"LLANGADFAN, a parish in the hundred of Mathrafel, county Montgomery, 7 miles N.W. of Llanfair, its post town, and 10 S.W. of Llanfyllin. It is situated on the rivers Banw and Vyrnwy, and includes seven townships, the principal being Cyffin and Moelfeliarth. There was founded here a religious house in connection with the abbey of Strata Florida. A riot took place here in 1645, when Vavasour Powell came to sequester the benefices of the Montgomeryshire clergy. The Eira, a considerable stream, flows from the hills on the S. Copper, lead, and other ores, are found here. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of St. Asaph, value £299, in the patronage of the bishop. The church is dedicated to St. Cadvan, the patron saint of Towyn. The parochial charities produce about £7 per annum. Here are a great many ancient remains, consisting of entrenchments, burial-places, a cromlech, &c. Llwydiarth Hall is the seat of Sir W. W. Wynn, Bart."
"BLOWTY, a township in the parish of Llangadfan, hundred of Mathrafel, in the county of Montgomery, North Wales, 6 miles to the W. of Llanfair."
"BRYNGWAEDDAN, a township in the parish of Llangadfan, hundred of Mathrafel, in the county of Montgomery, North Wales, 6 miles to the N.W. of Llanfair."
"CANN OFFICE, a village in the parish of Llangadfan, hundred of Mathraval, in the county of Montgomery, North Wales, 6 miles to the N.W. of Llanfair."
"COWNY, a township in the parish of Llangadfan, in the county of Montgomery, 6 miles N. of Llanfair."
"CYFFIN, a township in the parish of Llangadfan, in the county of Montgomery, 5 miles N.W. of Llanfair."
"MAESLEMYSTAN, a township in the parish of Llangadfan, county Montgomery, 6 miles N.W. of Llanfair."
"MOELFELIARTH, a township in the parish of Llangadfan, county Montgomery, 6 miles N.W. of Llanfair."
The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]
LLANGADVAN (LLAN-GADVAN), a parish in the upper division of the hundred of MATHRAVAL, county of MONTGOMERY, NORTH WALES, 7 miles. (W. N. W.) from Llanvair, containing 1067 inhabitants. This parish derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Cadvan, son of Eneas Lledewig of Armorica, who flourished in the sixth century, and was regarded as the tutelar saint of warriors. It is pleasantly situated on the turnpike road from Welshpool to Machynlleth; which passes by the noted posting-house called Cann Office, about three-quarters of a mile from the church; and comprehends a tract of nearly seven thousand acres, of which about five thousand are enclosed and cultivated. The surface is boldly undulated, and the surrounding scenery is strikingly varied, combining portions of cultivation and verdure with features of rugged sterility. At Moel Achles, in the township of Cowny, a vein of lead-ore was discovered, and mines of that metal were for some time worked with considerable success ; but these works have been discontinued. Peat is dug in the parish, and forms the principal fuel of the inhabitants. A branch of the river Vyrnwy flows through the village, and unites with the river Banwy, near the church. In the neighbourhood are some handsome mansions, of which the principal within the parish is Llwydiarth House, formerly the seat of the family of Vaughan, descended from Aleth Hen, King of Dyved, and now the property of Sir W. W. Wynne, Bart. The living is a rectory, in the archdeaconry and diocese of St. Asaph, rated in the king's books at £ 9. 5., and in the patronage of the Bishop of St. Asaph. The church is a small venerable structure, in the ancient style of English architecture, and is appropriately fitted up for the performance of divine service. It is supposed that there were formerly chapels in the townships of Cyfin, Cowny, and Maesllymysten, which were served by monks from the adjoining monastery of Cyfin ; and, according to tradition, the inhabitants of these townships had no sittings in the parish church, the smallness of which appears to corroborate the account. The churchyard is extremely small, and the soil so shallow that the want of a more spacious cemetery is much felt by the inhabitants. The parsonage-house was burnt down in 1645, when Vavasor Powel was sent by the parliament to sequester the livings of the clergy in the county of Montgomery. There are places of worship for Independents and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists. A National school for the gratuitous instruction of poor children of the parish, and for which a suitable building is now in progress of erection, is supported by subscription ; and there are several small charitable donations and bequests for distribution among the poor. In the township of Cyfin, in this parish, was a small monastery, probably dependent on the Cistercian abbey of Strata Marcella : among its endowments were the hamlet of Cevnllys Ucha, in the parish of Llanervul, and that of Tir y Mynach, in the parish of Llanbrynmair, which, on its dissolution, became the property of the Vaughans of Llwydiarth. There are no remains of the building but the site which it occupied is still called Cae 'r Mynach, and below it is a ford over the river Owddyn, a branch of the Vyrnwy, called Rhyd y byde, which is by some thought to be a corruption of Rhyd yr Abadan, " the ford of the abbots," or of Rhyd y badan, " the ford of the boats," from a pool adjoining, in which boats were formerly kept. At Cann Office are the remains of a British, encampment, the area enclosed by the defences of which is partly occupied by the present posting-house: a mound of earth, about seventy yards in circumference, extending along the bottom of the moat by which it was surrounded, is still remaining. Near Pont y llogel, in the township of Cyfin, and near the bank of the river Vyrnwy, are two cairns, the larger of which is nearly sixty yards in circuit, and has its outer circumference composed of upright stones, four feet in height, with the interior piled up to the height of five feet in the centre. In removing the stones to furnish materials for the wall of Llwydiarth Park, a stone coffin was discovered in the centre, containing two skeletons, the head of one being placed by the feet of the other, and an urn, in which were some burnt bones and ashes. There are numerous carneddau in this and the adjoining parishes of Garthbeibio and Llanervul, varying in diameter from ten to twenty yards, and a great number of smaller dimensions. In the centre of each of these, when opened, is found a kistvaen, or stone coffin, over which the cairn is always more protuberant : the outer circumference, like that of the large one above-mentioned, is generally formed of large upright stones, and those contained within are piled loosely in circles around the tomb, the interstices being filled up with stones of a smaller size. Besides these, which are undoubtedly the sepulchres of native British chieftains, there is, on the neighbouring hills, and more especially on that called Pen Coed, a great number of barrows, supposed to be the graves of their followers : they all exhibit evident marks of fire, and in some the heat appears to have been so intense, that the stones were partly vitrified. In the township of Moelveliarth are the remains of a small fort with intrenchments ; and in Maesllymysten is a small camp, on the summit of a precipitous eminence, defended on the only side on which it is accessible by a deep ditch. On the summit of an opposite hill, called Mopart, and running completely across it, is a ditch as large as Offa's Dyke, probably intended to prevent incursions from the mountains above. A pair of ancient millstones was found in digging for turf in the township of Cyfin, in the year 1828, at a depth of nearly two feet below the surface. Fynnon Gadvan, or " St. Cadvan's Well," was formerly in great repute for the marvellous efficacy attributed to its water, and was anciently covered with some building, of which the stones, of remarkably large size, were remaining within the last few years. There is a chalybeate spring in the township of Cyfin; but it is not much resorted to. William Jones, an eminent poet and critic, was born in this parish, in 1729, and was interred here in 1795: the Cambrian Register contains a sketch of his life, and some notice of a history which he published of this and the adjoining parishes of Garthbeibio and Llanervul. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor is £312.6.
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