CWM-TOYDDWR (CWM-DAUDDWR), otherwise LLANSANTFRAID CWM-TOYDDWR, a parish in the hundred of RHAIADR, county of RADNOR, SOUTH WALES, 1/4 of a mile (W. S. W.) from Rhaiadr, containing 867 inhabitants. The name of this place, signifying " the dingle of the two rivers," or " the church of St. Bridget in the dingle of the two rivers," is derived from that of the saint to whom the church is dedicated, and its situation near the confluence of the rivers Wye and Elain, which unite towards the southern extremity of the parish. From this latter circumstance some etymologists have supposed the name to have been originally Cymmer Dau Ddwr, signifying " the junction of two rivers," from which they derive its present appellation.
The parish, which is pleasantly situated on the western side of the river Wye, by which it is separated from the town of Rhaiadr, extends nearly ten miles in length, and in the central part is nearly five miles in breadth : of the whole of this extensive tract, a very inconsiderable portion only is under cultivation ; the remainder, being chiefly mountainous, affords excellent pasturage to numerous flocks of sheep and herds of cattle, which are reared for the English markets. The scenery in some parts of it is extremely wild, and in others highly picturesque : the higher grounds afford some pleasingly varied and interesting prospects, and some of the loftiest hills command a fine view, extending to the Brecknockshire Beacons, and the mountains of Plinlimmon and Cader Idris.
In the vale of the Elain are the Cwm Elain lead mines, discovered in 1796, which have been for some time discontinued ; and in other parts of the parish there are some quarries of good slate. The veins of the lead mine run from north-east to south-west ; their sides are but imperfectly indurated ; and the ore is of the species called galena, contained, with blende, or sulphate of zinc, quartz, &c., in a mixed matrix of quartz and grey mountain rock. The woollen manufacture is carried on upon a very limited scale, affording employment to a small number of persons ; and the high road from Rhaiadr to Aberystwith, passing through the parish, gives a facility of intercourse with the neighbouring places.
The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Brecknock, and diocese of St. David's, endowed with £200 royal bounty, and £400 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Bishop of St. David's. The vicar receives one-half of the tithes of the parish, with the exception only of the hamlet called the Grange, of which he receives only one-third : the remainder belongs to the impropriator. The church, dedicated to St. Bridget, and rebuilt in 1778, is a neat and well-constructed edifice of stone : it is well pewed and ceiled, and has a good gallery. At Nant Wyllt, about four miles from the mother church, is a small but well-built chapel of ease, erected in the year 1772.
The Rev. Charles Price, Vicar of Llanarth, in the county of Cardigan, in 1719, bequeathed, in trust to the vicar of this parish and the vicar of Nantmel, a house and lands called Llawr y Ilan, in this parish, directing the produce to be appropriated to the instruction of poor children, and for the preaching of five divinity lecture sermons, in the parish church of this place, on the first Sunday in May, and in the four following months : the school is kept at Rhaiadr, and six boys of this parish are gratuitously instructed in it, in consideration of this bequest. A house called Troed Rhiw, with a few acres of land attached to it, was bequeathed, about a century and a half ago, by John Davies, for the reception of lame, blind, maimed, and infirm poor of this parish : the land now produces
£ 13 per annum, which income, increased by the annual sum of £4, the interest of a sum of money produced by a sale of timber on the estate, is divided among the inmates. Jeremiah Powell charged a farm in this parish with the annual payment of £2 to the poor.
There are some remains of a military post within the parish, on the bank of the Wye, nearly opposite to the site of Rhaiadr castle, with which it is said to have had a communication by a subterraneous passage under the bed of the river : part of this intrenchment was demolished in 1830; but an artificial mound is still remaining near the lines, which, at some remote period, was probably the site of the keep of a castle. Vestiges of two ancient chapels are still visible, called respectively Capel Madoc and Aber Henllau : they are supposed to be of more ancient foundation than the original parish church, and, from their being respectively situated in the two hamlets into which the parish is divided, to have been, previously to the erection of the church, the only places of worship in the parish. The name of a neighbouring farm, called Coed y Mynach, or "the monks' wood," has led to an opinion that there was anciently a monastery at this place ; but no satisfactory account of any religious establishment of that kind can now be obtained; and it is more probable that the farm was an appendage to the abbey of Strata Florida, in the adjacent county of Cardigan, to which a road may still be traced over the mountains. A mineral spring, the water of which is strongly impregnated with sulphur, has been recently discovered at Hir Nant, in this parish. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor amounts to £414.