Coychurch - Gazetteers
Coychurch - Extract from A Topographical Dictionary of Wales by Samuel Lewis 1833
"COYCHURCH, otherwise LLANGRALLO, a parish in the hundred of NEWCASTLE, County Of GLAMORGAN, SOUTH WALES, 2 1/2 miles (E.) from Bridgend, comprising the townships of Higher Coychurch, Lower Coychurch, Pencoed, and Peterston super Montem, each of which separately maintains its own poor, and containing 1079 inhabitants, of which number, 284 are in Lower Coychurch.
It derives its Welsh name from St. Grallo, by whom the church is said to have been founded, and to whom it is dedicated : this saint was nephew to Iltutus, the founder of Lantwit Major, in this county, with which place a connexion appears to be indicated by a circular cross in the churchyard, corresponding in every respect with that at Lantwit, and, from what is said to have been legible of the inscription, which is now totally obliterated, most probably erected by the same persons, viz., Samson, the successor of Iltutus, and Samuel the sculptor.
The living is a rectory, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Llandaf, rated in the king's books at £21. 1. 8., and in the patronage of the Earl of Dunraven. The church, situated in the hamlet of Lower Coychurch, is a spacious and venerable structure, though much dilapidated. There is a chapel of ease at the hamlet of Peterston, with a Welsh Sunday school annexed. Within the limits of the parish are places of worship for Independents and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists, to which, as well as to the church, are attached Sunday schools, supported by subscription. Various charitable benefactions of small amount have been left for distribution among the poor.
There are mines of coal in the hamlet of Higher Coychurch, of a bituminous quality, called the Hirwain collieries, in which several of the labouring poor are employed ; and lead-ore has been found in the parish. Out of a rock of magnesian limestone issues a spring, the water of which forms beautiful incrustations ; and there is a cavern in the parish, in which are fine specimens of bright calcareous spar. Near the church is a farm-house, supposed to have been anciently a religious establishment, subordinate to the abbey of Ewenny. The Rev. Thomas Richards, author of a Welsh and English Dictionary, was forty years curate of this parish.
The average annual expenditure of the whole parish, for the support of the poor, amounts to £ 339.17-, of which the average proportion of Lower Coychurch is £ 64. 17.
COYCHURCH (HIGHER), a hamlet in the parish of COYCHURCH, hundred of NEWCASTLE, county of GLAMORGAN, SOUTH WALES, 5 miles (N. E. by E.) from Bridgend, containing 259 inhabitants. It is bounded on the north by the river Ewenny, and contains some collieries of bituminous coal, called the Hirwaun collieries, which are situated at the foot of the Cevn Hirgoed mountain. There is a place of worship for Independents, with a Sunday school in connexion with it. Some small benefactions, amounting to about £24, have been given for the benefit of the poor of this hamlet, of which £ 14 were applied towards the erection of a house for their reception ; and the sum of fifty shillings per annum, arising out of a tenement, is regularly distributed among such as do not receive parochial relief. This hamlet is assessed separately for the support of its poor ; the average annual expenditure is £ 109. 11."
PENCOED (PEN-COED), a township, in the parish of COYCHURCH, union of BRIDGEND-AND-COWBRIDGE, hundred of NEWCASTLE, county of GLAMORGAN, SOUTH WALES, 4 miles (E. by N.) from Bridgend; containing 421 inhabitants. This place, the name of which signifies " the head of the wood," is situated on the road from Bridgend to Llantrissant, at a short distance from the right bank of the Ewenny river. A house has been built for the poor, at the expense of £32, out of a sum of £47 left by two individuals; and a trifling sum is annually distributed among them, arising from a bequest by two other persons. There is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, by whom a Sunday school, containing 100 males and females, is gratuitously conducted; and a day school, in which are 25 children, is partly supported by subscriptions from the rector of the parish and a lady, and partly by payments from the children. [A Topographical Dictionary of Wales by Samuel Lewis 1833 © Mel Lockie 2016]