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ST DOGMAELS

From

From Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Wales (1833)

DOGMAEL'S, ST. (ST. DOGVAEL'S), a parish in the hundred of KEMMES, county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, 1 Mile (W.) from Cardigan, containing 2109 inhabitants. This place is of considerable antiquity, and is connected with some events of importance during the earlier periods of the history of the principality. In 987, the Danes, who had effected a landing on this part of the coast, after ravaging and laying waste the surrounding country, plundered and burnt the church of this place. In the reign of William Rufus, Llewelyn and Einon, sons of Cadivor ab Collwyn, and Einon ab Collwyn, their uncle, formed a conspiracy against Rhys ab Tewdwr, Prince of South Wales; and having prevailed upon Grufydd ab Meredydd, another nobleman of that country, to join them, advanced with their united forces to St. Dogmael's, where Rhys at that time resided, hoping to attack him by surprise. But Rhys was fully prepared for the encounter, and a severe and well-contested battle took place near the village, in which, after much slaughter on both sides, the confederates were totally defeated. Llewelyn and Einon were both killed in the engagement, and Grufydd ab Meredydd was taken prisoner after the battle and beheaded, as a traitor to his country. Einon ab Collwyn, the only leader who escaped, fled for refuge to lestyn ab Gwrgan, lord of Morganwg, who was at that time at enmity with Rhys; and, suggesting to him the fatal expedient of having recourse to Norman auxiliaries, introduced into that part of the country a power which afterwards displayed itself in violent acts of aggression, and in the rapacious seizure of territory, by finally depriving lestyn of his dominions, which were distributed among the Norman knights. A monastery of the order of Tirone was begun here by Martin de Tours, who forcibly obtained possession of the district of Kemmes, in the reign of William the Conqueror, and was completed by his son, Robert Fitz-Martin, in the reign of Henry I., and dedicated to St. Mary: its revenue, at the time of the dissolution, was estimated at £96. 0. 2., at which period it was granted to John Bradshaw, who lies buried beneath the chancel, under a tombstone bearing the following inscription:- "Hic jacet Johannes Bradshaw, Armiger, qui obiit ultimo die Maii, A. D. 1588": of this family was Bradshaw, who presided at the trial of Charles I. The buildings, which were in the early style of English architecture, appear to have been substantial and on a considerable scale: the remains consist of part of the choir and transept of the church, and the refectory, which has been converted into a barn. The village is pleasantly situated on the banks of the river Teivy, and is intersected by a small rivulet, across which, and serving as a foot bridge, was a Roman monumental stone, about five feet and a half in length, bearing the inscription "ACRANI FILI:CVNOTAMI:" it has, however, been removed, and is now placed in the corner of a wall near the church. The surrounding scenery is pleasant, and in some instances picturesque and the view, embracing the course of the river Teivy from its influx into the sea, with the town of Cardigan and its ancient bridge, is exceedingly interesting. The lands are all enclosed and in a good state of cultivation, and the soil is fertile and productive. A salmon fishery is advantageously carried on during the summer, and a herring fishery in the autumn and winter, affording employment to such of the inhabitants as are not engaged in agricultural pursuits. A small portion of the town of Cardigan, called Bridge-End, which has been very recently built, extends into the hamlet of Bridge-End, in this parish, and has, by the late Boundary Act, been included within the enlarged limits of that borough: one of the Cardigan fairs is held here, and the principal proprietor intends to erect some more new houses along the banks of the river and up the road. The living is a discharged vicarage, with those of Llantyd and Monington annexed, in the archdeaconry of Cardigan, and diocese of St. David's, rated in the king's books at £4. 13. 4., endowed with £200 private benefaction, and £600 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the King, as Prince of Wales. The church is dedicated to St. Thomas. There are places of worship for Baptists and Independents. A Sunday school, which is said to be the oldest in the principality, is supported by subscription. The sum of £2 per annum, chargeable on the farm of Rhôs y Moeliaid, and some other trifling donations, are annually distributed among the poor. There is a strong chalybeate spring in the parish. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor is £601. 17.

Gareth Hicks, 23 Dec 1999

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