"LLANBEDR PAINSCASTLE, a parish in the hundred of Painscastle, county Radnor, 6 miles N.W. of Hay, its post town. It is situated on the river Bachwy, a tributary of the Wye. A castle was built here by the De Paines, which afterwards came to the Mortimers; there- are still some traces of the keep and moat. Here is a lake of about a mile in circumference. The village is a small rustic hamlet, but was once a market town, and is still a polling place for the county elections. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of St. David's, value £68, in the patronage of the bishop. The church is dedicated to St. Peter. Fairs are held on the 12th May, 22nd September, and 15th December for horses and live stock."
The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]
LLANBEDR - PAINSCASTLE (LLAN-BEDR-PAIN'S-CASTLE), a parish in the hundred of PAINSCASTLE, county of RADNOR, SOUTH WALES, 6 1/2 miles (N. W. by W.) from Hay, containing 356 inhabitants. This parish derives the distinguishing adjunct to its name from a fortress called Pain's Castle, anciently situated within its limits, and said to have been built by a Norman baron named De Paine, who obtained possession of the hundred of Lower Elvael about the time that Bernard Newmarch wrested the principality of Brycheiniog from Bleddyn ab Maenarch, whom he defeated and slew. It occupied the summit of a steep eminence, on which a strong rampart or military station had previously been constructed by the Welsh, called Caer yn Elvael, which name was, on the erection of the castle, changed for Pain's Castle, or Elvael Castle. A village was also built by De Paine at the foot of the eminence on which the castle stood, which was inhabited by the dependants and vassals of the feudal baron, and which subsequently rose into considerable importance, and received the grant of a market. On the death of De Paine, this castle, which, on account of its importance, had given name to the hundred, passed, with the territories belonging to it, to the Mortimers, and from them to William De Breos, or De Bruce. About the end of the twelfth century it was taken from this powerful Norman baron by Rhys ab Grufydd, soon after his capture of Radnor castle. Of this strong fortress there are now no remains, except the moat which surrounded the site ; and the town of Painscastle, participating in its fate, has dwindled into an insignificant village. The parish, comprising about four thousand acres, is separated from that of Llanddewi-Vach by the small river Bachwy, which falls into the Wye above Boughrood, nearly opposite to the influx of the Clettwr, on the Brecknockshire side. It contains a fine sheet of water, about a mile in circumference, called Boughlyn Pool. The lands are in some parts hilly, in others flat, but no where subject to inundation ; and the soil, though gravelly, is by no means unfertile. Fairs for horses, sheep, and horned cattle, are held annually on May 12th, September 22nd, and December 15th, in the township of Painscastle, the market at which, however, has been for some time discontinued : the petty sessions for the hundred are occasionally held here. This parish, with that of Boughrood, constitutes the prebend of Llanbedr-Painscastle, or Boughrood, in the collegiate church of Brecknock, rated in the king's books at only 13s. 4d., and in the patronage of the Bishop of St. David's. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry of Brecknock, and diocese of St. David's, endowed with £ 600 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Prebendary : about fifty acres of glebe land belonging to it are situated in the adjacent parish of Llandeilo-Graban. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, from which circumstance the name of the place is derived, is an ancient edifice, consisting of a nave and chancel, but presenting no remarkable architectural features. There is a place of worship for Primitive Methodists. The average annual expenditure for the maintenance of the poor is £ 258. 9.
PAINSCASTLE (PAIN'S CASTLE), a township and small village, in the parish of LLANBEDR-PAINSCASTLE, hundred of PAINSCASTLE, county of RADNOR, SOUTH WALES, 6 miles (N. W. by W.) from Hay. The population is included in the return for the parish. It is situated in a vale near the northern bank of the Bachwy stream, which nearly encircles the village, and was formerly of much greater importance than it is at present, having had a castle and a market, but the former no longer exists, and the latter has been discontinued : fairs continue to be held on May 12th, September 22nd, and December 15th, for horned cattle, sheep, and horses. Under the recent act to amend the representation, this is constituted a polling-place for the election of the knight of the shire; and the petty sessions for the hundred are sometimes held here. For an historical notice of the castle, which was once so considerable as to give name both to the village and the hundred, but of which the only vestige is the moat that surrounds the site, near the north-western extremity of the village, see the article on LLANBEDR-PAINSCASTLE.
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