LLANGYNOG - Gazetteers

National Gazetteer, 1868

"LLANGYNOG, a parish in the hundred of Llanfyllin, county Montgomery, 6 miles N.W. of Llanfyllin, its post town, and 10 S.E. of Bala. It is situated at the foot of Llangynog rock, in the Berwyn mountains, and is watered by the river Tanat, which is famous for its trout. The parish includes the townships of Tre-y-Llan and Tre-Rhiwarth. The village is chiefly inhabited by miners, lying at the confluence of the Tanat and at the Eiarth, above which on the N. towers the enormous hill of Craig Rhiwarth, and on the S. an equally lofty though less abrupt range. The geological formation appears to belong to the age of the Llandilo rocks, and abounds in minerals, chiefly lead. A very rich mine called the Craig-y-Mwyn was opened in 1692, and worked for many years, yielding an annual revenue of £20,000 to the Powis family, but was suddenly drowned by an irruption of water. It has again been opened by a company, who have worked it with varying success. There are several other lead mines, besides quartz and good blue slate for roofing.

The living is a rectory* in the diocese of St. Asaph, value £126, in the patronage of the bishop. The church is dedicated to St. Cynog. The charities amount to about £3 per annum. Here are remains of an old chapel dedicated to St. Monocella, Llechweddgarth is the principal residence. A railway has been proposed from Shrewsbury and Llanfyllin to Llangnog, from which place it was intended to tunnel through the Berwyns to Llandrillo, and from thence to Bala."

"TRE-Y-LLAN, a township in the parish of Llangynog, county Montgomery, 6 miles N.W. of Llanfyllin."

"TRERHIWARTH, a township in the parish of Llangynog, county Montgomery, 6 miles N.W. of Llanfyllin."

[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

LLANGYNOG (LLAN-GYNOG), a parish in the upper division of the hundred of LLANVYLLIN, county of MONTGOMERY, NORTH WALES, 8 miles (N. W.) from Llanvyllin, containing 499 inhabitants. This parish derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Cynog, the eldest of the sons of Brychan, Prince of Brycheiniog, who suffered martyrdom in the fifth century, was buried at Merthyr-Cynog, in the county of Brecknock, and was canonized after his death. The village is beautifully situated in a pleasing but narrow vale, watered by the river Tanat, and sheltered by lofty mountains, in the northern part of the county, bordering upon Denbighshire, and on the turnpike road from Llanvyllin to Bala. The parish is nearly four miles in length, and the same in breadth, and comprehends a large extent of country, abounding in mineral wealth. The scenery is strikingly diversified, abounding with features of picturesque beauty, and of rugged grandeur; and the views over the adjacent country, comprising part of Denbighshire on the east, and Merionethshire on the west, from which latter the parish is separated by the fine range of the Berwyn mountains, are interesting and extensive. A very small proportion of the land is enclosed and cultivated, the remainder being a mountainous district, in which are mines of lead, quarries of slate, and other mineral works. Peat, which forms the principal fuel of the inhabitants, is found in abundance. The lead mines, which are the property of the Earl of Powys, have been worked for nearly a century, and were formerly productive of immense profit to an ancestor of the present proprietor : the ore is of the species called galena, or "potters' ore," and is found in a rake vein, extending in a direction from east-by-south to west-by-north, which is noticed by Williams, in his " Mineral Kingdom," published in 1789, as being perhaps the richest then discovered in the island : it contained in the centre a breadth of five yards of clean ore, so pure as to be immediately conveyed from the mine to the smelting-house, exclusively of a breadth of several feet on each side, which, being mixed with spar, required previous dressing to prepare it for smelting. This vein has been worked to a depth of more than ninety yards, and during a period of forty years yielded upon the average about four thousand tons of ore annually, producing to its proprietor a clear yearly revenue of £20,000. About the commencement of the present century this mine, the working of which had been for some time discontinued, owing to the influx of water, which rendered it impracticable, was leased by a company who drove a level beneath it, in order to draw off the water, and continued the working of it for some time. In the course of their operations the miners occasionally found masses of pure ore, weighing from seventy to one hundred lb. each; but, after prosecuting their labours for some time, the works were again discontinued. Within the last twelve months the old shaft has been re-opened, and nearly seven hundred tons of ore have been raised : the machinery employed in the mine is driven by a stream of water, brought from a distance of seven miles at a very considerable expense.

At Craig y Gribbin, in this parish, are some quarries of excellent blue slate, of a strong and durable quality; but, from the veins of quartz which pervade the entire mass of the rock in which they are quarried, they exhibit a rough surface ; and some of the slabs contain beautiful cubes of mundic. Many thousands of these slates are annually procured for the supply of the neighbouring districts, and a considerable quantity is sent to the Montgomeryshire canal at Newbridge, near Llanymynech, for conveyance by water to more distant parts. In the rock of Llangynog, which has a lofty and almost perpendicular elevation on the north side of the village, is another quarry, from which great numbers of slates of similar quality are obtained, and are brought down the steep declivity of the rock in sledges containing about five hundred-weight each, with extreme danger to the persons employed in this arduous task. When the sledge is loaded, and drawn to the edge of the declivity, the conductor sits upon it, passing over his shoulders a rope, which is fastened at each extremity to the front, and, raising his feet from the ground, begins his descent down a narrow winding path, guiding the sledge by opposing his feet to the projecting points of the rock, which would divert it from its course, and governing its accumulating velocity by pressing firmly with his feet upon the ground, and sustaining the weight of the carriage by the rope which passes over his shoulders. Sometimes the guide, passing the rope over his shoulders as in the former case, instead of sitting upon the front of the sledge, descends back-wards, and, when in danger of being overpowered by the weight and the accumulated velocity of the sledge, slipping the rope over his head, detaches himself from the carriage, and throws it sideways over the precipice, regarding only his own preservation. In either case the descent is attended with extreme danger, and the least inattention or want of dexterity, on the part of the guide, would expose him to inevitable destruction.

Fairs are annually held in the village on May 6th, August 9th, and September 3rd. The living is a discharged rectory, locally in the archdeaconry, and in the diocese, of St. Asaph, rated in the king's books at £4. 8. 11 1/2., and in the patronage of the Bishop of St. Asaph. The church is an ancient edifice, in the early style of English architecture, and is appropriately fitted up for the performance of divine service. There are places of worship for Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists. Mr. Lewis bequeathed a small portion of land, the rental of which is annually distributed among the poor. A brass celt was found near the village, a few years ago. At Cwm Glan Avon, in this parish, near the base of a rock containing lead and copper ores and calamine, which is on the side of the valley, opposite to the lead-mine above-noticed, are great heaps of scoria, near the site of an ancient building, called Cubil ; but the oldest of the miners are ignorant of their origin, which may probably be ascribed to the improvement of the science of metallurgy, which was revived in Britain during the reign of Elizabeth, when this place, among others, had assayers, who carried on the process of extracting silver from the lead with which it was inter-mixed. On the summit of a mountain to the north of this place is a deserted lead mine, called Craig y Mwyn, or the "cliff of ore," which appears to have been wrought at a very remote period; and within a few hundred yards of the ancient site above named is a mining level called Ogo, or " the cave," driven under a vast depth of slaty rock, which appears to have long ceased to be recognised as a work of art. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor amounts to £128 . 2.

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