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Llangyfelach - Gazetteers

Extract from "A Topographical Dictionary of Wales" by Samuel Lewis 1833

"LLANGYVELACH (LLAN-GYVELACH), a parish partly within the limits of the new borough of SWANSEA, and partly in the hundred of LLANGYVELACH, county of GLAMORGAN, SOUTH WALES, 4 miles (N. by W.) from Swansea, comprising the hamlets of Higher Clas, Lower Clas, Upper Mawr, Lower Mawr, Upper Pen Derwi, Lower Pen Derwi, Upper Rhwngdwy Clydach, and Lower Rhwngdwy Clydach, each of which maintains its own poor, and containing 7753 inhabitants.

About the year 990, Howel, Prince of South Wales, and his nephew Edwin, having entered the dominions of Ithel, Prince of Glamorgan, and ravaged them without mercy, were met, on their return, at a place called Cors Eineon, in this parish, by Howel, the brother of Ithel, who had suddenly raised the country in their rear : having assembled an immense multitude, armed with the first weapons they could obtain, he here routed his enemies with great slaughter, and recovered the plunder which they were carrying away.

This parish, which is situated in a district abounding with mineral wealth, is more than ten miles in length, and in many parts six in breadth. Clasemont, lately the seat of Sir John Morris, Bart., has been recently taken down; and the only seat deserving notice, now within the limits of the parish, is Penllergare, the elegant residence of  L. W. Dillwyn, Esq., author of some approved botanical works

The principal mineral production is coal, which is procured in great quantities, and the working of which affords employment to the greater part of the population. The copper-works, established here for the manufacture of the ore produced in other parts of the kingdom, and the collieries, are conducted by different companies on a very extensive scale, the former furnishing employment to more than one thousand five hundred, and the latter to two thousand, men. For the residence of the workmen a very considerable village has been built by Sir John Morris, on the western bank of the river Tawy, which falls into Swansea bay, and is navigable to this place for sloops of small burden : it has been designed upon a regular plan, with a view to its future improvement, from the probable increase of the works, and is called, after the name of its proprietor, Morriston.

The Swansea canal intersects the parish in its course up the western bank of the Tawy.

A fair is held on March 1st.

The petty sessions for the hundred are held in this parish ; and the Bishop of St. David's, who, as Dean of the College of Christ Church in Brecknock, is lord of the manor, holds two manorial courts here in the year.

The living is a vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Carmarthen, and diocese of St. David's, rated in the king's books at £ 9. 14. 9 1/2., and in the patronage of the Bishop, who, as Dean of the College of Brecknock, is impropriator of the great tithes. The church, dedicated to St. Cyvelach, is a very neat and well-built structure, consisting of a nave and chancel, the former of which has been recently rebuilt : the old tower, which still remains, is detached from the present, as it was from the former, structure, standing at a short distance from the nave : in the sepulchral chapel belonging to the family of Penllergare is an elegant cenotaph of black marble, to the memory of the late ---Llewellyn, Esq., of that place. The situation of parish clerk is worth from £70 to £100 per annum, arising chiefly from a charge of two shillings and sixpence upon each plough used upon every farm in the parish, and is in the gift of the Bishop of St. David's. There are in the parish four placcs of worship for Baptists, seven for Independents, two for Calvinistic Methodists, and one for Unitarians.

Thomas Price, Esq., of Penllergare, bequeathed £2, charged on a tenement called Abergwenlas, to the poor he also gave £2. 5. per annum for the instruction of five poor boys at the newly-erected school at Llangyvelach, and the like sum chargeable on his personal estate. Thomas Popkin, in 1751, bequeathed a rent-charge of £2, and Alexander Amyas, in 1773, the sum of £40, to the poor. Mrs. Williams of Gellygron bequeathed £2 per annum, chargeable on a tenement called Glynmarch, to a school at Gellyonen, in this parish. A school is held at Morriston, for the benefit of the children of the workmen in the different coal and copper works, by the proprietors of which it is supported. Lewis Thomas, Esq., gave a messuage and tenement called Tir bach, the rent of which is distributed among the poor of Upper and Lower Mawr not receiving parochial relief. A member of the family of Pen Derwi bequeathed £20, directing the interest to be distributed among the poor of the hamlet of Upper Pen Derwi, Mrs. Mary Rogers bequeathed the sum of  £ 393. 12.6., of which the interest is to be appropriated in clothing six poor men and six poor women, to the amount of £ 1 each, the residue to be given to the vicar of the parish; and Thomas Popkin, Sen., Esq., left £7. 10. per annum, charged on a tenement called Havod, in the parish of Bettws, in the county of Carmarthen, for distribution among the poor of Llangyvelach.

Penllergare, near the western confines of the parish, is the only place besides Loughor having any claim to be regarded as the site of the Roman station Leucarum ; and this consists partly in its name, which may be translated "the camp summit," and partly in the discovery of fragments of ancient walls, in a situation likely to have been chosen by the Romans for a military post.

The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor of the several hamlets of this extensive parish is £ 1406. 16."

 Llangyfelach - Lewis 1833 [Last Updated : 11 Oct 2002 - Gareth Hicks]