LLANWNOG - Gazetteers

National Gazetteer, 1868

"LLANWNOG, a parish in the hundred of Llanidloes, county Montgomery, 5 miles N.W. of Newtown, its post town, and 7 N.E. of Llanidloes. It is situated on a tributary of the river Severn, and includes four townships Here are several hills, some above 1,500 feet in height, and three lakes. The old Roman road to Chester passes through the parish, and had a station called Caersws. Woollen goods are manufactured in the village, which is a considerable and well-to-do place. They living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Bangor, value £220, in the patronage of the bishop. The church is dedicated to St. Gwynog. There are two Calvinistic Methodist chapels. The parochial charities amount to about £10 per annum. The workhouse for the Newton Poor-law Union is in this parish. There are some traces of British camps."

"CAERSWS, a hamlet in the parish of Llanwnog, hundred of Llanidloes, in the county of Montgomery, North Wales, 6 miles to the W. of Newtown. It is seated on the river Severn, which is here crossed by a bridge of three arches of modern erection. Caersws is believed to be the site of a Roman station on the road to Chester, called the Sarn Sws. Near the village are remains of two ancient encampments, and Roman bricks with inscriptions have been found. The Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists, and the Baptists, have chapels here."

"CASTLE, a township united with Escob, in the parish of Llanwnog, hundred of Llanidloes, in the county of Montgomery, 5 miles to the W. of Newton."

"ESGOB, a township united with Castle, in the parish of Llanwnog, county Montgomery, 6 miles N.W. of Newtown."

"MOAT LANE, a hamlet in the parish of Llanwnog, county Montgomery, 6 miles W. by N. of Newtown. It is the junction station of the Newtown and Machynlleth branch railway. It is situated near the river Severn and the Sarn Sws Roman way, which went to Chester."

"SURNANT, a township in the parish of Llanwnog, county Montgomery, 5 miles W. of Newtown."

"UCHLLAWRCOED, a township in the parish of Llanwnog, county Montgomery, 6 miles N.W. of Newtown."

"UWCH-LLAWR-COED, a township in the parish of Llanwnog, county Montgomery, 5 miles N.W. of Newton."

"WEEG, a township in the parish of Llanwnog, county Montgomery, 6 miles S.W. of Newtown."

[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

LLANWNNOG (LLAN-WYNNOG), a parish in the lower division of the hundred of LLANIDLOES, county of MONTGOMERY, NORTH WALES, 6 1/2 miles (W. by N.) from Newtown, containing 1355 inhabitants. The name of this place is derived from the dedication of its church to St. Gwynnog, an eminent member of the congregation of Catwg, who flourished about the middle of the sixth century, and was canonized after his decease. The parish is bounded on the south by the river Severn, which is joined near Caer-Sws, in this parish, by the Tarannon stream, which descends into it through the Vale of Treveglwys. The surface is boldly undulated, and the surrounding country displays a pleasing variety of picturesque beauty and rich mountain scenery. Among the loftiest of the hills within its limits are three fine lakes, called respectively Llyn Mawr, " the great lake ;" Llyn Tarw, " the bull's lake;" and Llyn Du, "the black lake." Llyn Mawr covers an area of twenty-five acres, exclusively of a large turbary on its margin, which, before the lake was dammed up to feed the Montgomeryshire canal, was also covered with water. The average depth of this lake, when dammed up, was twelve yards; but since the canal has been supplied with water from the river Severn, its depth has been reduced to eight yards. Both in the lake and the adjoining turbary are extensive remains of ancient forests : in the former they consist chiefly of oaks in a prostrate position, but on the present surface of the turbary they are principally of fir or pine, with scarcely any portion of oak. These remains afford conclusive evidence that the adjacent hills were covered with forest timber at a very remote period. Peat is found in abundance in the neigbbourhood of this and the other lakes ; and the margins of all where it is procured have an elevation of fifteen hundred feet above the level of the Vale of Caer-Sws. The waste lands have been allotted under the " Arustley Enclosure Act," obtained in 1816, since which time much of them has been enclosed and brought under cultivation. The village is pleasantly situated on the turnpike road leading from Newtown to Machynlleth : a few of the inhabitants are employed in the manufacture of flannel, which is carried on upon a moderate scale. The living is a discharged vicarage, within the jurisdiction of the Consistorial Court of the Bishop of Bangor, rated in the king's books at £4. 16. 5 1/2., and in the patronage of the Bishop. The church is an ancient structure, in the early style of English architecture, and contains some beautiful specimens of ancient sculpture the screen and rood-loft are exquisitely carved, and in a state of excellent preservation : the chancel window is embellished with stained glass, in which the patron saint is represented in episcopal vestments, with a mitre on his head and a crosier in his hand, and underneath the figure is the inscription " Sanctus Gwynocus,cujus animae propitietur Deus. Amen." In the churchyard are several venerable yew trees of luxuriant growth. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, and Welsh Calvinistic Methodists. A parochial school is supported by subscription for the gratuitous instruction of poor children : and there are also Sunday schools in connexion with the established church and the several dissenting congregations. Hugh Baxter, in 1687, bequeathed £ 50 ; Richard Baxter, in 1690, gave £ 50,, and subsequently £ 50 more ; and Richard Gittins, in 1783, gave £ 10, the interest of which sums is annually distributed among the poor ; and Anne Pritchard, in 1760, bequeathed £ 20, the interest to be annually given to poor decayed housekeepers in this parish. The hamlet of Caer-Sws was the site of a Roman station, through which has been traced a Roman road leading from Deva, now Chester, to the mines in the adjacent parish of Treveglwys, and of which a description is given under its appropriate head. On the hills adjoining Llyn Mawr are numerous carneddau, supposed to be ancient sepulchres of the aboriginal inhabitants, and one of the hills is distinguished by the name of Carneddau. Scattered over the parish and its vicinity are also the remains of several ancient British encampments, among which may be noticed those at Gwyn Vynydd, Rhosddi-Arbed, and Cevn Carnedd. At Park, the largest farm in the parish, Queen Elizabeth is said to have kept a stud of horses, to which circumstance is attributed the superior breed of horses for which this part of the principality is distinguished. The poor are supported by an average annual expenditure amounting to £843. 14.


CAER-SWS, a hamlet in the parish of LLANWNNOG, hundred of LLANIDLOES, county of MONTGOMERY, NORTH WALES, 5 miles (W.) from Newtown. The population is returned with the parish. This is said to have been a Roman city of considerable extent, though unnoticed as such by early writers : its Roman name is not even known, and few vestiges of its grandeur have been traced. In Mr. Pennant's time the fields in the vicinity were divided by lanes intersecting each other, which probably pointed out the places that had formed the ancient streets, but the exact size of the station is not known. A Roman road, called Sarn Swsan, or Swsog, led from it in a direction northward, though whither it proceeded is doubtful, and but little of it can now be discovered. By the side of this road, on Gwyn-vynydd common, there is a small sub-oval encampment; and in a field adjacent to Rhos Ddiarbed, " the common where no quarter was given," is another Roman camp, of singular form. At the south side there is a vast conical mount, surrounded by a deep fosse, supposed to have been exploratory, to the north of which an oblong area, about seventy yards broad in the greatest diameter, is defended by a high rampart and outer ditch : in the lower part there is an entrance to a square camp, about two hundred yards in length, and above one hundred in  breadth, opposite to which is another entrance : the whole is surrounded by a rampart and ditch. No coins have been discovered here, but, about the year 1777, some Roman bricks, and large blocks of cement, much indurated, and as porous as breccia, were dug up in the south-western angle of the camp : one of the bricks bore an inscription in bas relief, which has not been satisfactorily decyphered, and was placed in the back part of a chimney belonging to the apartment of an adjoining inn.

Caer-Sws had formerly a castle also, and at least one church, and is said to have been the residence of the lords of Arwystli. It is situated on the northern bank of the river Severn, across which a new stone bridge of three arches was built a few years ago, and has been enlarged, within the last fifty years, by the erection of some decent houses and cottages : a new road, leading from Caer-Sws to Llanwnnog, was constructed in 1831. There are places of worship for Baptists and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists.

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