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Betws Garmon - Gazetteers

A Topographical Dictionary of Wales Samuel Lewis, 1833

BETTWS-GARMON, a parish in the hundred of ISGORVAI, County of CARNARVON, NORTH WALES, 4 miles (S. E.) from Carnarvon, on the road to Bethgelart, containing 128 inhabitants. The scenery in the neighbourhood is magnificently grand and strikingly varied : part of the base of Snowdon is within the limits of the parish, and, previously to the foundation of the new line of road to Llanberis and Capel Curig, the principal ascent to that mountain was from this place, at which was a small house, occupied by a guide, who was constantly in attendance to conduct the adventurous traveller to its summit.

Behind the parish church is the mountain Moel Eilio, which rises to the height of two thousand three hundred and seventy-seven feet above the level of the sea; and on the south of it is Mynydd-Mawr, of less elevation, though seen to greater advantage from the road : both these mountains abound with copper-ore, but, from the great influx of water, the expense of obtaining it is too great to allow an adequate remuneration. On the summits of both mountains are the remains of watch towers, or exploratory stations, erected to defend the pass ; and at the foot of Mynydd-Mawr is a bold rock, called Castell Cidwm, supposed to have been the residence of some ancient British chieftains.

The abrupt and mountainous elevations, which form so prominent a feature in the scenery of this district, are finely softened and contrasted by divers lakes within the parish, which are much resorted to by tourists and by artists, who find, in the beautiful scenery around them, some of the finest subjects for the pencil. Of these, the principal are Fynnon Las, Llyn Coch, Llyn y Nadroedd, and Llyn Fynnon y Gwas, which are the several sources of the river Avon, or Tarddeni. Llyn CaweI-lyn, one of the most celebrated lakes in this part of the principality, is partly within this parish ; in which also is Nant Mill, remarkable for its beautiful cascade, which has engaged the attention and employed the pencil of numerous artists.

Fairs are held here on August 17th and September 22nd and 26th.

The living, usually styled a perpetual curacy, is vicarial, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Bangor, endowed with £600 royal bounty, and £200 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of Lord Newborough. The church, dedicated to St. Garmon, is a small edifice, in a dilapidated condition, romantically situated in a vale bounded by lofty mountains. On the side of a hill, about one mile to the west of it, there is a fine spring of water, called St. Garmon's well, of reputed efficacy in the cure of rheumatic and eruptive disorders. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor is £38.

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