"KNIGHTON, a parish, market town, and parliamentary borough, in the hundred of the same name, county Radnor, 9 miles E. of New Radnor, and 13 from the Craven Arms station on the Shrewsbury and Hereford railway, from which there is a branch line to Knighton. It was anciently called Tref-y-clawdd, or "the town on the dyke", in allusion to Offa's Dyke, which passes through the town. It is a crown manor, and includes the township of Cwmgilla and the lordship of Farrington. The town, which is clean and well built, consists chiefly of two streets. It is situated on rising ground overlooking the right bank of the river Terns, which flows between the counties of Radnor and Salop.
It contains a bank, union poorhouse, &c. It is governed by a bailiff, burgesses, and constables; and is a contributory borough to Radnor, with the old limits. Petty sessions are held in the town, which is a polling-place for the county elections. Some of the inhabitants are engaged in the woollen trade. It is the seat of a Poor-law Union, and of a superintendent registry, but is included within the Presteign new County Court district.
The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Hereford, value £155. The church is dedicated to St. Edward. There are schools and almshouses. The parochial charities produce about £5 per annum. The principal residence is Knighton House. There are no remains of the old castle, but several military works, particularly Caer Caradoc, about 3 miles to the N., said to have been defended by Caractacus against the Romans under Ostorius; and Coxwall, about 5 miles to the E. of the town, on the summit of which are vestiges of an ancient fortress, also two barrows. Market day is Thursday. Fairs are held on the Thursday before Easter Sunday, the 17th May, the 2nd October, the last Thursday in October, and the Thursday preceding the 12th November. The races take place in June."
"CWMGILLA, a township in the parish of Knighton, in the county of Radnor, 3 miles S.W. of Knighton. It is situated near the river Teme."
"FARRINGTON, a lordship in the parish of Knighton, county Radnor, 9 miles N.E. of Radnor. It is situated within a short distance of the town of Knighton, near the river Teme."
The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]
KNIGHTON, a borough, market town, and parish, in the hundred of KNIGHTON, county of RADNOR, SOUTH WALES, 9 3/4 miles (N. E. by N.) from New Radnor, and 158 (W. N. W.) from London, containing 1259 inhabitants. The Welsh name of this place is Trev y Clawdd, signifying " the town upon the dyke," and is derived from its situation on that stupendous rampart of earth which Offa King of the Mercians raised as a line of separation between the territories of the Cambrian princes and his own widely extended dominions. The town is beautifully situated on an eminence rising boldly from the southern bank of the river Teme, and at the head of a deep vale sheltered on all sides by surrounding hills of lofty elevation, crowned with timber of luxuriant growth, and commanding extensive and finely varied prospects over the surrounding country. The two principal streets, which intersect each other at right angles, are regularly formed, and contain some well-built houses of respectable appearance ; and, owing to the declivity of their situation, they are constantly clean, adding much to the neat appearance of the place, which is inhabited by many families of respectability. The parish has almost every where an undulating surface ; but the lands, notwithstanding the loftiness of their elevation in some parts, are mostly enclosed and cultivated.
There are neither manufactures nor trade carried on in the town, with the exception only of what arises from its situation on a public thoroughfare, and for the supply of its inhabitants. The turnpike roads from Builth, in the county of Brecknock, and from Kington, in that of Hereford, through Presteign, after uniting within two miles and a half to the south of this town, form the high road from those places, through Knighton, to Shrewsbury. An establishment for dressing and dyeing the wool which the peasants spun in their own houses was formerly carried on, but, together with the spinning, has been discontinued, it having been found cheaper to get the wool from Yorkshire. Flannels and whittles (a Flemish term for shawls) are brought hither from Newtown in Montgomeryshire. A large wool-stapling establishment formerly existed, which failed in 1811 ; there is still a little business done in this branch of trade, but several large warehouses, which were formerly used for it, have either been converted into dwelling-houses, or are altogether unemployed.
The market, which is on Thursday, is plentifully supplied with provisions, and is attended by dealers even from Birmingham and its vicinity, who come hither to purchase meat, poultry, eggs, butter, cheese, &c. Fairs are held annually on the Thursday before Easter, May 17th, October 2nd, the last Thursday in October, and the Thursday before November 12th.
The parish is divided into three parts, namely, the borough, the lordship of Farrington, and the township of Cwmgilla : the poor rates are collected separately for the borough, and jointly for Farrington and Cwmgilla; and the poor of the whole parish are maintained generally out of the common fund. The borough is co-extensive with the manor, its common title being "The Manor and Borough of Knighton." It is under the superintendence of a bailiff, burgesses, and constables : the bailiff is appointed annually at the court leet held for the manor, which belongs to the crown; his duty extends to little more than collecting the chief-rents of the manor, and receiving in trust, as chief municipal officer, the tolls of the market : the burgesses, are made by a presentation of a jury of burgesses, selected by the steward of the manor. Knighton, together with Cnwclas, Kevenlleece, Rhaiadr, and (by the late act for amending the representation of the people) Presteign, contributes, with the borough of Radnor, to send one representative to parliament : the right of election was formerly in the burgesses at large, in number about thirty, nearly all of whom are resident, though some doubt exists as to the title of all but three or four : it is now, by the late act, vested in the resident burgesses, 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 ten pounds and upwards, provided he be capable of registering as the act directs : the number of tenements of this value is eighty-six. A court for the recovery of small debts was anciently held here, once in three weeks, which, having been discontinued for several years, was revived eight or nine years ago, but was again discontinued in 1830, in consequence of the death of the presiding officer. The petty sessions for the hundred are held here ; and Knighton has been made, by the late Reform Act, one of the polling-places in the election of a knight for the shire.
The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry of Salop, and diocese of Hereford, endowed with £ 600 private benefaction, £ 600 royal bounty, and £ 600 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Warden of the Hospital Of Clun. The church, which is dedicated to St. Edward, and pleasantly situated on the bank of the river Teme, is a comparatively modern edifice.
A small school for the gratuitous instruction of poor children, to which Mrs. Barnsley bequeathed £50, and Mr. Thomas Meyrick and Lieutenant-Colonel Winwood each gave a portion of land, is supported partly by the income arising from these benefactions, and partly by subscription. There are six small almshouses for the poor, the founder of which is unknown, and several charitable donations and bequests for distribution.
Of an ancient castle, which is said to have commanded the town, there are not the slightest vestiges, neither can the exact site be accurately pointed out. There are two tumuli in the parish ; and on the summit of a steep hill, about three miles from the town, are the remains of a very extensive British camp. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor is £320. 6.
CWMGILLA (CWM-GELLAU), a township in the parish and hundred of KNIGHTON, county of RADNOR, SOUTH WALES, 1 mile (S. W.) from Knighton, containing, with the lordship of Farrington, 183 inhabitants. The name signifies the hazel valley, which is descriptive of its situation in a small vale, intersected by a stream, which falls into the Teme at Knighton. A part of the township is included within the boundaries of the borough of Knighton. There are two small tumuli of which no satisfactory account can be obtained.
FARRINGTON, a lordship in the parish, and partly within the borough and partly in the hundred of KNIGHTON, county of RADNOR, SOUTH WALES, 1 1/2 mile (S. E.) from Knighton. The population is returned with the township of Cwmgilla. It is situated between the roads which branch off from Knighton to Ludlow and Presteign, and comprises a district on the southern bank of the river Teme, lying between the counties of Salop and Hereford. Offa's Dyke passes on the west between it and the township of Cwmgilla.
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