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WELSHPOOL


National Gazetteer, 1868

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]
"WELSHPOOL, a parish, market town, municipal and parliamentary borough, having exclusive jurisdiction, but locally situated in the hundreds of Pool and Cawrse, county Montgomery, 7 miles N. of Montgomery, 15 from Oswestry, and 18 from Shrewsbury. It is a junction station of the Cambrian, Shrewsbury, and Welshpool railway where the Shrewsbury branch turns off. It is in reality, though not in name, the capital of Montgomeryshire, containing the assize and sessions courts for the county and the militia head-quarters. Its original appellation was Trallum, and it was called by the English Welshpool, to distinguish it from Poole in Dorsetshire.

The parish is divided into Upper, Middle, and Lower, and includes Welsh Town, Pool, Llanerchydol, and 7 other townships The limits of the municipal borough extend beyond those of the parish and parliamentary borough, to the distance of from 4 to 6 miles all around the town, the population in 1861 being respectively 7,304, 5,004, 4,844, having more than doubled since the commencement of the present century, when that of the parish was 2,295. It returned members to parliament from the reign of Henry VIII. to 1728, when it was disfranchised, but the privilege was partially restored by the Reform Act of 1832, which made it a contributory borough to Montgomery.

It was first chartered by James II., and under the Municipal Reform Act is now governed by a mayor, 4 aldermen, and 12 councillors, with the style of "burgesses and bailiffs of the borough of Poole". Here is Castell Cch, or Powis Castle, founded in 1109 by Cadwgan ap Bleddyr, and completed by subsequent princes of Powis-land. Having been dismantled by Llywelyn ap Jorwerth, it was again restored by Hawys, daughter of Owain ap Grufydd, under English protection, who, married Sir John de Charlton, created Baron Powis and Valectus Domini Regis. In their posterity the barony and estates continued for several generations, but being conveyed by marriage to the family of Grey, of Hetton, were sold in the 29th year of Elizabeth to Sir Edward Herbert, second son of William, Earl of Pembroke, in the possession of whose descendants it still remains.

The castle has been much altered and modernised, but part of the walls are said to be of the 13th century. It occupies a situation on the summit of a rock which has been scarped so as to form a wall, the top serving as a terrace. From this point a view is obtained of the vales of Montgomery and Shrewsbury, with the Severn below, and from Powis Park are visible the summits of Plinlimmon, Cader Idris, Arenig, Aranmowddy, and Moel-ygolfa.

In a detached building more recent than the castle are 60 or 70 paintings and portraits by the first masters, also an ancient painting in fresco brought from Pompeii, and a portrait of Lord Clive by Dance. The grounds, laid out by Capability Brown, still retain the parallel terraces and squared slopes, but the ancient waterworks and clipped shrubs are removed. The park extends to the town, and by the generosity of the noble owner is free to everybody to enter by a gateway which opens into the main street.

The houses of the town are well built and uniform. The streets are well paved and lighted with gas. There are the county hall, with a colonnade and pilasters of stone in front, and the market-house beneath, where the Eisteddfod was held in 1825; a savings-bank, dispensary, two branch banks, and gasworks. There are also malthouses, tanneries, breweries, and factories for Welsh flannel, which is manufactured here.

The Severn is navigable for small barges as far as Pool Quay, three miles from the town, and upwards of 200 miles from its confluence with the Bristol Channel. A canal joins that of Ellesmere near Hordley, and extends in the opposite direction to Newtown. A little to the N.E. of the town rises abruptly from the vale the rock of Moel-y-golfa, about 1,300 feet in height, and the Breidden, with an obelisk to Admiral Rodney on the summit. Two miles to the N.E. on the opposite bank of the Severn is Buttington, where the Danes under Hesten were defeated by King Alfred in 894, and at Pool Quay was Strata Marcella Abbey. Welshpool is the seat of a new County Court, but belongs to the Montgomery superintendent registry district.

Bishop Morgan, who translated the Bible into Welsh, was once vicar. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of St. Asaph, value 300, in the patronage of the bishop. The parish church, originally dedicated to St. Cynfelyn, but afterwards to St. Mary, was nearly rebuilt in 1774. It is placed at the bottom of a hill, the cemetery being nearly equal in height to that of the building, and the roof of the chancel is said to have been brought from the abbey of Strata Marcella. Christ Church, erected to commemorate the coming of age of Lord Clive, is on an eminence at the W. of the town, and is a donative in the gift of the Earl of Powis, with an endowment of 100. One of the most interesting objects is the sacramental chalice of pure gold, value 170, presented in 1662 to St. Mary's church by Thomas Davies, Governor of the English settlements on the Guinea coast.

There are 5 Dissenting chapels, a Middle school, and National, infant, and free schools with a small endowment, also a British school. The local charities produce about 180 per annum, chiefly from the rents of the burgesses' lands. Market day for provisions is on Monday. Fairs are held on the second Monday every month for horses, cattle, and sheep, &c.; first Monday after 20th September for cheese and butter, and Monday before Christmas for cattle."

"CYFRONYDD, a township in the parish of Welshpool, hundred of Cawrse, in the county of Montgomery, 5 miles N.W. of Welshpool, and 3 from Llanfair. It is situated on the river Banw, and comprises seven houses."

"DYSSERTH, a township in the parish of Welshpool, in the county of Montgomery, 2 miles S.W. of Welshpool. E EA, a lough in the barony of Boylagh, county Donegal, province of Ulster, Ireland, 5 miles E. of Glenties."

"GUNGROG FAWR, a township in the parish and hundred of Welshpool, county Montgomery, North Wales, about 2 miles N. of Welshpool. The river Severn, and the Ellesmere canal, flow through the place."

"LLANERCHYDOL, a township in the parish of Welshpool, county Montgomery, 1 mile W. of the town of Welshpool."

"POWIS CASTLE, (or Castell Coch), the seat of the Earl of Powis, county Montgomery, 1 mile S. of Welshpool. It is situated on a red sandstone rock in the midst of a park, which is entered by a gate out of the main street of Welshpool, and is free to everybody to enter, through the generosity of the noble owner. The original fortress was commenced by Cadwgan-ap-Bleddyn, Prince of Powisland, in 1109, and was completed by subsequent princes. In 1191 it was taken by Archbishop Hubert, who strengthened the fortifications, which had been dismantled by Llewelyn-ap-Iorwerth in the reign of King John.

The castle subsequently came, through the daughter of Owain-ap-Griffith, to Sir John Charlton, Baron of Powis, from whose family it passed into that of the Greys, who sold it to the Herberts in the reign of Elizabeth, and in whose family it has ever since remained. In 1644 it was taken by the parliamentary forces and suffered considerably, but was restored by Smirke, who retained several of the old towers. There is a gallery, built in the latter part of the 16th century, 117 feet long, in the cinque-cento style. It contains portraits of the Herberts, including one of Lady Maria, celebrated by Pope, also Clive, by Dance, several paintings by Italian masters, the Byzantine cup which once belonged to Mary of Modena, sculpture, relics, and antiques from Herculaneum, curiosities from India, and a rare library.

"STREDALFEDEN, a township in the parish of Welshpool, county Montgomery, near Welshpool."

"TRALLWMGOLLEN, a township in the parish of Welshpool, county Montgomery, near Welshpool."

"TREFNANTFECHAN, a township in the parish of Welshpool, county Montgomery, 3 miles N.W. of Welshpool."

"TYDDYN-PRYDD, a township in the parish of Welshpool, county Montgomery, near Welshpool."

[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
Samuel Lewis, 1833

WELSHPOOL, a borough, market and assize town, having exclusive jurisdiction, in the county of MONTGOMERY, NORTH WALES, 7 1/2 miles (N.) from Montgomery, and 175 (N. W. by W.) from London, on the road from Shrewsbury to Aberystwith : the parish comprises the Upper, Middle, and Lower divisions, and the township of Cyfronnydd, each of which separately maintains its own poor, and contains 4536 inhabitants, of which number, 673 are in the Upper, 2538 in the Middle, and 1269 in the Lower, division, and the remaining 56 in the township of Cyfronnydd. The original name of this place, written "Trellyn," from the Welsh " Tre 'r Llyn," was derived from its situation near a pool or lake of very great depth. From this circumstance, also, it obtained its present English appellation of Pool ; and, in order to distinguish it from the town of that name in the county of Dorset, it has long been generally called Welshpool. This lake, which is now within the park of Powis Castle, is nearly three hundred feet in depth, and, from the dark colour of its waters, had obtained the appellation of Llyn Du, or "the Black Lake," since corrupted into " Llyndy Pool." The town is of ancient origin : the first notice of it occurs in the Welsh annals of 1109, when Cadwgan ab Bleddyn ab Cynvyn, a powerful native chieftain of Powys, having succeeded, even during the state of anarchy prevailing at that time, in reducing his territories to some degree of order and tranquillity, by a rigid and impartial administration of justice, repaired to this place, and began to erect a castle, which he intended to make his principal residence, and the seat of his government. But this virtuous prince, whom Camden dignifies with the epithet of the "renowned Briton," was, during his abode at this place, suddenly attacked by his nephew Madoc, a lawless chieftain of North Wales, at the head of a numerous band of desperate and profligate followers, who, taking him by surprise, murdered him before he had time either to defend himself, or to take measures for his escape. On the death of Cadwgan, the castle which he had begun was left unfinished ; but the work was resumed and completed by Gwenwynwyn, who succeeded his father, Owain Cyveiliog, in the government of the southern part of Powysland. In the year 1191, in resentment of various depredations which had been committed by the Welsh on the English vassals in the marches, Hubert, Archbishop of Canterbury, in the absence of Richard I. in the Holy Land, besieged this castle with a powerful force. The garrison made a determined resistance, and held out till the walls were undermined, when they surrendered on honourable terms. The archbishop, having taken possession of the fortress, repaired the damage it had sustained during the siege, strengthened the defences, and, placing in it a strong garrison, returned into England. Gwenwynwyn, its rightful owner, determined to use every effort for the recovery of this castle, which was the most important fortress in his dominions, laid siege to it in 1197, and soon compelled the English garrison to surrender it to him, upon the same terms as had been granted to his own soldiers. At this time the castle was distinguished by the appellation of " Gwenwynwyn's Castle at the Pool," and became the chief residence of that prince and his successors.

In the reign of John, Gwenwynwyn, having consented to become a vassal of the English crown, and to hold his territories in capite under that monarch, his son and successor Grufydd, on his accession to the government, did homage to the English king, and by his tenure was bound to aid and assist him in his endeavours to subjugate the principality to the authority of the English government. Llewelyn ab Iorwerth, Prince of North Wales, incensed at the defection of Grufydd from the interests of his countrymen, in the year 1233, attacked and dismantled his castle at Pool, called at that time, from the colour of the stone of which it was built, Y Castell Coch, or "the red castle," an appellation which it still retains among the native Welsh. Upon this occasion Llewelyn banished Grufydd and gave his territories to Grufydd ab Madoc, Prince of Upper Powys, and Lord of Dinas Bran. Owain ab Grufydd, grandson of Gwenwynwyn, still under the protection of the English, appears nevertheless to have retained possession of his father's territories as an English vassal ; and at his death he bequeathed them to his only daughter and heiress, Hawys, surnamed Gadarn, or "the Hardy." After her father's decease the title of Hawys to the principality of Powys was disputed by her four uncles Llewelyn, John, Grufydd Vychan, and David, all alleging the ineligibility of a female to succeed to that dignity. Under these circumstances Hawys appealed to Edward II., the reigning English monarch, who gave her in marriage to John de Charlton, whom the king ennobled by the title of Baron Powys, and in whose descendants the proprietorship of the castle and its dependencies remained for several generations. It was probably at this period that the fortress first obtained the appellation of Powys Castle, which it still retains. The barony and castle were, by marriage with Jane, eldest daughter of Edward Lord Powys, conveyed to Sir John Grey of Heton, who was slain at the unfortunate battle of Baugee, in 1421 ; and in the reign of Elizabeth, Edward Grey, an illegitimate son of Edward Grey de Powys, who had inherited the estates by virtue of a settlement on his mother, sold them to Sir Edward Herbert, second son of William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke. Sir Edward, on his death, was interred in the church of Welshpool, and was succeeded in his titles and estates by his son William, who was made Knight of the Bath at the coronation of James I., and by Charles I. created Lord Powys.

On the breaking out of the civil War of the seventeenth century, Piercy Lord Powys, declared himself an advocate of the royal cause, fortified his castle, and placed in it a strong garrison, of which he took the command in person. It was soon afterwards besieged by a strong party of the parliamentary forces, under the command of Sir Thomas Myddelton ; and its outer walls having been materially damaged by the artillery of the assailants, it was at length reduced, the noble commander of the garrison was made prisoner, and the place given up to pillage. Upon this occasion the castle and lordship were confiscated to the use of the parliament; and, according to the general orders issued at the time, the proprietor of the estate was allowed to compound with the parliament, by which means he regained possession of them. It appears by a manuscript in the library at Powis Castle that this fortress, together with than of Montgomery, with their outworks, were ordered by the parliament to be demolished; but by a decree of the council of state, dated April 28th, 1660, it is stated that the " Red Castle in Wales" did not belong to the state, and that the owners and proprietors thereof, having given security that it should not be employed or made use of, to the disturbance of the peace of the nation, or prejudicial to the parliament and commonwealth, it is commanded that the former order made for demolishing the above-named castle shall be null and void, so far as regards the Red Castle, with the exception only of the outworks, and the making of some breaches in the walls, in order to render it indefensible in case of any future insurrection against the government and authority of the parliament. After these injunctions had been carried into effect, it was delivered into the possession of its legitimate proprietors, in whose descendants it still remains ; the Rt. Hon. Edward Herbert, Viscount Clive, eldest son of the Earl of Powis, being the present proprietor.

The town, which Leland describes as being, in the reign of Henry VIII., " the best market in Powys," still retains that character, in addition to which it may be justly regarded as the modern capital of the county. It is situated for the greater part in a hollow, which opens towards the river Severn, and extends up the acclivity of an eminence towards Powis park and castle : it consists of two towns, called respectively Pool town and Welsh town, but which are now so entirely united, as to form but one. It is large and populous, well lighted with gas, and consists of one long and wide street, intersected at right angles by another of similar character, and also by several streets of smaller extent, all well paved and amply supplied with water : the houses are handsomely built of brick, and with an unusual degree of regularity for this part of the country; and the whole has a cheerful and prepossessing appearance, having more the character of an English, than that of a Welsh, town. This impression, which strikes the stranger on his entrance, is strengthened both by the prevailing language and the manners of the inhabitants, the Welsh language being spoken by few, except such as come from the upper part of the country upon business. The flannel manufacture is carried on here, but upon a scale much inferior to its extent either at Llanidloes or Newtown; and it has long been the principal mart for the sale of the flannels made throughout the whole of the manufacturing district of North Wales, but some spirited efforts are now being made to remove this market to Newtown. A considerable trade is also carried on in malt, for the making of which there are several kilns in the. town and neighbourhood ; and there are likewise several tanneries upon a large scale. At the extremity of the town are some quarries of excellent stone, near which is a military depot for one thousand stand of arms. The river Severn is navigable to within a short distance of the town; and the Montgomeryshire canal, which passes close to it, joins the Ellesmere canal near Oswestry, affording a facility of communication with Shrewsbury and all parts of the kingdom. The market, which is amply supplied with provisions of every kind, is on Monday ; and fairs are held on the second Monday in March, April 17th, June 5th, the first Monday after the 10th of July, September 12th, and November 16th, for horses, cattle, and pedlery ; and on the day preceding each a fair is held for the sale of sheep and pigs : a fair is also held on the first Monday after the 20th of September, exclusively for the sale of butter and cheese. A great cattle market is held annually on the first Monday after St. Hilary, and also on the Monday before Christmas-day. The flannel market is held every alternate Thursday, in a spacious room appropriated to that purpose in the town-hall, and has hitherto been attended by numerous dealers and manufacturers from Llanidloes, Newtown, &c.: the average quantity sold at these markets is one thousand pieces, of which the finer sort generally measure about one hundred and twenty yards in length. Welshpool is supplied with coal from the north-western parts of Shropshire, by means of the Montgomeryshire canal ; and the river Severn commences its navigable course at only a short distance from the town, at a place called Pool-Stake.

The inhabitants received a charter of incorporation at a very early period, from the lords of Powys, who invested them with various privileges and immunities, which were subsequently confirmed by a charter granted by James I., in the 12th of his reign, and confirmed and enlarged by Charles II. The corporation, under this charter, consists of two bailiffs, and an indefinite number of aldermen and burgesses, with a high steward, recorder, town-clerk, coroner, two serjeants at mace, two yeomen, and other officers. The bailiffs are elected annually on Michaelmas day, by a jury of resident burgesses ; the high steward, who holds his office for life, is appointed by the lord of Powys, who also nominates the town-clerk : and the recorder is chosen by the bailiffs, aldermen, and burgesses : the bailiffs, on retiring from office, become aldermen. The coroner is appointed by the high steward and bailiffs ; and the serjeants at mace and yeomen, by the bailiffs for the time being. This was originally one of the contributory boroughs which, with Montgomery, returned one member to parliament under the statute of the 27th of Henry VIII. ; and the right of election, which was vested in the burgesses generally, continued to be exercised from that time till the year 1728, when the borough was disfranchised by a resolution of the House of Commons, which, however, being in direct opposition to a previous resolution of the House, by which, in 1680, the right was confirmed, the burgesses were empowered, by the act of the 28th of George III., to assert their right of voting for a member for Montgomery before any future committee of the House, and to enter an appeal against any future decision, within twelve calendar months ; but no measures were ever taken to regain the franchise. By the recent act to amend the representation, Welshpool has been restored to the exercise of the elective franchise, and is again made contributory with Llanidloes, Llanvyllin, Machynlleth, Montgomery, and Newtown, in returning a member. The right of election is now vested in every male person of full age occupying, either as owner or as tenant under the same landlord, a house or other premises of the annual value of not less than ten pounds, provided he be capable of registering as the act directs : the present number of such tenements within the electoral limits of the borough, which are less extensive than the ancient municipal boundary, and are minutely detailed in the Appendix, is about two hundred. The freedom of the borough is inherited by the sons of freemen, or acquired by election of the burgesses at large, subject to the approval of the high steward. The bailiffs, the high steward, and the recorder, are justices of the peace within the borough, and by charter have power to punish for all offences committed within its limits, in as ample a manner as the county magistrates, who have no concurrent jurisdiction. The exclusive jurisdiction of the borough extends over the entire parishes of Pool and Buttington; the whole townships of Gungrog Vechan, Trelydan, and Trevnant Vechan, with parts of those of Garth, Hendrehen, Llan, Trawscoed, Llanerchrochwell, Tyrymynach, and Varchwel, in the parish of Guilsfield ; the townships of Gaer, Sylvaen, Trev-Helyg, and Trevnant, with parts of those of Cwm and Castle, in the parish of Castle Caer Einion ; and the township of Brithdir, in the parish of Berriew. The corporation hold courts of quarter session for determining on all offences committed within the borough, the punishment for which does not extend to the loss of life or limb ; and a court of record every alternate Tuesday, in which the bailiffs preside, for the recovery of debts to any amount. The assizes for the county, and the petty sessions for the hundreds of Pool and Cawrse, are held in this town. The town-hall, erected at the expense of a few gentlemen residing within the vicinity of the town, to avoid increasing the county rate, which was previously overcharged, is a handsome and commodious building of brick, in the centre of the principal street, with a colonnade in front: the basement story is appropriated to the use of the corn market, with an ample space for the sale of various articles of merchandise, and a spacious court-room for holding the assizes, the borough sessions, and other courts : in the upper story there is a commodious and handsome room, originally sixty-two feet in length, twenty- five feet wide, and eighteen feet high, but which, in 1824, was enlarged for the holding of the Eisteddvod, and is now one hundred and two feet long, in which public meetings take place, the business of the corporation is transacted, and the flannel market is held, and in which also balls are occasionally given.

The living is a vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of St. Asaph, rated in the king's books at 13. 5.2 1/2., and in the patronage of the Bishop of St. Asaph. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, and, with the exception of the chancel and the tower, rebuilt in 1774, is a spacious and handsome structure, in the early style of English architecture, with a lofty square embattled tower, and consists of a nave, chancel, and north and south aisles : it was enlarged by the addition of galleries in 1824. The ceiling of the chancel is divided into compartments, embellished with rich carved work, and from the roof of the north aisle grows some pendant ivy, which has a very singular appearance. Among the communion plate there is a chalice of fine gold, containing one quart, and valued at 170: engraved on it is a Latin inscription, stating it to have been presented to the church of Pool, by Thomas Davies, Governor-General of the English Colonies on the western coast of Africa, in gratitude for the preservation of his life during his residence in that unhealthy clime. There is a gradual ascent from the flat part of the town to the church, which stands at the base of a loftier eminence ; so that the cemetery, which lies on the acclivity, is in some parts higher than the church itself, and commands a fine view of the town beneath. It has for some time been in contemplation to obtain additional  burial-ground for this town, and His Majesty's Commissioners have expressed their readiness to afford facilities for the accomplishment of so desirable an object. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists. A National school for children of both sexes was founded in 1821, and is supported by subscription : the building erected for this purpose, and situated at a short distance from the town, on the road to Newtown, is a handsome stone edifice, occupying three sides of a quadrangle, and consisting of two commodious and spacious school-rooms, with apartments for the master and the mistress : in these schools one hundred and forty boys, and one hundred and three girls, are at present gratuitously instructed. Richard Tudor,Esq., bequeathed . 100 for teaching ten poor boys, and Edward Parry, in 1770, also bequeathed 100 for teaching eight : the interest of both these sums is appropriated to the maintenance of a school in which these children are instructed ; and there is also another school, founded by Mr. Tudor, who bequeathed 40, the interest to be paid to a master or mistress for teaching ten younger children to read. The same gentleman also left 80, directing the produce to be appropriated to the apprenticing of one poor boy annually. An almshouse near the church was founded by the late H. P. Dorsett, Esq., who endowed it for eight poor women; and a dispensary has been established, which is well supported by subscription.

Powis Castle, the seat of Lord Clive, is a stately but irregular pile of building, of great extent, and venerable for its antiquity : it is pleasantly situated in a well-wooded park, at the distance of a mile from the town, on the right of the road leading to Montgomery, and occupies an elevated and commanding site on a ridge of rock overlooking a vast extent of richly diversified country, the greater part of which was formerly subject to its lords. It is built of red sandstone, from which circumstance it derived the appellation of Castell Coch, which it still retains among the Welsh. The damage it sustained during the parliamentary war has been amply repaired; and the whole has been fitted up in a style of grandeur. Considerable improvements have been made in its external appearance, under the auspices of its present proprietor, by removing the sash windows which had been inserted more than a century ago, and restoring others of the original form, more in conformity with the prevailing style of architecture, and by a considerable addition to the height of the tower on the north side. The entrance is by an ancient gateway, flanked by two massive circular towers, into an extensive paved area, round which the principal apartments are ranged. The ascent to these is by a magnificent staircase embellished with paintings by Lanscrome : the walls on each side are painted with mythological and allegorical subjects,. among which are representations of Neptune, Amphitrite, Apollo, and Venus, and emblematical personifications of Poetry, Painting, Music, the Fates, and other subjects : the ceiling is painted with the coronation of Queen Anne: In the lower part of the hall there is a painting of Aurora, and near it is a marble figure of Cybele, in a sitting posture, about three feet high, on a pedestal of marble, exquisitely sculptured, which was brought from Herculaneum; and on the upper landing of the staircase there is a beautiful statue of Apollo Belvidere. This staircase leads to a gallery, one hundred and seventeen feet in length, and twenty feet wide, in which are ranged the busts of the twelve Caesars, brought from Italy, two mosaic tables from Rome, and four small figures in marble, of very great antiquity. The walls of the gallery are of panelled oak, enriched with armorial bearings of different branches of the family; and the ceiling is an ancient relic of the elaborately ornamented style in plaister. One end of the gallery communicates with the state bed-room, which is preserved in the same order as when prepared for the reception of Charles I., who was expected to sleep here when on his route to Chester. The dining-room, saloon, and library, are all splendidly decorated, and contain some beautiful and valuable antiques, among which are some exquisite sculptures from the ruins of Herculaneum. The ceiling of the dining-room is highly embellished with painting, in which the daughters of William, second Marquis of Powys, are represented in various characters, and with appropriate attributes. In the saloon is a full-length portrait of Roger Palmer, Earl of Castlemain, in the costume of his day, and numerous family portraits by the best masters ; and in the library there is a manuscript history of the life of Lord Herbert. The ball-room, of the same dimensions as the gallery, was formerly connected with the main building by a portion of the castle, which was destroyed by fire, so that it is now detached from it : many of the original windows in that portion of the building are still remaining, though almost concealed by the ivy with which they are overspread. At the end of the ball-room is a billiard-room, the walls of which are ornamented with glass cases, containing an elegant variety of stuffed birds, and other curiosities. On the east side of the castle are terraces formed in the rock on which it is built, rising in succession above each other, and laid out in flower gardens, with green and hot-houses, containing a choice collection of rare and valuable plants. The lower terrace leads to a delightful walk, shaded with trees of every variety ; and from the north-east angle of the castle there is a terrace, which was most probably formed by the excavation of the rock for the stone with which the castle is built, commanding a fine view of the richly wooded vale of the Severn, with the town of Welshpool, beyond which are seen the Rallt and Moel y Golva, and the Breiddin hills, and an extensive tract of the surrounding country. The park, which is very extensive and richly wooded, lies on the acclivity of a hill, of which the summit is two miles distant from the castle, and from which, in clear weather, may be seen the mountains of Plinlimmon, Cader Idris, Snowdon, the Arans, the Arenigs, and various others. A winding road through it leads to the castle, which is frequently lost to the view of the spectator on his approach, and is seen emerging again from the luxuriant foliage by which it had been concealed. The park is ornamented with numerous rustic seats, and the walk through these delightfully varied grounds, which are open to the public, is a source of much enjoyment to the inhabitants of the town. Among the gentlemen's seat: in the neighbourhood is Llanerchydol, the seat of David Pugh, Esq., a modern castellated mansion of stone beautifully situated on the acclivity of a hill rising gradually from the town, from which is an ascent by winding road, commanding magnificent prospects : the grounds are tastefully laid out, and comprehend much varied and beautifully picturesque scenery.

At a short distance from the town was the ancient monastery of Monachlog Ystrad Marchell, or Strata Marcella, founded in 1170 by Owain Cyveiliog, son of Grufydd, for monks of the Cistercian order ; but, according to other authorities, by Madoc, another son, to whom Tanner attributes the refounding of it, though, by his charter, he appears only to have granted to it a portion of land on which to found a cell. In the early part of the reign of Edward III., the Welsh monks were removed to English monasteries, and English monks introduced into this establishment, which was made subject to the abbey of Buildwas. It flourished till the dissolution, at which time its revenue, according to Dugdale, was estimated at 64. 14. 2., and according to Speed, at 73.7.3.: there are no remains of the edifice, and the only memorial of it is preserved in the ancient site, which is still pointed out. At a short distance to the east of the town are the remains of an ancient British encampment, in a good state of preservation; and on the summit of the mound which it comprises are some stately elm trees. Dr. William Morgan was instituted vicar of this parish in 1575: he was afterwards removed to Llanrhaiadr yn Mochnant, whence he was preferred to the see of Llandaf, in 1595, from which he was translated in 1601 to that of St. Asaph, where he died in 1604. He had a principal share in the translation of the Welsh bible, which was printed in 1588: this edition, revised by Dr. Parry, Bishop of Asaph, in 1604, assisted by his chaplain, Dr. John Davies, and reprinted in 1620, is, with some slight variation, the version now in general use. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor in the entire parish of Welshpool is 1139. 5., of which amount, 299. 17. is defrayed by the Upper, 564. 5. by the Middle, and 299. 17. by the Lower, division, and the remaining 30. 3. by the township of Cyfronnydd.

 

Cyvronnydd

CYVRONNYDD (CYFRONYDD), a township forming a detached part of the parish and liberties of WELSHPOOL, upper division of the hundred of CAWRSE, county of MONTGOMERY, NORTH WALES, 5 miles (N. W.) from Welshpool, containing 56 inhabitants. This place is situated on the road from Welshpool to Llanvair, on the banks of the river Banw, which empties itself into the Vyrnwy a little beyond Mathraval, nearly four miles to the north. Cyvronnydd Hall, the property and residence of P. Jones, Esq., is delightfully situated amidst thriving plantations, upon the declivity of a hill, the summit of which embraces a pleasing prospect of the beauties of the vale, through which winds the Banw, and the adjacent country, including the hills of Merionethshire. There are remains of fortifications on this and several of the hills in the vicinity. This township is separately assessed for the maintenance of its own poor, the average annual expenditure amounting to 30. 3.

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