"LLANGONOYD, or LLANGONWD (LLAN GYN-WYD), a parish in the hundred of NEWCASTLE, county of GLAMORGAN, SOUTH WALES, 10 miles (S. E.) from Neath, comprising the hamlets of Bayden or Lower-Llangonoyd, Cwmdu, Higher Llangonoyd, and Middle Llangonoyd, each maintaining its own poor, and containing 1726 inhabitants, of which number, 331 are in Middle Llangonoyd.
This parish, which is situated near the source of the river Llynvi, and in the heart of a wild and mountainous district abounding with mineral wealth, is said to have afforded a temporary asylum to Edward II., who, after his escape from the castle of Caerphilly, sought shelter here in hope of effecting his passage to Ireland.
Coal and iron-ore abound in the parish, and are both worked upon an extensive scale. At Maes Teg, about a mile and a half from the church, are the large iron-works of Messrs. Buckland, Smith, and Co., affording employment to more than three hundred men : the collieries of Messrs. Allen also employ about sixty men, and many are engaged in other similar works upon a smaller scale, and in the quarries of limestone and freestone which abound in the vicinity. For the purpose of opening a communication between these works and the neighbouring districts, and affording a facility of conveyance for their produce, a railway has been constructed from the works, which are situated on the line of the Dyfryn Llynvi railway from the small harbour of Porthcawl, to the market town of Bridgend, passing within a short distance of the coal-works in the parish of St. Bride's Minor.
The Dyfryn-Llynvi railway, which is seventeen miles in length, was commenced in 1825, and has been completed at an expense of about £ 60,000 it begins at Porthcawl, in the parish of Newton-Nottage, and proceeds by Pyle, where, taking an easterly direction, it joins the Bridgend branch railway at Cevn Cribwr iron-works : from this junction it takes a northerly direction towards Llangonoyd, and, after crossing the river Llynvi, terminates at Dyfryn-Llynvi. For fourteen miles from the sea it forms an inclined plane, rising four hundred feet in the whole of that distance : in the course of the next two miles it has a rise of a hundred and ten feet, and the remainder is a good level.
A fair is held here on May 3rd.
The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Llandaf, rated in the king's books at £ 19. 5., and in the patronage of Lewis Thomas, Esq. The church is dedicated to St. Cynwyd, a saint of the congregation of Catwg. In the hamlet of Bayden there was formerly a chapel of ease, which is now in ruins. There are places of worship for Baptists and Independents.
A school for the gratuitous instruction of children, which it is intended to unite with the central school in London, is supported by subscription.
Near the village was formerly a cromlech, called by the peasantry " the Old Church."
The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor of the whole parish amounts to £537. 11., of which sum, £227. 7. is raised on the hamlet of Llangonoyd Lower.
LLANGONOYD, HIGHER, (LLAN-GYNWYD), a hamlet in the parish of LLANGONOYD, hundred of NEWCASTLE, county of GLAMORGAN, SOUTH WALES, 10 1/4 miles (N. by W.) from Bridgend, containing 260 inhabitants.
This hamlet is situated in the upper part of the parish, at the head of the river Llynvi, which joins the Ogmore, and in an extremely rugged and mountainous tract, prolific in mineral and fossil produce, the working of which has caused an increase in the population since the census of 1821.
The poor are supported by a separate assessment, the average annual expenditure amounting to £117. 16."
The parish of Llangynwyd (often nicknamed Llangonoyd, Langonoyd) in the County of Glamorgan and Diocese of Llandaff contains 15,461 acres, lr. 27p.; and is divided into four Hamlets Baidan (called in the Poor Law documents Llangonoyd Lower), Llangynwyd Middle, Cwmdu and Llangynwyd Higher.
Baiden Hamlet per se contains 2,279 a. 3r. 17p. The central point of this portion of the parish is distant 21 miles from the Parish Church. There is a dilapidated Chapel in this.
Llangynwyd Middle, per se, contains 2,526 a. In this hamlet is situate, on the top of a hill, the Parish Church.
Cwmdu Hamlet, per se, contains 4,110 a. 3r. The central point of this portion of the parish (in which is located a numerous population) is distant 2 miles from the Parish Church. In this Hamlet is a room, licensed by the Bishop, for divine service in connection with the Church of England. For this room £9 per ann. are paid, - it is very inadequate to the wants of the place and may contain 140 to 150 sittings. The above 3 portions of the parish are situated in the Bridgend and & Cowbridge Union.
Llangynwyd Higher (in the Neath Union) per se contains 6,544a. lr. 13p. The central point of this portion of the Parish is distant 3 1/2 miles from the Parish Church. Some portions of this Hamlet are distant 7 miles, or more, by the nearest Parish road, from the Parish Church. One of the Church-wardens of the Parish resides in this Hamlet, and his residence is, by the nearest parish road, 5 3/4 miles distant from the Church! ! So that, to and fro of a Sunday morning, he has nearly 12 miles to travel to church! ! There is, in this Hamlet, a Schoolroom built for their Workmen's children, by the Llynvi Iron Co., which room is kindly lent for divine service, in accordance with the Rites and Ceremonies of the Church of England, and which for this purpose, in November last, was licensed by the Bishop of the Diocese. This room may contain 80 or 90 sittings. The population of this Hamlet increases wonderfully. A Church ought to be built there, indeed, there ought to be a separate Church in each Hamlet of this large Parish, for three of the Hamlets are not only very distant from the Parish Church but the roads thereto are most mountainous and miserable. Those, or their successors, who appropriated and misapplied the Rectorial Tithes of this large parish ought now to make some amends. There were entered on the Parish Registers in the year 1850: 40 Baptisms; 52 Marriages, 86 Burials.
Richard Pendrill Llewelyn, M.A.
Vicar of Llangynwyd Parish,
[The above note is not in the same hand as the signature.]
LLANGYNWYD, but spelt by ignoramuses & asses Llangonoyd, Langonoyd, etc. The parish church of four Hamlets. Situated in the Village of Llangynwyd.
Consecrated before 1800, probably for the good of his own soul by Mr Cynwyd, or, it may be, from a feeling that property has its duties as well as its rights.
How or by whom erected: Said to be built originally by a gentleman called Cynwyd, a great man in his day.
Cost, how defrayed: Some say out of Mr Cynwyd's private purse.
Endowed: tithe net £138; glebe 3 cots, Vicarage house and garden; fees, average £14.
Space: free 145; other 22.
Present: morn. Welsh, 70 + 17 scholars; aft. English 11.
Remark: There are in the Hamlet in which the Church is situate, only three families (and my own family is one of the three) capable of understanding an English service.
R. P. Llewelyn, M.A. Vicar.
[The return is not in the same hand as the signature.]