"BLAENPORTH (BLAEN-PORTH), a parish in the lower division of the hundred of TROEDYRAUR, county of CARDIGAN, SOUTH WALES, 5 miles (E. by N.) from Cardigan, on the road to Aberystwith, containing 695 inhabitants. The lands in this parish are nearly all enclosed, and in a good state of cultivation. The living, formerly a prebend in the college of St. David's at Llandewy-Brevi, and rated as such in the king's books at £6, is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry of Cardigan, and diocese of St. David's, endowed with £ 800 royal bounty, and £ 800 parliamentary grant, and in the alternate patronage of the Earl of Lisburne and J. V. Lloyd, Esq., who are impropriators of the tithes of the parish, and pay £8 per annum to the curate. The church, dedicated to St. David, consists only of a nave, chancel, and porch, and has a bell suspended at the west end of the roof. About two hundred yards to the north of it is an ancient fortress, called " the Gaer," and in some authorities " Castel Gwythan," which is said to have been thrown up by Gilbert Earl of Strigyl and the Flemings who settled in this part of the principality, and to have been besieged by Rhys ab Grufydd, Prince of North Wales, in the year 1116, who, after repeated assaults, took it, with the loss of only one of his men, and burnt it to the ground : it was defended by a single ditch and rampart, still plainly distinguishable, and at one extremity is a lofty mound, on which probably was a watch-tower. At a small distance from the site of this post, which occupied the summit of an eminence, is a smaller camp, called "Caer Sonydd" and on the sea-coast is another of small extent, but of great strength, called " Tudor's Castle." At Tyllwyd, in this parish, the property of J. V. Lloyd, Esq., there is a chalybeate spring, the water of which is, however, but seldom used. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor is £ 167.19."
[From Samuel Lewis's A Topographical Dictionary of Wales 1833]
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Gareth Hicks 3 December 1999
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