Denio - Gazetteers


The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

National Gazetteer (1868)

"DENIO, a parish in the hundred of Gafflogian, in the county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 1 mile from Pwllheli. The living is a curacy* annexed to the vicarage* of Llannor. The church is dedicated to St. Benno. The charities amount to £65 per annum, £40 of which goes to Vaughan's grammar school."

"PWLLHELI, a seaport, market town, and municipal and parliamentary borough in the parish of Denio, hundred of Gafflogian, county Carnarvon, 19 miles S. by W. of Carnarvon. There is a station at Pwllheli Road on the Carnarvon and Nantlle railway. The town, which is situated on Cardigan Bay, was first chartered by Edward the Black Prince, who gave it to one of his followers named Nigel de Lohayren. It is a brisk little seaport, and during the season it is much frequented for sea-bathing, the facilities for which are unsurpassed, It is also a petty sessions town, and a polling-place for the county elections. Many of the inhabitants are employed in ship-building, and others in the coasting trade and the fisheries.

The mouth of the Penkos river forms the harbour, which admits vessels of ten tons burden, and has been recently secured by a large embankment, made at a considerable expense, to protect the harbour from encroachment of the sea. The town, which contains over 2,000 inhabitants, has a townhall (built in 1818), spacious assembly rooms, union poorhouse, a savings-bank, and two commercial branch banks. It is a contributory borough to Carnarvon in returning one member of Parliament, and is governed under the new Municipal Reform Act by a mayor, four aldermen, and twelve common councillors, with the style of the "mayor, bailiffs, and burgesses of the borough of Pwllheli." Its revenue is about £140 per annum. The Poor-law Union comprises 32 parishes. It is also the head of superintendent registry and new County Court districts.

The living is a perpetual curacy annexed to the vicarage* of Llannor, in the diocese of Bangor. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, was erected in 1834. There are four chapels belonging to Dissenting congregations. A good road was constructed from this town to Porthddinllaen many years ago, under the impression that Government was going to make it a packet station for Ireland. From the heights above Denio, where the parish church is situated, there are views of the Merionethshire coast, the summits of Snowdon, the village of Llannor, with its ancient inscriptions, and Bodfel, where Mrs. Thrale was born. Market days are Wednesday and Saturday. Fairs are held on the 5th March, 13th May, 28th June, 19th August, 24th September, and 11th November."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]

A Topographical Dictionary of Wales Samuel Lewis, 1833

DENIO (DENEIO), a parish in the hundred of GAFLOGION, county of CARNARVON, NORTH WALES,  including the town of Pwllheli, and containing 2091inhabitants. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the vicarage of Llannor, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Bangor. The church, dedicated to St. Beuno, is situated about half a mile to the north of Pwllheli ; but being very small and in a state of great dilapidation, it is in contemplation shortly to erect a new church at that town, where all ecclesiastical rites, except that of burial, will be performed: the present ancient structure is built somewhat in the form of the Roman letter L. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor, including those of the town of Pwllheli, amounts to £511.11. See PWLLHELI.



PWLLHELI, a borough, sea-port, and market town, in the parish of DENIO, hundred of GAFLOGION, county of CARNARVON, NORTH WALES, 20 miles (S. S. W.) from Carnarvon, and, through that town, 271 (W. N. W.) from London. The population, amounting to 2091, is returned as that of the parish of Denio, with the limits of which those of the ancient borough are co-extensive. This place derives its name, signifying literally the " Salt Pool," from the small bay on the eastern side of the great promontory of Lleyn, on the shore of which it is situated, and which forms the aestuary of several small streams, which pour their waters through it into the northern part of the wide and stormy bay of Cardigan. Edward the Black Prince granted this place, together with Nevin, to Nigel de Lohareyn, in consideration of his numerous services, particularly as a reward for his fidelity and valour at the battle of Poictiers ; and by charter dated at Carnarvon, in the twelfth year after his accession to the principality of Wales, he incorporated the inhabitants, upon whom he conferred all the privileges of a free borough, with exemption from toll in England and Wales, and the right of a mercatorial guild, a market, and two annual fairs, stipulating that they should pay to Nigel no less than £40 per annum : all these privileges were subsequently confirmed by Edward III. The town is well built, and amply supplied with water, but badly paved and not lighted. The surrounding scenery comprehends many features of grandeur and of beauty ; and the view from the town, embracing the whole extent of the Snowdon mountains, the Merionethshire hills, and Cardigan bay, is truly magnificent. The waste lands in this and the adjoining parishes were enclosed pursuant to an act of parliament obtained for that purpose in the 48th of George III., under the authority of which two embankments were constructed, one on each side of the town, at an expense of £ 10,000, by means of which three thousand acres of land have been recovered from the sea, and are now under cultivation. The situation of the town is well adapted for carrying on an extensive commerce with Liverpool, South Wales, and Dublin ; but it has now only a small coasting trade. The harbour, which is entered by a high round rock, called Carreg yr Imbill, or " the rock of the Gimlet," and accessible to vessels of one hundred tons' burden at all states of the tide, has been in some degree injured by the embankments above noticed, and from neglect is nearly choked up. The commerce consists entirely in the importation of coal and of shop goods from Liverpool, for the supply of which to the surrounding country Pwllheli forms a great depot, and is thus, though small, rendered a flourishing place : the port is a creek to that of Beaumaris. The market, which is on Wednesday, is well supplied with fish, poultry, eggs, butchers' meat, and all other kinds of provisions, which are here cheaper than in any other town on the coast of North Wales ; and, there being no other market held near, it is resorted to even by persons living at the furthest extremity of the promontory of Lleyn, a distance of twenty miles. Fairs are annually held on March 5th, May 13th, June 28th, August 19th, September 24th, and November 11th.

The government, by the charter of Edward the Black Prince, confirmed by Edward III., Henry IV., V., and VI., Edward IV., Richard III., Henry VII. and VIII., Edward VI., and by Mary and Elizabeth, is vested in a mayor, recorder, two bailiffs, and an indefinite number of burgesses, assisted by a town steward, a serjeant at mace, and other officers. The mayor, who holds his office for life, and the senior bailiff, who is chosen annually on the 29th of September, are elected by the burgesses at large, who also nominate the junior bailiff, and elect annually to all the other offices ; but the nomination of the junior bailiff is subject to the approval of the mayor, who also appoints the recorder. This is one of the contributory boroughs which, with Carnarvon, return one member to parliament : the elective franchise was conferred in the 27th of Henry VIII. The right of election was formerly in the burgesses at large, one hundred in number, but is now vested in the resident burgesses only (of whom there are seventy-five within the borough and a distance of seven miles), if duly qualified according to the provisions of the act ; 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 at least ten pounds, provided he be capable of registering as the act directs : the number of tenements of this value, within the limits of the borough, which have been altered by the late act, and are minutely detailed in the Appendix, is one hundred and fifteen. The freedom of the borough is inherited by all the sons of freemen, whether born in the borough or not, and is acquired by marriage with the daughter of a freeman, by servitude to a freeman whether resident in the borough or elsewhere, by a residence of twelve months within the borough (paying scot and lot), and by election at a borough court. The corporation have no magisterial power, the borough being entirely under the jurisdiction of the county magistrates, who hold petty sessions in the town. A court is held every alternate Saturday, at which the recorder and bailiffs preside, for the determination of all pleas and the recovery of debts under forty shillings. By the recent acts for amending the representation, Pwllheli has been constituted a polling-place for the election of the knight of the shire. The town-hall, erected in 1818, is a neat substantial edifice, the lower part of which is appropriated on the market days as shambles, and the upper part contains an excellent assembly-room, and a room in which the petty sessions are held. The parish church, which is situated about half a mile to the north of the town, being very small and much dilapidated, it is intended to erect in lieu of it a new church in the town, which will be parochial, though funerals will nevertheless continue to be solemnized at the old church of Denio. There are places of worship for Independents, Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists, and Presbyterians. The Rev. Hugh Jones, in 1695, bequeathed to Griffith Vaughan £ 1000 in trust, to appropriate £ 200 of that sum to the erection of a school-house in such place in either of the counties of Anglesey, Carnarvon, or Merioneth, as he should think fit, and to vest the remaining £ 800 in the purchase of land for the endowment of a school for the gratuitous instruction of all poor boys of either of those counties. The school-house was built at Pwllheli ; but the money, never having been vested in the purchase of land, still remains in the hands of his descendant, Lloyd Mostyn, Esq., who appoints the master, to whom he pays the interest of that sum as a salary : there are at present fifty-six boys in the school. The rent of some land in the parish, which was bequeathed to the poor, is annually distributed among them at Christmas.

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