Llanddwywe - Gazetteers

National Gazetteer (1868)

"LLANDDWYWE, a parish in the hundred of Ardudwy, county Merioneth, 5 miles N.W. of Barmouth, its post town, 9 from Dolgelly, and 6 from Harlech. It is situated on the coast of Cardigan Bay, and includes the hamlets of Is-craig and Uwch-craig. In this parish is the wild and rough pass of Ardudwy. It is watered by the small river Ysgethin, which communicates with the lake of Llyn Irddin, on the W. slopes of Llawlech. The village is a small place with several modern houses. Near Llyn Irddin are traces of two ancient encampments. The living is a curacy annexed to the rectory* of Llanenddwyn, in the diocese of Bangor. The church, dedicated to St. Dwywan, is an old structure, and has adjoining it a mortuary chapel containing monuments of the Vaughan and Mostyn families.

The parochial charities produce about £10 per annum. This neighbourhood abounds with ancient barrows, cairns, Druid circles, cromlechs, and the remains of a British town, which probably had a connection with the fortified eminence of Craig-y-dinas. The principal residence is Corsygedol, the ancient seat of the Vaughan family (now extinct). It is a mansion situated on an eminence commanding sea-views of Cardigan Bay, and is approached by a long avenue of lime-trees. The gateway is one of Inigo Jones's works of the 17th century. The house has been untenanted for some years, but is the property of Lord Mostyn. Fairs are held on 18th April, 12th August, and 9th November."

"CORSYGEDOL, a seat of the Mostyns, in the parish of Llanddwywe, in the county of Merioneth, North Wales, 5 miles N. of Barmouth. It was erected in the 17th century, and has a fine gateway, built by Inigo Jones."

"GRAIG IS and UWCH, townships in the parish of Llanddwywe, county Merioneth, 6 miles N. of Barmouth."

"IS-GRAIG, a township in the parish of Llanddwywe, hundred of Ardudwy, county Merioneth."

"UWCH-GRAIG, a township in the parish of Llanddwywe, hundred of Ardwdwy, county Merioneth, 4 miles from Barmouth, its post town, and 7 from Harlech. It is situated among the hills near Craigy-Dinas."

[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

LLANDDWYWAU (LLAN-DDWYWE), a parish in the hundred of ARDUDWY, county of MERIONETH, NORTH WALES, 4 miles (N. N. W.) from Barmouth, on the road to Harlech, comprising the townships of Is y Craig and Uwch y Craig, each of which separately maintains its poor, and containing 307 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the shore of the great bay of Cardigan : the district, including and immediately surrounding it is called Ardudwy, from which the hundred takes its name, and abounds with numerous Druidical remains and relics of British antiquity. The mountains in the neighbourhood are of rugged and precipitous character, forming a natural bulwark for the defence of this part of the country, into which the entrance is through a narrow defile of difficult access, which might be secured by a very small body of men against thousands of assailing foes. The narrowest part of this rocky pass is called Drws Ardudwy, "the doorway to Ardudwy ; " and the road through. it consists in part of frequent flights of numerous steps cut in the rock, of hazardous and difficult ascent, and in some places descends precipitous declivities of frightful aspect and slippery passage, over which, in many parts, impend huge masses of rock, menacing the traveller's progress almost at every step. From the numerous encampments and fortifications of which there are extensive remains on various parts of the neighbouring mountains, it is evident that this pass has been regarded as one of the most important posts in this part of the principality ; and from the vast numbers of tumuli, carneddau, kistvaens, and other monuments of deceased warriors, it is more than probable that these mountains have been the scene of many important conflicts in the earlier periods of British history. In this parish are three small lakes, Llyn Irddin, Llyn Dulyn, and Llyn Bodlyn. A small canal has recently been formed from it, nearly parallel with, and at only a short distance from, the coast, to the creek near Llandanwg church, into which it conveys the waters of two streams. Within the limits of the parish stands the mansion of Corsygedol, the ancient seat of the Vaughans, and now the property and residence of Mostyn Lloyd Mostyn, Esq.: a long avenue of stately trees leads to the house, which is deeply embowered in extensive woods, exhibiting in a very striking manner the influence of the strong westerly winds to which they are exposed, and by which the tops of the trees are shorn to one uniform level : the boughs are also so intricately interwoven as to form a close and almost impenetrable curtain. In the grounds are four silver fir trees, the largest in North Wales, which are much admired for the beauty of their growth : the library contains some curious ancient manuscripts. The waste lands of this parish, including more than four thousand five hundred and eighty acres, of which one-half is at present uncultivated, were enclosed by act of parliament in 1810. The village is pleasantly situated on the shore of Cardigan bay : webs are manufactured to a small extent. Fairs are held on April 18th, August 12th, and November 9th.

The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the rectory of Llanenddwyn, in the archdeaconry of Merioneth, and diocese of Bangor. The church is dedicated to St. Dwywan, son of Hywel ab Emyr Llydaw, and brother of Dervel Gadarn, or Dervel the Strong, who flourished about the sixth century : it is an ancient structure, in the early style of English architecture, and has on the north-east a sepulchral chapel, separated from the aisle by a screen, and belonging to the proprietors of Corsygedol : the walls are ornamented with several monuments to the memory of the Vaughans, the former possessors of that estate, who were descendants of Osborn Fitz-Gerald, called by the Welsh Osborn Wyddel, or the Irishman, who came into Wales in the time of Llewelyn the Great, by whom he was much esteemed. There are places of worship for Independents and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists. Miss Ellen Humphreys, daughter of the Rev. E. Humphreys, rector of this parish, bequeathed, in 1801, the sum of £200 for the instruction of poor children of the parishes of Llanddwywau and Llanenddwyn, the interest of which is appropriated to the maintenance of a parochial school, chiefly supported by subscription, in which children of both parishes are gratuitously instructed. The Rev. Mr. Jones bequeathed £ 100 to the minister and church-wardens in trust for the benefit of the poor ; Mrs. Jane Wynne, in 1725, also bequeathed £40 for the same purpose ; and there are several other charitable donations and bequests, of which the interest is annually distributed among the poor.

Near Llyn Irddin are several Druidical remains, now very much diminished by the removal of the stones composing them, to furnish materials for the walls of enclosures. The principal of these was a circle of loose stones, about fifty-six feet in diameter, the area included . within which was divided into four nearly equal parts by upright columns placed in pairs. About thirty yards from this was a similar one of smaller dimensions; and about half a mile to the south, on the side of a hill, are two carneddau of vast size, a cromlech, a maen hir, or columnar stone, and a kistvaen; the largest of the carneddau is fifty-five feet long and twelve high. On the summit of a hill to the west of these is the strong post called Castell Dinas Corddin, surrounded by a deep intrenchment, and having an advanced work on one side of it. On the summit of another hill is Castell Craig y Dinas, surrounded by a vast rampart of stones, through which is an oblique entrance with a facing of stone on each side, and defended by two other ramparts of stone. These fortifications appear to have been erected to defend the above-noticed pass through the mountains, for which purpose they are judiciously situated on the summit and declivities of a hill commanding the entrance. On the summit of two smaller eminences, near each other, are two large carneddau, within one of which are the remains of a kistvaen. Near a tenement called Bryn y Voel are the remains of a cromlech, sixteen feet four inches in length, and seven feet four inches broad, of which the upper stone is twenty inches in thickness : there is another in a field near Corsygedol. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor is £ 102. 16.



IS Y GRAIG (IS-GRAIG), a hamlet in the parish of LLANDDWYWAU, hundred of ARDUDWY, county of MERIONETH, NORTH WALES, 4 miles (N. by W.) from Barmouth. The population is returned with the parish. It is bounded on the west by the bay of Cardigan, which here forms an irregular strand, with crags and rude precipices, extending from a chain of the Merionethshire mountains. A remarkable sand-bank, termed the Causeway, or Sara Badrig, stretches from this coast in a south-western direction, twenty-one miles into the bay, of which about nine miles are dry at low water. In several parts it is covered only to the depth of half a fathom at flood tide, but there are three breaches in it, through which vessels may pass. Some have considered it an artificial construction, and others that it formed a part of the Cantrev y Gwaelod, or the lowland hundred, which was overwhelmed by the sea at the close of the fifth century. The vulgar notion is, that it was constructed by Saint Patrick, as the name implies, who was born in this neighbourhood, at Gwaredog in Arvon, previously to his mission to Ireland. The general aspect of the hamlet, which contains the parish church, is rugged and mountainous. Agriculture and the manufacture of webs are the chief employment of the inhabitants. A small canal has been recently projected, which will run parallel with, and at a short distance from, the coast, for the purpose of conveying the waters of two small streams to the creek near Llandanwg church.


UWCH Y GRAIG (UWCH-GRAIG), a township in the parish of LLANDDWYWAU, hundred of ARDUDWY, county of MERIONETH, NORTH WALES. The population is included in the return for the parish, of which it forms the upper part, and consists chiefly of lofty and extensive mountains. The road from Dolgelley to Harlech passes through it, and it contains three small lakes, called respectively Llyn Irddin, Llyn Bodlyn, and Llyn Dulyn, of which the two latter are connected ; and from these issues a stream which falls into Cardigan bay. Near them, in the plain adjacent, are various Druidical remains, consisting of cromlechs, carneddau, maen hirion, and kistvaens ; and on the west there is a British post, named Craig y Dinas, surrounded with rough stones, on the summit of a conical hill. In an opposite direction, on the top of another hill, is Castell Dinas Cortin, encircled with intrenchments, and having an advanced work in front. Towards the northern part of the township there is a narrow defile, named Drws Ardudwy, or "the Door into Ardudwy," through which a difficult and dangerous road, under impending cliffs, leads from Trawsvynydd to the parish church.

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