Llanddeiniolen - Gazetteers


The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

National Gazetteer (1868)

"LLANDDEINIOLEN, a parish in the hundred of Is-Gorfai, county Carnarvon, 4 miles N.E. of Carnarvon, its post town, and 6 from Bangor. It is situated at the head of the vale of the Cegid to the N.W. of Snowdon, and E. of the Menai Straits. The parish, which is very populous, includes the villages of Clwt-y-Bont, Ebeneza, and Penisarwain. The old Roman road passes through it. The people are mostly employed in the Dinorwig slate quarries. There are several mineral springs. The tithes were commuted in 1839. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of Bangor, value £305, in the patronage of the lord chancellor. The church is a small ancient structure. The parochial charities produce about £6 per annum. In the neighbourhood are some objects of antiquarian interest, including a rocking stone, a Druidical circle, and cyttian, the ruins of the palace of Llewelyn ap Grufydd, the last of the princes of North Wales, at Llys Dinorwig, and the pass of Nant-y-Garth, through which it is said Archbishop Baldwin and Giraldus passed in 1118.

Near the church are some ancient yew trees, one of which is nearly 30 feet in girth, and a little to the N.E. is the famous camp of Dinas Dinorwig, supposed to be of Roman origin, and the largest fortified post in Carnarvonshire. It is surrounded by a double entrenchment, with a lofty bank between the ditches, and is of an oval shape. Here, too, is the Flynon Cegin Arthur well, at the Cegin's head. At Penllyn lived Margaret Uch Evan, "the queen of the lakes," a woman celebrated in Welsh story as the best hunter, fisher, wrestler, and musician in all Wales. Brintirion and Vaenol are the principal seats."

"CLWT-Y-BONT, a village in the parish of Llanddeiniolen, in the county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 4 miles S. of Bangor. In the village is a factory where writing slates are manufactured."

"EBENEZER, a village in the parish of Llanddeiniolen, county Carnarvon, 4 miles N.E. of Carnarvon."

"PENISARWAIN, a hamlet in the parish of Llanddeiniolen, county Carnarvon, 4 miles S. of Bangor."

[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

LLAN-DEINIOLEN, or LLANDDENIOLEN (LLAN-DDEINIOLEN), a parish in the hundred of ISGORVAI, county of CARNARVON, NORTH WALES, 5 miles (N. E. by E.) from Carnarvon, on the road to Bangor, containing 2610 inhabitants. This parish, which is divided into an Upper and a Lower portion, extends seven miles in length, and about three in breadth, and is separated from the parish of Llanberis by the lake called Llyn Padarn and the river Seiont, which form its boundaries on the south : it is traversed by the road from Carnarvon to Bangor. The mountains of Elidyr Vawr and Carnedd Viliast, both rich in mineral wealth, form its eastern boundaries ; and the secondary hills of Moel Lucci towards the north, and Moel Rhiwen to the south, are within its limits. Near the latter of these hills a battle is said to have been fought at some remote period, and on the side of the hill are numerous hillocks, which are supposed to be the graves of the warriors who fell on that occasion. This place appears to have been known to the Romans : within half a mile south-eastward from the church are the remains of an extensive camp, from which a Roman road leading to the ancient Segontium, another in the direction of Bangor, and a third pointing to the mountains, may be distinctly traced. The surrounding scenery, though of a bold and striking character in the mountainous district, is generally throughout the parish uninteresting and unpleasing : scarcely a tree is to be seen on any of the farms ; the farm-houses are in general of a very mean description; and the fences of loose stones have a cold and cheerless appearance. The lands are thickly strewed with stones; and large fragments of rock, scattered almost in every direction, greatly impede the process of cultivation. The soil is generally poor, cold, and unproductive ; the arable parts being sown chiefly with barley and oats, and, in some few places, with a small quantity of wheat : large tracts of land are fit only for the purpose of planting, the soil being such as to promise no indemnification for the expense of bringing them into cultivation ; and, from the great want of timber prevailing throughout this extensive parish, the application of them to that use would be productive of the most essential benefit. The waste lands were enclosed under an act of parliament obtained in 1806, explained and amended by another obtained in 1808. In the upper part of the parish are some of the most extensive slate quarries in the principality, principally the property of T. Assheton Smith, Esq : of these the most noted are Allt-Du and Clogwyn y Gigvran, which were opened in 1787, and at first afforded employment to about sixty men. In 1820, Mr. Smith had three hundred men at work in them, and at present (1831) there are about six hundred constantly employed : about seventy tons' of slate are raised daily, some of which is sawn into slabs for mantel-pieces, tombstones, and other purposes, by machinery impelled by water. The whole is conveyed to the coast by a railroad, seven miles in length, which was laid down in 1824, and extends from the quarries through the parish of Bangor to the Menai strait at Port Dinorweg, formerly called Aber y Pwll, where vessels of as much as two hundred tons' burden can enter at high water, and whence it is shipped coastwise to various parts of the kingdom.

The living is a discharged rectory, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Bangor, rated in the king's books at £ 13. 8. 9., and in the patronage of the King, as Prince of Wales. The church, dedicated to St. Deiniolen, said to have been the son of Deiniol, who founded a college at Bangor, and to have flourished early in the seventh century, is a spacious ancient structure, kept in good repair : in the churchyard are several yew trees, of luxuriant growth, one of which measures twenty-eight feet four inches in girth. There are two places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, and one each for Independents and Wesleyan Methodists. The Roman camp above mentioned, which was probably an outpost to the station Segontium, near the present Carnarvon, comprises an extensive area on the summit of a lofty eminence, defended by a rampart of small stones, backed by a stronger one, with two wide and deep ditches : this post, formerly called Dinas Dinorweg, is at present designated Pen Dinas ; and in the neighbourhood are the remains of several camps and fortresses of British origin. At no great distance from Llyn Padarn are the remains of Llys Dinorweg, an ancient palace, and formerly the residence of Prince Llewelyn ab Grufydd, which, together with the manor of that name, was bestowed by Edward I. on Griffith Lloyd, Esq., of Tregarnedd, in Anglesey, who was knighted by that monarch at Rhuddlan castle, in the county of Flint, on conveying to him the intelligence of the birth of his son Edward, in the castle of Carnarvon, and who afterwards, rebelling against that sovereign, was taken prisoner in an unsuccessful attempt to surprise Mold castle, and soon afterwards executed. The manor subsequently became the property of Sir William Williams, of Vaenol, Bart., who left it by will to Sir Bourcher Wrey for life, with remainder to King William, who granted it to an ancestor of T. Assheton Smith, Esq., the present proprietor. The mansion is now in ruins ; and near it a stone, resembling a Roman milliary, was discovered about thirty years ago, bearing the inscription IMP. Q. DECIO. The river Cegin has its source in a strongly chalybeate spring, about two miles south of the church, called Fynnon Cegin Arthur, or the "Well of Arthur's Kitchen," and, after flowing through this and the adjoining parish of Llandegai, falls into the Menai strait at Port Penrhyn. At Rhyd-Vawr, about a mile to the south of the church, is Fynnon Deiniolen, or "  St. Deiniolen's Well," the water of which was formerly in high esteem for its efficacy in the cure of rheumatic and scorbutic diseases. Near Penllyn, in this parish, lived the celebrated Margaret Uch Evan, denominated by Mr. Pennant the Queen of the Lakes. This extraordinary woman, who lived to be more than ninety years of age, had a boat upon the lakes, and was employed in bringing down the copper-ore from the mines in the neighbourhood : she is reported to have been the greatest hunter, shooter, and fisher of her day ; an excellent musician, playing well upon the harp and violin ; at the age of seventy, the best wrestler in the country ; a good blacksmith, shoe-maker, boat-builder, and harp-maker; excelling, indeed, in almost every mechanical art, and was long the wonder and admiration of the surrounding country. Allt Wenn, in this parish, presents an interesting field for the researches of the botanist, producing a variety of scarce plants, such as the Rubus saxatilis, &c. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor amounts to £ 275. 18.

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