Llanfihangel-y-Creuddyn - Extract from 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales'
By Samuel Lewis
"LLANVIHANGEL Y CREIDDYN (LLAN-VIHANGEL-Y-CREUDDYN), a parish in the upper division of the hundred of ILAR, county of CARDIGAN, SOUTH WALES, 7 miles (S. E.) from Aberystwith, on the road to Rhaiadr, comprising the chapelry of Eglwys-Newydd, or Llanvihangel y Creiddyn Uchâv, and the township of Llanvihangel y Creiddyn Isâv each supporting its own poor, and containing 1971 inhabitants, of which number, 944 are in Llanvihangel y Creiddyn Isâv.This parish, which is situated on the river Ystwith, and intersected by various other streams, is eminently distinguished by scenery which is equally remarkable for picturesque beauty and strikingly romantic grandeur. The former character prevails in a high degree through out the extensive and beautiful grounds of Hâvod and the latter on the precipitous and craggy cliffs through which the rivers Mynach and Rheidol wind an arduous and frequently interrupted course. Over the former of these streams is Pont ar Vynach, or, as it is called from a vulgar tradition, "the Devil's Bridge:" the Mynach here rushes with impetuosity through a narrow chasm between the lofty cliffs which on each side confine its waters, darkened by the entangled branches and foliage of numerous trees which have taken root among the rocks, and at a great depth beneath a bridge of one arch, thrown over it, at a very early period, by the monks of the abbey of Strata Florida, an ancient establishment in the neighbourhood. This bridge, to which the descent from the road was found inconvenient and dangerous, was, in 1753, surmounted by another bridge of one arch, at a higher elevation and of larger span, over which the road is continued to Aberystwith. The descent to the river, which lies at a great depth below its craggy and precipitous banks, is frightfully steep, and only rendered practicable by the numerous trees with which the rocks on both sides are thickly interspersed. The view from the bottom of the valley is strikingly picturesque ; the bridges are seen to advantage only from this point, and present an appearance truly romantic; the height of the upper bridge above the bed of the river is about one hundred and twenty feet. At the distance of about fifty yards from the bridge, the river, rushing in a narrow and obstructed channel, falls with violence from a rock twenty feet in height into a cavity beneath : on its emerging it almost instantly descends from a precipice of sixty feet into another, and, after falling again from a height of twenty feet, descends in one unbroken sheet from an elevation of more than one hundred feet. On the opposite side of the glen a view of all the falls of the Mynach is obtained from a projecting mass of rock, a little below which the river falls into the Rheidol. The Rheidol, after receiving the Mynach, pursues a similar course, frequently interrupted by rocks of various elevation, over which it is precipitated with violence, and from one of which, of prodigious height, it descends in one vast and entire column, forming a cataract of great sublimity. The main torrent, in its descent, is partially intercepted on each side by projecting points of rock, which, diverting its course into an oblique direction, form two smaller cataracts which intersect each other in their descent. The scenery of the valley through which the Rheidol has its course is characterized by features similar to those of the vale of Mynach, and, not withstanding the difficulty of access to those parts from which it is seen to the greatest advantage, it still continues to attract the attention, and to excite the admiration of all travellers into this part of the principality. Lead-ore abounds in the parish, but is not worked to any great extent : there is a mine called Cwm-Ystwith, capable of being rendered very productive, and there are others of smaller importance. The working of these mines at a former period led to the establishment of a small village called Pentre Briwnant, which was chiefly inhabited by the persons employed in them, and which stands on the road from Rhaiadr to Aberystwith, in the upper part of the vale of the Ystwith, where the country is remarkably wild and rugged; but the population is now principally engaged in agriculture. The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Cardigan, and diocese of St. David's, rated in the king's books at £8, endowed with £200 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Bishop. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is a neat structure, in the later style of English architecture. The chapel of Eglwys-Newydd is within the precincts of the estate of Hâvod, and forms an interesting and beautiful feature in the landscape. There are places of worship for Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists. The average annual expenditure for the maintenance of the poor amounts to £344.16., of which sum, £ 189.2. is raised on the township of Llanvihangel y Creiddyn Isâv."
[Gareth Hicks: 10 December 1999]