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Llangennith - Gazetteers

A Topographical Dictionary of Wales by Samuel Lewis 1833

"LLANGENNITH (LLAN-GENYDD), a parish in the hundred of SWANSEA, county of GLAMORGAN, SOUTH WALES, 16 miles (W. by S.) from Swansea, containing 367 inhabitants.

This place derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Cenydd, to whom also was dedicated a priory founded in this parish, according to Bishop Tanner, by Roger de Bellomont, or Beaumont, Earl of Warwick, who is said to have conquered the territory of Gower, in which ancient lordship this place is included, in the reign of Stephen. This priory, of which the present parish church was most probably the chapel, was annexed to the abbey of St. Taurinus at Evreux in Normandy, and, as an Alien priory, was seized in the reign of Henry V., by whose unfortunate son and successor it was granted, in 1441, to the Warden and Fellows of All Souls' College, Oxford, in whose possession it now remains. From the frequent mention, in ancient deeds, of the names " East Town," " West Town,"     " Prior's Town," " Druids' Moor," &c., with reference to this place, it would appear to have been originally of much greater extent than at present.

The village is situated near the south-western foot of Llanmadoc hill, and commands a fine view of the adjacent country, through which flows the river Burry ; the town of Loughor is seen in the distance, between the hills : the houses, though scattered, and in general of a poor description, have a cleanly appearance, and are whitewashed, as is common in the county of Glamorgan. The soil of the parish is fertile, and the lands are almost entirely enclosed, and in a good state of cultivation.

The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry of Carmarthen, and diocese of St. David's, rated in the king's books at £ 5. 16. 8., endowed with £400 royal bounty, and in the patronage of the Warden and Fellows of All Souls' College, Oxford. The church is an ancient and spacious structure, and preserves some characteristics of its original importance, as connected with the priory: in the chancel are several ancient monuments. The glebe-house is supposed to occupy the site of the ancient residence of St. Cenydd, and is still called the College.

On Holmes island, which is contiguous to this part of the coast, are the remains of an ancient chapel, formerly belonging to the church.

In the small village of Burry's Green is one of Lady Barham's chapels for dissenters, with a neat house adjoining, as a residence for the minister.

The average annual expenditure for the maintenance of the poor is £65."

A Topographical Dictionary of The Dominion of Wales by Nicholas Carlisle, London, 1811.

"LLAN GENYDD, in the Cwmwd of Gwyr, Cantref of Eginog (now called the Hundred of Swansea), County of GLAMORGAN, South Wales: a discharged Vicarage valued in the King's Books at £5..16..8: Patron, All Souls College, Oxford: Church dedicated to St. Cenydd. The Resident Population of this Parish, in 1801 ,was 346. The Money raised by the Parish Rates, in 1803, was £87.. 16..0, at 3s. in the pound. It is 16 m. W. b. N. from Swansea. This Parish contains about 1229 acres of inclosed and cultivated Land, and about 100 acres uncultivated and uninclosed. It is situate on the Bristol Channel. The Church, which is a large structure, displays evident marks of consequence: there are the appearances of two Staircases on the right and left of the entrance into the Chancel, in which there are several ancient Monuments. The Rectorial or Glebe House is called by the name of The College, either from the circumstance, it is supposed, of its belonging to All Souls College, or from its being the Site of the ancient Residence of St. Cenydd, who established a Congregation here. According to the Diocesan Report, in 1809, the yearly value of this Benefice, arising from Tythes, and Surplice fees, was £60..16.. 8. " Roger de Bellomont, Earl of Warwick, is said to have conquered Gowerland, in Wales, and to have thereupon founded a Priory here in the reign of King Stephen, and to have annexed it to the Abbey of St. Taurinus at Evreux in Normandy. It was dedicated to St. Kenedd: and, being seized as an Alien Priory, was granted by King Henry the Sixth, A. D. 1441, to All Souls College, in Oxford."-Tanner's Not. Mon.

[Last Updated :16 Jan 2005 - Gareth Hicks]