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Llandderfel


National Gazetteer (1868)

"LLANDDERFEL, a parish in the hundred of Penllyn, county Merioneth, 5 miles N.E. of Bala, and 7 S.W. of Corwen, its post town. It is situated on the northern bank of the river Dee, which is here crossed by a bridge at the base of the Berwyn mountains. The parish includes the townships of Nantfrayer, Selwrn, and six others. The people are employed in flannel weaving and in agriculture. The hills afford good pasture for sheep. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of St. Asaph, value 260, in the patronage of the bishop. The church is a spacious stone edifice built about the reign of Henry VIII. It contains several stained-glass windows, and a remarkably good screen. It is dedicated to St. Derval Gadarn, of whom there was formerly a large wooden image, which was sent to London in 1538 and burned with Dr. Forest in Smithfield; the saint's horse and staff are still preserved, and used to be held in great veneration. The parochial benefactions produce about 46 per annum, part of which is paid to Raglan. Fairs are held on 17th August and 16th October for the sale of cattle and live stock."

"CAERGELIOG, a township in the parish of Llandderfel, hundred of Penllyn, in the county of Merioneth, North Wales, 3 miles to the E. of Bala."

"CROGEN, a township in the parish of Llandderfel, in the county of Merioneth, 4 miles E. of Bala. It is situated on the river Dee. Here is a meet for the harriers of Captain Hopwood."

"CYNLAS, a township in the parish of Llandderfel, in the county of Merioneth, 3 miles E. of Bala."

"DOLDREWYN, a township in the parish of Llandderfel, in the county of Merioneth, 4 miles N.E. of Bala."

"NANTFRAYER, a township in the parish of Llandderfel, county Merioneth, 3 miles E. of Bala."

"SELWRN, a township in the parish of Llandderfel, county Merioneth, 3 miles N.E. of Bala."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson 2003]

A Topographical Dictionary of Wales
Samuel Lewis, 1833

LLANDDERVEL (LLAN-DDERVEL), a parish chiefly in the hundred of PENLLYN, though partly in that of EDEYRNION, county of MERIONETH, NORTH WALES, 4 miles (E. N.E.) from Bala, containing 956 inhabitants. It contains nearly five thousand seven hundred acres of enclosed land, and two thousand three hundred acres of common mountain land, the greater part of the whole being hilly and steep. The village is pleasantly situated on the south road from Bala to Corwen, near the river Dee, the banks of which, throughout the whole extent of the parish, are beautifully picturesque and romantic : the parish is likewise traversed by the northern road between the above-mentioned towns, and is adorned by several gentlemen's seats. Nearly opposite to the church is the bridge, a neat structure of four arches, within a short distance of which the vale, abounding with richly varied scenery, begins to contract, and at Calettwr, where there is a beautiful waterfall, terminates in a finely wooded eminence, above which the vast chain of the Arenig mountains bounds the view. The prospect from the higher grounds is extensive and magnificent, comprehending the ranges of the Arenig and Berwyn mountains, Cader Idris, the Arans, and several other lofty hills ; the Vale of Penllyn, Bala lake, and other interesting objects. The pass from the bridge of Llanddervel across the Berwyn mountains into Montgomeryshire is also characterized by features of striking and romantic beauty. The township of Llaethcwm, in this parish, is locally situated in that of Llanvawr : the prevailing soil of the whole is of a gravelly and loamy texture. The manufacture of flannel, and the knitting of stockings, afford employment to a portion of the inhabitants. Fairs are annually held here on the 17th of August and 16th of October, principally for cattle and horses. The living is a rectory, in the archdeaconry and diocese of St. Asaph, rated in the king's books at 13. 12. 11., and in the patronage of the Bishop : the great tithes of the township of Nant Freuer, in this parish, are appropriated to the rectory and vicarage of Llanvawr, the small tithes only belonging to the rector of Llanddervel. The church, situated on a small eminence on the northern side of the Dee, and dedicated to St. Dervel Gadarn, or Dervel the Strong, who lived at the close of the sixth century, and was one of the abbots of the monastery of Bardsey Island, is an ancient structure, consisting of a nave and chancel, separated by the remains of a finely carved screen, formerly surmounted by a rood-loft, which has been removed to ornament the front of the gallery at the west end. Over the screen was anciently a figure of St. Dervel, carved in wood, which was removed to London in 1538, and used as part of the fuel which consumed Friar Forest, who was burned in Smithfield for denying the king's supremacy ; and thus was fulfilled a vulgar prophesy that this wooden image should " set a whole forest on fire : " the carved figure of a red stag is still preserved as a relic of the image of the saint, with which it was in some manner conjoined. In the east window of the chancel, which is very large and of fine proportions, are some remains of ancient stained glass : in the churchyard are two yew trees of remarkably fine growth. There are places of worship for Independents and Calvinistic Methodists, to which are attached Sunday schools. A National school, in which one hundred children are gratuitously instructed, was erected in 1829, and is supported by subscription. Mr. John Williams, in 1746, bequeathed 60 for the benefit of the poor. In the township of Doldrewin are several Druidical circles on the higher grounds; and in the Vale is a farm-house, on the bank of the Dee, called Dolygadva, or "the meadow of the encampment." Near the mountain of Mynyllod are numerous British monuments, called Pen y Garth, comprising various stone cells : within the parish, on a hill called Cevn Caereuni, is also a strong military intrenchment, named Y Gaer, or "the Fortress ; " and in the grounds of Pale are the remains of a Druidical altar and a kistvaen. In making the road through the grounds of Vronheulog, in 1814, a celt and part of another instrument of war were found. On the hill called Cevn Caereuni is a lake named Llyn Caereuni, which is nearly half a mile long, somewhat more than a quarter of a mile broad, and contains an abundance of pike and eels. Edward Jones, an eminent bard, a skilful player on the harp, and author of several poetic compositions in Welsh, was a native of this parish. The average annual expenditure for the maintenance of the poor amounts to 407.12.

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