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In 1868, the parish of Eglwysilan contained the following places:

"EGLWYSILAN, a parish in the hundred of Caerphilly, county Glamorgan, 4 miles N. W. of Caerphilly, which town is included in the parish. It is situated at the very eastern edge of Glamorganshire, behind a ridge of hills, which on the S. separates it from Cardiff, and on the W. from the Taff Vale. In the vicinity are the Cardiff canal and the river Taff. The parish includes the villages and hamlets of Ener-Glyn, Glyn-Taff, Hendredenny, Park, and Rhyd-y-Bortham. The district abounds in iron, coal, and tin; most of the inhabitants being employed in the mines, potteries, and iron foundries. Porcelain of superior quality is manufactured here. In the neighbourhood is a celebrated spring known by the name of Fynnon Taff. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Llandaff, value £140, in the patronage of the dean and chapter. There are also two district churches, viz. St. Martin, Caerphilly, a perpetual curacy in the patronage of the dean and chapter, and Glyntaf, a curacy* in the patronage of the bishop. The parish church is dedicated to St. Helen. The parochial endowment consists of £60 per annum for a girls' school at Caerphilly. The principal residence is Varm, a scat of the Earl of Plymouth. Caerphilly Castle, now in ruins, is one of the most extensive, as well as interesting, of the feudal fortresses to be met with in this part of the country. It is supposed to have been built about the reign of Edward I., and was besieged in 1326 by Queen Isabel, the she-wolf of France. When and by whom its destruction was brought about is not recorded, but from the fact of its having been dismantled and blown up by powder, it is supposed to have been by order of parliament after the Great Rebellion."

"CAERPHILLY, a market town in the parish of Eglwysilan, hundred of Caerphilly, in the county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 8 miles to the N. of Cardiff, and 160 miles from London. It is situated in a broad flat valley, between the rivers Rhymney and Taf, sheltered by mountains on the N. and S., and is a station on the Rhymney railway. A new line is now making, giving access to Newport by a junction with the Machen railway. The inhabitants are employed in agriculture, and in the manufacture of coarse and fine woollens. Coal is found and worked for exportation, a new pit having been recently opened. Caerphilly was formerly a borough. Petty sessions are now held in the town by the county magistrates. The living is a consolidated chapelry including the hamlet of Van, from the parish of Bedwas, in the diocese of Llandaff value £200, in the patronage of the dean and chapter. The church, a small edifice in the perpendicular style, is dedicated to St. Martin. The Wesleyans, Baptists, and Calvinistic Methodists have chapels here, and there is a free school for girls endowed by Ann Aldworth, of Bristol. The trustees of this charity are now establishing two new schools in Eglwysilan, and one in Bedwas, on account of an increase of income. Caerphilly derives its chief interest and importance from the ruins of its stately and magnificent castle, which was probably built in the 13th century on the site of a smaller and more ancient one; the origin and early history of the latter being unknown. The castle was in the possession of Gilbert de Clare about 1280, and afterwards passed to the Mortimers, lords of Glamorgan. In the reign of Edward II. it was seized by Hugh Despenser, and long held by him against Roger Mortimer, who besieged it. It was ultimately taken by the royal forces, and remained thenceforth in the possession of the lords of Glamorgan. The venerable ruins are unrivalled in extent and magnificence by any others in Wales. They consist of the outer walls, with buttresses and towers; the great gateway to the inner ward; the great hall, 70 feet long and 30 feet wide, with four lofty and richly decorated windows; a round tower, called the armoury; a leaning tower, much damaged, and probably thrown out of the perpendicular by the last siege; and a fine corridor. In the vicinity are remains of two old camps, and many coins have been found. Several old mansions are near the town. Energlyn, formerly the seat of the Goodrichs; Ruperrah, that of the Morgans; Cefn Mabley, and others. The market is held on Thursday, and fairs on the 6th April, Trinity Thursday, the 19th July, the 26th August, the 9th October, and the 16th November."

"ENER-GLYN, a hamlet in the parish of Eglwysilan, hundred of Caerphilly, county Glamorgan. It is situated near the river Rumney, in the south-eastern part of the county. The town of Caerphilly is within the boundary of the hamlet. There are iron-works which give employment to most of the inhabitants. Ener-Glyn House is the principal residence."

"GLYNTAFF, a hamlet and ecclesiastical district in the parish of Eglwysilan, hundred of Caerphilly, county Glamorgan, 4 miles N.E. of Llantrissant. Bridgend is its post town. It is situated on the river Taff, within a short distance of Pont-y-Prydde bridge. A portion of Newbridge is included in this ecclesiastical district. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Llandaff, and in the patronage of the bishop."

"HENDREDENNY, a hamlet in the parish of Eglwysilan, hundred of Caerphilly, county Glamorgan, 1 mile E. of Caerphilly, and 6 N. of Cardiff. It is situated near the rivers Rumney and Taf, and forms a suburb to the town of Caerphilly. Many of the inhabitants are engaged in the coal and iron works."

"NANTGARW, a hamlet in the parish of Eglwysilan and the hundred of Kibbor, county Glamorgan, 5 miles from Cardiff. It is situated in the Taff valley."

"PARK, a hamlet in the parish of Eglwysilan, hundred of Caerphilly, county Glamorgan, 3 miles W. of Caerphilly. It is situated under Cefn Hill."

"RHYD-Y-BORTHAN, a hamlet in the parish of Eglwysilan, hundred of Caerphilly, county Glamorgan, 4 miles N.W. of Caerphilly. It is situated on the river Taff, and near the Cardiff and Glamorgan canal. Under Castell Coch is Fynnon Taf spring. The neighbourhood abounds in coal, iron, and tin, which are extensively worked."

"RUPERRAH, an ancient seat in the parish of Eglwysilan, county Glamorgan, 3 miles E. of Caerphilly. It is situated on the river Rumney, and was built after designs by Inigo Jones."

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