LLANFYLLIN - Gazetteers


The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

National Gazetteer, 1868

"LLANFYLLIN, a parish and market town in the hundred of Llanfyllin, county Montgomery, 14 miles S.W. of Oswestry, 15 N.W. of Montgomery, and 180 from London. It is the terminus of the Llanfyllin branch of the Cambrian railway. The parish is situated in a valley, surrounded by lofty hills, and watered by two streams, called Cain and Abel, tributaries of the Vyrnwy. The Roman way, Caer Sws, passes through a part of this parish which includes 12 townships, of which Bachie, Bodfach, and Bodyddan are the principal. The town was first incorporated by Llewellyn ap Grufydd, in the reign of Edward II. The government is vested in a high steward, recorder, two bailiffs, fourteen burgesses, a town-clerk, and two serjeants-at-arms.

It, with other towns, unites with Montgomery in returning one member to parliament. The town contains a townhall, in which petty sessions are held, a commercial bank, savings-bank, union workhouse, and a prison. Malting, tanning, and brewing are the principal sources of employment. In the vicinity are several corn-mills. The road between Bala and Shrewsbury passes through the main street of the town, which is celebrated for its excellent "cwrw", or ale; hence the proverb, "Old ale fills Llanfyllin with young widows". Llanfyllin is the seat of a Poor-law* Union, new County Court, and superintendent registry districts.

The living is a rectory* in the diocese of St. Asaph, value £650, in the patronage of the bishop. The church, dedicated to St. Myllin, was rebuilt at the beginning of the last century. It is celebrated for its peal of bells. The parochial endowments, including £133 to Vaughan's school, produce nearly £160 per annum. The Independents, Baptists, Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists, have each a chapel. There are National and British schools. Thursday is market day. Fairs are held on the Wednesday before Easter, 24th May, 28th June, 10th August, 5th October, and 8th December, for the sale of horses, cattle, and general live stock."

"BACHIE, a township in the parish of Llanfyllin, and hundred of the same name, in the county of Montgomery, North Wales, close to Llanfyllin."

"BODFACH, a township in the parish and hundred of Llanfyllin, in the county of Montgomery, North Wales close to Llanfyllin. It is situated on the banks of the river Cain and contains the seat of Lord Mostyn.

"BODRAN, a township in the parish of Llanfyllin, hundred of the same name, in the county of Montgomery, North Wales, not far from Llanfyllin."

"BODYDDOW, a township in the parish of Llanfyllin, hundred of the same name, in the county of Montgomery, North Wales, not far from Llanfyllin."

"BRYNELLTYN, a township in the parish and hundred of Llanfyllin, in the county of Montgomery, North Wales, not far from Llanfyllin."

"CAMMON, a township in the parish and hundred of Llanfyllin, in the county of Montgomery, North Wales, not far from Llanfyllin."

"GARTHGELL, a township in the parish of Llanfyllin, county Montgomery, 15 miles N.W. of Montgomery. It is situated amongst the hills near the Roman way called Caer Sws."

"GATHGELL, a township in the parish of Llanfyllin, county Montgomery, North Wales, 2 miles from Llanfyllin. It is situated amongst the hills near the river Vyrnwy."

"GLOBWLL, a township in the parish of Llanfyllin, county Montgomery, North Wales. It is situated in the vicinity of the town of Llanfyllin."

"GREENHALL, a township, in the parish of Llanfyllin, county Montgomery, North Wales, in the vicinity of Llanfyllin."

"NANTHALAN, a township in the parish of Llanfyllin, county Montgomery, near Llanfyllin."

"RHIEWNACHOR, a township in the parish and hundred of Llanfyllin, county Montgomery, 2 miles from Llanfyllin, and 16 N.W. of Montgomery. It is situated among the hills near the river Vyrnwy."

"RHYSCOG, a township in the parish and hundred of Llanfyllin, county Montgomery, 2 miles from Llanfyllin, and 16 N.W. of Montgomery. It is situated among the hills near the river Vyrnwy."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]

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A Topographical Dictionary of Wales by Samuel Lewis, 1833

LLANVYLLIN (LLAN-VYLLIN), a borough, market town, and parish, in the lower division of the hundred of LLANVYLLIN, county of MONTGOMERY, NORTH WALES, 20 miles (N. N. W.) from Montgomery, 12 (N. W. by N.) from Welshpool, and 183 (N. W. by W.) from London, containing 1836 inhabitants. This place derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Myllin, or Mewn Llyn, concerning whom a tradition is extant that he was the first baptist ever known in Britain, and from being constantly in the water baptizing and inviting those who passed by to partake of that ceremony, was called by the natives St. Mewn Llyn, or "the Saint in the Pool." It appears to have been of very inferior importance prior to the time of Edward I., during whose reign several privileges and immunities were granted to its inhabitants. In 1644, Charles I. passed one night in this place, and on the following day dined at Brithdir, whence he continued his route through Mochnant to Cevnhirvynydd, proceeding along the tops of the mountains to Chirk castle. The town is pleasantly situated in a fertile valley, on the road from Shrewsbury to Bala, and is intersected by the small river Abel, which, uniting with the river Cain, flows through the parish, and, pursuing its course through the adjoining one of Llanvechan, falls into the river Vyrnwy at Llansantfraid : it has been greatly improved within the last few years, and a neat bridge has been erected over the Abel, which flows through the principal street; but, from its retired situation at a distance from any great thoroughfare, it possesses very little commercial importance. The trade is principally in malt, for the making of which there are several kilns : there are likewise some tanneries carried on to a moderate extent. All the waste lands in the parish have been enclosed by act of parliament ; but many hundred acres still remain uncultivated. Between this town and Bodvach there was formerly an extensive turbary, from which the inhabitants were entirely supplied with fuel, but which was converted into fertile meadows, at a considerable expense, by Bell Lloyd, Esq., father of the present Lord Mostyn, and on part of it was erected a beautiful cottage, called the Vownog, the residence of John Williams, Esq. The surrounding scenery is pleasingly varied, and in many parts highly picturesque, and from the higher grounds are obtained some fine views over the vale of Cain, and other valleys in the Vicinity, eminent for the beauty of their scenery. The market, which is well supplied with corn and provisions of every kind, is held  on Thursday in a convenient area under the town-hall ; and fairs are held annually on the Wednesday next before Easter, May 24th, June 28th, August 10th, October 5th, and December 8th, for horses, cattle, and wares ; and sheep and pigs are exposed for sale on the day preceding each of the fairs, except those of August and December. The inhabitants received their first charter of incorporation from Llewelyn ab Grufydd ab Gwenwynwyn, in the reign of Edward I, which was confirmed by Edward de Charlton; Lord of Powys, in the 11th year of the reign of Henry V., and invests the burgesses with power to take, imprison, and try thieves and other malefactors, and, in the event of their escape, to pursue them in any direction for a distance not exceeding a league from the town ; and any stranger residing within it, and paying scot and lot for one year, could claim his freedom. This charter was extended and confirmed by Charles II, in the 25th year of his reign, at which time the government of the borough became vested in two bailiffs, a high steward, a recorder, and fourteen capital burgesses, assisted by a town-clerk, two serjeants at mace, and other officers. The bailiffs are chosen annually, one by the lord of the manor, and the other by the burgesses at large, and both are justices of the peace within the borough, of which the jurisdiction is co-extensive, with the parish : the other officers of the corporation are chosen by the bailiffs. The borough was made to participate, in the 27th of Henry VIII., in the elective franchise, as a contributory borough with those of Llanidloes, Machynlleth, and Welshpool, in the return of a member for the county town of Montgomery. This privilege was confirmed by a resolution of the House of Commons, in 1680, but was afterwards denied by another resolution of that house, in 1728, which disfranchised these boroughs, in consequence of the inhabitants refusing to contribute towards de-fraying the expenses of the member, namely, thirteen shillings and fourpence for each borough, and confined the right of voting exclusively to the burgesses of Montgomery, These resolutions, however, being in opposition to each other, the burgesses, by an act of the 28th of George III., were empowered to assert their right of voting for a member for Montgomery before another committee of the House of Commons, and of appealing within twelve calendar months against any future decision. By the late act for amending the representation of the people the elective franchise has been restored to Llanvyllin, which, with Llanidloes, Machynlleth, Montgomery, Newtown, and Welshpool, unites in sending one member to parliament : the right of voting is vested in every male person of full age, occupying a house or other premises of the annual value of not less than ten pounds, provided he be capable of registering as the act demands : the number of tenements of this value within the limits of the borough, which were extended by the late act, and are minutely detailed in the Appendix to this work, including an area of about five hundred acres, is sixty. Llanvyllin has also by the late act been made one of the polling-places in the election of a knight for the shire. The freedom of the borough is inherited by the eldest sons only of freemen, on their attaining the age of twenty-one, or conferred by gift of the bailiffs and capital burgesses. The corporation are empowered to hold quarter sessions for the borough; and petty sessions both for the borough and for the hundred are held in the town-hall every Thursday. Courts leet and baron are held twice in the year, within a month of Easter and Michaelmas ; but the court baron does not at present exercise the jurisdiction to which it has a claim in the recovery of debts. The town hall, situated on one side of the principal street, is a neat building of brick, containing in the upper story a commodious room, forty-five feet long and twenty feet wide, which is used for the transaction of all public business, and during the intervals is appropriated to the use of the National school, affording underneath a convenient and sheltered area for the use of the market ; it was erected in 1789, at an expense of £ 1500, defrayed by the sale of waste lands under the provisions of an act obtained for that purpose in 1775. A lock-up house, consisting of two rooms, for the confinement of prisoners, and an apartment for the residence of the constable, was erected in 1829, at an expense of £350 : the ground was purchased and presented to the corporation by the Rev. D. Hughes, rector of the parish, and one of the most indefatigable magistrates in the county.

The living is a rectory, in the archdeaconry and diocese of St. Asaph, rated in the king's books at £ 10, 13. 6 1/2., and in the patronage of the Bishop of St. Asaph. The church, dedicated to St. Myllin, or Mewn Llyn, is a neat edifice of brick, erected in thc year 1706, upon the site of a more ancient structure, which, having fallen into a dilapidated state, was taken down : the walls of the body of the edifice, as well as of the tower, which is also of brick, and contains a fine peal of eight bells, presented by Lord Mostyn are embattled and surmounted with pinnacles. There are places of worship for Independents and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists. Mrs. Vaughan of Llangedwin, in 1720, bequeathed the sum of £ 1116. 10. in the funds, to be invested in the purchase of lands for the foundation and endowment of charity schools for twenty boys and ten girls of this parish, and for twelve boys of the parish of Llanvihangel, to be annually clothed : this sum, after having accumulated to £ 1220. 10., was laid out in mortgage on the estate of Llwydiarth, belonging to Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, Bart., and produces an income to the charity of £ 61 per annum. Mrs. Mary Strangeways, of the parish of Melbury, in the county of Dorset, daughter of Mrs. Vaughan, purchased a tenement in Llaethbwlch, now producing a rent of £ 60 per annual, which she gave for the support of these schools, to which also Henry Thomas, Esq., in 1713, bequeathed £ 100, which, from accumulated interest, produces £ 8 per annum. There are at present in these schools, which since the year 1820 have been conducted on the National plan, sixty boys and sixty girls, of whom twenty boys and ten girls are annually clothed: the boys' schoolroom is in the town-hall ; the girls', which was erected by subscription in 1820, is situated near the church. There are also Sunday schools in connexion with the established church and the several dissenting congregations. Edward Lloyd bequeathed a portion of land, the produce of which he directed to be annually distributed in money and bread to the poor. Charles Edwards, in 1717, bequeathed £50; Lewis Evans left £20; John Morris £ 10 ; Anne Wynn £ 10 ; and John Griffiths, in 1722, bequeathed £ 10, also for the benefit of the poor.

In the hamlet of Bodyddon, in this parish, at a place called the " Street," are some remains of a Roman road; and in the same division of the parish are also an ancient British encampment, and a well called Fynnon Coed y Llan, which is supposed to have been the well of St. Myllin, who is said to have resided near the spot. There are vestiges of several intrenchments in other parts of the parish, also the remains of an ancient house, built in 1599, in which Lord Castlemain, ambassador from James II. to the pope, is said to have been concealed for some time after the Revolution by a family named Price, to whom he fled for an asylum. The altar-piece of the chapel in this house, and an exquisitely carved book-case, removed from this old mansion, are now at Brynaber, near Llanvyllin, the seat of Maurice Bibbey, Esq., to whom the remains above mentioned belong. There are several gentlemen's seats within the parish and in its vicinity, among which, in the hamlet of that name, is situated Bodvach, the property of Lord Mostyn, a handsome mansion beautifully situated on the banks of the river Cain, and surrounded with thriving plantations : the grounds are tastefully disposed, and present much interesting scenery, commanding a fine view of the church and town of Llanvyllin. Thomas Price, a member of the same family, a man of learning and fond of antiquarian researches, formed a valuable collection of manuscripts, which is supposed to have been deposited in the Vatican Library at Rome. Near the town, on the other side, and at the entrance of the well-wooded Vale of Abel, which is watered by the river of that name, stand the splendid mansion of Llwyn, the residence of William Humffreys, Esq. The Rev. Thomas Richards, who was appointed rector of this parish, in 1718, by Bishop Wynne, published a folio volume of Latin Hexameters upon the death of Queen Caroline, consort of George I., which he dedicated to Bishop Maddox, clerk of the closet to Her Majesty : he was an elegant scholar, and is said by Dr. Trapp, professor of poetry in the University of Oxford, to have been the best writer of Latin verse since the time of Virgil. At Dol y velin Blwm, near Llanvyllin, many tons of lead have been procured from the imperfectly reduced scoria of some ancient British smelting hearths. The average annual expenditure for the maintenance of the poor is £616. 2.


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