"ABERYSCIR, (or Aber-esgair, or Aber-escir), a parish in the hundred of Merthyr Cynog, in the county of Brecknock, South Wales, 2 miles W. of Brecknock. It derives its name from its situation on the river Yscir, near its junction with the Usk. The Yscir is here crossed by two bridges, the Pont ar Yscir, and the Pont ar Vrau; and the Usk by Aberbran Bridge, two stone bridges in private grounds, and a small suspension bridge. The lordship of the parish was granted by Bernard Newmarch to Sir Hugh Surdwall, whose seat is fixed by tradition on a spot now occupied by a farm-house. The site of the keep of the old mansion of the Surdwalls is supposed to be indicated by an artificial mount, surrounded by a moat near the Usk. Hywel Surdwall, one of the heraldic bards of the 15th century, was a member of this family.
A Roman road passed through this parish, and the station called Caer Bannan is on the eastern bank of the Yscir, nearly opposite the church. From this station the Sam Helen joined the Via Julia Maritima. The living is a rectory, value £136, in the diocese of St. David's, and in the patronage of the Rev. D. Jones. The church is dedicated to St. Mary, or, as some say, to St. Cynidr. It is a mean building in a beautiful situation on the western bank of the Yscir, and formerly belonged to the priory of Malvern."
[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]
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