LLANERFYL - Gazetteers

National Gazetteer, 1868

"LLANERFYL, a parish in the hundred of Methrafel, county Montgomery, 5 miles from Llanfair, 9 S.W. of Llanfyllin, and 12 W. of Welshpool, its post town. It is situated on the banks of the river Bann. The Roman road Sarn Sws crosses one part of the parish, which includes the townships of Crane, Cefn-llys-isaf, Cefn-llysuchaf, and Llyssin. There are traces of copper. The village is very considerable. The living is a rectory in the diocese of St. Asaph, value £435, in the patronage of the bishop. The church is an old edifice in the early English style of architecture, dedicated to St. Erval. Here is a well called after the saint, and a very old stone bearing an inscription. The charities consist of an endowment to Foster's school, producing about £32 per annum. Here are traces of ancient camps and barrows, remains of old seats, and several pools. A fair is held on the 7th May."

"CEFN-LLYS, (Isaf and Ischaf) townships in the parish of Llanerfyl, in the county of Montgomery, North Wales, 4 miles W. of Llanfair."

"COEDTALOG, a township in the parish of Llanerfyl, in the county of Montgomery, 4 miles N.W. of Llanfair."

"LLYSSIN, a township in the parish of Llanerfyl, county Montgomery, 4 miles N.W. of Llanfair."

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

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A Topographical Dictionary of Wales by Samuel Lewis, 1833

LLANERVUL (LLAN-ERVUL), a parish in two divisions, Lower and Upper, in the upper division of the hundred of MATHRAVAL, county of MONTGOMERY, NORTH WALES, 5 miles (W. N. W.) from Llanvair, containing 989 inhabitants. This parish, which derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Ervul, appears to have bcen a place of some importance at a very early period, and abounds with vestiges of British and Roman antiquity : it extends nearly eight miles in length and three in breadth, and is pleasantly situated in the vale of the river Banwy, the whole of which, with its encircling hills, is included in this and the adjoining parishes of Llangadvan and Garthbeibio. The surface is boldly undulating : the lands are but partially enclosed and cultivated, the hilly parts affording only pasturage for sheep and young cattle during the summer. The soil of the lower grounds is tolerably fertile, but that of the upper is poor, resting chiefly on a stiff clay or brittle slate, requiring the process of paring and burning, with an unusual quantity of manure, to render it capable of producing grain of any kind. By far the greater portion of the parish, having a boggy surface, forms an uncultivated waste, and is claimed as sheepwalks by the several farmers whose lands are contiguous. On the Drum are three pools, of which one is called Llyn y grinwydden, or " the pool of the withered tree," situated on a rocky hill, and said to be of unfathomable depth : it is about seventy yards in length, and contains no fish but eels and carp. Llyn Hir, or " the long pool," is about three hundred yards in length, and one hundred and fifty in breadth : the upper end of it is so firmly crusted over with the slough brought down by the floods from the turbaries above it, that sheep and men can walk upon the surface ; but what it loses in extent, from this circumstance, it gains at the opposite extremity by the violent action of its waters, driven by the west winds, against the banks, which are of peat earth : this pool contains excellent red trout, but in very hot summers it is nearly dried up : on the north side is a stone inscribed MET. II. 1430; it is at present seven feet distant from the bank, which space is supposed to have been gained by the receding of the water since that date. Llyn y Bugail, or " the shepherd's pool," abounds with eels, but is not distinguished by any peculiar characteristics. Within this parish, on the border of that of Llanbrynmair, is a pool, called Llyn Gwyddior, or Cadivor, of remarkably clear water, which formerly contained great numbers of fine trout, but these have been extirpated by the introduction of pike. This pool, which is about a mile in circumference, is situated on an eminence extending in a direction from north to south: to the west of this ridge are some very deep hollows, open to the south-west and north-west, within which the collected winds burst impetuously through an opening in the ridge parallel with the direction of the pool, and agitate its water with great violence. The wool produced here is generally coarse, especially on the higher hills, on which the hardiest breed of sheep in the principality is fed : these hills are covered with heath, and among them are found, extensive turbaries, sufficient for the supply of the surrounding district. In 1797, a company of adventurers began to sink for coal at Cyvylchau, in this parish, but their enterprise was not attended with success, and the attempt was discontinued : about the same time a few specimens of copper-ore were dug up in the township of Coed-Talog, but no regular works have been established. The turnpike road from Welshpool to Machynlleth and Dolgelley passes through the village, in which an annual fair takes place on the 7th of May, and the petty sessions for the upper division of the hundred of Mathraval are held occasionally.

The living is a rectory, in the archdeaconry and diocese of St. Asaph, rated in the king's books at £9. 2. 11., and in the patronage of the Bishop. The church, dedicated to St. Ervul, is an ancient structure, in the early style of English architecture : in the churchyard is an ancient monument, commonly supposed to have been erected in memory of the patron saint, bearing a mutilated inscription, which, however, as far as it is legible, does not at all support this conjecture. There was formerly an ancient chapel at Dolwen, in the township of Cevnllys Uchav. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyan Methodists. Mrs. Priscilla Forster, a descendant of the family of the Herberts of Llysyn, bequeathed £ 300 for the instruction of poor children of this parish : this sum has been invested in the purchase of a farm, now producing £35 per annum, which is appropriated agreeably to the intentions of the benevolent testatrix. The produce arising from several charitable donations and bequests is annually distributed among the poor. On the summit of an eminence called Moelddolwen, in the township of Cevnllys Uchav, are the remains of a strongly fortified camp, including an irregular quadrilateral area, about a hundred yards in length, and guarded on the west, on which side is the entrance, by an advanced work about twenty yards in diameter : the camp is defended, on the sides where it is most easily accessible, by fosses of greater depth, the earth having been thrown up to form a breastwork. In the same township is a fortified eminence called Gardden, having a circular rampart, which encloses an area seventy yards in diameter. The entrances of these strong holds, both of which are of ancient British construction, are on the most accessible sides of the hill, and, from their breadth, appear to have been contrived for the admission of the chariots armed with scythes, which were in use among the ancient Britons. A ditch and rampart, equal in dimensions to Offa's Dyke, may still be traced crossing the vale of the Banwy near Rhos y gall. The Roman road from Caer-Sws to the present Chester, or from Caerlleon, in the modern county of Monmouth, to the same city, enters this parish on the hills of the Drum, passes through a bog called Corsyvisog, now impenetrable from the accumulation of slough descending from the turbaries on the hills, and, traversing the moors in a direct line to Bwlch y Drum, thence descends through Cynniwyll, crosses the Banwy below Neuadd wen, passes over Craig y Go, and enters the parish of Llanvihangel at Rhyd pont y Styllod. Though concealed by long grass in the moorish grounds of the Drum, this road may be easily discerned at a distance, in the recently ploughed lands in various parts of the parish, in which it forms a bold and conspicuous ridge, and in which the materials of its construction may be found a little below the surface. On the common of Craig y Go are vestiges of ancient mines, which are supposed to have been originally worked by the Romans ; and at the foot of the declivity of the hill on which the common is situated is a cavern called Ogov Dolanog, of which the entrance is so narrow as to prevent any person from penetrating far into it. There are two large tumuli and several carneddau in the parish, but no particulars of their origin are recorded. Neuadd wen, now a farm-house, was anciently the mansion of Meredydd ab Cynan ab Owain Gwynedd, Prince of North Wales, and appears, from the few remains of the ancient building which have been found among some rubbish at the back of the present farmhouse, to have been erected about the eleventh or twelfth century : among these vestiges were the ruins of an arched window, with mouldings of freestone, in the style of that age. This mansion was anciently called Llys Wgan, from a rivulet near the spot ; and adjoining it is the farm of Llysyn, which appears to have derived its name, a diminutive of Llys, " a palace," from its vicinity to this residence. Near the church is a fine well, dedicated to the patron saint, the water of which was formerly in great repute for its efficacy in the cure of various diseases. The Rev. Joseph Thomas, who married the daughter of Parkhurst, the Hebrew and Greek lexicographer, and who assisted him in the execution of his literary labours, was born at Llysyn. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor is £396.18

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