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Full text of "Topography of Great Britain or, British traveller's pocket directory : being an accurate and comprehensive topographical and statistical description of all the counties in England, Scotland and Wales, with the adjacent islands : illustrated with maps of the counties, which form a complete British atlas"

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^vtat Mvitain, 


















Uontron : 

Printed^ hjf Alignment from the Executors of the late C. Cooke, 










Containing an Account of its 

Situation, i Mines, Canats, 

Extent, I Fisheries, Cariosities, 

Towns, I Manufactures. Antiquities, 

Roads, I Commerce, iJiography, 

Rivers, - 1 Agriculture, History, 

Civil and Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions, &c. 
To which arc prefixed, 
The Direct and Principal Cross Roads^ Distances of Stages, 
Jnnsy and Nollemen and Gentlemen's Seats, 


^ %i^t of tl)t Markets ant< dTair^; 


Eithibiting at one View, the Distances of all the Towns from London, 
and of Towns from each other : 

With an Account of the Wye Tour. 




Illustrated with 



Printed, by Assignment from the Executors of the late C. Cooke, 




B. M'Millao, Printer, 
B*w-Strcct, Cov«nt-Garden. 



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CO rt 


.— I s: en O C Cli ►> 


On R. a T. R. to 


The Three Pigeons 
On R a T. R. to 

Thnme; on L. to 

Wheatley-bi:idge • • 
Cross the Thame, 


Over Siwtever'hilli 
on L. a T, R. to 
Oxford; three quar- 

ters of a mile far- 
thery on R. to Islik. 

On L. a T. R. to 
Wheatley, by Shot- 

St. Clement's Turn- 

On L. a T. R. to 
Henley. Cross the 

Ch^rwellf R. 

Cross the Isis, R. 
Botley-hill, Berks 

On R. a T. R. to 
Eynsham-bridge • • 

Cross the Isis, R. 
Eynsham, Oxford 
Newland Turnpike 

On R. a T. R. 
to Woodstock. Cross 
the Windrush, R 














Tkmme-purk, Miss Wick- 
ham, R. 

Inn : Flvme of Feathers. 

Inns : Royal Oak, Swan. 

Great Hastey, — Blackall, 
esq. L.; Ricot-park, Earl 
of Abingdon; and half a 
mile beyond the Three 
Pigeons, at Waterstock, 
W. H. Ashurst, esq. 

Holton-park, Elisha liiscoe, 
esq. R. 

Inn: Crown. 

Cuddesden-palace, Bishop of 
Oxford, R. ; one mile be- 
yond Wheatley, on L. 
Shotover' house, . George 
Schutz, esq. 

Sir Joseph Lock ; Edw. La- 
timer, esq. ; and the Rei\ 
T. Horwood, R. 

Inn : Catherine Wheel. 

Inns : Angel, King^s Arms, 
Mitre, Roe-Buck, Star. 

Beyond, seeWyt ham Abbey, 
Earl of Abingdon. 

Eynsham-hall, J. Buxton, 




On L. two r. r:s 

to Bump ton. 

On It. a T. R. to 

Chipping Norton Sf 
Stoic ; on L. to Far- 
ringdou and to Ci- 

Little Barrington, 

North LEAca •••• 
On R. a T. R, to 

Stow; on L. the 
footway tQ Cirences- 

Frogmill Tjin • • • • 
On R, a T. R. to 
Gloucester^ through 
Whit combe; on R. 
to Stozv. 

Dowdeswell • • • • 

Charlton Kings • • 


On L. a T. R. to 

Cheltenham • 




7 P. 








Staple-hall Inn. 

The Priori/, W. J. Lenthall, 
esq. R. ; two miles atid 
a half' distant, on L. 
at Bradwell, Bradwell- 
grove house, W. Hervey, 

Inns : Bull, and George. 

Barrington -park. Lord 
Dt/nevor, R. ; beyond 
Little Barrington, on L. 
are Dutton-lodge, unoc- 
fupied, and Barrington' 
grove, E. Greenwuy, esq. 

Beyond, see Stowell-park, 
Mrs. Humbridge. 

Inns: King*$ Head, Sher- 
borne Arms, 

See from the hill a fine 
prospect over the rich 
Vale of Evesham, Chel- 
tenham, Tewkesbury, and 
Woixester, bounded by 
the Malvern'hil/s, Frog- 
mill Inji. 

Sandywcll-park, Miss Tim' 
brell, R. 

Charlton-iiark, Mrs. Pritin, 

esq. R. ; S^-on tin: hill Hew- 
IcLs, James Agg, esq. 
fniis: Fleece, George Ho- 
tel, Lamb, London Ho- 
tel, Plough Hotel. 






On II. a T. R. to 

Tcwhesbiirt/ ; on L. 

to Heydena Elm ; 

and again^ on L. to 


Gloucester .... 



OnR.a T. R. to 

Tewkesbury ; on L. 

to Bath and Bris- 

tol Cross the Se- 

vern, R. and the 

Gloucester Canal, 


Highnam • • 



On R. a T. R. to 

Newent ; on h. to 





Huntley Turnpike 



On L. a T. R. to 

Mitchel Dean. 

Durley-cross • . • • 






On L. a T. R. to 

Mitchel Dean. 




Ritford, Hereford- 







Ross •• 



OnR. a T, R. to 

Ledbury. Cross the 

Wye, R. 




On R. a T. R. to 


Upper AVear .... 



Lower Wear • « • • 



Pencraig ........ 



A little befoi'e, see Mar- 

faret and Magdalen 
ospitals; at Alaston, 
Mastdn-hoiese, Mrs.NiI>* 
lett, L. 
Inns: Bell, Booth Hull, 
King's Head. 

Highnam-court, SirR. W. 
Guise, bart. R.; be- 
yond, in the road to 
Chepstow, High-grove, 
Mrs. Evans, L. 

Inn s : King*s Head, Kingh 
Arms, Swan. 

On i. at Glowston, C. 


Good rich-cross 

Old Forge 

Cross the river 


Enter Monmouth' 


Monmouth •••• 












Ballengery esq.; on L. 
the Rocklands ; and W. 
Foskett, esq.; and see 
the remains of the an- 
cient castle. Two miles 
beyond, is Court'fieldy 
W. Vaughan, esq. 

One milefrom Whitchurch, 
on 11, Fort'house, H, 
Barnes, esq.; near it 
the Lays; and one mile 
further, Newton-court, 
Mrs. Griffin. 

Inns : Beaufort Ar7ns, 
King's Head. 

through ragland. 
Monmouth to 
On R. a T. R. to 

Hereford and Aber- 
gavenny, (by the 
upper road); on L. 
to Coleford, Cross 
the Munnozv, R. 


On R. a T. R. to 
Chepstow and Usk. 


Near is Milbourn-court, 
T. Swinnerton, esq. One 
mile and a half beyond, 
see Dynaston-castle, 

See the ruins of the ancient 

Inn : Beaufort Arms, 

Half a milefrom ClythOf 
on R. see Llanach, John 
Jones, esq. 



Llangattock • • • • 
A mile before, 
Abergavenny, L. to 
and TJsk, 


12 A mile and a half beyond 
TJangattockf on L. a 
farm-house, in form of a 
cast le ; two miles furt her ^ 
Colebrookrhouse, J. Han- 
bury Williams, esq, ; half 
a mile from Llangattock^ 
Pempergzoin-house, Rev. 
J. Lewis. 
Inns: Angel, Greyhound, 

16 On R. of Abergavenny, 
Hill' house, Thos. Mor- 
gan, esq.; on L. Llan" 
foist'house, F. Chambre, 



Monmouth to 

Llandilo Cresseny 

Llanvapley • • • 






Two miles from, on R. Per- 
thyr, J. Powel Lorymer, 

Llandilo-house, R, Lewis, 
esq.; on L. BrynDerry, 
Rev. Dr. Nicholas; and 
about one mile, on R. 

About half a mile, on R. of 
Wernddu, Ambrose God- 
dard, esq. 

One mile from, on R. is 
Twydee, Thos. Ellis, esq. ; 
north of Abergavenny is 
Llantony-^tbbey, W. S. 
Llandee, esq. 




Abergavenny to 

On R. a T. R. 
to Crickhowell ; on 
L. to Monmouth; 
bei/ond, on L. to 
Monmouth and Usk. 
Croas the Usk, R. 

On L. a r. n. to 
Usk. Cross the Bre- 
con canal. 

One mile beyond, 
Llanvihangel • • • • 

Cross the Bre- 
con canal. One mile 
beyond, on R. a 
T. R. to Pontypool. 
Cross the Brecon 


Cross-y-Ceilog • • 

Half a mile be- 
yond, on Li. a T. R. 
to Caerleon. Cross 
the Avon Llywd, R. 


Cross the Mon- 
mouth canal, to 









On R. of Abergavenny is 
Llanfoist-house, Major 
Chambre; one mile from 
Abergavenny, on L.Cole- 
brooke-house and park, 
F. Williams, esq. 

About 1 mileSf a half beyond 
Llanove-n-house, Benja- 
min Waddington, esq.; 
beyond which, Pant-y- 
goytre, W. V. Bary, esq. 

Llanvihangel-court, Hugh 
Powel, esq.; and Ponty- 
pool-park, C. H. Leigh, 
esq. R. 

Inn: The New Inn. 

Near, on L.ris Llantarnam- 
abbty and park, Edward 
Blewitt, esq. 

Near, on R. is Malpas- 
home, Sir J. A. Kemeys; 
and half a mile beyond is 
Crynda-lodge, — Hodg- 
kinson, esq. 

Inn : The Kingh Head, 





Monmouth to 


On R. a T. R. to 

Abergavenny; onh. 
to Chepstow, 


Cross the Usk, R. ; 
und on R. a T. R, 
to Ahergav^nny. 




Cross t he Torvaen, 
Carleon • 










Near is Milbmirn-courty 

T. Szvinnerto7iy esq. 
Inn : Beaufort Arms. 

Between Usk 4" Llanhenock 

are Llangibby- castle, W. 

A. Williams, esq.; Pen- 

park, — Williams, esq. ; 

and Carigweth-house, J, 

Morgan, esq. 
Inn : Three Salmons. 
Half a mile on R. is Llan- 


Inn : Hankury Arms, 



Monmouth to 
The Redwern • 


Tr el leek 

On R. a T. R 



\AT.R. on R. to 
the New Passage; 
on L. to Monmouth. 
St. Aryan's 

On R. a T. R. to 








Within one jnile, on 
Troy^house, Duke 

Inn : The Lion. 


C 2 

About two miles, on L. see 
the beautiful ruins of 

Inn : The Squirrel. 

One mile and a half before 



Chepstow y on L. is Tierce- 
field, ike seat ofN. WeUs, 
esq.; about three miles, 
on R. Ittou'courtj W. 
Currieyesq.; three miles, 
on R. of Chepstow, is St, 
Pierre, Charles Lewis, 
Inns : Beaufort Arms, and 
Three Crowns, 


New Passage to 

Cross the Severn, 
R. to 
Black-Rock Inn • • 

On R. a T. R. to 

Portes-cauet • • • • 

On R. a T. R. to 

On R. a T. R. to 

Cat's Ash 

Half a mile for- 
ward, on R. a T. R. 
to Caerleon. 
Christchurcli • • • • 

Beyond, on R. a 
T. R. to Usk. 




Inn : The Black-Rock Inn, 

Crick-house, N. M. Pley- 
dell, esq. ; nearmhich are 
Barnsvilla,Sir H. Cosby; 
and Grandra, JohnProC' 
tor, esq. 

Wentwood-lodge, Duke of 
Beaufort, R. ; Fencoyd- 
castle. Sir M, Wood, 
bart. L. 

Near, on L. is Llanwerne, 
Sir T. V. Salusbury, bart. 

Between Christchurch and 
Newport, on L. are Bel- 
mont, Q. Hall, esq., and 
Mount St. Albun's, Jas. 
Thomas, esq. ; five miles 




beyond b WiUton-house, 
Win. Phillips, esq. 
One mile beforCy on L. 
Maindee, G. Jones, esq. 



Chepstow to 

St. Pierte .-.•... 


On R. a T. R. 
to Monmouth. , 

On R. a T. R. to 
Penhowe ......... 

Cat's Ash 

Half a mile, on 
R. a T. R. to Caer- 

Christchurch • » . . 

Beyond, on R. a 

T. R. to Usk. Cross 

the Usk, R. 

Newport • • • • 
On R. a T. R. to 

Pontypool Sf Caer- 
philly. Cross the 
Monmouth canal, a- 
bout one mile from 
Newport. Cross the 
iron rail-way. 
Caer-b ridge • • . • 
Cross the Sotwy, 







Crick-house, N. M. Pley- 
dell, esq.; near which are 
Barnsvilla, Sir H, Cosby; 
and Grandra, John ProC" 
tor, esq. 

Wentwood^lodge, Duke of 
Beaufort, R,; Pencoyd- 
castle, Sir M. Wood, 
bart, L.; near, on L. is 
Llantcerne, Sir T. V. 
Salushury, bart. 

Between Christchurch and 
Newport, on L. Belmont, 
G. Hall, esq.; 4" Mount 
St. Alban's, James Tho- 
?nas, esq. Five miles be- 
yond is Wilston-house, 
Wm. Phillips, esq. 

One mile before Newport, 
on L. see Maindee, G, 
Jones, esq.; one mile be- 
yond Newport, on L. are 
Belle Vue, Mrs. Huntley; 
and Friars, Thos. PrO' 
theroe, esq. 

Beyond, on L. Tredegar, 
Sir Chas. Morgan, bart. 



Castle Town .... 3 n} 

St. Mellon's • • • . 2 23| Three miles, on R. Rup- 
pera'house, C. Morgarif 
esq.; a quarter of a mile 
further J on R. Cqfn Ma- 
bley, J. H. Tynte, esq. 
Inn: The Blue Bell. 

Rumney • \\ 24|: Llanrumney, David Bi- 

chardSf esq. R. 


( 19) 


Abergavenny. — May 14, for cattle; June 24, linen 
and woollen cloth ; September 25, for hogs, liorses, 
and flannel. 

Caerleon. — May 1, July 20, September 21, cattle. 

Chepstow. — Friday in Whitsun week, cattle; Satur- 
day before June 20, for wool; August 1, Friday 
se'nnight after St. Luke, October 18, for cattle; 
Last Monday in the month, ditto. 

Christchurchf near Caerleon. — Cattle, &c. 

Crismond, near Abergavenny. — April 4, August 10, 
and October 9, for cattle, &c. 

Jkfagor.— Two last Mondays in Lent, for cattle. 

Monmouth. — June 18, wool; Whit-Tuesday, Sep- 
tember 24, ditto ; November 22, horned cattle, fat 
hogs, and cheese. 

Newport. — Holy Thursday, Whit-Thursday, August 
15, November 6, for cattle ; tliird Monday in the 
month, cattle and sheep. 

Fontypool. — April 22, July 5, October 10, for horses, 
lean cattle, and pedlary ; last Monday in the month, 

Trullickf five miles from Monmouth. — Horses, cattle, 
sheep, and pigs. 

Vsk. — Trinity Monday, October 18, for horses, lean 
cattle, and pedlary. 

( 20 ) 







J. P. Jones & Co. 

Bromage and Co. 
Hills and Co. 
J. P. Jones & Co. 

Buckle and Co. 
Forman and Co. 

On whom they draw in 
London. , ■ 

Pole, Thornton and 

Masterman & Co, 
Esdaile and Co. 
Pole, Thornton and 

Cox and Co. 
Pole, Thornton and 



The county town, Monmouth, gives that of Earl 
to the Mordaunt family ; — Abergavenni/f that of Earl 
and Baron to the Nevilles ; — Chepstow, that of Baron 
to the Somerset family ; — Lanthony gives the title of 
Baron to the Buller family ; — Ragland and Gower, 
the same to the Somersets ;— and Grosmount, tliat of 
Viscount to the same family. 


These are holden at Monmouth and Usk on Ja- 
nuary 11, April 11, July 11, and October 17. 




i I 'iHTS county was formerly called Wentset and 
-■- Wentsland, and by the Britons Gwent, from an 
ancient city of that name. The modern name of the 
shire is taken from the county town. The people 
inhabiting this and the neighbouring counties of He- 
reford, Radnor, Brecknock, and Glamorgan, were the 
ancient Silures, of whom Tacitus the Roman histo- 
rian says, ** The Silures were a fierce and warlike 
people," whom neither clemency or severity could 
subdue. This character so enraged the Emperor 
Claudius, that he gave orders to Ostorius Scapula, 
then Roman Governor of Britain, to conquer or extir- 
pate the Silures. Ostorius immediately endeavoured 
to make a conquest of this brave and valiant people, 
who had hitherto supported with honour their native 
independence, and defied even the power of the Ro- 
man eagle. The Silures were at this time under the 
government of the celebrated Caractacus. This he- 
roic prince, after successfully resisting the attacks of 
the Roman general, was unfortunately taken prisoner, 
and conducted to Rome, to grace the triumph of his 
victorious antagonist. It was under such circum- 
stances that Caractacus preserved a calm, but dig- 
nified temper of mind. Though led captive amidst 
the shouts of hostile multitudes, his demeanour was 
♦ ''ch, as to gain him the admiration of his conquerors. 
His speech to the Emperor Claudius and Roman Se- 
nate, made a strong impression on all who heard hini, 
and there were many among the auditory who, '^ al- 
beit unused to the melting mood," wept for the mis- 
fortunes of this great and illustrious prince. 


The Romans occupied the country of the Silures, 
from their full establishment in the reign of Vespasian, 
to the period of their fihal departure from Britain, 
when the mighty empire of Rome was fast approach- 
ing its dissolution. During the Roman dynasty, this 
county was in the province of ** Britannia Secunda," 
and the stations were " Blestium," at Monmouth; 
" Burriom," at Usk; " Venta Silurura," at Caerwent; 
" Gobannium," at Abergavenny; and '*Isca Silurum," 
at Caerleon, the head-quarters of the second legion, 
and seat of government for " Britannia Secunda." 
Considerable remains of the three last-mentioned 
stations are still visible. The grand Roman road, 
according to the best accounts, led from "Aqua 
Solis" (the water of the sun) Bath, in Somersetshire, 
to Menevia St. David's, in a direction through the 
counties of Pembroke, Monmouth, Carmarthen, and 

Various aqueducts, baths, tesselated pavements, 
columns, statues, urns, and altars, have been dug up in 
different parts of this county ; an undeniable evidence 
of the Romans having occupied it. Archdeacon Coxe, 
the author of many celebrated works, gays, in hi/s 
*' Historical Tour in Monmouthshire," that a square or 
parallelogramical form, is the only indubitable mark 
of Roman origin. According to the criterion of this 
sagacious traveller, most of the Roman encampments 
and fortifications in tl-is county are of this form ; four 
only being rectangular. 

In 100:2 there was discovered at Caerleon a che- 
quered paveiTient, and a statue in a Roman habit, 
with a quiver of arrows; but the head, hands, and 
feet were broken off. From an inscription found 
adjacent, it proved to he a statue of Diana. At the 
same time the iVagnients of two stone altars were dug 
up, one ot'vvhich was erected by Ilicterionus, general 
of Augustus, and proprietor of the province of Cilicia. 
There was hIso a votive altar dug up, from which the 
name of the Enjperor Geta appeared to have been 


Long before the Saxons came into this county 
there were three churches at Caerleon, one of which 
was dedicated to St. JuHan, another to St. Aaron, 
who both suffered under the Dioclesian persecution, 
and the third had monks, and was the metropolitan 
church of Wales. Near Caerleon, in 1654, a Roman 
altar of free-stone was found, inscribed to Jupiter and 
Juno. Towards the end of the 17th century, in the 
church of a village called Tredonnock, a fair and 
entire monument of a Roman soldier of the second 
legion, called Julius Julianus, was dug up, and near 
this place were also found other Roman antiquities. 


This county is situated on the north shore of the 
Bristol channel, or Severn sea, and is bounded on the 
west by the river Runaney, separating it from Glamor- 
ganshire; on the north, small brooks and land-marks 
divide it from Brecknock and Herefordshire; on the 
east, it is bounded by Gloucestershire, from which it 
is separated by the river Wye from Redbrook to the 

The situation of this county is picturesque, and par- 
ticularly delightful. The eastern parts are woody, 
and the western mountainous ; a diversified and lux- 
urious scenery of hill and dale. Here the eye is 
enchanted with Sylvan shades, impervions woods, 
fields enriched with the finest corn, and meadows 
enamelled with flowers; there lofty mountains, whose 
summits reach the clouds, form a sublime and ma- 
jestic view, highly awful and deeply impressive. Nor 
will the climate of this county be found inferior to its 
local beauties. It is salubrious, and friendly to can- 
valescence and longevity. The air is pure, and if it is 
found in the mountainous regions of a bleak and 
piercing nature, yet it tends greatly to strengthen and 
brace the animal system, and precJudes those disor- 
ders which prevail in a moist and milder atmosphere. 

This county in length, from north to south, is thirty- 
Ibree miles ; its breadth, from east and west, twenty- 
six miles, and its circumference 110 miles. Usk is 


nearer the middle of it than any other market town. 
It comprises an area of 550 square miles. 

The churches in Monmouthshire, from their situa» 
tion, mode of architecture, and general appearance, 
constitute unique and picturesque objects. Situated 
either on the banks of rivers, large streams of water, 
or else embosomed in trees, bursting upon the view, 
they create in the traveller the most delectable and 
pleasing sensations. The beauty of these picturesque 
objects, it has been remarked, can only be surpassed 
by a church situated at the back of the Isle of Wight, 
at the village of Thorley, the scenery surrounding 
which is inexpressibly charming. Mr. Britton, whose 
taste and judgment in the architecture of churches is 
unquestionably pre-eminent, thus expresses himself as 
to the style of architecture of the churches in> Mon- 

" Many of them, particularly in the mountainous 
parts, are very ancient. A few may be referred to 
the Ijritish and Saxon periods, and several to the 
early Norman asra, which is evident from the circular 
arch, and the crenellated, billetted, and other mould- 
ings, characteristic of those styles of building; but 
the larger portion are subsequent to the introduction 
of the pointed arch. 

" Those assignable to the earliest period appear 
like barns, are of small dimensions, without collateral 
aisles, or any distinction of lieightor breadth between 
the nave and the chancel, and are destitute of a 
steeple. Those of the second epoch have the chancel 
narrower, and less lofty than the nave; and a small 
belfry, consisting of two arches, for hanging bells, is 
fixed over the roof at the western end of the church. 
The third class consists of a nave, chancel, and tower, 
which in some instances is placed in the centre, 
in some at the side, and in others at the western 

" A few in the eastern parts of the county have 
spires, and do not appear of earlier date than the 
thirteen ill century. Few of the churches in this 


county have undergone much alteration since the 
Reformation, still exhibiting vestiges of the Catholic 
worship, such as rood-lofts, niches for saints, auricular 
recesses, and confessional chairs." 

A whimsical custom is yet prevalent in Monmouth- 
shire, of white-washing the churches ; and though 
such a practice produces no unpleasant effect, yet it 
assuredly, in the opinion of the author above quoted, 
" takes off that venerable aspect so impressively as- 
sumed by weather-beaten stone." 
- Usually the body of the church is white-washed, 
and sometimes that high honour is conferred upon 
ihe tower also; the brush sometimes lightly skims 
over the battlements and parapets. Mr. Essex, in 
his remarks on ancient brick and stone buildings in 
England, thus accounts for this singular custom : 
** The Normans frequently raised large buildings with 
pebbles only, or with pebbles and rag-stones inter- 
mixed ; as these ranterials made a very rough surface, 
the whole was generally covered, both internally and 
externally, with plaster and white-wash." 

Many remains of Popish superstition are visible 
throughout all the principality of Wales, in this 
county peculiarly. A custom prevails among the 
poor and lower class of inhabitants, both Catholics 
and Protestants, of begging bread for the souls of the 
departed, on the first day of November, or All Saints 
day; tlie bread thus distributed is denominated "dole 

A very ancient and pious custom is still prevalent 
in Monmouthshire, viz. that of strev<ring the graves 
of the departed and the church-yards with flowers and 
evergreens, on festivals and holidays. The lower 
order of people and farmers are fond of conversing in 
Welsh, though they all understand English. 

In some of the churches the service is performed 
alternately in the Welsh and English languages. 

The county of Monmouth, though appertaining to 
England, yet, as having been formerly within the 
circle of the Welsh principality, some of the inhabit- 
D ' 


ants are like their brethren inclined to credulity and 
superstition ; hence the Catholic priests have been 
enabled to gain many proselytes to the doctrines of 
the church of Rome. But we observe with great 
pleasure, that this delightful county is in a progressive 
state of improvement. Many public-spirited gentle- 
men have introduced into it a taste for general science, 
and encouraged a sedulous attention to the grand 
interests of commerce, &c. 


This county is divided into six hundreds, viz. Sken- 
freth, Abergavenny, Wentloog, Usk, Ragland, and 
Caldicot; which comprehend 120 parishes, besides 
chapelries, and seven market-towns, viz. Monmouth, 
Chepstow, Abergavenny, Caerleon, Newport, Usk, 
and Pontypool. This county is now in the province 
of Canterbury, and in the diocese of Llandaff; except 
three parishes in that of Hereford, viz. Welsh Bick- 
nor, Dixon, and St. Mary's; and three in St. David's, 
viz. Old Castle, Llanthony, and Cwmyoy. 


The climate is mild in the vales and southern parts, 
and gradually colder as we ascend the hills towards 
the confines of Breconshire, where the snows some- 
times remain on the ground till a late period of the 
spring. The general humidity of the western districts 
of the kingdom is felt in this county, where the rains 
are frequently of long <;ontinuance. This moisture, 
however, is beneficial to the grazing parts of the 
county; and where the occupiers of farms, consisting 
of low and high lands, have the convenience of main- 
taining their cattle upon dry soils during the falls of 
rain, they are greatly benefited by the wet weather, 
which would be deemed an injury in tillage counties. 

The great estuary of the Severn attracts the clouds 
of the western ocean, and causes torrents of rain to 
fall on the north and south shores much more fre- 
quently than on the inland parts of Wales, and the 
west of England; and this is one of the principal 
causes of producing such vast droves of horned cattle 


every year from the counties of Pembroke, Carmar- 
then, Glamorgan, and Monmouth, the whole range of 
country being fitter for pasture than tillage, by reason 
o( the moisture of the climate. 

The soil is of various kinds, but generally pro- 
ductive and fertile. The peculiarity of the county 
arises from its woodlands, forests, and chaces, some 
of which are of great extent, and do not appear to 
have been private property. The dimensions of those 
woodlands and chaces have been, however, gradually 
and regularly diminished by grants, and the intermix- 
ture of industry and negligence. Nearly one-third 
of the county is a rich plain, or moor, upon the shore 
of the Severn ; one-third is made up of beautifully 
variegated ground, watered by considerable rivers, 
the hillocks cultivated or woody, aud one-third as- 
sumes the mildest character of mountain, abounding 
with lovely vallies. 


That of Monmouth, according to the returns of 
J821, consisted of 37,278 males, and 34,555 females, 
making a total of 71,833 persons, occupying 13,371 


The principal in the county are the Wye, which 
enters it two miles above Monmouth, and in passing 
that town and Chepstow, falls into the Severn sea 
three miles below the latter. The Usk enters the 
county near Clydach, passes Abergavenny, Usk, Caer- 
leon, and Newport, and falls into the Severn sea three 
miles below the latter. The Rumney forms the 
western bouiidary of the county. 

Monmouthshire is abundantly watered with fine 
streams, as the Avon, Llvvyd, Beeg, Berddin, Cam, 
Cledaugh, Ebwy fawr and fach, Fidan, Gavenny, 
Gruny, Houddy Kebby, Luraon, Monow, Morbesk, 
Mythix Nedern, Olwy, Organ, Pill, Port-Meyric, 
Rhyd-y-mirch, Rumney, Severn, Gorwy, Tilery, 
Troggy, Trothy, Usk, JVj/e, Ystwyth. 

The MynoiCy or Monow, rises in Brecknockshire, 
D 2 


pursues its course south-east, and dividing this county 
from Hereford, falls into the river Wye at Monmouth. 

Tlie Rumney rises in Brecknockshire, and shaping 
its course south-east, divides this county from Gla- 

The Usk rises also amidst tlie black mountains of 
Brecknockshire, and, with a south-east direction, sepa-! 
rates Monmouthshire into nearly two equal parts ; it 
then falls into the Severn near Newport. 

The Ebn\i/ has its source also in. Brecknock, and 
passing under the Beacon mountain, flows tbrongh 
the wild valley of Ebwy, and falls into the Usk below 

The river Wye, which separates this county from 
Gloucestershire, rises in Radnorshire. It is navigable 
for large barges to Monmouth, and ships of 800 tons 
burthen come up to Chepstow, where the tide rises 
with great rapidity. 


The Monmouthshire canal, began in 1792 and 
completed in 1798, is on the west side of the tovin, 
having a basin connected with the river Usk, and 
crosses the Chepstow road; from thence to Malpas, 
it pursues its route parallel to, and near the river Avon, 
V»y Pontypool to Pootnewidd, being nearly eleven 
miles, with a rise of twelve feet in the first mile, the 
remaining ten miles have a rise of 433 feet. From 
nearly opposite Malpas a branch takes its course 
parallel to the river Ebwy to near Crumlin-bridge. 
The Abergavenny canal communicates with the Bre- 


Connected most essentially with the agricultural 
state of u county, is the condition of its roads. So 
singularly bad were the roads in Monmouthshire, 
antecedent to the turnpike aqt, that Valentine Morris, 
then representative for the coimty, being examined 
and interrogated what roads tliere were in Mf;n- 
mouthshire, replied "None." "How then do you 
travel?'' "In ditches," replied the proprietor of 


Piercefieid. The roads were so wretched as to be- 
come proverbially bad : a Monmouth road implying 
one scarcely passable. They were simply hollows 
formed by the action of water between the hills, with 
large banks, and lofty hedges thrown up on each side 
to prevent trespass. " In these Alpine gutters, for 
by no other more appropriate term can they be de- 
signated, the centre is invariably the lowest part, and 
frequent transverse channels run across, to prevent the 
too rapid descent of carriages, or to convey the water 
to some adjacent ponds. 

" Since the construction of turnpike roads, how- 
ever, considerable amelioration has taken place in 
this department, and excepting those imperfections 
which arise from the natural inequalities of surface, 
the principal turnpike roads are as good as most in 
England, especially those from Newport to Caerdiff, 
from the New Passage to Usk, and from Usk to Aber- 
gavenny ; the mode of specifying the distances, and 
pomting the traveller to the direct road, is peculiarly 

The miles are developed by stones, having on each 
" London," inscribed above ; below, the names of the 
parish, and the distance in Arabic numerals, placed 
between. The right and left corners of the upper 
part of the stone being taken off, form two other faces; 
on each is the initial of the place it inclines to, and 
the distance in numbers. 

Directing posts are also set up in various places, 
which are highly requisite, in consequence of the 
sinuous course many of the provincial roads take, 
especially among the mountains. 


The farm-houses and buildings in this county are 
of two sorts : the old timber buildings covered with 
thatch, are still seen upon many farms ; but the scar- 
city and dearness of timber preventing the repair 
and preservation of many of them, they have fallen 
into decay and disuse. Parts of the timbers have 
been employed in erecting stone-walled houses. Tile- 


Stone, a heavy bit substantial covering, has been 
much in use, but it required strong timbers to sup- 
port the weight of the stones laid in lime mortar, and 
sometimes in moss gathered from the neighbouring 
woods and morasses. This moss is prefeired by many 
for barns and out-houses, where the natural moisture 
of the stone keeps it alive, and in a manner cements 
the stones together. 

Thatched roofs have long been on the decline, on 
account of requiring so much straw to keep them in 
repair. Farm-yards, properly speaking, are scarce in 
this county. The farm-buildings, instead of being 
constructed in a square, so as to include a good warm 
farm-yard for cattle to winter in, are too frequently 
found in a scattered and random figure, affording the 
cattle neither shelter in winter or shade in summer. 

Many plans of farm-yards have been published; 
but too many of them are so fantastically planned in 
sweeps, semi-circles, octagons, pentagons, and all the 
figures of geometrical construction, that it is irksome 
to see them on paper, and truly ridiculous to see them 
when built. A great deal of difficulty occurs in roofing 
them, and a deal of room is thrown away. The best 
form of a farm-yard, is considered to be that of a 
square or oblong, according to the circumstances of 
the ground. The whole should be so formed as to 
receive the most sunshine in the early part of the day. 
Farmers are to(j apt to covet a vast extent of barn- 
room, and even the hay has sometimes claimed the 
protection of a slated roof. Repairs of farm-buildings 
are done, or ought to be done, by the landlord ; but 
these are generally best attended to by the tenants, 
when leases are granted. 


There is nothing peculiar in the construction of 
cottages in this county, so far as regards those inha- 
bited by farm-labourers. They are generally built 
upon the most frugal plans, and garden attached to 
them sufficient to supply the family with common 
vejfotables. Tlic addition of a cow leazc, or summer- 


keep, is seldon* desired, or €>fen«^uiught of, as the 
difficulty of keeping a cow in the -first instance is 
almost insurmountable. A plan for building cottages 
adopted among the collieries and iron-works, has pro- 
cured the double advantage of saving timber and pre- 
venting fires They are built in a row, to any number 
wanted, and contain one tier of cottages over another. 
The ground-tier are arched, and a strong party-virall 
runs between every two dwellings. The roof of^ the 
upper tier is covered with tile-stone or slate, and the 
wljole has a firm and neat appearance. 


The rent, and consequently the size of farms, vary 
considerably; and there are not many that would be 
deemed very large in the eastern parts of the kingdom. 
From sixty acres to aoo, may be taken as the extent 
of farms thron?hout this cnnnty ; but the lesser quantity 
predominates ui puint of numbers, and about 140 aci-es 
is, perhaps as near an average of the whole as may be. 


The rapid advance in the value of land of late years, 
ought to have induced many landlords to have granted 
them of reasonable length, much more generally than 
they have been ; for no extensive or permanent im- 
provement can possibly be expected from a tenant at 
will. A lease for twenty-one years would, on the 
contrary, encourage the farmer to advance his capital 
with confidence, in draining, manuring, and otherwise 
improving the lands ; and if the life of himself, his wife 
and child, were added, it would prove a still stronger 
stimulus to his spirit and industry. This would also 
add greatly to the landlord's importance at a county 
election, by giving him a preponderance of freeholders, 
and thus rendering him less dependent on the inferior 
class of voters. 


These are mostly commuted : some instances occur, 
of their being paid in kind, but not many. A modus 
of twopence per acre for hay ground, prevails in tlte 
parishes of Magor, Redwick and Undy. The lands in 


tfic level are titheable, and the value of the tithes is 
generally paid iu money by the occupiers. Taking 
tithe in kind (though undoubtedly the right of the 
church), has been accompanied with much animosity 
between incumbents and parishioners ; and has in no 
small degree been the occasion of the churches being 
so thinly attended. 


The variety of these in this part of the country, does 
not appear to have been very great till of late years, 
during which they have been introduced through the 
many persons who have come to settle here from 
different parts. Many of them were proprietors of 
iron-works, and others have bought estates in the 
county, and judiciously improved them. Since this 
period, the long Herefordshire plough has been gene- 
rally set aside, and the Rotherham swing-plough 
adopted in its room. 


The best bred in the Vale of the hundred of Aber- 
gai^nny, are of the Hereford kind, and much pains 
have been taken to procure bulls and heifers from that 
county, where the breed has been very highly im- 
proved, by the selection of the finest sorts under the 
care of intelligent breeders. " The fashion of blood," 
as it has been technically called, of the Herefordshire 
cattle, has long since been brought to such excellence, 
that extraordinary prices have been given for the hire 
of bulls only for one season, nearly equal to what the 
celebrated Mr. Bakewell obtained in the days of his 
famous-stock of bulls. 

Among the breeders of the Vale of Abergavenny, 
Major Morgan of Hill-house has been conspicuous for 
liis cows, bulls and heifers. The oxen are bought in 
at three years old, and worked till six or seven by 
bonie fanners; others have preferred buying in the 
spring, and after working them during the summer on 
the farm, have sold them again in the autumn to the 
dealers, who drive them into the counties eastward of 
the Severn for sale. Glamorgan cows are preferred 

siiev:?. 33 

V)y tlje women, as most proHtuule for tSe dairy; and 
the plouglijiien approve of the Glauiori^an oxen for 
team-iaboiir, and for turning the quickest at the land's 
end in ploughing. 


The breeding; of horses is still necessary and pro- 
fitable; and during the late war, there was a continual 
siipply of them wanting for the cavalry, artillery, &c. 
This tempted farmers on tolerably roomy farms to 
breed colis for saddle and drausiht. The latter are 
most of the Herefordshire breed, strong, short, and 
compact in their make. There are but ^ew horses 
reared in Ragland hundred, owing to tlie general 
wetness of the soil. The horse-teams ia Abergavenny 
and Usk hundred, are good strong cattle, mostly black, 
and of the Hereford breed ; some very good coks of 
the dj-aught kind are seen in the vale; the nati^* breed 
of the county is meagre, light, and uncoropact, little 
adapted to the labours of the field, or to travelling. 

MULES. ■^•* 

Before the formation of the numerous rail-\vay?%nd 
canals in this county, the services of mules in the hilly 
districts were invaluable. The breed of this animal 
is still kept up, mules are now chiefly employed in 
carrying charcoal from the woods to the iron-works. 
They will carry 300 weight, and follow their labours 
all the year round every day in the week ; which con- 
stant work is found too laborious for horses to perform. 
Mules will also generally sustain these hard services 
for twenty-five years, whilst horses rarely continue 
them more than twenty years. 


The town of Abergavenny has furnished employment 
for a considerable number of asses, and poor boys and 
girls to drive them; by which most of the inferior class 
of housekeepers in that town have been supplied with 
fuel, from the collieries on the hills to the westward 
of it. 


The sheep of Monmouthshire are in general very 


sriiail, and partake of the properties of the South 
Wales breed. They are slender in the bone, long 
in the leg, light in the carcass ; the wool of a 
coarse but rather short staple, the flesh, fine in. its 
i^rain and of delicate flavour. Monmouthshire mutton 
is in high estimation in the metropolis, for its superior 
delicacy. The characteristic qualities of this species 
of cattle arises from the " migratory mode of feeding, 
and continual exposure to the vicissitudes of the 

This peculiar breed is chiefly prevalent in the hilly 
parts of the county : in the middle and lower districts 
are found some of the true Ryeland breed, and 
numerous crosses have recently been tried with the 
Coteswold, South Down, and Dorset. The spirit of 
improvement in this respect has been kindled, and 
since the establishment of provincial societies, for 
promoting improvements in agriculture, we trust that 
greater exertions will still be made in the cultivation 
of the fine and rich soil of Monmouthshire, as also in 
the breeding of the cattle. 


Went hog Hundred. — In the parishes of Bed welt j 
and Aberystvvith, many extensive tracts of open com» 
mons have proved very unproductive, and unenclosed 
tracts of wtiste have been long complained of in 
Mynddyslywn, Risca, and Bedwas. The waste lands 
on this range of hills, at one period amounted to be- 
tween fifteen and twenty thousand acres ; this was 
some years previous to the enclosure act for the 
waste lands in the parish of Bedwelty. The parish of 
Trelleck, in the Ragland hundred, was much in the 
same predicament, and Caldicot-moor contained one 
thousand acres. — Earlswood-common, in the parish of 
Newchurch, was another valuable waste of about five 
hundred acres. 'Ihe level of W*eniloog is a tract of 
excellent fen land, about five thousand acres, extending 
along the coast from the mouth of Rumney river to 
the mouth of the Usk. Several other <listricts like 
this, previous to the recent acts of enclosure, were 


almost wholly occupied in pasture and meadow, the 
plough being very little used in them. 


These upon Caldicot and VVentloog levels are per- 
haps peculiar to this part of the island. They are 
generally kept in good repair, and require a less de- 
gree of masonry work than others. Violent inunda- 
tions have formerly covered the levels from Magor to 
Cardiff. In 1606, a flood rose five feet above the 
levels, drowning sheep, cattle, and some of the inha- 
bitants. This is recorded by an inscription on the 
walls of St. Bride's church. — The embankments of 
Caldicot level are faced on the outside with stone, 
and so are many parts on the inside. The shape of 
these embankments are the reverse of what we see in 
Lincolnshire, and other fen countries ; the steepest 
side being next the sea; and the longest slope towards 
the land. The sea face of the bank is very upright, 
nearly a perpendicular, and the original earth bank 
has been faced with a strong walling of stone work, 
in which the best cement has been used, to enable 
the wall to resist the force of the sea in high tides and 
stormy weather. 

The land side of these embankments are faced with 
stone, to secure them from being washed away by the 
water which dashes over and fills in great bodies upon 
the iimer face. Some parts are faced with sod within, 
and where a proper slope has been preserved, these 
sod facings are very firm, and are less expensive than 
those made of stone. It is very likely that the first 
proprietors of the embankments, left a large fore- 
ground between them and the sea, upon which the 
waves were broken before they arrived at the foot of 
the bank. Thus an embankment with a steep facing 
might resist the weight and force of the tides. The 
sea, however, has greatly encroached on these shores, 
and having washed away all the foreground, and 
arrived at the bank, which it began to undermine, the 
application of stone-work became indispensable; and 
thence arose the stone walls which now protect this 


level from the ocean. Tradition says, that these 
marshes once extended to Denny, a little island lying 
three miles from the coast opposite Undy and Rogiet. 
In the memory of several persons lately diving, the sea 
has gained upon the land at Goldcliff nearly half a 
mile. A facing of stone-work was made some years 
since, but it fell to pieces, owing to the workmen not 
hanng sunk a sufficient quantity of foundation for the 
wall. The priory of Goldcliff stands upon an eminence 
about forty feet higher than the coast east and west of it. 
These sea-walls are maintained by the occupiers of 
the levels, by a prescriptive tax laid upon the lands 
in early limes; but not in equal proportions to their 
value, &c. This has arisen from the landholders 
selling off parcels of land from time to time, and 
leaving the burthen of repairing the embankment^) 
upon those that remained unsold. Hence many small 
parcels have been forfeited to the Court of Sewers, as 
the land is forfeited whenever an owner has neglected 
to repair liis portion of the sea-walls, and his rents are 
applied lo defray the ex{jence of repairs; if these are 
inadequate, the surplus charf^c is defrayed out of the 
general fund of the level, v\hicli is raised by an acre 
tax, in the same manner as in Wentloog level. Gold- 
cliff is the property of Eton-college, and in a bright 
sun shiny day it appears illuminated. The stones of 
the cliff being covered with a yellow mundick, pro- 
bably occasioned its name. The sluice-gates are hung 
by their sides, and are said to be frequently kept open 
by sticks, rushes, and other things carried down by the 
floods. The outfalls of the fens in Lincolnshire are 
guarded by flood-gates hung by the top, which are 
found to answer better than otherwise. 


The chief produce of Monmouthshire is iron-ore, 
coal, copper, limestone, free-stone, corn, oak and 
beech timber, oxen, sheep, mules, fine fish, particularly 
salmon, t>cwin and trout. 

I lie trade consists in cloths, excellent flannels^ and 
woollen stockings. 


Tlie extensive and valuable coal-mines in this county, 
were in a ^reat measure shut up from 'general use until 
the year 1798. The exportation of coals from New- 
port to Bristol, Bridgewater, and the west of England, 
is now very considerable, and this branch of commerce 
is increasing every year. 

The iron-works are the glory and pride of this 
county. The enterprising spirit of speculation is suffi- 
ciently displayed in the great works at Blaenavon, and 
other establisiiments on the north-western hills, which, 
owing to peculiar circumstances, and the local advan- 
tages of tliis county, are peculiarly great, as the district 
abounds in iron ore, coal, lime, numerous streams of 
water, and every requisite proper for this branch of 
business. These have been powerfully aided by 
mechanical powers, the use of the sleam-engine, the 
improvements in hydraulic machinery, and the adop- 
t'ion of rollers instead of forge-hauimers, called the 
'" puddling process," by which bar-iron is formed with 
a degree of dispatch and exactness previously unknown. 
The extent and importance of tliese manufactories 
.may be estimated by the following list. 

Tredegar works, four blast furnaces worked by pit- 
coal and cokes, S. Horafray and Co. — Sirhowy works, 
two blastfurnaces, pit-coal and cokes, Monkliouse and 
Co. — Rumney works, two blast furnaces, pit-coal or 
cokes, Hall and Co. — Union works, two blast furnaces, 
pit-coal or cokes. Hall and Co. — Beaufort works, two 
blast furnaces, pit-coal or cokes, Kendalls and Co. — 
Ebhwy works, two blast furnaces, pit-coal or cokes, 
Harfords, Crocker and Co, — Nant y glo works, two 
blast furnaces, pit-coal or cokes, Hill and Co. — Blaen- 
avon works, four blast furnaces, pit-coal or cokes. Hill 
and Co. — Clyduch works, two blast lurnaces, pit-coal 
or cokes, Frere and Co.— Abercarn works, furnace, 
forge and wireworks, charcoal, Hall and Co. — Machen 
works, Gellygwasted works, Bassaleg works, charcoal 
forge, t<.c. Partridge and Co. — Newport works, char- 
coal forge, ^c. Jones and Co.- — Caerleon works, char- 
coal forges and tin mills, Butler, Jenkins and Co.-r- 


Abbey Tinteni works, cliiircoiil furnace, forges and 
wire works, Tliomson and Co. — Pontypool works, 
charcoal furnaces, forges, &c. &c. Capel Leigh, esq. — 
Trostre works, clrarcoal forge, &c. Harvey and Co. — 
Monmouth wurks, charcoal forge, &c. Partridge and (^o. 
— Llanvillis on the JMcMiow works, charcoal forge, ike. 
Harfords and Co. 

The principal articles of manufacture in this county 
are conveyed by the Monmouthshire canal, namely, 
coals, timber, manure, pig and diflferent sorts of manu- 
factured iron. The nature, extent, and importance of 
this canal, may be estimated by a reference to the 
most recent account of its tonnage, published by the 
canal company. 

Within these twenty years iron rail-ways and tram- 
roads have been constructed on the most approved 
methods, in every part of the county, to communicate 
with the canals. Nearly 300 boats of burthen are at 
present employed on the canals, and the number of 
waggons used on the public tram-roads is very great 
indeed, when we consider the extent of the different 
branches to the collieries, furnaces, forges, iron mines, 
limestone and freestone quarries, &c. 

The counnerciai im[)ortance of this county may be 
expected to increase for many years to come, by reason 
of the extension of the old canals and the establish- 
ment of new ones from the ports of Bristol to the 
centre of the kingdom, and from Bridgewater to the 
interior of Somersetshire, Wiltshire, Dorsetshire, 
Devonshire, &c. 

Considerable tracts of land near the iron-works, are 
improved by the ashes therefrom, and the use of it is 
extending in every direction, as the facility oi" con- 
veyance by the rail-roads affords opportunities of pro- 
curing it on moderate terms. 


Mr. Ilassal observes, with respect to this county, &c. 
<* That an attempt to equalize weightsand measures have 
generally failed, owing to the prejudices of the lower 
orders of the peopfe. It is quantity thr.t most of the 


labouring poor look for in the market; tliey can exer- 
cise own judgment as to qualilt/, au(i therefore 
expect to see the grist-bag always filled up to its iisunl 

" The difficulty of convincing the labouring poor, 
that buying and selling by weight, would greatly bene- 
fit them, has hitherto impeded the general introduction 
of weights in corn dealing ; and it has always been 
found, at least wherever I have seen it tried, that the 
lower class of buyers, and especially the women, have 
raised clamours and riots against the introduction of 
weights. These riots have in some instances got to 
such a height, that even magistrates have been in- 
sulted in the open market, when in their official 
capacity, giving their aid and protection to the people 
who were exposing tbeir articles to public sale accord- 
ing to rules prescribed by the laws of the land. Such 
being the case, the old and uncertain mode of selling 
by measure only, still prevails in this county and 
South Wales." 

The measure of Monmouth market varies according 
to the district of country the corn is brought from. 
On the Herefordshire side, the measure is barely ten 
gallons ; on the west side of the town the measure is 
ten and a half, or near eleven gallons. It is probable 
that when the Welsh grain was of inferior quality to 
that of their neighbours from Herefordshire and 
Gloucestei shire, who were their rivals in the Mon- 
mouth market, the Welsh, in order to be upon a level 
witii them, made up in quantity what they wanted in 


Within half a century, more has been achieved in 
promoting an improved system of agriculture, than 
the wisdom of ages past had effected. In the me- 
chanical as well as theoretical parts of this noble 
science, discoveries have been made of the most im- 
portant nature. The old system oF agriculture was 
not set aside until the immense advantages arising 
E 2 


from the iniproveil plan of rural economy were for- 
cihly impressed upon those most interested in the cul- 
tivation of land. 

A fanners' club is held at Chepstow, iimd they meet 
once a month. The good eftects of such clubs are 
felt locally, but cannot extend to any great distance 
from the places where they are held. Their funds 
too are so limited, as not to be capable of doing much 
in the way of premiums, and other such acts as mark 
the exertions of a well-regulated agri cultural society. 
Why such an iiistitulion has been so long delayed in 
the county of Monmouth, is a question to which it 
would be ditlicult to give a favourable and satisfactory 

Monmouth has, however, made rapid strides to im- 
provement ; as the establishment of canals and iron 
railways has given fresh life and vigour to every de- 
partment of commerce and agriculture in the county. 
New companies have been formed ; and old ones 
revived; agriculture is now assisted by the very great 
facility of conveying manure to the lands, and the 
produce to the markets, whilst an increased and in- 
creasing population establishes a certain demand for 
every kind of landed produce of this county. In some 
parts hops are grown; and in the hundreds of Ragland, 
Skenfreth and Abergavenny, the farmers make excel- 
lent cyder for home consumption, as well as for sale. 
The fisheries in the river Wye, Usk, and llumney, pro- 
duce a great annual supply of salmon, which are sent 
to Bath, Bristol, &c. for sale. Beech, elm, oak, and 
walnut trees, thrive uncommon well in this county, 
but the stock of large timber is much diminished, 
owing to the vast sums oftcred during the last war by 
merchants, for oak-bark and timber of every descrip*- 

During the sudden transition from war to peace, in 
1814, and subsequent to that period, the oppressive 
operations of the poor laws were less felt in this 
county than perhaps any part of the kingdom. 


Several fVieiully societies have been at ililTercnt times 
enrolled at the Quarter Sessions, pursuant to acts of 
parliament thereunto relating. 

The wa^es giver, to servants used in husbandry are 
as follows: first ploughmen, 7s. to 9s.; second 6s. a 
week each, with meat, drink and lodging ; labourers 
12.5. a week in winter, 15s. a week in sunmier, finding 
themselves; and tVom 41. to 8/. a year for women 
servants, according to their strength and abilities. 


This county has not produced many persons of 
eminence. Geotfrey of Monmouth was a native of 
this town He was a learned monk of the Benedict 
tine order, and wr.;te a tiauslation into Latin of a 
British, history, entitled, ^^ Brut y Breninodd^'' or. The 
Chronicles of ihe Kings of Britain, &c. &:c. He lived 
in the twelfth century. — Henry V. King of England, 
was also born in the town of Monmouth. It would 
be an act of the highest degree of injustice to literary 
genius and talents, to elaborate researches of anti- 
quarian and historical information, not to pay a 
tribute to the unwearied exertions of the Rev. Arch- 
deacon Coxe, in exploring this county. Scarcely ever 
has a British traveller acquired such just and well- 
merited renown us Mr. Coxe; his eulogium is, the 
approbation of the inhabitants of Europe and tlie 
world. Nor jhould we refuse the palm of merit to 
that pleasing and interestinii tourist, Captain Barber. 
— And, iinally, the late Rev. David Williams, the 
historian of Motnnouthshire, the founfier of the 
Literary Fund, lu>.s been eminently successful in deve*? 
loping the arcana of liistorical events, and adding to 
the stock of British literature an invaluable acqui- 

We have also to adil our grateful acknowledgments 
to Mr. E. F. Barrett, for the liberal communications 
and corrections which he has furnished for the present 
work. Our apology for a partial deviation from his 
proposed arrangement of the materials, is only that 
of preserving the uniformity of the method pursued in 


the otl)€»r English counties. Besides the additional 
sheet of thirty-six closely-printed pages, not calculated 
upon by Mr. E. F. Barret, he has compelled us to en- 
large many ot his abbreviatioyis, and to adopt other 
alterations, necessary in this improved edition. 

However, " places commonly visited by tourists, or 
worthy of remark, have been generally described in 
the pages subsequent to those which contain an ac- 
count of the towns near which sucii places are situated ; 
it is obvious that such an arrangement is more useful 
and convenient to the reader, than the old method of 
describing the hundreds at the end of the Itinerary. 
Tlie New Passage road, which is the mail route, and 
priucipul road in Monmouthshire, was omitted in 
Mr. Cooke's work. It is now described." 



Monmouth is the county-town of the shire, and 
is situated on the risers Monow and Wye. Leland 
and Camden derive its modern name from its local 
situation, as being placed near the confluence of 
these rivers. Monmonih, when a Roman station, 
was called "Blestium;" the Saxons afterwards occu- 
pied it, to secure the conquests between the Wye and 
Severn from the incursions of the Welsh. The castle 
was subseciuently rebuilt by John, Baron of Mon- 
mouth, whence, in failure of issue, it was aliened to 
Prince Edward (afterwards King Edward I.) in 1257, 
and devolved to John of Gaunt by marriage with 
blanch, daughter and heiress of llenry, Duke of 
Lancaster. It was long the residence of John of 


Gaunt, wliose son, Henry IV^, was father of tlic illus- 
trious hero, Henry V., the conqueror of Agincourt, 
who was born in Monmouth-castle, August 13, 1387, 
and from this circumstance was surnamed Henry of 
Monraouti). Edward [V. granted it to the Herberts, 
with whose other possessions it has devolved to the 
Dukes of Beaufort. Monmouth-castle, during the 
civil wars, was frequently the subject of contest. In 
1646, Oliver Cromwell took Monmouth-castle, to- 
gether with that of Ragland. While Cromwell was 
at Monmouth, a person of the name of Evans at- 
tempted to shoot him, in the parlour of a house then 
occupied by Mr. Fortune, at whose house the general 
was entertained. Evans was prevented from per- 
petrating; this act by some by-standers, who were 
apprehensive that Cromwell's soldiers would burn the 
town, and destroy the inhabitants. 

The houses are almost all white-washed, which 
gives this town a singular appearance to an English 
traveller. Monmouth was formerly moated and 
walled ; only a part of the moat remains, stretching 
to the ruins of an old gateway near Ross-turnpike. 
Parts of two round towers which flanked the entrance 
of the south gate are visible, and the Monow gate is 
entire. Some vaults near the house of Mr. Cecil, of 
the DufFryn, are attributed to Anglo-Saxon, or earlier 

The venerable remains of this fortress are so en- 
vironed by other buildings as to be scarcely visible ; 
yet many vestiges are to be discovered amidst tene- 
ments, stables, and barns. The chamber where King 
Henry was born, pertained to an upper story, and 
the beams which support the floor still project from 
the side walls, by which it appears to have been 
fifty-eight feet long by twenty-four broad; it had 
pointed arch windows, some of which yet remain. 
Within the site of the castle, or rather in the midst of 
this pile of ruins, is a handsome domestic edifice, 
constructed of stone, takw from the adjacent frag- 


ments, which appears to have been an occasional 
residence of die Beaufort family. 

Amoni; the ancient edifices of this town was an 
alien priory, founded by Hameiin Balon, or Bahidun, 
who came over with the Conqueror; one of his 
posterity, in the rei«4n of King John, sent for a con- 
vent of IBenedictine monks to be eslablished here. — 
The site of the priory church occupied the space on 
which stands the present parish church; and the 
tower, with the lower part of the spire, are all the 
remains of tlie original edifice. It is said that Geof- 
frey of Monmouth, tlie celebrated English historian, 
belonged to this monastery. Part of this ancient 
priory forms the residence of Daniel Williams, esq. 
There was formerly an abbot and monks of the Cis- 
tertian order, whom King John privileged by freeing 
them of paying toll at Bristol. 

Monmouth is in the hundred of Skenfreth, and 
contains 769 houses, and 3503 inhabitants. The town 
stands low among hills, pleasantly situated, and is 
neatly built; it is extensive, and contains some <^ood 
buildings, but only one principal street, which runs 
east and west, is well-built, long, and spacious, ter- 
minating at the west at an old gate and bridge over 
the Monow. There are two other bridges; that 
over the Wye is built of stone, consists of several 
arches, and commands a beautiful view of sylvan 
scenery on its opposite bank. 

St. Mary's church belonged to the priory, but the 
tower and lower part of the spire are all that remain 
of the monastic structure; the body of the church is 
extremely light and well-proportioned, and the range 
of columns separates the nave from the aisle, and 
supports an horizontal entablature. — St. Thomas's 
church, now a chapel to St. Mary's, is a small and 
ancient structure, near the foot of Monow-bridge ; 
" the simplicity of its form, (says the Rev. Mr. Coxe), 
the circular shape of the door-ways, of the arch 
separating the nave from the chancel, and the style 


of their ornaments, which bear a Saxon character, 
seem to indicate that it was built before the con- 

There is also a cliapel, once helonpiig to the 
makers of Monmouth caps, mentioned by Fluellen 
in Shakspeare's play of Henry V., the manufacture of 
which was afterwards removed to Bewdley, on ac- 
count of a plague. 

Here is a free-school, an excellent building, which 
was founded by WiUiam Jones, esq. in the reign of 
James the First, for the education of youth. Mr. 
Jones was an haberdasher and merchant of London, 
and acquired great opulence by trade, which enabled 
him to establish this meritorious institution. A sin- 
gular story, relative to the founding of this school, is 
recorded in Coxe's History of Monmouthshire. Jones 
was a native of Newland, in Gloucestershire, but 
passed the early period of his life in a menial capacity 
at Moiiraouth ; from thence he removed to London, 
and became shopman to one of the principal traders: 
he acquitted himself with such ability and fidelity in 
this situation, that he was admitted to the compting- 
house, and in this new capacity was equally acceptable 
to his employer, who sent him as his agent abroad, 
and then took him into partnership. Having realized 
an ample fortune, he quitted the metropolis, and 
returned to Newland, with the apparent exterior of 
great distress, and as a pauper applied to the parish 
for relief: being sarcastically advised to seek relief 
at Monmouth, where he had resided many years, 
he repaired thither, and experienced the charity of 
several inhabitants of that town. In gratitude for 
this philanthropic attention, he founded a free-school 
on a liberal plan, assigning to the master a house, 
with ninety pounds per annum salary; to the usher a 
salary of forty-five pounds yearly, with a house ; and 
to a lecturer, for reading prayers, and preaching a 
sermon weekly, and inspectuig the alms-houses which 
he had also established, an excellent house and ganien, 
with a salary of one hundred guineas per annuni. 


These alins-housea were for twenty poor people, vvitb 
a donation of tliree shillings and sixpence a week. 

Without the north or IVIonk-gatc, was lierchin- 
field, which Leland translates ^^Campiia ErhiacetisJ' 
a small tract belonging to the Karl of Shrewsbury. 
A broad and handsome street leads from Monow- 
bridge to the market-place, which is decorated with 
a new town-hall, erected on columns, forming a 
noble colonnade. This hall is embellished with a 
most elegant whole-leugth figure of King Henry the 
Fifth, in compliment to the memory of that prince. 
Tins statue stands seven feet two inches high, and 
represents his majesty in armour, in resemblance of 
the dress the royal hero had on at the battle of Agin- 
court. This piece of sculpture was executed by 
Mr. Peast, of Fitzroy-street. The corporation of 
Monmouth, in commemoration of a prince born in 
the town, whose actions stand distinguished in the 
annals of English history, caused this statue to be 
erected at their own expence. On a marble tablet, 
underneath, is this inscription : 

*' Henry the Fifth, born at Monmouth, 
August 13, 1387." 

"The county gaol is a new, compact, massive 
building; its plan, which is visible in the airiness of 
the apartments, ike. reflects great credit on the ma- 

The philanthropic Mr. Nield, the Howard of the 
nineteenth century, gives an interesting account of 
this prison, in a letter to Dr. Letsom. Mr. Nield 
visited this prison in 180G. The salary of the gaoler 
(says Mr. Nield) is one hundred guineas, fees and 
garyiisk abolished, yet the under shcrilf demands half 
a guinea for his liberate, and the debtor is detained 
until it is paid. This gaol, which is also the county 
bridewell, has nmch the appearance of a castle; it 
is situated on a tine eminence ; the boundary wall 
incloses about an acre of ground, built by the Duke 
of Beaufort. Tiie outer gate has on one side the 


turiike)'*s lodge, and a small room; on the other side 
is the wash-house and oven, and cistern for soft 
water. Up stairs arc three cells for prisoners under 
sentence of death, seven feet six inches by six feet 
six, and nine feet hii;h, well lighted, and ventilated ; 
over these is a flat roof, where criminals are executed. 
The county allows to the common side debtors, a 
plank bedstead, a straw in sacking bed, a pair of 
sheets, a blanket, and a rug, and in the vvinter an 
additional blanket. There are five cells for solitary 
confinement, and two totally dark, for the refractory. 

Mr. James Gabriel, of this town, who died March 
26, 1754, bequeathed one hundred pounds, from 
which each prisoner receives, four times a year, a 
sixpenny loaf. The court yards, not being paved or 
gravel bottomed, are, from the nature of the soil, 
very damp, dirty, and almost useless. In the centre 
of the building is the chapel : in the attic story are 
also two good-sized infirmaries, one for men, the 
other for women. The act for the preservation of 
health, and clau-es against spirituous liquors, are 
not hung up. Such is the account Mr. Nield gives 
of the county gaol of Monmouth. Of Monmouth 
town gaol he speaks very different : he observes that 
there is no chaplain or surgeon from the town if 
wanted; he describes it as very dirty, and abominably 
offensive; and this philanthropic traveller concludes 
with saying, " this wretched gaol is rendered addi- 
tionally offensive by adjoining a manufactory for 
candle's." (See Mr. Nield's letter, Gentleman's Ma- 
gazine, November 1809). 

The town of Monmouth is governed by a mayor, 
recorder, two bailifts, fifteen common-council men, 
a town-clerk, and two Serjeants at mace. The Duke 
of Beaufort is considered as the patron and leader of 
this town, and his interest is powerful in parliamentary 
elections. This town was once the barony of John 
Lord Monmouth. In 1625 the title of Earl of Mon- 
mouth was conferred on Robert Lord Carey, of Lep- 
pington ; but was extinct upon the death of Henry 


Carey, his son. King Charles the Second erected 
Monmouth into a dukedom in the person of James 
Fitzroy, his natural son, who, beinjj attainted of high 
treason, was beheaded, by onler of James the Second, 
on Tower-hill, July 15, 1685, in the 36th year of his 
a{;e. Soon after the Revolution, the title of earl was 
renewed, in the person of the Right Honourable 
Charles Mordaunt, since which time it has been 
united to that of Peterborough. 

The chief trade of Monmouth is with Bristol, by 
the river Wye, the picturesque scenery of whose 
banks has been charmingly delineated by the late 
Rev. W. Gilpin, of Boldre, New Forest, Hampshire. 
The trows, or trading vessels, sail regularly every 
fortnight (which is called spring week) from Mon- 
mouth to Bristol and Gloucester, by which convey- 
ance goods are forwarded to every part of the king- 

The iron-works are the boast, and are the most 
important objects of trading consideration in every 
part of this county. — At Monmouth there are capital 
charcoal forges and iron works. 

This toun has a good and plentiful market on 
Saturdays, for corn and provisions of all sorts. The 
post goes out for London every morning, Sunday 
excepted. The London Royal Mail arrives at Mon- 
mouth every evening, and returns every morning at 
lialf past five. An annual race-meeting is held in the 
month of October, and is extremely well attended. 
The town is also enlivened by frequent assemblies and 
theatrical entertainments. The best inns are the 
Beaufort Arms, and the King's Head. 

Some idea may be formed of the hospitality of the 
inhabitants of this town, from the provisions made 
for the Mayor's feast in 1820, as follows: 

Frescnts already received for the Mayors Feaat in the 
Totm-hall, on Wednesday, August 9thf 1820. 

Hogshead of fine old cider— a whole sheep, and two 


geese — three bushels of flour — rump of beef, and 
two ducks — loin of veal, and two fowls — forty gal- 
lons of cider — six bottles port wine — gammon of 
bacon — two bushels green peas — six dozen dinner 
rolls — leg of mutton — loin of veal — four ducks — 
lump of loaf sugar — a salmon — rump of beef, and 
dozen bottles of perry — four ducks — couple of 
fowls, quart of cream, basket of peas — rump of 
beef, vegetables, plumb pudding, and dozen bottles 
of cider — gammon of bacon — turkey — two bottles 
of rum — 20s. in bread — gammon of bacon, and two 
fruit pies— two ducks — bushel of potatoes — two 
ducks — two dozen jellies, two dozen custards— four* 
moulds blomonge, and biscuits — four fowls, bushel 
of peas — quarter of lamb, fruit pie — three bottles 
port wine — fourteen pounds of raisins and currants, 
seven pounds of sugar — bushel of flour — two tongues, 
two fowls, fruit pie. 

Gammon of bacon, ducks and fowls — six bottles port 
wine — two pound-cakes — two bushels potatoes — 
round of beef— tw^elve fruit pies, twenty dozen of 
biscuits — two fowls and two ducks — four bottles 
port wine — two ducks — 10s. in money — six dozen 
rolls — two ducks — leg of mutton — goose and two 
ducks — a turbot with lobsters — turkey, and six 
pounds of cherries. 

A bushel loaf of the finest wheat flour — four fowls — 
two ducks — two hogsheads of fine cider, the sub- 
scription of twenty friends — quarter of lamb — loin 
of veal — 

voted at their annual meeting, on Thursday last, by 
the " Lantillio Cressenny Association." 

One hundred loaves of bread — two fowls — cash lOs.dd. 
— cash one guinea — cash one guinea — cash 5s. 
Monmouthy July 29, 1820. 

Additions from Saturday to Wednesday Evening, 
ILeg of mutt(m — cash 5s. — two tons of coal— gammon 
oi' bacon— rump of beef— two ducks — cash 5s, — 


casli 35. — two bottles port wine — half bushel green 
peas — two clucks — two bottles of rum— two bottles 
of rum — dozen bottles of wine — cash 10s. — gam- 
mon of bacon, four fowls, fruit pie — two tongues — 
gammon of bacon, and six bottles of wine— dozen 
bottles of wine — two bottles of wine —two fowls — 
four fowls — two bottles of rum — two bottles of rum 
— dozen lemons, four fruit pies — two fowls — leg of 
mutton, two fowls — haunch of mutton. 

Additions f 7^0711 August 2, to August 7. 

Threedozen hampers of superior portwine — three pints 
of rum — leg of mutton — gammon of bacon — hamper 
of wine (two dozen port, one dozen sherry) — six 
bottles of wine — fifteen friends, (to fill the bushel 
of punch), five guineas — twelve bottles of wine — 
two bottles of rum— cash one guinea — 

six bottles of wine — sirloin of beef — leg of mutton, 
and sage cheese — cash 10s. — cash 5s. — cash one 
guinea — cash one guinea — six dozen dinner rolls, 
and bushel of potatoes — gammon of bacon, and two 
fowls — six bottles of wine — two bottles of rum — 
bushel of potatoes — cash 20s, — cash 20s. — cash 10s. 
— bottle of brandy — gammon of bacon, two fowls 
— cash 10s. — cash two guineas — cash one guinea. 

Subscriptions on Monday, August 7. 

Cash 20s. — baron of veal — leg of mutton, two bottles 
of rum — cash one guinea — four bottles of wine^ — 
ham and vegetables — 

dozen bottles fine old port wine — dozen of fine old 
sherry — two whole lambs — two bottles of riMn — 
six bottles of wine, two bottles of rum. 
Eight o'clocky Monday evening. 

From August 8, to August 9. 
3ix bottles of wine — six bottles of wine — three bottles 
of rum — two gin— two bottles of rum— two bottles 



of rum — piece of old cheese, one bottle of brandy, 
one luni — four bottles of wine — fine turbot — two 
bottles of rum — leg of veal — two bottles of rum — 
one bottle of rum — goose — two fowls — two bottles 
of rum — peck of peas — haunch of venison — two 
ducks — six bottles of wine — cash 10s. — four fowls 
• — basket of French beans — one bottle of brandy — 
ditto — bottle of brandy, six fruit pies — two bottles 
of brandy, two bottles of rum — four bottles of 
wine — six bottles of port— three bottles of port — 
two bottles of rum — gallon of brandy — two bottles 
of rum — dozen lemons — two bottles of rum — cash 
10s. — two bottles of rum — two bottles of brandy — 
cash 10s. 6d. — cash ll. lis. 6c?.— cash 10s. — two 
bottles of rum — dozen bottles of claret wine — four 
bottles of fine wine — cash 10s. — roasting pig — ditto 
— cash 5/. — two large salmon. 


In the gardens of the Rev. Mr. Crowe, head- 
master of the free-school at Monmouth, were found 
in 1767, two coins of Constantine the Great, with 
this inscription : 

Imp. Constantinus. P. F. Aug. 

Marti, Patri, Propugnatori. T. F. P. T. R. 

Mars Gradivus : dextra hasta. Sinistra Scutum. 

The other had the following: 

Imp. Constantinus. Aug. 
Soli Invicto. 

This town, as we have before observed, is ag- 
grandised by being the birth-place of King Henry the 
Fifth. The very earliest part of bis life was spent in 
this county. The juvenile character of this prince is 
well known, and has been delineated in glowing 
colours by our immortal bard. His conduct after his 
accession to the crown, was as meritorious as it had 
previously been irregular, when heir-apparent : he 
discarded all his former acquaintance, and devoted 


himself to sedulous attention to the important duties 
of his royal and august function. He raised this 
country to the higl}est pitch of glory, and in the 
field of battle covered himself with never-fading 
laurels. He was a great prince, and a mighty war- 
rior; but there was one circumstance which tarnished 
the glory of his reign ; namely, his ungrateful conduct 
to the brave and excellent Sir John Oldcastle, Lord 
Cobham, whom he ungenerously sacrificed to gratify 
the sanguinary desires of a proud and tyrannical 

Monmouth, as before remarked, has also to boast of 
an eminent and ancient English historian, who, like 
the royal personage we have just mentioned, was 
named from being born in the town, namely, Geoffrey, 
or Jeffrey of Monmouth. He was a Benedictine monk, 
archdeacon of Monmouth, and bishop of St. Asaph, 
1151; being obliged to quit Wales in consequence 
of existing circumstances, the guardianship ofAben- 
don Abbey was committed to him by King Henry the 
First; but, resigning his bishopric with a view to that 
abbey, he lost both. 

Of Geoffrey it has been judiciously observed, "that 
he seemed in this country to have been the founder of 
a sect that has since flourished to a great degree, we 
mean that of those ingenious persons who, in weaving 
the tissue of history, have considered truth as the 
wurp^ and fiction as the sAoo^, and have blended them 
toi;cth«^r in such a manner that it is impossible for any 
labour to unravel. His invention seems to have been 
amazingly fertile, for he is the first author that men- 
tions Brute, and the prophecies of Merlin. For these 
excursions into the regions of fancy he was severely 
censured by tl)e inutltr of fact writers of his age. 
His history is full of legendary tales, which, however, 
have been adopted by several subsequent historians, 
amongst wliom our Milton stands in the foreground." 
All these writers, it may be added, have been infi- 
nii( ly iurpasbed in the art of rnixing truth with fiction, 
hy the celebrated Sir Walter Scott. 


Monmouth is 129 miles from London, by way of 
Colford, and 131 by lloss. On llie rli»ht is a road 
to Ross and Hereford; and on the left to Chepstow. 
On the right is Lymnore-Iodge, late the seat of Earl 
Powis. A mile before, on the left, across the river 
Wye, is Troy-house, the seat of the Duke of Beau- 
fort, which is again seen about a mile beyond Mon- 
mouth, on the left. This house is situated in the 
parish of Mitchel Troy, watered by the small rivulet 
Trothy. Old Troy was for a long time the seat of 
the Herberts. It afterward came into that of the 
Somersets. Of the ancient mansion only an old gate- 
way with a pointed arch, is left standing. The pre- 
sent edifice was built by Inigo Jones; the apart- 
ments are well proportioned, convenient, and not de- 
void of splendour. There were formerly very fine 
gardens and orchards attached to this house. King 
Charles the First being on a visit to the Marquis of 
Worcester, Sir Thomas Somerset, brother to the 
Marquis, sent a present from Truy-liuuse, fur his Ma- 
jesty, consisting of the fairest and ripest fruits. The 
Marquis gave this present to his Majesty, saying, 
" Here I present your Majesty with that which came 
not from Lincoln that was, nor London that is, nor 
York that is to be : but from Troy." The King smiled, 
and said to the Marquis, " Truly, my Lord, I have 
heard that corn grows where Troy town stood ; but I 
never thought there had grown any apricots before." 

In Troy-house there was to be seen the cradle, 
said to have been that in which Henry the Fifth was 
nursed, and the armour he wore at the battle of 
Agincourt. In the same road is Lydart-house, a seat 
of the late Colonel Evans, who was mortally wounded 
before Valenciennes. 

The walks and rides in the environs are singularly 
beautiful, and afford the most enchanting, and diver- 
sified prospects. 

Near Monmouth stands a very lofty hill called the 
" Kymiti." It is a favourite resort of the inhabitants. 
Here is a naval temple in honour of Lord Nelson, 
F 3 


and our Other marine heroes; from thence is a most 
superb view of the banks of the Wye from the New- 
Weir to Monmouth. On the south-east you see in 
front of an eminence not a mile distant, the " Buck- 
stone" (vulgarly so called, from a silly legend about a 
buck) a famous rocking stone of the Druids. In 
ancient times the priests delivered the oracles, accord- 
ing to the vibrations of the stone. The form of the 
Buck-stone is an irregular square inverted pyramid, 
ten feet in height. 

Two miles and a half from Monmouth is W^ynastow, 
or Wonastow, a small parish in the lower division of 
Skenfreth hundred, distant from London 133 miles. 
Wynastow-court, situated on a rising ground, in the 
reign of Queen Elizabeth was the seat of Sir Thomas 
Herbert, and was afterwards the property of the 
Milborne family, but is now the residence of Thomas 
Swinnerton, esq. On the left of the village is a turn- 
pike road to Usk. A mile and a half beyond is 
Dynastow-place, a seat of the late James Duberly, esq. 
Mr. Duberly leaving no son at his decease, his estates 
were sold and disposed of, viz.. Stanmore Priory, 
Middlesex, to the Marquis of Abercorn, Ensham- 
liall, Oxon, to Col. Power, and Dynastow, to Samuel 
Bosanquet, esq. the present proprietor. 

Proceeding on, we arrive at the village of Raglan, 
or Ragland, which gives name to the hundred. It is 
chiefly celebrated on account of its castle, which 
Leland calls " A fayre and pleasant castle, with two 
goodly parks." This castle, says Gough, is one of 
the finest remains in any part of Wales. Some anti- 
quarians have asserted, that there is no part of this 
castle anterior to the reign of Henry V.; but it is 
evident that the keep-tower, a large hexagon, defended 
by bastions, and surrounded with a moat and raised 
walks, is an indubitable Norman single fortress, 
resembling Berkeley, and many others built in the 
reign of Henry II. 

Dugdale, in his Baronage, and Smythe in his M. S. 
lives of the Berkeleys, says, " Richard Strongbowe 


(temp. Hen. II.) gave the domains and casile of" 
Ragland to Sir Walter Blewitt, whose descendant, 
.Sir John Blewitt, (temp. Hen. IV.) gave his only 
daughter and heiress, Isabel, in marriage to Sir James 
Berkeley. On the death of Sir James Berkeley, 
Isabel, Lady of Ragland, espoused Sir William ap 
Thomas, (temp. Henry V.) from whom the castle 
devolved to the Herberts, Earls of Pembroke, and 
afterwards by marriage to the Somersets, Earls of 
Worcester, ancestors of his Grace of Beaufort, the 
present proprietor. 

In the 14th 15th and 16th centuries, were added 
to the old Norman keep, the range of buildings wliich 
form the two grand courts and banquetting-hall. In 
1648, Henry, first Marquis of Worcester, defended 
Ragland-castle with the most heroic loyalty for King 
Charles I., being the last that held out for his sove- 
reign in the kingdom. He surrendered it only upon 
honourable terms to General Fairfax, after sustaining 
a siege of three months. It was probably reduced to 
its present state by this siege; but it still retains many 
traces of its former magnificence. Tlie great hall, 
65 feet by 28, is entire, except the roof. The arch 
of the great kitchen chimney, which is hexagonal, 
consists of two stones, and measures twelve feet. 

" Of these noble ruins," says Mr. Coxe, " the grand 
entrance is the most magnificent; it is formed by a 
Gothic portal flanked with two massive towers; the 
one beautifully tufted with ivy, the second so entirely 
covered, that not a single stone is visible. At a 
small distance on the right appears a third tower, 
lower in height, and presenting a highly picturesque 
appearance. The porch, which still contains the 
grooves for two portculisses, leads into the first court, 
once paved, but now covered with turf, and sprinkled 
with shrubs. The eastern and northern sides con- 
tained a range of culinary offices." The stately hall 
which separates the two courts, seems to have been 
built in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and contains 
thereliques of ancient hospitahty and splendour: the 


ceiling has tumbled into ruins, but the walls yet re- 
main. This was the j^reat banquetting-roora of the 
castle. At the extremity are placed the arms of the 
first Marquis of Worcester, surrounded with the 
garter, and underneath is the family motto — Mutare 
T^el timcre sperno — " I scorn to change or fear.'' 

The stone frames of the windows of the state 
apartments, observes Mr. Wyndham, would not be 
considered as inelegant even at present. The western 
door of the hall led into the chapel, which is now 
dilapidated, but its situation is marked by some of 
the flying columns rising from grotesque heads which 
supported the roof. At the upper end are two rude 
whole length figures in stone, which Mr. Heath the 
bookseller, of Monmouth, recently discovered under 
the thick clusters of ivy." 

Beyond the foundations of the chapel is the area of 
the second court, skirted with a range of buildings, 
which, at the time of the siege, formed the barracks 
of the garrison. Not the smallest traces remain of 
the marble fountain which once occupied the centre 
of the area, and was ornamented with the statue of a 
white horse. 

The strength of the walls is so great, that if the 
parts yet standing were floored and roofed in, this 
castle might even now be formed into a splendid and 
commodious habitation. From the second court, a 
bridge thrown across the innermost moat, leads to 
the platform or terrace, which almost surrounds the 
castle. It was greatly admired by King Charles the 
First. It forms a noble walk of sixty feet in breadth, 
and three hundred in length, commanding a delightful 
and extensive prospect. Churchyard the poet, de- 
scribes, in his obsolete and peculiar language, the 
grand appearance of this citadel in the reign of Queen 
Elizabeth : 

" Not far from thence a famous castle fine. 
That Ragland bight, stands moted round. 
Made of fr^c stone, upright, and straight as line, 
Whose workmanship in beauty doth abound. 


Tlie curious knots wrought all with edged toole, 
The stately tower, that looks o'er pond and poole, 
The fountain trim that runs both day and night, 
Doth yield in shew a rare and noble sight." 

The Worthiness of Wales. 

In 1469 Lord Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, then 
owner of this castle, raised an army of Welshmen in 
favour of Edward IVi against the Lancastrians, under 
the command of the Earl of Warwick. He was taken 
prisoner at the battle of Danes-moor, and was be- 
headed at Banbury. As he was laying his head on 
the block, he gave a memorable instance of fortitude 
and fraternal aflfection. He said to a knight who 
superintended the execution, " Let me die, for I am 
old ; but save ray brother, for he is young, lusty and 
hardy ; mete and apt to serve the greatest prince in 
Christendom." The Earl of Pembroke was one of the 
richest and most powerful nobles in the kingdom. 

When this castle was surrendered to Sn* Thomas 
Fairfax, there were among the besieged the Rev. Dr. 
Bailey, youngest son of Lewis, Bishop of Bangor, and 
author of that celebrated work, " The Practice of 
Piety." Dr. Bailey was educated at Cambridge, but 
took his diploma at Oxford. He was made sub-dean 
of Wells, and, strange to relate, he afterwards acted 
as a commissioned officer in the defence of Ilagland- 
castle. He framed the articles of capitulation, and 
attended the Marquis of Worcester until his deaths 
Having severely reprobated the measures of the Com- 
monwealth, he was imprisoned in Newgate. Escap- 
ing from his confinement, he repaired to Holland, and 
while there, embraced the Roman Catholic religion. 
From that time the career of this singular man was 
marked with obscurity; he enlisted in the army as a 
common soldier, and died in an hospital at Bononi. 

The grand ebtablishment of the first Marquis o£ 
Worcester appeared like the retinue of a sovereign 
prince; he supported a garrison of 800 men ; and on 
the surrender of his castle, there wer^ besides his 
fiunily and friends, no less than four colonels, eighty- 


two captains, sixteen lieutenants, six cornets, four 
ensigns, four quarter-masters, and fifty-two esquires 
and gentlemen. The parliament acted in the most 
dishonourable manner to this great and gallant noble- 
man, vv ho did not long survive this treatment. He was 
buried in his family vault in Windsor-chnpel. 

In the church are some mutilated monuments of 
the Earls and iVIarquisses of Worcester. Here was 
interred Edward, second Marquis of Worcester, who 
had been created during his father's lifetime Earl of 
Glamorgan. He devoted his life to the promotion of 
science, and was author of" A Century of the Names 
and Scantlings of Inventions ;" from the 68tii, article 
of which, it is supposed that Captain Savary took the 
first hint of the steam-engine. The marquis died in 

Ragland gives title of baron to the descendants of 
Charles Earl of Worcester, natural son of Henry 
Duke of Somerset, (who had been beheaded by order 
of Edward IV. 1463), of whom Henry was by King 
Charles II. advanced to the title of the Duke of 
Beaufort; and his great-grandson Henry, now enjoys 
this honour, being the fifth duke. 

The village of Ragland contains about 125 houses, 
and 633 inhabitants. The inn here is the Beaufort 
Arms. On the right is a road to Chepstow and Usk. 

Leaving Ragland, about two miles and a half be- 
yond, on the right of the road, is Llanarth-court, the 
seat of John Jones, esq. the representative of an an- 
cient Roman Catholic fumily. The old mansion of 
Ll.inartli-court was pulled down by the present pro- 
prietor, anil a luuulsoine house built on its site; the 
front of which is decorated with an elegant Doric 
portico, similar to >h;it of a famous Greek temple at 
PxEstunj in Italv. It stands on a gentle ascent, from 
which the eye alone may discern a verdant vale with- 
out a sii;glc hill or mountain ; a view singularly the 
reverse of every other in this county. 

Three mil|;s from Ragland is Clytha, and near this, 
llie castle of Clytha, the seat of William Jones, esq. 


A mile from Clytha, we arrive at Llanvihangel juxta 
Usk, a parish in the lower division of Abergavenny 
hundred, containing about 76 houses, and o60 inlui- 
bitants. A little on the right is Llansanfraed-court, 
originally the seat of Thomas ap Gwillim, who was 
allied to the illustrious families of Pembroke, Caer- 
narvon, and Powis. Ap Tliomas dying in 1460, it 
passed, on the extinction of the male line of his de- 
scendants, to the family of Rickards of Bredon's- 
Norton, Worcester. The vievv from the lawn before 
the house, is pecidiarly pleasing ; it commands a fine 
undulating tract rising from the banks of the Usk, and 
crowned by the Coed y Bunedd ; from thence a lower 
ri^ge gradually descending, terminates in a rich knoll 
of wood at Pant-y-goitre. To the north-west appears 
the Blorenge; on the north, the elegant cone of the 
Sugar-loaf towers above the knoll of the Little Skyr- 
rid ; and to the east, rises the broken ridge of the 
Great Skyrrid. Llansanfraed church is of great anti- 
quity, but formed like a barn, with a small belfry, the 
ropes of which descend into the church. It has been 
recently repaired by Mr. Rickards, the patron of the 
living. There is a curious monument here, with an 
inscription closing with the following lines : 
" For an eternal token of respect 

To you, ray sires, these stones I doe erect. 
Your worthy bones deserve of me, in brass, 
A rarer tomb than stately Hatton has. 
But sithe my means no part of such affords. 
Instead thereof accept this tombe of words." 
14. Sept. 1624. 

This is supposed to contain a pedigree of the Her- 
bert family. In the vicinity of Llansanfraed are several 
country seats, which form an agreeable neighbourhood, 
and add to the beauty of the surrounding scenery, by 
the improved state of their cultivation. 

In the parish of Llanvihangel Tavarn-bach, about 
three miles west of Monmouth, was a small Cistertian 
abbey, called " Grace Dieu:'* the remains of this mo- 


nastery are situated upon the banks of the Trothy, 
A farm on the opposite side of the river, was the park 
belonging; to the abbey, and hence it is called " Park 
Grace-Dieu Farm ;" the house of which is binlt on 
the site of the anterior lodge. This abbey was founded 
1226, by John of Monmouth, and dedicated to the 
Virt;in Mary. It was destroyed by tlie Welsh in 
1233, but afterwards rebuilt. Leland mentions it as 
** an abbey of White Monks, standing in a wood, 
and having a rill running by it." 

From Llanvihangel we proceed to Llangattock, a 
village consisting of about 48 houses, and 298 inhabi- 
tants, in the hundred of Abergavenny, and 142 miles 
from London. After having passed Colebrooke-house, 
the seat of John Hanbury Williams, esq. a mile and a 
half before we arrive at Abergavenny, is a road to 
Pontypool, Newport, and Usk. Llangattock-house is 
the seat of the Rev. M. Lucas. The country here 
still exhibits an unique and pleasing assemblage of 
diversified objects. 

Abergavenny is divided into higher and lower divi- 
sions, it is 145 miles from London, and contains 
695 houses, and 3471 inhabitants. It is a large and 
flourishing town, and derives its name from being at 
the confluence of the Gavenny with the Usk. A more 
beautiful position than this town occupies, can rarely 
be found : bold projecting hills form on every side a 
natural basin of no small extent ; and the two rivers 
unite their streams amidst a most verdant range of 
meadows. Its Gothic bridge, a vQjierable church, 
and the slender remains of its castle, are objects that 
claim pre-eminence in the landscape. The castle was 
a very strong hold in feudal times, and was enlarged, 
if not built, by Hamelin de Baladun, a Norman chiefs 
tain, who came over with William the Conqueror. It 
was held successively by the De Lisles, the Braoses, 
the Cantalupes, the Beauchamps, Earls of Warwick 
and Worcester; De Hastings, Earls of Pembroke and 
Huntingdon; and, lastly, the family of the Nevilles, 
whom the possessiun of it now ennobles. In 1172 it 


was tnkeii by SyslyU ap Dyfnwald, a Welsh prince, 
})ut af'terwanls restored by him to WiUiam de Braos, 
who invited Syslylt and his son Geoffrey to conclude 
a treaty of amity at this place, when, a dispute ensu- 
iiiii, tlie two latter were both barbarously murdered. 
This cabtie now gives title to the Risht Hon. Henry 
Viscount Neville, Earl and Baron of Abergavenny. 
This title is the only one remaining of those numerous 
baronies conferred by the kings on the great Norman 
chieftains, and, like the earldom of i!\rundel, is a 
feudal honour or local dignity enjoyed by possession 
or inheritance of Abergavenny castle, without any 
other creation. 

The town was formerly walled, and the western en- 
trance, called " TudorVgate ;" a strong Gothic portal, 
still exists, through the arch of which is a much- 
admired perspective view of the adjacent scenery. 

Abergavenny appears to have been the Gobannium 
of Antoninus; and several Roman bricks and coins 
have been found in a field near the bridge. Soon after 
the Conquest, an alien priory of Benedictine monks 
was founded here by Hamelin de Baladun, and dedi- 
cated to the Virgin Mary. William de Braos (temp. 
Job.) gave all the tithes of his castle to this priory, 
upon condition that the monks of St. Vincent's abbey, 
in France, (to which this convent was a cell), should 
daily pray for the soul of himself, his wife, and King 
Henry the First. Here, at the dissolution, were a 
prior and four monks; and " their revenues amount- 
ed," says Dugdale, " to 129/. 2s. 6d.'* Some few traces 
of the priory exist. St. Mary's, now the principal 
church, was also the collegiate chapel of the priory. 
It is a handsome and spacious Gothic structure, and 
was originally built in the shape of a cathedral. In 
the interior are some very curious ancient monuments 
•7-the cemetery of the Herberts, and tombs of some 
barons of Abergavenny. The choir retains its original 
state, with stalls on each side, of oak rudely carved. 
]n this church were buried, among other worthies of 
old, the Karl of Pembroke, and his brother, Sir Ri- 


chard Herbert, who were both taken prisoners whilst 
fighting for ttie House of York at the battle of Danes- 
moor, and afterwards beheaded. Here also are the 
inonuniental effigies of their parents. Sir WiUiam ap 
Thomas, and his wife Gladys, daughter of Sir David 
Gam, and widow of Sir Roger Vaughan : the two lat- 
ter fell in defending the person of Henry V. at the 
memorable battle of Agincourt. On the north side of 
the church are two very ancient recumbent figures of 
knights completely armed, the one in stone, the other 
in Irish oak, supposed to be memorials of two barons 
of Abergavenny. 

St. John's was formerly the parish-church, but at 
the dissolution, it was appropriated by Henry VHI, 
to the free school which he then endowed. Being in a 
state of decay, it was taken down about sixty years 
ago, and rebuilt in its present form, with a handsome 
embattled tower. The master of the free school is, 
in case of a vacancy, nominated by the warden and 
fellows of Jesus college, Oxford. 

At Abergavenny are several meeting-houses, and 
one Roman Catholic chapel. Here is carried on 
some trade in flannels, which the country-people ma- 
nufacture at iiome, and bring to this town to sell. 
The adjacent mountains abound with iron-ore, coal, 
and lime, and there are several iron-founderies in the 
vicinity; the most celebrated of which are the Blae- 
navon works^ Messrs. Hill and Co. These establish- 
ments are daily increasing, and afford full occupation 
to the poor in the neighbouring parishes. 

This town, on the whole, is handsome and well 
built, and is governed by a bailiff, recorder, and 
twenty-seven burgesses. It is a great thoroughfare from 
the western parts of VVaies to Bristol and Bath, by 
Chepstow; and to Gloucester, by Monmouth, cross- 
ing the river, through Colford and the Forest of Dean. 
Tlie traveller should notice the curious old Gothic 
bridge of fifteen arches over the Usk river. Society is 
here very agreeable, and there are some elegant 
country-«cats in the environs. The enchanting see- 


nery and salubrity of the air^ cause this place to be 
much frequented by invalids and strangers in the sum- 
mer-time. At Abergavenny are occasionally public 
balls and theatrical performances. The post-office 
opens every n)orning at eight o'clock, and shuts every 
evening at ten. The London mail arrives every even- 
ing at half past nine, and returns at half past two in 
the morning. The market-day is Thursday. The best 
inns are the Angel, and the Greyhound. 

Objects in the Environs and Vicinity of Abergavenny. 

The traveller who is fond of extensive prospects 
and romantic views, will not fail to visit the summits 
of the Blorenge — the Skyrridd-vawr, or St. Michael's- 
mount; the Skyrridd-vach, and the Sugar-loaf moun- 
tains. Coldbrook-park, in the neighbourhood of 
Abei-gavenny, is delightfully situated at the foot of 
the Skyrridd-vach, in the midst of grounds well 
wooded and tastefully variegated. The ancient man- 
sion is an irregular structure, with a square tower at 
each end; the north front, with an elegant Doric 
portico, was erected by Sir Charles Hanbury Wil- 
liams, K. B. The portraits of Major Hanbury and 
Sir Charles Hanbury Williams have been engraved in 
Mr. Coxe's historical tour. Besides the family pic- 
tures, here are original portraits of Henrietta, wife of 
King Charles the First, by Vandyke; a head of Oliver 
Cromwell; William the Third, and Queen Mary; 
George the Second ; the Duke of Cumberland ; Sir 
Robert Walpole; Lord Harvey; Lord Carteret; 
Signora Frasi, tlie celebrated singer; Mrs. Woffing- 
ton; Mrs. Oldfield, and General Churchill. Sir 
Charles Hanbury Williams, who resided at this man- 
sion, and who was so famous for his wit, his poetry, 
and diplomatic talents, was born in 170^, and educated 
at Eton college. Having made the tour of Europe, 
he assumed the name of Williams, in consequence of 
immense property left to his father, and in 1732 
married Lady Frances Coningsby, daughter of the 
Earl of Coningsby. He was member for the county 
G 2 


of Monmouth, and uniformly supported the measures 
of Sir Robert Walpole. Sir Charles was in j>eculiar 
habits of intimacy with the first literary characters of 
the age. At this time he amused himself with writint; 
several severe ;e2* c^Vs/>;77; one of which was on the 
marriage of Mr. Hussey with Isabella, daughter of 
the Duke of Montague; another pasquinade on the 
Irish nation, gave great oifence to various individuals 
of that country. The offensive couplets were these : 
" Nature indeed denies them sense^ 
But gives them legs and impudence, 
That beats all understanding." 

Several Irish gentlemen sent challenges to the 
writer ; in fine, to avoid a constant succession of 
duels, Sir Charles was obliged to retire into Mon- 
moutlishire. In 1746 Sir Charles was made a Knight 
of the Bath, and appointed envoy plenipotentiary to 
the court of Dresden ; he afterwards was sent to the 
courts of Berlin and St. Petersburgh. In 1759 Sir 
Charles unfortunately became insane, and died two 
years after, in the 59th year of his age. 

VVerndee, about two miles from Abergavenny, was 
originally a seat of the Herberts. The illustrious 
progenitor of this noble fiuiiily was Henry de Herbert, 
chamberlain to King Henry 1. The last lineal male 
descendant of the elder branch of this family, was 
Mr. Froger, who resided here, and died about thirty 
yeiirs ago, leaving an only daughter, a nun. 

Of this gentleinan Mr. Coxe relates an amusing 
incident, ilhistrative of this gentleman's pride of 
ancestry: " Mr. Froger accidentally met u stranger 
near his house, who was making various inquu-ics 
rehitive to the mansion and its vicinity. " Fray," 
said the gentleman to Froger, " whose is this antique 
mansion before us?" — *' That, Sir," replied the pru- 
piietor of VVernilee, " is Werndee, a very ancient 
house; for out of it came the Earls of Feujbroke, of 
the first line, and the Karls of Fembroke, of the 
second line ; the Lords Herbert of Cherbury ; the 


Herberts of Coldbrook, Ruinney, Cardiff, and York; 
the Morgans of Acton; the Earl of Hunsdon; the 
Jones's of Treowen and Lancaster, and all the 
Rowells : but of this house also, by the female line, 
came the Duke of Beaufort." — " And pray. Sir, who 
lives tliere now ?" — " I do, Sir." — " Then pardon me, 
Sir, do not lose sight of all these prudent examples; 
but come out of it yourself, or it will tumble and 
crush you." 

There was another family-seat of the Herberts at 
Penthir, near Grosmont. The extensive manors that 
were attached to it, extended to Ross. A curious 
anecdote is related of a contest for precedence be- 
tween the houses of Penthir and Werndee. This 
dispute was carried on with as much inveteracy as 
the civil wars between the Houses of Lancaster and 

" Mr. Proger of Werndee, in company with a 
friend, returning from Monmouth to his mansion, was 
suddenly overtaken by a violent storm ; and unable 
to proceed, he groped his way to find an asylum 
from the pelting pitiless storm at his cousin Powell's 
at Penthir. The family had retired to rest, but the 
weather-beaten travellers thundered again and again 
at tl;e doors of the castellated mansion, and soon 
awoke them from their slumbers. Cousin Powell, 
petrified with astonishment, threw open the window, 
and demanded with a loud and sonorous voice, to be 
informed what was the cause of his being thus dis- 
turbed ;it so unseasonable an hour. He was soon 
made acquainted with the predicament of the travel- 
lers, and having heard their request, replied, '* What! 
is it you, cousin Proger? You and your friend shall 
be instantly admitted; but upon one condition, that 
you will never dispute with me hereafter, upon my 
being the head of the family." — " No, Sir," returned 
Mr. Proger — " were it to rain swords and daggers, I 
would drive this night to Werndee, rather than lower 
the consequence of my family." A long series of 
arguments was now brought forward to defend the 


pedigree and rights of anccstrv on each side. The 
discussion of the suhject led to fierce and hostile 
language, and cousin Powell and cousin Proger, and 
liis friend, parted in the bitterest animosity — Proger 
braving the fury of the elements, sooner than renounce 
the honours of his house." 

Werndee is a poor patched-up liouse, though once 
a most magnificent mansion. Llanfoist church, in 
this hundred, contains a monument erected to the 
memory of Mrs. John Hanbury Williami-, witli the 
following pathetic poetical inscription, expressive of 
conjugal affection. 

Stranger or friend, with silent steps and slow, 
Who wand'rest pensive thro' this hallow'd gloom, 

Muse on the fleeting date of bliss below, 

And mark, with rev'rence due, Eliza's tomb; 

For 'tis not pride that rears this sculptured stone, 
To spread the honours of heraldic fame! 

Here Love connubial pours t!ie plaintive moan. 
And dews, with bitter tears, Eliza's name. 

Here .sad Remembrance fondly loves to dwell. 

And wrings with woe a widow'd husband's breast, 

While aye slie points to the dark narrow cell 
Where the cold ashes of Eliza rest. 

Stranger or friend ! hast thou a partner dear? 

Go — press her closer to thy aching heart; 
With silent wing the moment hastens near, 

'Ihe dreadful moment, when ye too must part. 

At the distance of three miles from Llangwa, where 
formerly there was an alien priory of Black Alonks, is 
the site of an ancient lioman encampment, called 
Campston-hill. An adjoining house, called Campston- 
lodge, was once honoured by the presence of that 
unfortunate monarch, King Charles I., who diped 

The hundred of Abergavenny is the most moun- 
tainous district of the county. Mr. Britton describes 
this tract as an " Alpine concatenation of contracted 


and extended chains, isolated mountains, steep ridges, 
and abrupt crags." From the foot of the loftv hiJl 
called the Gaer, an old military station, rises near 
the oblong-shaped, heath-covered mountain of Bry- 
naro ; opposite to which, on the east, rises the Skyr- 
ridd-vawr, called also the Great Skyrridd, or Sc. 
Michael's-raount; near whicb is the Skyrridd-vach, 
or Little Skyrridd. To these succeed the four Penny- 
vale hills, surmounted by the Sugar-loaf, so named 
from its curious conical form. North of the Brynaro, 
are those sombre, dark-looking hills, called the Black 
Mountains, as also the Hatterel hills. " A principal 
excursion from Abergavenny," says the intelligent 
Captain Barber, " is that which leads northward to 
the ruins of Llanthony Abbey and Ewia's Vale. The 
first part of the route lies through a romantic pass, 
between the Skyrridd and Sugar-loaf mountains. Pro- 
ceeding about two miles, the church of Llandilo Ber- 
tholly appears on the right; and not far from it, an 
antique mansion, called White-house. From this 
spot a ditch-like road, almost impracticable for car- 
nages, strikes off among the mountains, 

" Through tangled forests, and through dangerous 

carried upon precipices impendent over the brawny 
torrent of Honddy. Sometimes the road opens to 
scenes of the most romantic description, and, at an 
immense depth beneatli, the impetuous torrent is seen, 
raging in a bed of rocks and mountains of the most 
imposing aspect, rise from the valley — 

" The nodding horrors of whose shady brows, 
Threat the forlorn and wandVing traveller." 

Immediately to the left rises the Gaera huge rocky 
hill, crowned with an ancient encampment. On the 
opposite side of the river, fearfully hanging on a steep 
cliff, beneath a menacing hill, bristled with innumerable 
crags, is the romantic village of Cwmvoy. 

Landscapes of the boldest composition would b^ 


continual, but that the road, formed into a deep 
hollow, and overtopped by hedge-row ehns, excludes 
the traveller from ahnost every view but that of his 
embowered tract. The pedestrian, however, is at 
liberty while ranging among heaths and fields above 
the road, to enjoy the wild grandeur of the country, 
which will hardly fail to repay him for his additional 

, The secluded Vale of Ewias is situated amidst the 
Black mountains, and is watered by the lionddy. 
Giraldus Cambrensls, a writer of the twelfth century, 
whose works have been recently republished and trans- 
lated by Sir Richard lioare, thus describes Ewias Vale : 
" A deep valley, quiet for contemplation, and retired 
for conversation with the Almighty, where the sorrow- 
ful complaints of the oppressed are not heard, nor the 
mad contentions of the froward disturb, but a calm 
peace and perfect serenity invite to holy reliiiion. 
But why (exclaims Giraldus), do I describe the situa- 
tion of the place, when all things are so much changed 
since the primitive establishment ? The broken rocks 
were traversed by herds of wild and swift-footed 
animals. These rocks surrounded and darkened the 
valley, for they were crowned with tall toweling trees, 
which yielded a delightful prospect at a distance to all 
beholders both by sea and land. 

" The middle of the valley, although clothed with 
wood, and sunk into a narrow and deep abyss, was 
sometinies disturbed by a strong blighting wind ; and 
at other times, obscured with dark clouds and violent 
rains, incommoded with severe floods, or heaped up 
with snow, while in other places, there was a mild and 
gentle air. 

" The large atid plentiful springs from the neigh- 
bouring mountains fell with a pleasant murmuring into 
a river, in the midst of the valley, abounding with fish. 
Sometimes, after great rains, which were extremely 
frequent, the floods, impatient of controul, inundated 
the neighbouring places, overturning rocks, and tearing 
up great trees by the roots. These spacious mountains, 


however, contained fruitful pastures and rich meadows 
f')r feeding cattle, whicii compensated for the hnrren- 
i\ess of other parts, and made amends for the want of 
corn. The air, though thick, was healthful, and pre- 
served the inhabitants to an extren»e old age; but the 
people were savage, without religion, vagabonds, and 
addicted to stealth ; they had no settled abode, and 
removed as wind and weather induced them." 

Such is the account of the Vale of Evvias, and its 
inhabitants, by Giraldus Cambrensis. 

In this vale are the ruins of the once famous abbey 
of Llanthony. Here, according to tradition and ancient 
legends, was the hermitage of St. David, the patron 
saint of Wales, where, says Drayton, 

" He did only drink what crystal Honddy yields, 
" And fed upon the leeks he gathered in the fields ; 
" In memory of whom, in each revolving year, 
" The Welshmen on his day that sacred herb do wear." 

The following interesting in5.cription for a monument 
in the Vale of Ewias, is by R. Southey, esq. 
Here was it, stranger, that the patron saint 
Of Cambria, pass'd his age of penitence, 
A solitary man ; and here he made 
His hermitage ; the roots his food, his drink 
Of Honndy's mountain stream. Perchance thy youth 
Has read with eager wonder, how the knight 
Of Wales in Ormandine's enchanted bower, 
Slept the long sleep ; and if that in thy veins 
Flows the pure blood of Britain, sure that blood 
Hath fiow'd with quicker itnpulse at the tale 
Of Dafydd's deeds, when through the press of wnr, 
His gallant comrades followed his grec n crest 
To conquests— Stranger ! Hatterel's mountnin heights, 
And this (air Vale of Ewias, and the streanj 
Of Ilonndy, to thine aiter-thou^lits will rise 
More urateful, thus associate with the name 
Of Dafywdd, and the deeds of other days. 

A person belonging to the Earl of Hereford's family 


pursuing a dter through tlie Vale of Ewias, was so 
deeply impressed with tbe awful solitude of the place, 
that on perceiving the old hermitage, he determined 
to relinquish all secular concerns and devote himself 
to piety and religion. 

8ir Robert A tkyns, in his History of Gloucestershire, 
lias recorded a curious anecdote of the change which 
instantaneously took place in this stranger : — " He 
laid aside his belt, and girded himself with a rope; 
instead of fine linen, he covered himself with hair- 
cloth ; and instead of his soldier's robe, he loaded 
himself with weighty irons ; the suit of armour which 
before defended him from the darts of his enemies, he 
still wore as a garment to harden him against the soft 
temptations of his old enemy Satan ; that as the out- 
ward man was afflicted by austerity, the inner man 
might be secured for the service of God. That his 
zeal might not cool he thus crucified himself, and con- 
tinued this hard armour on his body, until it was worn 
out with rust and age." 

This ascetic was soon joined by a companion, 
Ernesi, chaplain to Queen Matilda, wife of Henry 1. 
and from the combination of these two religious, Hugh 
Lacy, the Earl of Hereford, was induced to found the 
abbey. William (for that was the name of this reli- 
gious recluse) had frequent donations sent to hnn, 
which he as well as his colleague refused accepting of; 
he affirmed that " he was determined to dwell poor in 
the house of Ood." 

" Queen Matilda (as the legends relate) not suffi- 
ciently acquainted with the sanctity and disinterested- 
ness of William, once requested him to let her put 
her hand to his bosom, which with great modesty he 
assented to; the queen by that n»eans conveyed into 
l)is pocket a large purse of gold, l)et\veen his hair shirt 
and iron boddice, and thus administered to his relief; 
but William would not receive the money for his own 
benefit, but requested the (|ueen to expend it in 
adorning the church." 

A new church was in consequence erected, which 


was costly iiud inagniticent, and the iwonks who sub- 
sequently were cloistered in this abbey soon became 
attached to the poinps and vanities of this wicked 
world ; the outward man got the better of the inward : 
the vale, so well adapted tor religious contemplation, 
was found to be gloomy and unbearable: nay, im- 
piously indeed did the monks exclaim, that they 
" wished every stone o£ the Foundation a stout hare" 
and that " every stone was at the bottom of the sea." 
The monastery was removed near Gloucester, where 
the fat monks of the Severn regaled themselves with 
all the hidden luxuries of a convent. 

The revenues of the first abbey were at the dissolu- 
tion valued at 87/. 9s. bd. annually. The site was 
granted to Richard Arnold ; was afterwards the pro- 
perty of the Harleys, and subsequently purchased by 
Walter Landee, esq. 

The area of the abbey church is not very extensive ; 
its dunensionsarein length 212, breadth fifty, transept 
100 feet. The roof* has long since fallen in, and great 
part of the south wall is dilapidated : the view afforded 
of the interior is impressive and picturesque, a double 
row of pointed arches, resting on singly constructed 

" The character of the ruin of this abbey (says Mr. 
fJritton) consists in the great and solid, as that of 
'J'intern does in the light and beautiful; but these pre- 
sent a different appearance from most other ruins of 
this description." 

" iSiot a single tendril of ivy (says Capt. Barber), 
decorates the massive walls of the structure, and but a 
sprinking of shrubs, and light branching trees, fringe 
the high parapets or shade the broken fragments 
beneatli ; but 

" Where reverend shrines in Gothic grandeur stood. 
The nettle or the noxious nightshade spreads ; 

And ashlings wafted from the neighbouring wood. 
Through the worn turrctswave their trembling heads." 

On the bide of one of the Blark Mountains, is the 


village of Oldcastle, where, according to Dr. Gale 
and Dr. Stukely, was the Roman station, called 
'* Blestium," in the itinerary of Antoninus. Near the 
church are slii^ht ve&tiues of circular entrenchments. 
But the villai;e of Oldcastle has acquired its greatest 
celebrity by being the birih-place and chief residence 
of Sir John Oldcastle, Lord Cobham. This illustrious 
man was once tlie gay and dissipated companion of" 
Prince Henry, afterward Henry V. 

When calm and sober reflection had succeeded to 
the violent ebullition of the youthful passions, Lord 
Cobham hearkened to the voice of religion, and from 
a firm conviction of sentiment, embraced the opinions 
of WicklifFe. The accession of so powerful a noble- 
man to the Lollards, as the reformers were then called 
in derision, excited great alarm among the clergy, 

Thomas Arundel was at this time metropolitan of 
all England. He was of illustrious birth; and when 
extremely young, was made Bishop of Ely, by Edward 
the Third. He was then translated by the Pope to the 
Archbishopric of York, made Lord High Chancellor, 
and then Archbishop of Canterbury. This was during 
the inibecile reign of Richard the Second. Arundel 
was an inveterate enemy to the seceders from the 
Church of Rome, and he had the base ingratitude to 
engage in a conspiracy against his royal master, from 
whom he had received many favours; he was disgraced, 
and banished the realm ; but upon the deposition of 
King Richard and the usurpation of the House of 
Lancaster, he was recalled and placed in the archie- 
piscopal see. The archbishop directed his resentment 
chiefly against Lord Cobham. Having called an as- 
sembly of the clergy, at St. Paul's, he descanted on 
the necessity of immediate exertions to suppress the 
new heresy. Twelve priests were appointed, as in- 
quisitors, to inquire who were the aiders and abettors 
of the heretics, in consequence of which an information 
was ^\\e(] against Lord Cobham. 

He was accused of n)aintaining Lollards in various 
parts of the kingdom : it was also asserted that he had 


protected the Lollards by force of arms, wliicli was 
entirely false ; finally, he was charged with being an 
heretic himself, with respect to the doctrines of the 
real presence, penance, imajfe-worship, pilgrimages, 
and ecclesiastical power. Arundel and the clergy 
resolved to proceed against Sir John Oldcastle; but 
as he was a great favourite with his sovereign, and had 
performed deeds of military renown, it was determined 
lo acquaint the king of the charges alleged against 

Henry was at this time meditating his proposed 
invasion of France, and he w ished to secure the favour 
of the clergy, that they might grant him those large 
subsidies which would enable him to defray the 
enormous expences of such an expedition. The king 
informed the archbishop that he would himself con- 
veise with Cobham on the subject, and reclaim hinij 
if possible, from his errors; at the same time conjuring 
him to pay due respect to the rank, power, and 
eminent services of this nobleman, and treat him with 
gentleness. His majesty accordingly sent for Lord 
Cobham, and admonished him to submit as an obedient 
child to his holy mother the church. 

It is rather singular to contemplate Henry in this 
scene with Lord Cobham : to find a prince who was 
but a little time since frolicking in every species of 
debauchery, drinkiiig sack with the jolly knight at the 
Boar's Head in East Cheap, now talking about the 
holy mother church, acting the part of a friar, and 
exhorting a nobleman, illustrious for his rank, but still 
more for his splendid services to his country, to change 
his religious opinions. " It may be said (observes a 
modern writer) Henry acted thus out of kindness, 
wishing to prevent him falling into the hands of the 
clergy. But was there no other mode of protecting 
this nobleman from the rage of the ecclesiastics, but 
by exhorting him to deny his faith ? Could not this 
monarch, nay, was it not his bounden duty, to have 
been a fortress, a strong tower, a shield and a buckler 
to this amiable nobleman? How did the illustrious 


Duke of Lancaster shelter Wickliffe from the con- 
spiraey against his life ! Had Henry acted in a similar 
manner he would have merely performed his duty." 

Lord Cobham boldly affirmed the sentiments which 
were imputed to him, and told the king that he was 
ready and willing to obey him in every thing that did 
not interfere with the dictates of his conscience ; that 
he was willing to lay down his life in defence of his 
persqu and government : but with respect to the pope 
and his clergy, he would never be obedient to them, 
for they had no right to exercise dominion over the 
consciences of men. He also observed, that he viewed 
the pope as Antichrist, the son of perdition, the adver- 
sary of God, and the abomination and hireling of the 
holy place. 

ilenry was no way impressed with this candid de- 
claration of Cobham ; he was mortified to find his 
endeavours frustrated ; he presumed that this noble- 
man would, like the generality of courtiers, be su{)ple 
and pliant: in fine, from mingled emotions of ambition, 
powardice, superstiti )n, pride, and vain glory, Henry 
the Fifth of Monmouth sold the blood of Lord Cobham, 
to procure a subsidy from the clergy in his invasion of 
France. This action is a stain upon his character, 
which the tropliies of victory gained at Agincourt will 
pever efface. 

The archbishop was soon apprised that he might act 
towards Sir John Oldcastle as he pleased. In au 
assembly of the clergy it was resolved that an apparitor 
should be sent with a summons to Cowling-castle, 
Kent, where Lord Cobham then was. When the 
officer arrived at the place, he was afraid to enter the 
premises belonging to so noble a person without licence, 
and therefore returned without executing his com- 
mission. The archbishop then persuaded the door- 
keeper of the king's privy chamber to go to Lord 
Cobham as if he came on business from the king; the 
stratagem was not successful, as his lordship sent a 
message saying, that " he would have nothing to do 
yvith the hellish practices of the priests." 

fttONMOUTiisiiinr:. 73 

The primate immediately ordered letters to be 
iixed upon the church doors of the cathedral of Ro- 
chester, which was hut three miles from Cowliiii;- 
casile, charging him to appear before him personally. 
This citation Cobham refused to comply with, in con-i 
sequence of which he was declared contumacious. 

His lordship was then publicly excommunicated, 
and a proclamation issued for apprehending him. 
Cobham sent a letter to Henry, but the ungrateful 
monarch would not even deign to cast his eye upon 
it, but told him to lay it before the clergy. He was 
now arrested, and sent close prisoner to the Tower. 

A few days after. Sir Robert Morley, lieutenant of 
the Tower, brought his lordship before a full convo- 
cation of the clergy, at St. Paul's. In answer to the 
charges made against him by the archbishop, Lord 
Cobiiam pulled a paper out of his pocket, containing 
his confession of faith, in which he declared his belief 
in transubstantiation, but denied the chief of the 
doctrines of the Romish church. 

This paper having been read, Arundel told him 
that he had better recant his errors, else he would 
liave the censure of the holy mother church, and be 
adjudged to die as an heretic. Lord Cobham replied, 
that they might do wnth him as they pleased. 

He was again brought before the clergy, when, 
after some exhortations to induce him to submit, the 
archbishop pronounced the dreactful sentence upon 
Lord Cobham that he should be burnt alive. Upon 
hearing this sanguinary sentence, he replied, " You 
may do with this poor perishing body as you please, 
but you cannot injure my soul; he that created it, 
will in his infinite mercy save it, and of that I have 
no manner of doubt; and for the articles I gave you 
I will stand by them to the last, and they shall con- 
tain my faith before the eternal God." He then 
turned liimself round to the spectators, and desired 
them to beware of false doctrines;' to search the 
scriptures, and find out the truth. Falling down 


upon Ilis knees, lie prayed tlmt God would forgive 
his persecutors, it it was his will. 

After returning to the Tower, his lordship found 
an opportunity of escaping, and retired to the Con- 
tinent. Henry issued a proclamation, offering a hand- 
some reward to any person who should apprehend 
him. Lord Cohham must unfortunately returned to 
England, and remained concealed in Wales for some 
time; but Lord Powis, a neighbouring nobleman, 
caused him to be apprehended. The turpitude of 
this treacherous act was enhanced by Lord Powis 
having received numerous favours from the persecuted 

December 14, 1449, while the parliament was sit- 
ting at Westminster, Lord Cobham was brought 
before it as a person who had been excommunicated. 
He said little in reply, and he was ordered to be con- 
veyed to St. Giles's in the Fields, there to be hanged 
and burnt. This cruel sentence was executed with 
circumstances of peculiar barbarity, for his lordship 
was absolutely roasted alive. " Thus (says the author 
we have above quoted) perished by the hands of the 
men, the merciless banditti of Rome, Sir John Old- 
castle, a nobleman of high rank, who had obtained 
the laurels of victory; a nobleman who rendered the 
peerage illustrious by his piety and his virtues, dragged 
before an infernal tribunal of priests, condemned by 
a monarch whom he had faithfully served, and a 
parliament, the servile instrument of the pope's 
power, to be burnt alive." 

Mr. Hume has made an unjust attack upon the 
character of this nobleman ; in one place he styles 
him "a bold heresiarch;" in another he observes, 
" The bold spirit of the man, provoked by persecu- 
tion, and stimulated by zeal, was urged to attempt 
the most criminal enterprises; and his unlimited 
authority over the new sect, proved that he well 
merited the authority of the civil magistrate." Had 
Lord Cobham been inclined to have been a rebel to 


his king, he would have adopted a more sagacious 
plan than arming a few Loihxrds, and attempting to 
seize tiie king's person. His rank and power might 
soon have combined a powerful army to rally round 
the standard of the deposed monarch, Richard the 
Second. The statement therefore is false and insi- 
dious. The Rev. Mr. Coxe has paid a just tribute 
to the memory of this great man : "His martyrdom 
(he observed) forms an eminent epoch in the English 
church; for the Reformation, like a phcenix, sprung 
from his ashes. 

Old-court was the principal seat of Dafydd ap 
Llewellyn, generally called David Gam, or Squinting 
David. He was the fourth in descent from Einion 
Sais, who served in the battles of Cressy and Poictiers. 
The life of David was disgraced by violence and 
rapine, and above all, by his attempt to assassinate 
ihe brave Owen Giendower; but his heroic behaviour 
at Agincourt atoned for all his crimes, and has 
rendered his memory perpetual. When sent to re- 
connoitre the French ariBy, he brought back tlie 
memorable report, that " there were enow to be 
killed, enow to be taken prisoners, and enow to run 
away!" and when Henry was stunned by a blow 
from the Duke d'Alenpon, Gam interposed, and 
received in his own bosom the sword intended for 
his king's. Sir David Gam and his son-in-law Sir 
Roger Vaughan, were both knighted, whilst lying in 
the agonies of death on the field of battle, by Henry 
V. whose life they had preserved. 

About four miles east of the Gaer, is Llanvihangel 
Crucorney, an old mansion belonging to the Earl of 
Oxford. It contains antiquated furniture, and some 
old family pictures, and is surrounded by some noble: 
avenues of Scotch firs, said to be the largest in 

Adjacent to this mansion is the famous mountain 

of the Skyrrid Vawr. " This mountain,'' says Mr. 

Britton, " is a singular geological phenomenon :" it is 

isolated, and rises almost abruptly from the plain; 



the north-east side is a barren ridge of russet hue ; 
towards the soutli the declivity is less, and towards 
the bottom terminates in a gentle slope ; the foot is 
embellished with luxuriant corn-fields and rich pas- 
tures. It varies its appearance as viewed from differ- 
ent parts. In one point of view it appears globular, 
and from others like a truncated cone. 

The north-east extremity is the highest part of the 
mountain; and its height, according to the barometri- 
cal "admeasurement of General Itoy, is 1498 feet. Near 
the verge of a precipice is a small cave, supposed to be 
the site of a chapel dedicated to St. iVlichael. Tiiis 
spot was much venerated in ancient limes; the earth 
around it was considered etficacious in the cure of 
diseases, and promoting fecundity in females : it is 
still resorted to on Michaelmas eve by the Roman 
Catholics, through motives of devotion. 

The same absurd idea of religious veneration has 
made it conjectured that the vast chasm in this 
mountain was occasioned by the earthquake at the 
crucifixion of our Lord. The Skyrrid Vach, or Little 
Skyrrid, has been beautifully apostrophized in the 
following lines : 

"Skyrrid ! Remembrance thy loved scene renews; 
Fancy yet ling'ring on thy verdant brow. 
Beholds around the lengthened landscape glow ; 

Which charmed, when late the day-beam's parting 
Purpled the distant cliif." 

The mountain called the Sugar Loaf, from its 
pyramidical form, according to General Roy's ad- 
measurement, is 1852 feet perpendicular. Notwith- 
standing this height, Mr. Coxe observes that it is 
accessible without much fatigue or difficulty; and he 
recommends travellers who wish to obtain the mag- 
nificent prospect which its summit commands, to 
ascend by the Derry, from the Hereford read, and to 
descend on the side of the Robbcn. 

"The sides of the mountain (says this btelligent 


traveller) are covered with heath, whirtle-berries, and 
moss, to the height of a foot, which renders the 
ascent so extremely easy, that a hght carriage might 
be drawn to the base of tiie line, not more than 100 
paces from the summit. I dismounted near a rock, 
which emerges from the side of the ridge, forming a 
natural wall, and reached the top without the smallest 
difficulty. This elevated point, which crowns the 
summit of the four hills, is an insulated ridge, about 
a quarter of a mile in length, and 200 yards in 
breadth, with broken crags starting up amid the 
moss and heath with which it is covered. The view 
from this point is magnificent, extensive, and diver- 
sified : it commands the counties of Kadnor, Salop, 
Brecknock, Monmouth, Glamorgan, Hereford, Wor- 
cester, Gloucester, Somerset, and Wilts." 

At Blaenavon, in the vicinity of Abergavenny, are 
the famous iron works, which constitute an interesting 
object in the tour of Monmouthshire. The descrip- 
tion of these we shall extract from the interesting 
account of Mr. Coxe. 

'^ From Abergavenny, in company with Sir Ricliard 
Hoare, I passed over the stone bridge of the Usk, 
along the plain, between the river and the Blorenge, 
and went up the steep sides of the mountain, in a 
hollow way, inclosed between high hedges, with 
occasional openings, which admit different views of 
Abergavenny, and the circumjacent country. Emerg- 
ing from the thickets of wood which clothe the lower 
and middle parts, we ascended a common, strewed 
with vast masses of rocks, from whence a dreary mood 
leads to the summit, overlooking the works of Blae- 
navon, situated in the hollow of the mountain, near 
the source of the Avon Lwyd, from which the place 
derives its appellation. 

" At some distance the works have the appearance 
of a small town, surrounded with heaps of ore, coal, 
and limestone, enlivened with all the bustle and 
activity of an opulent and increasing establishment. 
The view of the buildings, which are constructed ia 


the excavations of the rocks, is extremely picturesque, 
and hei*!;l)tened by the volumes of black smoke 
emitted by the furnaces. VVhile my friend Sir 
Richard Hoare was engaged in sketchino; a view of 
this singular scene, I eujployed myself in examining 
the mines and works. 

"This spot and its vicinity produce abundance 
of iron, with coal and limestone, and every article 
necessary for smelting the ore; the veins lie in the 
adjacent rocks, under strata of coal, and are from 
three and a half to seven or eight inches in thickness, 
they differ in richness, but yield, upon an average, 
not less than forty-four pounds of pig iron to one 
hundred weight of ore. The principal part of the 
iron, after being formed into pigs, is conveyed by 
means of the rail-road and canal to Newport, from 
whence it is exported. 

" The shafts of the mines are horizontal, penetrat- 
ing one below the other, and under the coal shafts 
iron rail-roads are constructed, to convey the coal 
and ore, which are pushed as far as the shafts are 
worked, and gradually carried on as the excavations 
are extended ; the longest of these subterraneous 
passages penetrates no less than three quarters of a 
mile. The coal is so abundant as not only to supply 
the fuel necessary for the works, but large quantities 
are sent to Abergavenny, Pontypool, and Usk. 

" The hollows of the rocks and sifles of the hills are 
strewed with numerous habitations, and the heathy 
grounds converted into fields of corn and pasture. 
Such are the wonder-working powers of industry, 
when directed by judgment! 

" Tlie want of habitations for the increasing num- 
ber of families, has occasioned an ingenious coil- 
trivance; a bridge being thrown across a deej) dingle, 
for the support of a rail-road leading into a mine, the 
arches, which are ten in ninnber, have been walled 
up, and formed into dwellings; the bridge is covered 
with a pent-house roof, and backed by perpendicular 
rocks, in which the mines are excavated. Numerous 


workmen continually pass and repass, and low cars, 
laden with coals and iron ore, roll along with their 
}>r()ad-grooved wheels; these ohjects losing them- 
selves under the roof of the bridge, again emerging, 
and then disappearing in the subterranean passages 
of the rocks, form a singular and animated picture, 
not unlike the moving figures in a camera obscura." 

Twenty years ago the quantity of pig iron made in 
this district was inconsiderable, and there was no bar 
iron nianufactured ; the quantity of each kind now 
sent to market is immense. The works are still 
rapidly increasing in importance and extent, and 
seem likely to surpass the other iron manufactories 
throughout the kingdom. 

Nine miles west by south from Abergavenny is 
Bydwelty, situated among the mountains. The 
parish is very extensive. Near the church are remains 
of a strong entrenchment : half a mile beyond are 
striking appearances of the old Roman road, called by 
the natives "Sarnhir," or the causeway; and not far 
distant are Mynydd-y-Slwynn coal mines, and Aber- 
carn iron-works. 

The whole of the hundred of Abergavenny com- 
prises "a highly diversified tract of country: hills 
and vallies, intersected with rivers and streams, open 
to the view prospects of the most pleasing nature, 
displaying a picturesque wildness, and a luxuriant 
fertility. Being bounded on the north by the fine 
county of Hereford, it acquires a rich embellishment, 
and having the county of Brecon to the west, it 
assumes additional beauty when compared with that 
ru2ged county. The rivers Gavenny, Monow, and 
Usk, fertilize the soil; and throughout the district 
the most pleasing and sublime landscapes hurst upon 
the view. 

Journei/from Monmouth to Abergavenny; through 
Liandilo Cresseny. 
Leaving Monmouth, we pursue our journey to 
RocKFiELD, two miles distant, a village, on the right 


of which is Perthyr, the ancient seat of tlie Powells, 
now in the possession of J. Powell Lorymer, esq. 

From Rockficld we proceed on the road to Llan- 
DiLo Cresseny. This parish is in the hundred of 
Skenfreth. In the village are the magnificent ruins of 
White Castle, which was called in old records, Lan- 
tielo Castle; this, with some other fortresses, formed 
part of the possessions of Brian Fitzcourt, Earl of 
Hereford, who came to England with William the 
Conqueror. It afterwards came into possession of 
the respective families of the Cantalupes, and the 
Braoses, and then to Huhert de Burgh, chief justice 
of England ; it was then annexed to the duchy of 
Lancaster, to winch it is still attached. 

The remains occupy the ridge of an eminence, 
and are surrounded by a deep fuss or moat, 236 
yards in circumference ; the walls are of considerable 
thickness, and faced with hewn stone of a brown 
colour. The figure is of an irregular oblong shape, 
similar to an oval. The works, which are both 
straight and curvilinear, are strengthened with six 
round towers, standing without the walls, which were 
well contrived to resist a siege. 

"The principal entrance (says Mr. Coxe) is towards 
tlie north ; it consists of a gateway, which was de- 
fended by a portcullis and drawbridge, flanked by two 
high massive towers ; there is another entrance, to the 
south-west, on the opposite side." The greater por- 
tion of the area, according to Mr. Britton, is covered 
with grass and weeds, cropped by the cattle that find 
shelter here in hot or stormy weather. Tlie length of 
llie luea is 145 feet, and the greatest breadth 106. 

Outside the foss, and before the principal entrance, 
are the remains of a barbican, that formed a kind oiF 
icte du po7it, with which it was connected. The walls 
of this outwork were very thick. Hanked also by 
several towers, and encompassed by a deep foss. 
" The massive remains of this castle, (adds the illus- 
trious traveller of the north of England), the height of 
the towers, the extent of the outworks, the depth of 


the fossa, indicae a place of considerable strength 
andimportance, which probably insured for several 
ages the dominion of this part of the country. From 
the style of the architecture it appears to have been 
constructed either before the Conquest, or at the latest 
in the early times of the Norman era." 

In ancient documents this castle is called " Castele 
Blaunch," or Blanch. In Latin records it is termed 
Album Castrum, By the Welsh it was denominated 
Castell Gvvyn. Leland says, "this castle standeth 
on a hill, and is drye moted." 

The church of Llandilo Cresseny is a spacious 
handsome stone structure, in the pointed style, having 
its tower surmounted by a lofty spire, covered with 
shingles. " The latter (observes Mr. Britton) forms a 
striking object from every part of the surrounding 
country, and stands upon an artificial mound of earth, 
that forms part of an entrenched camp, extending 
into the pleasure grounds belonging to Llandilo- 
house." This was formerly the seat of the Powells, 
but now of Richard Lewis, esq. 

About a mile on the right of White Castle is u 
famous Lancastrian fort of great strength and extent. 

Two miles from hence is Kevenpendegar; half a 
mile to the right of which is Werndee, once the 
splendid residence of the Herberts, now a farm- 
house. We may now return to Abergavenny, which 
place, and its charming environs, we have already 

Journey from Abergavenny to Nezvport ; through 

Leaving Abergavenny on the right, there is a road 
to Crickhowell ; on the left to Monmouth. Two 
miles beyond we pass through Llanellan, which is 
situated in the higher division of the hundred of 
Abergavenny, containing about 63 houses and 293 
inhabitants. Here we cross a bridge thrown over the 
Usk river, which is occasionally subject to violent 
inundations. Mr. Coxe (the ingenious historian of 


this county, and the celebrated tourist (jf Switzerland 
and the north of Europe) relates, that " During the 
rainy autumn of 1799, he crossed it one evening in 
his way to Abergavenny; the water was then confined 
to a deep and narrow channel, but on his return tlie 
following morning the stream had risen to so great a 
height, that he passed the bridge with the utmost 
difficulty : the current poured with violence through 
the hollow roads in the vicinity, overflowed the hedges, 
and spread its devastation far and wide. This inun- 
dation, though terrible to the inhabitants, adds 
greatly to the beauty of the scenery, as the Usk then 
appears swollen into an expanse of waters as broad 
as a lake, and with a current as impetuous as that of 
the Rhine or Danube issuing from the mountains of 

Two miles and a half from Llanellan, the traveller 
arrives atLLANOvEii, a very extensive parish; the vil- 
lage contains 341 houses, and 1863 inhabitants. The 
church commands a delightful prospect, being situated 
on the banks of the river; it is a fine Gothic building, 
with an embattled tower, a nave, and chancel. The 
church is kept in an admirable state of neatness by 
Benjamin Waddington, esq. the patron of the living, 
whose seat at this place commands a most charming 
view. In the front the meadows are formed into an 
oval vale, intersected by the meandering Usk, and 
skirted by a range of gentle elevations; dotted with 
numerous seats, churches, and hamlets; beyond these 
rise in grand succession undulating hills and rugged 
mountains, which combine the varieties of light and 
shade, and vie in the contrast and singularity of 
their forms. In the church is a monument of the 
Pritchard family, which represents them as descended 
from Cradocke, a Welsh chieftain surnamed Vreich 
Vras, which signifies "the Fat Arm." 

In the environs of Llanover, to the west, is a chain 
of hills which appear to form one uniform and con- 
tinued ridge; but in reality are a series of eminences, 
separated from each other, clothed with hanging 


wood, and watered by fertilisint^ streams. Tiirec 
miles from Llanover is IMainhilad, a village, the 
church of which lies in the lower division of the 
hundred of Abergavenny. Haifa mile from hence is 
Llanvihangel Pontymoyl; here there is only a church 
and bridge on the road. 

Upon quitting this village, there is a division of the 
road: one mile on the right leads to Pontypool. 
This is a market-town, 153 miles from London. It 
is situated between trwo hills, and is a small place ; 
but it has acquired great celebrity by a considerable 
manufacture of japanned ware, to which it gives its 
name, and which was established by the family of the 
Hanburys, who were originally settled in Worcester- 
shire. Thomas Allgood, in the reign of Charles II., 
invented the method of lacquering iron plates with a 
brilliant varnish, in the same manner as the Japanese 
lacquered wood ; this invention was distinguished by 
the name of Pontypool ware. The late Major Han- 
bury, by the means of his ingenious agent Edward 
Allgood, discovered the secret of making the leys, the 
principal ingredient in giving a more brilliant polish 
to iron wire. The major made several improvements 
in machinery, and first introduced into England the 
art of coating iron plates with tin ; and he was enabled 
to prosecute his useful discoveries, by the unexpected 
bequest of 70,000/. from Charles Williams, esq., the 
founder of the free-school at Caerleon, who died in 
the year 1720. 

Pontypool was of little note before the last century, 
when its peculiar branch of manufacture was much 
called for, and the trade was brisk and flourishing. 
The demand, however, for the japanned vt'arcs of 
this place has been declining for many years, as it 
has to contend with those powerful rivals, Birming- 
ham and Sheffield. But it is still a place of commer- 
cial consideration, owing to the vast mineral treasures 
which lie concealed in the surrounding country. 
Great quantities of iron ore and coal are dug u^; and 
there are several forges continually at work. 


The town consists of two irregular streets, and 
contains (including Trcvethin) 700 houses, and 3031 
inhabitants. Trevethin is the parish church of Ponty- 
pool. On the pulpit is inscribed, " 1637. God save 
the king. C. il." In the church-yard is a monument, 
with a beautiful inscription, to the memory of Mr. 
Thomas Cooke, director of the iron-works, who died 

The market-day is Saturday. There is no post- 
office ; but the letters are conveyed to and from 
Newport every day by a man on horseback. The 
inn is the Red Lion. The numerous boats, horses, 
waggons, and men, frequently employed on the tram- 
roads, and the fine canal in the vicinity, give this 
town a very lively appearance. 

Objects in the Viciniti/ of Pontypooh 

Near Pontypool is Pontypool-park, the elegant 
seat of Capel Hanbury Leigh, esq. The mansion- 
house contains some fiimily portraits, and original 
pictures, among which are Sarah, the celebrated 
Duchess of Marlborough, with her daughter Anne, 
afterwards Countess of Sunderland ; John, Duke of 
Marlborough ; Frederick the Great, King of Prussia ; 
Wentworth, Earl of Strafford; and Sir Robert Wal- 
pole. There are also two pictures by the Spanish 
painter Murillo, in his best style; and j^sculapius 
writing, by Vandyke. The gardens and park are 
pleasing, luxuriant, and diversified, situated partly 
m a rich vale, partly on an eminence, from which 
there is an extensive and romantic prospect. 

Near to Pontypool is the valley of Ebwy Vach, or 
the Vale of the Little Ebwy. It is called by the 
natives "the Valley of the Church." Upon entering, 
it appears very contracted, but gradually expands; 
several neat farm-houses make a pleasing and interest- 
ing appearance; the whitened walls and brown stone 
roofs of these dwellings, add gaiety to the landscape. 
Towards the extremity of the vale, crossing the 
Jibwy over a stone bridge, we arrive at the village of 


Aberystwitii. The chinch is a fine structure, in 
the Gothic style, with a square tower, and affords a 
pleasing appearance iVoni its sequestered situation. 
The outside of the body and chancel, with the lower 
part of the tower and its battlements, are white; the 
remaining part of the tower is of hewn stone. The 
inside consists of a nave and northern aisle, separated 
by fine pointed arches on octagon piers. 

Edmund Jones, a native of Aberystwith, and mi- 
nister of a congregation of Independents, published 
in 1779, an account of this village, which he styles 
" Aberystruth." Of this absurd and eccentric work, 
the following interesting analysis is given by Mr, 
Coxe. " His book contains a short but clear topo- 
graphical description of the vallies of the two Ebwys, 
and of the Tilery; tlie state of the Independent con- 
gregations; a few biographical notices of some gifted 
persons, of his father and mother, and others wiio 
were " converted unto God.*' He speaks of his own 
conversion, and boasts with affected humility of his 
own "instrumentality" in the revival of religion. But 
the most curious part of this singular work, is a 
rhapsody "on the apparition of fairies, and other 
spirits of Hell." Like a company of children, with 
music and dancing, he asserts that they visited the 
parish of Aberystwith, as much or more than any 
parish of Wales; and were particularly fond of light, 
dry, and pleasant places, where they were often seen 
leaping and making a waving path in the air. ^ He 
seriously warns his countrymen not to think them 
happy spirits, because they delight in music and 
dancing, or because they are called in Monmouthshire 
^'mothers' blessing, and fair folks of the wood." He 
narrates several childish stories of people who heard 
them sing, but could never learn the tune ; who heard 
them talk, but could seldom distinguish the words ; 
of many who were tormented and wounded by t1iem; 
and of others wlio were transported through the air. 
He also gives an instance of their apparition, from 
his own experience, and of one who resembled a fair 


woman, wiih a liis/h crown hat, and a red jacket; tlie 
male fairies wore xchite cravats.^' 

Such are the wonderful tales of goblins, wood 
gods, fairies, elfs, and fiends, interwoven with Mr. 
Edmund Jones's "Geographical and Historical A»- 
count of Aber^stvvith." 

In the vicinity of Aherystwith are several coal- 
mines and iion-worksi 

FroDi iicnce the tourist, passing an elevated tract 
of moor, and traversing the Beacon mountain, arrives 
at the vale of the Great Ebwy. This vale is, like the 
smaller, bounded by ridges of hills feathered with 
trees, and watered by a mountain torrent ; but the 
scenery is more wild, the wooded glens are more 
romantic, and there are fewer habitations. The 
Beacon mountain is a narrow and elevated ridge, 
stretching between the two branches of the Ebwy, 
and terminating near the point of their junction. 

About three miles west of Pontypool is the village 
of Llaniiiddel, or Lanhileth. The parish church is 
a small Gothic edifice, situated on a steep acclivity. 
It is dedicated to St. Ithel, a saint " with whose 
merits (Mr. Coxe pleasantly observes) and genealogy 
I am wholly unacquainted." The church-yard is 
planted with large yew trees. On the north-western 
side of the church are the remains of an ancient 
fortification, of a small tumulus and circular entrench- 
ment; within the latter are the vestiges of subter- 
raneous wails, faced with hewn stone, nine feet high. 
At 5, little distance is a larger barrow or mound. 

Near the extremity of the chain of hills which 
extend from Pontypool to the Blorenge, is the 
" Folly," a semi-circular summer-house, built by the 
late Major Ilanbury. 

Here we may observe, that the indefatigable Arch- 
deacon Coxe, who left no district in Monmouthshire 
unexplored, penetrated into the remoter parts of the 
valliesoflhe Ebwy and Sorwy. Under this descrip- 
tion, may be included the mountainous region watered 
by the Avon Llwyd, Ebwy, Sorwy, and Ilunuicy, 


called the wilds of Monmouthshire, a district seldom 
visited, except for the purpose of grouse shooting. 
Impressed with the general prejudice, Mr. Coxe had 
neglected this district even to his third tour. But 
when from the top of Twyn Barlvvn he had seen the 
populous district of Cross pen Main, and the vales of 
Ebwy and Sorwy, his curiosity was excited. He was 
moreover assured by a friend, that in these wilds he 
would find some Swiss scenes; and he was not dis- 

In his first excursion he rode along the side of the 
canal to Pont Newynydd; quitted the rail-road to 
Blaenavon, and passed up a steep and paved ascent, 
which led through thick coppice woods to the moors. 
Continue along the level surface of the summit, over 
a boggy district. At the extremity of this moor, 
approach the descent leading to Cwm Tilery. In 
this descent is presented a district, well-peopled, 
richly wooded, and highly cultivated. The numerous 
vallies below abounded with romantic scenery. Pass 
several rills, bubbling from liie sides of the hill, and 
swelling the Tilery. Beneath, at a distance, bursts 
the Little Ebwy, through a deep, narrow, and woody 
glen, visible only by its foam glistening through the 
thick foliage. Crossing this torrent over a stone 
bridge at the bottom of the descent, pass along a 
narrow and rugged path, winding round the preci- 
pitous sides of the Brecon mountain, which are 
thickly clothed with underwood, and occasionally 
tufted with hanging groves of oak, beech, ash, and 
alder; the wild raspberry tuining in the thickets, and 
the ground overspread with the wood strawberry. 
This valley is bounded on the east by a ridge called 
Milfre-hill, which separates it from the parishes of 
Llanfoist and Trevethin, and on the west by the 
Brecon mountain, which divides it from the valley of 
Ebwy Fawr. Towards the extremity of the vale, 
cross the Ebwy Vach, over another stone bridge, to 
the church, situated in the midst of fields, upon a 
gentle rise overhanging tlie torrent. In this track pass 
I 3 


the Istwyth, a lively rill which descends from a 
wooded dingle, and in a few paces falls into the 
Ebwy Vach. This stream gives the name of Aber- 
ystwith to the scattered village, which is likewise 
called Blaenau Gwent. The church is a handsome 
building, in the pointed or Norman style, with a 
square tower. The inside consists of a nave and 
north aisle, separated by five arches. As there is no 
chancel, the communion table is placed in a small 
recess, at the extremity of the nave ; over it is a 
whimsical group, carved in wood, and painted ; two 
angels are represented, sounding brazen trumpets, and 
between them a clergyman in his robes, holding an 
enormous trumpet in his hand. The service is per- 
formed in Welsh, the English language being little 
understood. The church-yard contains eleven yews; 
the largest is twenty-four feet in circumference, the 
smallest eleven and a half. The natives wear flannel 
shirts, some white, and others red. In ascending the 
north extremity of this delightful vale, gradually 
advance into a wild, dreary, and almost uninhabited 
district, among bleak hills and barren moors. From 
the top appears Nant y glo. In descending, cross a 
small stream, which forces its way through a deep 
channel worn in tlie rocks, and falls into Ebwy Vach. 
Mr. Hertford, son of one of the proprietors of the 
works at Nant y glo, is settled with his family in 
this sequestered spot. These works belong to Hill, 
Hertford, and Co., and are held under a long lease 
from the owners of Blaenavon works; they were 
finished at a vast expence in 1795, and after being 
wrought a year, were discontinued, on account of a 
dispute among the proprietors. They consist of two 
furnaces, several forges, a steam engine, and tlie 
necessary buildings and machinery for smelting and 
forging iron ore. Cross an elevated tract of moor, 
and pass round the north extremity of a mountain, 
under a tumulus which crowns its summit, called the 
Beacon. The Beacon mountain, sometimes called 
the Blaenau-hill, is a narrow and elevated ridge, 


tvlilch stretches between the two branch.cs of the 
Ebvvy, and terminates near the point of their junc- 
tion. The road already traversed from Cwm Tiler v 
to Nant y glo, runs along the east side of the ridjie of 
B!aenau-hill; and that now entered upon near the 
works of Hertford, Partridge, and Co., passes under 
its west side, through Cwm Ebwy V'awr. 

" In a general description," says Mr. Coxe, " this 
vale would appear similar to that of the Little Ebwy; 
it is bounded by ranges of hills feathered with trees, 
and traversed by a mountain torrent. Yet nature 
always presents a different aspect, and from rocks, 
woods, and waters, forms endless combinations, which, 
though similar in description, are varied in appearance. 
The scenery here is wilder and more romantic, the 
plain narrower, the acclivities steeper, the torrent 
more rapid and confined, the woods more gloomy and 
impervious; the streams pour through the glens, and 
rush down the hills in greater abundance, and there 
are fewer habitations. Art lias also introduced a 
striking difference : in the other vale, the path con- 
tinually ascending and descending, ran along the rugged 
sides of the Brecon mountain ; liere the road is a 
railway, carried over an artificial terrace, in a waving 
line, near the edge of the banks overhanging the 
torrent. Continue along the road five miles passing 
on the left, two beautiful cwms opening upon the west 
side of Blaenau-hill, v^atered by rills which fi\ll into 
Ebwy Vavvr. TJie first is called Cwm Myihfe, the 
other Cwm Beeg. A neat farm-house called Aberbeeg 
stands in a romantic position at the extremity of the 
glen, where the foaming torrent rushes from Cwm Beeg 
into the Ebwy Vawr. A little beyond the vale ter- 
minates, and the two branches of the Ebwy unite. 
The scenery at the junction is most delightful; upon 
one side the great Ebwy rushes tlirough the vale just 
traversed ; on the other the Ebwy V^ich, foaming 
through a hollow and narrow glen, emerges from a 
thick wood ; these two branches dash round the south 
extremity of the Brecon mountain, and unite at its 


foot. Two Stone bridges are thrown over the Little 
Ebwy, within ti few paces of each other; one supports 
the rail-road ; the other was the common pass before 
its construction. Cross the latter, near which stands 
a stone cottage with a group of trees overhanging its 
roof, and pass through a grove of alders to another 
bridge over the Great Ebwy, whence a path leads up 
the woody side of the mountain which bounds the 
valley. I remained, says Mr. Coxe, for a considerable 
time leaning on the parapet of the bridge, absorbed in 
contemplation of the picturesque objects around me ; 
objects which recalled to my recollection the milder 
cast of mountain scenery, which I formerly so much 
admired in the Alps of Switzerland, and drew a tear 
of sympathy and regret for the fate of that once happy 
and delightful country." Mounting a steep ascent to 
Llanhiddel, a narrow plain of rich meadows, divided 
into small farms, stretches upon each side of t!)e rapid 
Ebwy, bounded by abrupt and wooded declivities. 

In another excursion Mr. Coxe, with the civil and 
intelligent landlord of the Red Lion as a guide, rode 
across the canal, and ascended by the side of a torrent 
along a rail-road, leading to some iron-works belonging 
to Mr. Leigh, situated in the midst of a wood, reached 
a small lake which forms the reservoir of the canal, 
from which the torrent issues. This lake is two miles 
in circumference, and stretches along the foot of the 
north-east extremity of Mynydd Maen. A road broad 
enough for carriages runs along a narrow and level 
defile, between Mynydd Maen and Cefn y Crib, amid 
wild and romantic scenery enlivened by ripling streams. 
Two miles from the entrance into the defile, the bleak 
mountain of Mynydd Maen trends to the south, suc- 
ceeded by a range of lower, but more fertile and 
wooded hills, broken by narrow dingles. In this 
sequestered route a single cottage only occurred until 
ascending a gentle rise, reach a second reservoir, which 
supplies the Cruinlin branch of the canal. Descending 
from the brow of this elevated ground, cross a torrent, 
and follow the course of the stream, which issues from 

MONMouriisniRE. 93 

ih^ reservoir, down a gentle clfclivity, through fields 
to Cruinlin-bridge, where the second hranch of the 
canal commences. From this place Mr. Coxe con- 
tinued along the side of the canal to Risca. The 
road is a towing-path. On the left the canal winds 
at the foot of overiianging rocks, fringed with wood ; 
the Ebwy is seen below from an elevation of forty or 
fifty feet. At Newbridge large quantities of coal are 
brought down a rail-road, from the mines of iMynydd- 
yslwyn, and conveyed by canal to Newport. Pass 
on the left several cwms, rapid torrents, rushing down 
their hollows; one of these, called Carn, which de- 
scends from JVIynydd Maen, gives the name of Aber- 
carn to the place where the principal iron-works are. 
Risca is a village situated at the extremity of the Vale, 
under the precipitous crags of Twyn Barlwm. Mr. 
Coxe here dismissed his guide, and continued his 
journey hence to Careau, near Newport, where he 
fclept. Early next morning, in company with his 
friend Evans, he returned to Risca, where they 
breakfasted, and then sallied out to explore the Val- 
ley of the Sorwy. Pass along the Vale, and cross 
the Ebvvy near the influx of the Sorwy, over Ponty 
Cymmer. Soon after ascend the side of the hill which 
bounds the Vale, and continue along an elevated 
ridge, through thickets, corn-fields, and meadows, 
sprinkled with hamlets, watered by numerous tor- 
rents, and overlooking the Sorwy. The features of 
this Vale are more wild and romantic than those of 
the Ebwy ; it is narrower and deeper. Pass under 
Caerllwyn, or the high place of the encampment, 
descend to the banks of the Sorwy, cross over a stone 
bridge, and up a steep road to Penllwyn, whence is a 
pleading view of the Vale. Penllwyn-house, the an- 
cient mansion of a collateral branch of the Morgan 
family, is delightfully situated upon a brow of the 
eminence overhanging the Sorwy. The last male of 
this line was Henry Morgan, who died without issue 
in 1757. His name is still mentioned with en- 
dearment. Tlie mansion is at present a farm-house, 


with few traces of its foniier occupants. Some tall 
sycamores wliich shade this old mansion, seem coeval 
with tiie building. From Penllwyn walk across some 
pleasant meadows to Bydwellty-place, a seat Lelony;ing 
to that collateral branch of the Morgan family whicli 
was settled at Caerleon. This also is converted into 
a farm-house, containing some pointed arches and 
door-ways. Bacon seems almost the only kind of 
flesh-meat used in this district: this, with vegetables, 
and the productions of the dairy, forms their diet. 
Thin oat-cakes are their common bread. Their fa- 
vourite liquor is cwrw, dignified by classic writers 
with the name cerevitia, which in common language 
is new ale in a turbid state, unclarified by fermenta- 
tion. " To persons accustomed to clear and old malt 
liquor," says Mr. Coxe, " this beverage is extremely 
forbidding to the sight, and nauseous to the taste; 
but I had so much of the blood of the ancient Britons 
in my veins, that I soon became accustomed to their 
cwrw, and preferred it to our Saxon beer." From 
Bydwellty-place, Mr. Coxe and his companion walked 
through the fields, till they remounted their horses, 
and continued along a straight broad road, which was 
in many parts pitched or paved with large flag-stones, 
exhibiting vestiges of an ancient causeway; which 
leads along the level summit of the mountain to 
Bydwellty-church, situated upon an eminence over- 
looking a fruitful expanse of hill and dale, in the 
counties of Monmouth, Glamorgan, and Brecon ; com- 
prehending the rich Valeof Carno; the districts ferti- 
lized by the Rumney ; the romantic vallies of the 
Ebwy and Sorwy; and the whole of the beautiful and 
undulating country visited in these excursions. The 
church is an ancient structure in the pointed style; 
the square embattled tower is built with brown rub- 
ble, and coigned with lii-wn stone. The inside con- 
sists of a nave, a north aisle, and chancel. A lane 
winds down the steep sides of a rngi^ed declivity to 
the banks (jf the Sorwy, where a bold stone bridge of 
a single arch is thrown over its rocky channel. The 


view from the bridge is peculiarly wild. Mount the 
opposite eminence, and pass throui^h the district of 
Cross pen main. In the midst of the hamlet is a 
small but neat public-house. About half a mile fur- 
ther the road divides near the brow of the eminence 
overlooking the Ebwy ; one on the left, leads by 
Newbridge to Risca ; that on the right, down a steep 
road, covered with loose stones, towards Crumlin- 
bridge, including a prospect of the Vale, from New- 
bridge to the junction of the two rivers. Mr. Coxe 
crossed Crumlin-bridge, and continued to Pontypool, 
along the same defile which he had before traversed. 

Leaving Pontypool, and pursuing our journey 'to 
Newport, we cross the Brecknock canal to New Inn, 
half a mile beyond which, on the left, is the village 
and church of Panteague. A mile further is a turn- 
pike and division of tlie road — left to Caerleon. 
Making a turn to the right, we descend a steep hill, 
and cross a stone bridge thrown over the torrent of 
the Avon Llwyd, or " Grey river." From hence to 
Llantarnam, a village, lour miles before you arrive at 
Newport. About half a mile on the left is the 
ancient mansion of Llantarnam-abbey, the seat of 
Edward Blewitt, esq. The site of the house was an 
abbey of the Cistertian order, founded in the reign of 
Richard I.; at the dissolution there were in this 
monastery an abbot and six monks, whose yearly 
revenues, says Tanner, amounted to 71/. 3s. M. In 
the reign of Henry VIII. the present mansion was 
finished out of the old materials of the abbey ; there 
otherwise are no remains of the first monastic struc- 
ture. The house is a large Gothic edifice, built of 
free-stone, and contains some painted glass. Besides 
family portraits, there are in the great hall fine 
original whole-lengths of Henry VIII.; an Earl of 
Leicester (temp. Eliz.); James I. and his queen, 
Anne of Demark; Thomas Earl of Salisbury; an Earl 
of Pembroke; and Charles the First, when Prince of 
Wales. In Queen Elizabeth's reign Sir Thomas 
Morgan was proprietor of Llantarnam; his descen- 


dants were created baronets; the last of whom, Sir 
Edward Morgan, d}ing without male issue in 1681, 
the estates passed to his daughter, who had espoused 
Sir Edmund Blewitt of Saltford, and the baronetcy 
became extinct- " The park (says Mr. Coxe) is ex- 
tensive and diversified, swelling into gentle undula- 
tions of rich pasture, watered by a fine meandering 
stream, and interspersed with dark groves of oaks, 
beeches, and Spanish chesnuts, which make a con- 
spicuous feature in the adjoining landscape/' 

Proceeding on the high road to Newport, we arrive 
at Malpas, a village and parish in the hundred of 
Wentloog, containing about 40 houses, and 200 inha- 
bitants. At this place there was a cell of Cluniac 
Monks, belonging to the priory of Montacute in So- 
mersetshire; founded (temp. Henr. [.) and valued at 
the dissolution at 14/. 9s. lid. per annum. The anti- 
quary will not fail to visit the chapel of this cell, now 
the parish-church : it is a small building of rough 
stone, having a western door- way, window-frames, 
and arch decorated with ornaments peculiar to Saxon 
and Norman architecture. Near Malpas, about a 
mile from the high road on the left, is Kilsaint, or 
Pentrubach, an old scat of the Blewitt family, part of 
which was built in the reign of Henry II. It is now a 

Two miles from Malpas is the town of Newport, 
which is situated in the hundred of Wentloog, and is 
twenty-six miles from Bristol ; from Caerdiff twelve ; 
from Chepstow seventeen; anrl from London 148 
miles. This place, with St, Woollos, contains 445 
houses, and 2346 inhabitants; it was formerly called 
in Welsh, Castel Newydd," or New-castle, to dis- 
tinguish it from Caerleon, which was in ancient times 
the old port and grand fortress of the Usk. 

This town is neatly built and well paved, consisting 
of one long principal street and several cross streets, 
the carriage-ways of which are kept in good repair, 
with flagged foot-paths on each side. Newport offers 
a cheerful contrast to what it was twenty years ago, 


when Mr. Coxe visited it; who describes it as a 
" narrow, stragglinf^, f;looiny town." Commerce, and 
its ma^ic attendant, wealth, has wrought a pleasing 
change. The port has the sole trade of three different 
vaUies intersecting the mineral district, viz. from 
Pontypool to Blaenavon ; from Beaufort to the canal 
at Risca; and from Sorewy or Sirhowy to Pillgwenly. 
The numbers of shipping required to convey the 
vast quantities of pit-coal, pig-iron, bar-iron, bh^ome- 
ries, castings, and other articles, conveyed from the 
western mountains by the numerous tram-roads and 
noble canal to the harbour, occasions a daily increiise 
of inhabitants, and a consequent extension and im- 
provement of the town. 

The coasting trade and exportation of pit-coals 
from Newport to Bristol, Bridgewater, and the west- 
ern parts of the kingdom, continues to increase. It 
possesses the local advantages of a fine navigable 
river, which has hardly its equal in the kingdom, 
for depth of water at all tides, and facility of ingress 
and egress; the excellent quality of the coals; the 
certainty of supply ; prompt dispatch, and an exemp- 
tion from sea-duty east of the Holmes. 

The clause in favour of the coal proprietors who 
ship their coals atNewport, runs thus: " And whereas 
the proprietors of the said canal have expended very 
large sums of money in making and completing the 
said canal, and it is apprehended, that if the said 
duties of customs so imposed as aforesaid, shall be 
levied upon coal and culm carried upon the said canal, 
for the purpose of being afterwards carried to diffe- 
rent ports or places on the river Severn, to the east- 
ward of the islands called The Holmes, the same 
would be a discouragement to the carriage of such 
articles, and the proprietors of the said canal will 
lose the benefit they would otherwise derive from 
such carriage : be it therefore enacted, that no coals 
or culm which shall be carried on the same canal, and 
afterwards carried or conveyed from any port or place 
to the eastward of the islands called The Holmes, to 


any port or place upon the ri\^er Severn ; also to the 
eastward of the said islands, without passing to the 
westward of them ; shall, after the passing of tiiis act, 
be subject to the payment of the duties payable in 
respect of coals or culm carried by sea ; provided 
always, nevertheless, that no such coals or culm shall 
be so carried as aforesaid from any port or place, in 
or upon the said river, free of such duties or custom, 
unless such entries thereof shall be first made, and 
such documents procured as by law required, in case 
of coal or culm carried coastwise." 

The tram-road from Newport, towards Tredegar 
iron-works, is double for the space of nine miles, and 
single from thence to the works, (except at turn-out 
places) ; so that all carriages going one way, may pass 
others travelling in a contrary direction. The weight 
of tram-plates for a public road is from forty-five to 
fifty-six pounds each, or about fifty pounds on the 
average. The width of the road between the plates, 
is from three feet two inches to four feet four inches, 
according to the taste of the proprietors ; some pre- 
ferring a narrow long waggon, and others a broad 
short one. The single tram-road requires frequent 
turns-out, and in all of thein it is very useful to have 
at the distanceof every two or three hundred yards a 
tram-plate with two turn-up edges, the outer one be- 
ing the segment of a circle. This plate assists the 
waggon to regain its proper station on the tram-plates, 
when thrown off the track by loose stones, &c. lying 
on the plates, or by the carelessness of the driver, in 
not keeping the horses in their regular line of drawing. 

Besides the tram-roads, there are in several places 
inclined planes, for letting down the coals by ropes 
or chains attached to a roller at the top, and to the 
waggons from collieries in elevated situations, which in 
fact are double tram-roads. On these inclined planes, 
the loaded waggon going down, brings the empty one 
up, and so alternately. 

Some of the declivities are io steep, that coals are 
bhot down into the waggons by means of open wooden 


troughs; as at Risca, where the coal is skreened at 
the same time that it is loaded into the waggons. 
There the small coal has heen sold to the Union Cop- 
per Company, for their extensive smelting-house very 
near the coal veins. For this refuse coal the company 
have only been charged S'^s. for a Swansey wey of 
about nine tons and a half; but getting rid of au 
article at this low price, w hich must otherwise have 
been thrown away, could not be otherwise than ad- 
vantageous to both parties. 

A loaded boat performs a voyage from Pontypool 
to Newport in a day, notwithstanding the great num- 
ber of locks it has to pass; which, allowing only three 
minutes to each lock, takes upwards of two hours. 
A boat carries twenty-five tons, and is drawn by one 
horse, with a boy to drive it, and a man to steer the 
boat. The weight generally carried on the public 
tram-roads, is two tons and a half. Four tolerable 
horses will draw twenty tons of iron from Sirhowy and 
Tredegar iron-works to Newport in one day ; the dis- 
tance is 23 miles. 

The handsome and substantial stone bridge over 
the Usk at Newport, was erected in 1800, and cost 
10,165/. It was built by David Edwards, the son of 
the far-famed architect of Pont-y-Pridd, in Glamor- 
ganshire. This bridge consists of five arches, sur- 
mounted by an elegant parapet. The span of the 
centre arch is seventy feet, two adjoining sixty-two 
feet, and the two outward fifty-five feet. 

Situated on the west bank of the Usk, near the 
bridge, are the noble ruins of Newport-castle; an 
Anglo-Norman fortress, built by Robert Earl of Glo- 
cester, natural son of King Henry I. to guard the 
passage of the river, and protect his possessions ia 
these parts from the incursions of the Welsh. The 
remains of this castle consist of several massive tow- 
ers, with Gothic door-ways and windows, and a few 
traces of the baronial-hall and state apartments. It 
is in figure a right-angled parallellogram, measuring 
about forty-six yards by thirty-two, the greatest length 


tVojn north to south, in a direction parallel to the 
course of the river ; towards the town it has onl-y a 
common wall, without any flanks or <lefences. To 
Rohert Earl of Glocestcr, (celebrated for his patron- 
age of literature, and his military skill and valour 
in the cause of his half-sister the Empress Maud), 
Geoffrey of Monmouth dedicated his history. 

The successive noble owners nf this fortress, after 
the Earl of Glocester's death, were his son William; 
his son-in-law Richard de Clare, Earl of Hertford ; 
and his grandson, Earl of Stafford, who performed 
great military enterprizes in France during the war- 
like reign of Edward III. The Earl of Stafford, at 
the battle of Cressy, greatly distinguished himself in 
the van of the army, under the Black Prince, and for 
these services was created Earl of Hereford, and the 
king's captain-general of Aquitain. The earl's body- 
guard in this battle was formed of sixty men with 
lances, who were impressed out of his lordships of 
Newport and Netberwent in Wales. On the attain- 
der of the earl's descendant, Edward Duke of Buck- 
ingham, this castle was granted to the Herberts of 
St. Julian's, and now belongs to the Duke of Beaufort. 

In 1173, near Newport, Owen ap Caradock, Prince 
of Wales, whilst proceeding unarmed to meet Henry H. 
under the faith of a safe conduct granted to him, was 
treacherously murdered. 

Newport was once surrounded by walls, and had 
three gates in Leland's time, but no vestiges at pre- 
sent remain. 

There is only one church, which is dedicated to 
St. Woollos, (or Gunleius, or Gwnlliw), a British 
saint, said to have been buried here. It is a hand- 
some Anglo-Saxon edifice, consisting of a lofty square 
tower, a small chapel, a nave with two aisles, and a 
chancel. The western door-way, with a semicircular 
arch and hatched mouldings, are worthy of notice, as 
is the interior, containing fine Saxon columns, three 
ancient dilapidated monuments, and soine neat mo- 
dern sepulchral tablets. As the church is built on an 


eminence, it commands an extensive prospect, which 
is n»uch admired by travellers. 

Here is an excellent national school, on Dr. Bell's 
system ; a handsome Roman Catholic chapel ; and 
two meeting-houses. 

At Newport were formerly two religious houses of 
Friars preachers; but few traces of them are now to 
be seen. 

The market is held on Saturday. The London and 
Milford royal mail arrives every evening at Newport 
at six o'clock, and returns every morning at five. 
The post-office is open from eight in the morning till 
ten at night. Several stage-coaches pass through the 
town, which is a great thoroughfare from Bath to 
London, to South Wales, and Ireland. The inns are 
the King's Head, West-gate-house, &c. In the winter 
there are public balls at the Assembly-rooms, and 
theatrical performances occasionally in the summer. 

Objects in the Vicinity of Newport. 

The environs of Newport are pleasing and diversi- 
fied. The antiquarian, and traveller who has leisure, 
will not fail to make some excursions in the vicinity. 
Leaving Newport, and following the upper road to 
Caerdiff, enter Tredegar-park near the second mile- 
stone, and ascend the " Gaer," an old Roman en- 
campment, easily traced on the brow of an eminence 
near the river Ebwy. Hence proceed to Bassaleg, a 
small village, situated near the falls of the Ebwy. 
Bassaleg has a neat Gothic church, with an embattled 
tower, an ancient chapel, and stone bridge over the 
river. These objects, when seen from the park on 
the opposite side of the torrent, have a truly pictu- 
resque appearance. This village derives its name 
from St. Basil, to whom was dedicated at this place a 
Benedictine priory, of which no remains are now ex- 
isting. A mile from Bassaleg is an ancient encamp- 
ment, called " Craeg-y-Saesson," or " the Saxon For- 
tress;" and also a pleasant meadow, still called " Maes 


Arthur," or the Field of Arthur, so denoiuinatcd from 
tlie renowned hero of British fiible. 

A mile further, at Pen-y-pare Newydd, is a circu- 
lar encampment with a rampart of eartli. " I'his 
spot," says the Rev. Mr. Coxe, " commands a superb 
view ; on the east the high and woody ridge, crowned 
by the Penamawr, stretches along the midland parts 
of Monmouthshire, and terminates in the bare tops of 
the Treley-hills : to the north-east is a lower chain of 
fertile eminences, backed by tlie Gray and Ganowby, 
near the frontiers of Herefordshire. The view towards 
the north is distinguisiied by the Great Skyrridd, 
towering Hke the point of a volcano; the long range 
of the Mynidel Maen, with Twyn Barlym rising 
like a vast excrescence on its southern extremity. 
Nearly north is Mynydd Machen, under which expands 
the beautiful vale of Machen, sprinkled with white 
cottages. To the north-west, the castellated mansion 
and rich groves of Rupersa, connected with the cliain 
of hills in Glamorganshire. The view to the south- 
west is closed by the low and narrow promontory of 
Pen Arth, and the mouth of the Ttiaf, crowded with 
shipping. Southwards extends the Levels of Caldicot 
and WentlooiT, watered by the Usk, and bounded by 
the Bristol Channel, with the Hat and steep Holmes, 
appearing like points in a vast ex{)anse of water." 

Haifa mile beyond Pen-y-pare Newydd, striking 
into the lower road, we pass oti the left Marshfield 
church, and a village on the right, and arrive at 
St. Melon's, where the upper and lower roads trom 
Newport to Cacrdilf unite. St. Melon's church is 
built of rag-stone, and consists of a nave, a chancel, 
a tower, a cemetery, and a porch. St. Melo, to whonj 
the church is dedicated, was a native oi'CaerdilT. He 
was bishop of Rouen, m Normandy, and planted 
Christianity in Wales about the third century. 

A little to the right of the high-road is the church 
of Llanvihangel Vedew, a handsome Gothic edifice. 
'J'hrec miles from St. Melon's is the church of Rum- 


ney, dedicated to St. Aui^ustin ; a very spacious struc- 
ture, being 180 feet frouj the western extremity of 
the tower to the end of the chancel. The windows 
have painted ylass, with heraldic embellishments. The 
Earl of Glocester granted this church to Bristol abbey, 
and it is now in the patronage of the Dean and Chap- 
ter of that see. This church is about a quarter of a 
mile from the bridge over the Rumney, (anciently 
called Elarch, or the Swan river), which here sepa- 
rates the county of Monmouth from Glamorganshire. 

The village of Rumney is situated in the mail-road, 
on the borders of Weritloog Level, which is also de- 
nominated Rumney-marsh. Wentloog Level presents 
the singular appearance " of a plain divided into 
fields of pasture, intersected with drains, and dotted 
with a few white cottages; among which the ancient 
towers of St. Bride's, Pcterston, and Marshfield 
churches, rise conspicuous; beyond these, the waters 
of the Bristol Channel seem like a continuation of 
this level surface." 

The tourist will now return to Newport by the 
high road, or make a detour to that town, visiting 
St. Bride's and Pcterston, Peterston church is situ- 
ated about half a mile from the sea walls. It is a 
spacious structure, built of hewn stone, and has a 
Gothic tower. The interior is much dilapidated. 
This church was built in the twelfth century, by Ma- 
bile, daughter and heiress of Robert Fitzhammon, a 
puissant Norman baron. From the top of the tower 
a pleasing and impressive prospect may be viewed, 
bounded on one side by the undulating billows, on 
the other by "an ampliitheatre of wooded eminences, 
backed by ranges of hills towering in succession one 
above another," 

Six n)iles from Peterston is the church of St, Bride's; 
it is about three miles and a half from Newport; the 
tower is a fine building of Gothic architecture. There 
is an elevated Gothic arch at the west end of the 
church, and tv\o low p(}inted arches on clustered 


Oil the south wall of the church, within a porch, is 
an inscription carved in freestone : 

Te. Great FLVD 


In Te Morning, 


Another inundation, in 1608, covered the level 
from Mayor to CaerdifF; a third happened a few 
years since. The Level of Wentloog is that district 
which stretches from east to west, between the rivers 
Rumney and Usk ; and from north to south, between 
the Bristol Channel and the gentle ridge of Tredegar- 
park, Gwern-y-Cleppa, Castleton, Rumney, and St. 

This tract of land, like Caldicot Level, is pre- 
served from the devastations of the sea by a line of 
embankments, or walls constructed of earth. In 
Caldicot Level, however, there are several parts of 
the embankments faced with stone, both on the inside 
and outside. 

Caldicot and Wentloog Levels are both subject to 
the jurisdiction of a " Court of Sewers," which appears 
to have been established in Henry the Third's reign 
by Henry de Bathe, a justice itinerant. The Court 
of Sewers makes all orders relative to the scouring 
of drains, repairs of embankment, sluices, and flood- 
gates. This tract of land was undoubtedly rescued 
from the sea, by the wonder-working powers of hu- 
man industry. The length of the walls in Wentloog 
Level, as stated by Mr. Coxe, may serve to give some 
idea of the undertaking. 

Perch. FL In. 

Rumney parish 909 16 

Peterston 769 9 6 

St. Bride's 824 18 5 

Bassaleg 723 17 

St. WooUos 1676 5 

4906 5 11 


Quilling the village of St. Bride's, and following tlic 
cross-road, ue again enter tlie lower road from' 
CaerdilV to Newport, at Gwern-v-Cleppa corner iir 
'I'redegar-park. Continuing his progress towards 
Newport, the traveller will observe on the right the 
spacious mansion of Tredegar-hall, the seat of Sir 
Charles G. Morgan, bart. The house was built in 
the reign of Charles the Secf^nd, and being con- 
structed of red brick, without projections, is more 
remarkable for size than elegance. 

There was a mansion here in Leland's time, who 
mentions Tredegar, " As a fair place of stone." The 
apa'-tments are decorated with family portraits of the 
old Morgans of Tredegar, lineal descendants from 
Cadiver Vawr, who was Prince of Gwent and Gla- 
morgan, and died in 1081. " The brown drawing- 
room is floored and wainscotted from the planks of a 
single oak tree ! The dimensions of this apartment arc 
forty-two feet in length, and twenty-seven in breadih. 
John Morgan, esq. the last of the old family of 
Tredegar, having no surviving children, bequeathed 
the noble and ancient domains of Tredegar to Judge 
Gould, created a baronet in 1792, who on becoming 
proprietor, assumed the name and arms of Morgan. 
The grounds are extensive, but are capable of great 
improvement. The park is well wooded, and most 
abundantly stocked with deer. 

Leaving Tredegar, and pursuing our route, diverge 
from the high road, and visit the remains of Castel 
Glas, or Green-castle, once a celebrated Lancastrian 
fortress. It is situated on the left bank of the Ebwy, 
In the level of Mendalgyf, about two miles from New- 
port. Churchyard the'poet, in his " Worthinesse of 
Wales," thus describes it : 

" A goodly seate, a tower, a princely pyle. 

Built as a watch, or saftie for the soyle, 

By river stands, from Newport not three myle. 

Tliis house was made, when many a bloodie broyle, 

In Wales, God uot, destroyed that publicke stable; 

Here men with sword and shield did braulcs delate, 


Here saftie stood, for many things in decde, 
That sought safeguard, and did some sucker neede. 
The name tliercof, the nature shews a right, 
Greenfielde, it is full, gay, and goodly sure. 
A fine sweet soyle most pleasant unto sight, 
That for deli'^ht, and wholesome ayre so pure, 
It may be praisde, a plot sought out so well 
As though a king should say liere will 1 dwell. 
The pastures greene, the woods and waters cleere, 
Sayth any prince may buyld a pallace here," 

The remains of this once famous castle consist of a 
building, now used as a stable for cattle; a square 
tower, with a spiral staircase ; a stone edifice, con- 
taining several apartments, in one of which is a large 
fire-place, with a large Gothic entrance. 

This estate was once the property of the Dukes of 
Lancaster, but now belongs to the family of the 

Twyn Barlwm hill, is a subject justly worthy the 
notice of the tourist. Mr. Coxe has given so animated 
a description of his excursion to Twyn Barlwm, that 
we shall here give his pleasing account of the " hill of 
other times." 

Quitting the upper Caerdiff road, at the hand-post, 
he continued three miles along the turnpike road 
leading to Risca, passing through a beautiful wooded 
country of hill and dale, diversified with enclosures of 
corn and pasture. Leaving the Risca road, he ascended 
a steep pitch to the canal, crossed it over a bridge, 
and in a short time came to a cottage, about two miles 
from the village of Henleys. Here Mr. Coxe, and his 
companions, quitting the chaise, rode up a gentle 
acclivity, clothed with copses and underwood, along a 
narrow and stony path, and in three quarters of an 
hour reached the bottom of the swelling hill. Skirting 
its base, over some heathy and boggy ground, they 
ascended to the top. 

" Tlie eminence of Twyn Barlwm is a swelling 
height, about six miles in circumference at its base, 
rising on the south-western extremity of Myriydd 


Maen, and is covered with coarse russet herbage, moss, 
and heatfi, without a single tree. The summit is a flat 
surface, of an oval shape, and on the highest part is 
covered with a circular tumulus, or artificial mound of 
earth and stones, eighteen yrads in height, and sur- 
rounded with a deep foss. The entrance is north-east, 
from which a trench, about three feet in depth, is 
carried round the brow of the eminence, and returns 
to the upper side of the tumulus. 

" Being situated on the highest point of the chain 
which bounds the rich vallies watered by the Usk, it 
commands one of the most singular and glorious 
prospects in Monmouthshire. To the south the Levels 
of Caldicot and Wentloog, with the broad Severn, 
losing itself in an expanse of sea, seemed to stretch at 
the bottom of its sloping declivity ; the town of New- 
port, and the tower of Christ-church, rising in the 
midst of hills and forests. To the east appear the 
cultivated parts of Monmouthshire, swelling into 
numerous undulations fertilized by the meandering Usk. 
These rich prospects are contrasted on the north and 
w^est with a waving surface of mountains, that stretch 
beyond the confines of Glamorganshire and Breck- 
nockshire. The beautiful vallies of the Ebwy and 
Sorwy, appear in the hollows between the hills, deeply 
shaded with trees and watered by torrents, which 
faintly glimmer through the intervening foliage." 

JVIr. Coxe thinks that Twyn Barlwm was originally 
one of those places of sepulture called " Cams," which 
were in common use among the Britons, who were 
accustomed to bury their leaders on the highest 
eminences. This was once a celebrated place for 
holding the Esteddfod, or Bardic meetings. 

Returning from Twyn Barlwm to Newport, the 
tourist will diverge from the high road near Risca, 
turning to the right, and visit Bedwas and Machen. 

Machen-place, once a splendid seat of the Morgan 
family, is now a farm-house. It exhibits a few traces 
of past grandeur : a handsome circular apartment 
called the Hunting-room, and iron implements fonnerly 


used for roasting an ox w}iole, with a large oak table 
on which it was served, convey a recollection of former 
times and former hospitality — now no more ! ! 

Bedwas-church contains nothing worth notice, but 
the view from the churdi-yard isdelightful. "On one 
side stretch the wild hills of Monmouth; on the other 
the fertile vailies of Glamorgan, with the majestic 
battlements of Caerphilly-castle, appearing like the 
ruins of a vast city, and towering above the swelling and 
wooded eminences with which they are surrounded." 
Two roads lead from Newport to Caerleon : the one 
by Malpas is four miles and a half; the other, the 
most frequented (by Christ-church) is three miles. 
Between iSTewport and Christ-church, on the right, we 
pass a smallSaxon encampment situated in the grounds 
of Mayndee-house, the seat of Col. Sir Robert Kemeys. 
Christ-church is a small village, standing on an 
eminence, half a mile south-enst of Caerleon, which 
from its commanding situation and curious sepulchre, 
attracts the notice of the antiquary and tourist. The 
church is an ordinary edifice, chiefly in the Gothic 
style: over the southern entrance is a Saxon arch, 
with low columns and hatched mouldings. The inside 
consists of a nave, two aisles, a cross aisle, and chancel. 
A pretended miraculous sepulchral monument, which 
is reported to have effected great cures on children on 
the eve of circumcision, is worthy of notice. It for- 
merly attracted numerous devotees, who simply agreed 
to remain in contact with the stone all the dull and 
dreary night. 

The custom of planting ever-greens over the graves 
of departed friends, and bedecking them with flowers 
at certain seasons of the year, is attended to in Wales 
with peculiar care. Shakespeare thus refers to this 
pleasing tribute of affection : 
*' With fairest flowers, while summer lasts, 
I'll sweeten thy bad grave; thou shalt not lack 
The flower that's like thy face, pale primrose, nor 
The azure harebell, like thy veins; no, nor 
The leaf of Eglantine, whom, not to slander, 
Putsweetened not thy breath.^' 


David ap Gwillym also beautifully alludes to this 
practice : *' O ! while thy season of flowers, and thy 
tender sprays thick of leaves remain, I will pluck the 
roses from the brakes, the flowrets of the meads and 
gems of the woods; the vivid trefoils, beauties of the 
ground, and the gaily smiling bloom of the verdant 
herbs, humbly will I lay them on the grave of Ivor." 

A similar subject produced the ballad from which 
the following pathetic stanzas are taken, written ori- 
ginally by the unfortmiate Dr. Dodd. 

" Whither away, fair maid,'' I cried, 

As on old Brecknock's bank I lay, 
When passing by me, I espied 

A modest maid in neat array. 

Upon her red, but well-turn'd arm, 

A little wicker-basket hung, 
With flowers of various hues replete, 

And branches, ever-green and young. 

The fragrant bay, the mournful yew. 

The cypress and the box were there ; 
The daisy pied, the violets blue. 

The red pink and the primrose fair. 
" And why that basket on your arm. 

With all those fragrant sweets supplied ?" 
With blushing look and pensive air. 

And voice of meekness, soft, she sigh'd — 
" To yonder church-yard do I haste. 

To dress the grave where Henry sleeps; 
No maid a truer lover bless'd, 

No maid more faithful lover weeps ; 

" Stern death forbade us to unite. 

And cut him down with ruthless blow, 

And now I speed to deck his grave, 
As we are weekly wont to do." 

There kneeling on her Henry's grave, 
Adorn'd with all her basket's store, 

The rural maiden sighing hung. 

Her eyes with tender tears ran o'er. 


The melancholy custom pleas'd, 
I left her wrapt in pensive thought; 

Ideas sad, hut soothing, rose, 

When my slow steps the church-yard sought. 

The romantic view from hence is thus delineated by 
Capt. Barber : 

"Arriving at Christ-church, and looking over a 
hedge opposite to it, a prospect burst upon us with an 
electric suddenness, grandly extensive and delightful. 
From the foreground descended a succession of bold 
knolls, or gentle swells, clothed with ornamental 
plantations, in a wide display of sylvan beauty, to 
Caldicot Level, whose uniform, though fruitful plain, 
was in a great measure concealed by the intervention 
of contrasting heights. Beyond this the majeBtic 

** fresh current flow'd, 

Against the eastern ray translucent, pure, 

With touch aDtherial of Ileav'n's fiery Rod." 

" Numerous barks diversified its surface, and a large 
fleet of ships, anchored at King's Road, became a 
striking object." 

Descending Christ-church hill, we arrive at Caer- 
LEON. The name of this town in the ancient British 
language, according to Camden, signifies " the Town 
of the Legion;" it derived this name from having 
been the station of the " Legio Secunda Britannica,'' 
or Second British Legion, in the time of the Romans. 
It was ofice the metropolis of all Wales, and called 
by the Romans, " Isca Siluriim." 

For beauty and extent it raiiked the third city in 
the kingdom, being next to London and York. An 
archbishop had his see here, from the first establish- 
ment of Christianity in Britain, until A. D. 521, 
when the see was translated, by St. David, to Me- 
:-!jvia in Pembrokeshire, since called from him St. 

In the time of the Romans it was considered as 
the principal Roman station of the island. Here the 


renowned King Arthur chiefly kept his court, and 
here he instituted that celebrated order of knight- 
hood, styled the order of the Round Table. Even 
after the usurpation of the Saxons, there was an uni- 
versity at Caerleon, wherein philosophy, astronomy, 
and other sciences were professed and studied. 

The walls were built by the Romans, with brick, 
and it is affirmed that they were three miles in cir- 
cumference. There were also three churches, ex- 
clusive of the university, and many elegant structures, 
besides baths. Caerleon is said formerly to have ex- 
tended to St. Julian's, and was a place of consider- 
able strength in the reign of Henry the Second; for 
the valiant Jorwerth ap Owen ap Caradoc, lord of 
Caerleon, defended it a long time against the king's 
forces, though he was at last vanquished, and de- 
prived of his seignorial territory. 

The name of this ancient, splendid, and magnifi- 
cent city signifies, The Fortress of Lleon upon Usk, 
being so named from Lleon, a very ancient British 
king, who, as the Cambrian historians inform us, was 
the son of Brutus Darianlus. These writers flatly 
contradict the statement of Camden, as to the deriva- 
tion of its name, which, as we have before observed, 
it derives from a Roman legion being stationed there. 
The suburb still bears the classical appellation of 
Ultra Pontem. This city was greatly improved and 
enlarged by Dunivallo Moel Mutius, the father of 
Behnus and Brellus, about 400 years before the 
Christian aera. This prince has ever since been 
esteemed as the founder of this city (now a town)j 
and from his time it became, for many centuries, the 
seat of royal residence, and the burial-place of the 
British kings. Geoffrey of Monmouth relates, that in 
his time there were many remains of the ancient 
splendour of this city, such as theatres, stately pa- 
laces, very high towers, ruins of temples, hot baths, 
aqueducts, vaults, and sudatories; yet even in his 
time Caerleon was so far diminished, as scarcely to 
occupy one-sixth of the area within the ancient- 


Roman walls. This town continued in a declining 
state in the fourteenth century, as appears from tlie 
account given by Giraldus, who relates, that " many 
remains of its former magnificence are still visible; 
splendid palaces, which once emulated with their 
gilded roofs the grandeur of Rome, (for it was 
originally built by the Roman princes, and adorned 
with stately edifices), a gigantic tower, numerous 
baths, ruins of a temple and a theatre, the walls of 
■which are partly standing. Here we still see, hoth 
within and without the walls, subterraneous build- 
ings, aqueducts, vaulted caverns, and stoves, so ex- 
cellently contrived, as to convey their heat through 
secret and imperceptible pores." Such was the ac- 
count of Caerleon by Giraldus Cambrensis, in the 
fourteenth century. 

The ancient churchesof Caerleon, before-mentioned, 
were very magnificent; one of which, dedicated to 
the martyr Julius, had a convent of religious virgins; 
another, dedicated to his fellow-martyr, St. Aaron, 
had a choir of canons ; and the third had monks, and 
was the metropolitan church of all Wales. After the 
Conquest there was an abbot and monks of the Cis- 
tertian order, whom King John, whilst Earl of Mor- 
ton, privileged to be free of paying toll at Bristol. 

Caerleon is now shorn of its beams of ancient 
splendour. " Alas ! (says Captain Barber, in his in- 
teresting lour through South Wales), it exhibits a 
melancholy reverse. The town is a poor straggling 
place ; and vestiges of its former magnificence must 
be curiously sought after to be seen at all. Statues, 
altars, columns, elegant friezes, sarcophagi, coins, 
and intaglios have been making their appearance 
during several ages ; but they are immediately carried 
away by curious persons, or more frequently applied 
to domestic uses. 

" An altar, with a Roman inscription, had been 
dug up just before our arrival, and we were conducted 
by an obliging gentleman of the town, to the garden 
in which it was found, wiicre wc saw the venerable 

MONMOUTIlSnillE. 113 

nioniiiiieint of antiquity just finished slicing into half a 
dozen slabs for paving. The Roman fortification 
fiinns an oblong; square, with the corners^ a little 
rounded, and unfurnished with towers. JMany frag- 
ments of the walls appear in large masses of stones, 
broken tiles and bricks, promiscuously bedded in 
cement. The remains are no more than 14 feet 
high ; their circuinference does not exceed 1800 
yards. The Roman citadel stood between the walls 
and the river, of which some small vestiges appear at 
the Hanbury Arms, the only inn in the town. The 
iiouse of Miss Morgan, formerly a Cistertian abbey, 
has been entirely new faced with square stone, col- 
lected from the ruins of Caerleon. The four Tuscan 
pillars which support the roof of the market-house of 
Caerleon, were taken from the ruins of a Roman 
edifice. Of the gigantic tower mentioned by Giraldus, 
no remains uf tl;e masuiuy cxiat, but the mound on 
which it was constructed is still entire. It is an 
artificial eminence of considerable height, 300 yards 
in circumference at the base, and 90 at the summit, 
('iiurchyard, who wrote in the reign of Queen Eliza- 
beth, thus describes it : 

" A castle very old, 
That may not be forgot ; 
It stands upon a forced hill, 
Not far from flowing flood." 

Worthinesse of Wales. 

From the top of this eminence the wild and beau- 
tiful environs of Caerleon are seen to the greatest 

Immediately without the town is the Roman am-p' 
phitheatre, commonly called Arthur's Round Table. 
It is an oval concavity, seventy-four yards by sixty- 
four, and six deep, in which are ranges of stone 
seats, though now covered with earth and verdure. 
This amphitheatre, with a statue of Diana, and two 
ornamental pedestals, were discovered in 1706. 

In 1692 a chequered pavem'ent was discovered 


near this town, about fourteen feet long. It was 
composed of cubical stones of various colours, and 
formed into divers shapes of men, beasts, birds, and 

In the neighbourhood of this town have been like- 
wise discovered several ancient earthen vessels, on 
one of which was represented, in curious figures, the 
story of the Roman Charity, a lady nourishing her 
father, who had been condemned to be starved to 
death, with the milk of her breasts, through the grate 
of the prison in which he was confined. 

Our limits will not here admit a fuller detail of the 
numerous Roman relics discovered at Caerleon and 
in the environs; but we cannot help expressing a 
wish that the modern town belonged to some indivi- 
dual of immense property, whose hobby was the study 
and discovery of antiquities. If such a man made 
excavations judiciously in this place, the discovery of 
numerous Roman and British remains would doubt- 
less be the result. 

Caerleon, as we have said, after the dominion of the 
Romans, became the British capital, and was the 
residence of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round 
Table, of whose existence no one can entertain a 
doubt, notwithstanding the fabulous tales invented by 
historians, and by them added to the real history of 
this prince. The Round Table, doubtless gave rise to 
the 'Table Rounde' of Charlemagne, the Garter, and 
the other orders of knighthood established in Europe. 

Most of the ancient relics found here, have been 
purchased, and carried away by travellers, or applied 
to domestic purposes. In the house of Miss Morgan 
may be seen a small collection of coins, a sculpture in 
basso-relievo, and an antique intaglio, representing 
Hercules strangling the Nimean lion. 

Caerleon is now but a poor straggling town ; the 
whole number of inhabitants, including the suburb, 
scarcely amounts to 800. It is situate in the hundred 
of Usk, lower division, and is twenty miles from 
Monmouth, fourteen from Chepstow, twenty-six from 


Bristol, and 151 miles from London. There is a post- 
oflice. The letters to and from this place, ^o first to 
Newport by the London and Milford mail-coach. A 
regular trading vessel from this town to Bristol, sails 
every Tuesday, and returns every Friday. 

The dangerous old wooden bridge over the Usk 
river, has been removed, and its place substituted by 
a most elegant one of stone, erected at the expcnce of 
the county. 

The Free-scliool of Caerleon, for twenty boys and 
ten girl?, was founded and endowed by Charles Wil- 
liams, esq. a native of this town. Mr. Williams re- 
sided at Caerleon, until an unfortunate duel, which 
terminated in the death of his antagonist, compelled 
him to fly his country. He went to Smyrna, and 
liaving acquired an immense fortune by trade, re- 
turned to England, and lived incognito in London. 
He died at the advanced age of 87, in 1720, leaving 
the bulk of his fortune to the family of Hanbury, and 
considerable legacies for the improvement of his 
native town. 

There are no remains of the ancient cathedral or 
churches; the present parish church was constructed 
in the Norman era, and dedicated to St. Cadoc, the 
first abbot of Llancarvan's-abbey, in Glamorganshire. 
Caerleon-church has a high and massive tower, and 
consists of a nave, two aisles, and chancel. There 
are also in this town, two meeting-houses. 

The market is held on Thursday. The inn here is 
the Hanbury Arms. 

Objects in the Environs and Vicinity of Caerleon. 

As it was the invariable custom of the Romans to 
construct fortified camps near their principal stations, 
for divers purposes, we should expect to find traces 
of their ancient encampments in the vicinity ; four are 
yet visible in the neighbourhood of this town. 

The most considerable of these is the encampment 
of the Lodge in the old park of Llantarnam-abbey. 
It is about a mile to the north-west of Caerleon, and 


was called by the Britons, Caer-wysc; by the Saxons 
and Normans, Beltingstockc ; and it receives its 
present denomination from he'ui^ placed near the old 
iodge-gatevvay (now in ruins) of Ll^ntarnam-park. 
According to Harris, and other antiquarian writers, 
this was first the site of a British town ; afterwards 
used by the Romans as the Estiva, or summer camp 
of the second legion. It was again occupied by the 
Britons, and subsequently by the Saxons, who deep- 
ened the foss, and raised the vallum. The Normans 
likewise did not omit to seize this post (called by 
Churchyard, in his Worthiuesse of Wales, " Caer- 
leon's Hope,") during the numerous assaults which 
Caerleon sustained in feudal times. It is of an ellip- 
tical shape, and surrounded with double ramparts, 
excepting on the south, where there is a double line 
of ramparts and ditches. The entrenchments are in 
some places thirty feet in depth. The entmnce is to 
the west, and defended by a tumulus twelve yards in 
height, which is placed on the inner rampart. The 
other encampments are not so remarkable or ex- 
tensive; there is one at Penros, another at Maindee, 
and a fourth in the wood of St. Julian's. 

One mile to the south-west of Caerleon, is the 
venerable mansion of St. Julian's, once the residence 
of Lord Herbert of Cherbury, the historian of Henry 
VII., and the biographer of his own life. This 
celebrattd nobleman was born in 1581; he was early 
distinguished for his valour, accomplishments, and 
personal beauty, but still more for his love of science, 
lie was an eminent diplomatist, and was the author 
of many celebrated works, being considered as the 
first Deistical writer in this island, and a decided 
champion in the cause of natural religion, excluding 
the Christian revelation, A finely-engraved portrait 
of this n(;bleman ib to be found in Archdeacon Coxe's 
Historical Tour. 

Lord Herbert died in his own house in Great 
Queen-street, Lincoln's-inn-fields, aged 67, and was 
buried in the chancel of St. Giles's in the Fields. 


His iirave was covered with a flat marble slab, con* 
laiiiiiii^ the tbllowing inscription, written by himself: 
*' lluic inhumatur corpus Edvardi Herbert, equites 
Balnei, Baronis de Cherbury et Castle Island, auctoris 
libri, cui titulus est De V^eritate, reddor ut herbae 
vicessimo die Augusti, 1648." i.e. Here lies the body 
of Edward Herbert, Baron of Cherbury and Castle 
Island, and author of a book entitled De Veritate, 
withered like the grass, August 20, Anno Domini, &c. 
In an unfrequented cross-road from Caerleon to 
Usk, which leads along the banks of the river, are 
two old farm-houses, called Great and Little Bull 
Moor; according to tradition, the latter is situated 
on a Roman station. About thirty years since there 
was discovered here the massive foundation of an 
immense building, consisting of hewn stones, each 
weighing from half a ton to a ton. Among these 
fragments was a large free-stone, six or seven feet 
in height, and four wide, in which an arched recess 
was excavated, containing the figure of a man in a 
sitting posture, the left hand resting on a globe, the 
right mutilated. It appeared to have been the statue 
of an emperor. 

Not far from hence is the village of Kemeys, with 
an old mansion that formerly belonged to the family 
of that name. The summer-house, called " The 
Folly," was erected by George Kemeys, esq. Boast- 
ing to his uncle one day, that he had constructed a 
building from which eleven counties could be seen, 
his uncle replied, "I am sorry, nephew, eleven 
counties can see thy folly;" hence it was called Ke- 
meys' Folly. — Leaving Kemeys, the antiquary will 
visit the church of Tredonnoc, and view the Roman 
inscription which was discovered near the foundations 
of the church. It is affixed to the north wall, and is 
a monument to Julius Julianus, a soldier of the 
second Augustan legion. Near Kemeys is the village 
of Llantrisaint, chiefly noticeable fur its church, a 
Gothic edifice, with a square tower of hewn stone. 
Two miles east of Caerleon is Llanwerne-house, a 


seat of the late Sir Robert Salusbury, bart. Sir Robert 
was tlie lellow-collegian and most intimate friend 
of the late WilUam Pitt, of immortal memory. Sir 
Robert represented the county of Monmouth in one 
parliament, and sat in the house niany years as 
member for Brecon. He will long be remembered in 
parliamentary annals, as having voted the committal 
of a popular patriot to the Tower, when he thought 
the liberties of the House of Commons infringed; 
The memory of Sir Robert Salusbury will long be 
cherished in this county, as he was a benefactor to 
the poor, a hospitable friend to his equals, and a 
public spirited magistrate. Sir Robert Salusbury 
died at Canterbury, November 1.8, 1817. 

A little beyond Llanwerne we enter the district 
called Caldicot Level, and sometimes denominated 
the Moors, and pass the principal drain, to this day 
termed Monk-ditch, from having been excavated 
^' in days o' lang syne" by the monks of Gold-clifT 

Gold-cliff is a peninsulated rocky hill, rising ab- 
ruptly from the shore, about three quarters of a mile 
in circumference: it consists of stratifications of lime- 
stone, and siliceous crystallisations with pyrites, and 
beneath an immense bed of glittering mien, from 
which the cliff derives its name. The brow of the 
cliff was formerly dignified with an opulent priory, 
founded by Robert de Chandos in 1113. It was 
first given to the abbey of Bee, in Normandy, then 
to Tewksbury-abbey, and afterwards by Henry IV. 
to Eton-college, to which it still belongs. The re- 
venues of the priory in the reign of Henry VIII. were 
valued at 144/. 18s. 6d. per annum. Some few remains 
of this monastic foundation are to be met with in the 
appurtenances of a barn, and other buildings to a 

Returning to Cacrlcon, the traveller will visit the 
ruins of an ancient Roman fort in the suburb of Ultra 
l*()ntem ; and if he is curious in those nr.itters, the tin- 
works and lories of Messrs. Jenkins and Co, and the 


Wire manufactory of Messrs. Parry and Co. both 
v/liicli arc in tlie neifi;hbourhoocl of this town. 

Journey from Caerhon to Monmouth ; through Usk. 

Leaving Caerleon, we follow the upper road, cross 
the Avon Lluyd, over Pont Saturn, leaving Penros- 
house at a little distance on the left. The road gently 
ascends for the space of three miles, to the top of an 
eminence which overlooks on one side the old avenues 
and rich groves of Llantarnara-park ; on the other, the 
beautiful vale watered by the Usk, and bounded by 
the wooded acclivities of Kemeys and Bertholly. The 
country is broken into inequalities of hill and dale, till 
the view is closed by the dusky mass of mountains 
that overhang Abergavenny. Thence descending, we 
arrive at Llangibby, which takes its name from the 
church dedicated to St. Cibby, or Kebbius. Here is 
Llangibby-house, the seat of W. A. Williams, esq. 
'Jhe mansion is said to have been built by Inigo Jones, 
but contains nothing remarkable in the architecture. 

Adjacent to the house are the ruins of Laugibby- 
castle, which consist of a square tower, the walls of 
some of the apartments, the part of the roof, and some 
of the columns which supported it. Mr. Coxe supposes 
that this citadel was erected probably by the Norman 
chieftains. This castle was originally in the possession 
of the Earls of Gloucester ; afterward it came to the 
Earls of March, and finally into possession of the 
family of Williams. Sir Trevor Williams greatly dis- 
tinguished himself in the Civil Wars, as a zealous par- 
tisan for the parliament, and was very active at the 
siege of Ragland-castle ; but, disgusted afterward 
with the measures of the Commonwealth, and the 
usurpation of Cromwell, he fell under the suspicion 
of the Protector; but surviving him, he cordially 
concurred in the restoration of monarchy. Sir John 
Williams, his grandson, having deceased 1738, with- 
out issue, his daughter Ellen conveyed the estate of 
Langibby to her husband, William Adams, esq. of 


Monmouth, who assumed the name and arms of 

About a mile from Llangibby we are presented with 
a most agreeable prospect of the bridge, church, and 
castle of Usk ; we then descend to the church of 
Llanbaddoc, pass along a road which occupies the 
whole space between the river and a wooded precipice, 
and cross over a stone bridge to the town of Usk. 

Usk gives name to a hundred which is divided into 
upper and lower divisions ; the town is situated in the 
upper. It contains 207 houses, and 989 inhabitants. 
It is situated in the centre of the county, on the river 
Usk, where it is joined by the Berddin. Over the 
river is a handsome bridge of five arches, but the floods 
in winter threaten its stability. 

Usk is undoubtedly a place of great antiquity: here 
was the Roman station called " Burrium," mentioned 
by Antoninus. 

At this place was a priory of Benedictine nuns, 
founded before the year 1236, by Gilbert de Clare, 
Earl of the Marches. At the dissolution the revenues 
v/ere valued at 55/. U. Sd. per annum. The priory- 
house is now occupied by a farmer ; it has of course 
been frequently altered and repaired : an apartment 
on the first floor is worthy of notice, as the frieze is 
ornamented with numerous heraldic embellishments. 

The church is large and commodious, and has a 
large square embattled tower. It exhibits several 
kinds of architecture. The earliest is the Anglo- 
Norman. In this church is an ancient inscription, 
written in the Gwentian dialect of the Welsh; but 
though the best Cambrian antiquaries have turned 
their attention to this relic, none of them have been 
able to decypher the meaning. Usk is a corporate 
town, and, in conjunction with Newport and Mon- 
mouth, sends one member to the British senate. The 
original charter granted by Mortimer Earl of March, 
conferring certain privileges on the mayor and bur- 
gesses, was burnt during the sacking and conflagration 


of the town by Owen Glendow er. This is a post-town, 
and has a weekly market on Monday. The market- 
place and town-house have a very neat appearance. 
The sessions for the county are held at this place. 
The inn is the Three Salmons. 

Environs and VicinitT/ of Usk. 

Vsk Castle. — An agreeable walk leads under the first 
arch of the bridge, through a meadow planted with 
large walnut trees by the side of the limpid and mur- 
muring river, under the ruins of the castle and its high 
ponderous and ivy-mantled tower, which are here seen 
to the best advantage. The ruins of this fine fabric 
are very considerable. No castle in Monmouthshire 
has been subject to more frequent assaults ; it suffered, 
as well as the town, from the ravages of Owen Glen- 
dower, who was afterwards defeated by the royal 
troops at the battle of Usk, and driven back in disgrace 
to his native mountains. The proprietors of Usk- 
castle successively, were the De Clares, Earls of 
Gloucester and Hereford, the De Burghs, Earls of 
Ulster, the Mortimers Earls of March, Richard Duke 
of York, Henry VH. and the Herberts Earls of Pem- 
broke. The present proprietor is the Duke of Beau- 
fort. Roger Mortimer, Earl of March, and Lord of 
Usk, was born here 1374, and declared by the parlia- 
ment in 1381 heir-apparent to the crown. Usk-castle 
was a favourite residence of Richard Duke of York, 
and is distinguished by the birth of his two sons, who 
afterwards became Edward the Fourth, and Richard 
the Third. From the terrace under the ivy-mantled 
tower there is a fine view of the adjacent scenery. 

In the vicinity are several salmon-weirs worth notice. 
Great quantities of salmon and sewin are taken and 
sent to London, Bath, and Bristol. In the year 1782 
a salmon was caught which weighed sixty-eight pounds 
and a half. 

Several weirs, or salmon traps, are to be found on 
the river in this vicinity. One at Trostrey, is thus 


described : " Au embankment of stakes and stones is 
thrown diagonally across this stream, between two and 
three hundred yards in lengtli ; in the middle of the 
weir is a vacancy provided with an iron grate, through 
which a considerable body of the river rushes with 
great impetuosity. At the lower part of the weir, on 
one side of this stream, is a large wooden box, per- 
forated with holes to admit the water and air, with an 
aperture, to which is affixed a long round wicker- 
basket, resembling a tunnel. This aperture is closed 
with a small iron grate, which opens within the box 
like a trap-door, and falls to its original position by its 
own weight. A square wooden frame, similar to those 
used at mills for catching eels, extends nearly across 
the whole of the stream below the large iron-grate, 
leaving only sufficient room for the salmon. The fish, 
in his migration, is obliged to ascend this narrow 
opening ; and having passed the wooden frame, is 
stopped by the grate. Instead of retreating down the 
narrow pass by which he ascended, he turns sideways, 
and, hurried by the rapidity of the stream along a 
narrow current leading through the tunnel, forces open 
the trap-door, which immediately falls down behind 
him, and he is thus secured in the box." 

Besides the weirs on the river Usk, another method 
is adopted for governing its current by cribs. These 
are made of common poles of any coarse and cheap 
wood, formed of uprights, of four, five, and six feet 
long, as may be needful. The length may be pro- 
portioned to the size of the poles procured for the 
purpose, and the breadth of the crib within, is generally 
about three or four feet. 

These cribs being constructed near the place to be 
protected, are easily placed in their proper situations. 
'They are then to be filled with loose stones, having 
wattles made of the branches of the poles, placed next 
the outsides of the cribs before they are deposited in 
the river, which prevents any disappointment from 
stones getting out of the crib after it is filled. 


. 'Near Usk is Llanhowf.ll, a village celebrated as 
having given birth to Bleti)yn Broadspear, Lord of 
Beachiey and Llanhowell, 

Between Usk and Llanover is the liamlet of Goytre. 
The scenery around this place so nuich resemblas the 
romantic scenes of North America, that a gentleman, 
who had passed many years across the Atlantic, fixed 
upon tiiis spot, on his return to Europe, as most 
analogous to the objects he had been familiar with. 
Goytre consists of a number of scattered cottages, at 
a considerable distance from each other. The situa- 
tion of the church is picturesque, standing on an 
eminence and embosomed in a wood ; it is without a 
tower, and is built in the Gothic style. 

In this neighbourhood are three ancient encamp- 
ments. Two miles north-west of the town isCraig-y- 
Gaercyd, a Roman camp situated on the right bank of 
the river, having wide entrenchments and many curious 
lofty " tumuli." There are two others on the opposite 
side of the Usk, viz. a small one at Campwood, and a 
very strong position at Coed-y-Bunedd. 

From Usk the traveller can, if he wish, pursue his 
route to Monmouth by Ragland, which places we have 
before described. 

The scenery, which every where abounds in this 
hundred, we shall describe, as delineated by the ele- 
gant pen of Captain Barber : — " We traversed a bold 
undulating country, of uncommon richness, where the 
luxuriance of the soil was alike auspicious in im- 
pervious woods, or teeming orchards, weeping over 
the hills, and verdant meadows neatly carpeting the 

" When Morn, her rosy steps in th' eastern clime 
. Advancing, sow'd the earth with orient pearl," 

we began our journey, and this range of fertility but 
disclosed itself in partial gleams through the exhaling 
dew, as we ascended a hill from Usk. Advancing, 
the mists disappeared, and we quickly found ourselves 
in a sequestered valley, whose high encircling hilh 
M 2 


were variously decorated with a profusion of woods. 
The mornint; sun brilliantly shone on the dewy verdure ; 
and we were admiring the charming scenery, while our 
spirits partook of its cheerfuhiess, when a huntsman's 
horn resounded from a neighbouring thicket, and 
echoed through the hills, a deep-mouthed pack joining 
in full chorus announced a throwing-off. 

" The concert continued, though the performers 
remained unseen, as we anxiously sported the dale, 
but our road soon took an ascent in the precise di- 
rection of the hunt ; and gaining an eminence, a new- 
vale and its accompaniments opened to us, yet with- 
out the hunting party. However, we had not long 
gazed in disappointment, when from the dark umbrage 
of a thick wood, the hounds rushed forward like a 
wave, over the meadows ; the men and horses were not 
far behind ; but scouring a descent, that would have 
scared a lowland sportsman, pursued the train, which 
continued out of sight. 

" But at length we saw reynard skulk from a ditchy 
fence in a field before us, and dash across the meadows; 
the hounds and hunters were close at his heels. A 
loud shout from the party, and a superior yell in the 
dogs, and the strained exertions of the animal, pro- 
claimed a general view. We heartily joined in the 
halloo ; and even our sorry jades displayed unusual 
spirit, for they pricked up their ears, and absolutely 
began a gallop to join in the chace ; but a gate near a 
yard high, opposed an insurmountable obstacle to that 
intention, and obliged us to remain inactive spectators 
while the party veered up a wooded hill, and finally 
disappeared from us." 

Journey from Monmouth to Chepstow, 

The first place we arrive at, worthy of notice in 
this route, is the village of Tiiellich, or Treley, 
distant from Monmouth five miles. This village is 
supposed to have derived its name from three Druidi- 
cal stones, standing in a field adjoining the road near 
the church. These stones are of varied altitudes, 


and tJjeir positions also vary, some beinw placed up- 
right, and others inclining. Ihcy appear to be formed 
of a: concretion of siliceous pebbles in a calcareous 
•F)ed, convmonly called pudding-stone, and of which 
some neighbouring rocks consist. In this village is 
also a mound, forming part of a Roman entrench- 
hient, and which afterwards became the site of a 
castle belonging to the Earls of Clare. There is also 
a chalybeate well, formerly in high estimation. The 
churcl^ at Treleck is a Gothic building, and lias a 
handsome spire ; and near the church is a pedestal, 
with a sun-dial, and a Latin inscription, commemo- 
rating Harold's victory over the Britons. It is con- 
jectured a Roman bloomery was established near this 
spot. The church steeple of Trelech fell to the 
ground, August 1, 1778. 

Four miles and a half from Trelech, we pass 
through Penterry, a small village in the hundred of 
Caldicot. Thence we proceed to St. Aryan's, a 
delightful village, containing about forty-eight houses, 
and 315 persons. At this place is Pit icefield, now 
the residence of N. Wells, esq. which is one of those 
spots on the banks of the Wye, visited by every tra- 
veller of taste, and every admirer of the picturesque. 
The reader can not conceive the eftoct produced 
here, from the extraordinary c(;mbination of woods, 
rocks, and waters. The wildness of forests blended 
with rich cultivation, and the neat dwellings of mo- 
dern industry, contrasted with tlie majestic ruins of 
edifices that were famous "in days o'lang syne!" 
Piercefield grounds are open to the public on Tuesdays 
and Fridays ; a guide attends to point out the views : 
the principal objects to notice are called, 1. The Lo- 
ver's-leap ; — 2. Paradise-seat ; — 3. 1 he Giant's-cave — 
4.' The Half-way Seat; — 5. The Double View; — 
6. Prospect above Pierce-wood ;— 7v The Grotto ; — 
8. The Platform ; — and, 9. The Alcove. The house 
is a modern building, and though not very extensive, 
is elegant, and splendidly furnished. The original 
proprietou was Valentine Morris, esq. member for the 


county of Monmouth. Mr. Morris first called into 
notice tlie latent beauties of Piercefield. 

For tlie information of the reader who may not 
liave an opportunity of visiting this delightful spot, 
we shall extract the following delineation of it from 
Burlington's British Traveller. 

*' The access to this luxuriant spot is through a 
garden, consisting of slopes and waving lawns, with 
shrubby trees scattered tastefully about. Striking 
down to the left, is a sequestered part, shaded by a 
fine beech tree, which commands a most beautiful 
landscape. That part over which the beech tree 
spreads, is levelled in the vast rock which forms the 
shore of the river Wye, through Piercefield grounds. 
This rock, which is totally covered with shrubby un- 
derwood, is almost perpendicular from the water to 
the rail which encloses the point of view. One of 
the sweetest vallies ever beheld, lies immediately be- 
neath, but at such a depth, that every object is di- 
minished, and appears in miniature. 

" This valley consists of a complete farm, of about 
forty enclosures, grass and corn fields, intersected by 
hedges, with many trees; it is a peninsula, almost 
surrounded by the river, which winds directly be- 
neath, in a manner enchantingly romantic; and what 
consrilutes the beauty of the whole is, its being envi- 
roned by vast rocks and precipices, thickly covered 
with wood, down to the edge of the water. The whole 
is a magnificent amphitheatre, which seems dropt 
from the clouds, complete in all its beauty, 

*' Turning to the left is a winding walk, cut out of 
the rock, but witii wood enough against the river, to 
prevent the danger which must otherwise attend 
treading on such a precipice. 

" After passing through a hay-field, and upon enter- 
ing the woods, is a bench, enclosed with Chinese 
rails, in the rock, which commands the same valley 
and river, all fringed with wood. Some stupendous 
rocks are in front, and just above them the river Se- 
vern appears, wiih u boundless prospect beyond it. 


" A little further on is another bench, enclosed wiih 
iron rails, on a point of the rock, wliich is here pen- 
dant over the river; a situation full of the terribly 
sublime. A vast hollow of wood is beneath all, sur- 
rounded by the woody precipices, which have a pe- 
culiar fine effect. In the midst appears a small but 
neat building, namely, the bathing-house, which from 
this enormous height appears but as a spot of white, 
in the midst of the vast range of green. Towards the 
right is se^n the winding of the river. 

" From this spot, which seems to be pushed for- 
ward from the rock by the bold hands of the genii of 
the place, we approach a temple, a small neat build- 
ing, on the highest part of these grounds; and imagi- 
nation cannot form an idea of any thing more beaU' 
tiful, than what appears full to the enraptured eye 
from this amazing point of view. 

" You look down upon all the woody precipices 
as if placed in another region, terminated by a wall 
of rocks ; just above them appears the river Severn, in 
so peculixr a manner as if it waslied them, and the 
spectator naturally supposes the rocks only separate 
Iiim from that river ; whereas, in fact, the Severn is 
four or five miles distant. 

" This deceptio visus is exquisitely beautiful ; for 
viewing first the river beneath, then the vast rocks 
rising in a shore of precipices, and immediately above 
them the noble river Severn, and finally, all the 
boundless view over Gloucestershire and Somerset- 
shire, form together such an incomparable groupe 
of romantic prospects, with such an apparent junc- 
tion of detached parts, that imagination can scarcely 
conceive any thing equal to it : the view on the 
right, over the park, and the winding valley at the 
bottom of it, would from any other spot thaa this be 
viewed as highly romantic. 

*' The winding road down to the cold bath is cool, 
sequestered, and agreeable. The building itself is 
very neat, and well constructed, and the spring which 
supplies it, plentiful and transparent. You wind from 


it up the rock. This walk from the cold bath is rather 
dark and gloomy; breaks and objects are rather 
scarce in it. On the -left, towards the valley, there is 
a prodigious hollow, filled with a thick wood. 

" Passing on, there are two breaks from this walk, 
which open to a delightful prospect of the valley : 
these breaks lead through an extremely romantic 
cave hollowed out of the rock, and opening to a 
fine point of view. 

" At the mouth of this cave some swivel guns are 
mounted, upon the firing of which a repeated echo 
is reverberated from rock to rock with the most aw- 
ful, impressive, and astonishing effect on the auditors. 

" In this walk also is a remarkable phenomenon of 
a, large oak, venerable for its age, growing out of a 
cleft in the rock, without the least appearance of any 

" Pursuing the walk, as it rises up the rocks, and 
passes by the point of view first mentioned, we arrive 
at a bench, which commands a most picturesque and 
luxuriant prospect. On the left you look down upon 
the valky, with the river winding many hundred fa- 
thoms perpendicular beneath the whole, surrounded 
by the vast amphitheatre of wooded rocks, and to the 
right, full upon the town of Chepstow; beyond it the 
vast Severn's winding, and an immense prospect 
bounding the whole. 

" From hence an agreeable walk, shaded on one 
side with a great number of fine firs, leads to an irre- 
gular junction of winding walks, with many large 
trees growing from the sequestered Jawn, in a manner 
highly tasteful, and presenting a striking contrast to 
what immediately succeeds ; for to the left appears 
the valley beneath, in all its beautiful elegance, sur- 
rounded by the romantic rocky woods. In the front 
rises, from the hollow of the river, a prodigious cluster 
of formidable rocks, and immediately above them, in 
breaks, winds the Severn. On the right is Chepstow 
town and castle, amidst a border of wood, with the 
Severn above them, and over the whole, as far as the 


eye can cominanci, an immense prospect of distant 

" The sloping walks of evergreens which lead from 
hence are remarkably beautiful, and the prospect 
delectable ; for the town, and the country beyond 
it, appear perpetually changing their appearance — 
each moment presenting a new picture, until by de- 
scending, the whole disappears. These walks lead 
to a grotto, which is a small cave in the rock, adorned 
with stones of various colours and kinds, copper and 
iron cinders, &c. From the seat in this grotto you 
look down a steep slope, to a hollow of wood, bounded 
in front by the craggy rocks, and a view of the dis- 
tant country, interspersed with white buildings, the 
whole forming a landscape as beautiful as any in the 
world. The winding walk whicii leads from the 
grotto, varies from any of the former; for the town 
of Chepstow, and the various neighbouring objects, 
burst upon the view in every direction as you pass 

" Passing over a little bridge, which is thrown 
across the road, in a hollow-way through the wood, 
are various openings, which present the most delight- 
ful pictures of rural scenery. Here you behold a 
hollow of wood bounded by a wall of rocks; there 
you have in one small view, all the picturesque beau- 
ties of a natural camera obscura ; here you behold 
the town and castle of Chepstow rising from the ro- 
mantic steeps of wood in a manner inexpressibly 
beautiful ; there you look down upon a fine bend of 
the river winding to the castle, which appears most 
romantically situated. 

" The last point of view, equal to most of the pre- 
ceding, is from the alcove. From this there is a 
prospect down perpendicularly on the river, with a 
fine cultivated slope on the other side ; to the right 
is a prodigious steep shore of wood, winding to the 
castle, which, with part of the town, appears in full 
view. On the left is seen a fine bend of l\\e river for 
some distance ; the opposite shore of wild wood, with 


the rock appearing at places in rising clifl's, has a 
grand effect. 

" About a mile from these walks is a romantic cliff, 
called the Wind Cliff, from which there is an un- 
bounded prospect. Upon firing a pistol or gun, the 
echo is sublimely grand ; the explosion is repeated 
five times very distinctly from rock to rock, and 
sometimes seven, and if the weather is calm and serene, 
nine times. 

'* Beyond the cliff at some distance is the abbey, a 
venerable ruin, situated in a romantic hollow, be- 
longing to the Duke of Beaufort. In point of pic- 
turesque scenery of nature in her wild attire, the 
beauties of Piercefield are inexpressibly charming. 
The cultivated enclosures forming the bottom of tlie 
valley, with the serpentine course of the river, the 
vast amphitheatre of rocks and pendant woods which 
environ it to a stupendous height, form a conspicuous 
trait of beauty. The elegant proprietor placed benches 
in those points of views most peculiarly striking; nor 
can any thing be niore picturesque than the appear- 
ance which the Severn takes in many places, of being 
supported and bounded by the rocks, though actually 
four miles distance. In respect to the extensive pros- 
pects, the agreeable manner in which the town and 
castle are occasionally introduced to view, with the 
rocks, woods, and river, form a landscape inimitably 

" The river Wye, which runs at the bottom of the 
walks, is an infinite advantage ; but it is in many 
respects inferior to a fresh-^water river which keeps 
a level, and does not display a breadth of muddy 
bank at low water. The Wye also has not that 
transparent sombre, that silver-shaded surface, which 
is of itself one of the greatest beauties of nature, 
and would render the delectable prospects of Pierce- 
field still more tlclcctablc." 

This enchanting retreat is now in the possession of 
Colonel Wood. The Rev. Mr. Coxe and Captain Bar- 
•ber have eaeh recently visited this delightful spot. We 


shall give tbevery pleasing description of the latter tour- 
ist, in addition to the account we have already inserted. 

" We rode up an embowered lane to the village of 
St. Arvan, and leaving our horses at the blacksmith's, 
entered Piercefield grounds at a back gate. Here, 
commencing a walk of three miles in length, we 
passed through agreeable plantations of oak, ash, and 
elm, to the edge of a perpendicular clift', called the 
Lover's-leap, overlooking an abyss-like hollow, whose 
fearful depth is softened by a tract of forest extending 
over the surrounding rocks. 

" High above competition, at the northern extre- 
mity of the scene, rises Wynd-cliff; a dark wood 
fringes its lofty summit, and shelves down its sides 
to the river Wye, which urges its sinuous course at 
the bottom of I he cliff. In one place the river, gently 
curving, appears in all the breadth of its channel; in 
another, projecting rocks and intervening foliage con- 
ceal its course, or sparingly exhibit its darkened sur- 

" Following the bend of the river on its marginal 
height, a range of naked perpendicular cliffs, the 
Banagor rocks, appear above the woody hills that 
prevail through the scenery, of so regular a figure, 
that one can scarce help imagining it the fortifica- 
tion of a town, with curtains, bastions, and demi- 

" But a very leading figure is the peninsula of 
Llanicul ; the hills of Piercefield here receding into 
a semicircular bend, watered by the rivers immedi- 
ately beneath, are opposed by a similar concavity in 
the Banagor rocks, the whole forming a grand am- 
phitheatre of lofty woods and precipices. 

*' From the opposite ground descends a fertile ex- 
panse, or tongue of land, filling up the area of the 
circle. This singular valley is laid out in a compact 
ornamented farm; the richly verdant meadows are 
intersected by flourishing hedge-rows, while numerous 
trees diversify the tract, and embower the farm- 
house; a row of ehus shadows the margin of the 


river, which skirting the base of the hills, nearly sur- 
rounds the valley. 

" These subjects disclose themselves in different 
combinations through intervals in the shrubbery, 
which encloses the walk; and which, although se- 
lected from the nicest observations, are managed 
with so just an attention to the simplicity of nature, 
as to appear the work of her plastic hand. 

" The Giant's-cave, a little further, is a passage cut 
through a rock. Over one of the entrances is a mu- 
tilated colossal figure, which once sustained the frag- 
ment of a rock in his uplifted arms, threatening to 
overwhelm whoever dared enter his retreat ; but 
some time since the stone fell, carrying the giant's 
arms along with it; yet he continues to grin horror, 
although deprived of his terrors. 

" From this place a path, traced under the woods, 
descends to the Bath; a commodious building, con- 
icealed from outward view by impending foliage. 

" Deserting for a while the course of this river, we 
ascend a superior eminence, called " the Double 
View," whence the difl'eren t scenes that have pre- 
sented themselves in detail, appear in one compre- 
hensive range. Here too a new field of prospect dis- 
closes itself much more extensive than the former, 
and beautifully pictui'esque. The mazy Wye, with 
all its interesting accompaniments, passes from be- 
neath us, through a richly variegated country, to its 
junction with the Severn, beyond whose silvery ex- 
panse the grand swelling shores of Somersetshire 
form the distance. A curious deceptio visus occur- 
ring here, must not be past over: it arises from a 
coincidence in the angle of vision between the em- 
battled rocks already mentioned, and a part of the 
Severn, which appears to wash their summit, althougli 
in reality many miles distant. But the subject of the 
prospect from this spot, is seen more picturesquely 
combined as we continue our walk on a gentle de- 
scent, and catch the varying scene through apertures 
in the foliage : yet there is something that one would 


wisli to a(i(l or remove, until we reach the Grotto, 
when a piclure is exhibiled in the happiest state of 
conipositKjn. In ihii; channing view from tlie Grotto, a 
diversified ))laMtation occupies the foreground, and 
descends through a t;rand lioilow to the river, which 
passes in a long reach under the elevated ruin of 
Ciiepslow-castle, the town, and bridge, towards the 

" Rocks and precipices, dark shelving forests, 
groves, and lawns, hang on its course; and, with a 
variety of sailing vessels, arc reflected from the liquid 
mirror, with an effect that I cannot attempt to de- 
scribe, and at which the magic pencil of a Claude 
would faulter. Ti»e distant Severn and its remote 
shores form an excellent termination, and complete 
the picture. 

" On our visit the rich extent of variegated woods 
that mantle this charminir domain received an addi- 
tional diversity in the endless gradations of autumnal 
tints that chequered their surface, while in a few 
places the still uniform sombre liue'^ of the pine and 
larch was admirably relieved by the silvered verdure 
of the lightly-branching ground ash and witch hazel. 

" Highly gratified with this delightful scenery, we 
returned by another track through tangled shrub- 
beries, open groves, and waving lawns, to the man- 
sion. This edifice is constructed of free-stone, and 
has had two handsome wings lately added to it by 
Colonel Wood. Although not very extensive, it has, 
nevertheless, an elegant external appearance, and is 
fitted up internally with a taste and splendor little in- 
ferior to any of our first-rate houses in England." 

This luxurious spot was created about sixty-five 
years since by Valentine Morris, esq. This gentleman, 
by the exercise of the most munificent liberality, the 
most unbounded hospitality, by making his mansion 
the refuge of the poor and distressed, and by keepintr 
an open and amply-furnished table, was greatly re- 
duced in his finances, and, alas! obliged to part with 
this piuadise, and find an asylum from the ingratitude 


of mankind, from tlie cruel malignancy of his creditors, 
in the West Indies. 

Before he left this country he gave a last, a sad 
farewell to the enchanting groves of Piercefield ; the 
delectable scenery of which had been delineated by 
his creative genius. He saw the sublime landscape 
vanishing from his view, but he sustained the shock 
with that magnanimity so characteristic of Valentine 

Far different were the emotions of the neighbouring 
poor : those children of misfortune, penury, and dis- 
tress, who had been fed by his bounty, and clothed 
by his benevolence : they sorrowfully deplored tlic 
loss of their beloved benefactor; they clung around 
him, bathed his feet with their tears, implored Heaven 
to bestow its choicest blessings upon him, who had 
scattered plenty around them. 

Mr. Morris sympathized with their distress, but 
preserved great firmness of mind, until a circumstance 
occurred which penetrated his soul with grief, and 
overwhelmed his feelings. As his chaise was proceed- 
ing on the road to London, on crossing Chepstow- 
bridge, the bells were muffled, as is usual in cases of 
public calamity, and they rung a solemn mourpful 
peal. This unexpected tribute of real and profound 
veneration deeply affected his mind, and he burst 
into tears. 

In contemplating the events of human life, we 
generally observe that the most generous and philan- 
thropic persons are the most unfortunate: such was 
the melancholy fate of Mr. Morris, The genius of 
evil was ever at his elbow ; and from the affecting 
period of liis departure from Piercefield, a regular 
and cruel series of calamities attended him. 

Being appointed to the government of the Island 
of St. Vincent's, his excellency expended the re- 
sidue of his much-impaired fortune in promoting the 
prosperity of that island, cultivating the colony, and 
improving its fortifications. The reward of his patriotic 
researches was cold neglect, and an unjust refusal to 


reimburse his cxpences. The fatal consequences may 
easily be conjectured. His creditors became clamorous 
for their debts, and he who had created and enjoyed 
the elysium of Piercefield, was immured within the 
i^loomy walls of the King's Bench. Here, to the dis- 
grace of the ministry who had solicited his services, 
and benefited by them ; to the disgrace of his creditors, 
and the country at large, he was suffered to remain a 
prisoner seven years. He had married the niece of the 
Earl of Peterborough, and of all the multitude who 
had basked in the sunshine of his prosperity, one friend 
only endeavoured to alleviate his distress or sympathise 
in his misery. His amiable lady was unremitting in 
her affectionate attention to her unfortunate and much 
injured husband. Her clothes and trinkets she sold 
to provide him bread! But unable to behold the mi- 
series of her consort, grief deprived her of reason, and 
she became insane. Mr. Morris, after being released 
from prison, did not survive many years ; he died in 

Such were the unmerited sufferings of Valentine 
Morris; a man of sublime taste and elevated genius, 
whose soul was ever tremblingly alive to distress, who 
soothed the sorrows of the poor, ameliorated the 
sufferings of the unfortunate, and possessed the fairest 
virtues of humanity. 

Peace to thy shade, thou best of men ! — And ye 
who range the hills and dales of Piercefield, who 
with enraptured eye contemplate its sublime and 
picturesque beauties, think of him who formed the 
scenes you now behold ; and, while the melancholy 
tale of his misfortunes excites the tear of sensibility, 
reflect on the mutability of all events in this chequered 

•' Leaving Piercefield, we pursue our route along the 
high road, and enter Chepstow. 

Chepstow lies about tiiree miles from the passage 
over the Severn at Aust Ferry ; five from the New 
Passage, or Black Rbck ; fifteen from Monmouth; 


sixteen from Bristol; twenty-ciifht from Gloucester, 
and 131 from London. It is situated near the mouth 
of the river Wye, over which it has a very elegant and 
substantial bridge. It is in the higher division of the 
hundred of Caldicot, and contains 429 houses, and 
2346 inhabitants. The name of this town is of 8axoii 
original, and signifies a place of trade and conmierce. 
It was formerly of great eminence, and muclj fre- 
quented. It is a sea-port for all the towns situate on 
the banks of the Wye, and where their commerce 
seems to centre. At Chepstow the tide is said to rise 
higher than any part of the known world. In Ja- 
nuary 1768, it attained the height of seventy feet ; its 
greatest rise of late years has been fifty-six feet. During 
the period above mentioned, the river overflowed the 
adjacent meadows, swept away several herds of cattle, 
and considerably injured the bridge. 

Ships of from six to eight hundred tons burthen are 
built at this town ; and of late it has become so 
flourishing, that the merchants import their wines 
direct from Oporto, and deals, battens, hemp, flax, 
pitch, and tar, &c. from Norway and Russia. This 
town has also considerable trade with Bristol, and the 
western ports of England. 

Chepstow-bridge is a very curious and handsome 
structure, and consists of five iron arches on stone 
piers; its dimensions are, length 532 feet, width 20, 
span of centre arch 112, two adjoining arches 70, two 
outward arches 64; it was finished in 1816. Half 
this bridge is in Monmouthshire and half in Glouces- 
tershire, and the repairs are consequently defrayed at 
the joint expence of the two counties. 

The position of Chepstow and its port is in an 
abrupt hollow, enclosed by considerable heights in 
every direction. It possesses every recomnfendatioa 
for salubrity of climate, respectability, and elegant 
mansions. The town was anciently walled round, 
and the remains arc considerable, including within 
their circuit the modern town, with several fields ai»d 


orcljards. The cliiTs on each side the river have a 
most beautiful and romantic appearance. 

The church, situated at the extremity of the town, 
hear the bridge, is a fine specimen of the early Norman 
architecture. The massive arches resting on pillars ; 
the interior and western entrance is embellished with 
richly ornamented mouldings ; the tower was erected 
in the last century. This church formerly belonged 
to a priory of Benedictine monks, founded in the 
reign of King Stephen ; it contains a monument of 
Henry, second Earl of Worcester. There are traces 
of St. Kynemark's priory near Piercefield-lodge ; vaults 
and old buildings near the Beaufort Arms, and under 
Trydell's long room; and a chapel of St. Anne in 
Bridge-street, and another adjoining Powis's Alms- 
house. The old gate has a very venerable appear- 
ance. Here are two meeting-houses. 

The Duke of Beaufort is lord of the manor of Chep- 
stow and its neighbourhood, and is also proprietor of 
the fisheries in the river Severn, from Cone Pile to 
the New Passage, and in the river Wye from Brook- 
wear to the mouth of that river. Great quantities of 
salmon are sent from Chepstow to London, Bath, 
Bristol, Oxford, and Gloucester. 

Chepstow has a weekly market on Saturday, and 
five annual fairs. 

The London mail arrives at five in the afternoon, 
and returns in the morning at seven. The inns are 
the Beaufort Arms, and Three Cranes. The assem- 
bly-rooms and corn-market are worth notice. 

King Edward the First once visited Chepstow, at 
which time Llewelyn, Prince of Wales, being on the 
other side of the ferry, the King invited him to come 
over to confer with him, respecting some differences 
between them. The Prince refused; upon which 
King Edward crossed over to him in a boat, and 
Llewelyn in a rapture of generosity leaped into the 
water to receive the King in his boat, exclaiming to 
the English monarch, »* your humility has overcome 
my pride; your wisdom has triumphed over my folly." 


CUepstow is thought to have arisen from the ruined 
suburbs of an ancient Roman city, called Caerwent, 
or Venta Sihu-am. Tiie Cattle of Chepstow is a 
venerable relique of antiquity ; it lines the whole 
length of a lofty projecting rod;, that overhangs the 
Wye's meandering stream; its lofty turrets and massive 
battlements form a sublime and interesting object. It 
vras built in 1070, by William Fitz-Osbert, Earl of 
Hereford, and afterwards altered and considerably 
enhij-ged by Walter Bigod, Earl of Norfolk, who also 
built the grand church of Tintern Abbey in the early 
part of the thirteenth century. It underwent some 
partial alterations in the fifteenth century, by William 
Herbert, Earl of Pembroke, who was deeply engaged 
in the wars of York and Lancaster. In 1645 this 
castle, under Colonel Fitzmorris, surrendered to the 
Parliamentarians, under Colonel Morgan. In 1648 
Chepstow Castle was surprised by the Royalists, under 
Sir Nicholas Kemeys, but on May 25, it was retaken 
by assault by the Parliamentarians, under Colonel 
Ewer, wheti Sir Nicholas and thirty more of its brave 
and loyal defenders were slain. Subsequently, after 
a long siege, conducted by Cromwell, it was taken by 
storm, and all the garrison put to the sword. The 
grand entrance is by a Norman arch flanked with 
circular towers. The old gates remain, consisting of 
oak planks (covered with iron plates) laid upon a 
strong lattice, and fastened by iron bolts. Within 
one door is the original wicket, about three feet high, 
and only eighteen inches broad, and is cut out so as 
to leave a very high step. Grooves for a portcullis, 
and two large round funnels, appear in the arch of 
this gateway, evidently used for pouring down melted 
lead and boiling water on the heads of the besiegers. 
On the left of the gate runs a wall, with a round tower 
and staircase turret at the corner : the whole aspect 
of this entrance figures the repulsive gloom of feudal 
grandeur and reserve. 

From this you enter the second court, consisting 
entirely of the ancient offices and apartnients of the 


modern keeper. On tlie right hand is the vassal's 
hall and kitchen. There are several courts and 
numerous shells of apartments, the principal of which 
is A very fine building, having a beautiful oriel window 
towards the Wye, with niches and vestiges of a gallery. 
This is supposed by some antiquarians to have been 
the castle chapel ; by others, the grand banquetting- 

There are said to have been sixteen towers. An 
ancient terraced walk runs inside the outer wall, along 
the whole building, ascending by steps from tower to 
tower. A subterraneous chamber beneath the ruins 
opens to the overhanging brow of the precipice. Here 
several old ivies dart from stony fissures, binding the 
mouldering summit of the clift' in their sinewy em- 
brace, and flinging their light tendrils round the 
cavern, embower its aperture as they aspire in fre- 
qutnt voliiiuiis to the iofuest turrets of the pile. 
From several points in the perambulation of the ruins, 
you look down on the rapid Wye rolling its swelling 
tide at an immense distance perpendicularly beneath 
you; and at other times the green waving hills of 
Piercefield rise in all their peculiar grandeur to the 
view, darkening the river with their widely projected 

A tower at the south-east of the castle was that in 
which Henry Marten, one of the regicides who signed 
the death-warrant of Charles I. was confined. Mar- 
ten was a strenuous advocate for a republican govern- 
ment, and during the Civil Wars was one of the first 
who assisted in bringing that monarch to the block. 
On the usurpation of Cromwell he did not appear 
among the number of his friends; but after the 
Restoration effected by General Monk, surrendered 
on the proclamation, and was tried as a regicide at 
the Old Bailey. He confessed the fact of attending 
the trial, and signing the death-warrant of the king, 
but denied any malicious intention. He rested his 
defence on the necessity of supporting the existing 
governmeut; alloNving that his majesty had the be$t 


title under heaven to the dignity of king, being called 
thereto by the representative body of the people. He 
was however found guilty, but petitioned for pardon, 
which he obtained upon condition of perpetual im- 
prisonment. He was first confined in the Tower of 
London, but soon removed to the Castle of Chep- 
stow, where his wife was permitted to reside with 
him. According to Southey, he was in other respects 
a close prisoner; he says, 
',* For twenty years, secluded from mankind, 
Here Marten lingered : Often have these walls 
Echoed his footsteps, as with even tread 
He pac'd around his prison. Not to him 
Did nature's fair varieties exist ; 
He never saw the sun's delightful beams, 
Save when through yon high bars he pour'd a sad 
And broken splendour." 

Marten lived to the age of 78, and died by a stroke 
of apoplexy in 1680. He was buried in the chancel 
of the parish church of Chepstow. Over his ashes 
was placed a stone, with an inscription, which one 
of the vicars ordered to be removed into the body of 
the church. His epitaph, an acrostic, was composed 
by himself, in the following quaint phrases of the 
times : 

September 9, in the year of our Lord 1680, 

Was buried a true Englishman, 

Who in Berkshire was well known 

To love his country's freedom 'bove his own ; 

But living immured full twenty year, 

Had time to write, as does appear, 


H ere, or elsewhere (all's one to you, to me), 

E arth, air, or water, holds my ghostless dust ; 

N one knows how soon to be by fire set free. 

R eader, if you an oft-tried rule will trust, 

Y ou'll gladly do and suffer what you must; 


M Y life was spent in serving you, and you, 

A iul death's my pay (it seems) and welcome too ; 

K even^e destroying but itself, while I, 

T bii(ls of prey leave my old cage, and fly; 

E xamples preach to th'eye, care then, mine says, 

N ot how you end, but how you spend your days. 

Of the whole number of regicides condemned, teti 
only were executed ; eighteerij besides Marten, were 
dispersed into different prisons. His portrait is still 
preserved in the house of St. Pierre, the seat of 
Charles Lewis, esq. 

Chepstow Castle is the property of his Grace the 
Duke of Beaufort, who pays particular attention to 
the preservation of this and the other ancient edifices 
in his possession. 

Objects in the Viciniti/ of Chepstow, 

Piercefield we have already mentioned. 

Five miles from Chepstow is the parish of Tintern ; 
it is in the higher division of the hundred of Rag- 
land, and contains about fifty houses, and 320 in- 
liabiuints. This place is celebrated for its abbey, 
which Mr. Nicholson observes is a highly beautiful 
and interesting ruin, which was founded by Walter 
d*e Clare, in 1131, for Cistertian monks, and dedi- 
cated to tlie Virgin Mary. 

Such evea in ruins (says an elegant writer) is holy 
Tintern; what would it be if entire, and " with 
storied windows riclily dight !" The changes of the 
day and season would vary the effect, and give a new 
aspect to the objects of illumination. The rays of 
the sun at noon streaming through the stained glass, 
would communicate its vivid tinge to the rude effigies 
in marble and hei-aldic distinctions with which the 
tombs and monuments were decorated. The approach 
of evening would deepen this visionary tone, and 
night add an indescribable solemnity. The moon in 
a cloudless sky, shedding her beams through the 
painted glass on the dim shrines and memorials of the 


dead, in the immense nave, would form an imposing 
combination with the glimmering altars of the Deity 
and a martyrdom, or mournful story of the passion, 
vividly depicted in an elevated compartment of the 
window. The whole would acquire a nameless cha- 
racter, from the stillness of an hour broken only by 
the echoes of a solitary foot-fall, or the melancholy 
cry of the bird of night. In the dark ages, when the 
mind was more open to notions of preternatural 
agency, and the imagination less under the controul 
of reflection, the effect of such a scene must have 
been incalculable. A monk, or " pale-eyed virgin " 
at their orisons, or even a steel-clad knight of the 
cross, pacing the cold stone floor at midnight, in 
performance of his vow, might well raise their eyes 
to the lofty casement, in expectation that some 
sainted figure would descend from its station on the 
glass, and reveal a messenger from another world j 
for even an ordinary mind might think 

"In such a place as this, at such an hour, 
If aught of ancestry can be believed, 
Descending angels have conversed with man. 
And told the secrets of the world unknown." 

This flattering and partial picture of monastic se- 
clusion, is too often held up to veneration, from 
deceptive feelings and false views of mankind. Mr. 
Shenstone, in his "Iluined Abbey; or. The Effects 
of Superstition," with more reason and less partiality, 
presents the other side of this ancient picture ; speak- 
njg of the Reformation, under a Tudor, he says, 

" Then from its tow'ring height, with horrid sound, 
liush'd the proud abbey. Then the vaulted roofs, 
Torn from their walls, disclos'd the wanton scene 
Of monkish chastity I Each angry friar 
Crawl'd from his bedded strumpet, muttVing low 
An ineffectual curse, i'he previous nooks 
'J'hat ages past ronvcy'd the guileful priest 
To play sonio im;ii;o on the gaping crowd, 
Imbibe the novel (lay-light, and expose 


Obvious, the fraudful engin'ry of Rome. 

Nor yet supine, nor void of rage, retir'd 

The pest gigantic ; whose revengeful stroke 

Ting'd the red annals of Maria's reign. 

When from the tenderest breast th' wayward priest 

Could banish mercy, and implant a fiend ! 

When cruelty the funeral pyre uprear'd. 

And bound religion there, and fir'd the base. 

But now th' mouldering wall, with ivy crown'd, 

Or Gothic turret, pride of ancient days. 
Is but of use to grace a rural scene; 
To bound our vistas, and to glad the sons 
Of George's reiga, reserv'd for fairer times." 

Of the scattered fragments, many fine capitals of 
rich foliage and beautiful mouldings, with quarterfoils, 
rosettes and ogies, are interesting to the antiquary. 
There are also broken effigies of Gilbert Strongbow, in 
chain mail, with a pavache shield, and crossed legs 
as a Crusader; another of an image of the Virgin 
Mary, and a third of some saint or abbot. 

In Tintern-abbey, at the dissolution, were thirteen 
monks, whose revenues were rated at 192/. Is. 4:d. per 
annum. The site was granted to Henry Earl of 

Mr. Eustace, in his " Tour of Italy," concludes a 
well-turned period in favour of the Catholic religion, 
by saying that " the candid Protestant must own, 
that a congregation of monks would improAC the now 
deserted silent solitudes of Tintern." 

Mr. Eustace, we suppose, never visited Tintern, or 
he would have heard, within a quarter of a mile of 
the abbey, the busy sounds and bustle of modern 
industry ; as the village of Tintern is famous for its 
iron-works, where the old method of forging ore by 
means of charcoal furnaces, is adopted ; the manu- 
facture is also engaged m forming fine wire and iron 
plates. The ground about these works consists of 
grand woody hills, sweeping and intersecting each 
other in elegant lines. 


The neighbourhood which lias arisen round the 
abbey, is called Abbey Tintern, to distinguish it from 
the village of Tintern.'— The inn at this place is the 
Beaufort Arms. 

Mr. Edmund Butcher, late of Sidmouth, thus de- 
scribes Chepstow and its charming vicinity: 

"Chepstow is the first place of any consequence 
tiiough which we passed, and it is so curiously 
situated, that for above a mile, while it is seen in 
a deep valley, the road has all the appearance of 
leaving it on the left hand: all of a sudden it begins 
an abrupt, winding descent, and the broad ivy- 
crowned walls of its ancient and ruined castle appear 
full in front, almost nodding over the river Wye, 
which washes the rock upon which they are erected. 
Below lies the bridge, and behind it the town rises 
upon the opposite steep. Scarcely any thing in 
nature can be more beautiful than the steep banks of 
the Wye at this place: they give us the rocks of St. 
Vincent upon a smaller scale, with this difference, 
that the greater part of them are clothed with wood 
from the surface of the water to their sumnuts. Here 
and there a rocky cliff protrudes its naked head, and 
contrasting the grey stone with the rich foliago 
wrapping about it, produces a fine effect. 

"Chepstow stands near the mouth of the Wye, and 
the considerable trade that it carrries on, gives it, at 
the entrance, some of the animation and bustle of a 
sea-port. It is the centra of commerce for all the 
towns on the Lug and the Wye, and it sends some 
of its ships to the Baltic and Oporto. Several of its 
vessels trade with London, and a market-boat sails 
regularly to Bristol every Tuesday, and returns on 
Thursday. Great quantities of salmon are caught 
in the Wye and the Severn, and sent, not only to 
Bath, Bristol, and their vicinity, but even to Lon- 

" The bridge is a long handsome wooden structure ; 
and to guard against the tide, which rises from thirty 
to sixty ftet, and runs with great rapidity, the planks 


vvliu h go across it are only pinned down in such a 
manner that they will easily yield to any extraordinary 
rise of the water ; this precaution has been adopted 
since January 1768, when the tide rose upwards of 
seventy feet, and considerably injured the bridge. 
When the water is out, the distance between the 
surface and the bottom of the bridge is seventy feet, 
and it rests upon a stone pillar in the middle. Though 
Chepstow is by no means of the consequence it once 
was, it is still a populous place. It is a place of great 
antiquity ; the relics of the walls with which it was 
once surrounded are still visible in several places. 
. *' The castle seems to have been coeval with the 
town, but the lapse of time has swept away every 
information concerning the founders of either the one 
,or the other. Camden thought that in his time it was 
.of no great antiquity, and that it had risen from the 
ruin> of the ancient Venta Silurum, which are about 
four miles from it. It is obvious to remark, that if in 
his time its origin was all conjectural, it is in vain for 
us to expect to trace it. A beautiful Roman pave- 
ment was discovered here in 1689. Several fields and 
orchards are within the walls of the place. 

" The castle stands on an almost perpendicular cliff 
on the west side of the river, and commands both the 
town and the port : even in its ruins it is a magnificent 
object. The area on which it stands occupies five 
acres, and its principal division into three courts is yet 
discernible. The second of these is now a kitchen- 
garden. A room is shewn in which Henry Marten was 
confined for many years, and in which he died. 
Marten was one of the judges of Charles I. and one of 
the twenty-nine, who, after the restoration, being 
convicted of regicide, owed his life to the clemency or 
policy of Charles II. : his sentence of death, however, 
■was only changed into that of perpetual imprisonment. 
Of the whole number condemned, ten only were 
executed ; eighteen, besides Marten, were dispersed 
into different prisons. Great j^ttention seems to have 


been bestowed in fortifying the entrance into this 
'castle. The principal gateway, though of Norman 
origin, and the oldest part of the building, is still 
nearly perfect. It stands betwixt two lofty towers. 
Besides a strong latticed door, the crossing of which 
is fastened with iron bolts within, and covered with 
iron plates on the outside, there was a portcullis, the 
groove of which still remains, and two large round 
funnels in the top of the arch for pouring down melted 
lead or scalding water ; add to this a projecting arch 
beyond all, and a chink on a small projection, about 
six feet from the ground. 

" This place formerly belonged to the Clares, earls 
of Pembroke, who were likewise called earls of Strygill, 
from a neighbouring castle of that name which they 
inhabited. Richard, the last oi these, and who was 
surnamed Strongbow on account of his skill in archery, 
was the first of the English who gained footing in 
Ireland. He was a man of considerable influence in 
Wales, but of broken fortune, and, notwithstanding a 
positive conmiand from Henry IE. to desist from his 
enterprize, on pain of forfeiting liis lands and honours, 
l)e entered Ireland as an ally of Dermod King of 
Leinster, who found the utmost difficulty in supporting 
himself against Roderic, who at that time held the 
precarious sceptre of Ireland, and whose supremacy 
Deniiod himself had acknowledged. 

" The force that Strongbow carried with him upon 
this occasion was 200 knights, and 1200 infantry, all 
chosen and well appointed soldiers: their first exploit 
was the siege of Waterford, which' they took by storm, 
and made a dreadful massacre of the inhabitants. 
Dermod had the merit of putting an end to this; and 
the marriage of Eva, Dermod's daughter, to Richard, 
being immediately solemnized, a scene of joy and 
festivity followed the calamities of war. A number 
of sanguinary events soon obliterated this gleam of 
sunshine. Roderic had influence tjnough to unite 
almost the wlwle force of Ireland against Dermod antj 


his English allies. They were closely pressed on all 
sides, and Stronghovv himself shut up in Dublin. 
Here he endeavoured tu enter into a treaty with 
lloderic, but being able to obtain no other teruis than 
being permitted to depart unmolested, upon condition 
of renouncing for ever all claims to any part of Ireland, 
despair gave him and his associates courage, and they 
determined to make one desperate effort for their 
delivery. A body of the townsmen being persuaded 
to join them, they sallied out, found the besiegers 
secure in the confidence of success, and obtained a 
most complete victory, The Irish, amongst whom a 
terrible slaughter was made, fled on all sides; Roderic 
himself escaped only by mingling half naked with the 
crowd. The panic seized even those who were not 
attacked, and the victors returned from their pursuit 
to plunder the abandoned camps. Strongbow novv 
exercised for some time a regal authority, but was 
ultimately obliged to procure his pardon for formerly 
disobeying the express orders of his sovereign, by 
surrendering to Henry the city of Dublin and a large 
territory adjacent, together with all the maritime 
towns and forts which he had acquired in Ireland. 

" It cannot be supposed that a place of so much 
consequence as Chepstow, and particularly its castle, 
should appear an object of indifference to either of 
the parties into which, in the time of Charles 1. our 
country vvas unhappily divided. Like several other 
places, it was, at different times, in the hands of each 
of the contending parties. It was early garrisoned 
for the king, and commanded by Colonel Fitzmorris. 
In the beginning of October, 1G45, Colonel Morgan, 
who governed Gloucester by a commission from the 
parliament, appeared before Chepstow with a party of 
300 horse and 400 foot, besides a body of men from 
Monmouthshire. He had but little difficulty in making 
himself master of the town. The castle was imme- 
diately summoned, and, after a siege of four days, 
Fitzmorris and his garrison surrendered prisoners of 



" In the year 1648 a last effort was made by the 
royal party in several places at once. The Welsh 
were the first that ventured to appear in anus ; they 
were conducted by Langhorn, Poyer, and Powell, who, 
after being very active Parliamentarians, now declared 
for the king ; they soon found themselves at the head 
of a formidable body, and got possession of several 
castles, of which that of Chepstow was one. The 
indefatigable Cromwell was sent against the insurgents. 
Colonel Horton, whom he sent before him, defeated 
Langhorn's army. Fifteen hundred fell in the field, 
and three thousand were taken prisoners. Cromwell 
himself invested Chepstow, but left the conduct of the 
siege to Colonel Ewer. Sir Nicholas Kemish, who 
commanded for the king, being killed, and the garrison 
greatly reduced by death and famine, the place was 
again surrendered to the victorious republicans. 
Chepstow-castle is now the property of the Duke of 

" TiNTERN Abbey, five miles north of Chepstow, 
is the other remarkable object in this neighbourhood, 
of which I must not avoid giving you an account. 
The extent and beauty of these venerable ruins force 
upon the mind the magnificence and splendour which 
adorned the complete edifice. It is impossible not to 
think of the proud piety with which, in the year 1131, 
Walter de Clare, its princely founder, joined in the 
first sacred rites to which it was a witness. Sur- 
rounded by the monks of the Cistertian brotherhood, 
methinks I now see him, divested of all his warlike 
"panoply," kneeling probably, on an embroidered 
cushion, at the altar, and reciting the prayer of 
dedication. The gallant devotion of that barbarous 
period, perhaps, suggested the patroness, and in con- 
formity to a taste which was pretty general in Europe, 
imposed the name of the Virgin l\iary upon a building 
professedly erected to the honour of the Deity himself. 
Of this noble edifice time has devoured every thing but 
some fragments of the church; what remains, however, 
is so valuable, as to make us regret that so beautiful a 


specimen of Gothic taste should ever have been 

" Tlie original construction of the church is perfectly 
marked. The walls are ahnust entire; the roof only 
is fallen in, but most of the columns which divided the 
aisles are still standing: of those which have dropped 
the bases remain, every one exactly in its place; and 
in the middle of the nave four lofty arches, which once 
supported the steeple, rise high in the air, each reduced 
now to a narrow rim of stone, but completely pre- 
serving its form. The shapes of the windows are little 
altered, but some of them are quite obscured, others 
partially shaded by tufts of ivy, and those which are 
most clear are edged with its slender tendrils and 
lighter foliage, wreathing about the sides and divisions : 
it winds round the pillars, it clings to the walls, and, 
in one of the aisles, clusters at the top in bunches so 
thick and large as to darken the space below. The 
other aisles, and the great nave, are exposed to the 
sky. The floor is entirely overspread with turf ; 
monkish tomb-stones, and the monuments of heroes 
and benefactors long since forgotten, appear above the 
green sward, the bases of the fallen pillars rise out of 
it, and maimed effigies, and sculpture worn with age 
and weather, Gothic capitals, carved cornices, and 
various fragments, are scattered about, or lie in lieaps 
piled up together. Other shattered pieces, though 
disjointed and mouldering, still occupy their original 
places; and a stair-case much impaired, which led to 
a tower now no more, is suspended, at a great height, 
uncovered and inaccessible. Nothing is perfect, but 
memorials of every part still subsist; all certain, but 
all in decay, and suggesting at once every idea which 
can occur in a seat of devotion, solitude, and desola- 
tion. Great praise is due to the Duke of Beaufort, 
to whom Tintern belongs, for the manner in which 
this and other remains of antiquity in his possession 
are kept. There are some considerable iron-works in 
the neighbourhood of these splendid ruins. 

Jt^ In the middle of the principal street of Chepstow. 


just at the point where it divides in the form of the 
letter Y, our driver, and an old conductor of a loaded 
waggon, as they impeded each other's passage, began 
a combat with their tongues, which we were afraid 
would have ended in one with their whips : as our 
vehicle was by far the lightest, I interposed, and 
desired that it might be backed a few steps, and drawn 
up on the left, while the canvass-covered mountain on 
the right moved slowly and safely by us. We now 
drove up the narrowest branch of the Y, followed the 
right-hand road, and had for a long way different 
views of the romantic scenes we were quitting. The 
castle and bridge, the rocks and the river, in a multi- 
tude of different situations and degrees of visibility, 
formed, for a considerable time, parts of the constantly 
changing landscape. 

** Trelagh-Grainge, Trelagh, and Goghekes, are 
parishes through which our road to Monmouth carried 
us. The orthography of these places is very strange, 
but the inhabitants contrive to give them more euphony 
than from such a combination of letters could be 
expected. At the second of them, which they pro- 
nounced Trollop, our horses were refreshed at the 
door of a very humble house of entertainment, the 
sign of which, however, was a diadem. The most 
rigid republican could not desire to see a crown in a 
more distressed condition than that which now fixed 
our attention ; a wide perpendicular fissure divided it 
nearly in halves, and the colours which once described 
this image of regal dignity, by the united operation of 
time, wind, and -sun, were so completely scaled off, 
that it was with some difficulty that enough of the 
outline could be traced to determine what it was 
intended to represent. Trollop, I apprehend, consists 
of about fifty houses, most of them small and shabby. 
The church, which seemed in good repair, stands at 
the north end of the place, and the cemetery, which 
is proportioned to it in size and appearance, is shaded 
by some characteristic yew-trees. 

" It was with great joy that we discovered, about a 


mile and half before we reached the place, the lofty 
and light spire of the church, and, soon after, the 
houses, and the two rivers and bridges of Monmouth. 
The situation of this place is truly delightful ; it stands 
in a fertile valley, and at the confluence of two rivers, 
the Monow and the Wye, over each of which it has 
a stone bridge : indeed it is almost surrounded with 
water, for another small river, the Trothy, here falls 
into the Wye. It is a large, handsome town. The 
ruins of the castle, which still remain in the centre of 
the place, shew it to have been very strong. Near it 
are the market-place and the town-hall. In our way 
to the Beaufort Arras, the inn at which we changed 
horses, we passed close by this edifice, over the front 
of which has lately been erected, at the expence of the 
corporation, an elegant whole length figure of Henry V. 
who, being born in the castle of this place, has been 
commonfy called Harry of Monmouth. He is repre- 
sented in complete armour, with his shield on his Jeft 
arm, and a general's truncheon in his right hand. The 
martial attitude in which he is placed, and the stern 
animation of his countenance, seem to indicate the 
conqueror of Agincourt. Often, I have no doubt, will 
the youth of Monmouth point out to each other the 
staiue of this favourite English monarch, and ask, 
whether the descendants of those warriors, who, four 
centuries ago, seized even the capital of France, and 
beheld an English youth invested with the Gallic 
regalia, shall suffer for a moment the idea of French- 
men landing on their shores, and marching, as con- 
querors, through their country? No, my friend, it 
cannot be borne ! If we must oppose force to force, 
let the pictures of Harry of Monmouth and Edward 
of Windsor be painted on our banners, and if God for 
our crimes do not utterly forsake us, we must be 

" Monmouth is the capital of the county in which 
it stands ; it is populous, and has all the marks of a 
flourishing trade; its market is well supplied with corn 
and provisious of all sorts. The intercourse with 


Bristol is constant and considerable, and is carried on 
with great facility by the Wye, which at Chepstow 
falls into the Severn. 

" Monmouth is a very ancient place, and has made 
a figure in our history ever since the Norman invasion. 
It had a castle in the time of the Conqueror; but that, 
of which some of the fortifications still remain, is 
thought to have been built by John, Baron of Mon- 
mouth, who took part with the barons againstHenry III. 
and in consequence lost his castle. It afterwards 
became the property of the House of Lancaster. Its 
present lord is the Duke of Beaufort. 

" The town had anoiently four jiates and a suburb, 
in which was a chapel dedicated to St. Thomas. 
Formerly this formed a distinct parish, but now it is 
united with that within the walls. The present 
church, except the square tower, is a modern building ; 
it is particularly curious at the east end. 

" On the north side of the town is a ruinous building, 
supposed to be part of a priory founded by Wilkenoc 
de Monmouth in the reign of Henry I. originally a 
cell to the Benedictine abbey of Saumur in France, 
but afterwards made independent. Here were also 
two hospitals, founded about 1240, by John of Moji- 

" About a mile from the town, the Duke of Beau- 
fort hits an ancient seat, which bears the name of 
Troy-house. Amongst other curiosities, it possesses 
the cradle in which Henry V. was rocked, and the 
armour which he wore at the famous battle of Agin- 
Gourt. Cynics may perhaps pity the mind which can 
derive any pleasure from the view of such relics of 
celebrated characters as these; and it is admitted that 
there is nothing more in the cradle of Henry, than in 
the cradle of luiy other infant ; and that a good modern 
coat and waistcoat are more intrinsically valuable than 
the old iron jacket of the second uionarch of the 
House of Lancaster; but when all this is granted, 
where is the mischief which results from tliat pleaaur- 
abl« sensation which, in such an infinite majority of 


cases, lias been felt by the human heart when con- 
templating such objects ? Is any virtuous sentiment 
weakened ? Are any unworthy desires or propensities 
roused into action? Who that ever possessed a slip of 
the mulberry-tree of Shakspeare, or that has gazed 
with delight on the willow of the bard of Twickenham, 
could think it a reproach, either to his head or his 
heart, to have felt the innocent gratification which 
such circumstances afforded. A ring that has circled 
a beloved finger, a lock of hair that was once the 
ornament of a beloved head ; a portrait, the faithful 
resemblance of an endeared object, are relics which 
affection, esteem, or gratitude, liave in all ages de- 
lighted to honour; these are limited and individual 
efforts of the same sentiment which, in the case of 
illustrious and public characters, takes a wider range, 
and feels a diminished, but still a very perceptible 
gratification in seeing, and, if the object permit, 
handling what was once theirs. In short, it seems an 
effort of the mind to pass over ages that are gone, and 
to associate itself with characters and times in which 
it feels a deeper or a fainter interest. It is almost an 
unperceived, but not on that account a less positive 
effort, to emancipate ourselves from the shackles of 
our present condition, and to become, even now, 
sharers in that immortality which we expect will one 
day unite us to all that already have, and to all that 
are yet to exist. 

" The same sentiment, operating in a somewhat 
different manner, induces us to read with so much 
avidity the annals of former ages, and particularly the 
biographical notices of distinguished characters which 
are handed down to us. I scarcely ever enter a town 
or a public building, but the thought occurs. Here 
such an event took place ; there tins or the other 
celebrated man or woman was born, lived, or died. 

" Monmouth, as well as several of the neighbouring 
towns and castles, bore witness, in the year 1646, to 
the triumphs of Oliver Cromwell; but the leaf that he 
there added to his laurel had like to have cost him 


dear. The general was then entertained at the house 
of a Mr. Fortune, and while he was there a hot- 
headed royalist, of the name of Evans, attempted to 
shoot him through the parlour window. The prudence 
of the bystanders, fearful that the destruction of the 
tx)wn would be the inevitable consequence, prevented 
the accomplishment of this rash desii;n, and I appre- 
hend that Evans was permitted to escape. 

" This extraordinary man had^ in the course of his 
perilous career, many narrow escapes. One of them 
is thus related by the late Professor Anderson of 
Glasgow, upon the credit of Mr. Danziel, a merchant 
in the High-street of Glasgow, who died the beginning 
of the last century : 

" A short time before the battle of Dunbar, as 
Cromwell was viewing the ground, accompanied by a 
few cavalry, a soldier of the Scottish army, prompted 
by his own zeal, concealed himself behind a wall 
which inclosed a field, and fired his musket at Crom- 
well ; the ball went very near him ; the cavalry seemed 
to be alarmed ; but Oliver, who was going at a round 
trot, never altered his pace nor tightened his rein, and 
only looking over his shoulder to the place from 
whence the shot came, called out, * You lubberly 
rascal, were one of my men to miss such a marl^, he 
should certainly be tied up to the halbei ts.' 

" When Cromwell entered Glasgow," said Dan- 
ziel, " at the head of his victorious army, I was 
standing in the street called Bell's-wynd, at the 
end of it which joins the High-street, with a good 
many young lads, and a shoemaker, who was well 
known to us all by his drollery, and by the name of 
London Willie. As we were silently admiring the 
order of the troops, Cromwell happened to cast his eye 
upon us, and cried out, ' Hah, Willie ! come hither, 
Willie!' If we were surprised at this, we were more 
surprised to see Willie retire into Rell's-wynd, and 
one of Cromwell's attendants go after him, who 
brought him to the general, at whose stirrup he not 
only walked, but went in with him to his lodging for 


some minutes. My companions and I waited till 
Willie came out, anxious to know why one of his 
station was taken notice of by the famous Cromwell. 
Willie soon satisfied our curiosity, by informing us, 
that his father, being a footman to James VI. had 
accompanied him to London at the union of the 
crowns: that he himself was bred a shoemaker, and 
wrought in a lane through which Cromwell often 
passed, to a school, as he supposed ; that Oliver used 
to stop at the work-shop to get his ball and play- 
things mended, and to be amused with his jokes and 
Scotch pronunciation ; that they had not met from 
that time till now ; that he had retired into Bell's- 
wynd, lest it should be remembered that his father 
had belonged to the royal family; that he had no 
reason, however, to be afraid, for the general had 
only put him in mind of his boyish tricks, had spoken 
to him in the kindest manner, and had given him 
some money to drink his health, which he was going 
to do with all expedition." 

Next Sunday Cromwell went to the inner church 
in Glasgow, (St. Mungo's) and placed liimself, with 
liis attendants, in the King's seat, which was always 
unoccupied except by strangers. The minister of the 
church was Mr. Durham; he was a great presbyterian, 
and as great an enemy to Cromwell ; because he 
thought, and early said, that Cromwell and his friends 
would be forced, by the convulsion of parties, to erect 
an absolute government, the very evil they meant to 
remedy. The text was taken from Jeremiah, and the 
commentary upon it, by allusion, was invective against 
Cromwell and his friends, under scriptural language 
and history. During this satire, they saw a young 
man, one of Cromwell's attendants, step to the back 
of his chair, and with an angry face whisper some- 
thing to him, which, after some words, was answered 
by a frown ; and the young man retired behind the 
chair, seemingly much disconcerted. The cause of 
this was unknown to the congregation ; afterwards it 


came out that the following words had passed between 
them : " Shall I shoot the fellow ? — " What fellow ?" 
— "The parson." — " What parson?" — "That par- 
son." — " Begone, sir; he is one fool, and you are 
another." I'he very next morning Cromwell sent for 
Mr. Durham, and asked him why he was such an 
enemy to him and his friends? declared that they 
were not enemies to Mr. Durham; drank his health 
in a glass of wine; and afterwards, it was said, 
prayed with him for the guidance of the Lord in all 
their doings. 

" When Charles I. was in Scotland, in 1633, a sub- 
scription was set on foot for building a new hall and 
library to the university of Glasgow ; and the king's 
name appears at the head of the subscribers for 200/. 
The king, however, was not able, I suppose, to pay 
that sum, and he contracted some debts at Perth 
which were never paid. When Cromwell was at the 
summit of his power, he sent 200/. to the university; 
and there is below the king's subscription, ^^ Solvit 
Dominus Protector:''^ Paid by the Lord Protector. 

** One of the magistrates of Edinburgh hearing of 
this, thought it entitled him to ask payment of the 
sum which the king had borrowed when in that city, 
Cromwell did not listen to the petition : and when it 
was urged again and again, said with vehemence, 
" Have done, sir; E am not the heir of Charles Stuart." 
To which the other replied with equal warmth, " I 
wot well then you are his intromitter ; shall I say a 
vicious intromitter ?" In the law of Scotland, intro- 
mitter signifies one who takes upon himself to manage 
the estate of a deceased person, and by that act 
renders himself liable to all his debts ; and vicious, is 
when it is done without any right. Cromwell, though 
absolute, did not even chide him for this freedom; 
but declared that he would never pay the money ; 
*' because," said he, " I will do things for a learned 
society, which I will not do for other societies; and 
I would have you know this." 


"Another trait of Oliver's clmracter is to be found 
in the following letters: 

" To his Highness the Lord Protector of the Common- 
wealth of England. 

"the humble petition of MARGERY, THE WIFE OF 

" Sheweth, 

" That your petitioner's husband hath been active 
and faithful in the wars of tliis Commonwealth, both 
by sea and land, and hath undergone many hazards 
by imprisonments and fights, to the endangering of 
his lifej and at last lost the use of his right arm, and is 
utterly disabled from future service, as doth appear 
by the certificate annexed ; and yet he hath no more 
than 40s. pension from Chatham by the year: 

" That your petitioner having one only sonne, who 
is tractable to learn, and not having wherewith to 
bring him up, by reason of their present low estate, 
occasioned by the publique service aforesaid: 

" Humbly prayeth. That your highness would 
vouchsafe to present her said sonne, Randolph 
Beacham, to be scholer in Sutton's-hospital, called 
the Charter-house." 


"We referre this petition and certificate to the 
commissioners of Sutton's-hospital. 
"July 28, 1655." 

" Cop2/ of a Letter sent hy Oliver to his Secretary, on 
the above Petition. 

"You receive from me, this 28th instant, a pe- 
tition of Margery Beacham, desiring the admission of 
her son into the Charter-house. I know the man, 
who was employed one day in a very important secret 
service, which he did effectually, to our great benefit, 
and the Commonwealth's. The petition is a brief 
relation of a fact, without any flattery. I have wrote 


under it a common reference to the commissioners ; 
but I mean a great deal raoie; that it shall be done, 
without their debate, or consideiution of the ynatter, 
and 60 do you privately hint to * * * *. 

" I have not the particular shining bauble or feather 
in my cap for crowds to gaze at,, or kneel to; but I 
liave power and resolution for foes to tremble at; to 
be short, I know liow to deni/ petitions; and whatever 
I think proper, for outward form, to refer to any 
officer or office, I expect that such my compliance 
with custom shall also be looked upon as an indication 
of my will and pleasure to have the thing done. See 
therefore that the boy is admitted. 

" Thy true friend, 

" OLIVER p. 
« Jw/y 28, 1655." 

" I make no apology for this long digression. 
Anecdotes of distinguished characters are always 
entertaining, and they mark their temper and genius 
better than a character drawn by the ablest historian. 

*' Charles II. created his son, James Fitz James, 
Duke of Monmouth. He perished in the unsuccessful 
attempt to wrest the crown from his uncle James II. 
He was a favourite with the people, and there is no 
doubt but the extreme rigour with which his partizans 
were treated, rendered the success of the Prince of 
Orange more rapid and certain. 

" We left Monmouth between five and six o'clock 
in the afternoon ; the oppressive heat of the day was 
over; good horses, a roomy chaise, and an attentive 
driver, whirled us along both with speed and plea- 

Two miles south-west of Chepstow, is the village of 
Math EN, or Mathern. Here was formerly a palace 
appertaining to the Bishop of Llandaff. This build- 
ing, in its present state, affords but a very imperfect 
idea of its original magnificence. The north and 
uorth-cast parts, comprising the tower, porch, &c. 


are supposed to have been built by John de la Zouch, 
1408. Dr. Miles Salley, Bishop of LlandatF in 1504, 
erected the chapel, hall, and other apartments. This 
ci-devant episcopal palace is now only occupied as a 
farm-house. On the north side of the chancel of the 
church is an epitaph, composed by [Jishop Godwin, 
which is as follows : 

"Here lyeth entombed the body of Tbeodorick, King 
of Morganuch, or Glamorgan, commonly called St. 
Thewdrick, and accounted a martyr, because he 
was slain in a battle against the Saxons, beinu; then 
Pagans, and in defence of the Christian religion. 
The battle was fought at Tintern, where he obtained 
a great victory. He died here, being in his way 
liomeward, three days after the battle, having taken 
order with Maurice his son, who succeeded him in 
the kingdom, that in the same place he should 
happen to decease, a church should be built, and 
his body buried in the same, which was accordingly 
performed in the year 600." 

The stone coffin which contained the remains of 
this royal saint, was discovered some time since; 
upon removing the lid the skeleton was found nearly 
entire. There was a fracture on the skull, supposed 
to have been received in battle, and which occasioned 
his death. 

The ancient castellated gateway of St. Pierre-park, 
the seat of Charles Lewis, esq. is well worthy the 
notice of the tourist. In St. Pierre's church are two 
sepulchral stones, lately discovered in repairing that 

Six miles west of Chepstow is the parish of Caldicot, 
which gives name to the hundred ; it contains about 
85 houses, and 500 persons. 

Here are the remains of a famous castle, supposed 
to have been built by Harold. Its principal entrance 
is remarkably fine. Some fragments of the baronial 
hall remain, and the foundation of other buildings 
appear in the area. It is situated at the extremity of 


some marshy plains, about a mile from the Bristol 
channel ; the yellow tints of the stone, contrasted 
with the thick foliage of the ivy which surrounds it, 
produce a very pleasing effect. A ridge of land 
connects the western side of the castle with the 
village. The castle is surrounded by a moat, which 
assumes a quadrangular shape, but in reality is an 
irregular polygon. The area, in its greatest length, 
is 100 yards, the width 75; the walls, which are from 
five to nine feet in thickness, are framed of common 
materials, but the towers are faced with hewn stone, 
of neat and compact workmanship. 

The castle bears the semblance of Norman archi- 
tecture. The doorway of the round tower has a 
rounded arch ; the porches and the windows are 
pointed. The principal entrance is to the south- 
west, by a grand arched gateway, which formerly 
had portcullises and massive turrets. A tower at the 
southern angle is almost dilapidated. There is a 
breach in the walls, which opens a prospect of the 
area with the citadel. A highly-finished view of this 
castle was delineated by the exquisite pencil of Sir 
Richard Iloare. Mr. Coxe observed, in one of the 
chimnies of this castle, " traces of the species of 
masonry called Herring Bone, which was used in 
buildings of an early period." Caldicot-castle was- 
long in the possession of the family of the Bohuns, 
This castle is now held by Capel Hanbury Leigh, esq. 

Caldicot-church is dedicated to St. Mary; it has 
a nave, a side aisle to the north, a massive tower in 
the middle, and a chancel. It is of Gothic archi- 
tecture ; the nave is parted from the side aisles by 
fine pointed arches on clustered piers. The windows 
are adorned with painted glass, exhibiting the ar- 
morial bearings of \arious families. Oj) the outside 
of the wall, over the southern door, is a small figure 
of the Virgin in a niche; and in a recess is the figure 
of a man reposing, without his head, sculptured. The 
living is a vicarage, the patron of which is Mr. John- 


DiNHAM, ahamler, near to Caerwent, is celebrated 
for being the residence of a VVelbh bard, named Camth. 
We shall insert, as a specimen of the Welsh bards, 
his simple and pleasing lay to the memory of Caracta- 
cus :^' A lay of softest melody to the memory of 
Caractacus ! " Soft notes of mourning die gently away 
upon mine ear. I weep to the soft notes of mine 
harp, and a sadly pleasing anguish steals upon my 
soul. First known of British slaves, valiant Caracta- 
cus ! Thy nirae steals upon the senses, and as the 
dew of heaven is gracious: 'tis but to read of thee 
and we are brave. Thy blood now circulates within 
these veins : 'tis not debased ; each generation but 
ennobles it : and though in Gwent (Monmouthshire) 
no longer we are kings, yet kings shall wonder at us. 
I feel thy fierce, thy bold, thy daring spirit. Who 
shall confine my soul? I sing as in my youth; the 
mighty one has weakened my strength, but God 
alone can bring my spirit low. 

"There is Llewellin, my son, first-born of love; 
Lena Loria, in whose praise the bards of Gwent 
liave tuned their youthful lays. Unto thee, O Llewel- 
lin, 'tis given to shine in arms ! Unto thee belong 
the mysteries of war ! Oh, my country ! dear lost 
Siluria, how art thou fallen ! Where now the simple 
hut, where brave Caractacus gave audience to men 
of might ! Where now the clay-built shed, where 
sung the bards of Gwent of nought but love and 
liberty ! Lovers of strife, fierce haughty Romans ! 
why invade our peaceful, rude, uncultivated isle? 
why bid us quit our clay-built cots for stately palaces 
and lofty domes r 

" Oh, my forefathers, lovers of simplicity ! But 
with your lives you lost your liberty 1 Curst be the 
foe who fought for nought but strife, and immortal 
be the name of Caractacus ! Where died Caractacus? 
where rest his manes? sacred is the spot that holds 
his dust. On the legends of the bards of other days, 
in the learned lore of ancient Britons, it is written; 
and shall the unlearned read of it? shall the invaders 


of Gwent disturb his sacred dust? The castle of 
Diuham is consecrated to his memory ; it riseth near 
his grave; in the ancient lore of the learned thus it is 
written: * On the mount which lieth north of the 
great city (Caerwent), there sleeps Caractacus, till 
God, the God of Bran, appears on earth.' But the 
deadly foe advanceth, and the lays of Caruth are 

Six miles west by south from Chepstow, are some 
fine remains of Llanvair-castle, with three round 
towers ; and nine miles west, are the scanty vestiges 
of Striguil, or Estbrighoel-castle, on the borders of 

Near Chepstow-park is the Gaer-hiJl ; we need not 
add, that the term Gaer implies it has been a fortress. 

Benchley, or Aust-ferry, commonly called the Old 
Passage, is situated near this town ; it is in the parish 
of Tidenham, Gloucestershire. 

Journey from the New Passage (or Black Rock), to 
Newport (hy the mail road). 

This is the most frequented route into Monmoutjj- 
shire and South Wales from London, Bristol, and the 
western parts of England; mail and stage-coach 
passengers, and all travellers, cattle, horses, and 
carriages, are here conveyed in sloops and small 
boats across the Severn, to or from the shores of 
Gloucestershire and Somersetshire. The distance of 
the passage is three miles and a quarter at high water, 
which is the best time for crossing. 

The shores of Gloucester and Somerset are flat; but 
the coast of Monmouth has a gentle rise, and is finely 

The Black Rock Inn (Monmouthshire side) is built 
on the summit of the cliff overhanging the Severn. 
This ferry is of great antiquity; it was suppressed by 
Oliver Cromwell, in consequence of the Protector 
discovering that King Charles had crossed here, and 
escaped from some soldiers of the Parliament, through 
the loyalty of the boatmen of this Passage. The New- 


passage was renewed in 1718 by its old proprietors, 
the Lewis family of St. Pierre. 

Quitting the Black Rock Inn, on the right is a road 
to Chepstow, five miles. A mile further, we arrive 
at PoRTSKEW'iT, or Porthskewydd, a village in the 
marshy level of Caldicot. This was anciently the 
only port in this part of Wales, before the building 
of Chepstow; and here is generally allowed to have 
been the first «camp of the Romans, after their land- 
ing in Wales. 

The traveller should visit this ancient encampment, 
the interior of which is in high preservation. Lofty 
triple ramparts of earth, twenty feet high, and three 
fosses, have the form of a bow, apparently to defend 
the vessels in the pile beneath. British bricks and 
Roman coins have been found. Near this spot is the 
small Gothic chapel of Sudbrook in ruins, supposed 
to have been attached to the magnificent palace 
built by Harold the Saxon, who held his court here, 
and entertained the native chieftains, after some 
partial victories in Wales. In this chapel divine ser- 
vice was occasionally performed as late as sixty years 
ago. The harbour was used in the Civil Wars. 

One mile and a half from Portskewit, we pass 
through the neat village of Crick ; on the right is a 
road to Monmouth, through Chepstow. Proceeding 
on, the traveller arrives at Caerwi ,^T, on the left of 
which is a road to Caldicot; on the right to Ponty- 
pool, through Usk. Caerwent was the " Venta Silu- 
rurn" of the Romans, and under their government a 
city of great extent and magnificence : it is now a 
straggling village, with but few traces of its ancient 
state. All the visible remains are the walls of the 
station, with octangular bastions. " The remains of 
the fortifications," says Captain Barber, " form an 
oblong parallelogram, whose width is equal to two- 
ninths of its length, with the corners a little rounded; 
a frequent figure in Rtjman military works, called 
Terriata castra." 

In cultivating the adjacent fields^ several coins, 


eliiefly of Q. Severus and Pertinax, pedestals, and 
tesselated pavements, have l>eeu discovered. A Mo- 
saic pavement found some years ago, is described 
by Wync'ham, who saw it in its perfect state, as 
being equal, both in colours, pattern, and work- 
manship, to the ancient specimens still preserved in 
Italy. But now, alas! through the mutilating hand 
of the too curious traveller, and culpable neglect in 
the proprietor, this curious relic is destroyed. It was 
found near the south-west angle. In tracing the cir- 
cuit of the Roman fortress, the walls, mantled with 
ivy, and fringed with shrubs, present a singular and 
picturesque appearance. Caerwent-church consists 
of a nave, chancel, and a lofty embattled tower. 
From the church-yard is a fine view, agreeably diver- 
sified with hill and dale, and bounded by the two 
oblong hills which rise above the mouldering towers 
of Llanvair-castle. 

Two miles from Caerwent, we arrive at the Rock 
and Fountain Inn. Near this place the road runs in 
a romantic valley, bounded by ridges of wooded emi- 
nences, which converge a little beyond the inn, and 
form a pass formerly commanded by Penhow-castle. 
This was in feudal times held by the Norman family 
of St. Maur, or Seymour. Part of the castle is now 
converted into a farm-house; of the old structure, 
there remain a square tower with some Gothic door- 
ways and porches. Penhow-church adjoins it, and 
was also built soon after the Conquest: it contains 
a monument to the memory of Mrs. Elizabeth Jam- 
plin, who died July 5, 1753, aged 111 years. 

Two miles further we pass the Unicorn Inn, near 
which is the hunting-lodge of Wentworth Forest, be- 
longing to the Duke of Beaufort. A little on the left 
is the old castle of Pcncoed, now used as a farm- 
house. This is the most ancient of the six Agrarian 
fortresses built within the limits of Wentworth-chase 
soon after the Conquest. In Queen Elizabeth's reign 
Sir Thomas Morgan, Knight of the Garter, and Lord 
of Caerleon and Llantarnam, resided here. The re- 


mains of the castle are, an elegant Gothic porch, a 
gateway with circular arches, two pentagon turrets, 
and a round embattled tower; some carved ceilings 
are also worthy of notice. 

Proceeding on two miles, we arrive at Cat's-ash 
hill, on the right of which is Llanwerne-hall, the seat 
of Sir Thomas Salusbury, bart. ; a mile and a half be- 
yond, is a road to Caerleon. A short distance from 
this turning, we pass Christchurch, a village half a 
mile south-east of Caerleon, which we have before de- 
scribed. Two miles and a half from Christchurch 
we cross the Usk river, and arrive at Newport, which 
town and vicinity we have already described. 


A3 the tour of the Wye is universally allowed to be 
one of the most picturesque excursions in the kingdom, 
every traveller of taste who visits this county, will of 
course embark on its smooth surface, and survey the 
beauties of " Vaga through her winding bounds." 

The Wye takes its rise near the summit of Plin- 
limmon, and dividing the counties of Itadnor and 
Brecknock, passes through the middle of Hereford- 
shire, and then becomes a second boundary between 
Monmouthshire and Gloucestershire, and falls into the 
Severn a httle below Chepstow. To this place it flows 
in a gentle uninterrupted stream, and adorns through 
its various reaches a succession of the most enchanting 
scenes. The beauty of these scenes arises chiefly 
from the mazy course of the river and its lofti/ banks, 
which are diversified with every kind of ornament that 
can be desired by an admirer of the romantic, or a 
lover of the picturesque. 

The river towards Hereford and its source being, 
comparatively speaking, tame, parties usually take a 
boat from Ross to Monmouth and Chepstow. 

Ross is a market-town in the county of Hereford. 
The fine elevation on which the town stands, and the 
fertility of the adjacent soil, induced Robert de Betun 


to procure tlie incorporation of the town in tlie reign 
of King Stephen. The visitable objects at this town 
are the monuments in tlie church, the prospect, and 
the residence of the " Man of Ross." The church has 
a tower and lofty spire, tlje effect of which, as seen 
from the outskirts of the town, combined with the 
winding road, spreading trees, and adjoining landscape, 
is much admired. 

Adjoining the church-yard is a field called the 
Prospect; here was anciently the palace of the Bishops 
of Hereford. The view from this spot is charming : 
the principal objects are, the " horse-shoe curve of the 
river, the expanded green meadow, the light bridge, 
and the ivied tower of Wilton-castle." 

John Kyrle (whose noble character has been faith- 
fully delineated by Pope, our immortal bard), was 
born in this neighbourhood, passed the greater part of 
his life in Ross, and died here in the month of 
November 1720. — The inns are the Swan, Lamb, and 

The grandest scenes on the Wye are, 1. Goodrich- 
castle— 2. Coldwell Rocks— 3. New Weir— 4. Distant 
view of Tintern Abbey — o. Wyndcliff. 

Those who wish for ample details of this delightful 
excursion, will procure Gilpin's excellent work, and 
local guides. Boats may always be obtained at the 
principal inns at Ross, Monmouth, and Chepstow. 

The scenery of the river from Plinlimmon, Hay, 
Hereford, ike. to Ross, is not destitute of good land- 
scape ; but it is not Wye scenery, whicli is " fine 
landscape; park scenery, or embellished landscape ; 
and then the grand, or rock, wood, and water; lastly, 
the sublime, or the ground accompaniment soaring 
into mountainous elevation, with wild outline; and all 
these with every addition of grouping, tinting, and 
exquisite delicacy of detail, occur in the dell of the 
Wye — T/ic British Tempc.'^ 

Mr. Nicholson, who published his observations on 
the Wye in 1813, thus explains the deceptio visus 
mentioned in page 132 : " It rises from a coincidence 


in the anj;le of vision between the embattled rocks, 
and H part of the Severn, whicii appears to wash their 
sunuuit, although it is many miles distant. The sub- 
ject of the prospect from this spot, is seen more 
picturesquely combined, as we continue our walk on 
a gentle descent, and catch the varying scene throujrh 
apertures in the foliage: yet there is something which 
one would wish added or removed, till we reach the 
grotto, when a picture is presented in the happiest 
state of composition. In this charming view from the 
grotto, a diversified plantation occupies the fore- 
ground, and descends through a grand hollow to the 
river, which passes in a long reach under the elevated 
ruin of Chepstow-castle, the town and bridge, towards 
the Severn. Rocks and precipices, dark shelving 
forests, groves and lawns, hang on its course, and with 
a variety of sailing vessels are reflected from the liquid 
mirror, with an effect I cannot attempt to describe, 
and at which the magic pencil of a Claude would 
falter. The distant Severn and its remote shores, form 
an excellent termination and complete the picture. 
Remounting our horses at the village of St. Arvan's, a 
steep ascent led over some out-grounds of Piercefield 
to the summit of Wyndcliff, where a prodigious extent 
of prospect bursts open, comprehending a wonderful 
range over nine counties. Since these delightful pro- 
ductions were aided and embellished by Valentine 
Morris, a professed improver has been let in, who 
with his shears and his rollers lias substituted some 
insipid uniformity for the wildness of nature." 

To enjoy the scenery ofthe Wye, it isalwayspreferable 
to pass through the village of St, Arvan's to the upper 
part of the grounds, and descend from the Lover's 
Leap to the Alcove; thus the entire prospect will be 
seen in proper succession and to the greatest advan- 
tage. iVIr. Coxe remarks, " that the walk is carried 
through a thick mantle of forests, with occasional 
openings, which seem not the result of art or design, 
but the effect of chance or nature, and seats are placed 


where the spectator may repose, and view at leisure, 
the scenery above, beneath, and around. This bowery 
walk, Mr. Coxe adds, " is consonant to the genius of 
Piercefield ; the screen of wood prevents the uniformity 
of a bird's eye view ; and the imperceptible bend of 
the amphitheatre conveys the spectator from one part 
of this fairy region to another without discovering the 
gradations. Hence the Wye is sometimes concealed 
or half obscured by overhanging foliage, at others 
wholly expanding to view, is seen sweeping beneath a 
broad and circuitous channel : thus at one place the 
Severn spreads in the midst of a boundless expanse of 
country, and on the opposite side of the Wye. Hence 
the same objects present themselves in different aspects 
and with varied accompaniments : hence the magic 
transition from the impervious gloom of the forest, to 
open groves ; from meadows and lawns to rocks and 
precipices ; and from the mild beauties of English 
landscape to the wildness of Alpine scenery." 

On the highway, the Rev. Edmund Butcher has 
remarked, in his journey from Sidmouth to Chester, 
that, taking the road for one part of the figure, the 
Wye inclosed a portion of country resembling in 
shape the Delta of Egypt. Leaving the Wye upon 
the right, and the Monow on the left, a chain of hills 
on each side shuts both these rivers from the view ; 
but the vallies are rich, and the slopes of many of the 
hills are clothed with wood. At the sixth mile we 
may cross the Garren, and observe the sheltered vale 
through which the Monow passes, till it pours its 
tributary waters into the Wye, about a mile below 
Good rich-castle. Pass*the little village of St. Weo- 
nard's, and proceed upwards of two miles on the 
lower left-hand slopes of Scudamore-hill. Soon after, 
on the left hand, opens the extensive and beautiful 
flat through which the Worm directs its serpentine 
course to the Monow. Parks, gentlemen's seats, and 
villages, ornament the picture. — From Redhill, the 
towers, bridge, and spire of Hereford may be seen. 


Mr. Coxe appears to have been much gratified in 
performing the navigation of the Wye: "The banks," 
he says, " for the most part rise abruptly from the 
water, and are clotlied with forests broken into cliffs. 
In some places they approacli so near, that the river 
occupies the whole immediate space, and nothing is 
seen but wood, rocks, and water; in others, they 
alternately recede, and the eye catches an occasional 
glimpse ofhamlets, ruins, and detached buildings,partly 
seated on the margin of the stream, and partly on the 
rising grounds. The general character of the scene, 
however, is wildness and solitude; and if we except 
the populous district of Monmouth, no river perhaps 
flows for so long a course, through a well-cultivated 
country, the banks of which exhibit so few habitations. 
Convenient vessels for holding eight persons, besides 
the boatmen, provided with an awning, have long 
since been had at Hereford and Monmouth." — Mr. 
Coxe dwells much on the description of the Coldwell 
Rocks, and Symonds'-Gate, or Yat. The river here 
makes a singular turn; for though the direct distance 
by land is not more than 600 yards, the course by 
water exceeds four miles. 

The romantic village of Redbrook, and the church 
and castle of St. Briavel's, before the latter became 
a complete ruin, with the beautiful hamlet of Llan- 
dogo and Brooks Weir, have been much admired. 
At the latter place the river exhibits the appearance 
of trade and activity, and is the point where the 
maritime and internal navigations form a junction. 

The ferry at the New Passage, as before observed, is 
the principal entrance into Monmouthshire, from the 
south west counties. The New Passage Inn is upon the 
south or Gloucestershire side of the Severn. A most 
enchanting landscape is presented from the windows of 
this inn, which opens towards the Severn, disclosing 
the beautiful and diversified shores of Monmouthshire, 
with part of Gloucestershire. Hills and mountains 
compose the back ground. From a walk extending in 


front of the house see King-road, Portshead Point, 
and the Isle of Denny. The times when the great 
boat departs from the Bristol coast is nearly on the 
slack of the flux and reflux of the tide. As the course 
of the river stretches nearly from cast to west, while 
the tide is on the flood an east wind is most favourable, 
while on the ebb a west wind. But should the wind 
be from the north or south points, it will be necessary 
for the traveller to be at the Passage an hour previous 
to those times. The state of the tides may always be 
known by enquiry at Bristol, where it is nearly half an 
hour later. The rates are, four-wheeled carriages, 
12s. two-wheeled 6s. a man and horse, Is. 6d., a horse 
alone. Is., a foot passenger 9d. Small boats, capable 
of carrying a private party, are always ready, at the 
rate of 5s. hesides 9c?. for each person. If the traveller 
be necessitated to pass over this ferry at low water, he 
will have to disembark at a short distance from 
the usual landing-place, and suhjected to a very 
slippery walk over the surface of the rocks, covered 
vrith confervje, fuci, and other marine plants. There 
are two shelving rocks connected with the main 
land. The contiguous inn on the north side of 
the river, is hence called the Black Rock inn, but 
more properly St. Andrew's. This, as well as the 
AusT, or Old Passage ferry, is a monopoly, and, like 
all monopolies, hostile to the interest of the public. 
The boatmen are of course rude in their mannei*s, 
indifferent to the accommodation of the passengers, 
and practised in the arts of extortion. The shore of 
Monmouthshire rises from the edge of the water in 
jjentle acclivities, richly wooded, and interspersed 
with fields of corn and pasture ; above, are extensive 
ridges of hills, which conunence with the Wyndclilr, 
and are succeeded by the wDoded eminences of 
Picrccficld, and the two grey hills above Llanfair. To 
the west towers the Pencamawr; and the eye catches 
a distant view of Twyn Barlwni, and the Machen-hill, 
terminating in the eminences heyond Newport, in the 


county of Glamorgan. About half a mile from the 
Monmoutlibhire shove, is a rocky islet, called Char- 
stone Rock, on which Roman coins have been found. 
The boatman can pass close to these craggy rocks, if 
desired, an(i in the humour to be civil. The stone is 
used for building. This ferry is memorable for the 
escape of Charles I., who being pursued by the re- 
publican soldiers, crossed the Severn to Chisell Pill, 
on the Gloucestershire side. 

From the New Passage inn may be visited Sudbrook 
encampment, at the distance of one mile on the shore 
to the west, crowning the brow of an eminence which 
rises in an abrupt cliff from Caldicot Level. This 
remnant of ancient dissention, consisting of three 
ramparts and two ditches, forms a semicircle, the 
chord of which is the sea-cliff; but it is evident, that 
part of the eminence has mouldered away; and most 
probably the figure of the fortification was once cir- 
cular. East of this encampment is Sudbrook-chapel, 
a small Gothic ruin, which was formerly attached to 
a mansion of Norman foundation, of which no traces 
appear; its remains have probably been swept away 
by the encroachment of the sea. Some piles of hewn 
stones near the ramparts may be its relics. 

The vicinity of Chepstow abounds with numerous cu- 
riosities. St. Pierre's, Moin's-court, and Mathern-place, 
have claims to attention, and may be visited in the 
way. A foot-path, running mostly upon an embank- 
ment, leads from the New Passage, across the fields, 
to St. Pierre, an ancient seat of the Lewis family, 
descended from Cadifor the Great. This mansion 
exhibits an incongruous mixture, in which the modern 
sashed window is patched upon a Gothic structure 
upwards of 400 years old ! An embattled gateway, 
flanked with pentagonal towers, is still more ancient. 
In t}T€ porch of the church are two sepulchral stones, 
which have attracted the notice of antiquaries; one 
of them bears the following inscription, and is sup- 
posed to be the tomb of Urien de St. Pierre, who 
Jived in the reign of Henry flL 


Ici git le cors v de sene pere, 

preez par li en bop maneie ; 

qu Jesu pur so pasiun, 

de phecez ]i done pardun. 

Amen. R. P. 
i.e. Here lies the body of Urien de St. Pierre; pray 
devoutlj? for his soul, that Jesus for his passion's sake, 
would give him pardon for his sins. 

Nearly opposite this spot is the great estuary of the 
Bristol channel, contracting in width, and taking the 
name of the Severn, from the well-known story of the 
British princess Sahrina. See Milton's Comus, be- 
ginning at "There is a gentle nymph not far from 
hence." Crossing the grounds at St. Pierre, and 
passing Pool Meyric, a brook falling into the Severn, 
to the right stands Mathern-palace, formerly the epis- 
copal seat of the bishops of LlandafT. The structure, 
which surrounds a quadrangular court, raised by 
different bishops, is situated in a gentle hilly country, 
pleasingly diversified with wood and pasturage. Some 
specimens of dilapidated grandeur appear in the east 
window; and the entrance was through a lofty orna- 
mented porch, which has been destroyed, and the 
building occupied as a mere farm-house. The farmer 
who inhabits this house is a pleasant guide. 

" That court contains my cattle ; swine are there ; 

Here fowls and fuel ; underneatli is beer. 

Snug, in that chamber, sir, my corn is kept; 

My clover yonder, where a kins' has slept ; 

My dame, her curds does in the cha})el squeeze; 

In chancel salts her chines; the font holds clieesc. 

There died a bishop; here his ghost walk'd since, 

Until our .Joan did fairly scold it thence. 

Oft rosy churchmen, here to ease resign'd. 

On that great dough-trough, then a table, din'd." 

The principal hall is thirty-two feet by sixteen, and 
twenty high ; the chapel, when undivided, was thirty 
feet by ten. 'J'he wrecks of a library belonging to the 
8ec, yet remain. The road to Chepstow lies upon 

MONMOUTIISIirilE. , 173. 

inclosed lands; from one part, tlie Severn appears as 
two s{)acious lakes. liardwicke-liouse, on the right, 
stands upon an eminence commanding a view of the 
interesting country around. There is a chapel, dedi- 
cated to St. Treacle, near tiie mouth of the Wye, said 
to have been erected in the year 47. It has been 
covered by the sea, but its remains are yet visible, at 
some distance below the high-water mark; an instance 
that the sea encroaches on the Monmouthshire and 
Glamorganshire coasts ; while on the Flintshire and 
Cheshire shores, much land has been gained from the sea. 
There is an inscription to the memory of Thomas 
Hughes, esq. of MoinVcourt, clerk of the crown for 
the counties of Monmouth, Glamorgan, Brecon, and 
Radnor, w[»o died in 1667. Upon a brass are the 
effigies of Philip Williams, and Alicia his wife, kneel- 
ing upon each side of an altar, inscribed as follows: 

O Christ oure God, sure hope of healpe, 

IBesyde ye have we none; 
Thy truth we love, and falsehode hate, 

Be thowe our gyde alone. 

In molten raettall or carved stone, 

No confidence we have; 
But in thy deathe and precious bloode, 

Or sowles fro' hell to save. 

Veribus hie donor, et sic ostendere donor. 
Hie veluti ponor, sic erit orbis honor— 

Ornata p Henricura Williams, 
Eorum filium. Anno Dom. 1590. 

Within a short distance from Mathern is MoinV 
court, another deserted ecclesiastic mansion. Its 
foundation is attributed to Bishop Godwin; occu- 
pied also as a farm-house. A handsome Gothic 
porch, defended by two lofty turrets, is presented. 
Within the court-yard are two Roman inscribed 
stones, said by Gibson to liave been brought from 
Caerleon. One appears to have been a votive 
altar; the other records the repairing or rebuilding of 


the Temple of Diana by T. H. Posthuniius Varus. 
Mr. VVyndhani says, the most curious of tlie inscrip- 
tions have been removed to the house at Moin's-court. 
In the orchard adjoining is the ground plot of a court 
of large dimensions, anciently called Monk's-court. 
Mathcrn palace lies about two hundred paces from 
this place. From Mathern, Mr. Coxe entered the 
high road to Chepstow, and turned to the left, pro- 
ceeding straight till he came to the gateway leading 
into the park of St. Pierre. At this point three roads 
diverge; one goes through Caerwent to Newport; the 
second to Caldicot ; and the third leads to Portskewit 
and the New Passage. Opposite to the back road 
leading to St. Pierre, he turned near a farm-house, 
called Hyer's-gate ; and passing a narrow lane to 
Broad well farm, ascended to Runston, once a place 
of magnitude, now in ruins, which occupy an emi- 
nence upon the side of the road leading to Shire 
Newton, in the midst of a thick and solitary wood. 
An old barn only remains, and dilapidated chapel. 
This chapel is annexed to Mathern. The estate be- 
longs to that of St. Pierre. From Broadwell farm, a 
narrow and hollow way, somewhat resembling a 
ditch, leads into the high road from Chepstow to 
Newport, at the village of Crick. 

On the road to Chepstow, through the village of 
St. Pierre, a range of naked cliffs appears to rise from 
a tract of verdure ; a venerable wood shadowing the 
brow of the rocks, in front of which often rises a 
forest of masts with waving pendants. This singular 
combination results from the position of Chepstow 
and its port, in an abrupt hollow inclosed by consi- 
derable eminences in every direction. I'he whole of 
this scenery seems to unfold itself like a map, beneath 
the view of the advancing traveller. 

There is a foot- path to Chepstow from the Old 
Passage Inn, commandii^.g several good prospects. The 
Wye is often seen amid a pleasing variety of wood 
and culture. A mile on this side of Chepstow, the 
town and castle appear to great advantage. The Wye 


Hows close to the town ; the houses rise irregularly 
one ahove the other, hacked hy rich lands and thick 
woods. Approaching nearer, the piospect is entirely 
shut out by a high wall; after descending by its side 
for a quarter of a mile, Chepstow-castle unexpectedly 
appears in sight. 

On the road to Caldicot-castle are the remains of 
an ancient encampment, called Porthskewydd en- 
campment, which is supposed to have been formed 
by the Romans to cover their landing in Siiuria ; but 
is also attributed to Harold, during his invasion of 
Gwent. The village of Porthskewydd, though now 
nearly one mile from the shore, was once washed by 
the sea, and probably the port to Caenvent, as its 
name, Port is Coed, seems to imply ; but the devia- 
tions of the Severn current have reduced this once 
busy place to a little creek, scarcely ever used, except 
in imminent danger, by the small craft that navigate 
the Severn and the Wye. Leaving the Black Rock 
Inn, says Mr. Donovan, our route conducted us 
through a fine open country of singular beauty ; 
ascending gradually for miles into hills and gentle 
eminences on the right; and sloping into a most ex- 
tensive sweep of low but fertile land, to the broad 
bosom of the Severn on the left. Those travellers who 
wish to avoid Chepstow, on their way to Milford, 
might walk half a mile to Portskewit, and there meet 
horses and attendants. 

As persons who make the tour of South Wales fre- 
quently commence by the navigation of the Wye, and 
proceed through Monmouth and Chepstow, a recent 
tourist advises them, after visiting Piercefield, to return 
to Chepstow, and then, by making a digression, to 
inspect the remains of the once famous Caerwent. 
Crossing Penmaen Mawr,descend into the Vale of Usk, 
and after visiting that town, proceed through Ragland, 
remarkable for its castle, &:c. Reach the town of 
Abergavenny, and thence make an excursion to 
Llanthony Abbey, part of which is still in tolerable 
preservation. From this sequestered spot travel along 


an excellent road to Crickliowel, two miles and a half 
from which stands a stone called the County Stone, to 
maik the entrance into Wales. The first house in the 
principality from this approach, is called Sunny-bank. 
Pass through the village of Bwlch to Brecknock, where 
there is a collegiate church on the ruins of a Benedictine 
priory. Leaving Brecknock, pass through Merthyr 
Tydvil, and after visiting the celebrated Pont y Pridd, 
or New-bridge, proceed to Caerphilly, remarkable for 
its castle, the work of Edward I. ; one of the towers 
of which has long declined eleven feet from the per- 
pendicular, and yet remained entire. 

From Caerphilly proceed to Cardiff, the capital of 
Glamorganshire, and one of the neatest towns of South 
Wales. Its ancient castle has been modernised, and 
has been the occasional residence of the Marquis of 
Bute, who is Baron of Cardiff, Directing our course 
towards Llandaff, an ancient episcopal see, now re- 
duced to a village, pursue the road to Lantrissent ; 
and thence turn towards Cowbridge; visit St. Donat's- 
castle, Pyle, Margam, Aberavan, and Neath ; inspect 
the mouldering remains of Neath Abbey, and then 
travel to Swansea, which, for beauty and extent, 
exceeds all the towns of South Wales. 

From Swansea cross the country to Tenby, and visit 
Pembroke, in the castle of which Henry VII. was born. 
Reach Milford-haven, capable of accommodating all 
the navies of Europe. Haberston Haiken, near its 
centre, forms the port ; «nd at the extremity of one of 
the creeks, are the magnificent remains of Carew- 
castle. Visit Picton-castle, the ancient seat of Lord 
Milford ; five miles from which stands Haverfordwest, 
a large town with a ruined fortress. Proceed over a 
dreary country to St. David's, which, on account of 
its cathedral, ranks as a city, though it is now a village 
inhabited by fishermen. Here, however, are some 
good houses belonging to the local clergy. Make an 
excursion from thence to Fishguard, a miserable port ; 
and taking an inland direction, pass through the town 
of Narbeth to Caumautuen, a large and populous 


town, boasting of high antiquity, being connected with 
classical history as well as with British superstition. 
Here the Romans had a station, and here the princes 
of South Wales formerly kept their court. It was 
Once fortified, and had its castle, situated on a rock 
commanding the river Towy. Visit Dynevor-park, 
and the proud ruins of its castle. At a distance in 
the vale, take a view of Grongar-hill, innnortalized by 
Dyer. After seeing Llandeilo, visit the cataract of 
Glenkier, and the ruins of Castle Careg Cennin, rising 
400 feet perpendicular above the plain. Proceed to 
Llanymdovery, cross the Towy by a bridge of a single 
arch, and over a long range of steeps and declivities, 
arrive at Newcastle, where the Teivi assumes the 
appearance of a river. Directing your course to the 
sea-coast, you will reach the pleasant town of Car- 
digan ; near to this is Kilgerren, and some noble 
remains of its castle. Taking the Aberystwyth road, 
Cader Idris and several of the Merioneth mountains 
open successively, and beguile the dreary road. The 
sea views, however, are very fine, and towards 
Aberystwyth, the country becomes more fertile. 

Having now reached the boundary of North Wales, 
take an eastern direction through the Vale of Kheidol, 
and view, in advancing, the stupendous scenery of 
Cwym Ystwyth and Plinlimmon. Cross the iVIonach, 
over the devil's-bridge, when, after visiting Hafod, you 
may pass through the wretched village of Cwm 
Ystwyth, when having gained the summit of Cym- 
wythen-hill, obtain an uninterrupted retrospect of the 
dreary tract behind. Soon, however, a glorious pro- 
spect opens upon the spacious plain through which 
the Wye ftows, by the town of ilhaidergwy ; at which 
place pass the Wye, by a bridge of a single arch, and 
proceeding towards Pen y bont, cross the Ithon, and 
pursue a rugged track over a wild range of hills, the 
scenes of many memorable exploits : here the camp 
of Caractacus, and other antiquities, are seen in high 

Reaching Presteign, the modern capital of Radnor- 


shire, a place which has still an air of neatness and 
comfort, visit New Radnor; in the vicinity of this 
place is that remarkable cataract, called Water Break- 
neck. Proceed to Bualt, and thence to Hay, a small 
market-town, remarkable for the ruins of its ancient 
castle. Pass through the romantic village of Clyro; 
and here may terminate the tour of South Wales. 

It is almost impossible to point out any spot in 
particular, where the beauties of nature are pre- 
eminent, so generally are they distributed through the 
principality. In fact, the diversified objects of plea- 
sure, taste, genius, or simple curiosity, could not be 
exhausted in this beautiful southern, or in the more 
sublime parts of the northern districts. So redundant 
are the sports of nature, that solicit the feelings and 
engage the fancy, that with a slight change in the 
point of view, the same spot of ground might afford to 
a painter a complete set of landscapes. Taken from 
the top of a mountain, the valley might be sketched 
apart; and taken from the valley, a noble separate 
picture might be drawn of the mountain and its ap- 
propriate objects. Their several beauties might be 
joined, by selecting a middle direction ; and the 
painter would soon feci, that it was quite unnecessary, 
.to quit his native soil, to acquire the glories of his 


Abers-avenny, 60— castle, 60 

environs and vicinity of 63, 64 
Aberystwith, 87; account of, 

by Edm«nd Jones 87 

Agriculture 39 

Anecdotes, apology for 158 

Antiquities and anecdotes, a- 

pologyfor 152-158 

Arthur's Round Table 111, 113,114 

Ascetic, a singular 70 

Banking-houses 20 

Bassaleg, village of 101 

Bedwas church, views from 108 
Benchley, or Aust Ferry 162-170 

Black Rock. Inn, the 162 

Blaenavon works 79-81 

Blestium, a Roman station 72 

Brooks Weir 169 

Buckstone, the 54 

Bydwelky 81 

Caerleon, town of, 110 — once 

a city HI 

ancient splendour of 

111, 112-115 

Caermarthen 176 

Caerwent * -163 

Caldicot Level 102-159 

Camps, Roman 123 

Campston-hill, and lodge . . 66 

CardiflF 176 

Cardigan 177 

Castel-glas, or Green Castle IQ5 

Cattle \ r: 32 

Characters, eminent and lite- 
rary 41,42 

Chepstow, 135 — antiquity of. 

137— Castle 138 

' vicinity of 141 

Christchurch, village of 107, 108 
Churches m Monmouthshire 


Climate and soil 26.27 

Clytha, and Castle 58, 59 

Coal-mines 37-80 

Cobham, persecution of Lord 

72, 73 

County Stone 176 

Cribs, description of 12-5 


Custom, a whimsical 25 

■ a very ancient and 

pious 25 

David ap Gwillym 109 

Dinham 161 

Divisions, Civil audEcclesias- 

tical 26 

Dodd, Dr., ballad by .... 109 

Dynastow-place 54 

Ebwy, the Great 88 

Embankments 35, 36 

Encampments, ancient . . 67, 163 
Ewias, the secluded Vale of 68,69 
Fairies, wonderful tales of . . 87 

Fairs, list of 19 

Farmers' club, a 40 

Farms and cottages .... 29, 30 

rent and size of ... . 31 

Flowers used to deck graves 108 

Folly, the 88 

Fort, a Lancastrian 83 

Geoffrey of Monmouth .... 52 

Goytre 123 

Haberston Haiken 176 

Harry of Monmouth 151 

Kemeys, village of 117 

Landscapes, the boldest . . 67, 68 

Llanarth-court 58 

LlaudiUo Cresseny .... 82, 83 

Llanellan 83 

Llanfoist Church 66 

Llangattock. and house 60 

Llangil)l)y, and house .... 119 

Llauhiddel 88 

Llanhowel 123 

Llanover 84 

Llansanfiaed 59 

Llantarnam, and Abbey .... i>5 

Llanthony. Abbey of 69-71 

Llantrissaint 117 

Llanvihangel Crucorney . . 77 

inxtaUsk .. 59 

"Tavarn bach 59 

Vedew 102 

Llanwerne-hali 165 

house 117 

Machen-place 107 

Vale of 102 



Malpas, village of 96 

Mamhilad, village of 85 

Man of Ross, (John Kyrle) . . 166 

Manufactures 38 

Marten, Henry, the regicde 145 
Mathen, or Mathern, village, 

158; palace 172 

Measures, variety of 39 

Milford Haven 176 

Moin's-court 171 

Monastic life, Hues op, by 

Shenstone 142 

Monmouth, 42, 43-48— May- 
or's feast at, 48— vicinity of 53 
Morris, Valentine, esq. ac- 
count of 134, 135 

Mynydd y Slwyn, mines at 81 

Mynidel Maen 93 

New Passage Inn, the .... 169 
Newport, town of, 96, 97 — 

castle. 99, 100— viciuity of 101 
Oldcastk, village of, 72— ac- 
count of Sir John 72-74 

Old Court, the seat of David 

Gam 77 

Oliver Cromwell, anecdotes of 

Owen ap Caradoc murdered 100 
passage road, the New .... 42 

I'enterrv, village of 125 

Peterston 103 

Piercefield. beauties of 125-135 
Pig-iron, quantity of manu- 
factured 81 

Pontypool, town of, 85, 86— 

— vicinity of 86 

Portskewit 163 

Produce, natural 36 

Proger, Mr., amusing anec- 
dotes of 64, 65 

Ragland, and Castle .... 64-58 
Redbrook, village of 169 


Rivers and canals 27, 28 

Roads and tram-ways 28. 29 

Rockfield 81 

Roman remains 22 

Riimuey, village of 103 

Rupersa 102 

St. Aryan's, village of 125 

St. Briavel's Castle 169 

St. Bride's 103 

St. Julian's, mansion of .... 116 

St. Melon's 102 

S!^t. Pierre's 171 

St. Pierre's paA 159 

St. Treacle, Chapel of 173 

Skyrrid Vawr 77, 78 

Sudbrook Encampment .... \71 
Sugar-loaf mountain, the . . 78 

Sunny-bank 176 

Table, the Round, of King 

Arthur 113 

Tintern Abbey 141-144, 148,149 

Tithes 31,32 

Tour of South Wales, direc- 
tions for 175-178 

Trade and manufactures .. 36 
Tram-roads, utility of .... 38 

Tredegar-hall 98 

Trellich, or Treley, village of 124 

Troy-house 152 

Twvn Barlwm hill 106, 107 

Valley of the Church 8G 

View, romantc 110 

Usk, and Castle 120 

'Water Breakneck 178 

Weights and measures . . 38, 39 
Weivs, or salmon-traps 121, 122 

Wentloog Level 103 

Weriidee, a very ancient house 

White-castle 82 

Wye tour, the 165-169 

Wynastow-court 54 


B. M'Millaii, Printer, 
liuw-Slieet. C«)vei>t-(inrdeo. 









Containing an Account of its 


















Natural History 

Civil and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, 4cc. 
To which is prefixed^ 



The Direct and principal Cross Roads, Inns^ and Distances 

of Stages, and Noblemen s and Gentlemen s Seats; 



And an Index Table, 

Siiewing, at one View, the Distances of all the Towns from London, 
and of 'J owns from each other. 


Illustrated with 


Printed, by Assignment from the Executors of the late C. Cooke, 



R AMVIillaii, Frinler, 
Cow-Sjtrect, Covenl-tiatden. 

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So 9 


A 2 


Shewing tke Distances from Toxun to Town in South f fides. 

For Example, to find the Distance from Neath to Crickhowel, look 
at Neatli, on the side or left hand; and then for Crickhowel, on 
the top or left hand ; and the square where both lines meet, gives 
the distance, viz. A^ miles. 

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fOOtOt^CO O <0 O CO ri TJ- ^ O 05 t^ t^ t^ Tf O) — 

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J u o a; s ifj ;:«: J ^j -J J a H-! jc ^; J? &, cu, fiS rt » 


( 5 -^ 




In the Southern Division of the Principality of Wales; 

Their Distance from London, Number of Houses and 

Inhabitants^ and the Time of the Arrival and 

Departure of the Post. 




Aberj'stwyth . . 




Brecknock . . , . 






Caermarthen . . 










Caeo i. 


Cowbridge .... 


Crickhowel .... 




Haverfordwest . . 














Llandovery .... 










Llantrisaint .... 


Llanwenog . . . . 























W. F. 








W. S. 








\v. S. 



Tu. S, 













Tu. S. 



















W. S 























rt -- Post 





























8 m. 
5 aft. 

8 m. 

9 m. 
95 m. 

8 aft. 
6 aft. 

lOi aft, 

2J aft 
11 aft. 

61 m. 

10 m 

5 aft. 



4 mor. 
1 mor. 

10 aft. 

5 aft. 
5 aft. 
3 aft. 

3 m. 

4 m. 

2 m. 

8 m. 
4 m. 

41 aft 

6i aft. 

6 aft. 
2 aft. 

81 aft 
6 m. 
41 m 


( 6 ) 


















71 aft. 

6 m 







10 aft. 

10 aft. 







12 nig. 

8 aft. 

Rhayader ...... 






5 aft? 

3 aft. 







7 aft. 




W. S. 



7 aft. 

7 m. 




Tues. 242111331 — 1 — 1 

The price of p 
to lid, for a singl 

ostage throughout South Wales, varies from 9d. 

e letter. 







N. B. The first Column contains the Names of Places 
passed thrmcgh^ and the Inns; the Figures that follow^ shew 
the Distances from Place to Place^ Town to Town^ and 
Stages; and in the last Column are the Names of Gentle- 
men s Seats. The right and left of the Roads are distin- 
guished bt/ the letters R. and L. 


On R. the palace, Duke of 
Kent; Holland House, 
Lord Holland. 

Margravine ofAnspachy L. 
It. KicurdOy esq. R. 
W. Hunter, esq. L. 

Fair lawn House, — Thomp- 
soUy esq. R. 

Entering Brentford on L. 
see Kew Bridge, and the 
new palace built by His 
Majesty; through Brent- 
ford, on L. Sion House, 
Duke of Northumber^ 
land; on R. Sion Hill, 




Hammersmith • • 



Windsor Castle 


Turnham Green 



Old Pack Horse. 

London Stiie • • 



At Star S^' Gar- 

ter, on L. a T. R. 

to Kew and Rich- 


Brentford • • 



Cross the Grand 

Junction Canal 

and the Brent, 

whose course an 

R. is from Hen- 

don; thro^ Brent- 






George. Thro' 
on L. a T. li. to 
the Landh End 
cross Hounslozv 
Cranford Bridge 

White Hart. 

Sipson Green • 

I ongford 

Cross the old and 
new ruuds at t 
small distance, 
cross 2 branche. 
of the Colne, and 
at about 1 nii/e 
again cross the 

Colnbrook • • • • 

One mile be- 
yond on lj,a2\]i. 
to Windsor. 
Langlc}' Brooin 






Duke of Marlborough ; 

opposite Sion Lodge, Miss 

Batten; Osterley Park, 

1 mile to R. Earl of 

Spring Grove, Rt. Hon. 

Sir J. Banks, bart. 
One mile on L. Whitton 

Place, G. Gostling, esq. 

One mile before, on R. Eas- 
ton Place, Col Nesbit ; 
I mile from, on R. Cran- 
ford Park, Countess 

Near on L. Stanwell House, 
Sir E. E. Stanhope, bart. 
and Stanreell Place, Sir 
J, Gibbons, bart. At 
about 2 tniles on R. Fysh 
de Burgh, esq. 

Near on R. Riching's 
Park, Rt. Hon. John 
Sullivan; 1 77iile on L. 
Horton House. 

Ditton I^ark, Lord Mon- 
tague, L. Langley Park, 
Sir R. Bateson Harvey, 


Tetsworth Water 

On L. a T, R. 
to Windsor. 

Salt Hill .... 
Castle Inn. 





Cj'oss the 
Thames, and en- 
ter Berkshire. 

On R. a T. R 





II. Dazves, esq. R. Sir W» 
Herschell, L. Between 
Slough 4' Salt Hill, on R. 
Bay Us, Marchioness of 
Thomond. On L. seeWind" 
sor Castle, Eton College, 
Sf Cranbourn Lodge. See 
also Clever spire, Sophia 
Farm, and St. Leonard's 
Hill, Earl Harcourt. 
See from Castle Inn, Stoke 
spire, and the seat of 
J. Penn, esq. Farnham 
Royal Church; Br it well 
House, Hon. Geo. Irby ; 
Dropmore Hill, Lord 
Grenville, and Burnham 
church and village; and 
from the Castle Inn 
Gardens a grand view 
of Windsor Castle, Eton 
College, 4"C. 
Near on R. at Taplow, Ld. 
Riversdale. On the top 
of the hill. Countess of 
Orkney, and Taplozo 
Lodge, P. C. Bruce, esq. 
Onh. see Monkey Island, 
P. C. Bruce, esq.; op- 
jmsite, Water Oakley, 
— Harford, esq.; Fil- 
bert, C. Fuller, esq. and 
the Retreat; 1 niile on 
R. Cliefden, and the 
beautiful woods belong- 
ing to the Countess of 
A little before, on R. Lady 
Pocock; opposite, Sir W. 


The Folly . • 
Fleece Inn, 

On R, a T. R. to 
Henley and Ox 

Thicket • • • 


Kiln Green • • 
Hare Hatch • • 

Twyford, Wilts 
Cross the Lod- 
don R. Re-enter 
Berkshire four 
miles from Twy 
ford; oiiL.a T.R. 
to Oakingham. 
Reading •• 
Bridge over 
the Kennet ; on 
R. a T. R. to 
Henley and Wal- 
ling ford, on L. 
to Basingstoke. 

Calcot Green 









At onh. is Ive\ House, — 
Wilson, esq. ; on R. Hall 
Place, Sir Wm. East, 
bart. and Bisham Abbey, 
G. Vansittart, esq. 

Near the entrance on L. at 
a distance from the road, 
Heyzvood Lodge, — Sazv- 
yer, esq. ; near the end of 
the Thicket on L. Woolley 
Hall, and opposite. Stub' 
kins. Lady Dorchester. 

Scarlet, L. Perrott, esq. 

Bear Place, Sir Morris 
Ximenes, R. and Hare 
Hatch, — Dalton, esq. ; 
on L. Ruscombe House, — 
Blake, esq. 

One iriilefrom, on R. Ship- 
lake Hill, Mrs. Newell, 
on L. Sbanlake, Sir N. 
Dakenfieldj bart. 

Three miles on R. Sunning, 
R. Palmer, esq. ; Early 
Court, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. 
Scott ; and a little beyond, 
Woodlcy Lodge, J. Wheble, 
esq. On R. Caver sham 
House, Major Marsack; 
half a mile beyond Read- 
ing on L, Coley Park, 
Berkeley Monck, esq. 

Calcot Park, J. Blagrwve, 
esq. R. half mile further, 
Tyler's Parsonage, Rev. 
Dr. Routh. 



One mile from 
a T. R. on R. to 

Wallingford, and 
a little before, 
Woolhampton on 
L. to Basingstoke 
and Whitchurch. 

Thatchani • • - • 
Ki7>g\<i Head. 
At about two 
7niles cross the 
Lamborne roac 



George and 

Speenhamlayid on 
L. is 


Speen Hill • • 
Castle Inn. 


Benham Park 

Half-way House 
Cross the Ken 



43| On L. Sulhampsteud, W. 
Thoytes, esq. 1 mile from 
on R. Englefield HousCy 
R. BenyoUy esq. 






Before, on I.. Pudworth 
House, R. Clarke, esq. 
1 mile on L. Wusiny 
House; and 2 miles fu7'' 
titer on R. Medgha/n 
House, W. S. Foi/ntz, 

Shaw House, Sir Joseph Aji- 
drews, bart. 

On I.. Goldwell Hall, G. 
Canning, esq.; further on, 
R. Doddington, or Chau- 
cer s Grove, J. Bebb, esq. 
and Donnington Castle 
House, Col. Stead. 

Benham Park, Anthony Ba- 
con, esq. end of Benha7n 
Park on L. Hemstead 
Lodge, Earl of Craven. 

On L. Barton Court y C. 
DundaSf esq. 


net R. and before 
you enter Hun- 
ger/or d, cross it 

Hungerford • • • • 
On R. a T. R. 
to Oxford. 

Troxfield, Wilts 

Cross the Ken- 

net. Kntrunce of 



End of the Fo- 

On R. a T. R 

to Swindon, on 

L. to Andover. 




West Kcnnct • - 
Cross the Ken 
net R. 

Sllburyllill .. 

On R. a T. R 

to H'ghccorih; on 















Hungerford Park, J. Wilks, 

esq. L.; 07i R. 0/' Hunger- 
ford Bridge, Chilton 

Lodge, J. Fearcc, caq. ; 

half a mile from Hunger- 
ford on R.LittlecottFarkf 

Gen. L . Popham. 

Savernake Lodge^ Earl of 

Through, on L. the Castle 
Inn, formerly a scut of 
the I)uke(f Somerset. 

Lockridge House, J. Burton, 
esq. and Kennet Hall, — 
Mathews, esq. 

Half a mile beyond, on R. 
Silbury Hill, a remark- 
able barrozo ; at some dis- 
tance on R. is Avebury or 
Abury, noted for the stu- 
pendous lemains of a 
Druicfs Temple, and Au- 
bery House, — Jones, esq. 



L. to Devizes. 

Cross theDowns 
Cberril .... 

Quermerford . • 
Biidge over a 
branch of the 
R. Mar den. 


About one mile 
from Calne, cross 
a branch of the 
Wilts and Berh 
Canal, and the 
Calne R. ; on 
R. a T. R. to 
Wottoti Basset , 
on L. to Devizes 

Derry Hill 

On L. a T. R. 

to Devizes ; 
cross the Wilts 
unci Berks Ca- 
nal, and a 
branch of the 

Cross the 
AvonR. on R.; a 
T. R. to Malms- 
hurt/, Sodbury, 
and Marshfe/d, 







On L. a white horse cut out 
on the hill, a remarkable 
landmark ; further on R. 
Compton Basselt House, 
Mrs. Heneage, and on L. 
BlacklandHousc, J. Mere- 
u-ether, es£. 

Castle House, Mrs. 
dry, L. 


On L. the beautiful seat of 
the Maiquis of Lanidown. 

Through on L. Ivey House, 
R. Humphreys, esq. 


beyond on L. to 



On L. a T. R. 
to Devizes. 



Ashley Green 
Entrance of 
Bath Enston ; on 
L. a T.R. to De- 

Bath Easton, 

Walcot • — ' 

Situated on 
the Avon. 
Twiverton • • • 

George. On 
mile bex/ond on 
L. a T. R. to 
Wells and 
Kcynsham • • • 

Brisslington • 
White Hart. 






H 1044 

U 1051 




Within one mile on L. Cors- 
ham House, (containing a 
superb collection of paint- 
ings), P. C. Methuen, 
esq.; at on R. Hartham 
Park, — Jay, esq. ; and 
Pickwick Lodge, C. Dick- 
enson, esq. 

One mile frori on R. Shock- 
erwicky F. Wiltshire, esq. 

Bath Enston Villa, Brod- 
belt ; R. Hampton House, 
G. Allen, esq. ; and Lam- 
bridge House, Dr. Gay- 
garth L. ; Bailbrook 
Lodge, Col. Tuffnell, R. 

One mile beyond, on L. Nerv- 
ton St. luooc Park, W. 
G. Langton, esq. 

Through on R. Hanham 

Hall, — Crisick, esq. 
One mile on L. Half-way 

House, — Mackay, esq. ; 

and Arjws Vale, J. Maxie, 





Inn, Cross the 
Avon. On L. a 
T. R. to Shepton 
Mallet, Wells 
and Bridgewa- 
ter ; on R. to 
Marshfield, Sod- 
bury, and Glou 
Westbury . • • < 



Two miles be- 
yond, a T. R. to 
the Old Passage. 
New Passage • • 

Cross the Se- 
'Dern R. 
Black Rock Inn. 

Monm. • • • • 

Trom Black 
Rock Inn, a 
T.R. to Chep- 

Portescauet • • 

On R. a T.R 
to Monmouth. 
Caerwent • • • • 

On R. a T. R 
to Usk. 

Penhovve • • • • 
Cat's Ash . . . . 



118|: Near on L. Red Lodge, — 
Tozv7isend, esq. ; the Hot 
Wells are one mile below 
the city, close by the ri- 







Cole House, I. Wedgwood, 
esq. L.; and further, 
Blaze Castle, 

Over House, I, Gordon, esq. 
R.; and further, Knowle, 
S, Worrally esq. 

Crick House, Maj. M^Bean. 

1391 Wentwood Lodge, Duke of 
141^ Beaufort, R.; Pencayd 
c 2 



1| 7nile f?' 
071 R. a T. K. 
Christ's Church 
On R. a T. R. 
to Usk ; cross 
the Usk R. 
Newport • • • • 
On R. a T. R 
to Pontt/pool and 
Caerphilly ; cross 
the Monmouth 
Canal. About one 
mile from New^ 
port, cross the 
iron railway, and 
\ mile further 
the Ebwy. 
Castle Town 
St. Mellon's 
Blue Bell. 

Royal Oak. 

Roath • . . . 


Cardiff •.-. 

Angel Inn. 





Castle, Sir M. Wood, 
hart. ; Llanwarran, Sir 
R. Salusbury, bart. L. 
Betzceen and Newport on L. 
Maindee, G. Joiies, esq^ 

15 If 




From Cardiff to Arberth, 94|- miles, see page 24; 
and from Arberth to Milford Haven, p. 22, 23, 18 miles 
and one quarter, making from London to Milford 
Haven, 27 1| miles. 




At Aberystwyth 
on R. T. R's. to 
Caermarthen and 

About three miles from Aber- 
ystwyth, on R. Nanteos, 
W. E. Powell, esq. ; and 
on L. Y Vronvraith 
House, J. J. Bonsall, esq. 



Piccadilly • • 

Four miles far- 
ther, on L. a 2\R. 
toDeviVs Bridge 
on R. to Tregar- 
on, hy Yspytty 
Cvvm Ystwyth 

Cross the river 

On L.aT.R 
to Llanidloes, on 
R. to Buallt. 

Llandegle • • 

Four miles be- 
yond Llandegle, 
on R. a T. It. to 

Nant Melan. 
New Radnor 

On R. a T. R. 
to Kington. 

Kennerton • • • • 

Beggar's Bush 

Ludlow 4" Knigh- 
ton, and thence te 
Shrewsbury ; on 
R. to Kington. 










Crosswood, — Vauglian, esq. 

Between Cwm Ystwyth and 
Rhaiadergwy is Rhyd- 
olog, or Rhydoldog, John 
Oliver, esq. 

The mineral wells of LUm- 
drindod, R. 

On R. a mineral well, called 
Blaenedw, and between 
the mountains a fine zvu" 
t erf a II, called Watej- 

Grove Hall, John Bodden- 
hanif esq. L. arid at Evoi- 
job, Hon. Mrs. Hurley , 








Before Buallt, Llaneltvedd 
'Hall, M. T. H. Gwynn, 
esq. ; half a mile to the 
left of which is Wellfield 
House, D. Thomas, esq. 

Castle Maddockj Rev. H, 
Price, L. 


hhaiadergwy to Cardiff, 

through brecon. 

Keep the river 
Wye on the R. to 
Ithon Bridge 

Cross the Ithon 

NearBuallt cross 
the river Wye. 

At Buallt on 
R. a T. R. to 
Llandovery ; 
L. to Hay. 
Upper Chapel 

Lower Chapel 
Brecon • • • • 

At Brecon, on 
L. a T.R. to Aber- 
gavenny andHay. 

Cross the Usk 
Llangadoc, and 

Capel Nant Tav 
Coed y Cummer 
Merthyr Tyd- 


Quaker's Yard 


Near the Duke 
of Bridgewater': 
Arms, on R. a T 
R. to Lantri- 




Near Merthyr Tydvil, on 
R. Cyvarlhva, R. Craw- 
shay, esq. ; and beyond, f 
7nile on L. Fen y Daran, 
W. Taif, esq, and • — 
Thompson, esq. 





Cross the Car- 
diff Canal. 
Cardiff •••• 
At Cardiff, on 
R. a T. R. to 
Cozcbridge; onL. 
to Newport. 







Near Bridgewater's Arms, 
a fine bridge of a siiigle 
arch, across the Tav ri- 
ver ; the span is 1^0 feet. 




At Hay, on K. 
a T. R. to King- 
Glasbury • • • • 

Beyond Glas- 
bury, on R. a T. 
R. to Buallt ; on 
L, to CrickhoweL 

Bnvynllys, or 

Melinvach • • 

Within a mile of Glasbury, 
on the north bank of the 
Wye, Maeskvch HalU W. 
Wilkins, esq. Near Glas- 
bury, Tregoed, Lord Vis- 
count Hereford. A tnile 
to the L. of Glasbury, 
Gzoernallt Lodge, H. Al- 
len, esq. Farther to the 
L. see Talgarth Church, 
Hill, and Forest, zchere 
are the remains of an an- 
cient castle. Four miles 
to the R. of Glasbury, 
Langoed Castle^ J. Mac- 
namara, esq. 

On L. TregunterHouse,Mrs. 
Hughes. Through JBryn- 
llys, on R. Pontzvell Hall, 
T. Phillips, esq. About 
a mile on L. of Brynllys, 
Aberenyg Place, the late 
H. Allen, esq. 



At Brecon, on 
R. a T. R. to 
Bualli ; on L. to 
Merthyr Tydvil, 
and Neath. 

Cross the UsJc 


Cross the Usk 
river to 

Rhyd-Briw • • • • 
Trecastle • • • • 

At Trecastle 
on L. a T. li. to 
Llangadoc and 
Llandeilo; on R 

Lly wel 

Y Velindre 
Llandovery •• 

At Llandove7y 
on L. a T. R. to 
Llangadoc; on R. 
to Buatlt. 

A mile beyond 
Llandovery, cross 
the Towi river 

On R. a T. R. 
to Llanhedr ; on 
L. to 

Maesgoed Inn 




One mile and 











At Brecon^ the eastle and 

P. Williams, esq. R. 

Dyvynoc, or Devynock, 
Rev. H. Pcyne, L. 

— Rice, esq. R. 

TaliariSf Lord Robert C. 
Seymour^ R. and on L, 
Richard Foley, esq. 



a quarter beyond 
Cledvzvlch, on R. 
a 2\ R. to Llan- 
hedr; on L. to 
Rosmana • • • • 


At Llandeilo, 
on L. a T. R. to 


Cross Inn 
White Mill 










Gurry, W.Jones, esq, R. ; 
Tregib, W. Hughes, esq. 
L. Three miles on L. of 
Llandeilo Vawr, in the 
Beyond Llandeilo Vawr, 
on L. Dinevor Castle and 
Newton Park, Lord.Dni^ 
evor. Dinetor Castle 
was generally the rest' 
dence of the princes of 
South Wales. 

On L. near the village of 
Llangathan, Berithland- 
wall, a fine seat of Ri- 
chard Jones Llwyd, esq., 
also Aberglasne, Capt. 
Dyer; and farther to 
the L. Golden Grove, 
Lord Cawdor. 

Courthenay, — L)yer, esq. 
R. and at a distance, on 
the summit of a hill. Pen- 
y-lan, Wm. Davies, esq. 
Between Cross Inn and 
Cothi Bridge, Dryslwyn 
Castle is a conspicuous ob- 
ject on the L.for twomiles. 

Merlin's Cave, R.; the Pa- 
lace of the Bishops of St. 
David's, L.; also Clis- 
. tandy, R. Thomas, esq.r 
and Castle Piggin, Tho^ 
7nas Blome, esq. 






At the entrance of Caer^^ 

On R. a T. R. 

murthen, onlu. ironSf tin 

to Newcastle; on 

mills, belonging to J. Mor- 

L. to Kydzoeli. 

gan, esq. and the smelt- 
ing house belonging to 
Lord Cazodor. 

Stony Bridii^e • • 



St. Clare's Bridge 



On R. a T. R. 

thro' Whitland, 


Cross the Tav 


On L. a T. R. 

to Llaugharn. 

Llandyvror . • • • 






Prince's Gate .. 



On L. a T, R. 

to Ludchurch. 

Cold Blow .... 



On L. a T. R. 

to Templeton. 

Arberth ••.. 



Famed in British history 

Robbeston -••. 



for being the residence of 

Pwyll, chieftain ofDyved, 

St. Clares Bridge 

a principal hero • in the 

-—on L. to 

ancient romanceSf called 
the Mabinogion. 

Caniston Bridge 



Haifa mile o«R. Ridgzoay, 

Cross the river 

J. H. Foley, esq.; and a 


mile farther, on R. Lla- 
whaden House, F. Skyrme, 

Mid County 





A mile beyond, on L. Picton 

Within a mile of 

Castle, Lord Milford; 


and half a milt farther. 

on R. a T. R. to 

on R. at Wistonj Lord 

Kilgeraint, Car- 


digan j Newport J 


and Abergzvaen, 
or Fiscard. 

Cross the Cucli 

WEST • • • • 


At Haverford- 
west J on R. a T.R 
to St. David's. 
Merlin's Bridge 

On R. a T. R. 
to Tiers Cross 
thence to Hubber- 
stone, and thence 
to Hakin on Mil- 
ford Haven; on 
L. to Pembroke, 
cross the Ferry. 
The middle road 
leads to 

Stainton « 







On L. Lord Kensington, 
and between that and 
Stainton, Harmestone, D. 
Hughes, esq. 

At Robbeston, H. Scourjieldf 
e.s^. R. 



New Radnor 
Nant Melan 
Haifa mile far- 
ther, on R. a T.R 
to Aberystxoyth. 

Near Bualli. 
on R. a T. R. to 
Wells, andRhai- 

Tzoo miles off, on L. a mine- 
ral well, called Blaenedw, 
a7id between themonntains 
a fine waterfall, called 


C7'0ss the river 

W^e, and enter 





Llandrindod Wells, R. 

On L. a T. li. 

to Hay and Bre- 


Llanavan . • • • 






On L. a T. R. 

to Llandovery; on 

R. to 

Bryngwyn • • • • 




Abergwcsin • • 



Dol Goch 



Tregaron •••• 






The Castle^ Earl of Dum' 

On R. a T. R. 

fries. A mile from Car- 

to Merthyr Tyd- 

diff, on R. Llandaff', 


Courty — Jones, esq. 

Cross the Tav 




Llantrisaint ; on 

L, toDinas Powis. 

Elai Bridge 



Cross the Elai 


St. Nicholas .. 



Coitredy, Miss Gwynnett, 

Bolvinston, or 

R. i)yfryn House, Hon, 

Tresinioii • • 



B. Grey, L. 

— — _ 

Llantradhid, orLlanrithid 
Park J Sir John Aubrey, 



Staten Down • • 


Pont y Von • • • • 

At Cowbridge 
on R. a T. R. to 
Llantrisaint ; on 
L. to St. Atlians 
and Gilston. 
Corntown •••. 

A quarter of a 
mile beyond Gorn- 
iozcn, on L, a T. 
R. to St. Athana 
and Gilston. 
Ewenni Bridge 

Cross theEzven- 
ni river. 

On R. a T, R. 
to Brigend. 
Newbridge • • • • 
At the 9th mile- 
stone JrG7n Cow- 
bridge^ on R. a T. 
R. to Bridgend, 

Pyle Inn 

]\Iargam Park • • 

Taibach, Somer- 
set House 
Cross the Avon 


Aberavan • • • • 

Briton Ferry • • 


On R. a T. R. 

to Brecon. 













Beyond, on L. St. Lythian 
Castle ; and half a mile 
farther, on R. Pen Lin 
Castle, Miss Guynnett, 

Ezcenni Abbey, P, 
ville, esq. R. 

Tur be- 

Across the Ogwr, or Ogmore 
river, Ogmore Castle. 

Margani House, 

Talbot f 

Near Taibach are extensive 
works of coal and copper. 

Baglan Hall, — Franklin, 

esq. R. 
Ea7-l of Jersey . 
On an eminence near Neath, 

Gnoll Castle^ Henry J. 

Grant, esq. Within about 



'Cross the Neat Ii 

On R. a T. R. 
to Brecon ; and a 
mile beyond 
Neath, on R. to 
llandeilo Vawr, 
and to Caermar- 
then, through 
Bettws; and \ of 
a mile farther, on 
Morriston Bridge 

CrosH theSwun- 
sea Canal. 

Forward to 
Croes Einon, 
throvgh Llan- 
gevelach. Leav- 
ing Swansea on 
the L. on L. to 
Swansea, or 

Aber Tawe • • 

On L. a T. R. 
to Rosil/i/. Re- 
turnijig from 
Swansea, on R. to 
Llandeilo Vawr 
through Llan- 
gevelach ; and a 
lit tie farther, on 
L. to Llychor 
Ferry; forward 


Crocs Einon • • 

On R. a T. R. 
to Neath. 
PontarDulas, or 





half a mile of the town of 
Neath, on the L. of the 
Swansea road, are the 
ruins of its once splendid 
Abbey, built by La ley, an, 
architect brought over by 
Richard Cour de Lion, 
071 his return from the 
Cr'usades, and who gave 
his name to the village (f 
Laleston, near Bridgend. 

Clasetnont, Sir John Mor- 
ris, bart. K. 

hi and near Swansea are 
many elegant houses, as 
Belvue,Cuthbert Johnson, 
esq. ; Heath field Lodge, 
Sir Gabricll Powell ; St. 
Helens, Captain .Tones; 
Marino, 'Edward King, 

esq, ; Sketty Lodge, 

Fhillips, esq. ; and Oys- 
termouth Castle, the pro- 
perty of the Duke of 

Pentregaer, G. Llewellynf 
esq. R. 



Pont ar dulas • 



C7VSS the 

Llyckor river, 

and enter Caer- 


On L. a T. R. 

to Llanelli. 

Ceubren Llvvyd 



Forest Hall, Arthur Da- 

Brynmain - • • • 



vis, esq. R. 




Pontyburem • • 



Llangyndeyrn • • 



Three miles be- 

yond Llangyn- 

deyrn, on L. a 

T. R. to Llanelli. 




At the entrance qfCaermar" 

On R. a T. R. 

then, on L. iron and tin 

to Llandeilo 

mills belonging to J. Mor- 

Vawr, on L. to 

gun, esq. ; and the smelt' 


ing house, the property of 

Stony Bridge • • 



Lord Cazvdor. One mile 

St.Ciare's Bridge 



from Caermarthen, R. 


^ Job's Well, D. Edzoardes, 

thro' Whitland, 



Cross the Tav 


On L. a T. R. 

to Llaugharn. 

Llandy vTor • • • • 



Tavernspite • • 



Prince's Gate • • 



On L. a T. R. 

to Ludchurch. 

Cold Blow .... 



On L. a T. R. 

to Templeton, 

thence to Tenby. 

Arberth •••• 










Llifiibedr Moun- 

On L. a T. R. 

to Llandeilo 

Vawr, hy Llan- 

Cross the Teivi 
Llanbedr •••• 

On L. a T. R. 
to Caermarthen ; 
on R. to Aberys- 
twythf and to 
Rhydowen • • • • 

Four miles and 
3 quarters far- 
ther, on R. a T. 
R. to Cardigan ; 
on L. to 
Newcastle in 


On L. a T. R. 
to Kilgeraint. 
Cardigan •• •• 

At Cardigan^ 
on R. « T. R. to 
Aberystwyth. ; on 
L. to Haverfo7'd- 

St. Dogmael's 
Y Velindre • • 
Newport • • • • 



















HenlySf Captain D. Wil- 

liamSf R. 
Dol Cothij John Johnes, 

esq. R. and i of a mile 

beyond Britnantf Rev. J. 


Within tuo miles of Cardi' 
gan, at Llangoedmovy or 
Llungadmore, Rev. Mr. 

i\ inile from, is Castle 
Malgrvyn, late J. Ham^ 
met^ esq. 











FiscARD, or 
Aber Gwaen 

At Fiscord, on 
L. a T. R. to 


Gvvrid Bridge • • 
St. David's • • 



Merthyr Tyd- 

Quaker's Yard, 

Tarvern • • • ♦ 
New Bridge • • 

Cross the rivet 
Pont Rontha • • 

Over the moun- 
tains to 

on L. a T. R. to 
Cardiff', and a 
mile and a half 
farther, on R. to 






- I 










Castella, E. Treharne, esq, 

Ash Hall, R. Aubrey, esq. 
R. On L. Hensol, S. Ri- 
chardson, esq. Between 
Ystradouen 4' Aberthin^ 
on R. Newton House, W, 
Gibbon, esq. 

Llantreuthid Park, Sir J. 
Aubrey, bart. L. 







to Piccadilly 

On L. a T. R. 
to Hhaiadergwy. 

Cross the Ys- 
twyth river. 
Lianrhystyd • • 

On R. a T. R. 
to Cardigan. 
Dyfryn ♦ • 
King's Head 
Fos Gwy 

On R. a T. R 
to Cardigan. 

Cross the Teivi 

On L. aT.R 
to Llanymdox^eri/ 
and Llandeilo 
Pencareg • • • 

Llanbytlier • • • 
Plagebach • • • 
Troed y Rhiw • 
GwyrRnij; • • • 



Rhydgaeo • • • 



































Ystrad Teilo, Rev. Isaac 
Williams, L.; 7iearzchich, 
Mabzvys, J.Lloyd, esq. 

Abermenick, D. Edwards^ 
esq. L. 

Llanvaughan, J. Thomas, 

Perth y Berllan House, 
Thos. Saunders, esq, L. 

END OF the itinerary. 



Brecknock* — First Wednesday in March, May 4, 
July 5, September 9, November 16, for leather, 
hops, cattle, and all sorts of commodities. 

Buallt. — June 27, October 2, December 6, for sheep, 
horned cattle, and horses. 

Capcl Coc^.— Sept. 28. 

Crickhowel. — January 1, May 12, for cattle, sheep, 
goats, and horses. August 21. 

Dyoynog. — April 16, May 9, August 12, October 6, 
December 5. 

Hay. — May 17, August 10, October 10, for sheep, 
horned cattle, and horses. 

Llangynud.—A^xW 20, October 7, December 1, 

Wednesday before Christmas, 
ra/^ar^.— February 9, March 12, May 31, July 10, 

September 23, November 2, December 3, for cattle, 

sheep, and horses. 

Font Nedd Vechan. — First Saturday after March 12, 
Saturday before May 12, Saturday before July 5, 
Saturday before August 26, September 21, No- 
vember 14. 

Penderyn. — April 15, November 12, 13. 

Trecastle. — January 17, April 5, May 21, August 14, 

October 14, November 13, December 14, for 

sheep, cattle, hogs, and horses. 

Cardigan. — February 13, April 5, for small horses and 
pedlar's ware ; August 26, September 8, Decem- 
ber 19, ditto and cattle. 

-4fceraeroWc— November 13. 


Aberurth. — July 5, December 11. 

Aberystwyth. — Monday before January 5, Palm-Mon- 
day, Whit-Monday, May 14, June 24, Septem- 
ber 16, Monday before Novemljer 11. 

Capel St. Silin. — February 7, for pigs and pedlar's 

Capel Cynon. — Ascension day, Thursday after St. 
Michael, September 29, for cattle, horses, sheep, 

New Quay. — November 12. 

Llanwyddelus. — May 9, for pigs and pedlar's ware. 

Llanpetr. — Whit-Wednesday, July 10, October 19. 

Llandewi Brevi. — May 7, July 24, October 9, No- 
vember 13. 

Llandysul. — February 11, Palm Thursday, small hor- 
ses, sheep, and pedlary; September 19, cattle, 
horses, and sheep. 

Llanarth. — January 12, March 12, June 17, Sep- 
tember 22, for horses, cattle, &c, Octber 27. 

Llangnranog. — May 27. 

Llanrhystyd. — Thursday before Easter, Thursday be- 
fore Christmas. 

Llanwynon. — December 13, cattle, horses, cheese, 
and pedlary. 

JJanwenog. — January 14, for cattle, horses, and pigs. 

Lledrod. — October 7. 

Lluest Newydd. — September 23, October 8, second 
Friday after October 10. 

Rhos. — Whit-Thursday, August 5 and 26, Septem- 
ber 25, for cattle, horses, wool, and pedlary. 

Talsarn. — September 8, November 7, for cattle, hor- 
ses, and pedlary. 

Tregaron. — March 16, for horses, pigs, stockings, 
cloth, flaniiel, wool,, and pedlary. 


Trevrhedyn in Emlyn, — June 22, July 1, November 

Ystradmeirig. — July 2, for pigs, wool, and pedlary. 

A bercynyien.— May 5, November 22. 

Abergzoyli. — June 23, October 2 and 27, for cattle, 
horses, and pedlary. 

Bol y Castell. — June 24. 

Caermarthen. — June 3, July 10, August 12, Septem- 
ber 9, October 9, November 14, 15, for cattle, 
horses, and pedlary. 

Ca^o. — May 10, August 21, October 6, cattle, horses, 
and pedlary. 

Cynwyl Elved. — November 21. 

Cross Inn.—March 23, 24. 

Dryslwyn. — July 1, August 13, for cattle, horses, 
and sheep. 

Llanbeiidy. — September 18. 
Llanborn. — May 6. 

Llandarog. — Monday after May 20, September 27. 
Llandeusant. — October 10. 
Llwiartlme. — Monday after July 12. 
KydwelL — May 24, August 1, October 29, for cows, 
calves, cattle, and pedlary. 

Llanedi. — November 8, for cattle, horses, and ped- 

Llanelli. — Ascension-day, September 30, for cattle, 
liorses, and pedlary. 

Llandybie. — Whit- Wednesday, cattle, horses, and 
pedlary ; July 16, December 26. 

Llandovery. — Wednesday after Epiphany, Wednesday 
after Easter week, Whit-Tuesday, July 31, Wed- 
nesday after October 10, November 26, for cat- 
tle, pigs, stockings, 6:c. 


Llandeilo Vawr. — January 8, February 20, Palm- 
Monday, June 4, cattle, horses, sheep, and wool. 

Llandeilo rack. — June 12. 

Laugharn. — May 6, called St. Mark's Fair, Septem- 
ber 28. 

Llangadoc. — March 12, horses and pedlary; last 
Thursday in May, July 2, first Thursday after 11th 
of September, cattle, horses, and sheep; second 
Thursday after old Michaelmas, cattle and pedlary. 

Langyndeyrn, — August 5, for cattle, horses, and ped- 

Llangenych. — October 23, for cattle, horses, and ped- 

Lannon. — July 6, December 12, for cattle, horses, 
and pedlary, 

Uanvynydd. — May 6, July 5, September 28, Novem- 
ber 19. 
Llangathen. — April 16, September 22. 
Llangynin. — January 18. 
Llanllzcch. — September 29. 

Llansawel. — First Friday after May 12, cattle and 
pedlary; July 15, October 23, cattle, horses, and 
pedlary ; first Friday in November. 

Llanvihangel. — May 12, October 10, cattle, horses, 
and sheep. 

Llanybydder, — June 21, July 17, for pedlar's ware; 
November 1 and 21, for cattle, sheep, horses, and 

Meidrim. — March 12, for cattle, horses, and flannel. 

Newcastle in Emlyn.—M^xch 23, May 10, June 22, 
July 20, August 20, September 10, November 22. 
Myddvai, — October 18. 

Nervcastle in lihos. — June 22, for cattle, horses, and 

New Inn. — January 10, June 2, July 21, August 19. 


Fenyhoyil. — December 5, ibr catlle, tailovv, and ped- 

Rhos Oil Maen Llwyd. — May 17, July 19, September 

27, October 30. 

Tal Ychain.— June 22, September 20. 

Ti/ Gwynar Dav. — February 13, April 3, August 

28, September 19, December 19. 


Aberavan. — November 10. 

Brigor hy "Ewenni. — October 16. 

Bridgend. — Ascension day, November 27, for cattle, 
sheep, and hogs. 

Capel Creunant. — Whit-Mond. September 29, No- 
vember 20. 

Cardiff'.— Ju]y 10, August 26, September 19, De- 
cember 11, for cattle. 

Caei]fiii. — April 5, June 6, July 19, August 25, Oc- 
tober 9, November 16. 

Cowbridge. — May 4, June 2J, September 29. 

Dyfryn Golych. — August 21, cattle. 

Elai. — July 22, cattle, December 11. 

Llancarvan. — Wednesday before Easter. 

JJancyvelach. — March 1. 

Llancynwyd. — May 1. 

Julanrydan. — Palm-Monday. 

IJcmdaff. — February 9, Whit-Monday, for cattle and 

Lantrisaint. — May 21, August 12, October 28, for 

Llychor. — October 10, for cattle, sheep, and hogs. 

St. Mary's Hilly near Cowbridge.— August 26, cattle. 

Merlliyr Tydvil.— May 11. 


Neath. — Trinity Thursday, July 31, September 12, 

for cattle, sheep, and hogs. 
St. Nicholas. — December 8, for cattle. 
Fen7nce. — May 17, June 20, July 17, September 17. 
JPenrhyn. — December 11. 

Y Waen. — May 13, June 2, July 1, September 2, 
November 'io. 

Swansea. — May 2, July 2, August 15, October 3, and 
the two following Saturdays, for cattle, sheep, and 


Aherartk — March 21, June 4, July 5, August 10, 

September 26, December 11. 

Aberdarv. — April 1 and 16, August 10, September 13. 

Camros. — February 13, cattle, horses, sheep, &c. 

Eglwyszcrzo. — Ascension-day, first Monday after 
November 22, for cattle, horses, sheep, &c. 

Fisgard. — February 5, Easter-Monday, Whit-Mon- 
day, July 23, August 28, November 17. 

Henveddau. — May 13, September 17, October 30, 

HerhranMon.-^ An^wsx. 12. 

Havcjfordiiest.— May 12, June 12, July 18, Sep- 
tember 23, October 18, for cattle, horses, sheep, 

Kilgeraint.-^ Aw^[\?,t 21, November 12, for cattle, 
iiorses, and pedlary ; a large fair. 

Llanhuaden. — October 23, November 22, for cattle, 
horses, sheep, &c. 

Maendochog. — March 10, May 22, August 5, Mon- 
day before October 29, for sheep, a few cattle, &;c. 

j1/tf<Ar«.— October 10, for cattle, horses, and ped- 


Alonckton. — May 14, November 22. 
Newcastle in Cemaes. — May 6, July 10. 
Newport. — May 14, June 27, cattle, horses, and 

Pembroke. — May 14, Trinity Monday, July 16, Sep- 
tember 25, cattle, horses, sheep, and cloth. 

St. David^s. — August 9, December 11. 

Tenbi/ —Whit-Tuesday, May 4, July 1, October 2, 
December 1, cattle, horses, and sheep. 

Trev Bevared. — August 12. 

Trevin. — November 22. 

Wistoji. — Oct. 20, for cattle, horses, and sheep. 


Castell y Maen. — July 18, November 13. 

Hawau. — Saturday before February 11, Saturday be- 
fore May 11, and Saturday before November 11, 
sheep, horned cattle, and horses. 

Knighton. — Thursday before Easter, May 17, Oc- 
tober 2, last Thursday in October, Thursday be- 
fore November 12, sheep, horned cattle, and horses. 

Pain'sCastle.— May 12, September 22, December 15, 
sheep, horned cattle, and horses. 

Pont Rhyd y Cleivion. — May 12, September 27, Oc- 
tober 26, for sheep and horned cattle. 

Presteign. — June 25, December 11, for sheep, horned 

cattle, and horses. 

Radnor. — Tuesday before Holy Thursday, August 14, 
October 25, for sheep, homed cattle, and horses. 

Rhaiader. — August 6 and 27, September 26, De- 
cember 3, commonly called Dom Fair, for sheep, 
horned cattle, and horses. 




Caerraarthen gives the title of Marquis to the Os- 
borne family. The village of Brewse gives the title of 
Baron to the families of Howard and Bulkeley, and 
Dinevor the same dignity to the De Cardonnel, late 
the Talbots. Pembroke gives the title of Earl to the 
Herberts, and Haverfordwest and Castle Morton 
that of Baron to the Beresfords and Campbells. The 
family of Pleydell Bouverie derive their title of Earl 
from Radnor, and the Lennox's that of the Earl of 
March, from the Marches in South Wales: the Bru- 
denells derive their title of Earl, from the county 
town of Cardigan. 


Are held atCaermarthen twice in the year, with the 
Great Session, for the trial of felonies, &c. At Car- 
diff, the Epiphany Quarter Sessions, and the County 
Assizes. At New Radnor, in the second week after 
Epiphany; at Easter, on the 7th of July, and at Mi- 
chaelmas. At Neath, on Tuesday and Wednesday 
after the translation of Thomas a Becket. At Car- 
digan twice in the year. At Swansea, the Michael- 
mas Quarter Sessions are held ; and at Presteign the 
Assizes for the county. 



Abbey Cwmhir. 

Bishop Gower's Palace. 

Bridge Castle. 

Briton Ferry. 

Cardigan, Carew Castle, Cardiff, Caerraarthen, Caer- 
philly Castle, Careg Cennen, Cragy Dinas, Coetty 

Dinevor Castle, Devil's Bridge, Dyndryvan. 

House, Fishguard. 

Havod, Haverfordwest. 

Kydweli Castle, Knoll Castle. 

Llangattock Place^ Llanstcphan Castle. 

[ 39 ] 

Llyii Savaddan, New Radnor New Bridge, Mar- 
gam Abbey, Merthyr Tydvil, Morelai Castle, Offa's 
Dyke, Neath Abbey, Ogmore Castle, Oystennouth 


Penlin Castle, Picton Castle. 

Plas Grug, Pumlumon. 

Pont y Pridd. 


Radnor, New and Old. 


St. David's. 

Stackpool Court. 



Water-break-its-neck, Ystrad Flur Abbey, Ystrad- 



That occur most frequently in the construction of 
Welsh Names of Places; 

From the Cambrian Traveller's Guide. 

Aber, the fall of a lesser 
water into a greater. 

Avon, a river. 

Al, power, very, most. 

Allty the side of a hill, a 
woody cliff. 

Ar, upon; bordering. 

Ai^en, a high place, an alp. 

Bach, little; small. 

Ban, high; lofty, tall. 

Banau, eminences. 

Bedd, a grave, a sepulchre. 

Bettws, a station; a place 
between hill and vale. 

Blaen, the end or extre- 

Bt)dy an abode, a dwel- 

Btin, the base. 

Braich, an arm. 

Bronj a breast, a swell. 

Bryn, a mount or hill. 

Bwlch, a hollow or break. 

Bychan, little, fern. Bech- 
an; if following a vowel, 

Cad, defending. 

Cader, a fortress, or strong- 
hold, a chair. 
Cae, a hedge, a field. 
Caer, a wall or mound for 
defence, a fort or city. 

Cantrev, a division of a 

Capel, a chapel. 

Cam, a prominence, a 

Carnedd, aheap of stones. 

Careg, a stone. 

Cevn, the back, the upper 
side, a ridge. 

Ceryg, stones. 

Castell, a castle, a for- 

Cil, a retreat, a back, a 

Ciliau, recesses. 

Clawdd, a dike, ditch, or 

Clogwen, a precipice. 

Coch, red. 

Coed, a wood. 

Cors, a bog. 

Corsydd, bogs. 

Craig, a rock. 

Crcigiau, rocks. 

Crocs, a cross. 

Czom, a dale or glen. 

Cymmer, a confluence. 

De, the south. 
Dot, a holme, a meadow. 
T)au, two. 

Dinas, a city or fortified 


Dzor, fluid, water. 

Drzcs, a door, ajjass. 

DyfryUy a valley or plain. 

Eglwysy a church. 

Erw, a slang of arable 
land, an acre. 

Esgair, a long ridge. 

Fynnon, a well or spring. 

Gaer, see Caer. 

Galll, a woody clifF. 

Garth, a mountain, orliill 
that bends. 

Gelii, the grove. 

Gla?iy a brink, a side or 

Glds, blue, grey, green, 

Glyn, glen, a valley. 

Gwaelod, a bottom. 

Gwtrn, a watery meadow. 

Gwydd, wood, woody, or 

Gwyn, white, fair, clear. 

Havod, a summer dwell- 

Hen J old. 

Hendrev, the old resi- 

JFfiV, long. 

Is, lower, inferior. 

Isav, lowest. 

Llan, a church, an en- 

JLlech, a flat stone or flag, 
a smooth cliff". 

Lie, a place. 

Lltcyd, grey, hoary, brown. 

Llwyn, a wood or grove. 

SARY. 41 

Llyr, the sea water. 

Llys, a palace, hall, or 

Much, a place of secu- 

Maen, a stone. 

Maenor, a manor. 

Maes, a field. 

Mall, bad, rotten. 

Mawr, great, large. 

Melin, a mill, 

Moel, a peak, naked, bald. 

Moned, an insulated situ- 

Mynach, a monk. 

Mynydd, a mountain. 

ISiant, a brook, river, ra- 
vine, glen. 

Nezoydd, new, fresh. 

Or, border, the edge, seats," 
views, &c. 

Pant, a hollow. 

Pen, a head, top, or end. 

Penmaen, the stone end. 

Pe?itrev, a village, a sub- 

Pistyll, a' spout or en- 

Plus, a hall. 

Pont, a bridge. 

Porth, a gate. 

Pwll, a ditch, a pit. 

Rhaiadyr, a cataract. 

Rfiizv, an ascent. 

Rhos, a moist plain or 

Rhudd, red. 

Rhyd, a ford. 

.Sfzrw, a causeway. 




Tavarn, a tavern. 

'Talj the head, the front. 

Tal, a towering. 

Th'y the earth, land. 

lomerif a mound, 

Traeth, a sand. 

Trev or tre, a house, 

Trij three. 
Troed, a foot. 
Trwyrif a point. 

Twry a tower. 
Ty, a house. 
Tyddyriy a farm. 
2j/«, a stretch. 
Tywyn J a strand. 
Uzcch, upper, higher. 
UchaVj higliest. 
Y, of, on, the. 
Ytn, in or by. 
Y71, in, at. 
FW3/.S, an island. 


GiE ALDUS Cambreksis was born at Manorbeer, 
about the year 1116. In his studies he was favoured 
by his uncle, David Fitz Gerald, then Bishop of St. 
David's. The writings of this zealous churctmian are 
numerous, and his Itinerary has been much admired. 
Caradox, the Welsh Annalist, was bbrn at Llancarvan, 
in Glamorganshire, and flourished about the middle of 
the twelfth century ; his Chronicle is continued from 
A. D. 686, to his own time. Passing by the rest of 
the ancient Bards, ike. we must notice, that John 
Dyer, tlie author of " Grongar Hill, the Fleece, &:c." 
was born at Aber Glasney, in 1700. Vavasor Powell 
was born at Cwmclas, in Radnorshire. Edwards, the 
self-taught architect, was also a native of South Wales ; 
as was Howel Harris, and many others, whose me- 
mory is recorded in the " Cambrian Biography," and 
other works. The first Welsh Magazine was pub- 
lished in 1770, by the late Rev. Josiah Rees, of Gel- 
ligron. Two newspapers are printed in South Wales, 
" The Cambrian," at Swansea; and at Caermarthen, 
" The Caerniarthen Journal/' 




SOUTH WALES is situate between 51° 18', and 
52^ 25' of northern latitude, and 3*^ and 5° 30' of 
western latitude from Greenwich ; it forms the most 
central of the three grand western promontories 
of South Britain; being separated from those of 
Devon and Cornwall on the south-east, by the Bristol 
Channel; and from the promontory of Lleyn, in 
Caernarvonshire, on the north-west, by that part of 
St. George's Channel, called Cardigan Bay. In 
shape it is somewhat triangular, similar to that of 
North Wales, having the land mere on the east for 
its base, the sea coasts of the two channels for its 
sides, and St. David's Head on the west for its apex. 
On the east, it is bounded by the counties of Mon- 
mouth, Hereford, and Salop ; on the north by Mont^ 
gomeryshire, and part of the river Dyvi separating 
it from Merionethshire. The length of this land 
boundary, from the mouth of the llomney, near Car- 
diff, to the Kerry hills, on the confine of Montgo- 
meryshire, and from thence to the sea, at the mouth 
of the Dyvi, is estimated at about 120 miles; and 
its marine boundary from thence to St. David's Head, 
tracing the zigzag windings of the coast, is about 350 
miles. Its area, as estimated by Templeman, is 
3860 square miles, or 2,470,400 acres. 


The Vale of Glamorgan having the Bristol Channel 
to the south, and being screened from the north by 
the high mountainous coal tract; and having a good 
sound soil upon a bottom of limestone, is conse-^ 
quently highly salubrious: hence the size and deli- 


cacy of its native domestic animals, sheep and cattle, 
and" the frequent longevity of its inhabitants. Pem- 
brokeshire being more exposed to the south-western 
•winds of the Atlantic, than any other Welsh county, 
is more humid, and severe frosts are seldom experi- 
enced. The Vales in the counties of Caermarthen 
and Cardigan experience a variety of weather: hence 
the complaint of farmers of their crops of grain. The 
open counties are more exposed, than mountain 
valleys, to those easterly and north-easterly winds in 
■winter, usually attended with frost; but lying open 
fully to the sun, they have a warmer and more ge- 
nial summer. With respect to soil, South Wales is 
divided into four tracts : slate, red soil, limestone, 
and coal. 


South Wales comprehends the modern counties 
of Brecknock, Caermarthen, Cardigan, Glamorgan, 
Pembroke and Radnor. 

The territory now included under this name, though 
with some difterence in its boundaries, &c., was an- 
.ciently denominated Gzcent and D^ved, subdivided 
into tipper and Lozcer^ Gwent, Morganzogy Esyllugy 
and Seisyllwg, or Garth Madryn.' The Roman Ge- 
nerals havin<^ subdued a large proportion of the po- 
pulation of England, first of all directed their forces 
to the conquest of the Britons, who inhabited South 
Wales; but the Roman legions were baffled in this 
quarter, till the hopes of the Britons had received 
their death-blow, by the defeat and capture of their 
celebrated leader Caractacus, who effectually defied 
the Roman generals for nine years. South Wales was 
subsequently invaded by the Saxons, the Normans, 
and others, with various success; but tiic greatest 
settlement was made by the Normans, and the country 
■was also a prey to its own intestine divisions, for 
several ages, till the whole principality came under 
. the dominion of England. 



This, according to the official returns from the six 
counties, in the year 1811, was tlwee hundred and 
twenty-eight thousand nine hundred and eighty-one. 


The navigable rivers arc not numerous; but among 
these Milford-Haven is reckoned the first, its Welsh 
name being Aber-dau-gleddau, the mouth or estuary 
of the two Cleddau ; the two principal rivers com- 
posing it being so called. The western branch, called 
Cleddau wen^ or white, fair, &c., rises near Fish- 
guard, and runs southward about 13 miles to Haver- 
fordwest, where it becomes navigable, and continues 
so for 21 miles, to St. Andrew's Point. The eastern 
branch, Cleddau T)hu, or the black, rises in the 
Pencelli mountains, and for some space serves as the 
boundary of the counties of Caermarthen and Pem- 
broke. The Towy (Tywi) rises in the wildest part of 
Caermarthenshire, and after a course of about 27 
miles, reaches the metropolis of the county, where it 
becomes navigable. From Caermarthen it winds 
more southward, and arrives at the grand reservoir 
of all rivers, near Llanstephan. The Towy abounds 
with salmon, sewin, trout, &c. Llychor rises from 
a spring, issuing out of a limestone rock, near the eye 
ofLlychor, and is a good channel for the transit of 
coal, iron, tScc. The Teivi rises out of a small lake, 
called Llyn Teivi, north of the Abbey of Strata 
Florida, and is navigable from Cardigan Bar, to 
Llechryd bridge, about seven miles. The fish of the 
Teivi are salmon, sewin, trout, &c. 


The Dyvi rises in Merionethshire; at Llyfnant it 
becomes a semi-South Wales river, and from thence 
to its outlet at Aberdyvi : it is the boundary between 
Cardiganshire and Merionethshire. 

The Roraney runs on the eastern limit of Glamor- 
ganshire, and enters the Bristol Channel east of the 
town of Cardiff. The Tar;, little and great, rise in 


the most elevated mountains of South Wales, and 
enters the Bristol Channel at Penarth. 

The river Elai contributes with the Tav, to form 
the harbour at Penarth. The Daw or Dazeon, rises 
north of Llansannvvr March, and runs through Cow- 
bridge into the sea at Aber Ddaw. 

The Ewenni runs into the Ogmore, near their joint 
entrance into the sea, near Ogmore Castle : the river 
Ogmore is much commended by dyers for its remark- 
able softness. The Avan rises near the Ogmore, and 
falls into the sea at Aber Avan, near the Margam 
copper works. The Neath and the Tawy both rise in 
Brecknockshire and fall into Swansea Bay. The 
rivulets of Gozver, a dry and limestone tract, are few 
and small, viz. Penarth Pill and Purry. 

In Caermarthenshire are the Gwendraeths, which 
rise in the lime and coal tract, and fall into the Bay 
of Caermarthen ; and the Tav, rising in the Llanver- 
Jiach mountains; that after a course of 24 miles, 
forms a good port at Llaugharne. 

In Pembrokeshire we meet with Newgall, a rivulet 
separating the Englishery and Wehhe7y, &c. : the 
Solva forming a harbour for coasting vessels, of 100 
or 150 tons, and both falling into St. Bride's Bay. 
The Gwaen rises in the mountains, and after a 
course of about 20 miles, falls into the Irish Chan- 
nel at Fishguard, or Aber Gwaen. The Nevern, 
after running 15 miles, falls into the channel at New- 

In Cardiganshire, we meet with the Aeron flowing 
through a beautiful valley, and falling into the sea at 
Aber Aeron ; the Arth, the Gwyre, the Ystwijthy and 
the Rheidlol. 

In Radnorshire, the Wye : the subject of romance, 
painting, and poetry, enters this county from Mont- 
gomeryshire, and becomes the boundary of Radnor 
and Brecon, for 30 miles, down to the Hay, where 
it enters Herefordshire. Here is also the Ta7nej the 
Lug, and the Swnergill ; the latter rising in the 


Forest of Radnor ; escaping thence forms a cascade, 
called Water-break-its-neck. 

In Brecknockshire, we meet with the Usk, which re- 
ceives a number of tributary streams. The continuous 
range of the Eppynt, on the north of the Usk, turns 
all the water of the hundred of Buallt into the Wye. 

Besides the salmon, &c., these rivers produce cod, 
mullet, whitings, flat-fish, turbot, bret, samlets, soles, 
flukes, &c. Shell-fish and oysters are most abundant 
on the southern and south-western coasts of the lime- 
stone tract. Swansea is supplied with the following 
varieties: turbot, bret, soles, plaise, flounder, skate, 
doree, oysters, lobsters, crabs, salmon, sewin, mack- 
arel, cod, hake, basse, whiting, horn-fish, mullets, 
gurnard, dog-fish, conger eel, and trout. 

River fences are made by jetties. A jetty is a 
strongly planked timber frame, filled with stones. 
The torrent in meeting such an obstruction, generally 
undermines the projecting end, unless "it rests upon a 
rock : the jetty is placed so as to form an obtuse 
angle across the near side of the stream, and the more 
obtuse the angle, the less is the resistance given to 
the torrent, and consequently the less it will under- 
mine. Some proprietors, when the waters come 
down, curse the streams, and leave them to take 
their course; others erect jetties, and turn the tor- 
rent like a battering ram against their neighbour's 
land on the other side, who in his turn erects other 
jetties to turn back the stream : so that, in time of 
flood, the torrent is buffetted alternately from one 
side to the other; but in general it takes ample re- 
venge on both parties. 

The canals of South Wales are owing entirely to its 
productive mines of coal and iron, and within 24 
years during the late war, upwards of six score miles of 
canals were completed within it. Kydweli canal was 
made by the late Thomas Kymer, esq., with rail- 
ways and wharfs. Cremlyn canal, is also private 
property, made to expedite the conveyance of coals 
from the pits to the mouth of the river Neath. The 


Monmoutlishlre canal commences on the river Usk, at 
Newport, and in less than a mile divides into two 
branches. The Brecon and Abergavenny canal runs 
through the red sand-stone tract, from Clydach to 
Llangynydr bridge, and from thence to Brecon. This 
canal has only one tunnel; 62 stone, and 14 wooden 
bridges, and 1 1 aqueducts. Swansea and Neath 
caqals run parallel, from south-west to north-east. 
The Aber Dar, Penclawdd, and Llanelli canals, have 
their uses in commerce. 


Small lakes are numerous in the mountainous parts, 
forming the sources of rivers, as Llyn, Tavvy ; and the 
highest summits of mountains have frequently lakes 
at their base. The most extensive lake, and the 
second in Wales, is Llyn Savaddan, in the parish 
of Llanvihangel, in Brecknockshire. This lake, dif- 
ferent from the others, which are in dreary situations, 
is surrounded with beautiful prospects. It is about 
two miles long, one broad, and from five to six in 
circumference. Its general depth is from four to five 
yards ; and its greatest depth, from twelve to fifteen 
yards. The pike in this lake weigh from 30 to 40lbs.; 
the perch weigh from a few ounces to 3 lbs. ; and the 
eels are of such an enormous size, as to give rise to 
the adage, " as long as a Savaddan eel." 


The first act of padiament for the repairing of 
roads, about the middle of the sixteenth century, did 
not affect Wales, wliere the roads were then of two 
kinds, deep in the centre of the plain, or valley, and 
steep up the brow of the hill; in the former case, 
they were dilches, and in the latter, step-ladders. 
Many of the first improvements in South Wales, 
originated in the exertions of the Agricultural Society, 
in Brecknockshire, about 1755, and measures simi- 
lar to these have been since carried on with very 
little intermission, the county of Radnor excepted. 
However, the public arc much indebted to the pro- 
prietors of iron works, for a considerable number of 

nOADS, BllIDOEL', &c. 49 

improved roads, through the coal and iron tract, in 
the counties of Monmouth, Glamorgan, and Brecon; 
- among others, a shorter cut from Abergavenny and 
the northern part of Monmouthshire, to Swansea, 
has been opened with a good carriage road. This 
new road to Merthyr Tydvil, is 20 miles; from Mer- 
thyr, through the picturesque Valley of Neath, to 
Swansea, is 31 miles, in all 51. The old road, 
through Brecon, over a rugged hilly course, to Pont 
Nedd Vechan, was 57 miles: the circuitous road, 
through Newport and Cardiff, is scarcely less than 78 
miles. These new roads are the more grateful to 
strangers, as they intersect a most romantic tract, 
interesting to the admirers of nature, in its wildest 
forms. To these we may add scores of miles of iron 
rail-roads, made in different parts of South Wales. 
The Great Mountain, and the Black Mountain, being 
intersected by new roads, the communication will be 
opened between the Vale of Towy and the navigable 
river Lloughor, or Burry, throughout a mineral tract, 
abounding with lime or coal. The new. road from the 
confines of Brecknockshire to the Llandovery road, 
and from Pont ar Lechau to the lime kilns, on 
the Black Mountain, and from thence to the col- 
lieries on the west of the Tawy, to the canal, and by 
that to Swansea, and the Bristol Channel, is, in an 
agricultural point of view, one of the most profitable 
roads ever proposed. The new road from Caermar- 
then to the confine of Glamorganshire, on the river 
Lloughor, avoids every hill, and saves four miles. 
Another road from Caermarthen to Fiihguard, pro- 
poses a saving of ten miles, besides several leagues of 
sailing across the channel. A rail-way from Swansea to 
the Mumbles, along the sea-shore, the distance of five 
miles, serves for the carriage of coals, manure, and 
limestone. A car upon tram wheels, carrying about 
16 or 18 persons, goes and returns twice every day 
during the summer, from Swansea down to the Mum- 
bles, each pashenger paying l.s. fare. In about seven 
or eight years after *the first introduction of rail-roads 


into Soutli Wales, they were superseded by others, 
that by way of distinction, are called tram roads. 

The best formed bridges are in the southern parts, 
where freestone quarries occur. William Edwards 
was the Fontifex Maximus of his day : his segment 
arches have been imitated by other masons, who suc- 
ceed well, where the materials are appropriate. In 
Glamorgan, bridges are still wanting. Between 
Llandaff and Newbridge, the Tav flows ten miles 
without any means of crossing it on foot ; but upon 
the Teivi there are thirteen bridges, from Strata Flo- 
rida to Cardigan. 


The present stock in South Wales are divided into 
four kinds; three apparently native, and one foreign, 
viz. the coal blacks of Pembrokeshire, the brownish 
blacks, or dark browns of Glamorgan ; the black runts 
of Cardiganshire, Caermarthenshire, and the western 
parts of the counties of Brecon and Radnor; and 
lastly, the introduced breeds from Herefordshire and 
Shropshire. The sheep are also divided into four 
classes: the mountaineers are said to turn out very 
profitable to the buyers. 


Under the Welsh laws, horses were allowed to 
harrow, but not to plough, which was exclusively the 
province of oxen. The value of every article in rural 
and domestic economy, was fixed by law : that of a 
stallion was XL; a pack-horse 10s.; and a palfrey 
13s. 4rf. These palfrej/s composed formerly the ca- 
valry of Wales; for it should be known, that the 
Welsh had cavalry as well as infantry, during their 
hard-fought struggles for independence. General 
Elliot was the first officer who saw the advantages 
arising from employing squadrons of light horse. The 
palfreys were light and exceedingly active, and many a 
time did they lead the heavy dragoons of the invaders 
of their pastures into bogs and swamps, never to be 
seen any more. The Cardigan Society give premiums 
to the breeders of the best horses of the cart kind. 


Farm houses and offices o^ recent erection, are well 
planned, and built in every part of the district; and 
those of late years have been upon a progressive in- 
crease : a minute description of them would be use- 
less, as they are erected on plans and principles 
known and adopted in every part of the kingdom, 
where improvement has taken place. However, the 
situation of farm houses, in the counties of Caermar- 
then and Pembroke, is frequently very bad. Gen- 
tlemen's seats are mostly distinguishable from cot- 
tages, not only by their sizes or plans, but also by 
their colours. In Glamorganshire, where the cotta- 
gers generally whitewash their dwellings, gentlemen 
mix ochre with lime, to make their seats of Isabella 
yellow. In the north of Pembrokeshire, the taste, is 
reversed, the cottages are of a very dingy colour, and 
gentlemen's houses whitewashed ! 

Cottages in South Wales are divided into three 
sorts : the cottages of the Vale of Glamorgan, those 
of the Fleming race in Pembrokeshire, and those of 
the Welsh Dimetas, in the three counties of West 
Wales. The antiquity of the cottages is a strongly 
marked feature in Glamorganshire. There is little 
doubt that many of them are as ancient as the castles 
to which they were attached. The pointed doorways 
and windows sufficiently evince their date ; and though 
Welsh towns are censured for the inelegance, and 
inconvenience of their houses, the direct reverse is 
the fact, with respect to the habitations of the pea- 
santry here. The ancient Gothic cottages have a 
venerable exterior, and a portion of interior room, 
with comfort, and security from the elements, rarely 
enjoyed by their equals in any other part. In many 
cases, it may be truly said, the labourer is better 
lodged than his employer. These cottages are con- 
structed of stone, well laid in mortar, and universally 
thatched with wheat straw. The continuing predi- 
lection of the Flemish cottage builders for mud walls, 


after a lapse of 6C0 years, with round wattles, and 
daub chimneys, is really surprising; and these gene- 
rally start up from the front wall close to the door. 
The inhabitants of Gower, though of the same Ne- 
therland race as their neighbours in Pembrokeshire, 
have well-built houses of stone, regularly white- 
washed; and they are besides cleanly and neat in 
their persons, and cheerful in their demeanour. The 
Dimetian cottages are known by the mud wall, about 
five fe^t high, a hi[)ped end, low roofing of straw, 
with a wattle daub cliimney, kept together with hay 
rope bandages, and not unfrequently in a declining 


■ Pew very large farms are to be met with in South 
Wales: there are some from 800 to 1000 acres. 
From 500 to 300 acres, they are numerous; and from 
200 to 100 acres still more so. The general run of 
the smaller farms is, from 30 to 100 acres, and the 
size of the latter is reckoned the most beneficial. A 
farm of 50/. a year is too small for any regular sys- 
tem. Tl^e rents of the larger farms are not so high in 
proportion as the smaller ; the latter having always 
the greatest number of bidders. Farms on the best 
soils let from 1/. to 35s. per aci'e, lowering as the soil 
and situation decrease in value, down to 10, 7, and 
35. per acre. 


Tithes in this quarter are the property of lay im- 
propriators, corporate bodies, rectors, vicars, &c. 
Where tithes are iarmed out by whole or entire 
parishes, they are generally re-let very high ; but this 
is seldom the case where the resident clergy are con- 
cerned. In some places they are raised in kind ; in 
others, a composition or modus is paid, as Id, for hay. 
Id. for garden, &c. Commutation is the general cry, 
and it is a consummation devoutly to be wished. A 
rector or vicar, it has been observed, exacting nearly 
his due, will find his church deserted without any 
communicants, or at least very few. 



Not to grant leases to good tenants of an indus- 
trious, improving turn, betrays a tyrannical disposi- 
tion; while at the same time, by granting leases to 
tenants of a contrary character,' the landlord must 
have the mortification of seeing his estate diminish in 
value; and that he has so far alienated his own pro- 
perty, as not to have it in his power to improve it. 
Upon the whole, the general granting of leases would 
be an evil; but granting none at all would be a 
greater: where tenants keep their farms in good 
order, and their soil in proper condition, upon the 
expiration of their leases, it is an act of equal justice 
and policy to give them a substantial proof of the pre- 
ference they hold in the landlord's esteem, and 
if larger offers are made for the farm than it may 
fairly be deemed worth, they ought not to be listened 
to. The man who has improved the farm, is more 
likely than any other to set a proper value upon his 
former labours, and to keep the lands up to what he 
has brought them to. The best lease is that for one 
life only. The common covenants and restrictions 
in leases vary little in general. 


The ploughs may be divided into three classes': 
The old Welsh plough, the old Welsh, or long plough 
improved, and modern ploughs of all .descriptions. 
The first are still in use in a great part of the Dime- 
tian counties of Cardigan, Pembroke, and Caermar- 
then. Since the introduction of the modern short 
ploughs, tlie long plough has been generally con- 
sidered as a sure mark of either ignorance or obsti- 
nacy in those who persist in using it. It has, how- 
ever, its use, and those among impartial judges, 
use both kinds occasionally on their farms, as circum- 
stances require. Of modern ploughs, that which has 
obtained the earliest trial, the greatest circulation, 
and the most general credit, is the well known imple- 
ment, called the Rothenwi Swing; and with little or 
r 3 ' 


no variation of construction, it goes by diHerent 
names in dilYerent parts, as the North IFatejit, the 
Whitchurch, and the Crickhowel plough. 


There are no implements of greater variety, with so 
many of them nearly useless here, as harrows. In 
harrowing, the drag is generally drawn by oxen, and 
the finishing harrow by two horses a-breast, with a 
boy mounted on one of them. The horses are fre- 
quently of very unequal size, so that the harrows, 
instead of steadily working the ground and covering 
the seed, are continually thrown about by the alter- 
nate jerks of the angles. Gentlemen in every part of 
the district have a variety of the modern advertised 
harrows; some performing their work well; others of 
the nick-nack kind, that make their exit almost as 
soon as their entry, upon experimental utility. 

For weeding, bended hooks about two inches long 
with wooden forks, are used ; wooden pinchers to 
draw up root and all, with the well known pronged 
lever to eradicate docks; chaft-cutters of variou!> 
kinds are used. There is one at the Pendaron iron- 
works, worked by a large water-wheel, supplying 
with provender seventy horses working in the mines 
of coal and iron. The more peculiar implements of 
Glamorganshire are, the rakes and shovels. The 
tine are double the length of those of commoif 
rakes, being driven through the iiead, so as to be of 
equal length of each side. The head makes a bevel 
with the angle, and not a right angle, like the commoii 
rakes of other countries. At work, the acute angle 
formed by the head and handle, is always next the 
person using it; and the advantage of it is, that he 
need not step his foot backward at every reach, &c. 
The pula of the Romans is still preserved in the Welsh 
pdlf from the verb /)«/?/, to dig. It consists of a cleft 
of tough wood, formed into a handle, and a square 
head edged with steeled iron. The iron tined rakes, 
that cost about IO5. Gel., are called Hell rakes : some 
say, because they devilishly rob I he poor. 



The primitive vehicles without wheels arc still in 
being, in the steep mountainous parts, where no wheel 
carriages can possibly approach; these consist of 
two kinds of cars, the sliding, and the dorsal; the latter 
is the most common, with the shaft upon one horse, 
and the heels sliding along the ground. The first im- 
provement upon these vehicles, is the wheeled car. 
Its fore part slides along the ground, and under its 
middle is a pair of low wheels. The V/elsh cart, Mr. 
Hassall says, is a bad one; but, owing to the general 
narrowness of the bye roads, they are confined in the 
length of the axle tree. This cart carries about 16 
bushels, and is drawn by two oxen, and two horses 
a-breast. Irish cars are common in Brecknockshire. 
The old carts have the sides of the base frame of one 
piece with the shaft. Of late the shafts are detach- 
able parts, like those of tumbrils or dung rarts; the 
body being fastened by means of hasps or staples, are 
Jet loose at once, to tumble out loads of stone, lime, 
or coal. 


That six or eight millions of acres of waste lands 
should remain in an uncultivated state, without the 
least improvement, from the invasion of Julius Cffisar, 
it has been observed, would have been scarcely cre- 
dited, if told to a stranger coming into Wales; more 
especially when he was told the prices we pay for all 
the necessaries of life, and that thousands of people 
were starving for want of employment, and these men 
of a mechanical genius; but who, from the great decay 
of trade, are put out of all manner of means of ac- 
quiring food and raiment for themselves. It is still 
hoped, that a General Enclosure Bill may again be 
presented, and that every county in the kingdom, 
without one exception, will petition for its success. 


The enclosed tract includes the counties of Bre- 
con, Caermarthen, Glamorgan.' and Radnor, with 


the more eastern parts of the counties of Cardii^au 
and Pembroke. The fences are of three kinds: 
quick hedges; stone walls; and naked sod fences; 
or stones and sods in alternate layers, called bald 
fences. Staggard fencing is the most common method 
in the v.oody tracts of North Wales; in the counties 
of Radnor, Brecknock, and the mountainous parts 
of Glamorganshire, and in Caermarthenshire. Dry 
stone walls are most common in the red sand-stone 
and coal tracts. 


The Brecon Agricultural Society, is the earliest 
institution of the kind in Wales, their articles be-" 
ing printed in 1755; their first m.edal was distri- 
buted in 1759. The second Society, in point of time, 
was that of Glamorgan, some years subsequent to 
that of Brecon. The Society for the Encouragement 
of Agriculture and Industry, for the county of Cacr- 
marthen, offered several premiums in 1802, as did 
also that for Cardiganshire in 18 13 ; this was founded in 
the year 1784. The Farmers' Club, or Sheep-Shear- 
ing, annually held several years at Arberth, at length 
gave way to " The Society for the Encouragement of 
Agriculture and Internal Improvement, in the county 
of Peuibroke." Another agricultural society com- 
menced in Radnorshire several years since, but has 
been since transferred to Presteign and Pen y bont. 


Native connnodities are only bought and sold by 
the provincial weights and measures. Of wool, half 
a todd, or the English stone, with lib, ingrain, is the 
most common stone of wool, sold to staplers and 
others; but the home dealers buy and sell wool by 
the several provincial stones of 4, 5, (3, 7, 11, 15, 
J4, 15, 17, 18, 21, 22, 24, and 26 pounds. Salted 
butter in firkins, tubs, &c., is sold by the pound 
avoirdupoise of IG ounces. Fi'esh butter varies from 
'16 to 24 ounces in different markets. Coal is sold 
by the ton, or barrel measure. The most common 
stout of butchers' meat, 12 lb. The provincial mca- 


sufes for corn, is the bushel of'iO quarts: thellestraid 
of 80; the teal 160. In Montgomeryshire and Rad- 
nor, the provincial bushel is called a strike; in Bre- 
con it varies in its subdivisions from those of North 

Land measure, owing to its almost infinite variety, 
is still more perplexing than the corn measure, as in 
some parishes there are no less than three in use. 
The chain acre, the cyvar y brenin, the king's plough' 
acre, as the statute measure is called by the common 
farmers, is coming gradually more into use; most of 
the tenantry take their farms by it ; the agricultural 
societies regulate their premiums by it, and most gen- 
tlemen use it in setting their task-work, in mowing, 
reaping, and threshing. The perch, rod or rood, is 
six yards in the north of Pembrokeshire, seven in 
Brecknock, and eight in Cardigan. 


The metallic ores in this district are principally 
lead and iron; iron in the coal tract, and lead in the 
slate and white limestone tracts. Though there is no 
iron ore, strictly speaking, in South Wales, there is 
iron stone apparently, in inexhaustible abundance. 
The iron mines of the northern and eastera sides of 
the mineral basin, are chiefly worked ; on the southern 
side of the basin, the iron-stone, &c. are equally 
good, if not superior, to those of the northern side ; 
but, owing to circumstances, have been neglected, 
excepting at Neath and a few other places. 

Copper ores are neither frequent nor plentiful in 
South Wales. The only one at present at work, is 
that of Ynys Cynvelyn, which yields lead ore, cop- 
per, and quartz, in the proportioR of one part of lead 
for every ten parts of quartz, and one hundreth part 
of copper. Escair hir, consists of lead ore, hard spar 
and quartz, one tenth of lead ore, one tenth of spar, 
and the rest quartz; Allt y Crib yields lead ore with 
little quartz. Among the silver mines, Cymsymlog 
claims priority of notice, from its connexion w ith the 
name of Sir Hugh Myddelton. Every ton of ore 


raised here yields thirteen hundred weight of lead, 
and every ton of lead, forty ounces of silver; two- 
thirds of the whole is quartz. A ton of ore from 
Llanfair, yields twelve hundred and a half of lead, 
and a ton of lead produces one hundred ounces of 
silver: this is an old mine. 


The Ecclesiastical Division is in two dioceses, St. 
David's and Llandaft", both subject to the Metropo- 
litan See of Canterbury. The dioceses are subdivided 
into deaneries, and these again into parishes. 

The Civil Division by Henry VIII. was into six 
counties, each county having a Lord Lieutenant, and 
other inferior officers of the crown. The counties 
are divided into hundreds, hundreds into parishes, 
and these again into townships, hamlets, parcels or 
petty constablewicks. Parishes are of very unequal 
extent, some below 300 acres, and several from 400 
to 800; whilst others are from ten to twenty, and 
even thirty thousand acres. 




This county, called in Welsh, Stoydd Maesyvedj 
is bounded on the north by Montgomeryshire, on 
the east by Shropshire and Herefordshire, on the 
south and south-west by Brecknockshire, and on the 
north by Cardiganshire. Its form is nearly trian- 
gular, growing narrower southwards, where it is 
about twenty-six miles broad, and from east to west 
thirty-one long; divided into six hundreds, which 
contain four market towns, fifty-two parishes, within 
the diocese of St. David^s, and about 21,050 inhabi- 


The county of Radnor has proportionally more 
cultivated land than many of the Welsh ones; par- 
ticularly the eastern and southern parts, which be- 
ing tolerably level, are more productive of corn, 
and good pastures ; but the remainder is rude and 
mountainous, therefore chiefly devoted to the rear- 
ing of cattle and sheep. The latter are remarka- 
bly numerous, and -very beneficial to the county, 
being the chief support of the industrious poor, who 
are mostly employed in manufacturing coarse cloth 
and flannels. The north-west angle of this county is 
an absolute desert, and almost impassable, so that the 
inhabitants are scarcely able to raise a small pro- 
duce of rye, barley, and oats, for their immediate 
use. .Still Radnorshire possesses every advantage of 
water, particularly the rivers Wye, Tame, Ithon, 
and Somergill ; likewise several copious streams, as 
the Dulas, Clywedog, Marteg, and Cymaron, which 
run nearly through the centre of tlie county, and 
are much praised by the angler and epicure, for an 
abundance of excellent salmon, trout, and grayling; 
also several standing lakes, particularly Llyu Gwyn, 
near Rhaiader and Glanhilyn, on Radnor Forest, 
both of which afford plenty of fish. 

In the Vale of Radnor are numerous lime kilns, 
supplied with an abundance of calcareous stone ; but 
coals are not found any where in the county, though 
at Llandrindod, a brovvn or blackish earth, plenti- 
fully mixed with a mineral bitumen, the certain 
eft'ect of coal, is very conspicuous, but no attempt 
has ever yet been made to discover that valuable fossil. 
In this district are many mineral springs of great 
celebrity. The woods and hills are not less celebrated 
for game. 

Two members represent this county and borough 
in the imperial parliament. ' 

Journey from Rhaiader to Presteign ; through Nezo 

Rhaiader, or Rhaiadr-Gwy, is situated 178 miles 


from London, on the river Wye, near a cataract, 
from whence it takes its name, Rhaiadr, signifying 
a cataract, and Gwy, the name of the river, in the 
Welsh language. It was formerly the chief village in 
Maelienydd, but at present is a considerable market 
town, divided into four streets like a cross; a plan 
common to most towns in North Wales. At this 
place the quarter sessions were held in the time of 
Henry VIII., according to an act of parliament passed 
in that reign; but soon after repealed, on account of 
its poverty, or inability to afford the necessary ac- 
commodation and dignity required by the judges, 
who then resided at an old house, called Pen-y- 
Porth. The county gaol, since erected in Presteign, 
was also kept here, on the site of the present 
meeting-house, as appears by some massive stone 
pillars, and iron rings found on the spot. In the 
centre oi^ the town stands the hall, a handsome, mo- 
dern, square building, erected about 1768. The 
church is likewise a modern structure, built in the 
form of an oblong square, with a quadrangular stone 
tower and turrets: the latter rebuilt in 1783. The 
internal part consists of a nave and chancel. 

In ancient times, Rhaiader derived considerable 
importance from its castle, which stood on a nook 
of the river Wye, at the extremity of Maes-bach, 
a small common near the town, and close to the 
river Wye. Of the superstructure nothing remains, 
but the original foundation may be traced, especially 
on the south-east^ where it has still a deep trench cut 
out of a hard rock, leading to the river. There is 
another trench more to the south, forming three sides 
of a quadrangle, and about eight feet deep: there 
also appears to have been leftori;5inaIly, between the 
two trenches, a narrow space, by which the town 
might ijold a communication with the. castle, and is 
at present the only entrance. 

Immediately below the latter is a deep foss, about 
sixteen feet deep, and twelve wide, running along 
the foundation of the old fortress, until it communi- 


cates with a steep precipice, the bottom of which is 
even with tlie bed of the river. Adjoining this foss, 
at irregular distances, are several barrows for pur- 
poses unknown; and at the distance of two furlongs 
below the site of the castle, there is a large tumulus, 
called Tomen Llan St. Fred, and near it, on the 
other side, are two more, but smaller, called Cevn 
Ceido, where it is supposed a church formerly stood, 
from an adjoining piece of ground, named Clydwr 
Eglwys. To elucidate the form and strength of its 
primitive fortress is impossible at this remote period, 
when not even a stone remains, to assist our conjec- 
tures ; however, we are enabled to fix its origin as a 
military station in A. D. 1177, and to ascertain its hav- 
ing been first built by Rhys, prince of South Wales, as 
a check to the depredations and cruelties of his Nor- 
man neighbours, who were very troublesome to the 
Welsh at that period. Caradoc of Llancarvan, in 
his Chronicle of Wales, briefly mentions, that it was 
completed in the same year; but in 1178, we find 
the sons of Conan (the latter an illegitimate son of 
Owen Gwynedd), having joined their forces, marched 
to attack this castle, but without success, as they 
raised the siege, and returned to North Wales 
greatly disappointed. 

In 1192, Maelgon formed a conspiracy against his 
father, and burnt this castle, which prince Rhys re- 
built in 1194; but soon surrendered to Cadwallon, 
who after several battles was defeated by Roger Morti- 
mer, and dispossessed of all his estates in Maelienydd. 

From this period, hostilities appear to have ceased, 
and no mention is made of Rhaiadr castle, until 
the time of Henry the Third, when it was burnt to 
the ground, by Llewelyn ab lorwerth, and probably 
not since rebuilt. 

About four miles westward from Rhaiadr, is 
Cwm-Elan, the seat of Thomas Grove, esq. of 
Fern, in Wiltshire, who some years since purchased 
10,000, acres of land, called the Grange of Cwm- 
Deuddwr, then a rude uncultivated waste; but is 


now, under the direction of its proprietor, brought 
into a good state of agriculture. 

The name of Cvvni-Elan is derived from the little 
torrent Elan, which runs through the cwm or valley, 
in which Mr. Grove has erected his elegant mansion, 
in the modern style of architecture, and defended on 
all sides by hills, some of which are wooded to the 
very water's edge. The approach to the house i!> 
over a handsome wooden bridge, leading to a fine 
verdant lawn, which expands itself from tiie house 
to the bridge, and forms a curve with the river Elan, 
uniting a singular combination of natural and artifi- 
cial beauties, of wild scenery and elegant ornament, 
of a foaming river and rugged rocks, perpendicular 
precipices and lofty mountains, contrasted with rich 
meadows, neat enclosures, leaving apparently nothing 
deficient to complete this singular and romantic scene. 

In following the course of the Elan through Mr. 
Grove's estate only, we are often struck with its 
numerous beauties, particularly one mile from the 
house, where the pedestrian crosses a rude alpine 
bridge, formed of the branches of trees thrown from 
lock to rock over the Elan, "dashing between them, 
at the depth of thirty feet. 

At this place, the bed of the river is a schistus 
rock, full of huge excavations of every conceivable 
shape and magnitude, of a milk-white hue, render- 
ing the profound gulph of water which they contain 
more dark and horrible; particularly after rain, when 
swelled with the mountain torrent, its fury is terri- 
ble, as it rolls through a channel which offers so 
many obstacles to the progress of its impetuous 
course. The Elan preserves this wild and irregular 
channel for several miles, confined within a rocky 
chasm, the sides of which arc perpendicular, and at 
times of great height, discoloured with drippings, 
tinted with mosses, and crowned with mountain 
ash, birch, and wych-elms ; the whole forming a 
more wild and grotescjue appearance than can be 


Abbey Cwnibir, the only religious house of this 
kind in the county, is situate in a tlelijihtt'ul bottom, 
seven miles north-east of Rhaiudr-Gwy, on a fertile 
bank of the Clywedog. The hills appear extremely 
grand, forming an amphitheatre round its fertile bot- 
tom, wherein this venerable monastery stood, in a 
situation well calculated to inspire devotion. The 
stupendous hill to the north is 1511 yards high, 
with a gradual ascent on one side, called the Park, 
which was formerly nine miles in circumference, and 
stocked with above 300 deer. The foundation of two 
deer houses arc still visible. 

According to Leland, Abbey Cwmhir was founded 
by Cadvvallon ab Madawc, in 1143, for sixty Cis- 
tertian monks, but never finished. The walls re- 
maining are very considerable, and shew an area of 
255 feet long and 73 broad, which is certainly very 
disproportionate to the length; but what the super- 
structure might have been is impossible to discover 
from the remaining walls, only a few feet above the 
surface, composed of some common stone, from a 
quarry in the Great Park, without a single mark of 
the chisel. This renders it difficult to determine of 
what species of architecture this great monastery 
was originally composed, having neither door, win- 
dow, arch, nor column now remaining : yet the 
refectory may be traced, with a few square apertures 
in the north side, about two feet from the ground, 
but for what purpose these were originally designed 
is very uncertain, being too low and small for win- 
dows, though possessing every requisite for the ad- 
mission of air. Amid the fallen fragments, on the 
north-eai5t side, the monks' habitations are supposed 
to have been, and is probably the same which Leland 
calls the third part, but ne^ er finislied. 

" How many hearts have here grown cold. 
That sleep these raould'ring tombs among; 

How many beads have here been told, 
How many matins here been sung. 

G 2 


On these rude stones, by time long broke, 

I think I see some pilgrims kneel, 
I think I see the censer smoke, 

I think I hear the solemn peal. 

But here no more soft music floats, 

ISo holy anthems chaunted now; 
All hush'd, except the owl's shrill note, 

Low murm'ring from yon broken bough." 

It is much to be regretted, that we have such an 
imperfect account of this place, which Leland briefly 
mentions, was destroyed by Owen Glyndwr in 1401, 
in his rebellion against Henry the Fourth. In the 
reign of Henry the Eighth, the revenues of Abbey 
Cwmhir were 28/. 17s. 4rf. per annum, which, ac- 
cording to Tanner, were granted to Henley and Wil- 
liams ; but how it descended, or by what means it 
came to the family of Sir Hans Fowler, bart. are un- 
known; but it continued in his possession till 1771, 
when the baronet dying without issue, the title be- 
came extinct, and the greater part of the estate, 
which formed the revenue of this abbey, was sold, 
except what belonged to Thomas Hodges Fowler, 
esq. a ilescendant, and the possessor of Abbey 
Cwmhir, where the few fragments that have escaped 
the ruthless hand of time may be seen. The anti- 
quary (if we may admit the tradition of the country) 
will find some specimens of the architecture of 
this abbey, still in good preservation, in Llanidloes 
church, consisting of six arches, surrounded with 
small columns, ending in capitals of palm leaves, 
which, according to a date on the roof, were brought 
from Abbey Cwmhir, in l.'>4'2, and which corresponds 
with the general dissolution of monasteries in this 
kingdom*. Some mutilated specimens are likewise 

* In lilaiigynllo is an antique farm-liouse, called 
Monachty, or iMonk's, which tradition distin- 
guishes as having been a monastic habitation, and 
some years ago, stone cofiins were dug up in the 
ground adjoining, bui they bore no inscription. The 


to be found about the^dwelling and outhouses on the 
farm, particularly the chapel* contiguoas, founded 
by Sir William Fowler, in 1680, and endowed with 
a small charge on each of his tenants in Llanbister, 
whose church is also reported to have been erected 
with the stones purloined from the old abbey : so is 
Y Vaner, or Devanner, one mile from the latter, as 
the building will testify. This place was many years 
the residence of the Fowlers, commencing in the 
reign of Queen Elizabeth, as appears by the style of 
building. The former importance of that family 
cannot be better expressed, than by introducing the 
subsequent adage : 

There's neither park or deer, in Radnorshire, 

Or a man worth five hundred a year, 

Except Sir Williayn Fowler of Abbey Cwmhir. 

Carn, Carneddau, or Carnedd, are heaps of 
stones common on the Radnorshire mountains, and 
many other places in Wales. The most perfect that 
are to be seen in this county, is one on Camlow, 
near Abbey Cwmhir, and another on Gwastadwyn 
Hill, near llhaiadr-Gwy. These consist of stones to 

date of the present structure is uncertain, but evi- 
dently is not so remote as the religious institutions of 
those times, being chiefly composed of timber and 
lath, the interstices filled up with movtar. Its se- 
cluded situation and name renders it probable, that 
when Henry VLII. dissolved the monastic establish- 
ments of the kingdom, a number of the Cistertiau 
monks, from Abbey Cwmhir, transferred their esta- 
blishment to Monachty, and maintained privately 
their former religion and habits, in opposition to the 
recent innovations of Luthef and Calvin. A colony 
from Cwmhir, according to Mr. Vaughan of Hengwrt, 
founded the Abbey of Cymmer ,in Merionethshire. 

* A chapel of ease to Llanbister, and only remarka- 
ble for a small monument, erected "to the memory of 
Sir Haiss Fowler, bart. 



the amount of 30 or 40 cart lojids, tjirown down pro- 
miscuously to form what is termed a earn. The 
origin and use of such memorials have often been 
discussed, and generally admitted to have been se- 
pulchral monuments, erected by the Britons, in com- 
memoration of their hero, or chieftain, who fell in 
battle. For those unaccustomed to see these little 
memorials of the dead, a more general description 
may be useful and satisfactory. These heaps are 
found in various fituations, and of different dimen- 
sions; but the largest does not much exceed CO feet 
in diameter, and about seven feet deep in the middle^ 
where the earn is always most protuberant, to con- 
ceal the chest, or stone coffin, which is usually 
found in tl'-is part, covered with a large stone. It 
frequently happens, that a circular range of large 
Stones are pitched an end on the outside of the heap, 
while the stones contained within are piled loosely 
in circles about the tomb, and the interstices filled 
up with lesser stones. Some of the earns are covered 
with earth, almost conical, and approach near the 
form of a tumulus. In many of these earns, the 
stones bear marks of ignition, being remarkably red 
and brittle, by the action of fire, which appears to 
have been so vehement in some, that the stones are 
in a great measure vitrified. To a perfect earn, there 
is always a large stone, placed endwise, within 10, 
20, 30, 40, or 50 yards of it, and such as want them 
at present, may be supposed to be deprived of them 
tiince their first erection. There is likewise some 
small distinction to be observed; for instance, the 
tumulus and earn appearing together, prove the in- 
terred to be'some ancient chief; while the sepulchres 
of the commonalty are always found on the hills, 
where there is a small declivity and hollow to be 
iicen, of an oblong form, with the earth heaped like 
a small hillock. When these are opened, a stratum 
of ashes, blackish, or rcil burnt earth, is discovered ; 
but in digging a little deeper, we soon perceive a 
ditVerence, and come to the native soil. 


Returning troni this digression, on leaving Rhai- 
adr, we proceed in an easterly direction, and at 
the distance of about nine miles, pass through Pen- 
y-bont, formerly called Rhyd-y-Oleivion, a small 
hamlet, by the side of the river Ithon, which takes its 
course from Llanbadarn Vynydd, and passes by this 
place. The houses are few and small, excepting two 
recently erected; one by H. Severn, esq., and the 
other by Middleton Jones, esq. ; particularly the latter, 
which is situated on a fine ascent, facing the hamlet; 
and does, with its lawn and young plantations, form 
its principal beauty. Here is likewise a good inn, 
built by the late Mr. Price, which affords excellent 
accommodation, and better than is to be found at 
some places in this county. 

Three miles north from Pen-y-bont, is Llandewi 
YsTRADENNY, a small village, situate in a narrow 
vale near the river Ithon, containing a few straggling 
houses ; and the church, a tolerable structure, con- 
sisting of a nave and chancel, with two small tablets, 
in commemoration of Philips and Burton; the latter 
of whom, an eccentric character, resided in a large 
old house here, and possessed a considerable estate 
in the neighbourhood ; which, to the exclusion of his 
relatives, because they were poor, he devised to a 
wealthy provincial. In this district are several ves- 
tiges of antiquity, particularly the Gaer, or fortifica- 
tion, which occupies the summit of a high hill, close 
to the village, and apparently a camp of great ex- 
tent, being inaccessible on the Ithon side; the re- 
mainder is defended by two parallel intrenchments, 
probably the work of some of the Mortimers, or 
Cadwallon, in the twelfth century. On a hill oppo- 
site is Bedd Ygre, or Ugre's Grave, a large mound 
or tumulus of earth, encompassed by a small moat 
like Caersws. Of this description were all the mo- 
numents which the Ancient Britons erected in honour 
of their chiefs or great men ; and these continued 
many ages after the introduction of Christianity ; but 
when the cubtom of burying in churches and church- 


yards became general, they were condemned, and 
afterwards chiefly used for cnminals. 

Two miles hence, on a small elevation, stood Cas- 
tle Cymaron, of which not a fragment of the super- 
structure remains; the site and moat are still visible. 
This fortress is supposed to have been erected by 
.the Normans, in the eleventh century, but soon after 
destroyed by the Welsh, and again rebuilt by Hugh, 
the son of Randolph, earl of Chester, in 1142, when 
all Maelienydd became subject to the Normans. 

In 1174, Cadvvallon ab Madawc obtained this 
castle and lordship, for which he did homage to 
Henry ; but Roger Mortimer, having raised a con- 
siderable force in 1 194, entered Maelienydd, and after 
various battles dispossessed Caduallon of all his lands 
in this district, and fortified the castle of Cymaron. 

In this family it evidently continued for ages, as 
we find, near two centuries after Roger Mortimer, 
in 1360 died, possessed of the castles of Ciuclas, 
Gvvyrthrynion, Cwmdeuddwr, Maelienydd, and 
Pilleth, in the same lordship, which perhaps, on the 
demise of Prince Llewelyn, in 1282, Edward the 
First confirmed as a legal inheritance. Henry the 
Eighth, however, being of a Welsh extraction, cur- 
tailed the power and ambition of the provincial lords, 
and redressed many grievances to which the Welsh 
were before subjf^ct: — he divided the principality into 
counties and hundreds, with the same laws and pri- 
vileges as his English subjects; since which the Cam- 
brians have proved themselves peaceable and loyal; 
and as zealous in defence of their liberties and coun- 
try, as the best of their fellow subjects. 

About four miles southward from Pen-y-bont is 
Llandrindod Wells, situate on a common, five miles 
in length, and one broad. The country adjoining 
this place is rural, and gradually ascending, till it 
encompasses a spacious plain, with moderate high 
and steep hills, so that the air cannot stagnate, nor 
the plain be incessantly watered with a deluge of 
rain. The soil, or siufacc of the earth, about 


these wells, is of a blackish brown, particularly 
rich ; and on examination, is found to be plentifully 
mixed with a mineral bitumen, which is certainly the 
effect of coals, and an evidence that they exist here ; 
yet no attempt has hitherto been made to discover 
that valuable fossil, though much wanted here, and in 
the vicinity of Llandrindod. 

When these waters were first used for their medi- 
cal virtues is uncertain, but are generally believed 
to have been introduced to public notice about 1670, 
and then used indiscriminately : however, at all times 
since 1750, a great number of people have resorted 
here to use the waters, on many occasions, and Vith 

The increasing fame of Llandrindod Wells, ulti- 
mately induced a Mr. Grosvenor, of Shrewsbury, in 
1749, to make some alterations and improvements, 
for the reception of the annual visitors. For that 
purpose, he took a lease of several houses, and repaired 
them, adding other buildings, particularly one, spa- 
cious enough to contain several hundred visitors, 
besides affording them every accommodation and 
amusement that could be wished, during a residence 
at this place. 

The waters, three in number, are all within a 
short distance of each other, yet without either par- 
ticipating in the qualities of the other, and are thus 
distinguished: 1. The rock-water; a. Sahne pump- 
water; and 3. Sulphur-water, of which a brief account, 
and their medicinal characteristics, may be useful to 
the traveller. The rock-water issues out of a slate 
rock, which contains a vast quantity of iron earth, 
salts and sulphur. A glassful of this water, taken 
from the rock on a clear day, appears like common 
spring water, and as clear as crystal, without the 
appearance of any mineral paiticles in it; but after 
standing a short time, it changes into a pearl colour ; 
before this change, a chalybeate taste and smell are 
very predominant. In many diseases this water has 
had a beneficial effect, but is usually prescribed in 


chronical diseases, which proceed from a weakness 
in the fibres ; also in scorbutic eruptions, Aveak 
nerves, palsies, or a laxity of the whole frame, and in 
agues, where bark proves ineffectual; likewise dis- 
eases in women, and seminal weakness in both 
sexes. The best time for drinking the rock-water is 
between six and seven in the morning, before break- 
fast, or the sun gains too great an ascendancy, and 
in the following quantities: — three quarters of a pint 
is enough to begin with, adding each morning another 
quarter, until it comes to a quart, which is the ut- 
most, and ought to be drank within two hours. After 
this a gentle walk is advisable, with another glass of 
water before dinner, and two more on going to bed. 

Tlie sahne pump-water is about 100 yards north 
of the sulphurous water. This lay many years after 
its discovery useless, being unfit for domestic pur- 
poses, and not being known to possess any medici- 
nal quality. About 1736, it began gradually to be 
introduced into notice in the county, and since that 
period has been of great service in various diseases, 
particularly in the scurvy, and other eruptions; 
in hypochondriac disorder?, proceeding from too 
great a quantity of the juices; also fevers, particu- 
larly those that affect the spirits, and in stone or 
gravel. Those who wish to benefit by the saline 
water, should drink it from about the middle of 
March to November, it being then in its greatest 
perfection. Bleeding is generally recommended pre- 
vious to using this water, which is prescribed in the 
following quantities, viz. half a pint before break- 
fast, half a pint between breakfast and dinner, and 
another on going to bed. 

The sulphur-water, or black water, so named 
from the strong smell it emits, and the black dye of 
the current in its passage through; if taken up im- 
mediately at the spring it is as clear as other water, 
and 25 grains lighter in a pint than common water. 
When thrown on hot iron it emits a blue flame, and 
smells like brimstone. Silver kaves have been 


clianged in less than six minutes into a fine yellow 
gold colour. 

This water is best adapted for an artificial bath, 
or any external use designed for tlie relief of chronic 
diseases ; it is likewise very beneficial when used as 
an internal medicine, but is chiefly recommended in 
the subsequent cases: viz. venereal diseases, old 
sores, diseases of the head, stone and gravel, rheuma- 
tism, and gouty complaints. The scrophula has 
often been cured by an internal and external use of 
the sulphureous water. Whoever wishes to drink 
this water medically, should remember that it is a 
purgative, therefore some preparation is necessary ; 
for this, like other mineral waters, must be drank in 
the morning upon an empty stomach, or else between 
breakfast and dinner; on no account in the afternoon, 
unless used at meals, mixed with brandy or rum, or 
about half a pint when going to bed. Indeed the 
dose cannot be well ascertained, without a previous 
knowledge of the patient's disease; therefore it is best 
to begin taking from a pint to a quart in the morn- 
ing, at short intervals; and in moderate draughts, 
gradually increasing the quantity as the constitution 
will permit; but walking far, or riding much after 
drinking this water, should be avoided. 

Returning to our road, at the distance of about 
three miles, we pass through the village of Llan- 
DEGLE, or Llakdegley, remarkable for its antique 
church, and its rural situation. Contiguous to this 
place is Blaen Edw Wells, containing a sulphurous 
vitriolic water, which rises in a field near the road. 
The spring is conducted into a dilapidated building, 
which serves also for a bath; the water is covj^red 
with a brown scum, appears rather blackish, and 
emits an abominable stench, but has not an unplea- 
sant taste. 

At the distance of four miles beyond Llandegle, 
is the village of Llanvihangel. About two mii€s be- 
yond which is New Radnor, or Maesyved-nevvydd, 
situate near the head of the Somergill, at tlie narrow 


entrance of a pass, between two high pointed hills, 
called Radnor Forest, and covered with verdure to 
the very summit, which is the characteristic of this 

New Radnor was formerly the chief place in the 
county, and is at present the borough town, consist- 
ing of a few misemble houses, forming an irregular 
street, without a single object to attract the notice of 
a traveller, excepting an old building like a barn, for 
the county hall, where the borough election and 
county courts are held, with a court of pleas for all 
actions, without being, limited to any particular sum. 
The church, a respectable edifice, extending 114 feet 
in length by 33 in width, with a large square tower 
at the west end, stands on an eminence above the 
town. In ancient times this place was evidently' of 
greater iinportance than it is at present, being origin- 
ally enclosed by a square wall, with four gates, which 
appear to be Roman, from the similarity they bear to 
the stations at Caerlioti and Caerwent. Here was also 
a castle, built on an eminence above the town, proba- 
bly a fortress of considerable strength, having an entire 
command of the town, besides defending a narrow 
pass leading to it between two hills. Owen Glyndwr, 
according to Caradoc, defaced the town in the reign 
of Henry IV. and burnt the castle; he afterwards 
ordered sixty of the garrison to be immediately be- 
headed in the yard. Camden mentions, that the cas- 
tle was in ruins in his time; and much neglected, 
except a piece of the gate, which was then repaired. 
Some of the wails still remain resting upon rows of 
small Gothic arches. 

'Near New Radnor, but in a very obscure situa- 
tion, is a cataract called " VVater-break-its-neck," 
so nominated on account of its precipitous descent 
into a vast hollow, surrounded by craggy declivities 
of loose fragments of schistus, which are frequently 
set in motion by the wind, and roll down in all di- 
rections, making the amazed spectator almost trem- 
ble for his safety. This cataract would appear to 

RADNOnsniRE. ' 73 

much greater advantage if it was in the vicinity of 
good plantations, with rich and ver iant prospects; 
instead of this, the whole has a poor barren appear- 
ance. New Radnor still retains its corporate privi- 
leges. The corporation consists of a bailiff, twenty- 
five capital burgesses, two aldermen, a recorder, 
coroner, town clerk, sergeants at mace, &c. The 
bailiff and aldermen are elected annually out of the 
capital burgesses, and while in office, are justices of 
the peace, within the jurisdiction of the borough : the 
tailiff retains his commission as justice, for one year 
after he goes out of office. The qualification for a 
burgess of New Radnor, is a bond fide residence 
within the jurisdiction at the time of his election. 
The whole number of burgesses, with those of the 
contributory boroughs, is from 12 to 1400. 

At the distance of about six miles from New Rad- 
nor, we arrive at Phesteign, or Llan-Andrew, once 
a small village, but by the countenance of Martin, 
Bishop of St. David, it rose to such a degree of ele- 
gance as to eclipse the borough town of Radnor. — 
It was in Leland's time noted for a good market of 
corn, where many from the Cantrev of Maelienydd 
resorted to buy and sell. The town is pleasantly 
situated near tlie river Lug, and may be properly 
called the modern capital of Radnorshire ; and here 
the county gaol is situated. This place likewise ex- 
hibits strong marks of having been formerly of much 
greater extent; indeed the few streets it now contains 
are neat and well formed From here the little vale 
inclosing Presteign, and watered by the river Lug, 
may be seen to great advantage; as may also Staple- 
ton Castle, an ancient Gothic mansion, rising from a 
rock in its centre. 

The chief object is the parish church, which con- 
tains a few tablets for the families of Owen, Price, 
and Davies, with an altar-piece of tapestry, represent- 
ing Christ's entry into Jerusalem. — The walls are de- 
corated with figures of Moses, Aaron, Time, and 
Death, all of which are well executed. On the west 


of the town is a beautiful little" eminence, or site ol' 
an ancient castle, now called Warden Walk, a dona- 
tion of Lord Oxford to the inhabitants. From here 
an agreeable walk leads to the summit of a bowlinc;- 
green, on which is erected a neat pavilion. A small 
bridge over the Lug, close to the town, connects the 
counties of Hereford and Radnor. 

Journey from Knighton to Fains Castle; through 
Old Radnor. 

Knighton, or Trev y Clawdd, is so called from 
Offa's Dyke, which runs below it, raised to separate 
the Britons from the Saxons, A. D. 760, and ex- 
tends from the mouth of the Dee to that of the 
Wye, being an extent of eighty miles, of which 
Joannes Sarisburcensis, in his Polycraticon, says, 
Harold made a law, that if any Welshman passed 
this boundary, the king's officer should cut off his 
right hand. 

At certain distances there are still marks or sites 
of forts, forming a boundary between the Welsh and 
English. Camden and other authors have con- 
founded this celebrated boundary with Watt's Dyke, 
which runs parallel to it in North Wales. The utility 
of the latter is very uncertain, unless it was made by 
the Danes in time of peace, for purposes of traffic; 
hence the space between the dykes might have 
been considered neutral ground. 

Knighton is situated at the head of a deep vale, 
and is the handsomest town in the county, descend- 
ing in several steep streets, which present very pic- 
turesque objects to the adjacent country. The in- 
habitants of Knighton are estimated at 95'2, and the 
petty sessions for the hundred are held here. This 
romantic vale is surrounded by high hills, and well 
clothed with wood and verdure; likewise consider- 
ably enriched by the winding course of the river 

A little to the north of Knighton is Caer Caradoc, 
a hill much honoured in former times, as the place 


which Caractacus fortified in A. U. 53, with a ram- 
part of stones, against the Romans, under Ostorius, 
(whose camp is visible opposite) till the rude mass 
was broken through, which compelled the Britons to 
retreat, when their leader, betrayed by Queen Cartis- 
mandua, was carried in chains to Rome. 

On Bryn Glas, a mountain near Pilietb, a little 
south-west of Knighton, a bloody battle was fought 
in 1402, between Sir Edmund iVlortimer and Owen 
Glyndwr, in which the former was defeated, with the 
loss of 1100 men. Beyond Knighton on the left, is 
Dol y Velin, late the seat of John Pritchard, esq. de- 
ceased. And about two miles above Knighton, on the 
banks of the Teme, is the little borough of Cnwclas, 
■which formerly had its castle, built by Roger Morti- 
mer, and it was also the birth-place of the celebrated 
Welsh Non-conformist, the Rev. Vavasor Powel. 

About nine miles to the north-west of Knighton, 
is Castell Timboth, or Daybod; situated on a steep 
hill called Crogen, above the river Ithon, in the 
parish of Llanaimo. The situation is extremely 
wild and elevated, but the site is naturally strong, 
and almost inaccessible on all sides but one, where 
entrenchmc.its are still visible. Of the old structure 
little remains, except a confused heap of thick walls; 
still the site and a piece of the keep may be traced, 
having a deep moat round the whole. Of its history 
nothing is known, except that it was destroyed by 
Llewelyn ab Gruffydd, Prince of Wales, in the 
year 1260. 

Cevn Llys Castle, is situated in the borough of that 
name, and stands on a bank of the river Ithon, 
which almost surrounds it, except on one side, where 
it communicates with the common. The site of 
this castle appears strongly fortified by nature, and 
so admirably situated for a place of defence, as to be 
almost invulnerable before the invention of artillery, 
except on the north side, where one hundred men 
might defend it against a thousand. 

In the, year 1262 a detachment of Prince Llew- 
H 2 


elyn's men took this fortress by surprise, and 
made the governor prisoner; but most of the gar- 
rison were put to the sword. The sivme year Sir 
Roger Mortimer retook it, when he repaired it, and 
appointed a garrison for its defence. Camden de- 
scribes it as in ruins in his time. 

Returning to our road, at the distance of about 
twelve miles from Knighton, after passing through the 
villages of Norton and Kinnerton, we arrive at Old 
Radnor, or Maesyved Hen, frequently called Pen-craig, 
from its situation on the summit of a high rock. This 
castle was entirely demolished by Rhys ab Gruffydd, 
in the reign of King John. 

This was probably the city Magos, called by An- 
toninus, Magnos; and where the Notitia Provinci- 
arum inform us, the commander of the Pacensian re- 
giment lay in garrison, under a lieutenant of Britain, 
in the reign of Theodosius the younger. Most writers 
of the middle age call the inhabitants of this county 
Magascta. Charles the First, after the battle of 
Naseby, and during his flight from the parliament 
forces, slept, on the sixth of August, 1645, at the 
priory-house in Brecon, and dined with Sir Henry 
Williams of Gwernyved; hence he continued his route 
to Old Radnor, where he supped on the seventh, and 
was perhaps the only royal guest who sought accom- 
modation in this ancient city. 

This, like many Welsh towns, must be respected 
more for what it has been, than any thing it can at 
present boast of : for at this time the houses are few 
and mean. The church, however, certainly has the 
appearance of some antiquity. It is a large stone 
building, consisting of a nave and chancel, with mo- 
numents for the family of Lewis of Harpton Court, 
whose seat lies contiguous. 

Calcareous stone is very plentiful in this neighbour- 
hood, and many kilns are continually burning, to 
supply the county with this valuable species of ma- 

On leaving Old Radnor, we proceed, in a southerly 


direction, and, at the distance of about seven miles, 
arrive at Pain's Castle, situated in a small hamlet ot" 
that name, containing a few good houses, and where 
an annual fair is held. It is supposed to have re- 
ceived its name from Pagan us, or Paine, a Norman, 
who built the castle, which was besieged and taken 
by Prince Rhys, in the year 1196, and kept until 
\Villiam de Bruce humbly desired of him peace and 
the castle: which Prince Rhys granted. In 1198, 
Gwenwynwyn besieged this castle, and after laying 
before it three weeks, was obliged to raise the siege. 
In 1215, according to Caradoc, Giles de Bruce, Bi- 
shop of Hereford, bestowed the castle on Walter 
Vychan, the son of Einion Glyd; and this is the last 
account we have of it in history. 

The remains are very inconsiderable, being little 
more than the site, and a few loose fragments of its 
outer walls, which shew that there was formerly a 
Ijuilding on the spot; but as to its form or extent, we 
have neither history nor tradition, to assist our con- 
jectures upon the subject. 

About four miles to the north-west of Pain's Castle, 
is Castle Collwyn, or Maud's Castle; it is situated in 
Col went, and stands on the Forest Farm, south-east 
of Aberedw, in the parish of Llansaintfred. This 
castle was anciently very famous, and belonged to 
Robert de Todney, a man of considerable rank in the 
time of Edward the Second. It is supposed to have 
taken its name from Maud de St. Valery, the wife of 
WiUiam Breose, who rebelled against King John, it 
was afterwards destroyed by the Welsh, but rebuilt iu 
1231, by Henry TIL on his return to England, after 
a fruitless attempt against the Welsh. Of the ori- 
ginal fortress nothing now remains to shew its si- 
tuation, except a grass plat, the site of the old cas- 
tle. There is also a tradition, that Vortigern had a 
fortress here, where he resided, when his castle caught 
fire, or as the monks have rendered it, was destroyed 
by lightning, in which he is said to have perished. 
This legend is not worthy of any serious regard. 
M 3 


Camden says, this prince terminated his existence in 
a fortress in Radnorshire, which is clearly a mistake, 
as will appear to the reader, by referring to an account 
of Nant Gwrtheyrn, or Vortigern's Valley, in the 
county of Caernarvon. 


An inland county, the Welsh name of which is 
Swydd Brj/cheiniogy is bounded on the north by Rad- 
nor, with the counties of Cardigan and Caermarthen 
on the west, Hereford and Monmouth on the east, 
and Glamorganshire on the south. Its form is irregu- 
larly triangular, narrowing northwards; in length, 
twenty-nme miles, the breadtii of its southern basis 
thirty-four, containing 900 square miles, and near 
600,000 acres. It is also divided into six hundreds, 
four market-towns, and sixty-one parishes, in the dio- 
cese of Saint David, with 37,7i35 inhabitants. Breck- 
nockshire is a very mountainous country, affording a 
variety of sublime scenes, being every where mter- 
spersed with hills, cultivated to their very sununits. 
The soil on the hills is for tiie greater part barren and 
stony; however, there are numerous springs that issue 
from the rocks in such plenty, as to render the val- 
lies abundantly fruitful in grass and corn. 

Upwards of five hundred years ago, Giraldus 
Cambrensis, who was archdeacon of Brecon, said, " It 
is a land abounding in corn, pastures, woods, wild 
deer, and fish of a superior sort, particularly trout, in 
the Usk, called Umbroe." 

It is enclosed on all sides, except the norths by 
high hills, having on the West Cantrev Bychan, and 
on the south Cader Arthur, which has a noted spring 
on the summit. 

The most considerable rivers are the Usk, Hon- 
ddu, Irvon, and Wye. These, and all its rivulets, 
abound with fish of various kinds; but the Wye and 
Usk, are particularly noted for fine trout, and the 
best of salmon. The principal coirnnodities of the 


county, are cattle, sheep, wool, and corn, with con- 
siderable manufactures of coarse cloth and stockings. 
This county returns two representatives to the Bri- 
tish senate, viz. one for the county, and one for Bre- 

Journey from Brecon to Hay ; through Glasbury. 

Brecon, or Brecknock, is the chief town in this 
county, situated 168 miles from London, in a very 
romantic place, abounding with broken grounds, 
torrents, dismantled towers, and ruins of various 
kinds. It was formerly well walled, with four gates, 
namely High-gate, West-gate, by the Blackfriars, 
Water-gate, and East-gate. Beside these, there 
was one without, in the suburb, called Porthene S. 
Marise. At present it consists principally of three 
handsome streets, in the most spacious of which 
stand the county-hall and market-place. Its com- 
pact form and neatness gives it an advantage over 
most towns in Wales, while its interior beauty renders 
it not less striking. The Welsh call it Aberlionddu. 

Several good private houses here are occupied by 
very respectable and opuient families. The public 
walks hold a principal rank among the accommodations 
of the place. One lies along the shore of the Usk, 
under the old town wall, and commands a fine view 
to the southward of that river: the other is of a more 
sequestered character, being laid out with great taste 
through the priory woods, which overhang the Ilon- 
ddu, and add greatly to its romantic beauties. The 
town contains three parishes: 8t. John the Evange- 
list and St. M;;ry; and on the opposite side St. David's, 
where the Usk is crossed by a long narrow bridge. 
According to the returns of 1311, the number of 
houses was 757, and that of the inhabitants 3196. 
Hats, and some inferior cloth, are the chief articles 
manufactured here; but the new canal promises to 
give fresh life to the place, by opening new markets. 
Brecknock also possesses some noble ruins of a castle, 
which stand on a hill to the east, commanding the 


whole town. Leland says, part of the castle was 
built by Lady Marabrune ; but it is more probable 
that Bernard de Newmarch, a Norman nobleman, 
who won the lordship in 1090, built it himself, to se- 
cure his new conquest. The castle is divided from 
the town by the river Honddu. 

There are still some remains of the keep and Ely 
tower, so named from Dr. Morton, bishop of Ely, 
who was confined here by order of Richard the Third, 
and committed to the custody of Henry Stafford, 
Duke of Buckingham, who some time before pro- 
cured the crown for Richard; but the Duke being 
disappointed in his expectations of reward from the 
king, in concert with the bishop, his prisoner, plan- 
ned, within the walls of this castle, the famous union 
of the two houses of York and Lancaster, which af- 
terwards brought Henry the Seventh to the throne 
of England. The castle has been very large. 

On an ascent close to the Usk is the priory, situ- 
ate amid the gloom of trees, exhibiting a profusion of 
rich Gothic workmanship, and forming a pleasing con- 
trast with the feathering foliage that float around the 
ruins, chiefly composed of the grey stone of the coun- 
try. The approach to the venerable remains of this 
priory is over a good stone bridge, almost joining an 
embattled wall, formerly belonging to this edifice. 

The priory was originally founded for Benedictines, 
by Bernard Newmarch, in the reign of Henry the 
Eirst, and valued at 112/. 14s. The mansion-house, 
now called the priory, belongs to the Marquis of 
Camden, who makes it his occasional residence. The 
south and east sides of the cloisters, with the refec- 
tory, are still entire, with other oflices. The church 
of St. John the Evangelist occupies a part of the 
same eminence, and once appertamed to the priory. 
The present edifice owes its erection to Bernard New- 
march, but from the Saxon font, and some other re- 
lics of the same character, which are still preserved, 
this has been conjectured to have been built on the 
site of another church which had fallen into decay. 



The church, when first constructed, was most proba- 
bly exactly cruciform, but has been considerably dis- 
figured by Guild chapels in the interior, and private 
oratories on the outside. The nave measures 137 
feet in length, by 29 in breadth. At the western 
end, the transept is divided into two chapels, called 
the chapel of the Men of Battle, and the chapel 
of the Red-haired Men, (the Normans), The chan- 
cel is now divided from the body of the churcli, by 
a gallery, formerly the rood loft. This and the 
nave are ceiled, and divided into compartments, 
adorned with paint. On each side the chancel are 
three rows of light, beautifully clustered columns, bro- 
ken off just above the corbels, though they shew parts 
of the ribs springing to support the roof. The steeple, 
which is a lofty and massive structure, ten yards 
square within the walls, is raised over the centre or 
intersecting point of the cross, and contains six 
bells. This fabric is near 200 feet high, and 60 
broad. On the north side is a paved cloister, which 
opens into the church, and joins it to the priory- 
house and refectory. East of the church is the am- 
bulatory, where the monks used to walk, now called 
the Priory Walks, which are shaded by noble trees, 
and watered by the river Honddu, which rolls at the 
feet of them, but almost hidden by the thick wood 
on each side. The most remarkable part of this 
structure is the steeple, more ancient than the body 
of the church, 90 feet in height. 

The college, once a Dominican priory, stands at 
the east end of the town, and apparently by the pre- 
sent remains, both within and without the chapel, 
is as old as the time of Bernard de Newmarch, who 
is said to have been the founder. 

There still remains part of its old gateway, built 
in a quadrangular form ; likewise a cloister, and the 
refectory of St. Mary's chapel, with the ancient 
choir, and nave for burying. Henry the Eighth con- 
verted this place into a college, by the name of the 
" College of Christ Church, Brecknock," and joined 


to it the college of Abergwyli. It still remains, and 
consists of the bishop of St. David, who presides as 
dean, a precentor, treasurer, chancellor, and 91 
other prebendaries. 

Here were buried three bishops of St. David's, 
namely, Mainwaring, Lucy, and Bull. In the town, 
and fields contiguous to the castle, have been found 
several Roman coins, and there are now several large 
entrenchments to be seen on the hills about Breck- 
nock; but the most remarkable is Y Gaer, or forti- 
fication, two miles north-west from the town. This 
is indisputably of Roman origin, and situate on a 
gentle eminence, near the river Wysg. Part of the 
walls still remain ; and within the camp some 
square Roman bricks were found, all inscribed 
LEG. 11. AUG. corresponding with those discovered 
at Caerleon. Close to this camp, in the middle 
of a highway, is a remarkable monument, called 
Maen-y-Morwynion, a rude pillar, about six feet 

About eleven miles north-east from Brecon, in 
our road, is the small village of Glasbury, in the 
neighbourhood of which are the following gentle- 
men's seats: Tregoed, Lord Vise. Hereford; iVIaes- 
lough Hall, W. Wilkins, esq.; Gwernallt Lodge, 
Sir Edward Williams, bart. ; Gwernoved Lodge, 
n. Allen, esq. ; and between the village and Buallt, 
is Derw House, Sir C. Morgan, bart; and on the 
left is Langoed Castle, J. Macnamara, esq.; beyond 
which is Pen Careg, T. Thomas, esq. 

At the distance of about four miles from the village 
of Glasbury, we arrive at Hay, or Tregelli, called 
also Haseley, a small town, built in a pleasant situa- 
tion, near the river Wye, and seems to have been 
well known to the Romans, whose coins are fre- 
quently found here, and soine remains of walls. It 
gradually fell into decay about the time of the re- 
bellious Owen Glyndwr, who, amid the devastations 
committed on his country, burnt this place ; but 
Leiand says, there was in his time the remains of a 


Strong wall, with three gates. Here was formerly 
a very superb castle, but by whom built is uncer- 
tain. We find in the year 1215, that Llewelyn ab 
GrufFydd dispossessed Giles de Bruce, Bishop of 
Hereford, of it, in consequence of his conspiracy 
against him; but when Llewelyn, in the year 1216, 
refused King John his assistance against the French, 
he marched from Hereford here and destroyed the 
castle. This fortress was composed principally of 
Norman architecture, and occupied the highest land 
of the river's bank, near the parish church ; and 
since its first erection, was removed to near the 
centre of the town : a Gothic gateway here is very 
perfect ; but a large house, of the reign of James 
tjie First, occupies the ancient site of the castle, and 
the few remains are converted into a modern house 
belonging to the Wellington family. Within the 
town were the remains of a gentleman's residence, 
called Wallwine, by wliose means it is said Llewelyn 
was taken in the neighbourhood of Buallt. The 
whole of this small to\^ n formerly belonged to the 
Duke of Buckingham. Hay suffered a great loss in 
the winter of 1794, when the resistless torrent of 
the Wye carried away its handsome stone bridge. 
The view from the church-yard is extremely grand 
and beautiful. 

Dinas Castle, situated on the top of a high hill, 
one mile from Blaen Lleveni, and about nine south 
from Hay, is now entirely in ruins, and almost level 
with the ground ; yet there are the appearance of 
three wards walled about. Contiguous were three 
parks and a forest; the former is down, but had 
formerly a great number of red deer. The people 
about Dinas burnt the castle, to prevent its falling 
into the enemy's hands, and so becoming expensive 
and troublesome to the country, as a regular fortress. 


Jouryiey from Buallt to Crickhowel; through 
Buallt* is a neat market town, pleasantly situated 
on a little plain, surrounded by wood, and moun- 
tains, with a handsome stone bridge, which divides 
it from Radnorshire. This small town is singu- 
larly built, having two parallel streets, which form 
irregular terraces on the side of a deep declivity. 
The principal of these streets is very near the river 
Wye, but extremely narrow, and ill shaped ; and 
the houses, for the greater part, mean and irregular. 
Still Buallt has long been extolled for the salubrity of 
its air, and the singular beauty of its position on the 
banks of one of the finest rivers in South Wales, 
and encompassed by such magnificent scenery, that 
many gentlemen have been induced to fix their resi- 
dence in its vicinity, as some good houses lately built 
will testify : it has beside the benefit of Llandrindod 
Wells, only seven miles off. This town has also a 
claim to great antiquity, being the same that Ptolemy 
calls the Ballaeum Silurum of the Romans. In the 
neighhourhood are several eutrenchments, in which, 
we are informed, have been found Roman bricks 
with this inscription: LEG. II. ; but the most re- 
markable and best preserved of entrenchments in 
these parts, is near the road leading from Buallt to 
Brecon. In recurring to the Chronicle of Caradoc, 
we find this place suffered considerably by the 
Danes in 893, who, being persecuted by Alfred, 
sailed to Wales; and after destroying the country 
about the coast, advanced to Buallt, which they 
likewise deipolished. The same fatal consequences 
happened in 1216; for when Reynold de Bruce pe- 
remptorily broke off his alliance with Llewelyn ab 
lorwerth, to make peace with Henry the Third, the 
former destroyed all Buallt, except the castle. This 
castle was built by the Bruces or Mortimers; 

* Signifying Oi-cliff, or Oxen-holt. 


but, being out of repair in 1209, Gilbert, Earl of 
Gloster, fortified it for his own use. About 1215, 
we find it in the possession of Giles de Bruce, bishop 
of Hereford ; but when he formed a conspiracy 
against Llewelyn ab Gruftydd, the latter came in 
person to Buallt, and had tiie castle delivered to 
himself; however it reverted again to Reynold Bruce, 
who was besieged in it by some Welsh barons in 
1220, but before it could be taken, Henry the Third 
raised the siege. 

In 1256 we find it in the possession of Rhys 
Vychan, whom Llewelyn ab Gruffydd defeated, and 
forced out of Buallt; he afterwards conferred the same 
on Meredith ab Rhys, but he was soon dispossessed 
of it by Roger Mortimer, with whom it continued, 
till 1260, when Llewelyn retook it without opposi- 
tion, and found within a plentiful magazine. Of the 
town and castle nothing more is mentioned, till the 
unfortuate event which put a period to the indepen- 
dency of the Welsh, and their royal line of princes, 
occasioned by the death of Llewelyn ab Gruffydd, 
who was here basely betrayed by the inhabitants of 
Buallt, oa Wednesday, December the 11th, 1282. — 
The minute circumstances preceding and following 
this great event are no where recorded, except in 
the following account, preserved by tradition among 
the inhabitants of this place. 

Llewelyn had posted his army on a hill near 
Llechryd, a village below Buallt, on the south side 
of the Wye. On the north side of the river, two 
miles below Buallt, the prince had a house, called 
Aberedw, to which he came for the purpose of 
conferring with some chieftains of the country. Dur- 
ing his stay there, he was alarmed by the approach 
of some English troops, who probably had intel- 
ligence of his situation. The prince, to extricate 
himself from the danger that threatened, caused 
his horse's shoes to be reversed, to deceive his pur- 
suers, as the snow was on the ground : but this cir- 


cuinstaiice vas made known to the enemy, through 
the treachery of the smith; and they followed so 
closely, that Llewelyn had but just time to pass the 
draw-bridge at Buallt, which being drawn up secured 
his retreat. In the mean time, the English troops 
posted at Aberedw, had information of a ford a 
little lower down, called CavnTwm Bach, which they 
crossed, and by that means came between Llewelyn 
and his army statione I at Llechryd. The only 
means of salety that now offered was to secrete him- 
self; but the enemy were so diligent in their pursuit, 
that the Welsh prince was soon found in a narrow 
dingle, in which he had concealed liimself, three 
miles north of Buallt, and about five miles from his 
army ; which place, from this event, was called Cwm 
Llewelyn. After Llewelyn was killed, they cut off 
his head, and buried his body in a field, called Cafan, 
about two miles from Buallt; and at some subsequent 
period, a farm house was erected over his grave, 
which goes by the name of Cevn-y-Bedd. 

A little below Buallt arc the remains of Aberedw 
Castle, having only a stone wall, novv overgrown 
with ivy, but one of the residences of Llewelyn the 
Great. 'l\vo miles further is Cevn-y-Bedd, in Cafan 
]'ield; and contiguous, Llechryd, with its ancient 
castle, now a modern house, surrounded by a moat ; 
but this place and its vicinity is chiefly rendered re- 
markable, by being the sacred ground where Llew- 
elyn, the last Welsh prince, lineally descended 
from the Cambro-Britons, lost liis principality and 
iiis life. 

At Buallt they preserve several traditions concern- 
ing the death of Llewelyn, prince of V\ ales, in tlie 
year 1282. lie considered liis position on the west 
side of the Wye, above Buallt, as secure, so long as 
the bridge at the town was defended; but when the 
ford was treacherously pointed out to the enemy, 
I he prince was unexpectedly attacked, and he, taken 
by surprise, fell by the hands of one Adam Franck- 


ton. A descendant of this A. Franckton, and of 
the same name, now^ or lately lived at Salop, who 
preserves the memorial of this deed. 

About one mile north-west of Buallt, are some 
saline springs, called Park Wells; and about six 
miles from Garth, is Llanvvrtyd Well, situate in a 
parish of that name. It was first discove.'-ed by a 
clergyman, about one hundred and fifty years ago, 
who, it is said, wrote a tract on its virtues. Its 
situation is between two hills, in a romantic vale, 
which the river Irvon meanders through, with a pic- 
turesque view of hanging woods, impending rocks, 
contrasted with rich land and barren hills. It has 
also veins of lead ore, from which some tons have 
been formerly dug, and sold for 12/. per ton. About 
three hundred yards from Dol-y-Coed, or the house 
of accommodation, is this remarkable spring, called in 
Welsh, Fynnon Drewllyd, or foetid well, which smells 
strongly of sulphur, and changes silver almost instan- 
taneously into a gold colour. This well was opened 
in 1774, to investigate its source, and after removing 
the stones and rubbish which covered its channel, 
some black turf, twelve inches thick, and a stiff clay 
of a very dark colour, mixed with marl, were dis- 
covered ; and under the latter a light gravel. The 
water does not spring from under the gravel, as at 
first supposed, but flows perpendicularly from a bog, 
or morass. The water is very transparent, and never 
loses Its taste or smell, nor is it ever impregnated 
with rain water, even in the wettest season. As soon 
as it is received into a glass, it sparkles, and you 
may see the air bubbles rise gradually, till they are 
disseminated through the whole, and remain so for 

This water is very light and perfectly soft, for 
when you wash your face and hands in it, you feel 
the same sensation as when t^oap and common water 
are used. It sits easy in the stomach. The eihcacy 
of Llanwrtyd Wells has been proved in various 
I 2 


cases, particularly in gravel, nervous affections, and 
scorbutic eruptions. 

Returning lo Buallt, we proceed in a southerly di- 
rection, and at the distance of about eleven miles 
pass through Brecon ; three miles to the south-west 
of which, on the left of our road, is Llyn Savadon, 
generally called Llangors Pool, or Brecknock Meer, 
called by Giraldus, Clamosum, from the terrible 
noise it makes, like thunder, upon breaking of the 
ice in winter. This lake is two miles broad, about 
the same in length, and thirteen fathoms deep. In 
this meer have been found otters, eels, pikes, and 
perches, in great numbers, also trout from the Lle- 
veni. Llyn Savadon is described by Giraldus as 
surrounded by houses, with gardens, corn-fields, 
and orchards. On the river Lleveni, Ptolemy places 
Lovintium, of which there are, however, no remains. 

Marianus calls this place Bricenaic Mere, which 
was reduced by Edelfleda in 913; but whether he 
means this ox Blaen Lleveni Castle, in the neigh- 
bourhood, is uncertain; however, the latter appears 
to have been the chief fortress in this barony. A 
good view of this lake may be had from a hill above 

About eleven miles to the west of Brecknock is 
Trec.vstle, a miserable village, enclosed by wild 
mountains at the upper vale of the Wysg, which 
soon expands itself, after passing the groves of 
Dyvynog and Lluchyn Tiron, or Lhvchyn Tyron. 
Trecastle was formerly a large borough and market 
town, but is now fallen into decay; still it shews the 
ruins of a castle. On the top of a hill, near this 
place, was dug up a stone, containing an inscription, 
which shews it to have been a military way. 

This village is now chiefly distinguished for a good 
inn, and a number of gentlemen's seats in its neigh- 

lleturning to our road, at the distance of thirteen 
miles from Brecon, after passing through the village 


n^ Llansaintfred, we arrive at CRUGiiYvvn., or 
Crickhowel, a small market-town, pleasantly situated 
on the river Usk, over which there is a bridge of 
fourteen arches. The town is in the direct road 
from London to South Wales and Milford-Haven ; 
it is supposed to have been built in the time of 
Howel Dda, who flourished about the year 940. 

The Town-hall here is over the market-place, but 
this has been sometimes deprraded, being used as a 
prison. The parish church is cruciform, having a 
chancel, nave, and two transepts, named after two 
estates in the vicinity. The rood loft is still entire, but 
the church has been considerably reduced from its 
original size. Two side aisles, pulled down iu A765, 
were ornamented with the insignia of several trading 
companies, carved in wood. .A lancet winrjow re- 
mains with three divisions, over the principal en- 
trance at the west end. The tower, containing five 
bells, is remarkable, as being the only one in the 
county surmounted by a spire. The chancel contains 
some ancient monuments of illustrious families, the 
mutilated figure of a knight, &:c. The old custom 
of singing carols in the church at cock-crowing, or 
the earliest dawn of the morning, on Christmas-day, 
is still continued here, but is more entitled to any 
other appellation, than to a religious rite. 

The river here abounds with excellent fish, and 
the neighbouring hills with game ; it is also in high 
repute for goats' 'whey, and much resorted to by 

Of the castle the remains are few, yet its original 
plan may be easily traced, and much of its ancient 
architecture found in the neighbouring cottages, 
whose stones are evidently purloined from the old 
castle. The keep appears to have been a very secure 
building, seated upon a lofty artificial elevation, and 
displaying the foundation, a thick substantial wall. 

Near this place are tlie remains of an ancient en- 
campment, with a double ditch, called by Leland, 
Cragus Hoelinus. Opposite is the pleasant village of 
1 n 


Llangattock, and the elegant seat of the late Admiral 
Gell ; and three miles north-west is Tre Twr, a neat 
town, situated among lofty hills, with the remains of 
a round tower. 

Ihe houses in tlie neighbourhood of Llangattock 
are particularly entitled to notice, from the beauty of 
their situation, and their prospects are, Glanwysg, 
the seat of Frederick Fredericks, esq. Tan y Park, 
and Tan y Graig, situated still farther down the 
vale. The Brecknock canal is carried over the river 
Clydach, by an aqueduct of a truly tremendous 
appearance, being no less than eighty feet in height 
above the level of the stream. In ascending this 
vale, we meet with the cataract or fall, named 
Y Pistyll Mawr, or the great cascade. It is roman- 
tically embosomed in a luxuriant wood, and exhibits 
some of the most beautiful features of this class of 
picturesque objects. The parish of Llangattock has 
acquired some historical celebrity, from the great 
battle fought on the hills of Carno, in (he year 728, 
between the Saxons and the Welsh. This spot is 
marked by two large collections of stones, or carnaUy 
in one of which was found a cist vaen, or stone chest, 
that probably contained the body of some British 
leader, who fell in that conflict. These cist vaens 
consist of four upright stones, placed at right angles, 
with a lifth laid over tiiem as a cover. 


This county is called by the Welsh, Morganwg, 
and Gwlad Morgan; it is bounded on the north 
by Brecknockshire, on the east by Monmouthshire, 
on the south by the Bristol Channel, and on the west 
by Caerniarth^nshire ; it is about forty-eight miles 
from east to west, and twenty-seven from north to 
south. — The greater part of the sea coast forms a 
semicircular sweep, the western extremity being 
formed into a narrow beak between the open chau' 


nel on the one hand, and an arm running round to 
the Caerniarthenshire coast on the other. In the 
time of the Romans this county was part ot the dis- 
trict inhabited by the Sihu'es, and had several iio- 
man stations; as Boverton, a tew miles south of 
Cowbridge, which is supposed to be the Boviuin of 
Antoninus, Neath to be iiis Nidum, and Llachcirn, to 
the west of Swansea, to have been his Leucarum. 
On the north and north-east sides, this county is very 
mountainous, and the soil of the hills extremely 
varied. In some parts they are absolute rocks, in 
others full of coal and iron. The surface over these 
mines produces plenty of fine wood. Wliat corn 
grows in the county is principally between the south 
side of the mountains and the sea, in a spacious vale, or 
plain, open to the latter. The roads over the moun- 
tains are excessively steep, stony, strewed, as well as 
the heaths on each side of them, with stones of va- 
rious sizes, detached from the rocks by the winter 
rains. The air on the north side is sharp, occasioned 
by the long continuance of the snow on the hills; 
but on the south side mild and temperate, improved 
by the sea breezes. Such is the profusion of coal 
and limestone, that lime is the general manure of 
this county. The plenty of coal, and the conveni- 
ency of exportation, brought a large copper work to 
Swansea; the soil near which is likewise rich in 
other mineral treasures and good pastures. 

The principal rivers are the Tav, the Nedd, or 
Neath, the Tawe, the Ogmore, and the Rumney. 
The least considerable streams are the Elai, Ewenni, 
Melta, Trawgath, and Twrch, all of which produce 
an abundance of excellent tish, particularly salmon, 
sewin, and trout, of a peculiar fine flavour. Gla- 
morganshire is divided into ten hundreds, or 118 
parishes, containing 17,017 houses, which are occu- 
pied by 85,067 inhabitants, viz. 41,365 males, and 
43,702 females. Two members are returned to the 
British parliament; viz. one for the county, and one 
for the town of Cardiff. 


Journey from Swansea to Merthyr Tydvil; through 

Swansea is a pleasant well-built town, on the 
river Tawe, and situated near the centre of a most 
beautiful bay, on an angle between two hills, which 
defend it from the north-west to the north-east, 
while the southerly winds, blowing over a vast ex- 
panse of sea, render the air mild; besides, having 
a gravelly sf)il for a considerable depth, makes its 
situation not only pleasant, but extremely healthy. 
The town has a very handsome appearance, from 
the road approaching to it being built on a semicir- 
cular rising bank near the mouth of the Tawe. It is 
populous, has good houses, wide streets, and appa- 
rently considerable trade. The market-house, which 
is very commodious, is said to be covered with the 
lead from St. David's cathedral, given by Cromwell 
to a gentleman of this town. The old mansion-house 
of the lord of the manor, built round a quadrangle, 
and standing near the cattle, has been used as a 
w arehouse and stables, and had over the gate the arms 
of William Earl of Pembroke, in the time of Henry 
Vlir. The castle is situated on an eminence in the 
middle of the town ; a lofty circular tower is all that 
is not concealed by houses, and this is surmounted 
by an elegant parapet, with arched openings, com- 
manding a line view. The apartments, yet habita- 
ble, are converted into a poor house, and a gaol, 
principally used for the confinement of debtors. 
Among the improvements here, a street has been 
opened through the court, and part of the buildings 
of the old manor house, and forms the communica- 
tion between Castle Bailey and Goat street. 

The whole of Swansea is comprised in one parish. 
The church, dedicated to the Virgin JNIary, is a 
handsome modern edifice, with a middle aisle, and 
two side *aisles, separated from it by two rows of 
pillars, with a large square tower at one end, being 
in length 72 feet, by 54. Of the old church, which 


fell in the year 1739, some renmins are visible, nortii- 
east of the church-yard. In the new church are most 
of the monuments that were in the former edifice. 
One of the altar-kind, richly decorated, but now 
much mutilated and defaced, commemorates Sir 
Matthew Cradock and his lady. In the chancel is a 
curious brass tablet to the memory of Sir Hugh 
Johns, with the figures of himself, his wife, five sons, 
and four daughters. Near the upper end of the town, 
is another small church, dedicated to St. John, hav- 
ing formerly been a chapel belonging to the Knights 
of Jerusalem. Here are several places of worship be- 
longing to various denominations of dissenters; and 
the Presbyterian meeting-house is one of the old- 
est in South Wales. 

Swansea at this period enjoys many advantages 
not to be found in any other part of Wales. Here 
the tide ebbs and flows a considerable way over a 
flat sandy shore, and up the river Tawe, which runs 
through the town, and is navigable for vessels of 
considerable burden for about two miles. This place 
has also, witlun these twenty years, become a con- 
siderable mercantile town, particularly in copper, 
coals, lime, iron, brass, spelter, tin, and earthen- 
ware, which employ no less than 1,900 sail of ves- 
sels annually, 'i'he quantity of coals only, that is on 
an average exported yearly, amounts to upwards of 
114,000 chaldrons. Exclusively f)f its intercourse 
with London, Bristol, Cornwall, and Ireland, it has 
had of late years a considerable share of foreign 
trade to the Baltic and West Indies, from which, 
perhaps, it miglit appear that few places in this king- 
dom have had so great and rapid an increase of 
trade as Swansea in a few yearsi, as will appear b.y 
the following statement made from their books: 

Years. Vessels, Tims. 

1768 employed 694 consisting of 30,681. 

1798 2021 do. 120,713. 

1800 2590 do. 154,264. 

1810 2717 do. 177,672. 


But since the peace of 1814, the trade of this town 
has sulVered some diminution. 

In 1791 a bill passed, empowering the corporation 
to repair and enlarge the harbour of Swansea, by 
turning the river through the western channel; by 
•which the entrance into tlie harbour lias been rendered 
shorter, safer, and deeper. The corporation has 
likewise expended a considerable sum of money in 
enlarging, and making the bathing-house commodi- 
ous for company resorting annually to Swansea for 
the benefit of sea-bathing, which at present affords 
every thing that is necessary for the comfort or 
amusement of the stranger. Here are many good 
lodging-houses, pleasantly situated, particularly Mr. 
Sardon's, which is neatly fitted up, with an excellent 
warm sea-water bath. 

Half a mile from the town is another, on the 
beach, rendered very commodious for visitors, with 
an excellent ball-room, from which is a fine view of 
the bay. Near the Cambrian pottery is Mr. Hayne's 
coJd and hot sea-water baths, with pump and shower 
baths for temporary bathing, on very reasonable 
terms. The only mineral spring in the county is 
at Swansea, which has an acid styptic taste like 
alum, though the predominant salt is a vitriol. It 
turns blue with vinegar, but will not curdle with 
milk. A gallon of this water yields forty grains of 
sediment, of a highly acid, styptic, vitriolic taste, 
and light brown colour, which will ferment with spirit 
of Imrsthorn, and oil of tartar. It is recommended in 
a diarrhoea, and will stop blood externally, when ap- 
phed to wounds. The vicinity of Swansea affords a 
number of agreeable walks and rides, while the bay, 
which may be regarded as one of the finest in Europe, 
furnishes the means of abundant gratification to 
those who prefer aquatic excursions. For some un- 
accountable reason, the corporation have deprived the 
inhabitants and visitors of one of the pleasantest pro- 
niejiades belonging to the place, by enclosing the bur- 
rows with a lofty wall. Jn the midst of improvements, 


which the corporation have been prosecuting with 
great spirit, this measure appears the more surprising. 

North of Swansea is tlie canal. There are no less 
than 36 locks on this canal, in the space of 16 miles, 
from an elevation of 372 feet, and several aqueducts. 
Adjoining are some smelting copper-works, the iron 
forge, brass and tin works, a fine copper rolling 
mill, iron furnaces, and foundry, and a most stupen- 
dous steam engine at Glandwr, which cost the pro- 
prietors upwards of 5000/, to complete. This macljine 
throws up from a vast depth, 100 gallons of water 
each stroke, which is repeated twelve times a minute, 
making 78,000 -gallons an hour. This was made by 
Messrs. Bolton and Watts, of Birmingham. 

The town-hall is a spacious and handsome mo- 
dern edifice, built on a part of the castle enclosure. 
A few years since a very commodious theatre was 
erected in one of the principal streef^s, which is 
well attended during the summer season. It was 
built by tontine shares of ten pounds each, the sur- 
vivor of the holders to become the sole proprietor. 
Some public rooms have been since erected upon a 
similar scheme, but the taste of the architect appears 
to have been justly censured. A respectable weekly 
newspaper has for several years been published here 
by I\]r. Jenkins. The public library has also proved 
a great acquisition. 

The mail-coach from London to Milford passes 
through Swansea every morning at six, and goes tVora 
Milford to London every evening at the same hour. 
Two other coaches run from hence to Bristol and 
Gloucester on alternate days. The Mackworth Arms 
inn, is one of the best in the principality. 

The free-school at Swansea was endowed by Dr. 
Hugh Gore, bishop of Waterford and Lismore, in 1684. 
The corporation have added 20/. a year to the en- 
dowment. The mastership is in the presentation of 
Lord Jersey, as the holder of the Briton Ferry estate. 
Here are also several Lancastcrian and other schools, 


that cannot fail to be eininently beneficial in their 
eflects on the morals of the rising generation among 
the lower orders. 

Swansea shares the privilege of Cardiff, as a contri- 
butory borough in the return of the member for that 
place. The corporation consists of a portreeve, 
twelve aldermen, two common attornies or cham- 
berlains, and two sergeants at mace. By its charter 
it is empowered to hold two markets every week, 
though in fact it has but one, which is held on a Satur- 
day, and is one of the best attended in the principa- 

In a conspicuous situation, about three miles from 
Swansea, on the Tawe, is Morris Town, a newly- 
created village ; and on the summit of a steep hill is 
the castle, a quadrangular building, which owes its 
origin to Mr. Morris, a proprietor of the leading works 
at this place. 

Oystermouth Castle is a bold and majestic ruin on 
the coast, about five miles north from Swansea, near 
the promontory of Mumbles Head, which, terminat- 
ing in high hills, and stretching out far into the bay, 
aftbrds a safe anchorage to ships passing up and 
down the channel. It is situated on an eminence, 
having its principal walls but little injured, and most 
of the apartments may be yet easily distinguished.. 
The general figure is polygonal ; the ramparts lofty, 
but not flanked with towers, except just at the en- 
trance. This building is ascribed to the Earl of 
Warwick, in the reign of Henry the First. 

The grand gateway is still nearly perfect, and other 
parts of the building are in good preservation. The 
castle is at present the property of the Duke of Beau- 
fort. The village of Oystermouth is pleasantly si- 
tuated on the sea shore within the Mumble Point, 
a bold rocky projection running some distance into 
the sea. An excellent light-house, built at the ex- 
tremity, has been essentially serviceable to the navi- 
gation of the Bristol Channel. At a short distance 


i\om (Jystennoutli, are some remains ot Penarth 
Castle, supposed to have been another of the Earl of 
Warwick's tburesses. 

About eight miles west from Oystermoutli is Pen- 
nicE, a sea-port, seated on tlie Bristol Cliannel. It 
has a good harbour for ships, and carries on a small 
trade in exports and imports for country purposes. 
Its ancient castle has been a superb edifice, defended 
by bastions and turrets. Tlie market is well supplied 
with provisions at a moderate price, and it has four 
annual fairs for cattle and sheep. 

Reluming to our load, on leaving Swansea, we 
proceed, in an easterly direction, and at the distance 
of about seven miles arrive at Neath, a market- 
town, seated at the bottom of a valley, on the banks 
of the river Nedd. The streets are extremely irre- 
gular and narrow, and the houses, with few excep- 
tions, ill built, and incommodious. The town used to 
be covered with the smoke of the copper works in its 
neighbourhood; a circumstance which must render it 
a very unhealthy place of residence, though its popu- 
lation is estimated at near 3000 inhabitants. 

The church is a large and handsome structure, di- 
vided into two aisles by a range of pillars, whicli 
support the arches of the roof, having a chancel at 
one end, and at the other a substantial square tower, 
surmounted by an" embattled parapet. 

A few ruins of its old castle, built probably by Ri- 
chard de Granville, a Norman, still remain, com- 
prising part of the walls, and one of the gateways, 
which has a massive round tower on each side. Jn 
1231 Llewelyn ab lorwerth, being offended at Hubert 
Burgh's conduct on the piarches, burnt this cas- 
tle to the ground. There is no manufactory here en- 
titled to notice; the copper works at Melin Cry than, 
about a mile from Neath, are discontinued, and the 
collieries have long lain in a state of inactivity. How- 
ever, the mineral treasures of the adjacent county, 
still create a considerable trade here, much promoted 
by the construction of a navigable canal from the up- 



per part of the vale, to a shipping place at Briton 
Ferry, and communicating with the iron works at 
Aberdare. The country about Neath is enlivened by 
several gentlemen's seats, and among these one of the 
principal is Gnoll Castle, the ancient residence of the 
Mack-worths, but now that of H. J. Grant, Esq. 

About one mile west of the town of Neath, near 
our road, stands Neath Abbey, called by Leland the 
fairest ir all VVales. It is styled by the Welsh, Abatty 
Glj/n Nedd, or the Abbacy of the Vale of Neath; 
for Nedd is properly the name of the river running 
through it, being descriptive of the gentle course of 
its stream, compared with most of the neighbouring 
waters. This abbey was founded for Cisteitians, 
by Richard de Granville, and Constance his wife, 
who gave their chapel in Neath Castle, likewise the 
tithes belonging to it, and a large tract of waste land, 
with other possessions in temp. Henry I. to endow 
the same, which was dedicated to the Holy Trinity, 
About the time of the dissolution it contained only 
eight monks, and valued at 132/. 7s. 7c?. per annum ; 
but, according to Speed, 150/. 4s. 9d. and granted 
33 Henry VHI. to Sir Richard Williams, alias Crum- 
well. The ruins are on the west side of tl)e river, with 
lancet windows, which form the lujrth side of a quad- 
rangle. The gates, hall, and gallery, still remain, 
having in front of a contiguous room, in stone, the 
arms of England and of John of Gaunt, with three 
chevrons quartering three horsemen's crests — Granville. 
In this abbey the unfortunate Edward H. sheltered him- 
self till he was taken. The remains of it were inhabited 
by some poor families belonging to the workmen em- 
ployed m the neighbouring metal works. The ichnogra- 
phy of the old church, which was of excellent archi« 
lecture, and immense size, jnay easily be traced. 

The great western window of the Abbey Church, 
fell down within these few years, and a large part of 
the side walls have since shared the same fate. No 
adequate idea can be formed from the present remains, 
of the original extent and magnificence of this edifice. 


Toundations of buildings are to be traced in the ad- 
jacent grounds for a considerable distance, and some 
of the houses in the village were evidently connected 
with the main building. 

A navigable canal has been made to communicate 
with all the interior parts of the county to Pont Nedd 
Vechan, in Breconshire, about twelve miles off. A 
little north of Neath is a beautiful cataract, falling 
nearly 150 feet perpendicular. 

About four miles southward from Neath is Aber- 
AVAN, a small village, situated at the mouth of the 
river Avan. It is governed by a portreeve, and has 40 
burgesses, who have votes for parliament. Here is a 
small haven for light vessels, which carry on a consi- 
derable trade in the iron, copper, and tin works in the 

Llychwr, a poor village, eight miles from Neath, 
is situated on a river of the same name, which is ford- 
able at low water. It has the ancient or outward 
walls of a square castle, wliich was fortified by a tre- 
ble trench, but destroyed by Rhys ab Gruffydd in 1215, 
when he brought this county into subjection. 

The ancient town and church are supposed to have 
stood near the river, on the other side of the castle. 
On the north-east of the town, at a place called Cevn-y 
Bryn, is a vast stone of 20 tons weight, commonly 
called Arthur's Stone, said to be fixed there by tJiat 
hero. There is a tradition, that a well under this 
stone ebbs and flows with the sea. From here are 
numerous collieries, and a ford to Llanelli, a small ir- 
regular town, containing an old seat of Sir John Step- 
ney, which having been long deserted by the family, 
was converted into habitations for numerous poor 
tenants, falling fast into decay. The church has a high 
square embattled tower, remarkable for being wider 
at its base than upwards, forming a cone. 

This district is very picturesque and fertile, having 
adjacent the base of Margam Hill, which is beautifully 
shaded with groves of majestic oaks. 

Contiguous is Briton Ferrv, remarkable for the 
K 2 

100 ^ SOUTH WA.LE?. 

elegant seat of the Earl of Jersey, which is environeu 
by fertile land, and spacious plantations. 

Mara;am Abbey, situated '.-.bout four miles south- 
ward from Aber-avan, wns founded by Robert Earl 
of Gloucester, in 1147, for white monks, and valued 
at I8IL The house appears to have been one side of 
a quadrangle. Among the offices are some remains 
of a beautiful circular chapter-house, fifty feet by 
twelve diameter, with twelve pi/inted windows, the 
roof resting on a single, central clustered column; 
But in January 1799, the dome fell in, and the whole 
building became a ruin. Behind it are the cloisters, 
which joined it to theabbc}', now serving for the parish 
church; but which if it had not been repaired by the 
late Mr. Talbot, would have shared the fate of the 

The stables and offices retain many marks of anti- 
quity, particularly the doors. In 1761 the tomb of 
an abbot was to be seen here, which then laid over 
a drain. The park, whicli is well wooded, and 
abundantly supplied with deer, is still preserved, and 
considerable attention is paid to the pleasure-gardens, 
and ornamental part of the grounds. In the midst of 
the park stands an elegant Doric edifice, built by Mr. 
Talbot, in 1787, for a green-house, or conservatory, 
for the reception of a large collection of orange trees. 
It is 327 feet in length, by 81: a square room has been 
parted off at each end, containing -some curious cork 
models of remarkable buildings in Italy, and several 
fine stJitues and other antiquities of exquisite workman- 
ship. In summer the orange trees, one hundred and ten 
in number, are removed to the lawn, exhibiting a rich 
and luxuriant grove, several of the trees being eigh- 
teen feet in height, and remarkably handsome. 

A good specimen of the Anglo-Norman architecture 
appears on the west front of the churchy but the inside 
is plain and unadorned, except a few marble monu- 
ments for the Mansel I family, and one for Sir Lewis 
Mansell, dated ]r>;J8, which is well executed. 

There is also in the village, a curious stone cros*. 


about eight feet liigh, richly carxeil and ornamented 
with fret work. By the roadside, and fonning the 
toot bridge over tlie brook that issues out of the park, 
near the old entrance, are two other relics of the same 
kind, the crosses being circumscribed by a circle. The 
inscriptions upon these crosses have been nearly oblite- 

On the top of an adjoining hill is a stone, men- 
tioned by Camden, called Maen Llythyrog, and on 
the west of Margam Hill is a Roman camp, and many 
Old entrenchments lie contiguous to it and the abbey. 
Resuming our road, on leaving Aber-avan, we 
proceed in an easterly direction, and at the distance 
of about eleven miles, we arrive at Bridgend, Fen-y- 
Bont, a populous town, situated on the river Ogmore. 
The town is divided into three parts, called Old 
Castle, New Castle, and Bridgend, the two first 
having the remains of castles. The soil around is 
exceedingly fertile and well cultivated, and the tov/n 
is in a state of considerable improvement. The river 
Ogmore, divides the town into two parts, which are 
joined by a good stone bridge. 

A woollen manufactory here produces annually 
considerable quandties of flannel and Welsh shawls. 
Bridgend contains a large proportion of good houses, 
occupied by families of great respectability. . The 
division called Old Castle, derives its name from an 
ancient fortress which stood near the chapel. The 
present tithe-barn, is built on a port of the ruins. 

Two miles east of Bridgend is tlie village of Coetty, 
where are the remains of a castle, built by Paganus 
de Sourberville, ir. lOPl. The Rarl of Leicester, by 
marriage with Barbara, heiress of John Gamagc, Esq. 
lord of Coetty, came possessed of this castle, and his 
estate in Wales. The ruins of Coetty Castle are 
among the most extensive and magnificent of any in 
South Wales; the present walls are probably the 
remains of the edifice built by Sir Payne Turberville^ 
to whom this lordship was assigned, in the Norman 
Fitzliamon's division of the countv. 
X f5 


At a small distance from Bridgend is Ogmore 
Castle, situated on a plain ground near the road, and 
one mile above the mouth of the rivers Ogmore and 
Ewenni. It is undoubtedly of considerable antiquity, 
being mentioned by Caradoc, as early as the reign of 
William Rufus, Where it is recorded that the manor 
and castle were bestowed by Robert Fitzhamon on 
William de Londres, one of the twelve Norman 
knights who, in the year 1091, assisted him in the 
conquest of Glamorganshire. Tt appears to have been 
entire when Leland wrote his Itinerary; but at pre- 
sent only the keep and some outer walls remain; the 
former has a great resemblance to tb.e keeps at Ro- 
chester, Dover, and the Tower of London. A buiall 
distance south-east of the castle are several pits, or 
shallows, liiled with water, said to have siuik S})on- 
taneously. One of them is deemed unfatliomable, 
being circular, and seven feet in diameter, with a 
railing, to prevent accidents. 

Newton, a small village near Bridgend, and 
situate nortl.-west of the Ogmore, has lately been 
exalted into the rank of a watering-place. 

The bathing-house is small and incommodious, 
situate very low on tlie beach, with sand hills in al- 
most every direction, which prevent a view of the 
water; still it is become a place of fashionable resort, 
with a bathing-machine about a mile below the liouse. 
The beach is well sheltered by limestone cliffs, but 
the walks, over coarse drifting sands, render it ex- 
tremely upleasant, and destitute of walks or verdure 
for pleasure or repose, presenting a continual same- 
ness and sterility. 

The shore is curved, and forms a small bay, where 
ships in distress, often shelter. The inhabitants of 
this village are chiefly employed in raising limestones, 
which are carried in small vessels to the opposite 
coast, and sold on the spot. 

Returning to our road, on leaving Bridgend, we 
proceed in a north-easterly direction, and at the 
distance of six miles, pass through the town of 


Llantrisaint, or the church with three saints, situated 
near the summit of a cleft, in one of the high hills 
which bounds tlie Vale of Glamorgan. It is an 
ancient borough, abounding in lead ore, the property 
of the late Marquis of Bute, who enclosed the manor. 
Here was a castle, now nearly destroyed, excepting a 
fragment of its lofty round tower, and the vestiges of 
outworks, which are nearly concealed by numerous 
shrubs. A new market-house and town-hall were 
erected by that nobleman, within the precincts of 
the old castle. The streets are steep and narrow. 
The church is a large iNorman edifice, on a situation 
■which commands a delightful prospect of the surround- 
ing country, in one of the finest situations in South 
Wales, being placed on the brow of a lofty hill, 
overlooking an extensive range of the most beautiful 
and fertile parts of the Vale of Glamorgan. 

Two miles south-east, are the remains ofCastellCrug, 
A good road has lately been made from this place 
to the famous Pont-ty-Pridd, or the New Bridge, 
which is only a few miles distant, and situate in a 
beautiful vale, with very extensive views. It is a 
stupendous arch thrown across the river Tav. This 
extraordinary structure is a perfect segment of a 
circle, the chord of which is one hundred and forty 
feet, and the height, from the key-stone to the spring 
of the arch, thirty four. 

The bridge was undertaken at the expence of the 
county, by one William Edwards, a common stone- 
mason of Glamorganshire, who likewise contracted 
to ensure its standing for a certain number of years. 
From the width and rapidity of the river, he failed 
in his first attempt; for, after completing a bridge 
with three arches, a flood, with the natural impe- 
tuosity of the river, carried it away completely. — 
He then conceived a noble design of raising a single 
arch over this ungovernable stream, which he accord- 
ingly completed^ but the crown of the arch being 
very light and thin, it was soon forced upwards by 


the heavy pressure of tlie butments, which were ne- 
cessarily loaded witli an itnmense quantity ot" earth, 
that the ascent of the bridge might be more practi- 
cable. Not yet disconraged by these failures, he 
again, in 1750, boldly dared to improve on his second 
plan, and executed the present surprising arch, in 
which he lightened the butments, by making three 
circular tunnels through each of them, whicli eft'ec- 
tually answered the purpose, besides giving a lightness 
and elegance to the structure, that may now bid de- 
fiance to the most unruly floods that can possibly rise 
in this river, and seems calculated to oiidure for many 
ages. To view this arch as an external object, it Can 
scarcely be sufficiently admired, as crossmg the vale 
abruptly it appears to connect the opposite hills, 
while with its light and elegant curve, it does in a 
manner almost produce the effect of magic, and will 
be a lasting monument of the abilities and genius of its 
untutored architect. The bridge, on account of the 
liigh ground on each side, is not visible from the turn- 
pike, and many travellers have in consequence passed 
by it unawares. In ascending the vale, it is ap- 
proached by a road which turns abruptly to the left, 
over the canal, a short distance from tlie Bridgewater 
Arms, a comfortable inn, about midway between 
Cardiff and Merthyr. 

About twelve miles beyond Pont-ty~Pridd, after 
crossing the Cardiff canaJ, we arrive at Mertiiyr. 
Tydvii,, situated near the borders of Brecknockshire. 
The spot on which the town stands, and the imme- 
diate neighbourhood, was the fortunate purchase of 
Mr. Crawshay, and cost him only 800/., which in 
ground rents alone has increased more than the yearly 
rent of J 000/. 

The whole district, abounding with coal and ore, 
extends about eight miles in length, and four in 
breadth. Two ranges of hills boimd this place, with 
a valley between them, in which stands the town of 


Scarcely any thing can be conceived more awfully 
grand, than the descent on a dark night into the Vale 
of Merthyr, from any of the surrounding hills, where 
on a sudden, the traveller beholds as it were num- 
berless volcanoes breathing out their undulating pil- 
lars of flame and smoke, while the furnaces below 
emit through every aperture a vivid light, which 
makes the whole country appear in flames; nor do 
the immense hammers, the \\ heels, the rolling mills, 
the water-works uniting together their various sounds, 
add a little to the novelty and magnificence of the 
scene. The number of workmen employed by the 
different iron masters is very great. Mr. Crawshay 
has employed between two and three thousand men, 
and the other gentlemen an equal proportion ; so that 
the whole population of this town has been estimated 
at ten thousand persons. 

Here are four establishments on a large scale, viz. 
Pendarren, having three blastfurnaces; Dowlais, having 
four blast furnaces; Plymouth, having also four blast 
furnaces; and Cyfartha, having six blast furnaces. It 
seldom happens that all the furnaces are in blast at the 
same time, one at least being usually extinguished and 
under repair. One furnace will commonly yield about 
fifty tons of iron in a week; and instances have occur- 
red, in which, from favourable circumstances, a single 
furnace has produced a hundred tons in that interval. 
The furnaces at the Cyfartha works, are blown by means 
of a steam-engine of fifty horse power, and by the over- 
shot water-wheel of equal power. This wheel was formed 
by Mr. Watkin George, formerly a mechanic em- 
ployed about the works, but since desenedly rewarded 
for his talents. It consumes twenty-five tons of water 
in a minute ; it is above fifty feet in diameter, and 
made entirely of cast-iron, and cost above 4000/. 
The water that turns it is brought from a stream in the 
hills about five miles oft", on a platform of wood, sup- 
ported chiefly by stone pillars, except in one place, 
where it crosses a bridge on supporters of wood, for the 


space of about three Imndred yards, and elevated eighty 
feet above the bed ol" the river, the whole of which 
forms a very singular appearance. 

To avoid interruption in the transportation of the 
produce of the Merthyr works in dry seasons, when 
the canal is scantily supplied with water, a rail-road 
has been constructed at the upper end, for the distance 
of about eight miles, along which the iron is conveyed 
in waggons constructed for the purpose. It was once 
intended to continue this rail-road the whole length of 
the canal. Glamorganshire is intersected by a number 
of good roads, which afford easy and convenient com- 
munications between the difterent towns and villages. 
The high road to Milford runs through its whole ex- 
tent, in an east and west direction, from Rumney 
Bridge to Pont Arddulais, on the river Loughor. A 
mail coach to and from the metropolis passes this 
way daily ; and two other coaches, one from Glou- 
cester, the other from Bristol, proceed as far as 
Swansea on alternate days. Stage waggons are 
unknown in the country. 

Journey from Bridgend to Cardiff; through Cozobridge. 

On leaving Bridgend, which we have already 
described, our road lies in an eastward direction, 
and at a short distance we pass through Ewenni, a 
cell founded by John Londres, lord of Ogmore Castle, 
but formerly belonging to Gloucester Abbey. 

This place appears to have been founded about 
the year 1140, and valued at 87/. per annum. The 
church, from the solidity of its structure, has not 
suffered from time so much as might have been 
expected, as it is indisputably of greater antiquity 
than any other building in Wales. It is said to 
have been finished before the year 1100, or soon 
after the conquest of this county, 'i he arches are 
all circular, the columns short, round and massive, 
with the capitals simple, but corresponding. The 
tower is of a moderate height, and supported by 


four fine arches, upwardy of twenty feet in the 
chord, from their respective springs. The roof of 
the east end of the choir is original and entire, not 
diagonal, but formed of one stone arch, from wall to 
wall, with a kind of plain fascia, or bandage of stone, 
at regular distances, crossing and strengthening the 

Under this roof, and against the north wall in the 
chancel, lies an ancient monument of stone, with an 
ornamental cross raised on it, by which it appears, 
from an inscription, to be the sepulchre of Maurice 
de Londres, grandson to the founder, and a kinsman 
of Payne Turberville, conqueror of Glamorganshire, 
who has likewise a monument here. This family long 
inhabited the mansion-house, an ancient building in 
this county, remarkable for its large and spacious hall. 

This old mansion has lately been thoroughly re- 
paired by the present proprietor, R. Turberville, esq., 
and converted into a comfortable residence. On the 
same side of the river Ewenni, lower down the stream, 
at its junction with the Ogmore, stand the remains of 
Ogmore Castle. 

Two miles eastward from this place, on the left of 
our road, is Pen line Castle, an ancient structure, but 
by whom built is uncertain; however, like some 
other elevated spots, it affords a kind of prognostic 
for the weather, and is thus described by lolo 
M organ wg. 

When the hoarse waves of Severn are screaming aloud, 

And Penline's lofty castle's involv'd in a cloud, 

If true the old proverb, a shower of rain 

Is brooding above, and will sooft drench the plain. 

Adjoining are the ruins of an old mansion, not in- 
habited since the Revolution. 

About three miles to the south of Penline Castle is 
Llanilltyd, or Llanwit, in British and Norman 
times a town of great consequence. 

Here are the remains of the celebrated school 


founded by St. Illtyd, A. D. 508, in which many 
nobles are said to have been educated; the ruins oV 
other buildings, and several streets, in ditlerent di- 
rections, still retain the names of former ages, thouuJi 
the houses on each side are now demolished. An old 
building of stone yet remains, called the Hull of 
Justice, wherein the lords' court was held, or the 
Norman Judicial Rights (the jura regalia) exercised, 
which made the nobles thus privileged almost inde- 
pendent of the crown. Under the Hall of Justice is 
a strong arched chamber, which seems to have been 
destmed to receive prisoners, who were tried and con- 
demned in the apartment above. The tradition of 
the village is, that Llanilltyd owed its origin to the 
Flemings, who settled along the coast of Glamorgan- 
shire, in the early part of the reign of Henry H., 
and that one of their chiefs made this liis place of 

The monastery or college founded here by St. llltyd, 
received at one time seven sons of British princes, 
besides five bishcps afterwards. The students of 
this college had for their habitations four hundred 
houses and seven halls; in fine, it was tlje principal 
university in Britain till the Norman Conquest. In 
two mandates from Pope Honorius to Urbanus, 1125, 
and a decree of Pope Calixtus in 1118, it is deno- 
minated among the iirst churches, which contiimed 
in high repute till, probably, superseded by the 
Jlnglish universities. 

The walls of the school are still standing behind 
the church, and the remains of tjje monastery are 
yet visible north- vvest of the school. By the ruins 
of the eastern door is the vestibule of the church, 
now roofless, also a considerable burial place, but 
now in a state of slovenly disorder. Amid the frag- 
ments are two monuments, the one in relief, of an 
ecclesiastic reclining on a cushion, with his feet rest- 
ing on two globes, containing an inscription for 
William (le Richelieu, a Norman; tlie other, a small 



li«;ure, is broken in the middle. The chuicli, tVotu 
its style of architecture, is very ancient, though 
much ot' the present appears oi" Norman origin, in 
a niche of the east wall, are the broken remains of 
a statue of the Cambrian legislator, Ilowel D(|^, 
and under it the figure of a woman in basso-relievo. 

The town of Lantwit exhibits numerous vestiges of 
its ancient extent and consequence. Several streets 
and lanes may be traced by foundations and ruinated 
b'lildings, and are still known by their ancient names. 
Its former populousness is also indicated by its spa- 
cious church and cemetery ; the latter of which, from 
the number of human bones dug up in the adjacent 
fields and gardens, appears to have been of very large 
extent. The Town Hall is yet standing, and the gaol 
has not been demolished many years. From the 
name of Gallows Way, given to a road leadhig from 
the town, this is thought to have led to a place of 
execution. The town lost its corporate privileges in 
the reign of Henry VHI. The ruins of the College 
House are situated in a garden adjoining the church- 
yard on the north. 

In the church-yard, on the north side, are two 
remarkable stones. Th3 first, close by the church 
wall, a pyramidal,- seven feet long, adorned with 
ancient Bnt;:>h carvings. On one side, from top to 
bottom, it has a remarkable furrow or groove, about 
two inches deep and four wide, which seems plainly 
to have been a cross. The other stone is curiously 
carved, and serves as a pedestal to a cross. On one 
side is an inscription, shewing that one Samson 
erected it for his sou! : on the other it appears Sam- 
son dedicated it to St. Illtyd. Against the wall of 
the porch is another for Ithiel,^ abbot of Llanilltyd, 
in the sixth century. 

One mile hence is St. Dunawd, or Donat's Castle, 
situated within 300 yards of the shore. The castle is 
a large irregular pile, bearing fnany marks of ancient 
magnificence, and still in some degree inhabited; but 
mo^t of the state apartments are in a very decayed 


condition. It was defended by a ditch, and in soitic 
places by a triple wall : it had also a park, well 
stocked with deer, and gardens with terraces to the 
Severn. The present building seems to have been 
erected by the Stradlings, about 1091, or the fifth 
year of William Rufus, and was the family seat six 
hundred and forty-eigl it years; but on the extinction 
of that family, it came to Bussey Mansel, esq. in 
1740. The castle is a large turreted edifice, but 
built on a very inelegant plan. What has been 
added to the original structure at different periods, 
forms an irregular whole, whose parts are dissimilar, 
unconnected, and everyway displeasing. The greatest 
curiosities here are in the principal court, which is of 
a polygonal siiape, and disproportionately low, and 
ornamented v»'ith a few small round recesses in the 
walls, having within them the busts of Roman em- 
perors and empresses, which appear to have been 
formerly sumptuously painted and gilt. The state 
apartments are much ornamented, and contain seve- 
ral specimens of heavy wood work, greatly in vogue 
during the reigns of Elizabeth and James I. The 
view from its principal room in the lower is really 
magnilicent, looking straight across the channel, 
which is near twenty miles broad, to the hills of 
Somersetshire above INIinehead. 

In the park are the ruins of a watch-tower, for the 
observation of distressed vessels during stormy we&,« 
ther, for the purpose of securing their cargoes for the 
lord, in the event of their being driven on shore. 

A few miles from the last-mentioned place is Din 
Dryvan House, or Castle, situated on a headland, jut- 
ting into the sea, and forming a point, nine miles from 
Cowbridge. The present mansion, raised on the site 
of the ancient edifice, is elegant and spacious, but 
built in the pointed style, by Thomas Wyndhain, esq. 
the present proprietor. 

Dunraven, called Dindryvan in Welsh history, is 
probably the oldest residence in Wales. It is certain 
that Caradoc, the celebrated Caractacus of British and 


Roman history resided here, as did also his father 
Bran ab Llyr. After the capture of the British hero, 
the Lords of Glamorgan continued to reside here oc- 
casionally, till the conquest of this part, in the time 
of lestyn ab Gwrgant. 

Returning to our road at the distance of about three 
miles from Fenline, we arrive at Covvbridge, being a 
translation of its Welsh name of Pont-y-Von. It is 
seated in a low bottom, but the soil is remarkably fer- 
tile. The streets are broad and paved. It has a good 
market, well supplied with corn, cattle, sheep, and 
other provisions ; here is likewise a handsome church 
and town-hall, where the quarter sessions are held. 

Cowbridge is governed by two bailiffs, twelve alder- 
men, and twelve common council, and sundry other 
inferior officers. The neighbourhood is remarkable 
for a number of castles, and the town for an excellent 
graimnar school, where many litei'ary characters were 
educated, particularly the late Dr. Price, and others 
much celebrated in the republic of letters. The 
school is at present well supported, and in great repute. 

Three miles from Cowbridge is Llancarvan, where 
St. Cadoc, or Catwg, is said to have founded a mo- 
nastery, about A. D. 500. Here Caradoc the histo- 
rian, and cotemporary with Geoffrey of Monmouth, 
it is said was born. His " History of Wales," or ra- 
ther the Chronicle, was translated into English by 
Humphrey Llwyd, and published with additions by 
Dr. David Powel, in quarto, 1634; by Wynne, 1697 ; 
1704, in octavo; and afterwards by Sir John Price, 
knight, in 1774, with a description of Wales prefixed.^ 

Trev Walter, or Walterston, was the residence of 
Walter de Mapes in tiie twelfth century. He built 
the present church of Llancarvan, and also the village 
of Walterston, with a mansion for himself. Though 
his father was one of the Norman invaders, the son, by 
an act of unusual generosity, restored a considerable 
proportion of his lands to the native proprietors, 

Morlai.Castle, near Morlai Brook, is situate in a 
very fruitful valley for grass and corn. Amid the ruins 
L 2 


of the castle was discovered an entire room, circular, 
and about thirty feet in diameter, the sides adorned 
with twelve fiat arches for doors and windows, and the 
rool' supported by a central pillar, like the chapter- 
house in Margam Abbey. 

This room, although one of the greatest curiosities, 
on this side of the country, is so buried in the ruins, 
as to leave scarcely any appearance of it above ground. 
Llewelyn granted this castle to Reginald de Bruce, in 
1217, Avho committed it to the care of Rhys Vychan, 
but it was destroyed soon after by order of Llewelyn. 
It was in ruinsiuLeland's time, and belonged to the king. 

Resuming our road, at the distance of eleven miles 
from Cowbridge, we arrive at Cordilf, or Caerdyv, so 
called from its situation on the junction of two rivers, 
thegreatand little Tav, and the plural of Tav beingTyv, 
hence Caerdyv, and which united stream runs along 
the west side of it, and falls into the Sct'ern, three 
miles below. ft is handsome and well built, en- 
closed by a stone wall, in which were four gates, and 
a deep ditch or mound, with a watch-tower still to 
be seen. The town is pleasantly situated on a fertile 
flat, two miles and a quarter from the eastern extre- 
mity of the county, where it is joined by Monmouth- 
shire, There is a good bridge of five arches over the 
river Tav, and vessels of two hundred tons burthen come 
up to the town. Between the town and the Severn 
is a fine level tract of moor land, which used to be 
frequently overflowed with spring tides; but now well 
secured by a sea wall, which has turned an extensi\e 
piece of salt marsh into fresh land. The town-hall, a 
respectable modern erection, stands in the middle of 
one ol' the principal thorouglifares, and near it is the 
county gaol, built upon the plan of the late Mr. How- 
ard. Since the completion of the canal to Merthyr, 
the town has been increased by several handsome 
houses. Three miles below the town is a harbour 
called Penarth, which is very conunodious for ships 
and vessels detiiincd in the Bristol channel by wes- 
terly winds. The iiihi'hitants of tliis town and neish- 

<5LAM0RC-A^"SHIRr.. 113 

liourliood carry on a considerable trade to Bristol, and 
send thither great quantities of oats, barley, salt but- 
ter, and poultry of all kinds; beside exporting annu- 
ally not less than eight thousand seven hundred and 
eigluv tons of cast and wrought iron for London and 
other places ; the bulk of it made at Merthyr Tyd- 
vil, and brought down from thence by a curious 
navigable canal, the head of which, at Meniiyr 
Bridge, is five hundred and sixty-eight feet five inches 
higher than the tide lock at Cardilf. 

The only manufacture here consists of iron hoops; 
however, in consequence of the numerous collieries up 
the vale, the iron works at IMcrthyr, Melin Gruffydd, (5cc. 
the produce of which is conveyed here for importation 
to Bristol, with shop gouds, the trade here is consider- 
able. The new cut to the town quays on the canal, 
admits ships of -JOO, and 300 tons to take in their 
loadings, and complete their cargoes by means f>f 
barges. The mail coach f )r Wilford arrives here from 
Bristol every evening, about eight, and the mail for 
the metropolis passes through Cardiff about six in the 
morning. The inns are numeroiss; but the two prin- 
cipal are the Cardiff Arms and the Angel. 

Cardiff contains tvv'o parishes, St. John's and St. 
IMary's, though at present there is but one church ; 
for, by a great inundation of the sea, in 1607, the 
chiu'ch of St. Mary, with many buildings in that 
parish, were undermined and swept away. '1 he 
church of St. John stands near the middle of the 
town, in a street of the same name. It is a plain 
Norman structure, supposed to have been erected in the 
thirteenth century. The arch of the west door is rich 
and handsome. The tower, of more modern date than 
the body, is a lofty square building of great beauty, hav- 
ing at the corners, open pinnacles or lantherns, greatly 
admired for their elegance, and exquisite workman- 
ship ; these have bten lately repaired in a manner 
highly creditable to the artist. Here are no objects of 
antiquarian interest in the interior of the churcli. 

1 he castle still forms an interesting object : the 

L ? 


western front has a remarkably fine appearance from 
the road approaching the town on that side. The in- 
terior was repaired and modernized some years since 
for the residence of Lord Mounstuart, Lord Bute's 
eldest son, when the accidental death of that nobleman 
put a stop to the design ; but the additions do not har- 
monize with the ancient architecture. The Black 
Tower had been assigned as the prison of Robert Cur- 
toise, under Henry 1. The ditch that fomierly sur- 
rounded this building has been filled up, and the 
whole of the ground laid out in a fine level lawn. The 
rampart, within the external wall, has been planted 
with shrubs, and on the summit a terrace-walk extends 
the whole length, affording a delightful prospect. 

In the reign of Charles the First, Carditf espoused 
the cause of that injured king, and was closely be- 
sieged by Oliver Cromwell in person, with a strong 
party, wiio bombarded the castle from an entrench- 
ment something better than a quarter of a mile to 
the west of the town. The cannonade was kept up 
for three days successively; and Oliver, in a book 
of his own writing, called tlie Flagellum, says, " He 
should have found greater difficulty in subduing Cardiff 
castle, had it not been for a deserter froin tlie garri- 
son, who conducted his party in the night-time 
through a subterraneous passage into the castle." The 
lordship and castle of Cardiff then belonged to the 
Earl of Pembroke, and from that family by intermar- 
riages it devolved, with many castles and lordships in 
Glamorganshire, to that of the Windsors. 

Li this town Robert, Earl of Gloucester, who died 
in 1147, founded a priory of White Friars, and 
another of Black ones, which continued till the gene- 
ral dissolution of religious houses by Henry the Eighth, 
in 1536. A great part of the shell of the White 
Friars is now to be seen, and the Black Friars' house 
is inhabited i)y fishermen. 

Near Melin Gruffydd, in the neighbourhood, is 
Castell Coch, consisting of a circular tower and a 
few entrenchments, on the brow of a perpendicu- 


Jar rock, supposed to have been a fortress of the 

Threeleagues south of CarditT are two islands, called 
the Flat, and the Steep Holrnes ; on the former is a light- 
house, and a good dwelling, where pilots frequently 
wait to conduct ships up the Bristol Channel; this island 
contains 60 acres of land, and is well cultivated. 

A little to the westward of these are Sully and Barry 
islands, situated scarcely three miles from the mouth 
of tlie river Tav, in tiie winding of the shore, divided 
from each othej, and also from the land, by a na- 
row frith. Sully is so denominated from Robert de 
Sully ; the other called Barry, from St. Baruch, who 
lies buried there. 

On a gentle elevation, about two miles north-w^est 
of Cardiff, is Llandaff, which is called by the Welsh 
Llandav, from its situation on the Tav. This is at 
present a miserable village of mean cottages, with the 
exception of a few gentlemen's houses. It depends 
mostly for the supply of its necessaries from Cardiff, 
only two miles distant : of course here is no market. 
Still the great object here is the cathedral, partly 
Saxon, and partly Norman, though the prevailing 
style is, what is commonly called Gothic. The 
western front is remarkably handsome, being orna- 
mented with lancet windows of various sizes. Im- 
mediately over the principal entrance, and underneath 
the arch, is the figure of a Bishop, with one hand 
moderately raised, the other holding the pastoral staff. 
Above, over the upper range of windo^^ s, near the 
centre of the building, is another carved figure, in a sit- 
ting posture, holding a book in one hand. The whole is 
surmounted by a very ancient cross. On the north 
side is a very rich SaKon door-way. At the west end 
were formerly two magnificent square towers, of which 
that at the north angle alone remains. This was built 
by Jasper Duke of Bedford, in 1485 ; the pinnacles^ 
were damaged by a storm, in 1703. Two sides of 
this tower are raised on two ligiit arches, which spring 
from a single pillar. In the interior some eleganf 


Gothic arches separated the nave from two side aislt.s. 
The entire length of the church is 300 feet, and the 
breadth 80. ^it the west end is a ohapel, dedicated 
to the Virgin Mary, and on the south side stands the 
chapter-house. The ancient structure having fallen 
into decay, a new edifice was raised within the old 
walls, about the year 1751. The body of this is in 
length, from east to west, two hundred and sixty-three 
feet, the distance from tlie west door to the choir is 
one hundred and ten, and the length from the latter 
to tlie altar seventy-five ; the body of the church sixty- 
five, and the height, from the floor to the top of the 
compass-woi-k of the roof, the same. The choir is 
very neat, but there is no cross aisle, although com- 
mon to almost every other cathedral iu England and 
Wales. The new addition, on which large sums 
have been expended, is a mixture of Grecian and 
Gothic, and the portico of a Grecian Temple projects 
over the altar. The building is upon the whole ridi- 
culously disfigured with Venetian windows, Ionic pil- 
lars, and ahnf>st every imaginable impropriety. I'he 
modern church noticed separately is singularly situat- 
ed, and formed mostly within tljC walls of the old 
cathedral. In the midst of these defects in architec- 
ture, the neatness in which tlie church is kept, how- 
ever, deserves no small portion of commendation, par- 
ticularly the great care apparently taken of the nume- 
rous renmants of antiquity, monuments, ^'c. that are 
to be found in this ancient edifice. Near the cathe- 
dral are some remains of the ancient castellated man- 
sion of the Bishop. The destruction of this building, 
with the principal portion of the church, is attributed 
to Owen Glyndwr. The early history of this see is 
involved in considerable obscurity. St. Tewdric the 
Martyr, who lived in the fifth century, and was the 
'.grandfather of the celebrated Arthur, seems to have 
been the builder of the first chiu'ch, and Dubricius, 
the golden-headed, the first Bishop in the sixth century. 
About five miles north from Llandaft', and seven 
from (.'ardilV, isCaerfili Caslle, silnatcd among a row 


of hills that run through tlie middle of Glamorganshire 
towards Brecknockshire. 'J he town is neat and clean, 
with many respectable houses; but the castle is the 
chief building, and probably one of the noblest re- 
niaias of antiquity in the kingdom, situate ou a small 
stream wliich runs into tiie lUuuney. 

It consists of one iar^,e obleng court, \^ith an en- 
trance by a gateway, and two round towers to the 
east and west. On the north is a dead wall, with 
loop holes, and on the south a magnificent hall. At 
each angle was a round tower of four stories, com- 
municating with others by a gallery in the second 
story. The south-east tower, next what is caded 
the Mint, stands eleven feet out of its perpendicular, 
resting only on one part of its south side; it is seventy 
or eighty feet in height. 

The hall is a stately room, about seventy feet by 
thirty, and seventeen high, the roof of which is 
vaulted, and supported by twenty arches. On one 
side are two stately windows, continuing down to the 
floor, and reaching above the supposed roof of the 
room : the sides are ornamented with double rows of 
triple leaved knobs or husks, bearing a fruit like a 
round ball, and in the centre, an ornament common 
in buildings of the fourteenth century. On the side 
walls of the room are seven clusters of round pilas- 
ters, about four feet long, each supported by three 
busts, varied alternately. In the south, at equal 
distances, are six grooves, about nine inches wide, 
and eight high, intended to place something, of wliich 
nothing remains. The doors are placed on the east 
end, eight feet high, opening into a court or castle 
yard, v; hich is seventy yards by forty, with another on 
the south side; on the east are two more, bow- 
arched, and within a yard of each other. The imier 
buildings, or main body of tlie castle, is entirely sur- 
rounded by an inunense wall, supported by strong 
buttresses, and detiended by square towers, comnmni- 
cating with each otiier by an embattled gallery, and 
gver it a pleasant walk. In the east end gate of the 


castle are two hexagonal towers, and at right angles 
with this gate, is a square tower, with three grooves 
for portcullises, and an oven. 

Between the outer wall and tlie moat were the 
offices : the mill-house is still remaining. Without the 
walls of the castle are several moated entrench- 
ments, with bastions at the angles. The origin of 
this noble fabric cannot be traced. Some Flemish 
pieces have been discovered here with an image of 
our Saviour ; and about the same time, coins resem- 
bling tlie Venetian, with a brass one, like those of the 
middle ages, but without a syllable of inscription to 
assist our conjectures in endeavouring to elucidate 
the origin of one of the largest buildings in Britain. 

This castle formerly belonged to the Clares and 
Earls of Gloucester, then the Earl of Pembroke. On 
a mountain called Cevn y Gelli Gaer, near the castle, 
on the road to Marchnad y VVaen, is a remarkable 
monument, known by the name of Y Maen Hir, con- 
sisting of a rude stone pillar of a quadrangular form, 
and eight feet high, with an inscription inserted in 
Camden, Close at the bottom is a small entrenchment. 

But amongst the various conjectures as to the 
origin of this castle, the greatest probability is, that the 
first Norman settlers, Lords of Glamorgan, enlarged 
and strengthened the edifice which had previously stood 
on this site, and gradually raised it to that splendour 
and magnificence, which yet excite our wonder and 
admii'ation. It is obvious, that even the principal 
buildings of the interior were erected at difterent pe- 
riods ; the two grand entrances, the gates on the east 
side, being the work of a different age from that on 
the western side. 



Tuis county, called by the Welsh Swydd Caer- 
vi/rddhiy is bounded on tlu; north by Cardiganshire, on 
tiie east by Brecknockshire, on the west by Pembroke- 
shire, and on the south by Glamorganshire, and pnrt of 


the sea. It extends {'roni east to west above 45 miles, 
but in the contrary direction httle more than 20. The 
general surface of Caermarthenshire is hilly ; and in 
the northern and eastern parts the hills rise into moun- 
tains. The vales for the most parts are narrow, and the 
hills rise abruptly from the skirts of small vallies, with 
which this district is almost every where intersected; but 
the vale of Ty wi is the principal of the level tracts, 
extending 30 miles up the country, with a breadth of 
two miles, and abounds in picturesque beauties. 
The principal rivers are the Ty wi and Tav ; the for- 
mer rises in Cardiganshire, and enters Caermarthen- 
shire at its north eastern-corner, and takes its course 
to the south. The climate of Caermarthenshire is 
not favourable to wheat, barley succeeds better ; but 
the most profitable crop is oats, of which large quan- 
tities are exported annually to Bristol and other places. 

Numbers of black cattle are bred in the county, 
and much butter exported yearly. It has been ex- 
tremely well wooded, but great waste has of late 
years been made of the timber ; coals and limestone 
are plentiful, with a few lead mines. 

Caermarthenshire is divided into six hundreds, 
containing six market-towns and 87 parishes, within 
the diocese of St. David, and the province of Can- 
terbury, with 77,217 inhabitants. It returns two mem- 
bers to the Imperial parliament ; one for the county, 
and one for Caermarthen. 

Journey from Llandotery to St. Clare; through 

Llandovery, or Llanymddyvri, is situated on a 
bank of the river Tywi, over which is a handsome 
bridge. The town is rather a mean, straggling place, 
and very irregularly built, encompassed by streams 
in almost every direction. It lies near the head of 
the upper vale of Tywi, and is bounded by a range 
of wild hills, which divide it from Cardiganshire. 
In Leland's time it had but one street, and that poorly 
built of thatched houses, with the parish church « n a 
hill, near which, several roninn bricks have been found. 


On a mount between Boran river and Evvenni 
brook, are the remains of a small castle, consisting of 
two sides, and a deep trench, but by whom built, is 
uncertain. In 1113 we fmd it in the possession of 
Richard de Pws, and about that tune besieged by 
Gruffydd ah Rhys, who, after burning the outworks, 
raised the siege, and retired with considerable loss. 
Subsequent to this, many trifling circumstances oc- 
curred, but the last action, mentioned by Caradoc 
took place in 1213, when Rhys, the son of Grulfydd 
ab Rhys, with an army of Welsh and Normans, en- 
camped before this place with an intention to besiege it; 
but the governor thought it more prudent to surrender, 
on condition that the garrison should be permitted 
to march out unmolested, whicli was granted. 

On leaving Llandovery, our road lies in a south- 
westerly direction, and at the distance of about eight 
miles, we pass on our left the town of Li.angadoc, 
situate between the rivers Bran and Cothi. The 
town is small, but lately much improved in its build- 
ings: it is said to have been once a large town, and 
Thomas Beck, bishop of St. yVsaph, attempted to 
make its church collegiate in the year 1233. \\\ 
this parish is an iron manufactory, called The Beau- 
fort VVocks. Here are four blast-furnaces and forges; 
about 260 people have been generally employed at a 
time. 'J'he ova is raised at the distance of half a 
mile, and conveyed thence by tram-roads. 

Most of the neighbouring farmers and cottagers 
clothe themselves, with their home-made woollen 
cloths, striped and plaided, and woollen stockings, 
and have a great deal to spare to sell to more indo- 
h.-nt counties. Jn the neighbouihood was an ancient 
castle, now entirely demolished. 

About twelve miles from Llandover}', in our road, 
is Llandeilo, a considerable market-town, pleasantly 
situate on a rising ground by the river Tavvy, over 
which is a handsome stone bridge. 

Jn 1213 Rhys Vychan, being fearful that Faulkc, 
lord of Cardi'ian, would dispossess him of this tOAvn, 


caused it to be burnt to the ground, and then Irad 
himself recourse to the woods and desert phices in its 

A decisive battle is said to have been fougiit here in . 
1231, between Edward I. and IJewelyn the Great, in 
which, by Morthuer's manoeuvre, the Welsh were 

Dinevwr Castle, one mile from Llandeilo, is the 
grand seat of the Rice family, lately ennobled by the 
title of Lord Dmevor. It occupies an eminence im- 
mediately above the town, covering several undulat- 
ing hills with its rich groves and verdant lawns. The 
castle was built by Rhys ab Theodore, in the time of 
William the Conqueror, who removed hither from 
Caermarthen, the former residence of the princes of 
South Wales. Its original fonn was circular, fortified 
with a double moat and rampart, having on the left 
side of the ascent a bulwark, with a large arch, which 
fell down many years ago. South of the castle are 
shewn the ruins of a chapel, between two round tow- 
ers, and on the east side a dungeon, at the bottom of 
a ruined tower. 

In the year 1145, Cadell, the son of Gruffydd ab 
Rhys, took this fortress from Gilbert, Earl of Clare. 
Giraldus mentions it being demolished in 1194, but 
soon after rebuilt with its ruins, only made to occupy 
a smaller extent of ground. After this, in 1205, we 
find it in the possession of Rhys, the son of Gru.fydd 
ab Rhys; but in 1257, Rhys Vychan, having pro- 
cured assistance, marched with an English army 
from Caeraiarthen against this fortress, which va- 
liantly held out until Llewelyn ab Gruffydd came to 
its relief, when a battle ensued, wherein the English 
lost 2000 men, besides many barons and knights who 
were taken prisoners. But the demolition of this 
castle was completed in the Civil Wars, though not 
till after two batteries failed to make any impression 
on its garrison; a third being erected, it was reduct-d. 
Tlie ruins were granted to Sir lliceab Thomas, by Henry 
"^^11. for the ixrcat a.ssistance u-ivcn him on his landine 


at Milford Haven, and Bosworth Field, which pro- 
curec' Henry the crown of England. Henry VIH. 
on a false charge of treason, seized this castle, but 
again restored it to llhys, an ancestor of the present 
Lord Dinevor, who is a lineal descendant from the 
princes of South Wales. 

In the centre, amidst rich groves and -verdant 
lawns, stands the house, a plain modern structure ; 
but the scenery about it is beautiful, consisting of a 
profusion of woods, principally of the finest oak, with 
some large Spanish chesnuts, descending abruptly to 
the bed of the river Tywi, where all the striking beau- 
ties of this enchanting tract may be enjoyed in full 
display of romantic scenery, while the high chain of 
rude unequal mountains, crossing the road at right 
angles, form three separate vales, widely differing 
from each other in form and character. 

Three miles eastward from Llandeilo is Careg Cen- 
nin Castle, strongly situated on the point of a high 
craggy insulated rock, three sides of which are wholly 
inaccessible, and surrounded at moderate, but equal 
distances, with mountains, and roads leading to it, 
scarcely passable. The fortress, of which a great part 
is still extant, does not occupy an acre of ground, the 
rock scarcely admitting of that extent; but the ruins, 
when seen from the road between Bcttws and Llan- 
deilo, appear uncommonly singular. 

This was doubtless an ancient British building; 
and a proof of its great antiquity may be deduced 
from its plan, for approaching it from the east side, 
we do not find the gateway, as is usual, between two 
towers in front; but a strong covered-way on the 
brink of the rock, which leads to the gates on the 
south side. The well in this castle is also of a singu- 
lar kind ; for, instead of a perpendicular descent, 
here. is a large winding cave bored through the solid 
rock, with an arched passage on the northern edge 
of the precipice, running along the outside of the 
fotress, with an easy slope, to the heginning of the 
perforation, which is in length 84 fert. This perfo- 


ration is of various dimensions ; the breadth of it at 
the beginning is twelve feet, and in some places less 
than three; but at a medium, it may be estimated to 
be from five to six, and the height of the cave ten 
feet, but varying, that the whole descent through the 
rock is 150 leet. 

There is no account or mention of this castle till 
1284, when, according to Caradoc, Rhys Vychan won 
it from the English, to whom a short time before it 
was privately delivered by his mother. In 1773, 
some coins were turned up here by the plough, of 
the reigns of Elizabeth, James, and Charles I., pro- 
bably concealed during the civil dissentions of the 
latter reign. In this neighbourhood are some remains 
of Llangadog and Llanymddvri Castles, frequently 
mentioned in British history. 

At the distance of fifteen miles from Llandeilo, after 
passing through Abergwyli, we arrive at Caermarthen, 
or Caervyrddin, from its being situated on the con- 
flux of a brook, called Byrddin, and the Tywi, on 
the vvestern bank of the Tywi; and being partly on a 
considerable elevation, it has a striking appearance, 
and a commanding prospect. All the principal streets 
contain a large proportion of good houses, and though 
the streets are not regular, it is not a \\ hit more ob- 
jectionable on this ground than many of the old towns. 
The principal thoroughfare in the middle of the town, 
besides being very steep, is exceedingly narrow. 
The actual length of tlie town is about three-fourths 
of a mile, and about half a mile wide; it was formerly 
surrounded by i high wall, with fortified gates, &c. 
The communication with the country, on the eastward, 
is formed by a substantial stone bridge, of several 
arches, over the Tywi. A beautiful public walk at 
the upper end of the town, is called the Parade, 
which commands an extensive view of the vale. The 
Guildhall is situated in the middle of the town ; it has a 
grand staircase in the front, which is highly ornamental 
to the structure. . The county gaol occupies a part ot 
the site of the castle, and was built on the well-intended, 

i2d SOL' 11! WALKS. 

but injudicious plan of the philanthropic Hovvardj 
The excellent market-place is, with great propriety, 
placed a small distance from the town. Since the 
year 1803, water has been conveyed in iron pipes 
into the town, from some excellent springs in the 
neighbourhood. There are here no manufactories of 
-consequence, though in the vicinity are some iron 
and tin works on a tolerably extensive scale. Besides 
a fabrication of coarse hats, Caerniarthen supplies the 
neighbouring country with shop goods of various de- 
scriptions, to a very large annual amount, and carries 
on an extensive export trade in corn, butter, &c. to 
Bristol and other ports : vessels of about 300 tons 
burden, are admitted to the town, and a very hand- 
some and substantial quay has lately been built. The 
inns here are numerous, and some of them very good. 
The Ivy r>ush, formerly a gentleman's residence 
here, may be ranked among the best inns in the 
principality. A very respectable newspaper has been 
published hce for some years past. Caennarthen is 
a borough-jown, and sends one member to parlia- 
ment. Some of its privileges are very ancient, and of 
unknown origin, and no doubt derived from the Welsh 
princes, who had their chancery and exchequer here. 
Caermarthen contains but one parish, and the 
church is dedicated to St. Peter. It is a large plain 
edifice, consisting of two aisles and a chancel, with a 
lofty square tower at the western end. The neatness 
of the interior is greatly improved by a handsome, 
fine-toned organ. J he most remarkable monument 
here, is that of Sir llhys ab Thomas, and his lady, on 
the north side of the chancel, though they were buried 
in the adjacent priory, where this monument was 
originally erected. Nearly opposite to this is another 
monument, bearing a most grotesque figure of a fe- 
male, in the act of kneeling, and underneath a singular 

Sir Richard Steele was buried in the cemetery of the 
Scurlocks, with whom he had been connected by 
mariiagc. His want of * monument is said to have 


been owing to his dying request. Caernianheri con- 
tains several places of worsliip, belonging to different 
classes of Dissenters, and the Presbyterians have 
here a very respectable collegiate institution for the 
education of young men, for the ministry, supported 
by a public fund in the metropolis. Dr. Abraham 
Rees, the learned editor of the New Cyclopedia, has 
foT a long period been one of the visitors. The priory 
here, was situated north-east of the church, in a part 
nhich formerly constituted a township of itself, called 
Old Caermarthen. The house stood in a large qua- 
drangular court, entered on the north by an arched 
gateway, part of which still remains in Priory-street ; 
but though this Priory existed before 1148, neither 
date nor founder is known. At the other end of the 
town, stood a house of Grey Friars; and behind the 
Guildhall was a church or chapel, dedicated to St. 
IMary, not used since the dissolution of monasteries. 
The remains of the castle are very inconsiderable; 
being taken in the civil war?, by the parliament forces 
under General LonMhorne, it suffered to go to 
decay, though till about twenty-five years ago, a part 
of it was used for the common gaol. 

Antiquaries have generally agreed in fixing the 
Roman city ofMaridunum here, from the junction at 
this point of the two grand brandies of the .Julian way. 
Caermarthen is also the reputed birth-place of the 
supposed Magician, and prophet ]Merlin. The return 
of the population of this place in 1811, is estimated 
at 7275. 

About seven miles beyond Caermarthen is the 
village of St. Clare, where was anciently a castle. 
Here was likewise a priory of monks, cell to the Clu- 
niac abbey of St. Martin de Campis in Paris, founded 
in the year 1291, and given by Henry VI. to All Soul's 
College, Oxford. 

Five miles from St. Clare, stood Ty Gwyn, or 

White House, the ancient palace of Howel Dda, the 

first sovereign of all Wales. Here, in 942, lie sent 

for the archbishop of St. David, with the rest of the 



bishops and principal clergy, to the number of 140, 
beside the barons and principal nobility. Thus col- 
lected, in the palace of Ty Gwyn, they passed the 
Lent in prayer and fasting, imploring divine assistance 
in the design of reforming the laws. At the close 
of the season, the king chose twelve of the gravest 
and most experienced men of this assembly, who, in 
concert with Blegored, a very learned man, and able 
lawyer, he commissioned to examine the old laws, in 
order to retain the good, and abrogate those that were 
improper or unnecessary. 

The commission being executed, the new laws 
were publicly read and proclaimed : three copies 
were accordingly written ; one for the king's own use, 
the second to be laid up in his palace of Aberfraw, 
in North Wales, and the third at Dinevwr, in South 
Wales, that all the Welsh provinces might have ac- 
cess to them ; and, as a farther confirmation of the 
whole, the king, with the archbishop, went to Home, 
and obtained of the Pope a solemn ratification of the 
same, which continued in force till the conquest of 
Wales, in 1^282, by Edward I. 

Three miles south from St. Clare is Lachap.n, a 
small village, situated at the mouth of the river Tav, 
It is irregularly built on a low bank of the estuary, 
with a ferry to Llanstephan. 

lilachcirn Castle was built by the Normans, before 
the year 1214; but fell afterwards into the possession 
of Llewelyn the Great. It still exhibits the fragments 
of an ancient keep, situated on an elevation, and sur- 
rounded by a deep moat. 

Here is supposed to have been the Lucar'mni of 
Antoninus, called by some ancient authors Loughor, 
or Larn. 

About three miles eastward from the last mentioned 
place, is Llanstephan Castle, which crowns the sum- 
mit of a bold hill, whose precipitous base is washed 
by the sea. Its broken walls enclose a large area, 
and is encircled with several ramparts, appearing to 
have possessed considerable streJigth. The whole 


affords a very picturesque appearance, exhibiting a 
wide estuary, with a rocky promontory opposite, and 
the boundless sea. This castle is supposed to hare 
been built by Uchtryd, prince of Meirion, in 11158. 
The village is neat, and well situated in a woody valley, 
commandincr an extensive view of the neighljouring 
estuary of theTav, near its junction with the sea. 

The castle was built, probably by the Nonnans, 
before 12 J 5, and afterwards fell into the possession 
of Llewelyn. 

Journey from Kydxceli to Nezicastle; through 

Kydweli is a small but neat town, at a little dis- 
tance from the coast, and 12 miles from Llychwr, in 
Glamorganshire. It is divided into what is called 
the Old and New Town, and only separated by a 
bridge over the Gwendraeth. The parish church stands 
in New Kydweli: it is a plain structure, consisting of 
only one aisle, and two ruined transepts, with a tower 
at the western end, surmounted by a handsome spire 
165 feet in height. Over the entrance is a figure of 
the Viro'in Mary; and in the interior a sepulchral 
effigy of a priest, with an illegible inscription. On 
the same side of the river was a priory, founded by 
Roger, bishop of Salisbury, for Benedictine or Black 
Monks, subject to the Abbey of Sherborne in Dorset- 

The old town, in Leland's time, was well walled, 
Avith three gates, having over one the town wall, and 
under it a prison. In 990 this place was almost de- 
stroyed by Edwin ab Einion, and aftenvards, in 1093, 
it suffered considerably by the Normans, wlio de- 
stroyed some of the principal houses, and made a 
dreadful massacre of the inhabitants. 'J'he town is 
very much decayed, but the castle is well worthy of 
observation ; which occupies a bold rocky eminence 
on the western side of the river. The exterior is still 
grand and imposing ; the ground plan is nearly square. 
At each of the angles is a strong round tower; and 
the walls formins: the enclosure, arc defended by 


Other towers of smaller dimensions. Several of tlic 
apartments are entire, with their arched roofs unim- 
paired, and some of the staircases are in tolerable pre- 
servation. The principal entrance was from the west, 
beneath a magnificent gateway between two round 
lofty towers, which still remain Caradoc says, the 
first cjibtle erected here, was built by William de 
Londres, one of the Norman Knights, who assisted 
Robert Fitzhamon, who in 1094 led a powerful force 
into Gower, Kydweli, and Ystrad Tywi. Twenty 
years afterwards, this castle was taken by Gruffydd, 
ab Rhys, who invaded the territories of the Norman 
lord, and made a valuable booty. A few years after, 
while Gruffydd was in North Wales, his wife Gwen- 
Uuant, attended by her two sons, led in person a body 
of troops into this neighbourhood, where she was de- 
feated and taken prisoner, by the great grandson of 
Wilham de Londres. . After the engagement this he- 
roine and several of her fuliowers were cruelly put to 
death. In the course of a few years more, 1190, 
Rhys ab GrutTydd, after winning the castles of iVber- 
corran, St. Clare's, and Llansteplian, made the castle 
of Kyhvcli handsomer and stronger than any of his 
other fortresses. 

By the New Town is an ordinary harbour, nearly 
choaked with sand, so that only small vessels are able 
to approach its quay. The principal trade is coals 
and culm. 

On leaving this town we proceed northerly, and 
at the distance of eight miles pass through Caermar- 
then, 20 miles beyond which we arrive at New- 
casii,e-in-Emlyn, or Dinas Emlyn, on the river 
'J'eivi. It contains nothing remarkable, except the 
site of an ancient castle. In 1215, Llewelyn ab 
lorwerth having won the castle, subdued Cemaes. 
The situation of this town, and the road to it fron\ 
Caermarthen, is in general dreary and mountainous, 
which subjects the traveller to considerable danger, 
particularly from the numerous and interceptible turf 
pit^ with whirl) this district iibounds. 


Crug-y-Dyrn, is a remarkable tumulus in TrelecU 
parish, being in circumference sixty paces, and in 
height about six yards. It rises from an easy ascent, 
and is hollow on the top, gently inclining trom the 
circumference to the centre. 

This heap is chiefly formed of small stones covered 
with turf, and may properly be called a cainedd. On 
the top, in a small cavity, is a large flat slone, of 
an oval form, about three yards long, and twelve 
inches thick. On searching under it was found a 
cist vaen, or stone chest, four feet long and tliree 
broad, composed of seven stones, two at the end, 
and one behind. About the outside, and within the 
chest, some rough pieces of brick were found, also 
pieces of wrought freestone, with a great quantity of 
human bones. It is supposed to have been the bu- 
rial place or sepulchre of some British chief, before 
the Roman conquest. 

Bwrdd-Arthur, or Arthur's Tables, is on a 
mountain near Cil-y-maen-llwyd, consisting of cir- 
cular stone monuments*. The diameter of the circle 

* In the year 1179, the sepulchre of the celebrated 
King Arthur, and Gwenhwyvar his queen, were found 
by means of a Welsh bard, whom King Henry II. 
heard at Pembroke, relate, in a song, the mighty 
actions of that great prince, and the place where he 
was buried, which was found in the isle of Avalon, 
without Glastonbury Abbey. According to the bard, 
their bodies were foumi, laid in a hollow elder tree, 
interred fifteen feet in the earth. The bones of King 
Arthur were of a prodigious and almost incredible 
magnitude; having ten wounds in the skull, one of 
which being considerably larger than the rest, ap- 
peared to have been mortal. The queen's hair ap- 
peared quire fresh, and of a yellow colour, but when 
touched fell instantly to dust. 

Over the bones was laid a stone, with a cross of lead, 
haling on the lower side of the stone, this inscription : 


is about 20 yards, and composed of extraordinary 
rude stones, pitched on their ends, at unequal inter- 
vals, of three, four, six, and eight feet high. There 
were ori{j:inaily 23 in number, but now there are 
only 15 standing, eight of the smallest being carried 
away for private purposes. The entrance, for above 
three yards, is guarded on each side by small stones, 
contiguous to each other, and opposite to this pas- 
sage, at the distance of about :300 yards, stand 
three more^, considerably larger, and more rude than 
the preceding. 


This county, the most western of South Wales, is 
bounded on the north-west by Cardigan Bay, on the 
north-east by the county of Cardigan, on the east by 
the county of Caermarthen, on the south by the 
Bristol Channel, and on the west by the Irish Sea. 
It is called by the Welsh, Dyved or Diametia, and 
Penvro, or the Headland. Its extent, from north to 
south, is about 35 miles, and from east to west 29 ; 
comprehending about 35,600 acres. It is divided 
into seven hundreds, containing seven towns, and 
145 parishes. It is in the province of Canterbury, 
and diocese of St. David. The surface is, for the 
most part, composed of swells, or easy slopes, but 
not mountainous, except a ridge of hills, which runs 
from the coast, near Fisgard, to the borders of 
Cacrmarthcnshire. These hills are called the moun- 


AiiTiiuRus IN Insula Avalonia." 

<* Here lies buried the famous King Arthur, 
in the Isle of Avalon.^^ 
King vVrthur was slain in the battle of Camlan 
A. D. 540. 



tains, Jind the people distinguish the country with 
reference to the hills; the north side heing called 
above the mountains, and the south side below. 

The county is well watered by springs rising in the 
slopes, so as to give a convenient supply to the adja- 
cent lands in general ; but some parts of the coast 
are in want of water in the summer season, particu- 
larly where limestone is found at a moderate depth. 
The chmate is temperate, and it rarely happens that 
frost continues with severity for any considerable 
time ; nor does snow lie long upon the ground, but 
generally dissolves the second or third clay after its 
fall. The prevaihng state of the air is moist; and 
there is, probably, more rain h.ere in any other 
part of tlie kingdom, owing to the insular situation, 
and the high mountains of Caerniarthcnshire and 
Breconshire, lying eastward, which stop tl.e current 
of the clouds brought by the westerly winds from the 
Atlantic Ocean, and occasion thereby torrents of rain 
to descend in Pembrokeshire whenever those winds 
prevail. Woods are rather scarce; particularly to- 
wards the western coast. The interior part of the 
country is better wooded, but the growth is for the 
most part slow, and the oak remarkably full of 
heart. The commerce of this county is very trifling, 
and cannot be said to jjave any influence on its agri- 
culture, unless we allow the exportation of corn 
when it is cheap, and the importation when it is dear, 
to be commerce. Upon the occasion of the arrival 
of some respectable persons at Milford, a few years 
since as settlers there, some enquiry after the people, 
called the Welsh Indians, was excited, and the 
following account of their origin was referred to : 

On the death of Owen Gwynedd, prince of North 
Wales, in 1170, there arose an alarming contention 
about the succession to the principality between his 
sons, which involved Wales for some years in a ci^ il 
war. But Madav.g, being of a more pacifx disposi- 
tion than his brothers, perceiving his inability to ter- 
minate tliis hostile disposition, determined to try hi? 


fortune abroad, therefore left Wales in a very unset- 
tled condition, and sailed with a small fleet, which 
he had prepared for the purpose, to the westward, 
leaving Ireland upon the north, till he came to an 
unknown country, where most things appeared to 
liim new, and the manners of the natives ditferent 
to what he had been accustomed to see in Europe. 
This country, says the learned H. Llwyd, must have 
been some part of that vast continent, of which the 
Spaniards, since Munno's time, boast themselves to 
be the iirst discoverers, and which, by the order of 
Cosmography, seems to be some part of Nova His- 
pania or Florida, therefore it is evident that this 
country was discovered by the Britons near 329 
years before tlie time of Columbus, or Americus 

After divesting the subsequent part of some aLsurd 
traditions, it is manifest, says the same author, that 
Madawg, on his arrival, seeing the fertihty and plea- 
santness of this new country, thought it expedient 
to invite more of his countrymen out of Britain, 
therefore left those he had brought with him, and 
returned for Wales. 

Having arrived, he began to acquaint his friends 
with what a fair and extensive land he had met with, 
and void of inhabitants, while they at home employed 
their time and skill to supplant one another for a small 
portion of rugged rocks and sterile mountains, there- 
fore reconmiended them to exchange their present 
state of dangers and continual warfare for one wiih 
more peace and enjoyment. By such persuasion 
he procured a considerable number of Welsh to emi- 
grate with him, so gave a final adieu to his native 
country, and sailed back with ten ships. It is supposed 
that Madawg and his people inhabited part of that 
country, since called Florida, as the inhabitants were 
Christians, and worshipped the cross, before the ar- 
rival of the Spaniards, as appears by Francis Loves and 
Acusanus, authors of no small reputation. The learned 
Dr. Powell conjecttircs Madawg landed in a part of 

pr.MBROKLSHini;. V3r, 

Mexico, for the Spanish chronicles of the canqntst of 
the West Indies, record a tradition of" the inhabitants 
of that country, — that their rulers descended from a 
strange nation, and came there from a foreign coun- 
try, which was confessed by King Montezuma, in 
a speech at his submission to the King of Castile, be- 
fore Hernando Cortez, the Spanish general. As an 
additional testimony, many British words might be 
produced, and names of places, as, Gorando, to lis- 
ten; a certain bird called Penguin; tlie island of 
Cooroso, Cape Bryton, river Gwyndor, and the white 
rocks of Pengwyn, which manifestly shew it to have 
been inhabited by Madawg and Lis Britons. An ad- 
tional proof is : 

The purport of a letter, to Dr. Jones of Hammer- 
smith, from his brother in America. 

In the year 1797, a Welsh tradesman on the river 
Monangahala, near Petersburg, Avent down the Ohio, 
and from thence up the Mississippi to within sixty 
miles of the Missouri, to a town called Mazores. 

In the month of April, as he chanced to be out 
among some Indians, he overheard two conversing 
about some skins they had to sell or exchange, anil 
from a word or two, conceived their language to be 
Welsh ; he listened for a few minutes, and became 
convinced, though much corrupted from its primitive 

Notwithstanding, he resolved to endeavour to con- 
verse with them, and to his great astonishment, found 
themselves mutually understood, with the exception 
of some vvords either original, or obsolete in Wales. 
He describes them to be of a robust stature, and 
dressed from head to foot, in the skins of some ani- 
mals, but no kind of shirt. Their complexion was of 
a copper colour, similar to other Indians, with strong 
black hair, but no beard, except about the mouth. 

By them he understood they came from a long way 
up the Missouri, and had been about three months 
coming to the place where he found them. In conse- 


quence of the preceding, John Evans, a young man, 
well acquainted with the language, has been in quest 
of the Welsh Indians, but without success, not Lav- 
ing penetrated more than 900 miles up the Missouri 
before compelled to return, in consequence of a war 
among the natives. It is conjectured that our Cambro- 
Indians inhabit a territory nearly 1800 or 2000 miles 
up that river. A second trial was meditated, but 
before executed John Evans died, consequently no 
new discovery has been attempted. A great number 
of additional particulars, however, are constiuitly re- 
ceived, proving the existence of the Welsh Indians. 

The principal river is the Cleddau, east and west, 
which, rising in the northern part, unite at a small 
distance from Milford Haven. 

It sends three members to the In^perial parliament, 
viz. one for tlie county, and two for the towns of 
Pembroke and Haverfordwest. 

Journey from Vcmhroke to Fisgard; through 

Pembroke, the borough town, consists princi- 
pally of one long street, reaching from the east gate 
to the west, with a short cross street leading to the 
north gate. It was once surrounded by a lofty wall, 
in which were three gates; one at each end of the 
main street, and one on the north, which alone re- 
mains with a portion of the wall, flanked with several 
bastions of very solid nuisonry. The town stands on 
an arm of Wilford Haven, and built on a rocky situa- 
tion. The castle was built by Henry the First, and 
covers the whole of a great mount, which descends in 
a perpendicular cliff on each side, except towards the 
town, where it is almost encompisssed by one of those 
winding estuaries, which being fed by some small 
rivers, penetrate into the county towards Milford Ha- 
ven. The castle stands near the v\all, on a rock, and 
is very large and strong, besides double warded. In 
tlie outer ward is tlie chamber where Henry the 
Seventh was born, in remembrance orf' which a- chim- 


ney is now built, with his arms and badges. In the 
bottom of the large round tower, in the inner ward, 
is a vault, called the Hogan. The top of this tower 
is gathered wit'i a roof like a cone, and covered with a 
mill-stone, but the greater part is now in ruins or 

The remains are of Norman architecture, mixed 
with early Gothic, and the principal tower, which is 
uncommonly high, has still its stone-vaulted roof re- 
maining. The walls of the tower are four feet thick, 
and the diameter of the space within 25, the height 
from the ground to the dome 75 feet ; but it appears, 
that its height was originally divided by four floors. 

In 1648, Colonels Langhorne, Powell, and Foyer, 
being displeased with the parliament, declared for 
the king, and held this town and castle four months ; 
but Cromwell obliged them to surrender, and after- 
wards dismantled the castle. Some round stones 
fired for the purpose of shivering the pavement, have 
been found in the area, now a bowling-2reen. Many 
bones of the besiegers, killed in a pursuit, and buried 
on St. Cyrian's Hills, two miles from Tenby, were 
found in 1761. 

Here was a priory, founded for Benedictines, by 
the Earl of Pembroke in 1808, aftenvai-ds a cell to 
St. Alban's, and at its dissolution, valued at 57/. 

There are here two churches, St Michael's, near 
the eastern extremity of the town, and St. Mary's, 
in the vicinity of the northern gate. They are both of 
them ancient structures, but are distinguished by no 
peculiarity or excellence. In the suburb of Monkton, 
to the westward of Pembroke, stands the church of 
St. Nicholas, the oldest religious edifice probably be- 
longing to the pl'icc. Pembroke boasts no manufac- 
tory, and notwithstanding it possesses many local ad- 
vantages for trade, its commercial importance is at 
this time extremely insignitlcant. It is perhaps the 
dullest town in South Wales, and the effect of this 
on the public accommodations of the place, is sen- 
sibly felt by all casual visitors, who have looked in 
N 2 


vain in the metropolis of the county, for a comfortaUe 
bed and board for a night. 

Pembroke contained in 1811, 501 houses, with a 
population of 2415 persons. It is a borough town, 
having separate jurisdiction, and in conjunction with 
Tenby and Wiston, returns one member to parlia- 
ment. The mayor is the returning officer, besides 
whom, the corporation consists of a council, two 
bailiffs, and sergeants at mace, and about 1500 bur- 
gesses. The petty sessions for the hundred are held 

Near this town is Stackpool Court, the elegant 
mansion of Lord Cawdor, surrounded with fine plan- 
tations ; and on the coast contiguous, is the cliapel 
and legendary well of St. Govin, reputed to be mi- 
raculous for the cure of various diseases incident to 

Two miles off is Lamphey, a pleasant village, si- 
tuate on a gentle ascent, but chiefly noticed for the 
ancient palace of the bishop of St David's, after- 
wards a seat of the Earl of Essex, and at present 
tolerably entire, with some features of Gothic ele- 

MiLFORD Haven appears like an immense lake, 
formed by a great advance of the sea into the land, 
for the space of about ten miles from the south to 
Pembroke, beyond which the tide comes up to Ca- 
rew Castle. It is fiufficiently large and capacious to 
hold the whole British navy; while the spring tides 
rise 36 feet, and the neap above 26. Ships may 
leave this harbour in the course of an hour, and in 
eight or nine more reach Ireland or the Eand's End, 
and this with almost any wind, day or night. 

There is no place in Great Britain or Ireland 
where nature has bestowed more conveniences for 
the building of ships of war, and for erecting forts, 
docks, quays, and magazines than Milford, being of 
greater extent and depth of water than any port in 
the kingdom. There are, besides, several places 
wliere forts might be erected at a very small exponce, 


■which would render it secure from any attack of an 
enemy, as on Stack Rock Island, situate near the 
middle of the entrance, on each side of which the 
landing is bad, except at high water. This rock may 
be made impregnable against cannon or bombs, be- 
ing 30 feet at least above high water. And on Rat 
Island a small battery would render it impossfble for 
an enemy's ship of war to enter. For his majesty's 
fleets, cruisers, trading ships, and packet-boats to 
the West Indies and North America, this htirbour 
is undoubtedly the most proper in Great Britain, 
because they may go to sea at almost any wind, 
and even at low water, by the help of the tides of 
the two channels, and weather Scilly or Cape Clear, 
when ships cannot come out of the British Channel, 
nor out of the French ports of "Brest and Rochefort. 

Another great advantage might be made of this 
harbour, by a few small transports of 120 or 150 tons 
burthen, running occasionally from thence to the 
bay, vvith live horned cattle, hogs, sheep, and fowls; 
potatoes, vegetables, and good wholesome beer, 
plenty of which -is to be had in this port, for the use 
of fleets. This will appear more eligible when it is 
known to be fact, that the live stock may be con- 
veyed to such fleets in less than one half the time 
they are driven from Wales to Sussex, and in better 

This vast harbour appears perfectly land-locked on 
all sides; except towards its mouth, where the shores 
contracting the channel, and turnmg abruptly to the 
south-east, present an aperture that might be well 
defended by judicious planned fortresses. 

The first attempt to fortify this harbour was made 
by Queen Elizabeth, early in the year <lo88, to pro- 
tect this part of the kingdom from the threatened 
Spanish invasion : two forts w ere then erected, one 
on each side of the mouth of the harbour. They 
were dug in the cliffs, not flir above the high water 
mark, the ruins of which are still visible, and are 
called Angle and Dale Blockhouse?, i'von\ where 


tradition bays, strong chains were thrown across the 
entrance of tlie harbour, a distance of about 300 

Since a royal dock-yard, &c. liave been formed at 
Milford Haven, there can be no doubt that govern- 
ment \vill amply avail themselves of all the advan- 
tages of this excellent situation in due time- As for 
the possibility of an enemy's landing, concerning which, 
some writers have entertained very alarming appre- 
hensions, they beem to forget, tliat whilst England 
maintains her wonted superiority at sea, these, in- 
stead of being indulged, ought to vanish " into air, 
into thin air." 

Returning from this digression, on leaving Pem- 
broke, we proceed in a north-easterly direction, and 
at the distance of four miles, passCarew Castle, situ- 
ate on a gentle swell above an arm of Milford Haven. 
Its remains indicate it to have been a stately for- 
tress, and the work of different ages. The north side 
of the castle exhibits the mode of building in the 
time of Henry VHI. but scarcely castellated. From 
the level of this side the windows are square, and of 
grand dimensions, projecting in large bows, and in- 
ternally richly ornamented with a chimney-piece of 
Corinthian columns, which appears among the latest 
decorations of this magnificent edifice. The great 
hall, built in tlie decorated Gothic style, measuring 
80 feet by 30, is much dilapidated, but still a noble 
relic of antique grandeur. Other parts of the build- 
ing are of a more remote date, and most of the walls 
seem remarkably thick, and of solid masonry. It 
was formerly the properly of Girald de Carrio, and 
liis descendants, until Edmund mortgaged the castle 
to Sir Rhys ah Thomas. It was afterwards forfeited 
to Henry the Eighth, who granted it to Sir John Per- 
rot, but soon after purchased by Sir John Carew, in 
whose family it still remains. It was, according to 
Leland, rebuilt by Rhys nb Thomas, in the reign of 
Henry the Seventh, consisting of a range of apart- 
round a quadrangle, with a round 


tower at each corner. The north has a noble hall, 
102 feet by 20, built by Sir John Perrot, who enter- 
tained here the Duke of Onnond, in the year 1553, 
and afterwards retired to it at the expiration of his 
deputyship in Ireland. On the west side of the 
gateway are the arms of England, Duke of Lancas- 
ter, and Carew, with an elegant room contiguous. 

About one mile south-west from Carew is the vil- 
lage of Lamphey, or Llanfai, where, among some 
pleasant fields, may be seen the ruins of a palace, 
which formerly belonged to the Bishop of St. David ; 
but the greater part was built by Bishop Gower in 
1315, and destroyed in the civil wars. 

Here is a great hail, 76 feet by i?0, ascended by 
steps from without, and another beyond it, 60 feet by 
26, with the chancel of the chapel^ and a round 
tower. The whole had a moat round with a bridge, 
but now, only the south gate remains. Adjoining 
this place is a fine deer park, belonging to the Lord 
Marcher, but since, the property of the Owen family 
of Orielton. 

About three miles south-east from Carew is the 
ruins of Maenorbyr Castle, wildly situate between 
two hills, whose rocky bases repel the fury of an an- 
gry sea. It appears to have been of Norman erec- 
tion, and fell to the crown in the reign of Henry the 
First, but granted by James the First to the Bovvens 
of Trelogne; from them it descended by marriage 
to the family of Picton Castle, and in the year 1740, 
was the property of Sir Erasmus Philips, Bart. The 
ponderous towers and massive fragments of the castle, 
denote its original strength and importance to have 
been considerable 

Seven miles south-east of Carew is the town of 
Tenby, or Dinbych, from its being singularly situate 
on the steep ascent of a long and narrow rock, with the 
bay on one side, and the western coast (iU the other, be- 
ing only divided by a narrow tract of sand, occasionally 
overflowed by the sea. The extraordinary intermix- 
ture of wood, rocks, and house?, together with the lofry 


spire of its church, give the place a very romantic ap- 
pearance; but the extensive sea-views have a slill 
more pleasing effect. The beauty of its situation, and 
its fine sands, have exalted Tenby from an obscure 
sea-port into a considerable town, where the influx 
of company is often very great; in consequence of 
which it has received great improvement, and is em- 
bellished with several good modern buildings, and a 
commodious hotel. 

This town has been well walled, with strong gates, 
each having a portcullis; but that leacUng to Caer- 
marthen is the most remarkable, being circled on 
the outside with an embattled but open-roofed tower, 
after the manner of Pembroke. It has of late years 
become a place of considerable resort as a watering- 
place. During the summer months the convenience 
for bathing is great, and the acconnnodation good, 
which, with the reasonableness of the terms, will not 
fail to ensure a regular succession of company. The 
beach is covered with a fine sand, and sheltered by 
cliffs behind and in front by high rocks, rising out of 
the sea, aflbrding a desirable seclusion to persons 
bathing, while it protects the machines in boisterous 
weatlier. The public boarding tables and lodgings 
are better and much cheaper than at Swansea. 

Here are public assemblies once a week, balls fre- 
quently, with cards, bowling, fishing, and aquatic 
excursions daily, with a public promenade round 
the castle, and another called the Croi't. The port 
is small, defended by a short pier, built a few years 
since, for the defence of fishing smacks, and other 
small craft moored within it. 

In the extremity of the town, stands the castle, 
which has more the appearance of a nobleman's re- 
sidence than a place of defence. The walls are 
very thick, and built with stones of a large size. 

The church is a large handsome edifice, of very 
ancient appearance. The western door exhibits a 
very curious mixture of the Gothic or Sarcenic style 
of architecture, and is perhaps one of the largest 


buildings in the principality, consisting of three 
broad aisles, nearly of the same dimension, except 
the nave, which is rather higher, and prolonged be- 
yond the former two. 

A carved ceiling, formed of wood, ornamented at 
the intersection of the ribs, with various armorial 
bearings, and supported by human figures springing 
from pillars of wood, is a remarkable singularity in 
this edifice. Here are several fine old monument-;, 
particularly two of gypsum, with the sides highly 
ornamented with good basso-relievos, and at the 
west end is another, erected to the memory of John 
Moore, in 1639. 

Near Tenby shore are the small islands of St. Ca- 
tharine and Caldy. 

Resuming our road, at a distance of about eight 
miles from Carew Castle, we arrive at Arberth, or 
Narbeth, which Iceland calls " a little place, a little 
pretty pile of old Sir Rhys, given unto him by King 
Henry the Eighth." It is a poor little village, and by 
it is a small forest. 

On entering Arberth, the old castle stands on an 
emince on the right, which affords a fine object 
for the artist. As a piece of romantic scenery, it 
affords considerable pleasure to the contemplative 
antiquary, while the turrets which separate the keep 
from its exterior, evince it to have been extremely 
grand and cumbrous in its ancient state. By whom 
or when this castle was erected, is uncertain; but 
Leland describes it to be in ruins, in his time. 
From here to Caermarthen the roads are very good; 
but extremely bad to Kydweli, Llanstephan, and 

About one mile from Arberth, we take a westerly 
direction, and at the distance of about eight miles we 
pass through Haverfoudwest, or inWelsh, Hwlffordd, 
a large town, descending in several steep streets from 
the top of a high hill to a branch of the haven, from 
whence it derives its commercial importance, and 
might be properly called the modern capital of the 


couuty ; it is also become, from its great extent and 
superior decorations, the seat of the grand sessions, 
besides having the appearance of greater opulence 
and trade than falls to the lot of most Welsh towns. 

The streets are in general very narrow and crooked, 
and some of them so exceedingly steep, that they 
cannot be traversed on horseback or in carriages, 
%vithoat danger. There are here a considerable num- 
ber of good houses occupied by substantial tradesmen, 
opulent professional men, and flmiilies of fortune; 
these in some measure compensate for the inconve- 
nience of avenues almost uniformly steep and slippery, 
with the ground floors in some parts overlooking the 
neighbouring roofs. 

The principal public building is the Guildhall, a 
modern erection situated in the upper part of the 
town. Here is also a good quay, a custom-house, 
free school, charity school, and alms-house. Of its 
three churches, that of St. Mary is the most elegant. 
There is here no manufacture entitled to particular 
notice, though the population amounts to upwards of 
3000 persons, occupying 652 houses. 

The town was formerly fortified by a strong wall 
or rampart, having on the western summit the shell 
of an extensive castle, commanding the town, and 
built by Gilbert Earl of Clare, in the reign of Stephen : 
a great part is still remaining, lately converte(l into a 
gaol. It had formerly an outer gate and two port- 
cullises, and an inner one. The walls were fortified 
with towers, supposed to have been destroyed in the 
civil wars. A good parade here commands an ex- 
tensive view of the neighbouring county, and the 
ruins of the ancient abbey, extending a considerable 
way by the side of the hill. At the extremity of this 
walk are the ruins of an ancient priory of Black 
Canons, erected before tht^ year 1200, dedicated to St. 
Mary and St. Thomas, tliC martyr, endowed, if not 
founded, by Robert de Ilaverford, lord of this place, 
who bestowed on it several churches and tythes 
within the barony, afterwards confirmed by Edward 


the Third. The remains lue now very considerable, 
particularly the chapel, wliich has still one arch in 
good preservation, and beautifully in wreathed with a 
rich drapery of ivy, and some fine specimens of 
Gothic workmanship. 

The river Cleddau, the western stream of that 
name on which the town is built, is navigable as high 
as the bridge for ships of small burden. Other com- 
mercial facilities are afforded by the situation of the 
town on the great western road, having the London 
mail coach passing through it every day. On the 
northern side of the river lies the suburb of Prender- 
gast, containing the remains of an ancient mansion, 
formerly occupied by a family of that name : Maurice 
de Pi'endergast, who went with Earl Strongbow into 
Ireland, was the last who held the property. Henry 
the First gave to a number of Flemish emigrants the 
headland of Gwyr, in Glamorganshire, and parts of 
the county of Pembroke adjoining to Tenby. 

Four miles south of Haverfordwest are the remains 
of a priory called Pilla, or Pille Rose, situate in the 
parish of Stanton, and founded by Adam de Rupe, 
about the year 1200, for monks of the order of Trione, 
afterwards Benedictines. At the dissolution it was 
granted to R. and T. Barlow. 

At the distance of five miles south-east is Picton 
Castle, the seat of Lord Milford, whose extensive 
domains cover a great tract of country. This re- 
sidence was built by William Picton, a Norman 
knight, in the reign of William Rufus. During the 
civil wars, Sir Richard Philips made a long and 
vigorous defence in it for Charles the First. The 
extensive plantations which environ this seat, render 
the whole a beautiful retreat.. 

Three miles north tVom Picton Castle is Weston, a 
small corporate'town, with a good market for corn and 
other provisions. It was Ibrmerly defended by a 
magnificent castle; but many years neglected, though 
now rendered habitable, and the internal part mo- 


demised, which renders the whole an agreeable re- 

This little territory, together with Gwyr, or Gower, 
a headland of Glamorganshire, the English often 
call " Little England beyond Wales," because their 
language and manners are still distinguishable from 
the Welsh : for, in point of speech, they assimilate 
with the English. 

The descendants of the west of Pembrokeshire 
used seldom to intermarry with the Welsh. The 
short cloak used, called the whitiley is said to have 
originated here. 

Returning to our road, on leaving Haverfordwest, 
our route lies in a northerly direclisn ; and, at the 
distance of about eleven miles, we arriveat Abergwaen, 
or FiSGARD, whicli stands on a steep rock, with a 
- convenient harbour, fonntd by ti)e Gwaen river, and 
overhangijig an exceeding high mountain, along the 
side of which is cut a narrow road, scarcely wide 
enough to admit two horses a-breast, and without any 
fence between it and the sea. 

This port, excepting Holyhead, is the only one from 
the Mersey to the Severn, whose entrance is bold and 
safe, not obstructed by shoals or bars, and lias been 
proved to be an object of national attention. Mr. 
Spence, an engineer from the board of admiralty, has 
surveyed the bay and harbour, and made an estimate 
for building a pier, as a means of protecting the trade 
of the Irish Channel, and much approved of by the 
Dublin and Liverpool merchants. Fisgard road lies 
•within the Irish Channel, and is the next northern- 
most place of safety to Miltord, except Studwall's 
Road, which is seventeen leagues farther to the north; 
but Fisgard is safe from all winds and weather. The 
extent of the bay, from east to west, is about three 
uiiles, and from north to south one and three quarters, j. 
and the general depth of water from thirty to seventy j 
feet, according to the distance from the shore. The ' 
bottom of the bay is sand mixed with mud, so that 


ships ol the largest size may anchor in all parts of it 
in perfect safety, to the number of one hundred sail, 
large and small. The harbour is of an irregular form, 
but capacious and easy of access, having neither bar 
nor rock at its entry, which is about eleven hundred 
and sixty feet wide, and about two thousand four 
hundred in length, and only requires a pier to render 
it commodious and secure. 

The principal exports are oats and butter. The 
imports are shop goods from Bristol, culm, coal, lime, 
and timber. Here is carried on a general fishery, 
but not to th^ fullest extent of which it is capable. ^ 

Fisgard is properly divided into the upper and 
lower town. The upper is situated on a considerable 
eminence above the harbour, containing the church, 
market-place, shops, and inns ; the lower occupies 
the eastern side of the river and port, in a single and 
double row of buildings of a considerable length, from 
south to north, and bounded by the pier, possessing 
all the advantages for trade, with about 400 houbet-, 
and 2000 inhabitants. 

• The appearance of this place is very- unprepos- 
sessing; the houses are generally of a very mean de- 
scription, anil ill constructed, and the streets formed 
with so total a disregard to symmetry and plan, that 
they are seriously inconvenient, being scarcely passable 
for carriages of any description. The road leading 
from the upper to the lower town, is however an 
object of some curiosity, being cut in a winding di- 
rection along the edge of a precipitous hill, and 
affording a fine view of the bay and harbour. The 
ciiarcb is small, without spire or steeple. The po- 
pulation has been increased by the advantages of the 
port for fishing, particularly in herrings, which fur- 
nishes the major part of them with the means of 

It has still the ruins of an old castle, built by the 

descendants of Martin de Tours, wherein Rhys ab 

Gruffydd, prince of South Wales, *was confined. — . 

The castle was demuliohed by Llewelyn, when in the 



possession of the Flemings, and has now only the 
gateway left. Between the church and the river is a 
vast stone of nine tons weight, and about nine feet 
diameter, resting on others, forming a cromlech. In 
tlie neighbourhood are several of the latter, or cist- 
vaens, contained within the circuit of sixty yards, and 
standing near the road side. 

Fisgard is rendered memorable, likewise, by the 
Frencl) invasion, near Llananno church, where they 
lajided on February 22, 179?, to the immber of about 
fourteen hundred men. On this occasion the greatest 
exertions were used by the chief men of the county, 
to collect what small torce they could, which arrived 
at Fisgard the same evening; consisting of as under: 

The Pembrokesliire fencibles 100 

Part of the Cardiganshire militia 200 

Fisgard and Newport fencibles i300 

Lord Cawdor's troop of cavalry 60 


These men, though properly trained to the use of 
the musquet, had never seen one hred in anger, but 
many of the olhcers had been long in the service, and 
were experienced in tlie art of war. To these must 
be added a great many gentlemen volunteers and 
colliers, and the couu\ion people of all descriptions, 
armed and unarmed; the wjiole of which were very 
judiciously placed on Goodick Sands, under Fisgard. 
Fortunately, on the following evening, about ten 
o'clock, a French otHcer arrived, with olfers to sur- 
render in the morning, which they punctually did, 
and gave up their arms; from hence they were marched 
to Haverfordwest, and confined in different places, as 
the castle, church, and store-houses, but soon after 
removed to Milford, and put in prison ships. Thus 
ended this singular exjjedition, the o.bject of which 
remains enveloped in mystery; but it is evident some- 
thing more was intended than effected, by the quantity 
of pr.vv(l<'r brought with them, amounting to about 

PEMBROKESinnE. 14:7 

seventy cart-loads, and a great number of hand- 

About six miles east from Fisgard, is Newport, a 
small corporate town, seated at the foot of a high hill, 
near the sea-shore. 

It contains about two hundred houses, and good 
paved streets ; and the church is a decent structure. 
Here the river Nevern is navigable, and runs by one 
end of the town, afterwards empties itself into the 
Bristol Channel; but the trade of this place, is very 
inconsiderable. In the church-yard and near the 
town are several Druidical sepulchres and altars, one 
of which is above nine feet in diameter, of a conical 
form, and well-preserved, considering in what period 
it was probably erected. 

The castle is an interesting ruin rising in baronial 
pomp above the town. It was entered by a grand 
gateway placed between two bastions on the north 
side ; the whole was surrounded by a deep moat. 
The lord of Cemaes held his courts here, and the 
town had its corporate privileges, being governed by 
a mayor, aldermen, recorder, bailiffs, and other in- 
ferior officers. 

Ten miles east from Newport is Kilgeran, or Cil- 
geraint, which consists of one irregular street; it 
stands on a steep hill, at the extremity of a remote 
corner of Pembrokeshire, and has some remains of 
an old castle at the extremity of a long street, pro- 
jecting proudly over the river, which winds beautifully 
between the steep banks, thickly fringed with wood, 
and interspersed with rocks, while the opposite seat 
and groves of Coedmor, add considerably to the na- 
tural beauty of the prospect. 

The chief remains of this fortress consist of two 
round towers of large proportions and great strength; 
there are also fragments of several massive bastions, 
connected by curtain walls, the direction of which is 
regulated by the form of the rock on which the castle 
stands. The inner ward is of great extent, and parts 
of it are in tolerable preservation. The prevalence 


of the circular arch bespeaks the Norman origin of 
the edifice. History is silent respecting the first con- 
struction of this place; but it has been generally sup- 
posed that Gilbert Strongbow, on his conquest of 
Dyved, about the year 1109, raised a fortress here for 
the defence of his newly acquired possessions. 

When this became a military station is not known; 
but Rhys, prince of South Wales, took the castle* in 
1164, and razed it to the ground ; afterwards rebuilt 
it in 1165, wlierein he was besieged by a numerous 
army of Normans and Flemings, without success. In 
1205 it was surrendered to William Marshall, Earl of 
Pembroke, and restored to Llewelyn ab Torwerth 
in 1215; but on the defeat of GrufFydd, the son 
of Llewelyn ab lorwerth, near Kydweii, the Earl 
again took possession, and began to build a very 
strong castle : but being recalled to London by Henry 
the Third, before^the completion, it was never finished. 

By this village runs the river Teivi, which generally 
affords the traveller some curious observations, par- 
ticularly upon the numerous coracles, which stand at 
almost every door. The construction of this little 
water conveyance is remarkably simple, and intended 
solely for the use of fishing. A thick skin, or coarse 
pitched canvas, stuck over a kind of wicker basket, 
forms the boat, which one man manages with the 
greatest adroitness imaginable, using his right hand to 
the paddle, his left in conducting the net, at tlie same 
time holding the line with his teeth. Two of these 
coracles generally co-operate to assist each other in 
fishing. These usually measure about five feet long, 
and four broad, rounded at the corners, which, after 
the labour of the day, are carried on the fisherman's 
back to his little cot, and deemed a necessary and 
respectable ornament to the cottage door. 

About seven miles west from Kilgeran, and one 

mile north-west from Newport, is Neveun, a small 

village, possessed of nothing remarkable, except a very 

curious British cross noticed by Camden, being a 

"•ing/e stone of a square form, twn ffit- broarl, v]rT]]t('eu ■ 


thick, and thirteen high ; the whole richly decorated 
with knots and fretwork, not unlike the cross at 
Carew. The top is circular, charged with a cross; 
below it, on the east and west, are crosses ; and about 
the middle an inscription. 

On the north side of the same church-yard was 
another rude, irregular-shaped stone, about two yards 
high, with the following inscription : 


This evidently belonged to some ' Roman veteran ; 
but this and the other stone have been removed. The 
church at Nevern is a venerable pile of building, and 
one of the larij;est in the county. 

Near Pentre-Evan, in the same parish, is a re- 
markable cromlech, with many other curiosities of 
less notice. 

Two miles north from Nevern is St. Dogvael Abbey, 
founded in a vale encompassed by hills, for Bene- 
dictines, in the time of William the Conqueror, and 
valued at 87/. 8s. 6d. Some ruins of the chapel re- 
main. In the latter was found a stone with an un- 
intelligible inscription, but by the characters thought 
to be British. In the neighbourhood are many bar- 
rows, with urns, &c. The most remarkable are in 
Cemaes barony, and on a mountain, called Kil 

About fifteen miles south-west from Fiscard, and 
the same distance from Haverfordwest, is the city 
of St. David's, situate in a deep hollow, and well 
sheltered from the winds which ravage this stormy 

However, such is the situation of this place, that in 
approaching from the eastward, none of the buildings 
are to be seen at any distance; and while the tra- 
veller, calculating progress by the mile-stones he 
has passed, is anxiously looking for the object of his 
search, he finds himself unexpectedly in the middle 
of the principal street. But as he has on each side 
of him, only a broken row of miserable cottages, with 
here and there a structure of more respectable ap- 


peaniDce, he would scarcely suspect tliat he had 
reached his destination, were he not presented in 
front with a glimpse of the top of the cathedral tower, 
rising from the narrow and concealed valley in which 
the venerable edifice is situated. Whoever visits St. 
David's, with such expectations as the ideas usually 
associated with the title of a city, are calculated to 
excite, \Aill be sure to e^perience a most grievous 
disap})ointment ; for no collection of houses, aspiring 
to the rank of a town, can exhibit a more wretched 
and squalid appearance; nevertheless, it still bears 
marks of its former extent in the names of several 
streets and lanes that may yet be traced out by the 
ruins of the houses and the foundations of walls. The 
modern city, without the cathedral precincts, is prin- 
cipally composed of the High Street, which is one of 
considerable width. In an open space, near its 
western extremity, stands an ancient cross, around 
which the market was held while it lasted. Fairs are 
still held here annually; but the want of an inn has 
been generally complained of by travellers, till tliis 
was happily remedied in the year 1811, when a neat 
and comfortable house of entertainment was opened, 
and provided with the valuable appendage of stabling. 
The ground occupied by the Cathedral, the houses 
of the resident ecclesiastics, with the cemetery, gar- 
dens, &c. was enclosed by a lofty wall of nearly a mile 
in circuit, and was entered by four strong and hand- 
some gateways. The East Gate stands at the bottom 
of the High-street, and corresponds with its Welsh 
name of Porih y Tier, the tower gate being placed be- 
tween two high towers. One of these was an octagon 
about sixty feet, the interior divided into stories. The 
other tower is thought to have been appropriated to 
the town corporation. From this spot a delightful 
view embraces the whole of the Cathedral precincts, 
with St. Mary's College, the Bishop's palace, &c. 
The Cathedral is a large Gothic structure, built in 
the form of a cross, and having a lofty square tower, 
surmounted by handsome pinnacles at each corner, 



rising from the middle at the intersection oi' the north 
and south transepts. The common entrance is through 
a porch on the south side; but the principal one is 
through a grand door-way at the west end, called the 
Bishop's door, only used on occasions of ceremony. 
There is another door-way of Saxon architecture, on 
the north side at the west-end of the cloisters. The 
interior comprises a nave, and two side aisles, the 
choir and chancel : the former is divided from these, 
by a row of handsome columns alternately round and 
octagon, five in number, with corresponding pilasters 
at each end, supporting six elegant Saxon arches. 
Over tliese is a range of smaller Saxon pillars support- 
ing other arches of less dimensions, reaching to the 
roof. The ceiling of the nave is of Irish oak, divided 
into square compartments, and justly admired for the 
elegance of its workmanship. The entire length of 
this part of the church is one hundred and twenty- 
four feet; the width of the nave between the pillars 
thirty-two; and the side aisles, eighteen. At the 
upper end of the nave a flight of steps conduct to the 
choir, which is entered by an arched passage under 
the rood loft. The screen is of irregular Gothic ar- 
chitecture, and very beautiful. The choir is placed 
immediately under the tower, which is supported by 
four large arches, three Gothic and one Saxon, but all 
of them springing from Saxon pillars. The west and 
south arches are now walled up. The organ, instead 
of being as usual placed on the rood lofc, under the 
western arch, is placed under the northern. The Bi- 
shop's throne is near the upper end of the choir on the 
right-hand side, and is of exquisite workmanship. The 
stalls, twenty-eight in number, are placed on the north, 
west, and south sides. The floor is formed of small 
square tiles of variegated colours. The chancel is se- 
parated from the cl)oir by a low screen. On the 
north side is the shrine of St. David, haVing four re- 
cesses in which the votaries used to deposit their offer- 
ings. The north transept was occupied by St. An- 
drew's chapel, and the south by the Chanter's Cha- 


pel. Behind the stalls in St. Andrew's Chapel is a 
dark room, supposed to have been a penitentiary; in 
the wall are small holes, probably to enable the cul- 
prits to hear the voices of the officiating priests. Ad- 
joining to it, on the east, is the old Chapter House, 
and over it the public school-room. The aisles north 
and south of the chancels are roofless, and in a ruin- 
ous condition. Beyond the chancel, to the eastward, 
is the chapel of Bishop Vaughan, built by him in the 
reign of Henry VIII., and exhibiting a striking speci- 
men of the florid Gothic. St. Mary's Chapel, at the 
extreme eastern end of the Cathedral buildings, has 
been roofless some years. This Cathedral is enriched 
by a considerable number of ancient monuments; 
some of them curious in their kind, as specimens of 
art. Bishop Vaughan was buried in the chapel that 
bears his name ; and in St. Mary's chapel, under a 
rich Gothic canopy, is the tomb of its Ibunder, Bi- 
shop Martin ; and opposite to this, a monument as- 
signed to Bishop Houghton; but, like several others, 
they are in a ruinous state. 

All that is left of St. Mary's College, on the north 
side of the Cathedral, is the chapel, sixty-nine feet in 
length, and about twenty-four in width. The windows 
were originally ornamented with painted glass ; but the 
chapel being built over a vaulted apartment of the 
same dimensions, was converted into a charnel-house, 
wliich at present wears a most gloomy appearance. 
At the west end is a square tower, seventy feet high. 
The houses belonging to the establishment occupied 
the ground on the north and west, on both sides the 
river Alan, which washes the western end of the 
chapel. This collegiate institution was founded in 
1365, by John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and 
Adam Houghton, then bishop of the diocese, for a 
master and seven fellows. 

The bishop's palace, to the south-west of the Cathe- 
dral on the opposite shore of the Alan, seems originally 
to iiave formed a complete quadrangle, enclosing an 
area of one hundred and twenty feet sq(u«ir^; but only 



two (»f tlie sides remain. TJie grand gateway is now 
ill ruins. The hail was sixty- seven feet long, by 
twenty-live; and at the north end was a large draw- 
ing-room, and beyond this a chapel. At the south- 
end of the hall stood the kitchen ; in the middle of 
which was a low pillar, from which sprang four 
groins, which were gradually formed into chimnies. 
This curious work is now a heap of ruins-. A 
noble apartment on the south-west side of the par 
lace, was called King John's Hall, being ninety-six 
feet long, and thirty-three wide. In the east end of 
this was a circular window of singular and curious 
workmanship. Above an arched door-way which was 
the entrance, are the statues of Edward the Tliird 
and his Queen. A chapel attached to the hall 
stood at the north-west corner; and a small portion 
of one of the bishop's apartments, covered by a tem- 
porary roof, inhabited by some poor people, height- 
ened the picture of desolation which the place exhi- 
bits. This palace was erected by Bishop Gower, 
about the year 1323, and was a noble monument of 
his taste and liberality. To the west of the large ce- 
metery is a fantastical building, fitted up some years 
since for a chapter-house, and audit room, and 
which obstructs one of the finest views of the church. 
The houses of the resident clergy, are within the pre- 
cincts; and that of the archdeacon of Brecknock is 
of an ancient date. 

The precise origin of this city, and its cathedral, 
cannot be ascertained, but it appears to have been 
of considerable importance in the time of the ancient 
Britons. The first account of this cathedral com- 
mences in 911, when the Danes, under Uther and 
liahald, destroyj-d it, and slew its defender, Peredur 
Gam. It was soon rebuilt, but again much defaced 
by Swaine, the son of Harold, in 993, who likewise 
slew Morgenau, then bishop of that diocese. This 
appears to have been the last transaction of import- 
ance till 1079, when William the Conqueror, entering 
Wales with a ereat armv, marched, after the manner 


of a pilgrimage, as far as St. David's, wlicn having 
made an offering, and paid his devotion to that saint, 
he received homage of tlie princes of the country. 

In 1087, a most daring sacrilege was committed at 
St. David's; all the plate, with other utensils, be- 
longing to the shrine, being stolen. 

It is only necessary to add to the history of this ce- 
lebrated place, that after Bisliop Vaughan's death, and 
his successor, Rawlins, Bishop Barlow, who followed 
him, commenced a system of dilapidation merely for 
the purpose of furnishing himself with reasons to lay 
before the King, to induce him to consent to his re- 
moving the see to Caermarthen. With this view he 
alienated the church lands, stripped the lead from 
the castle of Lawhaden, and the palace at St. David's, 
besides other acts of spoliation. The unroofing of 
St. IVIary's chapel was the work of the fanatics in the 
seventeenth century. Though some of Bishop Bar- 
low's successors have felt properly zealous for the ho- 
nor of the diocese, there has been ample room for 
more exertions of this kind. In consequence of tlie 
foundation of the north wall giving vvay, it was some 
years since found necessary to support it, on the out- 
side, by strong abutments of masonry. The west 
front of the cathedral was, by order of Bishop Hors- 
ley, taken down and rebuilt under the direction of 
Mr. Nash, the architect. Under the succeeding dio- 
cesan, the nave hns been new flagged and new paved, 
and the beauty of the front of the rood loft, greatly 
improved, by restoring a part that had been concealed 
by boards. Some curious fragments of antiquity also 
discovered in removing the old pavement of the nave, 
have been carefully preserved. 


This county, called by tlie Welsh, Caredigion, and 
now more generally Su-ydd Aber Tcivi, is bounded on 
the north by the counties of Merioneth and Montgo- 



mery, on the east by Radnor and Brecknock, on the 
south by Caermarthen and Pembroke, and on the 
west by the Irish Sea; being about 40 miles in length, 
20 in breadth, and 100 in circumference; containing 
five hundreds, six market towns, and 64 parishes, in 
the diocese of St. David, with 50,260 inhabitants. 

Tiie sea has made great encroachments on this 
county, even within tlie memory of man, and tradi- 
tion speaks of a well inhabited country, stretching 
far into the Irish channel, which has been over- 
whelmed by the sea. Of an extensive tract, formerly 
Canirev Guaelod, or Lou land Hundred, nothing now 
remains but two or tln-ee miserable villages, and a 
good deal of ground, in high estimation for barley. 

On the shore, between Aberystwyth and the river 
Dee, after stormy weather, the trunks of large groves 
of trees are frequently discovered. In many places 
the roots appear so thick and uniformly planted in 
circles, and parallel lines, chat the shore resembles 
much an extensive forest cut down, though black, 
and hard as ebony. Tliis has been at least a well- 
wooded and fertile country. 

Sea-weed is the manure made use of, and the qua- 
lity of the grain is such, that it is sent to the adjacent' 
counties for seed-corn. This county may be properly 
divided into two districts, the Lower and the Upland. 
Of the lower district, the higher grounds are in gene- 
ral a light sandy loam, varying in depth, from a foot 
to four or five inches ; the substratum, a slaty kind 
of rock, however, produces when judiciously treated, 
good crops of turnips, potatoes, barley, and clover; 
the ground in the vallies is very deep, and, with some 
few exceptions, very dry ; yielding good crops of hay 
for many years, witliout surface manure, which is 
scarcely ever thought of until it is exhausted and be- 
comes mossy, and then it is turned up. The climate 
is much more mild than the midland counties of Eng- 
land ; snow seldom lies long. The soil of the upper 
district is various, owing to the unequal surface; iti 
the vallies it is chiefly a stilf clay, with a mixture of a 


light loam. Barley and oats are the piincipai grain 
of the county. Wheat is commonly sown; but iu a 
less proportion than the other two. The exports of 
Cardiganshire are black cattle, taken to Kent and 
Essex , pigs and salt butter, besides barley and oats, 
to Bristol and Liverpool. Of its rivers, the principal 
are, the Rheidiol, Ystwyth, Clywedoj;, and Teivi. 
It idso abounds in river and sea tish, of several kinds, 
and the Teivi is famous for a great plenty of excellent 

These streams, with many others in the mountain- 
ous tracts of Wales, are in dry weather mere shallow 
brooks, yet by rains are often swelled to furious tor- 
rents, bearing down every thing before them, and 
tearing up even the soil of the vallies, which they 
iill with gravel and stones. Several, of them rise iu 
the sides of Puuilumon. 

Coals, and other fuel, are extremely scarce; but 
in the northern j)arts, and near Aberystwyth, are 
several rich lead mines, and some silver ore. 

Journey from Cardigan to Abe.ry&twi/th ; through 

Cardigan, or in Wesh, Aberteivi, is pleasantly 
situate near the mouth of the river Teivi, and pro- 
tected from the sea by a long projecting hill. The 
town is tolerably well built, and bears a neat aspect, 
notwithstanding the declivity of its streets, which are 
connected with the opposite bank of the Teivi by a 
handsome stone bridge, where large vessels can easily 
approach its quay. The town may be called large 
and populous, and regularly built. At the end of the 
bridge is a chapel, said to be erected on the spot 
where Giraldus preached the crusade. 

The Town-hall, where the assizes for the county 
are held twice a year, is a handsome modern edifice, 
built in the year 1764. In 1703, a new county gaol 
was erected by Mr. Nash; a very excellent structure, 
in all respects well adapted for its purpose. Here is 
also a iVec granuuar school, endowed by Lady 


Letitia Cornwallis, who married for her second hus- 
band, John Morgan, esq. of this town. The church is a 
venerable substantial building, with a handsome square 
tower at the west end. The interior consists of a 
spacious nave, with an elegant chancel, of conside- 
rable older date than the body of the church. It 
contains no monuments of consequence. Near the 
eastern end of the church stood the Priory, of which 
Leland observes, there were only two religious men 
in it, black monks. It was a cell to the abbey of 
Chertsey, in Surrey. Its revenues were about 13/. 4s. 
and 9c/. An elegant modern mansion now occupies 
the site of the house, which in t^e reign of Charles I. 
liad been the residence of Mrs. Catherine Philips, the 
celebrated Oriuda. 

Cardigan Castle, built by Gilbert de Clare, in tlie 
reign of Henry the Second, on an eminence near the 
Teivi, seems to -have been an extensive building, 
and of great importance in the time of our Wi ish 
princes. " In 1176, at Christmas, Pnnce lihys, of 
South Wales, made a great feast at Cardigan Castle, 
which he caused to be published through England, 
Scotland, and Ireland, some time previous; accord- 
ingly m.any hundreds of English and Normans came, 
and were courteously entertained. Among other 
tokens of their welcome, Rhys made offers of rev, anl 
to all the bards in Wales who would then attend ; 
and for the better diversion of the company, h.c pro- 
vided chairs for them in the hall, in which the bards 
being seated, were to answer each other in rhyme, 
and those that did acquit themselves most honour- 
able, were to receive proportionate rewards. In this 
poetical contest the North Wales bardii obtained the 
victory, with the applause and approbation of the 
whole company, particularly the minstrels, among 
whom there was no small strife; but the prince's own 
servants were observed to be the most expert." 

This castle, like m.any more, suffered considerably 
at different periods, from the vindictive disposition 
of our princeSp and the ambition of provinciala. In 


1222, we find it in the possession of William Marshall 
Earl of Pembroke; but in 1231, Maelgon, the son 
of Maelgon ab Rhys, having by force entered the 
town, put all the iniiabitants to the sword, and then 
laid siege to the castle, with an intention to destroy 
it; but the walls appeared so strong, and the gates so 
well defended, that it seemed impracticable to reduce 
it for a considerable time, which would have been the 
case, had he not fortunately been soon after joined 
by his cousin Owen ab Giuffydd ab Rhys, and some 
of Prince Llewelyn's most experienced officers, who 
directed him to break down the bridge over the river 
Teivi, which enabled him to invest the castle more 
closely, so as to batter and undermine the fortifica- 
tions, which soon gave possession of the whole; how- 
ever, Gilbert Marshall won it back from Davydd ab 
Llewelyn in 1234. 

During the civil wars, Cardigan Castle was gar- 
risoned for the king, and sustained a regular siege; 
but at last surrendered to the parliament forces under 
General Langhorne. The ground is now the property 
of JohnBowen, esq. who has erected an elegant man- 
sion on the site of the keep, the dungeons of which 
he has converted into cellars. The rest of the remains 
are not considerable, consistijig chiefly of the wall on 
the river side, and a portion of two towers, by which 
this part was protected. Though evidently a place 
of great strength before the use of artillery, it does 
not seem to have covered much ground. A conside- 
rable coasting trade is carried on here; but there is 
no manufactory for the employ of the poor. 

One mile east of Cardigan, at Llan Goedmor, is 
an ancient monument, consisting of a stone of a pro- 
digious size, half a yard thick, and eight or nine yards 
in circumference. It is placed inclining; one side 
on the ground, and the other supported by a pillar 
of about three feet high. Near it is another of, the 
same kind, but much less. About six yards from it, 
lies a stone on the ground, and another beyond that, 
at the same distance. 


Meini Cyvrivol, or the numerary stones, near 
Neuadd, in the neighbourhood of Cardigan, seem 
to be the remains of some barbarous monument ; 
they are nineteen in number, and lie confusedly on 
the ground, deriving their names from the vulgar, who 
cannot easily numerate them. 

In the neighbourhood is Llech-y-gawres ; that is, 
the stone of a gigantic woman, which is exceedingly 
large, placed on four very great pillars, or support- 
ers, about the height of five or six feet, and two 
others near, pitched endwise under a top stone, but 
much lower, so that they bear no part of the weight ; 
also three more adjoining, two of which are large, 
lying on the ground at each end, and are indisputably 
ancient British monuments. 

On leaving Cardigan, our road lies in a north- 
easterly direction, and at the distance of about twenty- 
five miles, after passing through the villages of Tre- 
main, Llanarth, and Aberaeron, we arrive at Llan- 
SANFRAiD, situate near the sea, and chiefly remark- 
able for its old church, and a few remains of great 
buildings, w^here it is supposed once stood the Abbey 
of Llanfred, mentioned in a book entitled, " De Do- 
tatione Ecclesije S. Davidis." And about three miles 
north-east stood an old monastery or castle, called 
Llanrustyd, erected by Cadwalader, brother to 
Owen Gwynedd, in the year 1148. The village is 
composed of miserable cottages; but the church, 
situated on an elevation near, is a neat building. 

Seven mile?; beyond the last-mentioned place, we 
arrive at the (own of Aberystwyth. 

In the reigi\ of Queen Elizabeth, a company of 
Germans reaped a considerable fortune in working 
the silver mines in the vicinity of this town. Sir 
Hugh Middleton, after them, was equally successful, 
and accumulated 2000/. a month, out of, one silver 
mine at BwlchyrEsgair, which enabled him, in 161 J, 
to bring the New River to London. He \^as suc- 
ceeded by Mr. Bushell, who also gained such im« 
p 2 


niense profits, that he made King Charles a pre* 
sent of a regiment of horse, and clothed his whole 

Aberystwyth is situated on that part of the Welsh 
coast, nearly opposite the centre of Cardigan bay, at 
the confluence of the rivers Ystwyth and Rheidiol, 
which here discharge themselves into the Irisli sea, or 
Saint George's chaimel, and from the first of which 
rivers the town derives its name; though the greater 
num}»erof buildings on the side of the Rheidiol might 
autliorize historians to name it from the river last 

It is said, the present town of Aberystwyth was 
anciently called Llanbadarn Gaerog; or, The Fortified 
Llanbadarn, and that the small village of Aberystwyth 
stood to the westward of the castle. This seems coun- 
tenanced by the charter, in which it is several times 
called Llanbadarn, and not once Aberystwyth; when 
the name was ch;mged, does not appear: but in the 
grant of the ofiice of weights and measures, in the 
reign of Elizabeth, to M. Pliillips, Esq. Aberystwyth, 
by the mayor and burgesses, it is every where termed 
Aberystwy til. Part ojf the walls are still standing, and 
may be seen between the iiouse of the late Lady Caro- 
line Price and the Custom-ilouse, and again near the 
House of Correction. There were many gates ; one 
of which stood in the street leading to Llahbadarn, 
called Great Dark-Gate ; anot|jer in the street leading 
to the Baptist-chapel, called Little Dark-Gate; and 
another opposite the bridge. Tlie walls formerly went 
from this last to the lime-kiln, near the castle, where 
it joined it on the other side of the gate by the mill 
stream to Great Dark-Gate, thence to Little Dark- 
Gate, and from thence to the site of the Custom- 
Ilouse and Lady Price's, and thence to the castle. 

The buildings are constructed with great durability, 
and many among them extremely neat and commo- 
dious, though mostly devoid of such ornaments of 
arcliitecturc as embellish other more favoured spots 


in England and Wales ; and wliich are better visited 
from being better icnown. 

The streets are tolerably well laid out, and paveci 
with the stones supplied in abundance from the 
sbore;~and the turnpike roads leading to the tonn 
much better than the Welsh roads are generally de- 
scribed to be. 

The surrounding country is more romantic, and 
exhibits far greater natural beauties than any other 
watering place in England or Wales, however well 
attended, could yet boast of 

The very extensive quarries surrounding the town 
in its present entarged state, and from which builders 
are so amply supplied with slate and stone, furnish 
the means of erecting additional accommodations 
with greater facility: — and the industry of the inha- 
bitants appears commensurate with the advantages 
and encouragement they receive from their yearly 
visitors, in return for the accommodations afforded 

The progressive improvement of the place for the 
last twenty-five years, notwithstanding the pressure of 
warfare, the scarcity of specie, and the dearth of pro- 
visions, has been equalled by few towns, maritime or 
inland, in the united kingdom, — surpassed by none. 

The great concourse of summer visitors, which it is 
now capable of accommodating, and the increasing 
number of lodging-houses appropriate for the recep- 
tion of such votaries of health, pleasure, or fashion, 
as have already selected this improving spot for their 
residence, or those who may hereafter be led to ex- 
perience the salubrious effects of this delightful sum- 
mer retreat, cannot fail to render it, in course of time, 
the resort of public estimation, while the acknow- 
ledged satisfaction of former visitants must more 
strongly recommend it to others. 

The suburbs adjoining are, by nature, fertile, and 

exhibit all the variegated charms of hill and dale, 

v/ood, and water; whether viewed from tlie lofty 

mount or flowery slope, characterizing the delightful 

F 3 


prospect, with views alternate ascending, pre-emi- 
nently beautiful, while its extensive mineral produc- 
tions and health-inspiring springs, afford abundant 
means of observation and study for the meditation 
and employment of the mineralogist, the chymist, the 
physician, or philosopher. 

The castle, of which there now remains little more 
than a confused heap of ruins, is still perhaps one of 
the most striking objects of attention, to a stranger of 
contemplative mind. It is stated to have been origin- 
ally founded by Gilbert de Strongbow, son of Richard 
de Clare, in the reign of Henry I. A. D. 1107;, and 
to liave been also the residence of Cadv.alader. 

In the reign of Charles 1., it was permitted by the 
then parliament, to be used for the purposes of a mint, 
by Mr. Bushel: and some of the pieces of raone)' 
said to be coined therein, are said to have been in the 
possession of the late Col. Johnes, M.P. of Havod 

During the period here alluded to, Aberystwyth 
Castle was considered a place of much more estima- 
tion and resort than any other in Wales. During all 
the Welsh wars, it was deemed a fortress of the very 
first consequence : and even so lute as tlie civil wars, 
by which this country was distracted, Aberystwyth 
Castle was regarded as a place of considerable strength. 

The last and most destructive blow it experienced, 
and from the effect of which it has never recovered, 
was during the protectorship, when Oliver Cromwell, 
from a battery erected on Fendinas-hill, a very high 
mount immediately opposite the site of the castle, 
the vestiges of winch battery are still perceptible, 
effectually bombarded this ancient pile, and in a few 
days succeeded in demolishing the works of many 
years : ever since which bombardment, it has conti- 
nued in a state of decay and deterioration. 

Mr Meyrick states this castle to have been situated 
on a rock, jutting out into the sea, and having a most 
romantic appearance. Its situation was well chosen 
before the invention of gunpowder made elevated 


places of more consequence to protect the town from 
invasion by sea. 

The motives by which Oliver was urged to this act 
of destruction, are said to have been, to extirpate a 
banditti, who took up their residence within the 
castle, from a supposition, possibly, that their abode 
was more secure, their habitation being rendered by 
art and nature olmost impregnable. These marau- 
ders, by continual depredations, having infested the 
town of Aberystwyth, then in its infancy, excited the 
vengeance of Oh'ver, who took this method of evinc- 
ing his resentment, and displaying his authority, by 
levelling with the ground the more considerable part 
of this venerable fortress. 

Since that time, it has remained in a state of decay, 
a picturesque heap of ruins ; the gateway, and several 
towers in the walls, alone marking its former extent. 

On the north-west is part of a tower about forty 
feet high, and an arched doorway is still preserved. 
A round tower is also existing. Another tower has 
been repaired, and converted into a kind of observa- 

Round the hill on which it stands, a variety of 
walks have been cut out and gravelled ; near which, 
Mr. Uvedale Price, of Foxley Hall, Herefordshire, 
has erected a singularly handsome building, for his 
summer residence : it is in the Gothic style, and 
castellated form, consisting of three octagon towers, 
with a balcony towards the sea. 

There is no situation south of Caernarvonshire, from 
which the Welsh A\^s may be seen so advantageously 
as from this castle, and the surrounding cliflfs. The 
lofty hills rising above the Cardigan rocks, are sur- 
mounted by Cader Idris, and its subject cliffs; these 
are over-topped by the giant mountains of Caernar- 
vonshire; amongst which, in clear weather, the sharp 
peak of ^nowdon itself, may be discerned pre-eminent 
above the surrounding crags. On the south of Aber- 
ystwyth^ the coast of Pembroke being less curved, 


and not so lofty at the north limit of the bay, appears 
more uniform. 

The remains of xA.berystwyth Castle, and the ground 
on which they stand, are said to belong to the late 
much lamented Colonel Johnes, of Havod, whose 
death will be long and sincerely regretted, and 
his loss severely experienced by hundreds of his 
countrymen. In his Hfe-time, a lease of the castle- 
ground was granted to a Mr. Probert, of Shrewsbury, 
who has since permitted it to be converted into a pub- 
lic promenade. Tlie town of Aberystwyth has there- 
fore most unquestionably been improved by Mr. 
Price's summer-residence, in addition to many other 
buildings lately erected : and the inhabitants are not 
a little indebted to Mr. Probert, for a most delightful 
walk, pleasant at almost all times of the year, and 
particularly healthful to many constitutions, from the 
invigorating sea-hreeze continually floating in the at- 
mosphere around. 

The beach north of the castle, and near which the 
several bathhig-machines ai'e in use, is composed of 
loose stone and pebble of various sizes and colours. 
Hence the water, from beini: less impregnated with 
sand, or disturbed by the influx of the tide, more par- 
ticularly in rainy or tempestuous weather, is of course 
freed from impuriiies, and in mild weather, at the 
distance of several feet from the surface, the bottom is 
clearly discernable to the eyes of the bather, who can 
thus select any depth for immersion : while the sloping 
declivity, down which the bathing-machines may be 
safely conveyed at the desire of those who make use 
of them, is free from the tedious descent at other sea- 
ports of many hundred feet on a sandy shore, before 
the temporary inhabitants, who hire them for the 
purpose of receiving benefit from sea-bathing, can 
possibly arrive at a sufficient depth of water. At the 
beach of Aberystwyth, during those periods when 
the tide is in, the longest distance requisite to roll the 
machine, exceeds not three yards, and even at low 
wofter tlie bathers may here always be accommodated, 

CAllDIGAIvSHinE. 165 

at the fcliort distance of five or six yards from tlie edge 
of the shore. 

The church of Aberystwyth in the year 1787, de- 
dicated to St. Michael, was erected within the pre- 
cincts of the castle by subscription, at the head of 
which appears the name of tlie Rev. Richard Lloyd, 
to the amount of 100/. as a legacy from the late Mrs. 
Jones. The church is a plain unadorned structure, 
containing in length from east to west, sixty feet ; and 
in breadth, twenty-six. It is capable of accommo- 
dating from seven to eight hundred persons, when the 
pews are occupied by the owners or by strangers. 
The church is separated from the walks and ground 
about the castle by a stone wall, erected and height- 
ened by the inhabitants. The morning service is de- 
livered in the English language, in the afternoon the 
service is performed in Welsh; and during the sum- 
mer months, when tlie town is more full of company, 
prayers are again read, and service performed in 
the English language by the vicar of Llanbadarn Vawr, 
or some other gentleman of the established church. 

The gallery erected at the west end of the church, 
was built at the sole expence of Mrs. Margaret Pryse, 
in the year 1790, and cost J04/. 145. It bears an in- 
scription commemorative of Mrs. Pryse's donation. 

The other places of worship in Aberystwyth are 
Meeting-houses, or Chapels for congregations of Bap- 
tists, Independents, VVesleyan, or Arminian Metho- 
dists, and Whit-ieldian or Calvinistic Methodistsj some- 
times sarcastically denominated Jumpers. The latter 
are said to be m.ore numerous than any sect in Wales, 
and frequently excite the curiosity of strangers to wit- 
ness their performances. They justify the custom of 
jumping from the example of David, who danced be- 
fore the ark ; and of the lame man restored by our Sa- 
viour at the gate of the temple, who leaped for joy. 
But the practice is by no means so prevalent, or so 
generally adopted as heretofore : it seems daily losing 
ground ; is wholly discontinued among the rational 
members of the society, as an unnccessarv form, and 


only perceptible in the conduct of the most ignorant 
and illiterate enthusiasts, who form part of such con- 

The bathing machines at Aberystwyth are con- 
structed on the same plan as those of Tenby and 
Swansea, and are by no means inferior to similar ve- 
hicles used on the coasts of Kent or Sussex. Nor is 
the town void of warm sea water baths ; besides which 
bountiful Nature has supplied it with a chalybeate 
spring, in its virtues resembling the waters of Tim- 

The mines in the neighbourhood of Aberystwyth 
were once considered inexhaustible, and calculated to 
produce 100 ounces of silver from a ton of lead, and 
to have created a profit of of'SOOO sterling per month. 

Of late years, Mr. Lewis Morris worked many of 
the Cardiganshire mines, and was of opinion, that if 
he could have raised sufficient money for carrying on 
the works, it was in his power to have drawn from 
them an annual profit of 12,000/. In a letter writ- 
ten to his brother about the year 1757, he speaks of 
Cardiganshire as the richest county he ever knew, 
with the fewest people in it of ingenuity and talent. 

The mines more immediately in the vicinity of 
Aberystwyth, are Cluernog, Cwmsymlog, and Cwm- 

Great quantities of herrings have been taken here 
several years since, and cod and mackarel have been 
sent hence as far as Shrewsbury. 

Aberystwyth imports for the use of the country, 
cast iron goods from Coalbrook Dale, shipped at Bris- 
tol, and groceries and grain from Ireland ; coals from 
the southern ports of Wales, and much porter from 
Bristol. There is here no manufacture entitled to 
notice, but a considerable coasting trade is carried on 
witii Liverpool, Bristol, and other parts of England. 
The exports are principally lead, calamine, &c. from 
the mines ; with corn, butter, and oak bark, 

'I'he manners of the resident inhabitants of Aberys- 
twyth may be said to have improved, certainly not to 


have degenerated, from their more frequent mteicourse 
■with strangers; a connection which other towns in 
Cardiganshire, situated more inland, Ijave not the 
opportunity of experiencing. 

The late Mr. Curran, the celebrated Irish orator 
and advocate, and universally acknowledged as one 
of the brightest ornaments of the Irish Bar, in speak- 
ing of his own countrymen, characterizes them in 
terms that are not altogether inapplicable to the peo- 
ple of Wales*. But the town of Aberystwyth, from 
its locality and diversity of occupants, differs as widely 
in manners and behaviour, and in some respects in 
their language, from the people in other parts of 
Wales, as the inhabitiints in the east and west of 
England, or the east and west ends of the metropolis 
of England differ from each other in these respects. 

The harbour, with respect to vessels, even of mid- 
dling size, whether outward or homeward bound, is 
neither sufficiently capacious, nor has it as yet been 
rendered so commodious, as from the nature of the 
place it might be. 

The marine prospect froill the shore is equally fine, 
with all other sea ports, where the view is bounded 
only by sea and sky. The rocks on each side, nature's 
strong bulwarks to the mountains right and left, are 
in some places very high, of a blackish hue, and ex- 
cavated towards the bottom from the continued 
strength of the sea ; diishing, with undiminislied force 
and foam, against those flinty barriers of Merioneth- 
shire, Cardiganshire, and Pembrokeshire. The view 
of those mountains from the sea is ahke grand, and 
exhibits a line of natural fortifications to the Welsh 

* The hospitality of an Irishman is not the running 
account of posted and ledgered courtesies; it springs 
like all his other qualities, his faults, his virtues, di- 
rectly from the heart. The heart of an Irishman is 
by nature bold, and he confides; it is tender, and he 
loves; it is generous, and he gives; it is social, and 
he is hospitable. 


land, drawn with that exquisite sublimity of design, 
that mark it at.once the work of nature's great architect. 
But the bar at the entrance of the harbour has barely 
sufficient water at spring tides to permit the passage 
of vessels of any considerable tonnage, from which 
many seafaring men and skilful mariners seek freight 
and employment, on other coasts, though aUied by 
birth, kindred, friends, and family, to the town of 

Ship'buUdhig has been carried on with all the 
spirit of emulation and industry that could be ex- 
pected from such resources as are here afforded. Still 
the want of a sufficient harbour depresses the exer- 
tions of individuals, which would otherwise operate as 
a source of wealth and improvement to their own 

The Custom-House was erected about the year 
J 773, near the beach; and the business thereof re- 
moved from the port of Aberdyvi. 

The Market, which formerly used to be held at 
Llanbadarn, has been rerjnoved to the lower part of 
the Town-Hall, at Aberys^yth ; it is sufficiently sup- 
plied on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sa- 
turdays, with all kinds of butcher's meat, poultry, 
bacon, eggs, cheese, butter, &c. on reasonable terms. 
Hie nmtton, though small, is particularly fine and 
sweet flavoured ; poultry very plentiful, and of course 
much cheaper than in the country towns of England. 
Fish is by no means so plentiful as might be ex- 
pected from the situation of Aberystwyth. Tliough 
the bay is so well known to abound with a viu-iety 
of the finny tribe, alid the adjoining rivers afford 
sufficient sport to those who are fond of the amuse- 
ment of angling with fly or worm, yet the little en- 
couragement given to fishermen of the place induces 
then- to prefer the coasting service to any speculation. 

As food for the mind, in the summer season, the 
town is enlivened by dramatic representations and as- 

A new theatre has been propfn*ed to be built; and u 


race course talked of: both of vvhicli must convey ad- 
ditional attractions, and by nuiny, be regarded as ad- 
ditional improvements to the town. 

Here is also a good grammar-school, with other 
schools for the education of boys, and female schools, 
where the children of parents, in whatever sphere 
they may move, may receive the first rudiments of 
leraninti, and imbibe the first lessons of scholastic 
lore, thereby laying the foundation for the display of 
future genius in a wider field, assisted by more sci- 
entific instruction. 

Here, though there is no regular establishment of 
a poor-liouse, niendieity is seldom seen. 

When paupere become old or infirm, they are re- 
lieved either at their own dwellinciS; or sent to board 
with some person of their own age and sex, the ex- 
pence of which is defrayed by a rate on the inhabi- 
tants, collected imd distributed by the overseers of the 
poor for tlie timejieinji. The number so relieved are 
but small; the hospitality of some, and benevolence of 
others, added to the innate, pride of such applicants 
for parochial relief, wIkj Imve seen better days, pre- 
vent the necessity of any very large establishment for 
the relief of the poor. 

The manner of attending funerals, and paying that 
last respect to the memory of the deceased, is much 
more commendable in Whales, than in other countries, 
where parade and affectation are oftentimes the sub- 
stitutes lor affection, wliere the semblance of woe 
too often mocks the reality. A Welsh funeral is much 
more decent than the hasty interment of the dead in 
many parts of England, attended by two, three, or 
half a dozen followers. 

Among the poorer orders, it is customary for the 
friends of tiie deceased to assemble together on the 
day of interment, or the night preceding, and to give 
the relatives a piece of money, according to their cir- 
cumstances ; thus consolmg and assisting, when assist- 
ance is most wanted. 

By the contribations of friends and guests at their 


weddings, or biddings, (as they are termed), a younn; 
couple, not overburthened with Fortune^s store, how- 
ever rich in that which Fortune cannot always bestow, 
are enabled, from the gifts and loans of acquaintance 
and neighbours, to begin the world, in fervent hopes 
of better days, and ready at a future period in return- 
ing such loans, to encourage others entering into the 
matrimonial state. 

These customs, however ludicrous to the eye of 
fashion, tend to unite the lower orders of society in 
bonds of amity and love ; and whether adopted from 
the manners of the Flemings, the Normans, or the 
Saxons, by which Wales has from time to time been 
governed, they are not less worthy of imitation, en- 
couragement, or reward, and if not immediately con- 
ducive to the amelioration of the condition of the 
people, cannot be supposed as tending in the smallest 
degree to vitiate their morals or corrupt their hearts. 

The costume of both sexes preserve a great degree 
of similarity in all weathers, and very little variation is 
made in their dress, either in summer or winter. The 
women continue to wear mob-caps, chin-stays, and 
silk handkerchiefs, with black beaver hats, whether in 
hail, rain, or sunshine, and not unfrequently an extra 
handkerchief, serves as an additional ornament to 
their head-dress. The men in general evince by their 
dress, the same independence of seasons. 

I'he Welsh ladies, however, though they may not 
be quite so tractable as females of other countries, it 
must be acknowledged, are not deficient in constancy, 
affection, or fidelity, or at all inferior in their conjugal 
and maternal duties to others who may be, or may 
fancy themselves to be, more polished. 

The old-fashioned prejudice and prepossessions, no- 
ticed in former days by Cambrian travellers, as spring- 
ing from the pride of birth or title, or emanating from 
any other capricious source of Fortune, seems fast 
approaching to a decline in Wales. 

Exclusive of a Circulating Library of many hundred 
volumes, which are let out to read on the usual terras, 


monthly, quarterly, or yearly, there is a Subscription 
Reading-room, regularly supplied with London and 
provincial newspapers; and piano-fortes may also be 
hired for any specified time at the library. 

Rides and Regulations for the Observation and Go~ 
vernment of the Members of the Reading-room, at 
Cox's Library, Aberystwyth. 

1. That every yearly subscriber pay the sum of one 
guinea at the time of entrance, (the year to be com- 
puted from the 5th day of July), and the like sum per 
annum, during such time as he shall continue a 

2. That two London daily newspapers, and at least 
three provincial weekly papers, viz. the Hereford 
Journal, Caermarthen Journal, and Shrewsbury Chro- 
nicle, be taken for the use of the subscribers to the 
reading-room exclusively, and not to be taken out of 
the room on any pretence whatever. 

3. That every subscriber shall have the privilege of 
introducnig a friend (being no subscriber) to the 
rooms, twice, if a stranger to the town ; and once, if 
a resident, but not oftener. 

4. That persons visiting Aberystwyth, who may 
wish to subscribe for a short period, be eligible to be- 
come subscribers for three months, on payment of 
10s. Qd. or for one month, on payment of 5s. 

5. That all the papers taken be filed (separately), 
and deemed the property of the subscribers, until 
six months after the end of every year. 

6. That a monthly Navy and Army List, and an 
annual Court Calendar, be regularly purchased, and 
kept for the use of the subscribers. 

7. That any person taking a paper or book out 
of the reading-room, do forfeit 5s. for each time 

8. That the hours of attending the room, be from 
eight o'clock in the morning until eight o'clock in the 

9. That a quarterly meeting of the annual sub- 

Q 2 


scribers be held, for the better regulation of the rule? 
of this society, whenever found necessary, viz. on tlie 
first Tuesday in the months of September, December, 
March, and Jane, in each year, between the hours 
of twelve and two o'clock ; and that no alteration 
whatever be made in any of the rules, without the 
consent of a majority of the subscribers present at 
some or one of such quarterly meetings. 

A coach to and from Aberystwyth, goes from the 
Gogerddan Arms, every Monday and Friday mornings 
at four o'clock, and returns on the same evening at 
nine, during the summer season; and in the other 
times of the year, it leaves Aberystwyth every Friday 
morning only, by way of Machynllaith, Mallwyd, 
Can-Ollice, Llanvair, Welshpool, and Shrewsbury. — 
Another goes from the Old Black Lion every Tues- 
day, Thursday, and Saturday, at four in the morning ; 
returns the same evening about nine, by way of the 
Devil's Bridge, Llanidloes, Newtown, Welshpool, and 
Shrewsbury. Those two coaches go from Aberys- 
twyth to Shrewsbury, where they meet the London 
and other coaches. — A third goes from the Talbot 
and Royal Hotel every Wednesday and Sunday morn- 
ings at seven ; returns the same evening about six, by 
way of Devil's Bridge, Rhaiader, Pen-y-bont, King- 
ton, Leominster, and Worcester; meets the London, 
Bristol, and Bath coaches. 

Waggons go every week alternate to Shrewsbury, 
where they meet the waggons to London and else- 
where. One goes to Caermarthen every week. 

Letters from London arrive every day except Tues- 
day, about twelve o'clock in the forenoon. / 

Letters to London are dispatched every day except 
Friday, at half past three in the afternoon. 

There is a south post departs every Monday, 
Thursday, and Saturday, at four in the morning, 
which returns the same days, at seven in the evening. 
The north post goes out every morning at twelve, and 
returns at seven in the evening. 

The Post-otllce is in Groat Dark-sate street. 

Cardiganshire. 173 

The following descriptive analysis of the chalybeate 
spring, was written by Mr. Richard Williams, of Aber- 
ystwyth, Honorary Member of the Physical Society, 
London, and of the " London V^accine Institution." 

Exclusive of the convenience and goodness of the 
bathing at Aberystwyth, it possesses, like Scarborough 
and [Brighton, an advantage over many other places 
on the coast, that of having in its immediate vicinity a 
tine chalybeate spring, the use of which is applicable 
to, and will much assist in the cure of many diseases 
for which the sea is visited. This well was discovered 
by accident about the year 1779, and is situated a few 
hundred yards east of the town, upon a common close 
to the river, and not far distant from a stone quarry. 

Some years ago, when the water was directed from 
the river, for the purpose of clearing away the weeds 
which had collected there, the well became dry, jmd a 
small stream proceeding from the north was observed 
rising from tiie bed of the river. Upon coveif'ng this 
over, the flow returned at the usual place. 

The neigtibouring country abounds in springs of a 
ferruginous nature, and traces of sulphur have been 
lately discovered at Penglaise, the beautiful villa of 
Rodei-ick Hichardes, escj. 

This'spa yields about one gallon in a minute. After 
rain it runs much faster, and its specific gravity at the 
temperature of 56 is equal to that of distilled water. 
During the months of March and A pril, the temperature 
varied from 46^ to 50'^, and did not rise liigher when 
that of the atums{)here was above 60°*. 

Before sun-rise, when the degree of heat was 42, 
that of the well continued 47, Fahrenheit. 

Its sensible properties, when first taken up from the 
well, are — it is quit^ clear, colourless, and bright ; it 
exhales a chalybeate smell, does not sparkle in the 
glass, b".t slowly separates a few bubbles, some of 
ykhich ascend to the top, and make their escape, while 

'^ In July it reached 53. 
Q 3 


Others adhere to the sides of the vessel in larger quan- 
tities than in common water. 

To the taste, it is neither acidulous or saline (except 
after high tides, when it has been mixed with sea 
water), but simply chalybeate, and is by no means 

When the water has rested for some time exposed 
to the air, it becomes turbid throughout; an irridesceni 
pellicle encrusts the surface, and in a few hours a 
brown precipitate falls to the bottom, the water having 
lost its mineral properties. The same effects take 
place more rapidly when assisted by heat. 

With different re-agents, the following appearances 
are manifested : 

Tincture of galls affords a fine purple approaching 
to black, but not after it has stood long, or been 

Solution of silver in nitric acid, gives first a pale 
white, which becomes blue on exposure to the light. 

Lime water renders it immediately turbid; and 
tincture of litmus becomes changed to a light red 

Syrup of violets, after standing for some time, be- 
comes very slightly green. 

Concentrated sulphuric acid produces no sensible 
disengagement of bubbles. 

Oxalic acid evinces no change. 

A solution of soap is curdled both before and after 
it has been boiled, therefore it may be called a hard 

Nitrate of barytes does not indicate the presence of 
sulphuric acid. 

Solution of blue vitriol causes a green colour. 

Volatile caustic ammonia, and caustic potash, oc- 
casion yellowish sediments. 

By a careful evaporation, a wine gallon of this 
water will afford eight grains of solid matter, and 
occasionally a larger proportion. — The residue has a 
salt taste; and, by the addition of sulphuric acid, 
evolves muriatic acid gas. 


A small portion being mixed with cold spring water, 
suffered to rest for two or three hours, then filtered 
through paper, and a little of the nitrate of silver 
dropped into the solution, a white cloudiness takes 
place. This is followed by a blue precipitate, which 
is not re-dissolved by the nitric or acetic acids. 

This water has been supposed to contain a small 
portion of sulphur, but as yet, I have not been able 
to ascertain its existence. The acetate of lead, when 
employed in solution, assumes a faint blue, with a 
tinge of brown, which is probably owing to the pre- 
sence of muriatic acid. 

From the above experiments, it is evident that this 
water contains calx of iron, which is suspended by 
the medium of carbonic acid gas and marine salt; in 
other respects, I do not find that it differs materially 
from pure spring water; therefore, it may be termed 
a simple carbonated chalybeate, and much resembles 
the Tunbridge waters. 

The track over which it flows, is marked by an 
ochery deposition, and no frogs or small fish are seen 
within the influence of the fixed air; it being destruc- 
tive to animal life when respired, and in some in- 
stances capable of producing effects similar to those 
of intoxication. 

The medicinal virtues of this spa depend on the 
carbonic acid, and oxyd of iron, the salts being too 
inconsiderable to deserve any particular attention. 

By proper regulation, it will be found very salutary 
in all relaxations of the stomach, and intestinal canal, 
as well as general debility, stimulating the action of 
the heart and arteries, and increasing the florid colour 
of the blood; — by perseverance in its use the appetite 
becomes excited, and the spirits improved. pi 

And in a variety of disorders, where steel may be 
required, it will prove of considerable service. 

On commencing a course of this water, the bowels 
should be attended to, and an aperient medicine ad- 
ministered, or a small quantity of sulphate of magnesia 
occasionally combined with it. — The constitution of 


the patient should likewise be considered; and if tliere 
is any tendency to inflammatory comphiints, <ieter- 
mination of blood to the head, or pulmonary affection, 
its use must be either laid aside, or continued with^ 

To persons of a delicate habit, the fresh drawn 
water may, from its low temperature, occasion an un- 
pleasant sensation in the stomach, which may be pre- 
vented by adding a little tincture of cardamoms, or 
any other cordial, which I think preferable to warming 
it :* for the carbonic acid is in the latter method too 
often suffered to escape. <■. 

A quarter of a pint should be taken two or thnefi/f 
times a day, and it would he most advantageous, for 
obvious reasons, to drink it at the well about eight 
o'clock in the morning, and again between breakfast 
and dinner, gradually increasing the dose accorduig to 
the age and habits of the invalid. 

Chalyheate waters, when first employed, frequently 
evacuate the bowels, especially if there is any accu- 
mulation of bile in them; but their operation ceases so 
soon as the intestines are restored to their natural 
state, and the opposite effect is apt to occur. 

The requisite duration of a course of steel water 
extends from three to eight or nine weeks ; when it 
agrees, the whole frame becomes strengthened : the 
urinary and cuticular excretions augmented, the f^ces 
become of a dark colour, a circumstance generally ac- 
companying a course of chalybeate waters, and which 
it may be proper, the patient should be aware of. 
When assisted by the warm bath, its power over 
chlorosis, and other ohstructions, will be much more 
percef)tible ; but if in this time it fails to regenerate 
health, a further trial would not be desirable, as little 
or no advantage could be expected from it. 

As a topical application, it has been resorted to, 

••"^ . . 

' ■■^' TUis is done by filling a bottle, corking it well, 


with success for various specie?« of ulcers, and some- 
times given relief in clironic ophthalmia. 

The roads from Aberystwyth to IMachynlleth, through 
Talybu-nt, and from Aberystwyth to Cardigan, by the 
way of Aberayron, are kept in as goori order, for 
equestrian or pedestrian travellers, as the generality 
of roads throughout England, and exhibit as great a 
diversity of rural and marine prospect, as can possibly 
be discovered in such extent in any other part of the 
principality, or in any part of the united kingdom. 

One mile to the north-east of Aberystwyth is 
Llanbadarn-Vawr, anciently called Mauritanea, 
and supposed to be one of the earliest bishoprics in 
Wales. Here Paternus, in the sixth century, founded 
a monastery, and an episcopal see, afterwards united 
to St. David's. 

The church was given, in the year illl, to St, 
Peter's, at Gloucester, and some time after to Vale 
Royal, in Cheshire. The present structure has many 
traces of great antiquity, being large, and built in the 
form of a cross, with a door of early Gothic architec- 
ture, and by its style, was probably erected previous 
to the itinerary of Giraldus, in whose time the place 
was an abbey, under the jurisdiction of a layman, 
the enormity of which he very pathetically lamented. 

Its external appearance is large and ancient, erected 
of common stone. The interior consists of a nave and 
chancel, formed of rough materials, with a few modern 
monuments, particularly one for Lewis Morris, well 
known among his countrymen for a profound know« 
ledge of British history and antiquities, besides the 
author of a valuable work, entitled " Celtic Remains." 

Amonij the antiquities of Llanbadarn, are two an- 
cient stone crosses, ornamented with some rude carv- 
ings and emblematical devices. In the middle of the 
village is a large upright stone, part of which has beea 
broken off, in consequence of a bonfire having been 
made upon it. 

A recent traveller observes' of Lhnbadarn, " the 
vicissitude oi' human aftairs, < the wreck of matter,' 


seems strongly exemplified in the declension of this 
ancient place. Its cruciform church is supposed to 
be one of the oldest in Wales. The door and chan- 
cel are of early Gothic architecture. In the sixth 
century, a monasteryj with an episcopal see, was here 
founded by Paturnus; which was afterwards united 
to St. David's. The meat market was formerly kept 
here, for the supply of Aberystwyth; and the ad- 
joining grounds produced plenty of fruit and vege- 

'' It is now the burying place of several respectable 
families, and there are a considerable number of 
marble and other tomb-stones, commemorative of the 
defunct, in the church and church-yard : — a flat stone 
in the chancel covers the grave of the late Mr. Lewis 
Morris, the celebrated antiquarian. 

" The remains of former grandeur is but little con- 
spicuous, elsewhere than in the church and church- 

Glas-Grug is the site of an ancient British palace, 
or entrenchment, on the summit of a small hill, in a 
wide marsh adjacent to Llanbadarn. It was frequently 
garrisoned by British troops, in their warfare against 
tlieir Norman and Saxon invaders. 

The repiains are very considerable, and a square 
embattled tower appears very perfect, with a narrow 
passage, leading into another quadrangular division, 
which has still the outer walls in good preservation. 
The entrance and hall is immediately opposite the 
chimney, with a mutilated floor of rough stones, 
similar to those in its exterior walls. The hearth, and 
a rustic chimney-piece remaining, afford a good spe- 
cimen of its antiquity. 

The extent of all the original fabric cannot be mi- 
nutely described ; but the tipartments have been very 
spacious and numerous, as the remaining walls are in 
many phices six or seven feet high. A small part of 
the ruins have been used for a hay-loft ; but, like the 
other parts, has neither a hewn stone or a single letter 
of inscription. 


When this old mansion was erected, is no where to 
be found in history ; yet it appears to have been 
known to Gruffydd ab Khys in 1113, when he en- 
camped here, previous to his defeat by the Normans 
before Aberystwyth Castle. That it has been the 
residence of our princes, cannot be denied; for it is 
particularly mentioned by Einion ab Gwgan, who 
flourished about 1244 ; for, speaking of Llewelyn the 
Great, he expresses himself to this purpose : 

" His spear flashes in the hands accustomed to martial 

deeds ; 
It kills, and puts its enemies to flight by the palace of 

the Hheidiol." 

It appears to have been one of the residences of 
Owen Glyndwr; it is said that a subterraneous pas- 
sage led from this mansion to the old sanctuary of 
Llanbadarn, and another to the castle at Aberystwyth, 
but notwithstanding repeated trials, the remains of 
either cannot be discovered. 

Gwely Taliesin, or Taliesin's Bed, at Genau y Glyn, 
in the parish of Llanvihangel, stood by the high road, 
about four miles from Aberystwyth. Tradition in- 
forms us this was the sepulchre of Taliesin, chief bard 
of Wales, who flourished about A. D. 540. It seems 
to have been a sort of cist-vaen, four feet long, and 
three broad, composed of four stones, one at each end, 
and two side stones, the highest nearly a foot above 
the ground; but no part of this monument is how re- 
maining, some ruthless hand having broken the stones, 
and converted them afterwards to gate posts. 

Journey from Pont-ar-Vi/tiach to Llanbedr; through 

This bridge over the Mynach, on the road leading 
from Aberystwyth to Llanidloes, is supposed to have 
been the workof the monks of Ystrad-flur, or Strata 
Florida Abbey, in the reign of William Rufus ; but 
being of very early, and generally, of unknown date, 
has been ascribed by popular tradition, to the devil ; 

180 50UTII WAi.r.?. 

but who ought perhaps to be little suspected of a 
performance of such public utiHty. The Welsh, how- 
ever, in tlieir vernacular language, have given it the 
descriptive appellation of Pont-ar-Vynach, or Mynach 
a Monk. It consists of two arches, one thrown over 
the other. The old bridge is the lower arch. Gi- 
raldus mentions passing over this bridge when he ac- 
companied Baldwin, archbishop of Canterbury, at the 
time of the crusades, in the year 1188. The upper 
arch was built per^)endicularly over it, in the year 
1753, at the expeuce of the county, for the greater 
safety and convenience of tnivellers. They span a 
chasm in a iremendousrock, wiiich, when viewed t'roni 
the dingle where the stream runs, has an appearance 
avA'fully sublime : and the rays of tlie sun being inter- 
cepted by the elevated situation of the trees, whicii 
grow impending over this impetuous torrent, add 
greatly to the sublimity. The cleft in the rock has 
been greatly enlarged, if not originally caused, by the 
force of the stream, the rapidity of which is increased 
by its confinement. The depth of the water on the 
south-west side is in some places upwards of 12 feet, 
and from the iiighest arch to the water 99. On the 
north-east side, close to the bridge, it measures 114 
feet ; this difference may be ascribed to the declivity 
under it, which is very considerable. 

The river, bursting trom its restrained course, through 
broken rocks jmd interrupted by fragments, becomes a 
more even and trnnslucid stream for about 40 yards 
north-east from the bridge, till within a few yards of 
the fall, where it is confined to narrow limits by the 
rocks, from whence, bursting with terrific roar, it is 
carried about six feet over the craggy ridge, and de- 
scending 18, is received into a bason, along which it 
flows 24, and then rushes with equal impetuosity to a 
descent of 60 feet. Here the fall is again interrupted 
by another receiver, which, like the former, appears 
to have been worn to an amazing depth. Th6 agita- 
tion of the water, and the nnst occasioned by the fall, 
which for some time we took for rain, prev^jnted our 



sounding its depth. Frojn this bason it hastens to 
another descent of near 20 feet, but reaching that ex- 
tent meets with obstructions of niussy rocks and stones 
of a prodigious size; wliich it encounters with irre- 
sistible violence, and forces its way, about 22 feet, to 
the precipice (jf the greatest cataract. The water 
then uniting, passes with an ahnost inconceivable 
force over the brink of the rock, and becomes a large 
sheet. In that state it falls upwards of 110 feet. 

** Between two meeting hills, it bursts away, 
Where rocks and woods o'erliang the turbid stream ; 
There gathering triple force, rapid and deep. 
It boils, and wheels, and foams, and thunders through." 


The river, for near three miles from this spot, is 
encircled with hills of prodigious magnitude, some 
wholly clothed with trees; except an intervention 
liere and there of frightfully projecting rocks, the 
bottoms of which are very dangerous and ditficult of 
access; but a situation near the brink of the river 
once obtained, the spectator is amply repaid with a 
scene the most solemn and beautiful. To describe 
the various sounds the different breaks in the cataract 
produce, can best be done by a simile to a variaiitm 
of the keys in music; and to depict the scenery with 
which you are here surrounded, elevated woods, rocks, 
and the rushing of a river, falling more than two 
hundred and eiglity feet, can be more justly done by 
an accurate drawhig, than by the most descriptive 

Pont fiich ar Fynach a fynwyd, 

Uwch eigion, och ! agos Gyfarllwyd, 

Garwach heb gel ui welwyd, 

Oil erioed nu'r man lle'r wyd. Axon v 

The Ystwyth, the Rheidiol, and the Mynach,are surh 
interesting rivers, that an account of their rise an.d 
meanderings, and the streams connected wilh i.hen<, 
cannot possibly be uninteresting. 



The Ystwyth rises in the mountains, as Leland says, 
" owt of a mares grounde, caullid Blaine Ustwith, three 
miles 'from Llangibike on VV}'." The first river it re- 
ceives is the Dulivv, which rises in a mountain about a 
mile from Llyu Iwau ucha', one of the heads of the 
Merrin river. It separates part of Montgoiner^shire 
frou^ Cardiganshire, and continues to do so for about 
seven miles, and tlieu turns inwards to Cai'digiinshire : 
here receiving a tributary stream ; about a mile and 
three quarters further on, it falls into the Ystwyth. 
At the confluence, an elegant stone bridge has been 
erected, at the expence of the late Mr. Johncs. The 
Ystwyth continues to flow between tremendous moun- 
tains until it reaches Pentre-Briwnant, where it receives 
the Briw Brook on one side, and another stream on 
the other. Two streams forming the eastern boundary 
of Havod fail into it, one on the north, and the other 
on the south side. In its passage through this ter- 
restrial paradise, it meets with two more streams from 
the south, the westernmost forming the western boun- 
dary of Ilavod on this side of the Ystwyth. Over this 
part of the Ystwyth, Mr. Johnes erected another 
bridge, in the Moorish style. Half a mile below 
the last-mentioned stream, another from the north 
flows into the Ystwyth, about half a mile, the other 
part of the western boundary of Ilavod. Having 
now quitted the confines of Havod, it continues its 
course, overhung by well-wooded mountains, for half 
a mile further, where a neat stone bridge has been 
thrown across it, called Pont Rhydygroes; about 200 
yards to the west of which, another rivulet falls into 
the Ystwyth. This comes in a curvilinear course from 
the north, and has its rise near a village called Blaeu 
Pentre'; a little more than a quarter of a mile before 
it meets the Ystwyth, another rivulet falls into it, 
taking its rise not far distant from the other, and 
curving in an opposite direction, so as to form almost 
an elipse. This has two tributary streams. The Ys- 
twyth now takes a southernly direction, and then turns 
again at nearly right angles towards the west. Here 

( AKDr( ANSIIH'.K. 183 

ir receives a brook called Nantycwarrel, or quarry 
brook, which div-ides its southern bank, and flows in 
extent about three miles. 

The next object of notice on tlie Ystwyth is tlie 
romantic bridge of Llanavan, which, like Uie others on 
this river, consists of a single arch, and is built of 
stone. About a mile and three quarters from this, it 
receives two brooks, whose mouths are exactly oppo- 
site to each other : the smallest comes from the north, 
the other from the south. This last is called Crognant, 
and runs down the mountains between Llanwnnws 
and Lledrod. 

The Ystwyth having made an angle just at the 
stream it met with, after flowing under Llanavan bridge, 
runs towards the north-west ; and the next stream that 
falls into it after Crognant, comes from the westward. 
Just below this is a ford called Rhydyceir, used by 
people coming or going from Llanilar to Llanavan. 
The northern bank of the Ystwyth is here adorned by 
the noble park and luxuriant farms of the Honourable 
Colonel Vaughan's estate, called Cross-wood. 

A mile beyond the last stream, comes another ri- 
vulet from the north-east, which rising a little above 
Rhos Rhyd ucha', comes down a valley called Cwra 
Magwyr; and about a mile from its embouchure, re-, 
ceives a brook about three miles in extent. 

About two miles further, the Ystwyth receives 
another rivulet from the north-east, which rises a little 
to the nonh of the high road from the Devil's Bridge 
to Aberystwyth, between the eighth and ninth mile- 
stones. This receives five tributary streams, and flows 
through the village of Llanvihangel y Creuddin. 

The next stream the Ystwyth receives comes from 
the south, passing by the plantations of Castle Hill, 
the estate of J. N. Williams, esq. and in a cleft it has. 
made in the mountain by its impetuosity, falls into 
the Ystwyth just by the village of Llanilar. 

About two miles beyond it is reinforced by"a trifling 
stream from the north ; and a little further, by a larger 
one called the Maide, from the •^outh. which has been 


made by the union of two smaller. Here stands Aber- 
maide; and here the Ystwyrh assumes a most pictures- 
que appearance. 

Two miles further it receives another brook called 
Llolwyn, from the south, over which, as well as the 
Mjjide, is a stone bridge of a single arch. 

About half a mile further on, the Ystwyth, where 
its curves, uniting with the well-wooded rocks on its 
banks, contribute to give it a most romantic appear- 
ance, stands Llanychaiarn bridge. 

Two trifling streams afterwards empty themselves 
into the Ystwyth from the south-west, where, winding 
round the base of Pendinas mountain, it falls into the 
river Rheidiol, just before that river meets the ocean, 
and gives name to the town of Aberystwyth. 

The Rheidiol rises in a lake called Llyn Rheidiol, in 
the Putnlumon mountains. About a mile and a 
half from its source it receives a rivulet from the east, 
containing the boundary of Cardiganshire from the 
Pumluraon mountains, being to the north of them, and 
receiving in its passage a tributary stream running 
out of them. 

A mile further the Rlieidiol is increased by another 
stream, flowing from the westernmost of the Pumlu- 
mon mountains, and about a mile and a half in extent. 

About a hundred yards further, another rivulet falls 
into the Rheidiol. This also separates Cardiganshire 
from Montgomeryshire. It rises about four miles and 
a half to the northward, and receives a stream coming 
from the Esgair Vraith copper mines, called Maesnant. 

A mile further, the Rheidiol receives a small stream 
from the south; and not quite a mile beyond, the river 
Camddwr falls into it from the north, so called from its 
meandering form. Its course is not quite five miles, 
during which it receives two other small streams on its 
eastern side. 

Just beyond the Camddwr, another small stream falls 
into the Rheidiol, which receives no other increase for 
two miles further; when another brook from the east 
meets it, into which flows another, called Poithnant. 


A mile further, another brook called Hirnant, or 
" Long brook," tails into the Rheidiol. 

Also from the east, a mile and a half be3'ond, a 
rivulet from the north-west meets the Rheidiol. This 
is above four miles in extent, and receives five tri- 
butary streams; one of which, from the foaming cata- 
ract it possesses, gives the names of Gwenfrwd ucha', 
and Gwenfrwd isa', to two cottages situated on its 

About two hundred and tifcy yards further, the Rheid- 
iol receives a trifling supply from the west; but a mile 
and a, half beyond, the Castell River falls into it from 
the east ; this also has its bulk increased by five other 
streams, and flows nearly five miles in extent. A 
cross road leads over the Castell and over the Rheidiol 
by means of two bridges. The bridge over the Rheidiol 
is called Ponterwyd, and is oile arch of stone, about 
36 feet in diameter. 

The Rheidiol now curves in the form of an S, and 
receives a rivulet from the west about three miles 
long, having two streams flowing into it. 

Half a mile further the Rheidiol receives a trifling 
supply from the west, and is again increased by a 
stream from the east, which runs by the church of 
Yspytty Cenwyn. 

We now approach the grand and tremendous fall of 
the Rheidiol, the sublime features of which cataract 
should be viewed, as they cannot well be described. 
The basin into which it falls is agitated like a sea, by 
the violence of the shock : the rocks that have planted 
themselves across the channel are enormous ; the hue 
of the waters is dark; the hills stand upright into the 
sky ; nothing glitters through the gloom but the foam 
of the torrent ; nothing invades the deep silence but 
, its sound. The flashing of the rill from above into 
the broad cascade adds inexpressible beauty to its 
grandeur. Opposite to the stupendous object, on a 
precipice of forests, at the height of more than one 
hundred and fifty yards, stands the inn called " The 
Havod Arras." The Rheidiol soon meets with the 
Pv 3 


Mynach, and their junction mtiy be liere traced in this 
bottom. The cascade on the two rivers are not within 
sight of each other. 

The Hheidiol being now reinforced by the waters of 
the valley, continues its course along the valley for a 
quarter of a mile, when it receives a small stream 
falling down from the south-west; and shortly after, 
another in the same direction, though a little larger. 
It continues its course down the vale of Rheidiol, till 
it receives the impetuous Frwd from the south ; and 
about one hundred and fifty yards beyond, another 
from the opposite side. 

It afterwards meanders for two miles further, and 
there receives another stream from the north; and 
two miles beyond, another comes into it, which rises 
near Penbryn, and is about three miles in extent. 

About a mile furthei' on, it receives another in the 
same direction as the last. 

About two miles further, just whcire it forms a riglit 
angle, a stream runs from one part of it, and falls into 
it again, forming the hypothenuse of this right angle. 
A house situated on this brook is called Nanteirio. 
By such a disposition of its waters, the Ilheidiol fonns 
a triangular island. It now flows on, sometimes in a 
right line, and sometimes curving, till it approaches 
Gias-Grug, wliere the river separates, forming an 
island not quite two miles in circumference, called 
y Morva, or the Marsh, which, during the winter, is 
mostly overflowed. It thence flows under the bridge 
of Aberystwyth. 

"Whatever might have been the origin of the English 
appellation of the Devil's Bridge, or why his infernal 
majesty should have been considered the builder, is a 
point which must be left to others more learned on 
this iiead, and better acquainted with his works, to 
determine. There is, however, one incontrovertible 
fact attending this structure, that the people who first 
had the use of it, and experienced the benefit of 
passing over, must have felt themselves considerably 
obliged to the architect. 


Tlie Myiiacli, ov Monks River, rises on the east side 
of the mountains to the east of Yspytty Cenwyn, and 
about half a mile off is replenished by the river Merin, 
■svhich is formed by the junction of two streams, each 
issuing from the lakes called Llyn Ivan issa', and Llyn 
Ivan ucha'. The Rhuddnant is another stream that 
increases the Mynach, wliich also receives two small 
streams from the south, and prepares itself for that 
astonishing cataract, equalled only by the fall of Narni 
in Italy. This truly acherontic stream, forces itself 
through masses and fragments of opposing rocks, hol- 
lowing out deep cavities, filled with the awful black- 
ness of unfathomed waters, and thickening the misty 
gloom of a recess, impervious to sunshine. 

At the jut of the lowest fall in the rock is a cave, 
said to have been once inhabited by robbers, two 
brothers, and a sister, called Pla7it Mat, or Mafs 
Chi/dren, who used to steal and sell the cattle of their 
neighbours, and whose retreat was not discovered for 
many years. The entrance being just sufficient to 
make darkness visible, and admitting but one at a 
time, they were able to defend it against hundreds. 
At length, however, they were taken, after having 
committed murder, for which they were tried, con- 
demned, and executed. 

It is however conceived a task nearly impossible for 
language to describe, or the artist to delineate, the 
several scenes of this romantic retirement. It must 
be seen to be understood; every new choice of posi- 
tion rewards the observer with scenes aw^fuUy grand 
and sublime. One excursion (says !\lr. Cumberland), 
to this place, will not suffice common observers, nor 
indeed many to the lovers of the grand sports of nature. 
The Mynach coming down from beneath the Devil's 
Bridge, has no equal for height or beauty, for althcAigh 
a streamlet to the famous fall of Narni in Italy, yet it 
rivals it in height, and surpasses it in elegance. 

After passing deep below the bridge, as through a 
narrow firth, with Aloises loud and ruinous into a con- 
fined chasm, the fleet waters pour headlong and im- 


petuous, and leaping from rock to rock, with fury 
literally, lash the mountains' sides; sometimes ahuost 
embowered among deep groves, and flashing at last 
into a fan-like form, the fall rattling among the loose 
stones of the Devil's hole, where, to all appearance, it 
shoots into a gulf beneath, and silently steals away; 
for so much is carried otf in spray, during the inces- 
sant repercussions it experiences, ni this long tortuitous 
shoot, that, in all probability, not half the water ar- 
rives at the bottom of its profound and sullen grave. 

Mr. Button's History of the Lower Bridge, as re- 
lated by Mr. Nicholson is as'follows: " An old woman 
in search of her strayed cow, saw her on the opposite 
side of the cleft rock, and in this lamentable case the 
devil appeared, sympathized with her deeply, and 
offered to accommod-.ite her with a bridge over the 
chasm, if she would suffer him to take the first who 
passed it. Reflecting that, as she must be ruined in 
the one case, she could but be ruined iii the other, she 
desperately complied. A bridge instantly appeared. 
What a situation ! Her cow was dear to her and va- 
luable, but self-preservation was an impulse superior 
to every other consideration. Fortunately, however, 
she had a dog, and in her pocket a piece of bread : a 
glorious thought occurred, of saving herself and cow 
by the sacrifice of the cur; she took the piece of bread 
from her pocket, and threw it on the other side. Her 
dog darted over the bridge to seize it. Satan looked 
peevishly askance, galled at the thought of being bit 
by an old woman, hung his tail, and walked olf. It 
must be acknowledged that Mr. Satan behaved very 
honourably in this case, for he kept his word, which 
is more than men always do : whether the wisdom of 
the old lady, the honour of Mr. Devil, or the active 
obedience of the dog, was, or is the utmost to be com- 
mended, is a question left by Mr. Hutton for others 
to decide." 

Just above tfie Devil's Bridge Mr. Johnes erected 
the commodious inn, which he caused to be called the 
Hafod Anns: hev-c travellers may be supplied with 


every necessary accommodation, while they are ex- 
ploring the wonders of the neighbourhood. The 
house is situated between the road and the valley, and' 
the back windows command a full view of the great 
fall of the Kheidiol in the gulph below; but its ap- 
parent magnitude is great!}' diminished by the distance. 
The Ystwyth pursues hence a most romantic and 
impetuous course on the left, rushing in foaming 
cataracts over successive precipices, and filling the 
narrow vale with the roaring of its waters. On the 
right lie the celebrated lead mines of Cwm Ystwyth, 
which, with the dingy hovels of the miners, first in- 
dicate our approach towards the habitations of man. 
A little way beyond the lead mines, the eye, now 
fatigued by the perpetual recurrence of naked craggs 
and the desolation of uncultivated wastes, is agree- 
ably relieved by a small hill, immediately in front, 
crowned by a flourishing plantation, and nearly at the 
same spot, a sudden turn of the road opens to the 
traveller a prospect of undescribable beauty and in- 
terest. Directly before him the Vale of Ystwyth, 
gradually widening, bursts upon the view like a scene 
of the most delightful enchantment. A small village, 
in this commanding situation, is called Pentre Brivv- 
nant; and a public house here is called Pentre Brizo' 
nani Inn, where persons, not too squeamish in the 
article of beds and provisions, may be furnished with 
temporary board and lodging. About one mile south 
of Cwm Ystwyth lead mines, is Hafod,orHavod Uch- 
tryd, the justly beautiful seat of the lateThomas Johnes, 
esq. Lord-lieutenant, and Gustos Rotulorura of the 
county of Cardigan, and also its representative in par- 
Jiament, The entrance to the grounds is on the left 
of the turnpike, and is marked by a neat lodge and 
gateway. The carriage-road winds hence to the 
right, partly through groves of young trees, and 
partly through a forest of majestic oak, and nothing 
is seen of the house till a turn round a projecting 
rock at the extremity of the wood brings it in full 


The elegant and l)ospitable mansion, first built iicic 
by Mr. Baldwin the architect, was burnt nearly down 
in March 1807, when the fire was so rapid, that Mrs. 
Johnes, with the assistance of a gentleman then upon 
a visit to the house, with the greatest difficulty saved 
the contents of four of the book cases, all the rest of 
the printed books and manuscripts being burnt: the 
plate, several pictures, and other valuables were 
rescued. The (ire engine on the premises, owing to 
the frost, was useless; but happily no lives were lost. 
However, though only 26,000/. could be recovered 
from the insurance offices, Mr. Johnes, with that en- 
thusiasm which led him to devote his life and fortune 
to the creation of a paradise out of a wilderness, de- 
termined him still to inhabit his Eden. Another 
mansion has, in consequence, arisen out of the ashes 
of the former, the greater part of the walls being pre- 
served. Several alterations have been made in the 
interior; but the apartments now shewn to casual 
visitors, comprise tlie principal octagon library ; a cir- 
cular library opening into it; another library consist- 
ing of a large room ; a parallelogram, a spacious dining 
room, and a drawing room. 

The principal paintings and other works of art, 
saved from the general wreck, are disposed in these 
apartments. The octagon library contains busts of 
Mr. and Mrs. Johnes, by Banks, another of Mr. 
Johnes, by Chauntrey, and one of the late Duke of 
Bedford, by Nollekens. In the drawing lOom, over 
the chimney-piece, is Hogarth's celebrated picture of 
Southwark Fair; the others, in different aparttuents, 
are too many to enumerate here. The whole fur- 
niture of these apartments is in a st3'le of elegant 
simplicity, though some of the maible ciiinmey-pieces, 
enriched by sculptured devices, touched by a masterly 
hand, were brought from Font-hill, as were also three 
magnificent French mirrors in the long librar)?, having 
been purchased at Mr. Beckford's sale. 

Mrs. Johnes established a school at Havod, several 
years since, for the gratuitous education of poor girls, 


who are taught to read and spin. Fine table cloths, 
used by the family, were at one time made from this 
home-manufactured thread. In the grounds was also 
a printing-house; and Mr. Johnes sent from thence 
his translation of Froissart's and Monstrelet's Chroni- 
cles, Joinvillc, and Le Brocquiere's Memoirs, and 
some other works. 

Leaving the interior beauties of this secluded man- 
sion, we are frequently struck with admiration at the 
rich plantations round it, and up a great extent of 
country, v.hich owe their origin entirely to the late 
Mr. Johnes' industry and particular attention to this 
depavtraent. The trees he chiefly planted were larch 
and beech, and these with singular success; but he 
did not confine himself solely to the preceding, as will 
be shewn. In 1797, the usual number of three 
hundred thousand was greatly exceeded, which is 
stated, to give the reader an idea of the Havod planta-. 
tions, and its annual increase, by a proportionate 
300,000 Larch from the nursery. -> 

50,000 Birch and Mountain Ash from the woods. 
200.000 Larch of diflerent growth from Scotland, 
1000 Birch, ditto. 

17,700 /ilders, ditto. 
2000 Mountain ash, ditto. 
4000 Beech, ditto. 

22,000 Wych elm. 


The whole number of trees, planted on the estate 
from October 1795 to April 1801, amounted to two 
millions and sixty-five thousand, of which one million 
two hundred were larches, without including the land 
sown with acorns. 

Since this period the plantations have been ex- 
tended on the same scale with equal spirit, from one 
to two hundred thousand trees being planted every 

Upon the whole, Diaiiy people of the first taste have 


considered themselves amply recompensed for the fa- 
tigue of long journies, by the delightful prospects they 
here beheld ; and the many elegant descriptions of it 
given by writers of the first eminence, render it ex- 
tremely difficult, if not physically impossible, to de- 
scribe it more emphatically. Those who have yet to 
see, as well as those who may again review the improve- 
ments made by its late owner, must have some estimate 
of the worth of a man, " whose taste and munificence 
appreciated and fostered the works of the most exalted 
genius, while his benevolence stooped to comfort tbe 
fire-side of the lowest cottager — the benefits resulting 
from his designs, his munificence and example will be 
the living records of him in after times: — while the 
writings of Mr. Malkin, Mr. Nicholson, Mr. Meyrick, 
Mr. Evans, and others, descriptive of this elegant re- 
sidence of departed worth, will convey, with all the 
force of language, the several beauties of nature, em- 
bellishments of art, and operations of genius, taste, 
and science, here combined to captivate, fascinate, 
and enchant, the spectator. 

Mr. Cumberland's masterly hand has furnished the 
following elegant description : TIavod is a place in itself 
so pre-eminently beautiful, that it highly merits a 
particular description. It stands surrounded with so 
many noble scenes, diversified with elegance, as well 
as with grandeur; the country, on the approach to it, 
is so very wild and uncommon, and the place itself is 
now so embellished by art, that it will be difficult, I 
believe, to point out a spot, that can be put in com- 
petition with it, considered either as the object of the 
painter's eye, the poet's mind, or as a desirable resi- 
dence for those who, admirers of the beautifid wild- 
ness of nature, love also to inhale tlie pure air of as- 
piring mountains, and enjoy that " Santo pace" (as 
the Itahans expressively term it), which arises from 
solitudes, made social by a iamily circle. From the 
porticoes it connnands a woody, narrow winding vale ; 
the imdulating forms of whose ascending shaggy sides 
are richly clothed with various fuliago, broken witli 


silver water-falls, and crowned willi climbing sheep- 
walks stretching; to the clouds. 

Neither are the luxuries of life absent; for, on the 
margin of the Ystwyth, where it flows broadest through 
this delicious vale, we see hot-houses, and a conser- 
vatory beneath the rocks; a bath; amid the recesses 
of the wood, a flower-garden; and, within the building, 
whose decorations, though rich, are pure and simple, 
we find a mass of rare and valuable literature, whose 
pages here seem doubly precious, where meditation 
iinds scope to range unmolested. 

In a word, so many are the delights afforded by the 
scenery of this place, and its vicinity, to a mind im- 
bued with any taste, that the impression on mine was 
increased after an interval of ten years from tl e first 
visit, employed chiefly in travelling among the Alps, 
the Appenines, the Sabine Hills, and the Tyrolese; 
along the siiores of the Adriatic, over the Glaciers of 
Switzerland, and up the Rhine ; where, though in 
search of beauty, I never, I feel, saw any tiling so 
fine — never so many pictures concentred in one spot ; 
so that, warned by the renewal of my acquaintance 
with them, I am irresistibly urged to attempt a de- 
scription of the hitherto almost virgin haunts of these 
obscure mountfuns. 

Wales, and its borders, both north and south, 
abound at intervals with fine things — Piercefield has 
grounds of great magnificence, and wonderfully pictu- 
resque beauty. Downton Castle has a delicious woody 
vale, most tastefully managed; Llangollen is brilliant; 
the banks of the Conway savagely grand; Barmouth 
romantically rural; the great Pistill Rhaiader is hor- 
ribly wild; Rhaiader SVennol, gay, and gloriously ir- 
regular : — each of wliich merits a studied description. 

But, at Havod, and its neighbourhood, I find the 
effects of all in one circle; united with this peculiarity, 
that the deep dingles, and mighty woody slopes, which, 
from a different source, conduct the Rheidiol's never- 
failing waters from Pumlumon, and the Mynach, are 
of an unique character, as mountainous forests, "^c- 


companving gigantic size with graceful forms: and, 
taken altogether, I seethe sweetest interchange of hill 
and valley, rivers, woods, and plaujs, and falls, with 
forests crowned, rocks, dens, and caves ; insomuch, 
that it requires little enthusiasm there to feel forcibly 
with Milton: 

" All things that be, send up from earth's great altar 
silent praise." 

There are four fine walks from the house, chiefly 
through ways artificially made by the proprietor; all 
dry, kept clean, and composed of materials found on 
the spot; which is chiefly a coarse stone, of a greyish 
cast, friable in many places; and like slate, but oftener 
consisting of inmiense masses^ that cost the miner, in 
making some part of these walks, excessive labour; 
for there are places where it was necessary to perforate 
the rock many yards, in order to pass a promontory, 
that, jutting across the way, denied further access, 
and to ^o round which, you must have taken a great 
tour, and made a fatiguing descent. As it is, the 
walks are so constructed, tliat fevv are steep ; the 
transitions easy, the returns commodious, and the 
branches distinct. Neither are they too many, for 
much is left for future projectors; and if a man be 
stout enough to range the underwoods, and fastidious 
enough to reject all trodden paths, he may, almost 
every where, stroll from the studied line, till he be 
glad to regain the friendly conduct of the well known 

Yet one must be nice, not to be content at first to 
visit the best points of view by the general routine; 
for all that is here done, has been to remove obstruc- 
tions, reduce the materials, and conceal the art ; and 
we are no where presented with attempts to force the 
iintiuned streams, or indeed to invent any thing where 
nature, the great mistress, has left all art behind. 

The following lines, neatly illustrative of the sove- 
reignty of nature over the intrusion of art, cannot be 
more properly introduced than in this place, wheic 


they so happily adorn and strengt'nen the judicious 
and very respectable opinion of Mr. Cumberland on 
this subject: 


Formal Slaves of Art, avaunt! 

This is Nature's secret haunt : 

The Genius of the Landscape, I 

Guard it, with a jealous eye — 

Guard it, that no footstep rude 

Upon her privacy intrude. 

Here, with mystic maze, her thi'one 

Is girt, accessible to none 

But to the highly-honour'd few 

To whom I deign to lend ray clue; 

And chief to him, who in this grove 

Devotes his life to share her love ; 

From whom she seeks no charms to hide— 

For whom she thi'ows her veil aside, 

Instructing him to spread abroad 

Scenes for Salvator — or for Claude. - 

Far, oh far hence, let Brown and Eames 

Zig-zag their walks, and torture streams ! 

But let them not my dells profane, 

Or violate my Naiad train ; 

Nor let their arrogance invade 

My meanest Dryad's secret shade, 

And with fantastic knots disgrace 

The native honours of the place — 

Making the vet'ran oak give way. 

Some spruce exotic to display : 

Their petty labours he detyd. 

Who Taste and Nature would divide ! 

About six miles south of Ilavod is Ystrad-fiur 
Abbey, or Strata Florida; it is situate near the source 
of the Teivi, in the farthest recess of a mountainous 
semicircle, amid mnnerous coppices of wood, and 
cultivated land to the steep declivities, which render 
the situation very pleasant and desirable. Of this 
s 2 

196 SOUTH WALT.6. 

abbey, called by tlie Welsh, Mynachlog Ystrad-flin> 
there are still some rcinaiijs, but very inconsiderable, 
and scarcely worth notice, Imving only a wall on the 
west end of tiie church, with a gateway of Saxon 
arciiitecture, which is of fine proportion, and well 
preserved. The churcli is large, with a long and 
cross aisle, but the foundation appears to have been 
60 feet longer than it is at present. Near the large 
cloister is the infirmary, now in ruins, also a burying- 
ground, meanly walled with stune, having in Leland's 
time 39 remarkable large yew trees; but the court 
before the abbey is spacious and handsome. This 
abbey was originally founded ior Cistertian monks; 
but Camden says Cluniacs, by Rhys ab Gruft'ydd^ 
prince of South Wales, in 1164, and burnt down in 
the time of Edward I. about the year 1294, but soon 
after rebuilt. At the dissolution of these religious 
institutions, it was valued at 118/. 175. per annum. 
Within these ancient walls was regularly kept a chro- 
nicle of the principal transactions among our British 
princes; with all the old records complete from 1156 
to 1270. It is likewise celebrated as the place of 
internvent of many of our Welsh princes and abbots, 
but at present not a single fragment of their tombs 
remains, nor even one solitary inscription any where 
to be found. Among the illustrious persons interred 
here, the monk of Llancarvan inscribes the following: 
A. D. 1184. liywel ab levan. Lord of Arwystli. 

1191. Owenab llhys. 

1202. GrulTydd, prince of South Wales. 

1204. IIowelabKhys, by thesideof Grutfydd, 
first deprived of his sight, and then 
treacherously murdered. 
Isabel, daughter of Richard Clare, Earl 
of Hereford, and wife of William Gam, 
Lord of Gower. 

1209. AJaude de Bruce, or Breos, wife of 
Grulfydd ab Rhys. 

1221. Rhys ab Rhys Vychan. 

1239. Maelgwn, the.son of Rhys ab Gruffydd. 


A. D. 1235. Cadwalloii ab Maelgvvn, of Mae- 

Owen, the son of Gruffydd ab Rhys. 

1238. Llewelyn ab lorwerth, who being in- 
disposed, assembled before him at Ystrad-flur, all 
the barons and lords of Wales, to do homage to his 
son David, whom he named his successor. 
Near the remains of this Abbey is an old mansion, 
built by John Stedman, esq. of Staffordshire. Wil- 
liam Powell, of Nant Eos, esq, married the heiress 
and brought the property into that family, who are 
its present owners. 

Some years ago, two of the Abbey seals were found 
in the adjacent lands. One was circular, about the 
size of a crown piece, and bore the Abbey arms; the 
other was an elipse, with a representation of the Ma- 
dona and Child. The former was sold by the boy who 
discovered it, to an itinerant jew. 

The Teivi, at this place, appears merely as a dimi- 
nished stream; but, twenty or thirty miles from hence, 
near Cilgwyn, and in that neighbourhood, its grand 
woody banks offer some beautiful scenery, much re- 
sembling the views near the Wye, at Chepstow, &c. 

From Strata Florida Abbey, the visitor will have 
the option of regaining the post-road to Aberystwyth, 
by varying the hne back, and leaving Havod to the 
left, which will bring him to the inn at Pentrev, or 
Cwm-Ystwyth, where he may pass the night ; he may 
pursue a more direct way from the Abbey, if he has 
time to reach Aberystwyth the same evening, as he 
will not find any convenient lodging short of that place. 
By the latter route, a small circuit would include 
a view of the fine old mansion belonging to Colonel 
Vaughan, called Cross-wood ; and there is also, in this 
direction, a great variety of delightful scenery, which 
will yield ample gratification to the admirer of those 
beauties which so eminently distinguish this district of 
the principality. 

About seven or eight miles from the Devil's Bridge, 


the road to Aberystwyth forms a fine terrace nearly ali 
the way to that place, on the side of a chain of moun- 
tains, with the charming Vale of Rlieidiol on the right, 
through which the river of the same name is seen 
winding its course to the sea. This valley presents a 
very grand and extensive scene, continuing not less 
than ten miles, among rocks, hanging woods, and 
varied ground, which in some parts becomes moun- 
tainous; while the river is every where a beautifiil 
object, and, twice or three times in its passage through 
the vale, is interrupted in its course, and formed into 
a cascade. 

The unexpected manner in which this delightful 
prospect bursts into view, upon gaining the summit of 
a mountain, naturally arrests the progress of the tra- 
veller who is intuitously rivetted to the spot, minutely 
to admire the fascinating beauty of the opening scene; 
which continues to attract his attention until he reaches 

Here it may not be improper to observe, that the 
principal lakes in Cardiganshire lie near the summit of 
the hills which divide this county from Radnorshire, 
and in tne vicinity of Ystrad-flur. Of these lakes, six 
in number, Llyn Tive is the principal. Its circum- 
ference may be about a mile and a half, and it is said 
not to have been fathomed. The following; is the 
enumeration given by Leland, of the lakes which oc- 
cur on these hills, including several not noticed by 
Dr. Malkin. Leland travelled over this county in the 
reign of Henry the Eighth: 

" Thence (from Ystrad-flur), I w^ent a good half 
mile by Tive Vale, and a mile and a half up the craggy 
mountains to Llin Tive, and two miles beyond it to 
Cragnaulin. If I had gone thence a mile off by a bye 
hill, I might have seen Penlimmon, then distant five 
miles The hills between Llin Tive and Cragnaulin 
did not appear so stony as those betwixt Ystrad- 
flur and that place: lilin Tive, in compass, iS three 
quarters of a mile. It is fed from higher places 


with a little brook, which issueth out again by u 
small eut: here are 2;ooci trout andeels, but no other 

From Clarduy to Cragnaulin, is a good mile to the 
«ast. Standing by a stone on the top of this hill, I 
saw five pools, the largest being Llin Helignant, which 
has no fish but trout and eels; some of the former are 
as red as salmon, whilst others are white : a brook 
runs out of this pool into the Tive, half a mile above 

Llinher, or the Long Lake, is three quarters of a 
mile in length, and contains plenty of trout and eels. 

Llin Gorlan has no outlet, 

Llin Gronn has an outlet, and seemed nearly to 
join Llyn Gorlan, 

Llyn Veryddon Vaur has plenty of trout and, eels, 
but no stream running in or out of it. 

Llynnyvigvn Velin, or the Quaking Moor, is yellow, 
from the colour of the moss and the rotten grass 
about it. 

Of all these pools, none stand in such a rocky soil 
as the Tive : the ground all about Tive, and for a 
good mile towards Ystrad-flur, is horrible, with the 
sight of bare stones, like Creygereyri (Snowdon). 

Llinllanebeder is within half a mile of Llanbeder, 
5ind contains trout and eels. 

Llynyrydde, two miles from Ystrad-flur, has a small 
issue or brook. 

Lliny Creghant, is a large pool full of trout and 
eels. It is three miles west of Ystrad-flur, towards 

Llin Duy, or the Black Lake, is very deep ; this is 
three miles south of Ystrad-flur, towards the lordship 
of Buallt. 

Llyn y gorres; gorse in Welsh, and a meer in 
English, abounds with eels and trout. 

Llynngynon is upon a high mountain, three miles 
from Ystrad-flur, to the south-west. It has an outlet 
into the brook of Llin Helignant. 

Llincreg Cloydon, is five or six miles from Ystrad- 


flur, towards Povvis land : au outlet from it runs into 
Elan, or Alan Water. Llin Winge is almost joined 
to Llincreg Cloydon, but has no outlet. There are, 
besides these, several small lakes scattered over the 
high lands in different parts of the country, some of 
which have been incidentally mentioned as the sources 
of particular rivers." 

The northern districts of Cardiganshire are very 
mountainous, and detached hills of considerable ele- 
vation occur in other parts. The towering summit, 
which bears the name of Pumlumon, stands in 
Montgomeryshire; but a large proportion of the lofty 
hills, which compose its base, spread into Cardigan- 
shire, and bound the Vale of the Teivi on tlie east, 
through nearly the whole of its course. On the west, 
a branch shoots between the Dyvi and the Rheidiol; 
a third stretches between the Rheidiol and the Ys- 
twyth; another having the Ystwyth on the north-west, 
and the Teivi on the east, takes a south westerly 
direction, and terminates at the river Aeron on the 
south-east ; and a fifth runs in nearly a parallel di- 
rection with the last on the western side of the Teivi 
towards Cardigan. The land along the sea-coast, 
except where the vallies open into the interior, is 
generally of a very considerable elevation. The Vale 
of Aeron is the most distinguished in this respect, 
which spreads, in the neighbourhood of Ystrad, to a 
tolerable width, containing some rich and well culti- 
vated farms. 

Returning to our road, at the distance of seven 
miles from Pont-ar-Vynach, we pass, on our right, 
YsTRADMEiRiG, a small village, formerly defended 
by a castle, which was destroyed in 1136 by Owen 
Gwynedd, but again rebuilt, in 1150, by prince Rhys, 
of South Wales, it afterwards suffered considerably, 
and was probably burnt by Maelgwn ab Rhys, in 
1207, to prevent it falling into the hands of Llewelyn 
ab lorwerth. 

This village, however, is chiefly known for its an- 
cient gramnjar school, perhaps the best in the prin- 


cipality, which, for the knowledge and profound 
erudition of several of its professors, has justly 2;ained 
the appellation of the " Welsh College" at Ystrad- 
meiiig. Another endowment, granted for a similar 
school, has been incorporated with it in the adjoin- 
ing parish of LlanvihangelLledrod. This has formed, 
for many years, one of the best classical schools iu 
the principahty, and still maintains its reputation. 
It is one of the schools licensed for the education of 
young men for the ministry in the Church of Eng- 
land. The school-room is a neat building, of modej-n 
erection, in the pointed style; and a library is an- 
nexed to it, containing a good collection of books in 
various languages. 

At the distance of five miles from Ystradmeirig, 
Tee pass through Tregaron, a poor ill-built straggling 
town, situated on an abrupt hollow, and watered by 
an arm of the river Teivi, besides being plentifully in- 
terspersed with wood, which forms a pleasing relief to 
the surrounding dreariness. The church is a respect- 
able old building, and the town boasts the dignity of 
a mayor; but the general accommodation in this se- 
cluded place is very indifterent. 

A little to the eastward of the town, once stood a 
house, called in Welsh, Porth y Ffynnon, or Fountain 
Gate, where was born Thomas Jones, better known 
in his neighbourhood by the name of Twm Sion Catti. 
He is said to have been the natural son of Sir John 
Wynne, of Gwydyr. He flourished about 1590 and 
1630, and acquired considerable reputation as a 
Welsh antiquary and poet: but his fame in the prin- 
cipality is founded chiefly upon a character of a very 
different nature, and upon pursuits which might be 
supposed wholly at variance with the cultivation of 
letters. The traditionary history of the county, re- 
presents him as a robber of consummate address, who 
managed, for a considerable time, to prey upon his 
neighbours with complete impunity. By marrying 
the heiress of Ystiad-thn, in the Vale of Teivi', he 
acquired a large fortune, which gave him sutTicient 


consequence in Caennarthenshire, to procure his ap- 
pointment to the shrievalty for that county; and his 
title was then changed from Tvvm Sion Catti, to 
Thonias Jones, esq. of Fountain-gate. 

Three miles from this place, in our road,' is a large 
mound, encircled by a moat; but whether it was the 
site of an ancient citadel or sepulchre, is uncertain. 

We now pass, on the left of our road, the village 
of Llandewi-Brevi, seated on the river Teivi. A 
horn of an ox was kept in its church, ofa very ex- 
traordinary size, being at the root seventeen inches 
in circumference, and as heavy as stone; seemingly 
petrified, and said to have been preserved there ever 
since the time of St. David, in the beginning of the 
sixth century. This horn is represented full of large 
cells and holes, called in Welsh Matgorn-ych-Dewi; 
to which is added the common tradition or fable of 
Ychain Banog. 

The church is dedicated to St. David. At this 
place, Thomas Beck, bishop of St. David, founded 
a college, dedicated to that Saint, in the year 1187", 
for a precentor and twelve prebendaries; its value 
at the dissolution was 38/. lis. per annum. A synod 
was held at this place in 522, and at a full meeting, 
St. David opposed the opinions of the Pelagians. 
St. Dubricius, archbishop of Caerlion, having as- 
sisted at the synod, resigned his see to St. David, 
and betook himself to Bardsey island, to spend the 
remainder of his life in devotion. Of this circum- 
stance particular mention is made by Aneurin, an 
eminent bard of that period. 

Pan oedd saint Senedd Brefi, 
Drwy arch y prophwydi, 
Ar ol gwiw bregeth Dcwi 
Yn m^fued i Ynys Enlli. 

In the church of Llan Dewi-Brevi, H. Llvvyd, the 
learned couunentator on Camden, tells us, he found 
above the chancel door an ancient inscription on a 
tomb-stone, now destroyed, aud likewise the horn. 

Roman coins and inscriptions Jiave sometimes been 


found here, with bricks and large free-stone, neatly 
wrought; for which reason, Dr. Gibson thinks proper 
to fix here Lovantinum, or Levantinum, which Ptole- 
my places in the country of the Dimetiae; Mr. Horsley 
also joins with him in opinion. 

At Llan Dewi-Brevi, on a stone near the church- 
door, on the outside, is an old inscription, perfectly 
unintelligible, as it seen)S to consist wholly of abbre- 

At the distance of six miles from Llan Dewi-Brevi, 
and nine from Tregaron, we arrive at Llanpedr, a 
small town, contaiuing nothing particularly worthy 
of observation, except the large old seat of Sir Her- 
bert Lloyd, which, built close to the town, exhibits a 
very striking appearance, with its four great towers, 
crowned with domes, in the midcjfle of a well-planted 
enclosure, but it appears to have been long neglected. 

Pumlumon, is a dreary mountain, among many 
others, situate partly in Cardiganshire and Montgo- 
meryshire, about fifteen miles from Aberystwyth. 
The surface of the lower parts of this mountain is 
covered with soft mossy turf and low heath, but often 
broken with rugged and tremendous bogs, or in some 
places entirely overspread with large loose stones; 
while in other places the protuberances of white rocks 
give it a singular appearance on approaching its base. 
The toil in ascending is very considerable, and gene- 
rally not advisable, unless the day is remarkably clear 
and free from fogs. 

On ascending the east side "of the peak, the view 
is fine; but the ascent troublesome to a pyramid of 
loose stones, resembling a cam, with two more on 
the summit much larger, supposed to have been used 
formerly as beacons, to give notice of an enemy ap- 
proaching, by burning a fire on the tops, which might 
be seen from ten counties. 

In a bog, near the first cam, v.'as found, some years 
since, the blade of a British spear, or pike, called 
Fonwaevv ; it was two-edged, and about ten inches 
long, made of brass, for fastening to the end of a 


pole, such, perhaps, as Owen Glyndwr used in 1401, 
when he posted himself on this mountain, with 130 
men, to receive succours from his friends and vassals 
in North and South Wales, From hence his follow- 
ers made their plundering; excursions, and were the 
terror of all that refused to espouse his cause. Having; 
attained the summit, on a clear day, the views unfold 
themselves more wild and extensive than is possible 
to describe; they exhibit mountains rolling, as it 
were, over each other, and, under the most sublime 
forms and beautiful hues imaginable, varying and 
shifting until they insensibly lose themselves in the 
horizon: also Cader Idris and Stiowdon. After 
a copious fall of raiu, a number of cataracts may be 
seen beautifully embellishing the sides of this moun- 

The most celebrated characteristic of Pumluraon 
is, its giving rise to mo less than five springs or rivers: 
and next, that on five of its most conspicuous heights 
it had so many beacons, whence is derived the name 
of Pwti-Lumon ;. or, Five Beacons. 

The Cardiganshire mountains are universally des- 
titute of wood, and exhibit a bleak and dreary ap- 
pearance. They are, nevertheless, capable of every 
improvement under judicious management. Philips 
long ago hazarded this opinion relative to the inhos- 
pitable heights of Pundumon itself 

Even on this clifly height 

Of Penmaenmawr, and that cloud piercing hill, 
I'limlimmon from afar the traveller kens, 
Abtonished how the goats their shrubby browze 
Gnaw pendent; nor untrembling canst thou see 
IJow, from a scraggy rock, whose prominence 
Half oversharles the ocean, hardy men. 
Fearless of rending winds and dashing waves, 
Cut samphire to excite the squeamish gust 
Of pan)pered luxury. Then let thy ground 
Not be unlaboured ; if the richest stem 
llcfuse to thrive, yet who would doubt to plant 


Somewhat, that may to human use redound, 
And penury, the worst of ills remove ? 
There are, who fondly studious of increase, 
Rich foreign mold on their ill natured land 
Induce laborious, and with fattening muck 
Besmear the roots ; in vain ! the nursling grove 
Seems fair awhile, cherished with foster earth ; 
But when the alien compost is exhaust, 
Its native poverty again prevails. 

The river Wye issues from a spacious hollow in 
this mountain, where the water falls in a narrow 
streamlet, several hundred yards, nearly perpendi- 
cular, till, meeting with various small currents, it 
soon forms a cataract, rolling with astonishing rapi- 
dity over a rocky course. From the same ridge of 
mountains, north-east of the top, rises the Severn 
and Rheidiol; the latter empties itself into the Irish 
Channel, at Aberystwyth, and the former, after an 
extent of 200 miles, runs into the sea below Bristol. 
The Llyvnant and Mynach are also considerable 
streams, but not so important as the preceding. 

This and all the adjacent hills and enclosures are 
destitute of wood, neither has the hand of cultiva- 
tion yet approached its vicinity, which gives the 
whole a wild and solitary gloom. At a hovel, near 
the bottom of the mountain, a guide is sometimes 
to be had; the ascent without is very precarious and 
difficult. At Broginin, in this parish, the celebrated 
poet, Davydd ab Gwilym, was born in 1340, gene- 
rally styled the Welsh Ovid. 

His parents were nearly allied to some of the prin- 
cipal families in South Wales; but his own origin 
does not appear to have been very honourably distin- 
guished. His mother proving pregnant before mar- 
riage, was expelled from her home by her relations ; 
upon which she was united to her lover. During this 
rupture with the family, she and her husband, pro- 
bably with their infant son, sought an asylum in the. 
hospitable mansion of her relation, Ifor Hael, or Ifor, 



the generous lord of Tredegar in Monmouthshire, 
from whose nephew, the Morgans of that house are 
descended. Upon a reconcihation, Dafydd was placed 
under his uncle, Lleweylin ab Gvvilym, a man of 
talents and learning, and well qualified for his office: 
little is known of the youthful history of our bard; 
but it appears, that some of his earliest productions 
gave offence to his parents, and obliged him, once 
more, to seek the protection of Ifor : who, on this 
occasion, appointed him his steward, and invested 
him with the office of tutor to his daughter. This 
gave rise to a mutual passion, which being discovered, 
the lady was sent by her father to a nunnery in 
Anglesey. Thither she was followed by her lover, 
who, in hope of gaining admittance to her, hired him- 
self as a servant to a neighbouring monastery: how- 
ever, being foiled in all his plans, he retired to the 
house of his patron, who treated him with unabated 
kindness; and, during his residence here, he was 
elected chief bard of Glamorgan, and always came 
off victorious in the poetical contests in his time. 
Dafydd's fine person rendered him a great favourite 
with the fair sex ; and, if all the tales related of him 
be true, his amours were not a little licentious. On 
one occasion, he made an appointment with each of 
his mistresses to meet him, at the same hour, under a 
particular tree, to which none of them was a stranger. 
In order to witness the event of this congress, he hid 
himself in the branches, where he could hear and see 
without being seen. The damsels were not a little 
vexed and surprized at discovering this trick, of which 
they had been made the dupes, and immediately de- 
termined to put the poet to death the first opportunity 
that oftered ; but the bard contrived, by some extem- 
pore couplets pronounced from his hiding place, to 
lire them with jealousy, and to excite them to vent 
their rago on one another. During the confusion that 
ensued, he escaped with safety. 

Dafydd became enamoure<l of Morfudd, the daugh- 
ter of Madog Lawgamj of Anglesey, to whom he was 


united in a manner, not uncommon in those days, by 
a bard under a tree. This ceremony not being con- 
sidered valid by the lady's friends, she was taken 
iivvay and married to a wealthy olil man, with whom 
she remained till her former lover caused her to elope 
with him. Being for this thrown into prison, and 
unable to pay the iine, th.e men of Glamorgan liberated 
him. Oil the death of Ifor and his family, Dafydd 
retired to his paternal home at Broginin, where he 
composed some small pieces, admirable for their sweet- 
ness and pathos. He was buried at Ystrad-flur Abbey 
about the year 1400. A collection of his poems was 
published in 1789, in one large volume duodecimo, 
by Mr. Owen Jones and Mr. William Owen, the 
latter of whom has prefixed a Memoir, and Critical 
Dissertation on his genius and style; from which 
most of the preceding facts have been taken. His 
poems of the amatory kind, are chiefly addressed 
to some of his mistresses. 

We cannot conclude our journies through the prin- 
cipality without referring those, who visit this inte- 
resting part of the kingdom, to the mode of travelling 
recommended by Mr. Nicholson. 

The plan which Mr. Malkin adopted was that of 
walking ; but he says, " I took a servant on horseback, 
for the conveyance of books as well as necessaries, 
without which convenience, almost every advantage 
of a pedestrian is lost, except economy, and that is 
completely frustrated by so expensive an addition." 
Warner made his tours entirely on foot, and carried 
his own necessaries. He appears to have often walked 
thirty miles each day. Walking can only be pleasing 
to those who have been accustomed to that exercise, 
and when not limited to time. He who takes a horse 
and saddle-bags, has certainly much the advantage of 
a pedestrian in most situations ; he passes over unin- 
teresting tracts with celerity; surveys, at ease, the 
attractions of both near and distant objects, and is 
received with more cordiality at the inns. The latter, 
though he be at liberty to scramble up a mountain or 
T Q 


a rock, has to suffer more from that addition to his com- 
mon fatigue. It is true, that he can step aside to bo- 
tanize and examine the beauties of nature and art, in 
situations where a horse would be an incumbrance; 
walking can also be engajijed in whenever a person is 
ready to start, and is tiie most independent mode of 
passing on; but when he arrives wet and weary, at an 
inn, at ten at night, he has sometimes to suffer the morti- 
fication of being received with cohhiess, treated with 
subordinate accommodations, if not refused admit- 
tance ; obHged, perhaps, to accept tiie necessaries of 
a mere pubhc house ; or proceed further. Dr. Mavor 
says, " The comforts of a carriage are scarcely com- 
pensated for, when the numerous inconveniences are 
taken into the account. The most independent way 
of travelling is certainly on foot; but, as few have 
health and strength for an undertaking of this kind, 
the most pleasant and satisfactory way of making a 
tour, is undoubtedly upon a safe and quiet horse, 
adapted to the country through which we are to pass. 
I would therefore advise persons, who intend tra- 
versing Wales, to perform that part of the journey, 
which lies through England, in regular stages, and to 
purchase a sure-footed Welsh poney, as soon as they 
enter the country. They may thus gain time fortheir 
researches in the principality, and be exempted from 
the delays and fatigues incident to any other plan of 
journeying." Dr. Mavor travelled in an open carriage 
and two horses, in company with a female friend, and 
two gentlemen, but he does not describe the vehicle 
further. In his remarks, however, at Corwen, he says, 
*' we were assembled and ready to start; and though 
at six o'clock, a crowd was gathered round our car- 
riage, as usual, admiring its singular construction. I 
have not otten noticed this circumstance; but it was 
a source of c(mtinual amusement to us in every place 
through which we passed, because it amused others." 
The editor has hitherto travelled on foot, but he has 
been, like others, subjected to some unpleasant re- 
buffs, as at Mallwyd. The principal objection to 


walking which he can nuike, is tliat of carrying the 
luggage of a change or two of linen and stockings, a 
small compass, a prospective glass, Hull's Pocket 
Flora, a portable press for drying plants, a drinking 
horn, and occasionally some provision more savory 
or palatable than a penny roil. Where a guide is 
employed, he will generally relieve you from the 
incumbrance of such a package, but the most de- 
sirable mode of travelling is certainly upon a strong 
little horse, which you may relieve by walking at 
intervals. The Editor once met in Cwm Glas^ a 
party of four gentlemen on foot, whom a little boy 
followed upon a small poney, with the joint conve- 
niences of each, in a large wallet; but then how rarely 
can two persons be found, whose pursuits are similar, 
and whose desires are alike ! The chance of four being 
so agreed is proportionably more uncertain. Walking 
becomes exceedingly painful when blisters upon the 
feet result from this exercise. But this inconvenience 
may be prevented by wearing strong, pliant, and easy 
shoes, or those which are made from two lasts to the 
shape of the feet, as described by Camper; by wearing 
fine soft flannel or woollen socks next to the skin, and 
by washing the feet with water before going to bed. 
If, for want of such precautions, bhsters should arise, 
let out the serum with a needle, without breaking the 
skin, bathe the part with equal quantities of vinegar 
and luke-warm water, and apply a thin liniment of 
wax and oil, with a little sugar of lead; some apply a 
compress of brandy, with an equal quantity of vniegar 
of lead, and anoint with oil. " I would strongly re- 
conin)end it," says Mr. Malkin, " to the traveller of 
curiosity and leisure, vvho may take the direct route 
from England, east and west, to begin with Kumney, 
from the sea to its source; then adhering to that 
method, to pursue the banks of each river as far as 
they will lead him with tolerable convenience, tlie re- 
gular chain of which a good map will point out." 

T 3 


ABBEY, CWMHIR ./ 63,64 
Aberavan 99 

Aberedw Castle 86 

Aberfraw 126 

Aberg^aen 144 

Aberystwyth, 159— build- 
ings, 161 — quames, ib. — 
summer visitors, ib. — sub- 
urbs, ib.— castle, 162, 163 
—church, 165— bathing 
machines, 166 — mines, ib. 
—manners, 167— harbour, 
ib. — market, 168-paupers, 
169 — customs and cos- 
tume, 170 — chalybeate 



Aeron, Vale of 200 

Agricultural Societies .... 56 

Alps, the Welsh 163 

Arberth 141 

Arthur, sepulchre of the ce- 
lebrated 129, 130 

Arthur's Stone 99 

Tables 129 

Barrows with Urns 149 

Heaufort, Works, the 120 

Beck, Thomas, Bishop of 

St. David 202 

Bedd, Ygre, or Ugre's Grave, 


Blaen Edw Wells 71 

Blaine Ustwith 182 

Brecknockshire 78 

Brecon, or Brecknock 79 to 82 

Breo.s, William 77 

Bridge End 101 

Bridge, in the Moorish style 

.romantic of Llanafan, 

British Cross, a curious . . 

i — Spear, blade of . . : 

Briton Ferry 

Broginin '. 

Bryn Glas 75 

Buallt K4 

Building, an ancient British 122 

Burdd, Arthur 129 

Burton and Philips 67 

Cadwallon ab Madawc .. 68 

Caer Caradoc 74 

Caerdiff, 11-2— Ca.stle Il3 


Caerfili Castle 116, 117 

Caermarthenshire 119 

Caemiarthen, 123— the Guild- 
hall, ib.— the gaol, ib.— • 
market-place, 124— inns 124 

Camddwr 184 

Camlow 65 

Caractacus 74, 110 

€aradoc of Llancarvan 61, 111 
Cardigan, town of, 157 — 
bridge, Town Hall, ib. — 

Castle 158,159 

Cardiganshire 154 

mountains in 204 

Careg Cenuin Castle .... 122 . 

Carew Castle 138 

Carno, hills of 90 

Cams, various 65, 66 

Carriages and cars 55 

Cascade, the great 90 

CastellCrug 103 

CastellCoch 114 

Castell Timboth 73 

Ca.stle Colhvvn 77 

Castle Cvmaion 68 

Castle llill 183 

Castles belonging to Roger 

Mortimer 68 

Cataract, a beautiful 99 

Cattle 50 

Celtic remains 177 

Cevn Llys Castle 75 

Cevn y bed 86 

Cevn y Hryn 99 

Cevn y Geili Gaer 118 

Chalybeate waters, their ef- 
fects 173 to 176 

Cist vaen, or stone chest . . 90 

Clarduy 198 

Cleddau, the river 143 

Coctty, village of, 101— Cas- 
tle 101 

Contest, a poetical 157 

Coi-acles, construction and 

use of 149 

Cowbridge Ill 

Cnlgnaulin 198 

Cragus Hoeliuus 89 

Crickhowel ib. 

Crogen, the 75 

Crognant 183 

Cromlech, remarkable .. 149 



Crosswood 183,197 

Crug y Dyrn 12t> 

Cumberland, Mr., description 
of Havod, by ...... 192 to 196 

.. on the Genius 

of Havod ,. 195 

CwmElan 61, G2 

Cwm Magwyr, Valley of . , 183 
Cym Ystwyth, lead mines of 189 
Dafydd ab Gwilyim .... 205 

Dav'id, a Jumper 165 

Devanner 65 

Devil's Hole, the 188 

Bridge, origin of the 186 

. history of, by 

Mr. Button 188 

Dinas Castle S3 

Dinas Emlyn 123 

Dindry van Castle 110 

Dinevwr Castle 121 

Districts, mountainous 199, 200 
Divisions, civil and ecclesi- 
astical 58 

Del y Coed 87 

Dubiicius, Archbishop . . 202 

•Dull w, the Ih2 

Dunraven 110 

Edwards, William 103 

Edwin ab Einion 127 

Elan Water 109 

Esgair Vraith 184 

E wenni 1 06 

Eweuni and Ogmore rivers 102 

Fairs, a list of 31 

Farm houses and cottages . . 51 

Farms, rent and size of . . 52 

Fisgard town, 144 — harbour, 

ib. — church, 146 — Fiench 

invasion, ib.— castle, 147 — 

Druidical sepulchres at 147 

Five Beacons, derivation of 204 

Funerals, mode of attending 169 

Gaer, the 67 

Giraldus Cambrensis .... 78 

Glamorganshire 90 

Glasbury 82 

Glas Grug 178,186 

Glossary of Welsh names . 40 

GnoU Castle 97 

Gwely Taliesin 179 

Gwenfrwd, the 185 

Gwr, or Gower 144 

Havod Arms, the 185, 188 

Havod, the seat of the late 
Thomas Jobnes, esq., 189 
—burnt down, 190— paint- 

iiigs, iu,^|ii<»iiianuu3, xJ\ 

— Mr. Cumberland's mas- 
terly description of 192 to 195 

Haverfordwest 141, 1-52 

Hay, or Tregelli 82 

Hirnant 185 

Holms, the flat and steep . . 115 

Horn, the, of an ox 202 

Hospitality, Welsh .... 167 
Howel Dha, ancient palace of 125 

Illtyd, school of St 108 

• N orman remains of 109 

Implements 53 

Island, triangular 186 

Islands of St. Catherine and 

Caldy 141 

Jumping justified 165 

Kilgeran, or Cilgeraint .. 147 

Knighton 74 

Kydwelli, 127— Castle . . 128 
Lacharn, 126— C astle .... 126 

Lakes and fish-ponds 48 

Lakes, various 187 

Lakes, principal, in Cardi- 
ganshire 198 

Lamphey 136 

Lantwit, town of 109 

Lead mines, rich 156 

Leases 53 

Lhech y gawies 159 

Literature and learned men 42 

Llanafan, bridge of , 183 

Llanarth 159 

Llanbadarn Gaerog .... 160 
Llanbadarn Vawr . . 177, 178 

Llanbedr 180 

Llancanan Ill 

LlandaflF, 115— Cathedral .. 115 
Llandegle, or Llandegley . . 71 

Llandelio 120 

Llandewr Brevi, 202— church 

of 202 

Llandewi Ystradenny ... 67 

Llandovew 119, 120 

Llandriudod Wells . . 68, 69, 70 

Llanelli 99 

Llanfai . , ; 139 

Llangadoc 120 

Llangattock .......... 90 

Llan Goedmor , 158 

Llanilar I83 

Llannauo 75 

Llanpedr 203 

Llanruysted . , 159 

Uansamtfred .89 

Llausanfraid .,,,........ 159 


Llanstephan Castle . . 12(i, 127 

X-lan vihangel 71 , 1 83 

Llaawnnws 183 

Llanwvrtyd Well 87 

Llanylted 107 

Llwyd, H. the commentator 202 

Llechiyd 85 

jLlech y gawres 159 

JLledrod 183 

Llewelyn 83, 84, 85 

Llewelyn ab lovwerth ... 97 
Llewelyn the Great .... 179 

Lleveni Castle • 88 

Llincreg Cloydon 199 

Llin Gorlan . ib. 

Llin Gronn ib. 

Lliu Helignant 198 

Lliuher 199 

Llinllanebeder 199 

Lliny Cregnaut ib. 

Llowya 184 

Llychwr 99 

Llyn Duy ; or, the Black 

Lake 199 

Llyn llheidiol 184 

Llyn Savadan 88 

Llyn Teivi 198 

Llyn Veiyddon Vaur ... 199 

Llyn y gorres ib. 

Llynrydde ib. 

Llynngyon . , ib. 

Llynnyvigin Velin; or, the 

Quaking Moor ib. 

Lovantinum 202 

Madawg's expedition to Ame- 
rica 132, 133 

Maen Lythrog 101 

Maenorbyr Castle 139 

Maesnaut 184 

Magos, or Magnos .... 76 

Marde, the 183 

Malkin, Mr. on walking . 205 

Mallwyd 207 

Margam Abbey 100 

Hill 99 

Maridunura, the Roman city 

of 125 

Meini Cyriovol; or, the Nu» 

inerary Stones 159 

Melin Crythan 97 

Melin GrulFyd 114 

Mertiiyr Tydvill 104 

Milford Haven .... 130, 137 

Minerals 57 

Monacbty, or Monks House 64 

Monuments, ancient 
Morfa, or the Marsh 
Morlai Castle . . . 
Morris Town . . . 
Mound, a large 

. 158 
. )S6 
. Ill 


Mynach River . . . 181, 187 
Myuach, beauty of the . . 187 

Nanteiro 1S6 

Neath Abbey . . . 97,98 
Nevern .... 148, 119 
Newcastle inEmlyn . . 123 

Newport 147 

New Radnor . . .71, 72 

Newton 102 

Ofla'sDyke .... 74 
Ogmore Castle . . .102 
Ovid, the Welsh . . . 205 
Owen Glyndwr . . . 179 
Owen Gwynedd . . . 131 
Oystermouth Castle . . H6 
Pain's Castle . . • . 77 
Park Wells . ... 87 

Paupers, how provided for . 169 

Penbryn 186 

Penguin, the bird so called 133 

•'enline Castle 107 

Penrice 97 

Pentre Briwnant, 189— inn at 189 

Pentre Evan 148 

Penybont 07,101 

Philips, lines by, on Pum- 

lunion 204 

Pembrokeshire 130 

Pembroke, town of, 134 — 
castle, 13.5 — churches, ib. — 
wliy the dullest town in 

Wales 130 

Picton Castle 143 

Pilla, or Pille Rose 143 

Pits, unfathomable 102 

Plant Mat, or Fat Children 187 
Puinlumon, where situated 

200, 203 
celebrated cha- 
racteristic of 204 

Pont urVynach, or Mynach 

180, 200 

Ponterwyd 185 

Pont Rhydygroes 182 

PontyPridd 103, 1 04 

Population 45 

Pnsteign, or Llan Andrew 73 

Radnor, Vale of ..' 5!) 

Radnor, Old 76 

Kadiiorshire 5S 


, 12') 

, 187 

Ke.^s, Dr. Abraham ■'. 
Rcthoiiicut, romuutic 
Rliiiider, and Castle . . 

Rlieidiol River 181 

Rhoidiol, the grand fall of . . 185 

Rhydyceir 183 

Rliys,' prince of South Wales 148 

Jiivers and canals 45 to 47 

interes inu: .... 181, 18-2 

Roads and bridges 48 to 50 

8 ood 1 77 

Robber's cave 187 

Roman coins and inscrip- 
tions 2'^3 

Roman stations W 

Sea, encroachment of . . , . 15.5 

Severn, rise of the 205 

Spring, chalybeate 173 

Stackpool Court 136 

Stapleton Castle 73 

St. Clare, village of 125 

St. Cadoc, or Catwj-g 111 

St. David's, city ol^ 149— the 
high street, 150 — ancient 
cross, ib.— cathedral, 150 to 
153— bishop's palace, 152— 
daring sacrilege at, 154— 
history of, ib. — bishops of 1.54 

St. Dogvael Abbev 149 

St. Dunawd, or Donat's Castle 109 

Steele, Sir Richard 124 

St Govin, well and chapel of 136 

Stone, a vast 99 

of a gigantic woman 159 

bridge, an elegant . . 182 

Stones, heaps of 65 

Strata Florida, Abbey of, 196 
— church of, ib. — illustrious 

persons buried at 196 

Strata Florida, routes from 197 

Stream, acherontic 187 

Streams, impetuous 185 

Sully and Barry Islands . . 115 
Swansea 92 to d6 

Taliesin, burial place of . . 

Teivi, river of 

the l»eautiful scenery 


Tenby, 139, 140— its beautiful 
situation, ib. — promenade, 
ib.-^the castle, ib. — the 


Travellins', mode of, recom- 



Trov Walter, or W^alterstown 


Tumulus, a remarkalile .... 

Ty Gwynn; or, IheW^hite 

Twm Sion Catti 

Vale of Aeron 

Vale of Rheidiol 


Vortigern s Valley 

Wales, North and South, fine 
things in 

Warden Walk 


Water-break-its-neck .... 

Watt's Dyke 

Weights and measures .... 

Welsh Alps, the 

Welsh Indians, the 

Welsh shawls 

Weston 143, 

Whittle , or Welsh cloak . . 

Wve, the river 

YMaen Hir 


Yspvtty Cea\vyn 

Ystfad-flur Abbey 

Ystradmeirig, 200 — Welsh 
college at ,... 200, 

Ystwyth River 




























London: Printed by li. M'MiUan, , 
Uov/ StreiJi, Covfnt Garden. 


This book is DUE on the last 
date stamped below 



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