"FORDEN, a parish in the hundred of Cawrse, county Montgomery, North Wales, 3 miles N. of Montgomery, and 4 S.E. of Welshpool, its post town. The Oswestry and Newtown railway has a station at each of these towns. Forden is situated on the eastern bank of the river Severn, near Offa's Dyke, and includes the townships of Hem, Kilkewyd, and several others. The Welsh suffered defeat here in the reign of Edward I. The living is a perpetual curacy* in the diocese of Hereford, value £112, in the patronage of the Grocers' Company. The church is dedicated to St. Michael. It contains monuments of the Devereux family. There are a few charities, producing about £4 per annum. There is a National school. The principal building in the parish is the House of Industry for the district of Montgomery and Pool. In the neighbourhood are remains of entrenched camps."
"ACKLEY, a township in the parish of Forden, hundred of Cawrse in the county of Montgomery, North Wales, 3 miles N. of Montgomery."
"EDDERTON, a township in the parish of Forden, county Montgomery, 2 miles N. of Montgomery."
"HEM, a township in the parish of Forden, county Montgomery, 3 miles N. of Montgomery."
"KILKEWYDD, a township in the parish of Forden, county Montgomery, 3 miles N. of Montgomery."
"LLETTYGYNFARCH, a township in the parish of Forden, county Montgomery, 2 miles N. of the town of Montgomery."
"MUNLYN, a township in the parish of Forden, county Montgomery, 3 miles N. of Montgomery."
"THORNBURY, a township in the parish of Forden, county Montgomery, 3 miles N. of Montgomery."
"WOODLASTON, a township in the parish of Forden, county Montgomery, 3 miles N. of Montgomery."
"WROPTON, a township in the parish of Forden, county Montgomery, 3 miles N. of Montgomery."
FORDEN, a parish in the lower division of the hundred of CAWRSE, county of MONTGOMERY, NORTH WALES, 3 miles (N.) from Montgomery, containing 856 inhabitants. The Danes are said to have stationed themselves in this neighbourhood in the year 894, and to have been driven from it by the Saxons, after a long siege and severe conflict : their encampments are still visible on the Long Mountain and near Buttington. This mountain, called by the Welsh Mynydd, or Cevn Digoll, is partly included in this parish, and is remarkable as the scene of the last struggle of the Welsh for independence. After the death of Llewelyn, the inhabitants of North Wales rallied under the banner of his illegitimate son, Madoc, who assembled a considerable army, and obtained signal victories over the invaders, at Carnarvon, near Denbigh, at Knockin, and again in the marches : at length, having ventured hither to engage with the united forces of the lords marcher, his troops were routed, after an obstinate conflict, in 1294. Upon the same mountain, Henry Earl of Richmond, afterwards Henry VII., mustered his partisans from Shropshire and North Wales, and found every man who had promised to support him true to his appointment; on which account the Welsh have called it Digoll, signifying " without loss."
The House of Industry for the united district of Montgomery and Welshpool is situated in this parish : this district, which is about eighteen miles square, comprises the parishes of Montgomery, Welshpool (except the township of Cyfronnydd, which supports its own poor), Berriew, Llandyssil, Llanmerewig, and Forden ; and the townships of Cletterwood and Hope, in the parish of Buttington; those of Leighton and Trelystan, in the chapelry of Wolstonnyend, otherwise Wolston ; that of Aston, in the parish of Lydham; and that of Castlewright, in the parish of Mainstone ; all in the county of Montgomery ; and the parishes of Worthen and Chirbury, in the county of Salop, and of Churchstoke, in the counties of Montgomery and Salop. These places were united, and formed into one entire district, for the better relief and employment of the poor, by an act passed in the 32nd of George III.; and certain persons described therein were incorporated, under the style of "The Guardians of the Poor of the parishes of Montgomery and Pool, and the parishes, chapelries, and townships united therewith, in the counties of Montgomery and Salop," some of whom were appointed directors, and certain regulations were established for effecting the purposes of the act : additional powers were granted to the corporation in the 36th of George III., and again in the 5th of George IV. The management of the interests of the establishment is vested in twenty-four directors, chosen from the body of guardians, eight of whom retire annually, and are succeeded by others : there are also honorary directors, besides the bailiffs of the boroughs of Montgomery and Welshpool. The domestic concerns are managed by a steward and matron, under the superintendence of a committee, which meets once a week : there are also a chaplain, treasurer, clerk, and other officers. The building, which is capable of affording accommodation to one thousand persons, is a plain substantial edifice of brick, erected in 1795, at an expense of upwards of £12,000 it stands within a plot of ground measuring thirty acres, and occupies three sides of a square, of which the front is three hundred and sixty feet in length. There is a neat chapel, in length fifty-seven feet and a half, and in breadth thirty-six feet, with a burial-ground attached. The male inmates able to labour were generally employed in husbandry, upon a farm belonging to the institution, and the females in knitting; but the farm was given up about three years ago, and at present there are but few inmates, a new system of relieving the paupers in their own houses having been adopted, keeping in the house only such as are unable to labour : there is a school for the children.
The sessions for the lower division of the hundred of Cawrse are held at the Church House at Forden, twice a year.
The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry of Salop, and diocese of Hereford, endowed with £ 400 private benefaction, and £ 900 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Master and Wardens of the Grocers' Company, to whom the great tithes belong. The church, which is situated about half a mile to the west of the road from Welshpool to Montgomery, is built in the ancient style of English architecture, and was enlarged in 1830, with the addition of one hundred and seventy sittings, one hundred and ten of them free, towards defraying the expense of which the Incorporated Society for building and enlarging churches and chapels granted £100 : fifty free sittings had been previously provided. The font, which is of marble, and of an oval form, was presented to the parish, in 1794, by Richard Edmunds, Esq., at whose expense also the arms of England, exquisitely carved in wood, coloured and gilt, were put up on the north side of the chancel. This church was, for between three and four centuries, the burial-place of the family of Devereux, Viscounts Hereford, whose estate of Nantcribba is situated in this parish. There is a place of worship for Independents.
Edward Lewis, in 1675, devised £20 per annum, arising from an estate in the adjoining parish of Chirbury in Shropshire, for the instruction of children of that parish and Forden. A Sunday school has been established, in connexion with the church. The sum of £ 100 was given by a member of the family of Devereux, for apprenticing two poor children annually.
There are various remains of antiquity in the parish. In the township of Thornbury, near the banks of the Severn, are vestiges of a Roman rectangular encampment, called the Gaer, from which the course of an ancient road may be traced, in the parishes of Llandyssil, Llanmerewig, Newtown, and Penstrywed, to Caer-Sws, formerly an important Roman city, in the parish of Llanwnnog. That ancient line of demarcation, Offa's Dyke, passes through the townships of Hem and Wropton ; and within two hundred yards of it, near Nantcribba, on the road from Welshpool to Montgomery, rises a vast conoidal rock, upon which, on clearing away the surface, about the middle of the last century, the remains of a fort were discovered : it appeared to have been of a square form, probably with a round tower at each angle, of which part of the south-eastern one still remains : the walls are about three feet high, and seven feet seven inches in thickness, and the area within is nine feet in diameter. The base of the rock is surrounded by a trench, cut through it, leaving only a narrow entrance to the fort. The history of this place is involved in total oblivion : it was probably a fortification of considerable importance, as it commanded the line of Offa's Dyke, and the vales of Severn, Montgomery, and Chirbury : at a short distance from it there is another intrenchment. The average annual expenditure for the maintenance of the poor amounts to £ 395. 15.