MARY'S (ST.), otherwise MAENCLOCHOG (MAEN-CLOCHOG), a parish comprising the hamlets of MAENCLOCHOG and VORLAN, each of which maintains its own poor, the former in the hundred of KEMMES, and the latter in that of DUNGLEDDY, county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, and containing 466 inhabitants, of which number, 427 are in the hamlet of St. Mary's, or Maenclochog, 10 miles (N. by W.) from Narberth. This place derives its name "Maen-clochog" from a large stone, several tons in weight, so nicely poised upon three small upright stones, as to vibrate on the slightest touch, and, upon its being struck, to sound like a bell. This curious relic was destroyed by some of the inhabitants, who, induced by the vain expectation of finding some hidden treasure, blew it up with gunpowder. The parish, which is situated in a mountainous district, comprises a considerable extent of land, the greater portion of which is unenclosed and uncultivated. Part of the Precelly mountain, which is the highest in South Wales, is within its limits: the ancient Welsh name of this mountain is Preswylva, signifying "a place of residence," and is derived from its having been the resort of the natives, as a place of security, in the intestine wars by which this part of the principality was agitated during the earlier periods of its history. This mountain was anciently well clothed with forest timber, affording shelter to such as took refuge in its recesses, but now presents a bare and sterile aspect, dreary in its appearance, and exhibiting some small vestiges of ancient encampments, which were probably those constructed by the natives. The village, which is of considerable size, occupies the summit of a bleak and barren eminence; and the inhabitants, with the exception of such as are employed in agriculture, are engaged in working some quarries of slate of good quality, which is found in the parish. Fairs are annually held on March 10th, May 22nd, August 5th, and the first Monday after the 29th of October; they are large cattle fairs, and are in general well attended. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of St.David's, endowed with £400 royal bounty, and £400 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of Hugh Webb Bowen, Esq. The chapels of Llandilo and Llangolman were formerly chapels of ease attached to the vicarage, but they have been endowed, and subsequently augmented with Queen Anne's bounty, and are now perpetual curacies, the two districts having been erected into distinct parishes. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, and situated in the centre of the village, is a neat edifice, rebuilt by subscription within the last forty years. A schoolroom has been erected in the churchyard, and is now occupied by one of Mrs. Bevan's circulating charity schools, for the gratuitous instruction of poor children. St. Mary's well, in this parish, is stated to afford relief to such as are afflicted with rheumatism. The poor are maintained by an average annual expenditure amounting to £65. 17., of which sum, £63. 7. are assessed on the hamlet of Maenclochog.
Gareth Hicks, 30 Dec 1999
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