally held. It is also a polling-place in the election of a knight for the shire. The river Ithon is crossed at Pen-y-Bont by a new iron bridge. The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at 7. 12. 6.; patron, the Bishop of St. David's: the tithes have been commuted for a rentcharge of 256, and there is a glebe of thirty-seven acres, valued at 40 per annum. The church, dedicated to St. Paternus, is situated about a mile and a half from Pen-y-Bont, and consists of a nave and chancel, the latter ceiled, with a curious entrance porch, exhibiting marks of great antiquity: the churchyard contains some fine yew-trees. There are places of worship for Anabaptists and Calvinistic Methodists, the former of which is endowed with a portion of land: a Sunday school is held in each of them. In the 24th of Charles I., George Moor devised a rent-charge of 20s. charged on a farm called Wain y Clodian, for the poor of this parish and that of Llandewi-Ystradenny, the proceeds of which are distributed on New Year's day, with the interest of a bequest of 10 by Bridget Clarke, and a rent-charge of similar amount, on the Tŷ Mawr estate, by Eleanor Hall, in 1732. Near Pen-y-Bont is a chalybeate spring, which however is not in high repute, being but little known.
LLANBADARN-VYNYDD (LLAN-BADARN-FYNYDD), a parish, in the union and hundred of Knighton, county of Radnor, South Wales, 10 miles (S.) from Newtown; containing 610 inhabitants. The aspect of this parish, which is situated on the banks of the Ithon, in a mountainous district, is dreary and wild; and the scenery, though bold and striking, is not diversified with features either of beauty or interest. It comprises by admeasurement 6226 acres of land, exclusively of the commons. The mountains, notwithstanding their appearance of barrenness, afford pasturage to numerous flocks of sheep. An excellent inn has been erected in the village, which contains about a dozen dwelling-houses close to the church, and is enlivened by the traffic it derives from its situation on the turnpike-road from Builth, in Brecknockshire, to Newtown, in the county of Montgomery. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to that of Llanano: the church, dedicated to St. Padarn, or Paternus, is a small edifice, consisting only of a nave and chancel, and possessing no claims to particular description. A sum of 10s., the produce of a charitable benefaction by the Rev. Robert Barlow, in the 28th of Elizabeth, is annually distributed among the poor of the parish: another rent-charge of a similar amount, by Margaret Lloyd, has been lost. There is a well called Fynnon Ddewi, or "David's well," the water of which is slightly impregnated with sulphur, and is considered efficacious in the cure of scorbutic complaints.
LLANBADARN-Y-GARREG (LLANBADARN-Y-GARREG), a parish, in the union of Builth, hundred of Colwyn, county of Radnor, South Wales, 7 miles (E. S. E.) from Builth; containing 81 inhabitants. This parish comprises 628 acres of inclosed land, besides a great quantity of hilly ground not measured, and is situated on the small river Edwy, by which it is intersected, and of which the stream is here very narrow. The living is annexed to the rectory of Caregrina. The church, dedicated to St. Padarn, is an ancient structure, consisting of a nave and chancel, appropriately fitted up for divine service: it has no tower or steeple; a single bell is suspended under a small shed. There is a place of worship for dissenters, with a Sunday school held in it. A rent-charge of 12 on a farm called Vron Oleu, in the parish, was bequeathed in 1633, by Lewis Lloyd, to be annually distributed among the poor of Aberedw, Llanvareth, and Llanbadarn-y-Garreg; and an unknown benefactor gave 10 in money, subsequently secured by a mortgage on a farm, and producing 10s. per annum, for the relief of decayed housekeepers of this place.
LLANBADRIG (LLAN-BADRIG), a parish, in the hundred of Tlybolion, union and county of Anglesey, North Wales, 5 miles (W. N. W.) from Amlwch; containing 1295 inhabitants. It is supposed by Mr. Rowlands to derive its name from the dedication of its church to St. Patrick, who, being commissioned by Pope Celestine to preach the doctrines of Christianity to the Irish, is said to have been, on his way thither, detained for some time in the island of Mona, the present Anglesey, and to have founded at this place, in the year 440, the first Christian church built in the district. A recent writer, however, is of opinion that the church was built by Padrig, son of Aelfryd ab Goronwy. The parish, which is situated on the shore of the Irish Sea, is about six miles in length, and is divided into two unequal parts, called Llanbadrig-Clegyrog, and Llanbadrig-Cemmes; the lands are inclosed and in a good state of cultivation, and the soil is productive. The substratum is limestone, and the great limestone formation which stretches from Flintshire through the county of Denbigh, and is continued under the bay of Beaumaris, terminates at the Middle Mouse, a small island about a mile from the main land of this parish, called also "Ynys Badrig," from the circumstance of its having been the place from which St. Patrick, on his supposed departure from Anglesey, embarked for Dublin. In the parish are a strong vein of ochre of various colours, and an extraordinarily fine white clay of the Cimolia kind; copper-ore has also been discovered, though not in sufficient quantity to encourage adventurers to establish any works; and at Cemmes are found blueveined and white-veined grey marble, and the hard primitive rock called serpentine. The small creek of Cemmes affords facility for landing coal and other commodities, and is highly advantageous for the shipping of marble and the other mineral produce of the adjoining parish of Llanvechell.
The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at 7. 8. 1., endowed with 400 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for 380, and the vicarial for 180; the vicar's glebe comprises half an acre, valued at 50s. per annum. The church is inconveniently situated on the shore, and so near to the sea that, during the prevalence of northerly or north-westerly winds, the waves break over it with such violence as occasionally to interrupt the performance of divine service, at which time the church is with some difficulty accessible. There are two places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, two for Independents, and two for Baptists: a Sunday school is held in each meeting-house. A British school has been built here, and at Llanvechell is a school founded for poor children of Llanbadrig, in the year 1723, by Mr. Richard Gwynne. He also bequeathed a rent-charge of 6s. 8d., which, with other funds of the parish, is distributed in cloth, at Christmas, to the poor; to whom is also given in bread, on Sundays, the amount of two charities, one arising from a bequest by Owen Williams, in 1657, and the other producing 5. 12. per annum, received from the impropriate rector of the parish. The church lands consist of about four and a half acres, yielding a rent of 6, and the minerals they contain have been let on a mining lease for twenty-one years, by which the lessee is bound to pay one-eighth of the metals, stone, fossils, &c., obtained: under this lease many tons of ochre, the only mineral found, have been raised, and the value of one-eighth has been paid to the parish.
LLANBEBLIG (LLAN-BEBLIG), a parish, in the hundred of Isgorvai, union and county of Carnarvon, North Wales; containing, with the borough of Carnarvon, which is situated within its limits, 9192 inhabitants. It derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Peblic, or Publicus, who, according to the Welsh annalists, was the son of Maximus and his wife Helen, daughter of Eudaf, Duke of Cornwall; and who, assuming a religious habit, retired from the world and lived in seclusion at this place. The history is so connected with that of the borough of Carnarvon, that it has been necessarily anticipated in the account of that town; but it may be stated that Richard II. bestowed the church of Llanbeblig, together with the chapel of Carnarvon, on the convent of St. Mary in Chester, in order to augment the endowment of that establishment. The living is a discharged vicarage, with the chapel of Carnarvon annexed, rated in the king's books at 12. 5. 5., and endowed with one-third of the tithes, the remaining two-thirds being appropriated to the see of Chester, the bishop of which is patron; present net income, 330. The tithes have been commuted for 486. 9. payable to the bishop, and 243. 4. 6. to the vicar, who has also a glebe-house. The church, dedicated to St. Peblic, is a spacious and venerable cruciform structure, in the later style of English architecture, but considerably modernised by alterations and repairs. It contains some ancient and interesting monuments, among which is the tomb of Sir William Grufydd, of Penrhyn, who died in 1587, and Margaret his wife, daughter of John Wynn ab Meredydd, whose figures are represented lying on a mat, exquisitely sculptured in marble, the former in complete armour. A small but interesting monumental brass was found here in September 1848. There are places of worship in the parish for Baptists, Independents, and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists; several day schools, and a number of Sunday schools. Ellen Griffith, in 1694, bequeathed a rent-charge of 4 on lands in the parish of Aberfraw, county of Anglesey, which sum is expended in bread and money for the poor; among whom is also distributed, in the same manner, 2. 15., interest on a sum of 55, the amount of benefactions from various persons, and which was spent in building a dwelling for the sexton in the churchyard. Certain lands and tenements in the parish of Llanrg, now producing 58. 10. per annum, were bequeathed by John Morris, for apprenticing poor children of the borough of Carnarvon and the parish of Llanrg. There are two or three other charities, of small amount; and a donor unknown gave 2 a year for preaching six lectures in the church: a charity of 20s. a year has been lost. The remains of the Roman station Segontium, which was defended with strong walls of masonry, and other important relics of antiquity contained in the parish, are described in the article on Carnarvon.
LLANBEDR (LLAN-BEDR), a parish, in the union and hundred of Crickhowel, county of Brecknock, South Wales, 1 mile (N. E. by E.) from Crickhowel; containing 290 inhabitants. This parish, both in ancient writings and by modern usage, is generally distinguished by the adjunct Ystradwy, or Ystrad-Iw. The entire district now forming the hundred of Crickhowel bore that appellation till the 27th of Henry VIII., when, upon the consolidation of the lordships marcher established in the ancient Brycheiniog, into the present county of Brecknock, and the subsequent division of that shire into hundreds, the lordship of Crickhowel, obtaining the pre-eminence, gave name to the hundred, and that of Ystradwy was retained only as an addition to the name of this single parish. Llanbedr, which is famous for its bold scenery, is situated on the Gloucester and Milford Haven road, and bounded on the north by Tlgarth, on the south by Llangeney, on the east by Partrishow, and on the west by Crickhowel. It comprises by computation about 10,000 acres, of which 5000 are arable, 3000 meadow and pasture, 1500 sheep-walk, and 500 woodland; the soil of the arable land is a light loam, not favourable for wheat, but the crops of barley, oats, and potatoes are usually very fine. The parish is watered by two streams called respectively the Greater and Lesser Grwny, which, descending from the mountains, after uniting within its limits, and flowing through the adjacent parish of Llangeney, fall into the river Usk, a little below the small village of Glangrwny, where the river is crossed by a bridge on the road from Crickhowel to Abergavenny. An act of parliament was obtained, many years since, for making a turnpike-road from Crickhowel to Hereford, through the parish of Llanbedr; but it was so imperfectly drawn up, and its provisions were found so burthensome, that, upon a subsequent application to parliament for its renewal, it was thrown out, and the road is now only parochial.
The village, which consists of some few cottages and farmhouses, is situated in a vale, or glen, abounding with picturesque scenery, whose leading feature is an exceeding softness and simplicity of character; but, being embosomed among mountains, of which Cadair Arthur, or "Great Arthur's Chair," and the Sugar Loaf hill, are the principal, the place is seldom visited by tourists. The steeper banks of the Lesser Grwny are richly clothed with wood from the very margin of the stream to the horizon; and the hills, though of considerable elevation, are smooth and grassy, affording excellent pasturage for sheep and young cattle, which in numerous flocks and herds are seen grazing along their sides and summits. The only residence of any importance is Moor Park, once the seat of John Powell, Esq., whose father built the mansion; it is quite unique in its style of architecture, but is now in ruins.
The living is a rectory, with the living of Partrishow annexed, rated in the king's books at 16. 17. 6.; patron, the Duke of Beaufort. The tithes of the parish have been commuted for 212. 13. 4. a year; and there is a glebe of 34 acres, valued at 40 per annum. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, is a very ancient structure, consisting of two aisles and a chancel, with a square embattled tower at the western end. The consecration of a church at "Llanbedr in Ystradwy" by Herewald, Bishop of Llandaf, who governed that see from 1056 to 1103, is recorded in the old register of Llandaf; and the tower, which is of grey stone, and evidently much older than any other part of the church, may probably be a part of that structure. The aisles are separated from each other by a range of pointed arches. The north aisle, which appears to be the more ancient, has the remains of an old timber frame roof; and the south aisle, which seems to have been added at a later period, having been built probably about the reign of Edward IV., or perhaps so late as that of Henry VII., has a vaulted roof of timber: they have both been ceiled. The church was newly paved and pewed in 1831, and measures 106 feet in length and 56 in breadth. It occupies a pleasant site, on the brow of an acclivity rising abruptly from the margin of the Grwny Vechan, or Lesser Grwny river; and the churchyard is ornamented with some fine yew-trees, which are perhaps coeval with the tower of the church.
Mrs. Mary Herbert, widow of the Rev. John Herbert, rector of the parish, in 1728, bequeathed a tenement called Hnbant-Vch, and several plots of ground, containing about 37 acres of clear land and 12 of wood, for the education of girls of the parishes of Llanbedr and Partrishow, two-thirds of the number to be of the former parish; any surplus of income there may be, to be given to poor housekeepers, in the same proportion of two-thirds to Llanbedr and one-third to Partrishow. The lands have been divided into two parts, and the portion allotted to this place lets for 16 per annum, which are appropriated to the instruction of boys and girls, and the relief of poor persons. A Sunday school is supported by subscription. Howell Parry, in 1727, bequeathed a tenement, of which the rent, amounting to 2. 10. per annum, was to be distributed among his poor relations not receiving parochial relief, or if there were none such, among the poor generally; but nothing is now known of this charity.
Dr. Francis Godwin, son of Thomas Godwin, Bishop of Bath and Wells, was incumbent of the parish for several years. In 1600 he published his well-known work called "De Prsulibus Angli Commentarius," which so much recommended him to the notice of Queen Elizabeth that she promoted him to the see of Llandaf, with which he held this rectory in commendam, resigning the living, however, upon his translation to the see of Hereford, in 1617. He was author of several other works, and died in 1633. The late Rev. Henry Thomas Payne, A.M., archdeacon of Carmarthen, a native of the neighbouring parish of Llangattock, was rector of this place for upwards of thirty years. He died on EasterSunday of the year 1832, and was interred in a vault in the churchyard of Llanbedr, where the remains of his wife had previously been deposited, in April 1828. Under a neat pointed arch, supported by a triple clustered column, is an inscription with a few poetical lines to the memory of this lady, by her husband, who simply directed his own name, age, and day of decease to be added; a mural tablet was, however, erected to his memory by his sister, in the church.
LLANBEDR (LLAN-BEDR-Y-CENNIN), a parish, in the union of Conway, hundred of Llchwedd Isv, county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 6 miles (S. by W.) from Conway; comprising the lordship of Arddr, and containing 456 inhabitants. This parish is pleasantly situated on the river Conway, which forms its eastern boundary, and in a mountainous district overlooking the fertile Vale of Llanrwst, and abounding with richly varied, and in some parts with picturesque, scenery. Copper-ore, pyrites, and blende, have been found in small quantities, and mines of these are worked, on a very limited scale: the river affords facility of conveyance for the produce. A fair is held on October 3rd and 4th, well known in the principality for the sale of the little mountain ponies, or "merlynod," which are bred in large numbers on the mountains, where they are allowed to remain all the year, with the exception of a few months in severe winters, when they are brought down with the sheep to better pasture. Their prices at the fair vary between 3 and 6; they are principally used for carrying children, and for drawing wagons in mines and other works under ground. The village, which is small, is situated about half a mile from the turnpike-road leading from Llanrwst to Conway; and a road runs through the village, which is continued some distance up the mountain, and joins part of the old Roman road from Caerhn to Aber: this section of Roman road is now a bridle-way through the well-known pass of Bwlch Deuvaen, by which a circuit of nine miles is avoided in going from this neighbourhood to Aber. On the path are two very large stones, which give name to the pass, one still upright, and the other fallen.
The living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at 6. 19. 4., and having the vicarage of Caerhn united; present net income, 289, with a glebe-house; patron, the Bishop of Bangor. The church is dedicated to St. Peter, from which circumstance the parish derives its name; it is a small neat building, pleasantly situated on an eminence, and comprises a nave, chancel, and south transept or chapel. There is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, with a Sunday school held in it; and in Caerhn is a Church school established for the benefit of Caerhn and Llanbedr parishes. In 1706, the Rev. John Robinson bequeathed two parcels of land now producing 34. 18. per annum, the rent to be given in bread and clothing to twelve poor persons who should attend the church on Sundays; the bread is distributed in threepenny loaves after divine service, and the clothing at Midsummer and Christmas, when the selection is made. Other small bequests, amounting to about 1. 10., are also distributed at Christmas in trifling sums among the poor.
On the summit of a lofty hill, one mile east-southeast of the church, is Pen-y-Gaer, a British camp of great strength, comprehending a spacious area, defended by ramparts of stones; the foundations of several circular buildings lie scattered about it, and the fosses by which it was surrounded are still visible: in the immediate neighbourhood are numerous upright stones, perhaps, as Camden observes, placed there to serve as a chevaux-de-frise to defend the approaches to the camp. At Tl-y-Cavn, an isolated hamlet of this parish, entirely surrounded by portions of that of Caerhn, is an important ferry across the Conway, communicating with Eglwys-Bch, in Denbighshire, and the only one between the bridges of Llanrwst and Conway. Near the approach to this ferry is a small artificial mound of earth, on which stood a castle, or tower, to protect the passage of the river, but not a vestige of this building can now be seen. On the road through Bwlch Deuvaen is a heap of stones called Barcled-y-Gawres, or "giantess' apron-full," which a giantess is supposed to have dropped there.
LLANBEDR (LLAN-BEDR-DYFFRYN-CLWYD), a parish, in the union and hundred of Ruthin, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 2 miles (N. E.) from Ruthin, on the road to Chester; containing 522 inhabitants. This parish is bounded on the north by that of Llangynhaval, on the south by Llanrhdd, on the east by Llanverras, and on the west by Llanrhdd and Llanynys. It is about three miles in length and two in breadth, and comprises by computation 1700 acres of cultivated, and 1200 of uncultivated land, of the former of which about 1000 acres are arable, and 700 meadow and pasture, with a small extent of wood. The soil on the higher grounds is light and sandy, but more loamy on the lower. The surface presents the various features of mountain and plain; and the environs, in which are some handsome seats, partake of the scenery which characterizes the beautiful Vale of Clwyd: the seats are, the ancient mansion of Llanbedr Hall, romantically situated at the foot of the hills; and the house of Berth. Many attempts have been made, and considerable sums of money expended, in the expectation of finding coal, but they have been unavailing; the miners having mistakenly regarded the bituminous siliceous shale with which the soil abounds, as indicative of coal. Small portions of manganese have been discovered, but so much mixed with pyrites of iron as to be of little value.
The living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at 13. 1. 8.; patron, the Bishop of Bangor: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of 415; and there is a glebe-house, with a glebe of eleven acres and a half valued at 20 per annum. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, is a small neat edifice in the later style of English architecture; it is delightfully situated on a gentle eminence within the park of Llanbedr, and forms a pleasing and picturesque object, as seen through the embowering woods by which it is surrounded. There is a place of worship in the parish for Wesleyans. A Church daily school is supported; and two Sunday schools are held, one of them belonging to the Wesleyans, the other to the Calvinistic Methodists. The interest of several charitable bequests amounting in the aggregate to 270, is annually distributed among the poor at Christmas: among the benefactors may be mentioned Simon Thelwall, of Gray's Inn; Edward Evans, who left to the parish the tenement and land called Tny-Nant; and the Rev. Hugh Pugh, whose bequest of 6, made in 1681, now produces 23. 17. 6. per annum, which is equally divided between this and the parishes of Llanvwrog and Ruthin, conformably with the will of the testator.
On the summit of Moel Venlli, one of the Clwydian mountains, which is 1722 feet in height, is an extensive British camp, comprising an area of sixtythree acres, surrounded by a double vallum and intrenchment, and additionally defended on the eastern or English side by a triple fosse. The ascent to this station, which is so strongly guarded on every side as anciently to have been impregnable, is by a circuitous path round the western side of the mountain. A portion of the inner gate is still remaining. The camp appears to have been occupied by the Romans after their conquest of this part of the principality: military weapons used by that people have been discovered at various times; and in 1816, more than 1500 Roman coins, principally denarii, were found nearly in the centre of the camp. Moel Gaer, a small hill near Moel Venlli, is strongly fortified with a single dyke, which entirely surrounds its summit; this appears to have been an outwork to the camp or principal station of Venlli. Immediately above Moel Gaer is Moel Vammau, another of the Clwydian mountains, and the loftiest in that magnificent chain; it is 1852 feet in height. On its summit the gentlemen of Denbighshire and Flintshire erected, in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the accession of George III., a lofty stone structure, comprising a square central tower six yards in length on each side, and thirty-nine feet high, flanked at each angle with a square tower of the same dimensions and elevation. From the central tower, and resting partly on the angular towers, rises a square tower of larger dimensions, to the height of forty feet, surmounted by an obelisk thirty-six feet high. This structure, commonly called the Jubilee Column, occupies a base eighteen yards square: the angular towers are solid, but the central tower on the basement is perforated with an arch, and it was intended to construct a staircase leading from this archway to the larger tower above. The building is altogether 115 feet in height, and, from its commanding situation, is a prominent and very imposing object in the views from all the high grounds in the neighbouring counties; it is seen from the city of Chester, from Liverpool, and other distant places, and forms a conspicuous and well-known landmark for vessels navigating the Irish Sea.
LLANBEDR (LLAN-BEDR), a parish, in the union of Festiniog, hundred of Ardudwy, county of Merioneth, in North Wales, 3 miles (S. S. E.) from Harlech, on the road to Barmouth; containing 404 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the river Artro, which has its source near Cwm Bychan, a spot remarkable for the wildness and sublimity of its scenery, and for the stately magnificence of the rocks and precipices by which it is encircled. At the mouth of the river, according to some accounts, was anciently situated a weir, granted by Gwyddno Goronhr, a petty prince of Cantrv Gwaelod, to his son Elphin, by whom was discovered, in a coracle hanging from one of the poles of the weir, the infant Taliesin, who afterwards became the celebrated British bard of that name, and who had been exposed in this situation soon after his birth. Elphin, taking compassion on the infant, had him carefully brought up and properly educated; and among the compositions of the bard is an ode to his preserver, of which an elegant translation was published in 1780. The approach to Cwm Bychan is along a richly-wooded glen watered by the river Artro: the view in ascending this picturesque vale comprehends a rock of conical form, embosomed in a beautiful grove, beyond which a series of rugged and sterile mountains rises in majestic elevation, forming the background. After passing through the woods, and ascending Dinas Porchellyn, the view expands into a wider field, whose horizon is bounded by rude masses of barren rocks and lofty mountains. The sterility of the crags is relieved by some stately oaks, which have taken deep root in the fissures, and of which some are from eight to nine feet in girth. Near these is a rapid torrent, beyond which the view embraces a small mill of romantic appearance, and an ancient arch flung from rock to rock over the river, the water of which is darkened by the foliage of trees. At a little distance beyond this point, after following a winding and nearly precipitous ascent formed in the rocks, Cwm Bychan appears in sight, deeply embosomed in rocks of magnificent grandeur, and enlivened with the waters of its beautiful lake, above which is the sequestered house of the Lloyds, whose ancestors were owners of these wilds so early as the year 1100, and who still retain possession of them. Of this family, David Llwyd, a celebrated warrior, and a firm adherent of the Earl of Richmond, was present at the battle of Bosworth Field. At no great distance is the fortified pass called Drws Ardudwy, which is described in the article on Llanddwywau, and which, as well as this place, was most probably occupied by the sons of Cadwgan, in their contests with the sons of Uchtryd ab Edwyn, whom they succeeded in expelling from the country. Among the mountains that surround Cwm Bychan is Carreg y Saeth, on whose summit are a maen hr and a carnedd.
The parish is extensive, being seven miles in length and four in breadth, and has a mountainous and, in some parts, an uncultivated surface. An act of parliament was obtained, in 1810, for reclaiming the waste lands in this and the adjoining parish, under the provisions of which nine hundred and forty acres were inclosed within the limits of Llanbedr. The manufacture of flannel is carried on upon a moderate scale; and manganese is found, the procuring of which also affords employment to a portion of the inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the rectory of Llandanwg. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, is an ancient structure; according to an absurd local tradition it was originally intended to erect it at a place about forty yards to the right of the road, where are four or five broad stones, eight feet high, standing upright; but the workmen found that what they executed by day was removed at night, and therefore commenced the building on the site it now occupies. There are places of worship for Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists, and Baptists. Mrs. Mary Parry, of Ruabon, in the county of Denbigh, daughter of the late Rev. J. Hughes, rector of this parish, in 1817 bequeathed 1000 for the instruction of children, the interest whereof is paid to a master and mistress. The school-building affords accommodation for the master and mistress, who have also a garden; and was erected in 1824, at an expense of about 130, partly raised by subscription, on ground given by Owen Anthony Poole, Esq. This school is in connexion with the Established Church, and the parish contains also three Sunday schools, supported by the dissenters. Mr. Theodore Roberts left 20; and there are some smaller charitable donations and bequests, the interest of which, about 2. 15., is annually distributed among the poor. In one of the rocks here several Roman coins are said to have been found. Maes-y-Garnedd, in the parish, was the birthplace of the regicide Col. Jones.
LLANBEDR-GCH (LLAN-BEDR-GCH), a parish, in the hundred of Tyndaethwy, union and county of Anglesey, North Wales, 2 miles (N. E.) from Llangevni, and 7 (W. N. W.) from Beaumaris; containing 407 inhabitants. This place, in old writings called Llanbedr-Mathavarn-Eithav, is advantageously situated on the Irish Sea, which constitutes its northern boundary, and forms within the parish a safe and commodious harbour, called Traeth Cch, or Red Wharf bay, in which large sloops may ride in perfect security during the severest gales. On the south the parish is bounded by that of Pentraeth, and on the west by Llanddyvnan. It comprises an area of 1486 acres, chiefly arable, and the surface generally is tolerably even; to the east are considerable undulations, which are likewise a feature of the surface towards the sea. The lands, with the exception only of such as are appropriated to mining purposes, are inclosed and cultivated; and the soil is generally fertile, though of inconsiderable depth, and having a rocky substratum: the chief agricultural produce is oats and potatoes. In various places are quantities of short gorse, or furze.
The district abounds with limestone of very superior quality, of which quarries are worked upon a large scale, affording constant employment to more than 200 men, exclusively of a considerable number engaged in conveying it to its several places of destination. From these quarries, the principal of which is Castell Mawr, conveniently situated near Red Wharf bay, many thousand tons of limestone are annually procured, and shipped at that small port for various parts of England, Wales, and Ireland. The rock from which the stone is hewn, forms a very peculiar feature in the scenery of the bay. Marble is also found, and several good slabs of black and grey marble have been raised; but, though susceptible of a high polish, it does not retain it for any length of time, and consequently is not in very great request. Considerable improvements have been made in the port of Traeth Cch, under the auspices of the Anglesey Railway Company, who, in the 52nd of George III., obtained an act of parliament, enabling them to raise certain sums, in shares of 150 each, for making and maintaining a tramway from PenrhnMawr, in the parish of Llanvihangel-Ysceiviog, to Red Wharf in this parish, and for constructing a dock and other necessary works for the convenience of shipping coal and other produce from that district. This tramway, which is seven miles in length, and rises and falls in its course from fourteen to thirtyeight feet above and below the level of high water, commences at the Penrhn-Mawr coal-works, and pursues a north-eastern course, crossing the road between Holyhead and Bangor, to Red Wharf bay, where it has a branch which is continued for a short distance northward, in a direction parallel with the shore. The expense of carrying this useful undertaking into execution was estimated at 9802, for defraying which the Earl of Uxbridge and another landed proprietor in the neighbourhood subscribed each 5000. An ancient mansion in the parish, called Glyn, now a farmhouse, is a curious structure, worth visiting; around it are some fine sycamores, the only well-grown trees in the parish.
The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to that of Pentraeth: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of 118. 10. 9. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, situated on a rocky and rather peculiar eminence in a distant and exposed part of the parish, is a small cruciform structure, chiefly of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, with a single bellgable at the west end. The length of the building is forty-two feet and a half, in the interior. The nave has no window, but is furnished with a northern and a southern doorway: in the transepts are squareheaded windows of two lights each, not older perhaps than the seventeenth century; and the chancel, which is probably the oldest portion of the church, contains a Decorated window of three trefoiled lights and flowing tracery, with plainly chamfered mouldings. In the parish are places of worship for Independents and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists. A National school is supported here for the parishes of Llanbedr-Gch, Llanddyvnan, Llanvair-MathavarnEithav, and Pentraeth; and there are two Sunday schools, one of them in connexion with the Church, and the other, which is well attended, belonging to the Calvinistic Methodists. A poor woman of this place receives 3 per annum, charged on a farm in the parish of Llangwyvan, under Margaret Wynne's charity at Holyhead; and a few trifling rent-charges are also distributed among the poor; but others, and two donations of money, have been lost.
LLANBEDR-PAINSCASTLE (LLANBEDR-PAIN'S-CASTLE), a parish, in the union of Hay, hundred of Painscastle, county of Radnor, South Wales, 6& miles (N. W. by W.) from Hay; containing 348 inhabitants. This parish derives the distinguishing adjunct to its name from a fortress called Pain's Castle, anciently situated within its limits, and said to have been built by a Norman baron named De Paine, who obtained possession of the hundred of Lower Elvael about the time that Bernard Newmarch wrested the principality of Brycheiniog from Bleddyn ab Maenarch. It occupied the summit of a steep mound, on which a strong rampart or military station had previously been constructed by the Welsh, termed Caer yn Elvael, which name, on the erection of the castle, was changed for Pain's Castle, or Elvael Castle. A village was also built by De Paine, at the foot of the eminence whereon the castle stood; this was inhabited by the dependants and vassals of the feudal baron, and subsequently rose into considerable importance, and received the grant of a market. On the death of De Paine, this castle, which, on account of its importance, had given name to the hundred, passed, with the territories belonging to it, to the Mortimers; and from them to William De Breos, or De Bruce. About the end of the twelfth century it was taken from that powerful Norman baron by Rhŷs ab Grufydd, soon after his capture of Radnor Castle. Of this strong fortress there are now no remains, except the moat that surrounded the site; and the town of Painscastle, participating in its fate, has dwindled into an insignificant village.
The parish, comprising about 4000 acres, is separated from that of Llanddewi-Vch by the small river Bachwy, which falls into the river Wye above Boughrood, nearly opposite to the influx of the Clettwr on the Brecknockshire side. It contains a fine sheet of water, about a mile in circumference, called Boughlyn Pool. The lands are in some parts hilly, in others flat, but no where subject to inundation; the soil is gravelly, and by no means unfertile. Fairs for horses, sheep, and horned cattle, are held annually on May 12th, September 22nd, and December 15th, in the township of Painscastle; the market has been for some time discontinued. The petty-sessions for the hundred are occasionally held here. This place, with Boughrood, constituted the now suppressed prebend of Llanbedr-Painscastle, or Boughrood, in the collegiate church of Brecknock, rated in the king's books at only 13s. 4d., and in the patronage of the Bishop of St. David's. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with 600 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Bishop; net income, 68: about fifty acres of glebe land belonging to it are situated in the adjacent parish of LlandeiloGraban. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, from which circumstance the name of the parish is derived, is an ancient edifice, consisting of a nave and chancel, but presenting no remarkable architectural features. There is a place of worship for dissenters, with a Sunday school held in it.
LLANBEDROG (LLAN-BEDROG), a parish, in the union of Pwllheli, hundred of Gaflogion, Lleyn division of the county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 4 miles (S. W.) from Pwllheli; containing 512 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the north-western shore of Cardigan bay, near St. Tudwal's Roads; it has the advantage of a secure though inconsiderable bay, affording good anchorage, and maintains a direct communication with Carnarvon, South Wales, Liverpool, and Dublin. The village, which is small, is situated in a beautifully picturesque valley, embosomed in mountains, on one of which, partly in the adjoining parish of Llangian, was a well called Fynnon Dduw, or "God's well," about three yards square, inclosed with a wall from four to five feet high. The waters of this well were formerly much esteemed for their efficacy in rheumatic complaints; and adjoining to it was another, about a yard square, from which the invalids used to drink the water. It was customary for the people of the neighbouring country to assemble around the well for the celebration of rustic sports, but it has now for many years been neglected. WernVawr, the only house of any importance in the parish, is a spacious and ancient mansion.
The living is a rectory, with the perpetual curacies of Llanvihangel-Bchelleth and Llangian annexed, rated in the king's books at 25. 11. 5.; patron, the Bishop of Bangor. The tithes of this parish and Llanvihangel-Bchelleth have been commuted for a rent-charge of 662, and there is a glebe of eight and a half acres, valued at 9. 10. per annum; also a glebe-house. The church, dedicated to St. Pedroc, son of Clement, Prince of Cornwall, by whom it is supposed to have been founded in the seventh century, is a small neat edifice, and was thoroughly repaired in 1827, at an expense of 130; in some of the windows are fragments of ancient stained glass. There are places of worship for Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists, and Independents. A school is supported principally by the rector; and four Sunday schools are held, one of them in connexion with the Church, and the others belonging to the dissenters. A small cottage and garden, originally given to the church, and formerly tenanted by the parish-clerk, are now occupied rent free, by a poor man's family, forming the only charitable endowment in the parish.