Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for LLANDOVERY

LLANDOVERY, a town, a township, and a district in Carmarthenshire. The town is in Llandingat parish; stands on the river Bran, about a mile aboVe its influx to the Towy, and adjacent to the junction of the Llanelly and Vale of Towy railway with two lines which were in progress of formation in 1866 toward Brecon and Knighton, with communication thence to Hereford and to Shrewsbury; and is near the site of the Roman station at Llanfair-ar-y-bryn on the Sarn Helen way, and 26 miles NE of Carmarthen. Its situation is very fine, in a well-watered valley, encircled by hills clothed with wood. Its name was originally Llan-ym-Ddyfri, signifying ''the meeting-place among the waters, ''and alluding to its position near the confluence of several streams; and was corrupted first into Llanymtheverye, and next into Llandovery. The town is thought, by some writers, to have originated in the neighbouring Roman station; but it more probably sprang from a castle which was founded at it soon after the Norman Conquest. The castle was held, in 1160, by Richard de Pons; was taken, in 1208, by Rhys Vychan; was taken again, in the time of Edward I., by Rhys ap Meredydd; made some figure in the civil wars of Charles I.; and was dismantled by Cromwell. Some remains of it, consisting of part of the keep and outworks, still stand on a knoll, nearly in the centre of the town, and present a picturesque appearance. The town comprises one main street and eight smaller streets; and has undergone considerable recent improvement. A curious house at its E end was built, in 1620, by Pritchard, the author of "Llyr y Ficer." Several elegant villas, occupying romantic situations, are in the neighbourhood. Two bridges cross the Towy in the vicinity; the one called Pont-y-Prydd, with an arch 83 feet in span, erected by Edwards; the other a suspension bridge, constructed in 1832. A spacious market-house was recently erected. The church of Llandingat, with a later English tower, is in the town; and the church of Llanfair-ar-y-bryn, is on the N. There are chapels for Independents, Baptists, Calvinistic Methodists, and Wesleyans; a classical and mathematical school, called the Welsh collegiate institution; and national and British schools. The collegiate institution was founded in 1849 by T. Philips, Esq., of Brunswick Square, London; is a handsome edifice in the Tudor style; and provides a good education for Welsh boys. The town has a post office‡ under Carmarthen, a railwaystation with telegraph, two banking offices, and three chief inns; and is a seat of petty sessions and countycourts, and a polling-place. A weekly market is held on Saturday; and fairs are held on 17th April, 5 June, 2 Aug., 22 Oct., and 16 Nov. The town was incorporated by Richard III.; is traditionally said, but without evidence, to have contributed with Carmarthen in sending a member to parliament; and is governed, under the new act, by a mayor, four aldermen, and twelve council lors. Its limits, and those of the township, are conterminate. Real property, £5,440. Pop. in 1851,1,927; in 1861,1,855. The district workhouse is here; and, at the census of 1861, had 44 inmates.

The district comprehends the sub-district of Llandingat, conterminate with Llandingat parish; the subdistrict of Llanfair-ar-y-bryn, conterminate with Llanfairar-y-bryn parish; the sub-district of Myddfai, conterminate with Myddfai parish; the sub-district of Llansadwrn, containing the parishes of Llansadwrn and Llanwrda; the sub-district of Llangadock, conterminate with Llangadock parish; the sub-district of Llanddausaint conterminate with Llanddausaint parish; the sub-district of Cilycwm, conterminate with Cilycwm parish; the sub-district of Conwil-Cayo, conterminate with Conwil-Cayo parish: and the sub-district of Llanwrtyd, electorally in Brecon, and containing the parishes of Llanwrtyd and Llandulasin-Tyr-Abbot. Acres, 154,572. Poor rates in 1863, £6,793. Pop. in 1851,15,055; in 1861,14,775. Houses, 2,985. Marriages in 1863,101; births, 481, -of which 31 were illegitimate; deaths, 280,-of which 86 were at ages under 5 years, and 18 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60,1,020; births, 4,507; deaths, 2,726. The places of worship, in 1851, were 15 of the Church of England, with 4,069 sittings; 15 of Independents, with 4,686 s.; 8 of Baptists, with 1,595 s.; 12 of Calvinistic Methodists, with 3,474 s.; and 2 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 275 s. The schools were 16 public day schools, with 1,091 scholars; 5 private day schools, with 164 s.; and 53 Sunday schools, with 5,102 s.

(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a town, a township, and a district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Llandovery PLU/RegD       Carmarthenshire AncC
Place: Llanymddyfri

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