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LLANWNDA

From

From Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Wales (1833)

LLANWNDA (LLAN-WYNDAV), a parish in the hundred of DEWISLAND, county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, 2 1/2 miles (N. W.) from Fishguard, containing 1046 inhabitants. This place appears to be of very remote antiquity, and the adjoining district is supposed to have been a favourite resort of the ancient Druids. That there was a principal station for the solemnization of their rites is plainly indicated by the number of Druidical. remains that are scattered over the parish and throughout the vicinity, and also from various adjacent spots which still retain the names "Llan Druidion," "Fynnon Druidion," and others of similar import and origin. Near Fynnon Druidion were found five instruments of flint, supposed to have been used in flaying the victims devoted to sacrifice; and in the vale below is a circular earthwork, marked out by a solitary erect stone, probably to defend the pass of a small stream by which it is skirted, and perhaps also to protect the avenue to the consecrated region. According to tradition, an ancient town called Trêv Culhwch is said to have existed here at a very early period, of which evidence is frequently obtained in the foundations of ancient buildings which still obstruct the plough in various parts of the farm on which it is situated. About the year 1076, Trehaern ab Caradoc, Prince of North Wales, led his forces into South Wales, for the purpose of subjecting this country to his dominion, and at PwIhgwttic was boldly encountered by Rhys ab Owain, the reigning prince, with all the forces he could levy: here, after a long and sanguinary conflict, Rhys was at length defeated, with the loss of most of his army, and being himself closely pursued by the victor, he was at length taken prisoner with his brother Howel, and both were put to death by  Trehaern in revenge for the murder of Bleddyn ab Cynvyn, which they had previously committed. The French effected a landing on this part of the coast in the year 1797, and, after plundering the inhabitants for some time, the soldiers becoming insubordinate through excess, their commander found it necessary to make an unconditional surrender to the local forces brought against him by Earl Cawdor. The parish is pleasantly situated in the north-western part of the county, and is bounded on the north by St. George's channel, and on the east by Fishguard bay, forming a promontory with a bold and precipitous shore, and indented by several small bays, the soundings within half a mile of the coast being from seven to twenty fathoms. The surrounding scenery is diversified with features of romantic grandeur; and the views from the higher grounds embrace extensive prospects over the channel and the adjacent country, which abounds with objects of interest. Off the north-western coast, in Garregonnen bay, are two small islets of a similar name. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of St. David's, rated in the king's books at £3. 5. 2 1/2., endowed with £600 royal bounty, and £400 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Precentor and Canons in the cathedral church of St. David's, to whom the rectorial tithes are appropriated. The church, dedicated to St. Gwyndav, is not distinguished by any architectural features of importance. There are places of worship for Baptists and Calvinistic Methodists. William Hugh, in 1778, bequeathed £20 to the poor not receiving parochial relief. A strong chain of well-connected forts, extending in a direction from east to west throughout the whole length of the parish, is said to be of British origin: that on Garn vawr rock comprises an extensive area, enclosed by strong ramparts of uncemented stones, on the most accessible parts, flanked with portions of the rock which project in the form of natural bastions. On the summit of the hill above Goodwick pier is a rocking-stone, weighing about five tons, and so nicely poised as to yield to the slightest pressure. A little beyond it are three remarkable cromlechs in a right line, of which two have been overturned, but one still preserves its original position. Another cromlech stands on the ledge of rock just above the village, the table stone of which is fifteen feet in length, nine feet in width, and of an average thickness of two feet; and to the west of the site of the ancient town of Trêv Culhwch are the majestic remains of several cromlechs, of which one, more perfect than the rest, has a table stone fifteen feet long, eight feet wide, and two feet and a half in thickness. On opening a cairn, in 1826, for the purpose of widening a road near the sea, in this parish was found a brass instrument, about nine inches long, with a circular ring at one end, and a flat triangle at the other, and pierced with two round holes in the neck which connected these together; it is now in the possession of D.O. Lewis, Esq., of Swansea, but no satisfactory conjecture has been offered as to the use to which it was applied. Near Trêv Asser, in this parish, is a tumulus surrounded with a moat, which, on being opened some years since, was found to contain fragments of urns, and other indications of its having been a place of sepulture. Trêv Asser is said to have been the birthplace of Asser, the friend and biographer of Alfred the Great. The celebrated Archdeacon Giraldus Cambrensis, who attended Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury, while preaching the crusades throughout the principality, and is better known for his literary works and numerous ecclesiastical appointments, was for some time incumbent of this parish. The poor are supported by an average annual expenditure amounting to £382. 7.

Gareth Hicks, 30 Dec 1999

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