"CRICKHOWELL, a parish and market town in the hundred of Crickhowell, in the county of Brecon, 13½ miles S.E. of Brecknock, and 6 from Abergavenny. It is situated on the river Usk, near the Newport canal, and is said to have taken its name from the ancient British camp called Crag Hywell, situated on Bruanog Hill, near the Roman way Via Julia Montana. It was here that Sir Richard Evans halted with 3,000 men-at-arms on his way to Bosworth Field, waiting to be joined by the men of Brecknock. His standard with the word Richmond on it was here hoisted, and the street leading to this place is still called Standard-street.
The town is well built, and is a borough by prescription, containing nearly 300 houses, with bank, Union poorhouse, and a fine old bridge of 14 arches. The ancient townhall is now a farmhouse barn, but has still its original Gothic roof with oak ribs and arches. The shoe and paper manufactures are carried on to a small extent. Crickhowell is the head of a Poor-law Union, superintendent registry, and new County Court district. The bailiff is nominated by the Duke of Beaufort, who is lord of the manor. Petty sessions for the hundred are held in the town.
The living is a rectory* in the diocese of St. David's, value £650, in the patronage of the Duke of Beaufort. It was until recently a sinecure rectory held by the late Lord William Somerset, the spiritual cure being administered by a vicar. On the application of the Rev. J. Evans, B.D., the rectory was added to the vicarage, and also more than half the rectorial tithes of Cwmdu, and thus the clause of the Act enabling a private patron to take from a larger living and add it to a smaller benefice, was for the first time brought into operation.
The church is dedicated to St. Edmund, and contains a handsome marble monument to the Herbert family; also an effigy of a knight in chain mail, with sword, belt, and shield, with the arms of the Herberts. This was till recently the only church with a spire in the county. The Calvinists, and English and Welsh Methodists have each a chapel. There are two day and two Sunday schools. This place is celebrated as a fishing station for salmon and trout. There are remains of an old castle overgrown with ivy.
The surrounding scenery is very beautiful and picturesque, and the neighbourhood is much frequented by invalids, for the benefit of the bracing air and excellent milk from the goats. At Llangattock Park a cairn was recently opened containing Roman coins of Constantine, and human bones; the coins were presented by Emily Duchess of Beaufort, to the British Museum. A market is held on Thursday, and fairs on the 12th May and the 22nd September."
"CLYDACH, a hamlet in the parishes of Llangattock and Crickhowell, in the county of Brecon, South Wales, 2 miles from Crickhowell. It is situated on the river Usk, at the point where the Brecknock canal crosses the Clydach rivulet by an aqueduct 80 feet high. The inhabitant, are chiefly engaged in the iron-works."
[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of
Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]
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