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LLANBADARN FAWR

In 1868, the parish of Llanbadarn Fawr contained the following places:

"LLANBADARN FAWR, a parish in the hundreds of Geneur Glynn and Upper Ilar, county Cardigan, 1 mile E. of Aberystwith, its post town. It is situated on the rivers Ystwith and Rheidol, and the Roman road Sam Helen, which may be traced from Loventium (now Llanio), to Penallt, near Machynlleth. The parish, which is about 15 miles in length by 6 in breadth, includes the chapelry of Aberystwith, and the townships of Broncastellan, Clarach, Cwmrheidol, Elerch, Melin-dwr, Parcel-Canol, Trefewrig, Uchayn-y-dre, Vainor-Uchaf, Vainor-Issa, and Yn-y-drê-Issa, and the hamlets of Llanbadarn-y-Croyddin, Isaf and Uchaf. It was formerly a market town, but the market was afterwards removed to Aberystwith, which is in this parish. It was also an episcopal see established by St. Paternus, prior to St. Augustine's mission-the then bishop being one of the seven who held conference with that monk. A monastery or college was founded here about the same time, which in the 12th century was given to Gloucester Abbey, and afterwards transferred to that of Vale Royal, in Cheshire. Two churches here were destroyed by the Danes-one in 987 and the other in 1038. The old town of Llanbadarn is said to occupy the site of a Roman city, and although now superseded by Aberystwith, is an attractive spot surrounded by verdant meadows, and sheltered by a range of hills backed by the stupendous Plinlimmon. The only building of any importance is the old church. In the centre of the village is an immense stone, which has been split by lighting a bonfire upon it. In the vicinity are several lead mines, which have been worked for a long time. About 8,000 acres of land are mere waste; but the valley of the Rheidol is very rich, the land being chiefly meadow and pasture. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of St. David's, value £170, in the patronage of the bishop. The church is a commodious cruciform edifice of the 11th century, with a massive square tower supported by arches resting on four substantial piers. It is dedicated to St. Paternus, and contains two carved screens of elaborate workmanship, probably erected about the time of Henry VII., also a number of monuments of the Powel, Pryse, and other families. In the chancel is a flat stone bearing the name of Lewis Morris, a celebrated antiquary of the last century, who wrote several works. On the S. side of the church are two ancient stone crosses; one of them stands in a reclining position, and is inscribed with Runic characters and circles; the other, in the shape of a Greek cross, is probably of greater antiquity. In addition to the parish church there are four district churches-viz: Aberystwith, in the patronage of the bishop; Bangor Teifi, value £148, in the gift of the vicar; Yspytty-Cenfyn, value £104, in the gift of the landholders; and Llangorwen, in the gift of trustees-all perpetual curacies There is a free school, with an endowment of £20, and other charities producing a total of about £35 per annum. The Calvinists and Independents have each a chapel in the village, and there are Dissenting places of worship in other parts of the parish. This was the birth-place of Davydd-ap-Gwillim, the poet. There are traces of several British entrenched camps; the most remarkable is Pen-y-Dinas, near Aberystwith. There are several good seats and residences in the neighbourhood. Fairs are held on Easter-Monday and the Saturday preceding the 13th November."

"ABERYSTWYTH, (or Aberrheidol), a chapelry in the parish of Llanbadarn Fawr, an assize and petty sessions town, port, and bathing place, in the hundred of Geneur Glynn, in the county of Cardigan, South Wales, 37 miles N.E. of Cardigan, and 208 miles from London. It was originally called Llanbadarn Gaerog, and was fortified at an early period. The village at that time stood westward of the present site, on ground now covered by the sea. The town stands now at the junction and the mouth of the rivers Ystwyth and Rheidol, which fall into Cardigan Bay. Its origin is traced back to the erection of a castle in 1109 by Gilbert de Clare, in defence of his recently acquired possessions. In 1114, an unsuccessful attack was made on the castle by the Welsh. Owain Gwynedd and Cadwalader, with a large force, took and demolished it in 1135, slaying nearly all the Saxons and Normans who had settled there. It was rebuilt by Cadwalader, and in 1142 was besieged and burnt by his brother Owain. These changes of possession and fortune were frequent during the struggles between the Welsh and the English. In 1277 it was rebuilt by Edward I., and a strong garrison of English placed in it. It was once captured by the Welsh when they were roused by the oppression of their English governors, but it was soon given up again. In the reign of Henry IV. it was assailed and taken by Owain Glyndwr, who held it for three years, and after having given it up to Prince Henry, recovered it by stratagem: From 1408 the English held the place unmolested. William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, was appointed captain of the castle and the town of Aberystwith by Henry VIII., in the thirty-fifth year of his reign. In 1631, Charles I. gave permission to Mr. Bushell, owner of the royal mines of Cardiganshire, to establish a mint in the castle, for the convenience of paying the miners. Some silver coins then struck, bearing the crest of the Prince of Wales, have been found. During the civil war the fortifications were strengthened and held for the king till 1647, when the place was besieged and taken by the parliament and soon dismantled. There are no remains of the town walls or gates. Aberystwith is pleasantly situated in the valley of the Rheidol, here bounded by lofty hills, and overlooks the Bay of Cardigan. It consists chiefly of two long streets, crossed at right angles by others leading to the shore. The houses are well built, the modern ones being of stone. The streets are lighted with gas. The Rheidol is crossed by a stone bridge of five arches, forming the approach to the town from the south. Its delightful situation on the bay, its pure air, and some mineral springs in the neighbourhood, have made it a favourite resort for invalids, and one of the most fashionable watering places on that coast. The beach is pebbly, and is bounded by steep rocks of dark slate, which are worn by the waves into caverns and fantastic forms. The harbour is small, with a bar at the entrance; but since the improvements planned by Mr. Bush and carried on by Mr. Page, craft of 400 tons burden are admitted to the pier. There were 300 vessels belonging to the port in 1860, principally engaged in the coasting trade. The principal exports are lead ore and oak bark; the imports, corn, butter, coal, timber, hemp, far, &c. The custom-house, a small, neat building, was erected in 1828, at the expense of the government. Aberdovey and Aberaëron are sub-ports. Markets are held on Monday and Saturday, the former in the town-hall, for corn, butter, cheese, &c.; the latter for butchers' meal in the new market-place erected in 1822, in the street leading to Castle Hill. The principal occupations are flannel weaving, the fisheries, and the shipping trade. Aberystwith is the seat of a poor-law union. The borough, which under the Reform Bill of 1832 is contributory to Cardigan, received its first charter from Edward I. It is governed by a mayor, four aldermen, and twelve councillors, under the style of the "mayor, aldermen, and burgesses, of the town, borough, and liberty of Aberystwith." The mayor is the returning officer. The townhall which was built in 1770, and stood in the principal street, has been taken down and a clock tower erected on its site. A handsome new townhall has been built on the marsh, in which the magistrates hold their meetings. There is a small prison. The new assembly rooms were opened in 1820. There are several libraries in the town. A theatre was commenced some years since, but the funds failed, and the building was converted into dwelling-houses. Races take place annually in August, in a field near the town. Water was formerly supplied from the Ystwyth and the Rheidol; it was brought into the town in barrels, on one-horse sledges, and sold at a cheap rate. Waterworks have been established on the hills to the north-east of the town, and the inhabitants are now supplied by pipes to the houses. The living is a perpetual curacy, united with Llanbadarn-Vawr, value £170, in the diocese of St. David's, and in the patronage of the bishop. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, was built by subscription in 1787, and rebuilt in 1833. It is neat and plain, and stands in the grounds of the castle. Service is performed in Welsh on Sunday afternoon. There are also chapels belonging to the Baptists, Independents, Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists, &c. The remains of the castle, on the summit of a rock standing out into the bay, consist of portions of the towers, still forty feet high, the principal gateway, and fragments of the walls. The area was originally an irregular pentagon, and of considerable extent, but it has been greatly diminished by the action of the sea, which has undermined the rock. It is now laid out in walks and pleasure grounds, under the directions of Mr. Probart, of Shrewsbury. There are traces of encampments in the neighbourhood; and a small rock called Bryn Dyoddef, or Suffering Mount, was formerly a place of execution. A British celt, and a gold angel of Henry VII. have been found on Pendinas Hill, adjoining the town. About the year 1779, a mineral spring was discovered near the east end of the town, on the road to Llanbadarn-Vawr, which is prized for its chalybeate properties. Several other springs impregnated with iron exist in the parish, and at Penglais there are traces of sulphur. Fairs are held on the Monday before the 5th January, on Palm Monday and Whit Monday, and on the first Monday after the 15th November for hiring servants.

"BANGOR, a chapelry in the parish of Llanbadarn-fawr, 5 miles E. of Aberystwyth, in the county of Cardigan, South Wales. The living is a perpetual curacy, value £148, in the gift of the vicar."

"BRINHYFEDD, a township in the parish of Llanbadarn fawr, hundreds of Geneur-Glynn and Upper liar, in the county of Cardigan, South Wales, 8 miles to the W. of Radnor."

"BRONCASTELLAN, a township in the parish of Llanbadarn fawr, hundred of Geneur Glynn, in the county of Cardigan, South Wales, 12 miles to the E. of Aberystwith. It is situated at the foot of Plinlimmon."

"CANOL, a village in the township of Trefeirig, parish of Llanbadarn fawr, and hundred of Geneu'r-Glyn, in the county of Cardigan, South Wales, not far from Aberystwith."

"CLARACH, a township in the parish of Llanbadarn-fawr, in the hundred of Geneur Glynn, in the county of Cardigan, South Wales. It is situated near Aberystwith, on the river Clarach."

"CWMRHEIDOL, a township in the parish of Llanbadarn-Fawr, hundred of Geneur, in the county of Cardigan 1 mile from Aberystwith. It is situated on the river Rheidol. There are lead-mines."

"ELERCH, a township in the parish of Llanbadarn fawr, hundred of Geneur Glynn, county Cardigan, near Aberystwith."

"ISSAYNDRE, a township in the parish of Llanbadarn-Fawr, hundred of Geneur-Glynn, county Cardigan, 3 miles from Aberystwith."

"LLANGORWEN, a township in the parish of Llanbadarn-Fawr, county Cardigan, in the vicinity of Aberystwith. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of St. David's, in the patronage of trustees."

"MELINDUR, a township in the parish of Llanbadarn-Fawr, hundred of Geneur-Glynn, county Cardigan, near Aberystwith. It is situated in the vale of Rheidol. The inhabitants are chiefly employed in the lead mines."

"PARCEL-CANOL, a township in the parish of Llanbadarn-Fawr, hundred of Genewr Glynn, county Cardigan. It is situated near Aberystwith and the river Rheidol."

"PENRHIN COCH, a hamlet in the township of Trefeirig, parish of Llanbadarn-Fawr, county Cardigan, 3 miles from Aberystwith."

"PONTLLANYCHAIARN, a village in the parish of Llanbadarn-Fawr, county Cardigan, 2 miles E. of Aberystwith. It is situated in the township of Lower Llanbadarn-y-Croyddin, near the river Ystwith and Sam Helen Way."

"TREFEIRIG, a township in the parish of Llanbadarn Fawr, hundred of Geneur Glynn, county Cardigan. It is situated near Aberystwith, and includes Penrhin Coch and Canol."

"UCHAYNDRE, a township in the parish of Llanbadarn fawr, hundred of Geneur Glynn, county Cardigan, near Aberystwith."

"UPPER LLANBADARN-Y-CROYDDIN, (and Lower Llanbadarn-y-croyddin) townships in the parish of Llanbadarn-Fawr, hundred of Upper Ilar, county Cardigan, 2 miles E. of Aberystwith, its post town, and 18 from Machynlleth.

"UPPER VAINOR, (and Lower) townships in the parish of Llanbadarn fawr, hundred of Geneur Glynn, county Cardigan, 2 miles from Aberystwith, within which borough they are partly included. The land is the property of the Duke of Leeds.

[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868]
by Colin Hinson ©2018