A Topographical Dictionary of Wales. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1849.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
LLANBERIS (LLAN-BERIS), a parish, in the hundred of Isgorvai, union and county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 9½ miles (E. S. E.) from Carnarvon, on the road leading to Capel-Curig, Corwen, and Shrewsbury; containing 1024 inhabitants. This place derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Peris, a British, or, according to some accounts, a Roman saint, who is said to have been a cardinal of Rome, and to have resided in this sequestered spot with Padarn, an anchorite, who had a cell, or small chapel, in a meadow between the site of Dôlbadarn Castle and that of the present Dôlbadarn Inn. Dr. Pughe, in his well-known Cambrian Biography, states that St. Peris was a native of Wales, and calls him the son of Helig ab Glanog; he also says that he was both a saint and a cardinal, and lived about the sixth century. Dôlbadarn Castle was anciently the principal defence of this part of Wales. It is supposed to be one of the oldest mural fortresses in the principality, and to have been originally founded by Padarn Beisrydd, son of Idwal, to defend the passage through the Snowdonian mountains. This castle appears also to have been used as a state prison; Owain Gôch, brother of Llewelyn the last native prince of Wales, who had conspired with his brother Davydd to dethrone this prince, was confined in the castle for more than twenty-three years. It is supposed to be the fortress anciently called the "castle of Bere," which was provided by Davydd, after the unfortunate death of his brother Llewelyn, with a strong garrison for its defence against the English forces, commanded by Edward I. in person; and which is described by historians as being situated in Snowdon in a morass, through which a single causeway formed the only access to it, and which could be approached only along narrow and rugged defiles. But so sunk in despair were the Welsh by the death of their late prince, that even this castle was surrendered to the king, after it had been for some time closely invested; the weak defence of its garrison being the last opposition made to the victorious Edward in his conquest of Wales.
The parish, which is of very great extent, is bounded on the north-west by Llandeiniolen, on the west by Llanrug, on the south by Bettws-Garmon, on the south-east by Bethgelart, and on the northeast by Llandegai. It is situated in the heart of a wildly romantic district, comprehending several of the loftiest mountains in the principality, and abounding with mineral treasures, and with scenery of the boldest character. Among the mountains of the district, and within the parish, are the Elidyrs, the Glyders, Moel Eilio, Carnedd Igyn, part of Llyder Vawr, and, towering above all, the gigantic Snowdon, of which one-half is in this parish. Moel Eilio is 2377 feet in height; Carnedd Igyn, so called from a carnedd of loose stones placed on its summit by a person named Igyn, rises to a height of 2975 feet above the level of the sea; and the highest summit of Snowdon has an elevation of 3571 feet above the same level. Llanberis village consists only of three or four houses, with a spacious and comfortable inn, called the Dôlbadarn Inn, two miles west of it, for the accommodation of the visiters who in the summer season resort to this place, in their excursions to Snowdon. The village is beautifully situated on the river Seiont, which flows into the lake called Llyn Peris, a little below the church, and, after traversing both this and a lower lake, falls into the Menai below the ancient Segontium, at the present town of Carnarvon. Close to the village runs the new and important line of road from Carnarvon, through the romantic pass and valley of Dyfryn Membyr, to join the great Irish road at Capel-Curig.
The narrow Vale of Llanberis, extending five miles in length, and bounded on each side by lofty mountains, whose summits are commonly enveloped in clouds, comprehends a rich variety of romantic scenery, and contains within its limits a striking combination of features unrivalled in grandeur and sublimity. Though obscured by the overshadowing mountains which form its limits on either side, it abounds with luxuriant meadows affording fine pasturage, and comprises a small portion of arable land, not exceeding eighty or one hundred acres, adapted to the cultivation of oats, which is the only grain raised in the parish. It is intersected by the new road above mentioned, and its surface is agreeably diversified by the two beautiful lakes of Peris and Padarn, of which the former, called the Upper, is a mile in length, and about a quarter of a mile broad, and, though by much the smaller of the two, is greatly superior in the beauty of its form and the scenery that immediately surrounds it. The latter, which is termed the Lower lake, in Welsh Llyn Isâv, is about two miles in length, and about half a mile broad, and is separated from the other by a narrow isthmus 200 yards in breadth. On the summit of a high rock rising from the isthmus, and overlooking Llyn Peris, are the remains of Dôlbadarn Castle, consisting of some portions of walls, and one solitary tower, and forming a prominent and interesting feature in the scenery of the vale. About a quarter of a mile south-east of the Dôlbadarn Inn, and not far from the public road, is the noble cataract called Ceunant Mawr, formed by an impetuous mountain torrent precipitated with violence over two vast masses of rock, and falling into two tremendous chasms beneath. Within the parish, besides Peris and Padarn, already noticed, are four other lakes, viz., Llyn y Cwn, Llyn Cwm Dwythwch, Llyn Dû yr Arddu, and Llyn Cwm Fynnon; these, however, are of much smaller size, and some of them are situated high up the sides of the mountains. In Fynnon Vrêch, a small pool, about a mile east of the village, in the hollow of Cwm Glâs, is found, as in Llyn y Cwn, a great variety of aquatic plants, among which are the lobelia dortmanna, subularia aquatica, isoetis-lacustris, and juncus-triglumis: the hieracium alpinum, rubus saxatilis, solidago cambrica, and other rare plants, also grow in this alpine region, which is a favourite resort of botanists. Llyn Cwm Dwythwch abounds with trout of very superior quality, resembling salmon both in colour and flavour.
Since the opening of the new line of road from Carnarvon to Capel-Curig, Llanberis has become the principal resort of parties visiting Snowdon, to which mountain the ascent is easier from this village than from any other place in the district, and may be accomplished on ponies almost to the summit. For this purpose, guides are in attendance during the summer season; and ponies may be obtained, accustomed to these arduous and precipitous roads, on which they travel with perfect ease and security. In addition to the inn of Dôlbadarn, a capacious house of entertainment, called the Royal Victoria, has been erected by Thomas Assheton Smith, Esq., the chief proprietor of the soil, in a more splendid style, for the accommodation of the increased number of visiters, whom the new line of road has induced to select this as the principal place whence to make excursions, and commence the ascent to Snowdon. The approach to the mountain from the pass of Llanberis is singularly striking. As the tourist draws near, its highest summits become gradually concealed by intervening heights, consisting of lofty and rugged masses of rock, which, like secondary mountains, rise from its base, forming a grand series of natural outworks and majestic barriers to defend its steep acclivities, and of precipitous ridges of sharp pointed rocks, opposing a succession of formidable ramparts to guard the ascent to its summit. By these the mountain is hid from the view of persons approaching it, till, on their arrival at Bwlch-yr-Eisteddva, it bursts at once upon the sight, in all the fulness of overwhelming grandeur. Just above this point is the Gorphwysva, or "resting-place," at the extremity of the pass, which is the highest ascent on the new line of road, and from it is seen the pass of Llanberis beneath, called Bwlch-y-Gwyddil. Upon the left is Crib Gôch, "the red ridge," or third summit of Snowdon, beyond which appears part of the second summit, called Crib-y-Distyll: on the same side, but lower down, is a succession of rocks of inferior height, forming the grand western buttress by which the mountain appears to be supported; and below these are seen the two lakes of Llanberis, and the tower of Dôlbadarn Castle occupying the rocky summit of the narrow isthmus that divides the lakes. On the right are the precipitous acclivities of Glyder Vawr, skirted in many places with vast ranges of columnar rocks of basaltic formation, thrown together in the greatest confusion, and some having a slight degree of curvature: one cluster of these basaltic columns is detached from the rest, and occupies an isolated part of the mountain, in which it maintains a perfectly upright position. The lower ground in this pass is thickly strewed with vast fragments of rock, of various forms and sizes, which add materially to the grandeur of the scene; some of them are sixty feet in length, and of proportionate bulk, and the great number of huge masses that lie scattered in all directions, and in the wildest irregularity and disorder, give a high degree of beauty to the prospect, by their forcible display of light and shade. From this point, no higher ground intervening between Snowdon and the Menai, the view in that direction is perfectly open, and the Isle of Anglesey becomes conspicuous in the horizon. At a small distance along this path, which winds under some very lofty and awfully impending rocks, the whole of Crib Gôch appears in view: its summit, apparently almost inaccessible, is covered with the festuca vivipara, a viviparous alpine grass, which bears clusters of seedlings on very slender stems, and which, waving in the wind, without any visible support, gives a singular appearance to the rocks, which seem to be in motion.
The highest summit of Snowdon is called Yr Wyddva, or "the conspicuous," and rises almost to a point, affording space only for a small inclosure of loose stones, where the traveller may take refreshment while resting from the toil of his arduous ascent, and within which a pole, consisting of four thick planks inserted in a mound of stone, was erected by order of government, in the year 1827. From this summit Snowdon appears to be supported by four distinct and immense piles of rocks, forming vast buttresses, with four tremendous chasms between them, in three of which are lakes to which various names have been given, from the apparent colour of their waters: of these the most conspicuous from this point is Fynnon Lâs, or "the green well." Beyond is a continued succession of chasms, the sides of which are nearly perpendicular, constituting one of the most magnificent amphitheatres in nature. On Glyder Vawr is a quarry producing hone-stones of a very superior quality; great quantities of hones are sent to London. The mountain is noted for rare plants, among which are the saxifraga nivalis, the bulbocodium of Ray, or the anthericum serotinum of later botanists, and the lichen islandicus. The view from the mountain is truly sublime, comprehending the most extensive range of mountain scenery perhaps to be found in the island. On the right of Cwm Idwal, where a young prince named Idwal, son of Owain Gwynedd, was murdered by Dunawt, son of Nevydd Hardd, to whom his father had entrusted him to be brought up according to the custom of the country, is a vast split rock, called Twll Dû, or "the devil's kitchen:" the fissure forms a frightful chasm, about 150 yards in length, 100 yards in depth, and only 6 in width; and opening perpendicularly to the mountain, the waters of the lake of Llyn y Cwm are seen rushing through it with impetuosity. Fossils and minerals of various descriptions are obtained in abundance in the mountainous tract. Among these the most valuable are the beautiful Snowdon crystals, transparent as the diamond; and on Glyder Vawr are found some of brilliant colours, like the ruby and the amethyst: they are a species of the marcasite. There are evident indications in the latter mountain of a large deposit of copper-ore.
These mountains scarcely produce any grain, but they afford good pasturage in some parts for cattle and sheep during the summer. Goats, of which large flocks were formerly kept upon them for the purposes of the dairy, and for the sake of their long hair, which was manufactured into wigs, are now seldom seen: foxes are found in considerable numbers, and in the time of Leland there were large herds of wild red deer. The royal forest of Snowdon, erected by Edward I., on his entire subjugation of the Welsh, was, in the reign of Elizabeth, under the superintendence of Dudley, Earl of Leicester, who was appointed chief ranger, and who endeavoured to extend its boundaries, which were very indefinitely marked, into the counties of Anglesey and Merioneth; in which he was prevented solely by the firmness and perseverance of Sir Richard Bulkeley. It was finally disafforested about the year 1624, in the latter part of the reign of James I., to the great satisfaction of the neighbouring farmers, whose crops suffered from the deer, and to the relief of the inhabitants of this part of the principality, who were grievously oppressed by the vexatious laws enacted for its government.
Partly in the parish of Llanberis, and partly in the parish of Llandeiniolen, are the extensive slatequarries of T. Assheton Smith, Esq., called the Dinorwig Quarry, employing about 2000 men: the boundary line of the two parishes runs nearly through the centre of the quarry. These now flourishing works were formerly conducted only on a very limited scale, but in 1824 they were much enlarged; within the last few years the operations have become greatly extended, and at the present time nearly 100,000 tons of slates are annually raised. In 1824 a tramroad was constructed by Mr. Smith, at an expense of £25,000, for conveying the produce of the quarries to Port-Dinorwig, on the Menai, in the parishes of Bangor and Llanvair-is-Gaer. This, however, has been superseded by a new railway constructed in 1843, also at the cost of Mr. Smith, who expended as much as £35,000 on the work; the line is about eight miles in length, and of four feet gauge. A locomotive engine is employed to draw the slates down to within about 800 yards of the port, where is an inclined plane of that length, along which they are let down by an endless chain above 1600 yards long. The railway runs by the side of, and nearly on a level with, the Llanberis lakes, for three miles: the old tramway has been wholly removed. There are nine different colours of slates raised at these quarries; they are kept distinct, and sold to suit different customers. Four mills are employed in sawing and planing slate slabs, of which many tons are wrought; one of the mills is driven by steam of thirty-horse power, and the others by water. Copper abounds in the parish, and two mines of that ore were formerly worked in it; the principal mine was situated on the southern margin of the Upper lake, near its higher extremity, and the other in Clogwyn Côch, or "the red rock," about half-way up Snowdon, at the upper extremity of the hollow called Waûn Cwm Brwynog, and near the small lake Dû yr Arddu. The former of these, commonly called Llyn Peris mine, was regularly worked for about a century, and the original vein of ore may be considered as exhausted: attached to it was a stamping-mill for pulverizing the fragments of rock in which the ore was imbedded, preparatory to its being separated by washing. The mine at Clogwyn Côch was comparatively of recent date, and was worked only for a few years. The ore of the mines is a sulphate, and is found in a matrix of quartz, imbedded in hard rocks of whinstone and hornstone schistus. Fairs are held in the parish on September 18th and 27th.
The living is a discharged rectory, rated in the king's books at £4. 18. 9., and endowed with £800 royal bounty; present net income, £182; patron, the Bishop of Bangor: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £60. The church, dedicated to St. Peris, and situated in a deeply sequestered glen, about a quarter of a mile above Llyn Peris, is a small, low, cruciform structure, principally in the later style of English architecture, with some portions of a much earlier date, probably several centuries earlier, which are parts of a previous edifice. The more modern portion is supposed to have been erected in the reign of Henry VI., and the whole forms a neat and venerable structure, in perfect harmony with the retirement of its situation, and the picturesque scenery by which it is surrounded. Two small chapels open into the chancel, one on each side, in each of which, and also in the chancel, is a good east window. Some of the timber work in the building is highly curious. The restoration of this church was commenced in 1848, under the superintendence of Henry Kennedy, Esq., architect; the plans comprising the insertion of larger windows of good design, the repair of the ancient roof, and the fittingup of the whole of the interior with appropriate benches. There are two places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, and one for Independents, with three Sunday schools, one being held in each meeting-house. In the adjoining parish of Llandeiniolen, at Dinorwig, is a British school, established and supported by the quarrymen, for the benefit of the two parishes of Llandeiniolen and Llanberis. A farm called Tŷ Dû, bequeathed by Dean Goodman as part of the endowment of Christ's Hospital, at Ruthin, is situated in Llanberis; and a slate-quarry has been opened upon it, which promises a very considerable addition to the funds of that useful establishment.
Remains of camps and other defensive works are numerous in the mountainous region of Snowdon, and vestiges of several are to be seen within the limits of the parish. In Cwm Glâs is a cromlech. Near the church is the well of St. Peris (inclosed with a wall), formerly celebrated for its miraculous efficacy in the cure of diseases, and which, in Mr. Pennant's time, was still famed for the divinations of a sibyl, according to the appearance or non-appearance of a fish lurking in some of its holes. Moely-Cynghorion, or "the hill of council," on the southern confines of the parish, is supposed to derive its name from a council held upon it by the Welsh chieftains, when about to surrender to the victorious Edward.
LLANBEULAN (LLAN-BEULAN), a parish, partly in the hundred of Llyvon, partly in that of Malltraeth, and partly in that of Tŵrcelyn, union and county of Anglesey, North Wales, 6 miles (W.) from Llangevni; containing 314 inhabitants. The parish is situated on the road from Bangor to Holyhead, and is bounded on the north by Ceirchiog, on the north-east by Llandrygarn, on the east by Trêvwalchmai, on the west by Llanvaelog, and on the south by Aberfraw. It comprises by computation 2732 acres, chiefly arable; the soil is generally good, but light. There are a few small stone-quarries in the parish, and some mills for grinding corn. The living is a rectory, with the several perpetual curacies of Ceirchiog, Llanerchymedd, Llanvaelog, and Llêchylched, annexed to it, rated in the king's books at £22. 3. 11½.; present net income, £793, with a glebe-house; patron, the Bishop of Bangor. The church, dedicated to St. Peulan, who lived in the beginning of the sixth century, is said to have been originally founded in 630, and is situated in a little barren valley, near the line of road to Holyhead. Though small and of rude workmanship, it is valuable as presenting several curious features. Like most of the churches in Anglesey, it has replaced an earlier building, traces of which are now extant in some zigzag mouldings rudely carved, worked into the western wall, as imposts to the doorway; and in the font. The edifice consists of a nave and chancel, with a chapel on the southern side of the former; and, as it at present stands, is of Decorated character. The font is an unique specimen of the twelfth century, two feet one inch high by two feet eleven inches long, externally, and twenty-seven inches and a half by fifteen inches and a half, internally, being eleven inches deep, with shelving sides, and thus affording space for immerging a child three or four years old. The workmanship of it is exceedingly rude; the cover is of oak, and bears the name of William Bold, and the date 1666. The eastern window of the church is singularly rude and curious in design. On the northern side of the altar is a stone commemorating Hugh Davis of Treveibion Meyrick, Gent., 1690; and a wooden seat in the church bears the inscription, "The seate of William Bold of Treyrddol Esquire 1664." Few churches in the district have undergone so little alteration as this since the time of their erection. At Tàlyllyn, in the parish, is a separate incumbency. David Jones, in 1726, bequeathed £10, the interest arising from which he directed to be annually given to two of the oldest inhabitants of the parish, who should be considered deserving objects of charity; but nothing is now known of this benefaction.
LLANBISTER, a parish, in the union and hundred of Knighton, county of Radnor, South Wales, 12 miles (W.) from Knighton; containing 1122 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the river Ithon, and extends nearly fifteen miles in length, with an average breadth of two miles; comprising 12,688 acres, of which 4000 are common or waste. The surface is in parts almost mountainous; from the higher grounds are some fine and extensive prospects, and the village, as approached from the south-west, assumes a beautifully picturesque appearance, from its situation on a gradual ascent, with timber of luxuriant growth in the background. The inclosed lands are in a good state of cultivation, and the inhabitants are generally employed in agriculture. The turnpikeroad from Builth, in Brecknockshire, to Newtown, in the county of Montgomery, passes through the parish. The living is a discharged vicarage, endowed with part of the great tithes, and rated in the king's books at £6. 11. 5¼.; present net income, £148; patron, the Bishop of St. David's. The church, dedicated to St. Cynllo, or Kynlo, is a large ancient edifice, consisting of a nave and chancel, well pewed and paved, with a tower at the east end, which, having, according to tradition, been partly destroyed by lightning about a century since, is now reduced to one-half of its original elevation. There are places of worship for Primitive Wesleyan Methodists. A Church school here is endowed with £3 per annum, arising from a bequest by Silvanus Williams, prior to 1734, for teaching eight poor children to read the Bible: it is both a day and Sunday school. A charitable donation of £3. 6. 8., the produce of a grant of £40, by the Rev. Robert Barlow, in the 28th of Elizabeth, and secured upon an estate called the Vron, is annually distributed, according to the will of the donor, among the poor of this and the adjacent parishes of Llanano, Llandabarn-Vynydd, LlandewiYstradenny, and Abbey Cwm Hîr: £1 is the portion allotted to this place, which, with a rent-charge of £2, charged on the lands of Tyllwydd, by Edward Meredith in 1833, is applied to the relief of the poor about Christmas.
In the parish are several mineral springs. The water of two or three of these is black, and strongly impregnated with sulphur, and is considered efficacious in the cure of cutaneous diseases: the others, which are disregarded for medicinal uses, are of a reddish copper colour; and if copper be immersed in them, it will, in the course of an hour or two, become of a whitish colour, while silver, in like manner, will be made yellow. A red and a black spring rise within ten yards of each other, in the same meadow; and near the church is a celebrated spring, called "Pistyll Gynllo."
LLANBLETHIAN (LLAN-BLEIDDIAN), a parish, in the union of Bridgend and Cowbridge, hundred of Cowbridge, county of Galmorgan, South Wales; adjoining the town of Cowbridge, and containing 724 inhabitants. After the defeat of Iestyn ab Gwrgan, the last Prince of Glamorgan, this portion of his dominions was given by Fitz-Hamon, the Norman victor, to Sir Robert St. Quentin, who erected the castle of Llanblethian, or St. Quentin; and this castle, with the manor, subsequently formed part of the dower of the widow of Hugh Spencer the younger, on her marriage with Guy de Brien. The parish comprises 3148 acres, and is intersected on the east by the river Ddaw, which falls into the Bristol Channel at the distance of six miles, where it forms the small port of Aberthaw, celebrated for the superior quality of its lime. The lands are in general fertile, and in a state of excellent cultivation; 369 acres are common or waste. The village is enlivened by several elegant cottages, the residences of highly respectable families; and the dwellings of the poor have an unusual appearance of neatness and comfort: the country immediately around it is of varied and pleasing character, and an ancient bridge over the Ddaw, which river flows through it, adds greatly to the picturesque effect of the scene. To the north-east of the village, on the summit of a hill round the foot of which the river flows, are the remains of the ancient castle of St. Quentin, the chief feature being a gateway, mantled with ivy, and sheltered from the violence of the winds by a few trees.
The living is a discharged vicarage, with the livings of Cowbridge and Welsh-St.-Donatt's annexed, rated in the king's books at £10. 3. 4.; present net income, £279; patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Gloucester. The tithes of Llanblethian have been commuted for £271. 6. 5. payable to the Dean and Chapter, and £141 to the incumbent, who has also a glebe of fifty-five acres, valued at £80 per annum. The church, dedicated to St. Bleiddian (the Welsh name for Lupus), who accompanied Germanus in his mission to Britain, to suppress the Pelagian heresy, is a conspicuous object in the surrounding scenery, being situated on the brow of an abrupt eminence. There are places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists and Independents, with a Sunday school held in each of them; and the benefits of the Cowbridge National school extend to this parish and Welsh-St.-Donatt's. Under the will of Sir Leoline Jenkins, £20 are received every fourth year from the master of Cowbridge school, for clothing aged persons in Llanblethian: the same benefactor gave the parish a bell of the value of £70, to make its ring of bells complete. William Gibbon, Esq., of Newton, in 1809, left £500, to be invested in the funds, and the interest divided among the industrious poor of this parish, and those of Llanhary, Llanharan, and Llantrissent, the portion assigned to this place being £100, yielding an interest of £4. 19. This annual sum, with various benefactions that have been invested in the purchase of land, and other small bequests in money, amounting in the aggregate to about £15 per annnm, is distributed among the poor. The produce of the church lands, principally a grant from Evan Jenkins, brother of Sir Leoline, in 1699, for this parish and that of Ystrad-Owen, and two or three unknown donors, amounts to £21. 2. 6. per annum, which nearly supersedes the necessity of a church-rate, only three church-rates having occurred in the parish for the last forty years.
LLANBOIDY (LLAN-BEADY), a parish, in the union of Narberth, Lower division of the hundred of Derllŷs, county of Carmarthen, South Wales, 6½ miles (N. W. by W.) from St. Clear's; comprising the Upper and Lower divisions, and containing 1739 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the turnpike-road leading from Narberth to St. Clear's and Newcastle-Emlyn. It extends nearly nine miles from north to south, and five in a transverse direction; and contains, in rich meadow and arable land, 10,666a. 3r. 7p. The scenery, though not distinguished by any peculiarity of feature, is pleasingly varied; and from the higher grounds are obtained some extensive and interesting views: among the gentlemen's seats in the neighbourhood, Maes Gwyn, an elegant modern mansion, Glyntâf, and Nantyr-Eglwys, are the most conspicuous. The parish contains iron-ore, which is found in considerable quantity; and the springs in various parts of it are strongly impregnated with that mineral. A fair is held annually in the village on September 18th.
The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £8, and endowed with £1000 parliamentary grant; patron, the Bishop of St. David's. The tithes have been commuted for £396. 12. 6. payable to the Earl of Lisburne, £137. 17. 6. to the vicar, and £80. 10. to All Souls' College, Oxford. In the hamlet of Regwm, in the parish, is a chapel dedicated to St. David, called Eglwys-Vair-Lan-Tâf, pleasantly situated on the banks of the Tâf, and on the border of Pembrokeshire: the living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £800 royal bounty and £400 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of Frederick Bludworth, Esq., who is owner of eleven-fourteenths of the tithes of the hamlet, of which the remainder belongs to the incumbent, and other impropriators; net income of the benefice, £66. There are two places of worship for Independents. Richard Lewis, in 1715, bequeathed £50 for the instruction of four poor boys; and the Rev. Walter Rice Howell, of Maes Gwyn, £20 for the erection of almshouses in the parish; but both these charities have been allowed to fall into neglect. Schools are supported in connexion with the Church, and a British school has been recently built; there is a Church Sunday school, and the Independents have five Sunday schools.
At Bronyskawen, in the parish, are some faint remains of a spacious camp, near the entrance of which, according to Camden, two leaden boxes were found by some boys, rudely formed, and each perforated with a hole nearly one inch in diameter, containing 200 silver coins of the Roman Empire, some of which were the most ancient ever discovered in the island: of thirty that were shown to Mr. Llwyd, the celebrated Welsh antiquary, the latest was one of Domitian in his fifteenth consulate, A. D. 91. At one extremity of the parish, in the grounds of Kilhernin, is a perfect cromlech, of which the table stone, supported on four perpendicular stones, is about ten yards in circumference and one yard in thickness: it is situated near the summit of a lofty eminence, overlooking one of the most luxuriant vales in the whole course of the river Tâf. Near the village of Llanboidy is a large tumulus, flat on the summit, as if originally surmounted by some building; and on the opposite side of the river, and about a quarter of a mile higher up the stream, are the vestiges of a small encampment, probably intended to defend the passage of the valley. In the hamlet of Regwm was the residence of the famous prince and legislator, Hywel Dda.
LLANBRYNMAIR (LLAN-BRYN-MAIR), a parish, in the union and hundred of Machynlleth, county of Montgomery, North Wales, 10 miles (E.) from Machynlleth; comprising the Upper and Lower divisions, and containing 2019 inhabitants. This parish extends more than eleven miles in length, and seven in breadth. It comprehends a large portion of mountainous land, affording pasturage during the summer for sheep and young cattle, and considerable tracts of meadow and arable land, in a good state of cultivation; the total area is 19,000 acres. The inhabitants obtain their letters from the Wynnstay Arms, a posting-house eleven miles from Machynlleth, on the road to Newtown, and about a mile and a half to the north-east of the village, which is pleasantly situated on an eminence commanding extensive prospects over the surrounding country, of which the scenery is richly and beautifully diversified. About four miles to the southwest of the village, in the hamlet of Pennant, are two fine waterfalls near each other; of these the principal, called Frwd Vawr, is very grand, especially after heavy rains, the water having a perpendicular descent of more than 130 feet. In the hamlet of Tîrymynach, near Tàlerddig, is another waterfall, called Nant Ysgolion; and at Glyn Yâl, in the same neighbourhood, is a stratum of hard rock, which has been hollowed into the form of an arch by the waters of a brook, and in a late formation of a road cut through the rock. The road from Machynlleth to Carno, through the parish, is highly picturesque in many parts; and from the higher grounds, the chief mountains in North Wales, and the beautiful vales of Llanbrynmair, Pennant, and Carno, are seen to great advantage. In the hamlet of Pennant are some leadmines; and flannel is manufactured in the parish, which forms the western extremity of the district in Montgomeryshire where this trade is carried on. The principal fuel of the inhabitants is peat, procured within the limits of the parish. Fairs for Horses, cattle, and sheep, are annually held on the Friday before the 10th of March, on May 31st, September 16th, and November 25th.
The living is a discharged vicarage, in the patronage of the Bishop of St. Asaph, rated in the king's books at £4. 8. 1½.: the tithes have been commuted for £199. 19. payable to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, £30 to an impropriator, and £214. 19. to the vicar, who has also a glebe of two acres, and a house. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is an ancient structure, ornamented in the interior with some beautiful specimens of old carving in oak; in the churchyard are some yew-trees of fine growth and of great age. At Tàlerddig was a chapel of ease, but it has gone wholly to decay, and no remains of it can now be traced. There are places of worship for Independents, Calvinistic Methodists, and Baptists. A school, held in a portion of the church boarded off, is partly supported from endowments, partly by subscription, and partly by payments from some of the children. The endowments consist of a tenement and land, bequeathed by Morgan Lloyd, Esq., in 1702, yielding a rental of £7. 7., and comprising a field of four acres, an oak coppice of three, and an allotment of six acres; the interest of £190, being the produce of sales of timber on the estate; and the interest of a bequest of £30 by Mr. Humphrey Jones, and of one of £150 by Mrs. Jones, late of this parish: from these endowments the master receives £13. 15. a year. Another school is partly maintained by an endowment of £25 per annum, paid by the trustees of Dr. Daniel Williams's estates, to the master, who receives in the whole £36. 8. salary, owing to a bequest of £100 four per cent. consols. by William Brees, in 1773, and another of £210 by Mrs. Mary Brees, in 1792. A third day school is partly supported by Sir John Conroy; and twelve Sunday schools are held, one of them in connexion with the Established Church, seven belonging to the Independents, three to the Calvinistic Methodists, and the twelfth to the Baptists.
On Newydd Mynyddog hill, in the hamlet of Tîrymynach, are two Druidical circles, formed of large upright stones placed at unequal distances from each other, the larger of the circles twenty-seven, and the other twenty-four yards, in diameter; and on some higher ground in the immediate vicinity is a circle of smaller stones, nine yards in diameter, which, from its commanding situation, appears to have been an exploratory station. At Tavolwern Mill, in the hamlet of Tavolwern, is a small tumulus.
LLANCADWALADR (LLAN-CADWALADR), a parish, in the union of Llanvyllin, Cynlleth and Mochnant divisions of the hundred of Chirk, county of Denbigh, North Wales, 7 miles (W. by N.) from Oswestry; containing 234 inhabitants. This parish, comprising 2900 acres, is divided into three townships, namely, Trevllan, Tregeiriog, and Nantir; the first, in which the church is situated, entirely surrounded by the parish of Llansillin; and those of Tregeiriog and Nantir detached, lying three or four miles from the church. The village is in Tregeiriog, in a small valley watered by the river Ceiriog, and environed by barren mountains, of dreary aspect. The inhabitants have a tradition, that there were formerly a church and a considerable town at Tregeiriog; and in ploughing the land, quantities of large paving stones have been thrown up at different times, which seemed to have been placed in regular order: the name of a farm, Pen-yr-hôwl, the "head of the street," is also adduced in corroboration. Llancadwaladr was formerly a chapelry in the parish of Llanrhaiadr-yn-Mochnant, but was separated from it by act of parliament, and formed into a parish of itself.
The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £800 royal bounty; net income, £55; patron, the Bishop of St. Asaph: the tithes have been commuted for £94. 10., of which a sum of £92 is payable to the Dean and Chapter of St. Asaph, and £2. 10. to the parish-clerk. The church, dedicated to St. Cadwaladr, from which circumstance the parish derives its name, was newly pewed and completely restored in 1840: it possesses a very elegant set of communion plate, presented by the famous Sir John Trevor, of Brynkinallt, Master of the Rolls. There are places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists at Tregeiriog and Nantir; and two Sunday schools, appertaining to the same body. Mrs. Mary Maurice, about the year 1720, bequeathed £30 for housekeepers not receiving parochial relief; and in 1733, Mr. Thomas Humphreys left £50 to the poor: of this latter sum £40 have been lost.
LLANCARVAN (LLAN-CARFAN), a parish, in the union of Cardiff, hundred of DinasPowys, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 6 miles (S. E.) from Cowbridge; comprising the Eastern and Western divisions, and containing 699, but, with the extra-parochial place of Llanoethin, 728 inhabitants. In this parish was established the first choir of saints before the institution of monasteries by St. Germanus, who came to England to suppress the doctrines of Pelagius, and who placed certain religious here for the instruction of the people in the Christian religion. The first Principal was St. Dubrig, or Dubricius, who was afterwards raised to the see of Llandaf, of which he was the first bishop. He was succeeded at Llancarvan by St. Cadoc, or Cattwg, in honour of whom several churches were subsequently erected in the principality. To this Cadoc, one Hungy, a British chief, gave lands for the benefit of the institution, which rose on the ruins of the old British choirs, and flourished under the ancient Latinized name of Carbani Vallis. The abbot, who was considered to be one of the chief ecclesiastics in the diocese, assisted at a council held at Llandaf in 560, which passed sentence of excommunication upon Meurig, King of Morganwg, or Glamorgan.
The parish is intersected by the Carfan brook, and the road leading from Cardiff to Cowbridge. It is bounded on the north by St. Nicholas', by Bonvilston, and Pendoylan, on the north-east by St. Lythan's, and Wenvoe, on the north-west by St. Hilary, and Llantrithyd, on the south-west by St. Athan's, and on the south by Penmark. It comprises by measurement 4500 acres, the whole of which, with the exception of 200 acres of wood, is arable and pasture; the soil is generally clayey, and the agricultural produce chiefly wheat, oats, barley, peas, and beans. The surface is diversified by several dingles, and the scenery in many situations, and from elevated points, is very fine; the prevailing timber is oak, ash, and elm. There is an abundance of limestone, which is quarried in considerable quantities, and burned for manure. The village is situated in a retired dell in the centre of the parish, but it presents no particular features of interest, with the exception of the naturally carved or hollow stones of its rivulet, from which it is supposed the name Carbani Vallis was first given to this place. The extra-parochial district called Llanoethin, where was once an ancient chapel, comprises the farms of Cae'r-Maen, Llanbithou, and Velin Vâch; and those of Carn Llwyd, Llanbythery, Llancadle, and Trêguf, which are each subject to a modus. A fair is held on the Wednesday before Easter.
The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at £8. 13. 9., and in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor; appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Gloucester: the tithes have been commuted for £325. 10. 2. payable to the Dean and Chapter, and £245 to the vicar, who has also a glebe of twelve acres, valued at £33. 15. per annum. The church, dedicated to St. Cattwg, an ancient and spacious structure, now in a dilapidated condition, is said to have been rebuilt in the twelfth century by Walter de Mapes, chaplain to Henry I. The altarpiece, which is elaborately embellished, and a portion of the old wooden screen still remaining, convey some idea of its former grandeur. At present it consists of two aisles: in the north chancel is a remarkably fine window, measuring eleven feet by twelve, the mullions and tracery of which were destroyed during the civil commotions of the seventeenth century, by a fanatic named Bush. There are places of worship for Baptists, Wesleyans, Calvinistic Methodists, and Independents; a Church school; and three Sunday schools, one of them in connexion with the Church, and the others belonging respectively to the Calvinistic Methodists and the Wesleyans. Mary Loughor in 1731, bequeathed £50, which has been increased by the accumulation of interest to £80, the interest whereof is annually divided among the poor on Good Friday. In the parish are some remains of an ancient intrenchment, called the Castle Ditches; also a mineral spring, called Llancarvan Well, the water of which is said to be efficacious in the cure of scorbutic and cutaneous diseases; and another to which is attributed the cure of St. Anthony's fire.
Caradoc of Llancarvan, the historian of Wales from the abdication of Cadwaladr to his own times, and contemporary with Geoffrey of Monmouth, was a native of this parish. He wrote his work in Latin, and it was afterwards translated into English by Humphrey Llwyd, who accounts for the different periods to which the history is extended in different copies (in some closing so late as within two years of the death of the last Llewelyn), by attributing to the monks of the religious houses in which they were deposited, an annual addition to the original, by way of continuation. The English version, brought down to the reign of Elizabeth, was published in 1585, by Dr. David Powel, and is considered as the standard history of Cambria. Walter de Mapes, a writer of some celebrity in the twelfth century, son of Blondel de Mapes who accompanied Fitz-Hamon into Glamorganshire, and obtained for his services the lands of Gweinydd ab Seisyllt, lord of Llancarvan, was born in this parish, where he built a church and mansion, and the village of Walterston. He married the only daughter of Gweinydd, and, with unusual liberality, restored to their original native proprietors part of the estates which he inherited from his father.
LLANCYNVELYN (LLAN-GYNFELYN), a parish, in the poor-law union of Aberystwith, Upper division of the hundred of Geneu'r-Glyn, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 9 miles (N. E. by N.) from the town of Aberystwith; containing 984 inhabitants. This parish lies on the road from Aberystwith to Machynlleth, and comprises 1546 acres, of which 450 are arable, 200 pasture, 296 woodland, and 600 waste and mountain. It is washed by the navigable river Dyvi, which affords a facility for the exportation of lead-ore and bark, while timber, coal, and limestone are imported for the supply of the neighbouring district: mines of lead and copper are in operation, but to a very inconsiderable extent. The mansions of Park Lodge and Gwynvryn are situated in the parish. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £83; patron and impropriator, J. P. B. Chichester, Esq.: the church, dedicated to St. Cynvelyn, and in a very dilapidated condition, was originally founded in the sixth century. There are places of worship for Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists, with a Sunday school held in each of them. Thomas Owen, in 1731, bequeathed £10, the interest of which was to be distributed annually among the poor; but this, with a few other bequests of smaller amount, has been lost.
Llancystenyn, or Llangwstenyn (Llan-Cystenyn)
LLANCYSTENYN, or LLANGWSTENYN (LLAN-CYSTENYN,) a parish, in the union of Conway, hundred of Creuddyn, county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 3 miles (E. N. E.) from Conway; containing 599 inhabitants. This parish, which takes its name from the dedication of its church to St. Constantine, Cystenyn being the Welsh for that saint's name, is pleasantly situated at the entrance of the Vale of Conway, on the eastern bank of that river, near its mouth. It is bounded on the east by Llandrillo-yn-Rhôs, on the south by Llansantfraid-Glan-Conway, on the west by Conway, and on the north by Eglwys-Rhôs. The parish comprises by measurement 1300 acres, of which about three-fourths are arable, and the remaining fourth woodland, pasture, &c.: the soil for the most part is a stiff loam. The scenery is rendered picturesque and romantic, and in many situations grand, by a high sideland surface, inclining to the south, interspersed with corn-fields and plantations, while vast limestone rocks form the background, the blue hills of Carnarvon being in the distance, and the river Conway below. From the top of Pabo mountain a portion of twelve different counties, including the Isle of Man and the coast of Cumberland, may be seen on a clear day. The limestone-quarries here afford employment to about fifteen or twenty persons; indications of copper-ore also exist in several parts, and efforts have been made for obtaining it, but hitherto without success, owing, it is said, to an insufficiency of capital. The parish contains no village, the houses, which are few in number, lying scattered over its surface. Formerly it was divided into the two townships of Trê Iorwerth and Llanwdden, which, on account of the small value of the tithes at the time, were united, and their boundaries are not now accurately known. The Chester and Holyhead railway passes through the parish.
The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £200 royal bounty, and £1000 parliamentary grant; net income, £145; patron and appropriator, the Bishop of St. Asaph. The tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £281, and there is an appropriate glebe of seven acres and a quarter. The church, situated in a pleasing valley, close to the boundary line between the counties of Carnarvon and Denbigh, is said to occupy the site of the first Christian church erected in Wales; it is conjectured to have been founded by Constantine the Great, and to have been originally built A.D. 330. Being in a very dilapidated state, it was lately rebuilt, for which purpose the late Bishop of St. Asaph subscribed £100, the St. Asaph Diocesan Society £100, the Incorporated Society £50, and Lady Mostyn Champneys £50: the estimated cost of the new edifice was £700. Henry III. was commanded by the pope to do penance in this church, but was subsequently absolved, on payment of a fine of 500 marks of silver. There are places of worship for Baptists and Calvinistic Methodists, with a Sunday school held in each of them. The place has an interest, in conjunction with the parishes of Conway, Eglwys-Rhôs, and Llandudno, in the gift of Lewis Owen, Esq., who, by will dated September 4, 1623, assigned the rectorial tithes of Conway, in trust, to be equally divided between the vicar of that parish and the poor of all the four parishes: the amount resulting to this place is about £14 per annum, which is distributed in money and clothes on St. Thomas's day. The poor are also entitled to participate in the distribution of barley, beef, and cloth, charged upon the mansion and demesne of Gloddaeth in the parish of Eglwys-Rhôs, and likewise of bread, charged upon the lands of Penrhôs in the county of Anglesey, by the above-named benefactor.
LLANDAF, an ancient and decayed city, and a parish, in the union of Cardiff, hundred of Kibbor, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 2 miles (N. W.) from Cardiff, and 161 (W.) from London; containing 1276 inhabitants. The name of this place is a contraction of the Welsh words Llan ar Dâf, signifying "the church on the Tâf," a branch of which river flows under the walls of the churchyard. It is uncertain at what period it first became the site of human habitations, or the seat of a religious congregation. Some writers assert, but on doubtful authority, that a church has existed here since the year 186: according to an ancient Welsh manuscript, the first church was built by Tewdric ab Teithvalch, commonly called St. Tewdric the Martyr, grandfather of the renowned King Arthur, about the year 450. The first bishop of Llandaf mentioned in authentic history is Dubricius, a native of the country included in the modern Pembrokeshire, and called by the Welsh Dyvrig Beneurog, "Dubricius the Golden-headed." To this holy office he was consecrated, in the beginning of the sixth century, by Germanus, Bishop of Auxerre, and Lupus, Bishop of Troyes, who had been sent into Britain to uproot the Pelagian heresy, in which labour they were greatly assisted by Dubricius. The first endowment of the see was made during the episcopacy of this prelate, to whom certain lands were given by Meurig, son of Tewdric, and his successor in the sovereignty of Gwent, in a general council of his nation, and with the consent of the nobility, clergy, and laity.
Dubricius, after presiding for a short time at Llandaf, was advanced to the metropolitan see of Caerleon (subsequently removed to St. David's), and was succeeded in the episcopate by the famous St. Teilo, or Teilaw, descended from the Cuneddian line of princes. With the aid of Dubricius, St. Teilo established a college at Llandaf, called after his name Bangor Teilo: he was slain by a nobleman in his own cathedral at Llandaf, which church was afterwards frequently called after his name Llan Deilaw. It is stated in Cressy's Church History, that many miracles were wrought by this saint, both in his lifetime and after his death; but the author recites only one, which he gives on the authority of Bishop Godwin, to the effect that, after Teilo's death, the inhabitants of three several places earnestly contended for the honour of his interment; those of Pennalum, where his ancestors had been buried; those of Llandilo-Vawr, where, according to one account, he died; and those of Llandaf, among whom he had been bishop. When at length no agreement could be effected among them, there presently appeared three bodies of St. Teilo, exactly resembling each other, one of which was taken by the people of each of the above-named places, and thus the dispute ended; but Bishop Godwin adds for the honour of his own church, that, by frequent miracles performed at his tomb, it appeared that the inhabitants of Llandaf possessed the true body. Dubricius, the first bishop, lived to a very advanced age, and dying in 522, at Ynys Enlli, or Bardsey Island, in North Wales, his remains were thence removed in the twelfth century to Llandaf, and interred before the high altar of the cathedral church, where a monument was erected to his memory. During the prelacy of Oudoceus, the successor of St. Teilo, Meurig ab Tewdric, King of Gwent, in a synod held at Llandaf, was excommunicated for the perfidious murder of Cunedda; his dominions were also laid under interdict for two years, after the expiration of which he was allowed to make his peace with the church by the customary mode of increasing its endowments. During the presidency of these three bishops the endowments had gradually accumulated, so as to render the see one of the richest in Christendom. Bishop Aidan, the second successor of Oudoceus, was killed in 720 by the Saxons, who at this period made great ravages in South Wales.
Marchluith, or Marchlwys, the twenty-fourth bishop of the diocese, over which he presided in the reign of Hywel Dda, was chosen, among others, by that monarch, to compile the code of laws for the enactment of which Hywel's reign is so distinguished in the Welsh annals. According to Caradoc of Llancarvan, from the death of Pater or Paternus, Marchluith's immediate successor, in 961, to the consecration of Gucan, Gogwan, or Gwrgan, the twenty-sixth bishop, in 982, Roderic, son of Morgan Hên, King of Glamorgan, was bishop of the diocese: but having been raised to the see contrary to the wishes of the pope, the latter, in his anger, issued a bull forbidding all marriages in the diocese without his special license: this injunction, however, it was impossible for the priests to obey, the people compelling them to perform the marriage ceremony without the pontiff's sanction. In the year 987, the cathedral church was burned by a large party of marauding Danes, who made extensive ravages in the adjacent country and along the neighbouring coasts. Bledri, the successor of Gwrgan, who was consecrated in 993, and died in 1022, was celebrated as the most eminent scholar of his time, on which account he obtained the name of "Bledri the Wise:" he instituted parochial schools in every church of his diocese, in which the priests were directed to instruct the people. Every encouragement was likewise given to these schools by his successor Joseph, who enjoined the clergy to teach the people gratuitously to read the sacred Scriptures, and made some strict regulations for the better observance of the Sunday, and the Church holidays. During the episcopacy of this prelate, who died in 1046, Rhydderch ab Iestyn, Prince of Glamorgan, granted many privileges to the church of Llandaf, and confirmed to it all its former possessions.
After the decease of Joseph's successor Herewald, the see remained vacant for about four years, until the consecration to it, in August 1108, of Urban, Archdeacon of Llandaf, who found the cathedral in great dilapidation, it having frequently been despoiled by the Saxons and other invaders who had infested the coast, and by the Normans, whose subjugation of the native population of Glamorgan had now become permanent. The revenues of the diocese had likewise been greatly diminished, from the unsettled state of the country, and the negligence of those to whose care they had been intrusted. On representing these circumstances to Pope Calixtus II., at the council of Rheims, in 1119, Urban procured from that pontiff letters to the King of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the clergy and principal persons in the diocese of Llandaf, exhorting them to afford him their assistance in making the necessary repairs. Having for this purpose raised a large sum of money, he pulled down the old cathedral, dedicated to St. Peter, a small edifice only twenty-eight feet in length, fifteen in width, and twenty in height; and, in April 1120, began the erection of the magnificent edifice a great part of which, though in ruins, is still standing, and which he dedicated to St. Peter, and the three first bishops of the diocese, namely, St. Dubricius, St. Teilo, and St. Oudoceus. The name of St. Teilo, however, is alone applied to it by the Welsh historians, in whose writings is found occasional mention of Eglwys Teilo, "the church of St. Teilo;" Plwyv Teilo, "the parish or community of St. Teilo;" &c. This edifice, which was either completed by Urban or his immediate successors, was 300 feet in length, 80 feet in breadth, and 30 in height, built of hewn stone, and ornamented with two lofty towers at the western front, and a splendid chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary at the eastern end. Urban also erected houses for the residence of himself, the canons, and other members of the establishment. He next undertook the task of recovering some of the possessions of his see, which had been usurped by the bishops of St. David's and Hereford, and attached to their respective prelacies; and this compelled him to undertake a journey to Rome, in the prosecution of which he died, in 1133.
He was succeeded, after an interval of six years, by Uchtryd, whose nephew, Galfrid, or Geoffrey, who had presided over a college at Llandaf, and acted as domestic chaplain to William, Earl of Gloucester, and lord of Glamorgan, was next consecrated to the see. Llandaf was visited, in 1188, by Archbishop Baldwin and Giraldus Cambrensis, when preaching the crusades in Wales, at which time William de Salso Marisco, or Saltmarsh, was bishop. After the death of this prelate in 1191, Giraldus Cambrensis was himself elected to the see; but refused the proffered dignity, which was accepted by Henry, prior of Abergavenny, who gave certain portions of the property of the cathedral for the support of fourteen prebendaries, constituting the chapter, who had previously shared with the bishop in the revenue of the see; and appropriated to himself and his successors the remainder. The ancient unity of possession of the bishop with the chapter, of which he thus constituted a member, caused the abolition, at a very early period, of the office of dean in the cathedral, a dignity which this circumstance rendered useless, the bishops themselves acting in that capacity, and in their absence appointing a representative in the person of the archdeacon. The names of only two deans are found upon record; the first, a priest named Joseph, who succeeded to the episcopate in the year 1022; and the other, an ecclesiastic named Elni, or Esni, who held this office in the year 1120. Recently, however, the office of dean of Llandaf has been revived.
The seventh successor of Bishop Henry, William de Breos, prebendary of Llandaf, who died in March 1287, was buried in the cathedral, at its northeastern extremity: within the walls of this edifice were also interred William's second successor, John de Monmouth; his sixth successor, John Pascal; and his eighth successor, Edmund Brumfield. The cathedral, together with many other ecclesiastical structures in the principality, sustained great injury from the forces of the insurgent leader Owain Glyndwr, who is also said to have spoiled the neighbouring castellated mansion of the bishop. John Marshall, who was consecrated to the see in 1478, beautified the cathedral church, in which, on his death in 1496, he was buried on the northern side of the choir. Anthony Kitchen, who held the bishopric during the successive reigns of Henry VIII. and his three children, greatly impoverished its revenue by lavish grants. William Morgan, his fourth successor, who was consecrated in 1595, and translated to St. Asaph in 1601, is eminent as the translator of the Old Testament into the Welsh language. His immediate successor was Francis Godwin, subdean of Exeter, and son of Thomas Godwin, Bishop of Bath and Wells; this prelate was author of a valuable catalogue of the bishops of England, and was afterwards translated to the see of Hereford. After the death of Morgan Owen, then bishop, in 1644-5, the see remained vacant for about sixteen years, until the Restoration: during this interval, lands belonging to it valued at no less than £3830. 18. were alienated by the parliament. Richard Watson, Regius professor of divinity in the university of Cambridge, who was promoted to the see in 1782, was distinguished as the author of two "Apologies for Christianity," and a variety of sermons and religious tracts. Attached to this diocese were anciently the two archdeaconries of Monmouth and Glamorgan; but the former soon merged into the latter, and the two, thus united, were called the archdeaconry of Llandaf. At present, there are two archdeaconries, called Llandaf and Monmouth.
The city, now reduced to a mere village, occupies a pleasing and retired situation on the western bank of the river Tâf, on the road from Cardiff to Llantrissent. It stands on elevated ground, gently sloping on all sides, except towards the river, where the descent is more precipitous; and in this bottom stands the cathedral, partially embosomed among trees, with the river murmuring beneath its walls. It consists of little more than two short streets of cottages, not lighted or paved, terminating in a square, into which the great gateway of the old palace formerly opened, and where are still several genteel houses. The Glamorganshire canal passes through the parish, and on its banks, at the hamlet of Gabalva, is a wharf: the great South Wales railway, also, runs on the south-west side of the city. There is no market; but two fairs are held annually, one on the 9th of February, called St. Teilo's, and the other on Whit-Monday, a very large one for cattle, which as a pleasure-fair extends to Tuesday: at Ely Bridge, a populous village in the parish, additional fairs are held on July 22nd and December 11th. During the debates in the house of commons, on the subject of amending the representation of the people, the first Reform bill proposed to make Llandaf contributory to Cardiff; but that arrangement was subsequently altered, and it forms no part of the act. The petty-sessions for the hundred are held here. The parish is composed of five hamlets, united for all purposes, namely Llandaf, Canton, Ely, Fairwater, and Gabalva; the whole comprising 3887a. 3r. 1p.
The diocese of Llandaf appears originally to have included the whole of the ancient principality of Siluria, or Gwent. At present its jurisdiction extends, under the act 6th and 7th of William IV. c. 77, over the entire counties of Glamorgan and Monmouth. The ecclesiastical establishment consists of the bishop, a dean, two archdeacons, a chancellor of the church, a chancellor of the diocese, a precentor, treasurer (an office held by the bishop), a number of canons, two priest-vicars or minor canons, a registrar, and inferior officers: the chapter consists of the dean, chancellor of the church, precentor, treasurer, and canons. The priest-vicars, alternately, officiate in the cathedral, as the parochial church. The great tithes of Llandaf and the adjoining parish of Whitchurch are the property of the chapter; the small tithes, commuted for £273, are payable to the senior vicar, and the junior vicar receives a stipend which has been augmented by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and now amounts to £140 a year, besides surplice-fees.
The cathedral, which is dedicated, as abovementioned, to St. Peter and the three first bishops of the diocese, presents a remarkably incongruous appearance. The ancient structure, erected in the twelfth century, and subsequently repaired and enlarged in the early and later English styles, having fallen into decay, was again repaired and altered, in the Grecian style of architecture, forming nearly a new edifice within the old walls, which constitute a considerable portion of it, about the year 1751. The façade of the modern church intersects the nave of the ancient edifice, the ruined western portion of which consequently forms a kind of vestibule to the former, and is justly admired as presenting a magnificent specimen of the early English style; on one side is a highly enriched Norman entrance, and on the other a plainer doorway of similar architecture. The west front is ornamented with a series of lancet windows of different sizes, delicately executed and tastefully arranged, and on the northern side has a noble tower in the later style of English architecture, built by Jasper, Duke of Bedford, in 1485, which is in good preservation, except that it is no longer surmounted by the pinnacles by which it was originally adorned, and which were damaged, in 1703, by a violent storm that threw down a corresponding tower on the southern side of this front. Two sides of the remaining tower rest on the walls of the church; while the other two are raised on light arches which spring from a single pillar within. Immediately over the grand entrance is the figure of a bishop, with a pastoral staff in one hand, and the other slightly raised. Above a series of trefoiled arches over the lancet-shaped windows is another figure, in a sitting posture, holding a book in one hand: the whole is surmounted by a cross. Between the western portion of this front and the façade of the present cathedral are the ruins of the greater part of the nave and aisles of the ancient structure, three elegant Gothic arches which separated the former from the latter still standing on each side; the columns are tapered and clustered, and their capitals varied and very neatly sculptured, the ribs of the arches terminating in prettily carved heads.
The cathedral, as altered in 1751, comprises part of the nave, together with the choir, and the greater part of the north and south aisles of the ancient edifice. The expense of the modernisations and alterations amounted to no less than £7000; even the altar was inclosed by a Grecian portico, which, however, was removed, in 1831, by order of the chapter. Through the exertions of the late and the present Dean of Llandaf, a considerable sum has been raised since 1839, by voluntary contributions, for the purpose of aiding in the restoration of the ancient fabric to its original style of architecture; and accordingly, the work of restoration has for some time past been going on. The chapel of St. Mary, at the eastern end of the cathedral, has been fitted up with oak sittings, &c.; and a window has been placed in its east end, bearing the arms of the present bishop, and the late dean, archdeacon, and precentor: the entire length of the chapel inside is fifty-seven feet and a half; its breadth, twenty-four and a half; and its height, about thirty-six feet. A noble arch in the Norman style, of Bishop Urban's work, has been opened out, commanding a striking perspective into the chapel; the mouldings of this arch are in the most perfect preservation, and beneath it, a very beautiful screen of Bishop Marshall's erection, about 1480, has been exposed. The ordinary service of a parish church is performed in the chapel, in English. The choir, and the eastern extremity of the south aisle, with its fine windows and open-work parapets, are undergoing restoration; and it is to be hoped that funds will be obtained, at no distant period, for the restoration of the nave. The building of 1751 chiefly occupies the choir, and it has been ascertained that the old walls were then encased, so that, by removing the plaster and new stone-work, the edifice resumes its former character. Adjoining the southern side of the cathedral is the chapter-house, a square building, inclosing an apartment of the same form, the roof of which is supported by arches springing in different directions from a pillar in the centre; this apartment measures about thirty-six feet long each side. The business of the chapter, however, is now transacted in a small building at the north-west corner of the churchyard.
Besides many of the bishops who have successively filled the see, some persons of distinction, formerly resident in the neighbourhood, have been interred in the cathedral; but of the monumental memorials comparatively few, owing to the repairs and alterations which the edifice has undergone, now remain; and these have for the most part been removed from their original positions, and become greatly dilapidated. At the eastern end of the south aisle is one bearing the sculptured effigy in marble of a lady, supposed to be the wife of John, Lord Audley, who is represented in a long robe reaching to her feet; and behind are the figures of two monks holding an escutcheon. In the same aisle is a monument consisting of the figure of a skeleton, of large proportions, in a shroud, placed under a Gothic niche; another, the recumbent figure of a knight in armour; a third, a rich painted and gilded tomb, supporting a male and a female figure in alabaster, the former clothed in armour, and the latter in long loose robes, with ruffles, and a rich and singular head-dress; a fourth, the effigies of two bishops, rudely sculptured; and a fifth, also constituting the tomb of a prelate. In the north aisle is the effigy of a female wrapped in a loose robe, and displaying in her form and countenance striking marks of sickness and decay. At the upper end of this aisle was the chapel of the Matthew family, and monuments in alabaster to the memory of two of its members are still preserved here. In the chapter-house were the disunited remains of an elegant and costly tomb of alabaster, representing a knight and his lady richly habited, now restored, and re-erected on a tomb on the left as the cathedral is entered. Among memorials of less note is one attributed to St. Dubricius; and during the recent repairs, when clearing out the rubbish that blocked up the chapel of St. Mary, a fine recumbent effigy of Bishop William de Breos was discovered. A sepulchral recess also, in which the capitals of the side shafts are beautifully executed, in the style of about the year 1200, has been disclosed to view in the south-east wall of the choir. Tradition assigns this as the tomb of St. Teilo; bones have been discovered in a very dilapidated leathern coffin, a statue found in the grave, a well-executed figure of a bishop, &c. In the cathedral is preserved a small library, consisting chiefly of the works of some of the ancient fathers, founded soon after the Restoration, by Bishop Davies, in place of one which had been destroyed in the recent civil commotions.
Within the parish is a place of worship for Baptists, situated at the village of Ely. There are two day and Sunday National schools, one for boys, and the other for girls; they are supported by subscriptions amounting to about £70 per annum, and about £27 are received in school-pence: the salary of the master is £50, and of the mistress £40. Iltyd Nicholl, Gent., by will dated March 21st, 1716, bequeathed two cottages in Llandaf, and an acre and a half of freehold land within the parish, in trust to the vicars, churchwardens, and overseers, directing the income to be divided between two poor widows: under an act of inclosure passed in 1809 for inclosing the Great and Little heaths, lying within Llandaf and other parishes, these cottages were exchanged for other premises within the city; and the present annual income of the charity is £9. 5. A bequest of £10 to the poor by Elizabeth Turberville, in 1713, has been lost.
The episcopal palace, having been spoiled by Owain Glyndwr, was never repaired. There yet remain some very interesting ruins of the mansion, situated a little to the south-east of the cathedral, and consisting of the principal entrance gateway and the outer walls; these are now the property of the heirs of the late Sir Samuel Romilly, who possessed a considerable estate in the neighbourhood. The palace is generally thought to have been erected by Bishop Urban, but a late writer inclines to refer it to the thirteenth century, since "it presents all the features of the Edwardan period." It also seems to be a matter of doubt whether Glyndwr attacked and spoiled the mansion. Mention is made of a college here, stated to have been founded by St. Teilo, and to have been called after him Bangor Teilo, over which Galfrid, thirty-second bishop of the diocese, presided prior to his consecration; but nothing further is known of its history. Leland also saw some remains of "a Pile or Maner Place decayed at Eglins Newith, in the Paroch of Llandaf." The principal modern mansions in the parish are, Llandaf Court, formerly belonging to the Matthew family; Llandaf House; and Gabalva, once part of the extensive possessions of the Herberts of the Grey Friars at Cardiff. Near Llandaf bridge are found various kinds of marble, beautifully variegated with yellow and light liver colours, or with four colours, resembling the brocatello of lapidaries. Llandaf confers the titles of baron, viscount, and earl, in the peerage of Ireland, on the family of Matthew.