LLANELWETH (LLAN-ELWEDD), a parish in the hundred of COLWYN, county of RADNOR, SOUTH WALES, nearly 1 mile (N. E.) from Builth, containing 182 inhabitants. This parish is pleasantly situated on the river Wye, by which it is separated on the south and south-west from the parish of Builth, in the county of Brecknock, and is intersected by the turnpike road from that place to Newtown in Montgomeryshire, from which, soon after it enters this parish, branches a road up the eastern bank of the Wye to Rhaiadr. The surface is generally undulating, with some abrupt eminences of considerable elevation : the lands, with the exception of some elevated commons and a small rocky district, are enclosed and in an excellent state of cultivation. The surrounding scenery is pleasingly varied ; and the views from the higher grounds, and especially from the rocks beyond Wellfield, are extensive and extremely rich. In the neighbourhood are a few gentlemen's seats. Llanelweth Hall, the ancient residence of the Gwynnes of Garth, in the county of Brecknock, (of which family was Marmaduke Gwynne, a judge on the North Wales circuit, who died in 1712,) has been deserted by its proprietor, and is now in the occupation of a tenant. Wellfield House, erected in 1787, by David Thomas, Esq., of London, descended from a branch of the family of Thomas of Llwyn Madoc, in the county of Brecknock, and now the property of his nephew, Edward Thomas, Esq., is a spacious and handsome mansion, with a portico of the Tuscan order, finely situated on a lofty eminence, and embosomed in flourishing plantations; forming a prominent and pleasing object from every point of view, and strikingly contrasting with the rugged barrenness of some of the surrounding heights. The grounds are pleasingly ornamented with shubberies and walks, and command an extensive and richly varied prospect, embracing a fine view of the rivers Wye and Irvon winding through their respective vales, with the town of Builth and the adjacent country. From the summit of an eminence on this estate is one of the most extensive and magnificent panoramic views in any part of the principality it comprehends a circle of more than twelve miles in the radius, entirely enclosed with lofty hills, and embraces a vast number of interesting objects, and a rich variety of beautiful and picturesque scenery. To the east are the Black Mountains, of dreary and rugged appearance, with the acclivities of others of more softened aspect ; and to the west are the mountains of Tregarn and Garn Wen, the former said to be the highest ridge, next to the Beacons, in this part of South Wales, and the latter remarkable for its conical form, and the cairn which crowns its summit. About a mile to the north of Wellfield is Penkerrig House, formerly the seat of the family of Jones, and now, by marriage with the heiress of that family, the property of Thomas Thomas, Esq., of Ystrad, near Caerphilly, in Glamorganshire : the house has been recently enlarged and partly rebuilt, and embellished with a new front in the Elizabethan style : it is pleasingly ornamented with a rich plantation of evergreens, and is sheltered in the rear by a hill of considerable elevation, covered with stately timber. In the grounds, which are laid out with great taste, is a fine sheet of water, covering about six acres ; and the view from the house, though not extensive, is picturesque.
This parish constitutes a prebend in the collegiate church of Brecknock, rated in the king's books at £ 6. 10., and in the patronage of the Bishop of St. David's. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the arch-deaconry of Brecknock, and diocese of St. David's, endowed with £ 800 royal bounty, and in the patronage of Edward David Thomas, Esq., as lessee of the tithes under the prebendary of Llanelweth. The church, dedicated to St. Matthew, a small edifice not distinguished by any remarkable architectural details, is situated on an eminence near the high road, and on the bank of the river Wye. Lady Hartstrye, Hartstrong, or Harts-tongue, bequeathed a small farm in the parish of St. Harmon, in this county, now producing £ 16. 12. per. annum, for the gratuitous education of poor children of this parish : from this fund is supported a small charity school, which is now held in a room hired for that purpose, but for which it is intended to erect a suitable building by subscription. One poor child is annually apprenticed from the funds of the Boughrood charity, this being one of the sixteen parishes which are entitled to partake of that benefaction. On the summit of the eminence near Wellfield House are the imperfect remains of a semi circular intrenchment, once defended by a rampart of loose stones, and to which a walk has been constructed from the grounds of that seat ; and on the confines of this parish and of that of Disserth, where the desperate battle between Rhys ab Tewdwr and the three sons of Bleddyn ab Cynvyn is supposed by some to have been fought, may be seen, from this eminence, the square moat of Cwrt Llechryd, so called, perhaps, from a monument erected there to the memory of Riryd ab Bleddyn, who was slain in that battle. At a short distance is a tumulus, called by the Welsh " Castell," of which nothing historical is with certainty known : by some it is supposed to have been surmounted by an arx speculatoria, and by others to be only sepulchral. There are also some remains of, a fortification on the hill behind Penkerrig House, but they are in a very imperfect state. On the farm belonging to the Wellfield estate are two remarkable quarries ; in one is obtained a kind of transitional clay slate, which displays some curious marine impressions of a species of the Trilobite : the other produces a hard kind of clay, or stone, perforated with small holes emitting a fine black powder : the external appearance of the substance indicates the action of fire, and in the clay are found some fine specimens of crystals, some of them very beautiful and perfect. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor is £ 83. 16 .