"DAROWEN, a parish in the hundred of Machynlleth, in the county of Montgomery, 5½ miles N.E. of Machynlleth. It is situated near the junction of the rivers Twymyn and Dovey, and contains Noddfa and Caerseddfan. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Bangor, value £155, in the patronage of the bishop. The church is dedicated to St. Tudyr. The charities amount to £8 per annum."
"CAERSEDDFAN, a township in the parish of Darowen, hundred of Machynlleth, in the county of Montgomery, North Wales, 6 miles to the E. of Machynlleth. It is in a mountainous district, and contains some lead mines."
"NODDFA, (or Noddva), a township in the parish of Darowen, hundred of Machynlleth, county Montgomery, 6 miles N.E. of Machynlleth. This parish church is situated in this township.
DAROWEN (DAR-OWAIN), a parish in the hundred of MACHYNLLETH, county of MONTGOMERY, NORTH WALES, 6 miles (E. by N.) from Machynlleth, containing 961 inhabitants. This parish, the name of which. signifies Owain's oak, or forest, is bounded on the north-west by the river Dovey, and on the north-east by the Twymyn, which flows into the Dovey at its northern extremity, and includes about nine thousand acres of land, of which only about four thousand are enclosed and under cultivation, the remainder being in commons, chiefly applied as sheep-walks. A considerable quantity of peat is obtained in it, for consumption in the neighbourhood. There are three lead mines, one in Freeth Cwm Bychan, another at Cwm Du, and the third at Dylivau, all which were in operation within the last few years, but the quantity of ore produced being inconsiderable, the former two have been discontinued : the manufacture of flannel is carried on here. The turnpike roads from Machynlleth to Newtown, through Carno, and to Welshpool through Mallwyd, run through the western and northern parts of the parish.
The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of St. Asaph, not rated in the king's books, and in the patronage of the Bishop of St. Asaph : it was instituted in the year 1545, by Bishop Robert Warton, at the request of Richard ab Grufydd, rector. The rectory is a sinecure, rated at £10. 17. 11., also in the gift of the Bishop. The church, dedicated to St. Tudyr, is in the early style of English architecture : it is situated in the township of Noddva, the name of which signifies a place of refuge, its limits being probably described by three stones, one called Careg Noddva, standing about one mile to the east, another large stone, rising nearly three yards above the ground, about a mile to the south, and a smaller one about the same distance north-east. There are places of worship for Independents and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists, with a Sunday school attached, to each.
One of the Welsh circulating schools is at present (1831) situated at this place. They were established by the Rev. Griffith Jones, rector of Llandowror, in the county of Carmarthen, about the beginning of the eighteenth century, at different places, from which, after they had been held a year or two, or a sufficient time to teach the scholars in them to read, they were to be removed to other places. In this useful design the benevolent founder was assisted by subscriptions from many persons in England and Wales; and, after his death, they were continued by Mrs. Bevan, a benevolent lady of property residing at Laugharne, in the same county, who, at her demise, bequeathed a legacy of £10,000 towards their permanent support : but the validity of the will being disputed by the heir at law, the matter was referred for investigation to the Court of Chancery, and was decided by the Lord Chancellor in favour of the schools, about the year 1810, at which period the principal and interest had accumulated to £30,000 in the three per cents. Trustees, principally residing in the counties of Pembroke and Carmarthen, were appointed, who nominated two visitors, one for North Wales, and the other for South Wales, for the purpose of visiting the schools twice a year, and reporting upon the state of each ; according to the tenor of which report they are either continued or removed, being seldom kept more than two years at one place.
At the distance of about half a mile westward from the church, on the summit of the hill Vron Goch, in the township of Noddva, are the remains of an ancient encampment; and on the top of another, called Bwlch Gelli las, there is a tumulus, near which, on the sheepwalk of the farm Berllan Deg, a celt and several brazen instruments of warfare were found some years ago.
Dr. John Davies, author of the Welsh and Latin Dictionary, and the Welsh Grammar, and one of the translators of the Bible into the Welsh language, was appointed to the sinecure rectory of this parish by Bishop Parry, in 1615 ; it was also held by Dr. Randolph, Bishop of Oxford, and afterwards of London ; the present rector, is Dr. Luxmoore, Dean of St. Asaph. St. Tudyr, son of Arwystl Glof, who flourished in the seventh century, is stated in the Genealogy of the Saints to have been interred here. The wake, or feast, of his dedication is annually observed on the 25th of October, or the Sunday next after it ; and the diversion is continued the following day, by what is called Curo Tudyr, "the beating of Tudyr," generally performed by the boys, one of whom carries a long pole, or branch of a tree, upon his shoulder, the rest beating it with clubs, probably to perpetuate the remembrance of the persecution which that saint endured. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor is £474. 15.