Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for HAY

HAY, a small town, a parish, a sub-district, and a district, in Brecon. The town stands on the river Wye, and on the Hereford and Brecon railway, adjacent to Herefordshire, 20¾ miles W of Hereford. It is known to the Welsh as Tregelli; and it got its name of Hay from the Norman-French "haier," signifying "to enclose." The manor was granted by Bernard Newmarch to Sir Philip Walwyn; passed to the de Breos family; and had a strong castle, with encompassing walls. The castle was built by William de Breos; razed to the ground by Henry II.; rebuilt by Humphrey Bohun, Earl of Hereford; taken, in 1265, by Prince Edward; destroyed, in 1403, by Owen Glendower; and is now represented by a gateway, remains of the keep and a portion of the enclosing wall, on an eminence overhanging the town. An ivy-covered manor-house, the property of Sir J. Bailey, Bart., occupies the castle's site. The environs are picturesque, and have a number of gentlemen's seats. The town consists of a High-street and various cross streets. The town-hall, with market-house, is a small modern building. The church was erected in 1834, on the site of an ancient edifice; consists of nave and chancel, with a tower; contains an ancient silver chalice, inscribed "Our Ladie Paris of the Haia;" meaning without doubt 'St. Mary's (church) parish of the Hay, and stands on a gentle elevation at the Wye, separated by a deep ravine from remains of an ancient fortification. There are five dissenting chapels; endowed schools, with small incomes; two sets of alms-houses, with incomes of £300 and £50; and a workhouse, with accommodation for 150 inmates. The town has a post-office‡ under Hereford, a railway station, a banking-office, and two good inns; is a seat of county courts; is also a borough by prescription, but with privileges; and is occasionally visited by tourists. A weekly market is held on Thursday; and fairs are held on the Thursday before Candlemas, the Monday before Easter, 17 May, the second Monday of June, 12 Aug., and 10 Oct. Pop. in 1851, 1,238; in 1861, 1,318. Houses, 285.

The parish comprises 2,602 acres. Real property, £7,799; of which £36 are in gas-works. Pop., 1,998. Houses, 445. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of St. Davids. Value, £140. Patron, Sir J. Bailey, Bart.—The sub-district contains also the parish of Llanigon, in Brecon, and the parishes of Cusop, Dorstone, Bredwardine, Clifford, and Whitney, in Hereford. Acres, 29,787. Pop., 4,822. Houses, 1,077.—The district comprehends also the sub-district of Talgarth, containing the parishes of Llanelieu, Bronllis, Llyswen, Aberllunvey, and parts of Talgarth and Glasbury, all in Brecon; and the sub-district of Clyro, containing the parishes of Clyro, Llowes, Bonghrood, Llanstephan, Llandilograban, Llanbedr-Painscastle, Llandewyfach, Bryngwyn, and part of Glasbury, all in Radnor, excepting part of a township in Brecon. Acres, 89,695. Poor-rates in 1863, £7,733. Pop. in 1851, 10,962, in 1861, 10,819. Houses, 2,313. Marriages in 1862, 64; births, 296,—of which 34 were illegitimate; deaths, 193,—of which 59 were at ages under 5 years, and 13 at ages above 85. Marriages, in the ten years 1851-60, 715; births, 2,980; deaths, 2,376. The places of worship, in 1851, were 21 of the Church of England, with 4,163 sittings; 4 of Independents, with 1,098 s.; 7 of Baptists, with 1,163 s.; 1 of Quakers, with 40 s.; 9 of Calvinistic Methodists, with 1,063 s.; 5 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 734 s.; 5 of Primitive Methodists, with 447 s.; 1 undefined, with 50 s.; and 1 of Latter Day Saints, with 18 attendants, The schools were 11 public day schools, with 628 scholars; 12 private day schools, with 235 s.; and 29 Sunday schools, with 1,643 s.


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

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a small town, a parish, a sub-district, and a district"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Hay AP/CP       Hay Urban CP       Hay SubD       Hay PLU/RegD       Brecknockshire AncC
Place names: HAY     |     TREGELLI
Place: Hay

Go to the linked place page for a location map, and for access to other historical writing about the place. Pages for linked administrative units may contain historical statistics and information on boundaries.