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National Gazetteer, 1868

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]
"CEFNLLYS, (or Kevenleece), a parish and nominal borough, in the hundred of Cefnllys, in the county of Radnor, 8 miles S.E. of Rhayader, on the river Ithon. It contains Trefonnon, Cwmbreeth, and Trelegoed. This is a polling place, and a contributory borough to New Radnor, nominally governed by a bailiff, recorder, and burgesses. Here are ruins of Castell Glyn Ithon, which was erected in the 13th century by Ralph Mortimer. The living is a rectory in the diocese of St. David's, value 135, in the patronage of the bishop. The church is dedicated to St. Michael. The charities produce 22 per annum."

"CWMBREETH, a township in the parish of Cefnllys, in the county of Radnor, 7 miles W. of Radnor."

"TREFONNEN, a township in the parish of Cefnllys, county Radnor, 8 miles W. of New Radnor."

"TRELEGOED, a township in the parish of Cefnllys, county Radnor, 8 miles W. of New Radnor."

[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

KEVENLLEECE (CEVN-LLYS), a parish and contributory borough, in the hundred of KEVENLLEECE, county of RADNOR, SOUTH WALES, on the road from Newtown to Builth, 1 1/2 mile (S. W. by S.) from Pen y bont, containing 367 inhabitants. This place, the name of which signifies the "palace ridge," or "hill," is of considerable antiquity, and consists of the borough and the out-parish.

A castle of considerable extent and great strength was erected here, about the year 1242, by Ralph Mortimer, which is sometimes called " Castell Glyn Ithon," from its occupying an elevated and commanding site on the banks of the Ithon, by which it was nearly surrounded : the ruins form an interesting object amid the surrounding scenery. The parish is extremely hilly, and, being for the most part, destitute of wood, is in general of dreary aspect : the tops of some of the hills, however, command prospects of striking interest. Lead-ore and coal are supposed to exist within its limits, but all attempts to procure these minerals have proved fruitless.

Kevenlleece is a borough by prescription, and probably owes that distinction to the existence of its ancient castle : the corporation consists of a bailiff, recorder, and burgesses, chosen at the court-leet of the lord of the manor, none of whom exercise magisterial authority. The borough includes within its limits, which were not altered by the Boundary Act recently passed, about one-fifth of the parish, extending about two miles from east to west, and half a mile from north to south. It contributes with Radnor, Rhaiadr, Cnwclas, Knighton, and, by the late act for amending the representation of the people, Presteign, in sending a member to parliament : the right of voting was formerly in the burgesses at large, nearly two hundred in number, of whom only fifteen are at present resident within the borough, but is now vested, by the late act, in the resident burgesses only, if duly qualified according to its provisions, and 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 at least ten pounds, provided he be capable of registering as the act demands : the present number of houses in the borough, of this value, is only three. It has also been made, by the late Reform Act, a polling-place in the election of a knight for the shire.

The living is a rectory, in the archdeaconry of Brecknock, and diocese of St. David's, rated in the king's books at 8. 19. 4 1/2., and in the patronage of the Bishop of St. David's. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is romantically situated on a precipitous knoll, embosomed amid higher hills, and is somewhat difficult of access in winter : it consists of a nave and chancel, with a low tower covered with a shelving roof. There is a place of worship for Independents, endowed with a farm in the parish of Llansantfraid, called Craigieuan, bequeathed by a lady named Jones, and now producing 25 per annum. Thomas Palmer, in 1712, and the Rev. Hugh Powell, in 1713, bequeathed portions of land for the relief of poor housekeepers not receiving parochial aid. The Rev. Mr. Lewis, presumed to have been a former rector, left a sum of money, to be invested in land, which, with a subsequent donation, also vested in land, now produces 25 per annum, which sum is distributed among decayed farmers of the parish. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor is 207.

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