Llanddewi Aber-Arth - Extracts from 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' by Samuel Lewis


Llandewi Aber-Arth

"LLANDEWY-ABERARTH (LLAN-DDEWI-ABER-ARTH), a parish in the lower division of the hundred of ILAR, county of CARDIGAN, SOUTH WALES, 13 miles (N. W. by N.) from Lampeter, containing 976 inhabitants. The name of this parish, which comprises about three thousand acres, is derived from the dedication of its church, and its distinguishing adjunct from its situation near the mouth of the small river Arth, which here discharges its waters into the bay of Cardigan. This parish is also watered by the Aëron and from the vale through which this river winds the greater part of its surface presents a hilly aspect. The surrounding scenery, though bold and varied, is not distinguished by any peculiarity of feature : the higher grounds command extensive views across the open bay, and some pleasing prospects over the adjacent country, The village, which is intersected by the turnpike road leading from Cardigan to Aberystwith, is remarkably neat and well built; and in the neighbourhood are some pleasing seats, of which the principal in the parish is Ty-Glyn, that of the family of Jones, situated about two miles from the village. A tract called Morva Mawr, or " the Great Marsh," and the meadows on the banks of the Aëron which are liable to inundation have a fine, deep, loamy soil; that of the more elevated tracts is lighter : but the whole is productive of superior grain of every kind; the only uncultivated portion of the parish is about fifty acres of woodland. This place constitutes a prebend in the cathedral church of St.David's, rated in the king's books at £10, and in the patronage of the Bishop. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the arch-deaconry of Cardigan, and diocese of St.David's, endowed with £800 royal bounty, and £400 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Prebendary. The church, dedicated to St. David, is a very ancient structure, forty-four feet in length, thirty in breadth, and thirty-eight in height, with a tower sixty feet in height. A chapel, dedicated to St. Alban, was erected in 1809, for the accommodation of the family residing in Ty-Glyn, by the late Rev. Alban Thomas Jones Gwynne, who endowed it with a small farm called Rhôs Taverne, in the parish of Llandyssil, now producing £24 per annum : the living, which is further endowed with £800 royal bounty, is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Proprietor of the Ty-Glyn estate. There is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists. A Welsh charity school is supported partly by subscription, and partly by an endowment of £7 per annum, of which sum, £5 were given by Henry Jones, of Ty-Glyn, Esq., and the remainder by the late Rev. Alban Thomas Jones Gwynne, his successor in that estate. Near the sea-shore are some vestiges of an ancient circular encampment, called Castell Cadwgan, supposed by some antiquaries to have been thrown up by that chieftain about the year 1148; but its defences are now almost levelled. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor amounts to £177.18."


"ABERAËRON, or ABERAYRON, (ABER-AË-RON), a sea-port, partly in the parish of HENFYNYW, but principally in that of LLANDDEWI-ABERARTH lower division of the hundred of ILAR, county of CARDIGAN, SOUTH WALES, 16 miles (S. W. by S.) from Aberystwith, and 23 (E. N. E.) from Cardigan. The population is returned with Llanddewi-Aberarth. The village is agreeably situated on the road from Cardigan to Aberystwith, at the lower extremity of the Vale of Aëron the sides of which are here abrupt and clothed with wood, and on the shore of Cardigan bay, at the influx of the river Aëron which here separates the parishes of Henvynyw and Llanddewi-Aberarth, and, together with some springs in the neighbourhood, affords the inhabitants an ample supply of water : this river is noted for trout and salmon, and there are several corn-mills on its banks. Aberaëron is indebted for its origin to the late Rev. Alban Thomas Jones Gwynne, of Ty-Glyn who, in 1807, obtained an act of parliament, under the authority of which he built two piers at the mouth of the river Aëron with convenient wharfs, cranes, and storehouses, at an expense of about £ 6000 : that on the west is one hundred yards in length, and the other ninety, and both are built of stone; but, from the very exposed situation of the place, they are insufficient to afford adequate protection to vessels from the violence of' north -westerly winds. To remove this inconvenience it is the intention of the present proprietor, A. T. J. Gwynne, Esq., to extend the western pier about one hundred yards, inclining in a northerly direction. The scenery of the Vale of Aëron is particularly beautiful, which, together with its marine atmosphere, retired situation, and improving condition, may render this, at no distant period, a place of considerable resort during summer. Upwards of thirty new leases have been lately granted, pursuant to which several houses have been already built, and others are in progress : a general post-office, and an excellent posting-house and hotel, have been established, the latter affording to families an equal degree of comfort and privacy to any in the principality. The port is a member of that of Cardigan, and is one of the most thriving within its jurisdiction : there are from thirty to forty sloops belonging to it, of from seventeen to one hundred tons' burden, which are navigated by about one hundred and twenty seamen of this place : they are chiefly employed in the importation of coal and culm, and two of them trade regularly with Bristol. The principal articles of importation, in addition, are grocery and timber; and of exportation, butter and oats : there is also a lucrative herring fishery, in which about thirty boats, with seven men to each, are engaged. Near the entrance into the harbour there is a bar, which is dry at low water. The merchants' stores are open weekly, on Wednesday, for the reception of corn ;and it is intended to establish a weekly market for provisions, &.c., under the auspices of Colonel Gwynne, the present proprietor of the manor : a fair for the hiring of servants is held on November 13th. The magistrates for the division hold petty sessions once a month; and courts leet for the manor are held in May and October. There are places of worship for Independents and Calvinistic Methodists. A school on the late Dr. Bell's plan is supported partly by subscription. Mynach-dy the property and residence of Col. Gwynne, situated at a short distance from the town, is supposed, from its name (which signifies " monastery"), to have been anciently a small ecclesiastical establishment : in the grounds are some tumuli, called Hên Gastell, of obscure origin. On the sea-shore, near the town, there is a small circular encampment, designated Castell Cadwgan, and supposed to have been constructed by Cadwgan ab Bleddyn, about the year 1148."

Gareth Hicks 2 December 1999