Wenvoe - Gazetteers


Extract from A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (1833) by Samuel Lewis.

"WENVOE, a parish in the hundred of DINAS POWIS, county of GLAMORGAN, SOUTH WALES, 6 miles (S. W. by W.) from Cardiff, containing 432, inhabitants. The ancient Welsh name of this place is supposed to have been               " Gwynva," or " Gwynvai," of which the present is a Norman modification.

The parish, which is situated in the south-eastern part of the county, comprises a large extent of enclosed arable and pasture land, and some portions of common, affording good pasturage for sheep. It had formerly an ancient castle, which is noticed by Leland as in a ruinous state even in his time, consisting only of one tower and some fragments of the walls, within a quarter of a mile of which the same writer describes a well, enclosed by a wall, out of which issued a stream called Silly brook.

The present castle, the seat of Robert F. Jenner, Esq., erected by the late P. Birt, Esq., maternal grandfather of the present proprietor, is a stately mansion, consisting of a centre and two wings. The principal front, facing the south, extends three hundred and seventy-four feet in length, and is three stories in height, exclusively of the basement and the attics : the wings, which, according to the original design, were to have formed two magnificent conservatories, terminate at each extremity in a square tower, and the intervals between the towers and the centre are partly concealed by trees, with a view to relieve the flatness of such a length of masonry. The grounds are laid out with much taste, and comprehend some rich and beautifully varied scenery ; but the view from the house, though pleasing, is neither grand nor extensive.

The village is neat and of prepossessing appearance: the soil is a damp clay, but the air is salubrious, and the parish registers afford several instances of longevity, among which are the ages of the three last incumbents, each of whom held the living for half a century.

The living is a rectory, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Llandaf, rated in the king's books at £ 13. 7. 1., and in the patronage of Robert Francis Jenner, Esq. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a handsome structure, in the later style of English architecture, with a square embattled tower. The interior is appropriately arranged and kept in excellent order : it contains some good mural monuments in memory of the several proprietors of Wenvoe castle. The churchyard is pleasingly laid out, and the graves are decked with various odoriferous plants : near the church grows a remarkably fine yew tree, in excellent preservation, which is said to be one of the oldest in the county. The parsonage-house, built by the late P. Birt, Esq., is a handsome and spacious edifice.

Elizabeth Thomas, in 1701, bequeathed £20; Sir Edmund Thomas, Bart., in 1721, £40; Mary Thomas, £10; William Morgan, £ 5 ; and the Rev. John Hodges, rector, in 1777, £ 45, to the poor of the parish ; the income arising from which several sums is annually distributed among them, according to the intentions of the several benefactors. The average annual expenditure for the maintenance of the poor amounts to £258. 3."

Wenvoe - Lewis 1833 [Last Updated : 19 Oct 2002 - Gareth Hicks]