Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for ASAPH (St.)

ASAPH (St.), a city in Flint; a parish, a subdistrict, and a district in Flint and Denbigh; and a diocese in Flint, Denbigh, Merioneth, Montgomery, Carnarvon, Salop, and Cheshire. The city stands in the parish, on an eminence between the rivers Elwy and Clwyd, adjacent to the Vale of Clwyd railway, 5¼ miles N by W of Denbigh, and 5¾ SSE of Rhyl. It was formerly called Llanelwy, from its position on the Elwy; it takes the name of St. Asaph from the second bishop of its see; and the eminence on which it stands is called Bryn Paulin, from having been encamped on by the Roman general Paulinus, on his way to Mona. It has a station on the railway, and a post office‡ under Rhyl; and it is a market-town, a borough, and a place of petty sessions; but it ranks as a city solely on account of its being the seat of a bishopric; and is practically a village, consist ing of little more than a single street. A five-arched bridge spans the Elwy; and another good bridge spans the Clwyd. The episcopal palace stands a little W of the cathedral, overlooking the Elwy; and is a large modern edifice, built by Bishop Carey. The deanery stands about ¼ of a mile distant; and is also a recent structure, erected by Dean Luxmore. The parish church stands at the foot of the eminence; and is a mean small edifice, of the time of Henry VIII., without a tower. The churchyard contains several ancient tombs; and a new cemetery was opened in 1849. The cathedral stands on the summit of the eminence; is a cruciform structure, with central, low, square, embattled tower; was built chiefly in 1490, and partly in 1783; has a very plain and simple exterior; is mostly in decorated English, but partly in modern perpendicular; measures 179 feet from E to W; and contains monuments of Bishops Owen, Griffith, Barrow, and Luxmore, Dean Shipley, and Mrs. Hemans. A fine view of the vale of Clwyd and of a long reach of sea-coast is obtained from the summit of the tower, and has been sung by Robert Montgomery. There are four dissenting chapels, a free grammar school, an alms-house, a workhouse, and four chief inns. The grammar school has £57 a year from endowment, the alms-house £31, and other charities £58. A market is held on Saturday, and fairs, on 2 March, Easter Tuesday, 15 July, 19 Aug., 16 Oct., 2 Nov., and 15 Dec. The borough unites with Flint and six other towns in sending a member to parliament. Pop., 2,063. Houses, 458. The town gives the title of Viscount to Earl Ashburnham. The environs include Bronwylfa and Rhyllon, which were abodes of Mrs. Hemans; and contain other objects of interest.

The parish contains the townships of Bodeigan, Bodllewyddan, Brynpolyn, Cilowen, Cyrchynen, Faenol, Gwernglefryd, Gwerneigron, Pengwern, Rhyllon, and Talar. in Flint; and the townships Meriadog and Wygfair or Wickwer, in Denbigh. Acres, 10,825. Rated property, £24,577. Pop., 3,592. Houses, 759. The property is much subdivided. The living is a vicarage of four parts, two of which are Bodllewyddan and Cefn chapelries. Value of each, £179. Patron, the Bishop.-The subdistrict comprises also five other parishes and part of another, all in Flint. Acres, 33,589. Pop., 11,922. Houses, 2,587.—The district comprehends the subdistrict of Denbigh, containing the parishes of Denbigh, Llannefydd, Henllan, and Llansannan, all in Denbigh; the subdistrict of Abergele, containing the parishes of Abergele, St. George, Llanddulas, Llanfair talhaiarn, and Bettws-yn-Rhôs or Bettws-Abergele, all in Denbigh; and the subdistrict of St. Asaph, containing the parishes of St. Asaph, Rhuddlan, Meliden, Dyserth, Cwm, and Dymeirchion or Treweirchion, and part of the parish of Bodfary. Acres, 93,934. Poor-rates, £13,396. Pop. in 1841, 23,547; in 1861, 27,518. Houses, 5,963. Marriages, 186; births, 785,-of which 58 were illegitimate; deaths, 547,-of which 130 were at ages under 5 years, and 30 were at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1,731; births, 7,379; deaths, 5,559. The places of worship in 1851 were 19 of the Church of England, with 7,704 sittings; 13 of Independents, with 2,807 s.; 10 of Baptists, with 1,466 s.; 25 of Calvinistic Methodists, with 5,776 s.; 15 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 3,535 s.; 2 of Latter Day Saints, with 360 s.; and 1 of Roman Catholics, with 40 s. The schools in 1851 were 26 public day schools, with 1,862 scholars; 24 private day schools, with 673 s.; 76 Sunday schools, with 8,208 s.; and 2 evening schools for adults, with 27 s.

The diocese comprehends all Flint, all Denbigh, about half of Merioneth, the greater part of Montgomery. three parishes of Carnarvon, ten of Salop, and part of one of Cheshire. Acres, 1,067,583. Pop., 246,337. Houses, 52,242. An arrangement was made, in the recent revisal of dioceses, to unite it to Bangor; but this has not taken effect. The see was founded in 543 by Kentigern or St. Mungo, the founder of the see of Glasgow, who was driven by persecution from the north, and found refuge here under the protection of Cadwallon; and it was held by Asaph or Hassaph, a bishop of good family and of great piety, who died and was buried here in 596. The most notable of the bishops, after Asaph, were Geoffrey of Monmouth, the Welsh Herodotus; Anian, the black friar of Schonan; John de Trevor, the Crusader, who pronounced the deposition of Richard II.; Edmund de Birkenhead, and Goldwell, who sat in the council of Trent; Pocock, the Wickliffite; Morgan and Davis, translators of the Bible; Owen, who introduced sermons in Welsh; Griffith, the author of the "Form of Adult Baptism;" Isaac Barrow, who educated his nephew of his own name, the distinguished mathematician; Beveridge, the author of "Thesanrus Theologicus" and "Private Thoughts;" Tanner, the historian of monasteries; and Samuel Horsley, the eminent oriental scholar and biblical critic. The cathedral establishment includes the bishop, the dean and chancellor, four canons, nine honorary canons, two archdeacons, four minor canons, and four bishop's chaplains. The income of the bishop is £4,200; of the dean, £700; of the chancellor, £150; of each of the canons, two of whom are the arch deacons, £350. The diocese is in the prov. of Canterbury; and is divided into the archdeaconries of St. Asaph and Montgomery; the former comprising nine deaneries,- the latter three. Many of the livings have recently been raised in status, and are named as they now stand in the separate articles on them in our work; but all will be named here as they stood in 1861.

The deanery of Mold includes the rectories of Hawarden, Llandegla, and Llanferres, the vicarages of Hope, Llanarmon-yn-Iâl, and Mold, the p. curacies of Bistre, Gwernafield, Llanfynydd, Nerquis, Pontbleiddyn, and Treiddyn, and the donative of Bryn-Eglwys. The deanery of Wrexham includes the rectories of Bangor-Monachorum, Erbistock, Marchwiail, and Worthenbury, the vicarages of Wrexham, Gresford, Hanmer, and Ruabon, and the p. curacies of Berse, Brymbo, Gwersyllt, Holt, Iscoyd, Minera, New Fens, Rhos-Llanerchrugog, Rhos-y-Medre, Rosset, and Threapwood. The deanery of Llangollen includes the rectory of Llanarmon-Dyffryn-Ceiriog, the vicarages of Chirk, Llangollen, Llanrhaiadr-Mochnant, Llansilin, and Llanyblodwel, and the p. curacies of Llanarmon-Mynydd-Mawr, Llangadwaladr, Llangedwin, Pontfadog, Trevor, Llansaintffraid-Glyn Ceiriog, Llantysilio, and Rhyd-y-Croesan. The deanery of Oswestry includes the rectories of Knockin, Llany mynech, Selattyn, and Whittington, the vicarages of Kinnerley, Oswestry, and St. Martin's, and the p. curacies of Hengoed, Melverley, Morton, Trinity-Oswestry, and Trefonen. The deanery of Denbigh includes the rectories of Denbigh, Llandulas, Llanelian, Llanger niew, Llysfaen, and St. George, the vicarages of Abergele, Bettws, Henllan, Llansannan, Llannfydd, and Nantglyn, and the p. curacies of St. David's-Denbigh, Bwlchan, Llanfair-Talhairn, and Trefnant. The deanery of Llanrwst includes the rectories of Llanrwst, Cerrig-y Druidion, Gwytherin, Llanddoget, Llanfihangel-Glyn-y Myfyr, and Llansaintffraid-Glan-Conway, the vicarages of Eglwysfach, Llandrillo-yn-Rhos, and Llangwm, and the p. curacies of St. Mary-Llanrwst, Capel-Garmon, Colwyn, Foelas, Llangwstennin, Llanrhôs and Yspytty Ifan. The deanery of St. Asaph includes the rectories of Bodfary, Caerwys, and Gwaenysgor, the vicarages of St. Asaph, Cwm, Dymeirchion, Llanasa, and Rhuddlan, and the p. cur. of Cefn, Bodllewyddan, Diserth, Meliden, Newmarket, and Rhyl. The deanery of Holywell includes the rectories of Halkin, Nannerch, and Ysceifog, the vicarages of Holywell, Cilcain, Northop, and Whitford, and the p. curacies of Bagillt, Brynford, Flint, Rhes-y-Cae, Mostyn, and Connah's-Quay. The deanery of Dyffryn-Clwyd or Ruthin includes the rectories of Clocaenog, Derwen, Efenechdyd, Llanbedr-Dyffryn Clwyd, Llandyrnog, Llanelidan, Llanfwrog, Llangwy fan, Llangynhafal, Llanychan, and Ruthin-Wardship-with-Llanrhydd, the vicarages of Llanfair-Dyffryn Clwyd, Llanrhaiadrin-Kinmerch, and Llanynys, and the p. curacies of Prion and Gyfffylliog.

The deanery of Welshpool includes the rectories of Castle-Caereinion, Llandrinio, Llandysilio, and Llangyniew, the vicarages of Guilsfield, Llanfair-Caereinion, Llansaintffraid-yn-Mechin, Meifod, and Welshpool, and the p. curacies of Buttington, Pont-Dolanog, Pont-Robert, and Penrhôs. The deanery of Llanfyllin includes the rectories of Garthbeibio, Hirnant, Llanerful, Llanfechan, Llanfihangel, Llanfyllin, Llangadfan, and Llangynog, the vicarage of Pennant, and the p. curacies of Llanwddyn, Llwydiarth, and Penybont. The deanery of Penllyn and Edeirnion includes the rectories of Bettws Gwerfyl-Goch, Llanderfel, Llangar, Llangower, Llan-saintffraid, and Llanycil, the vicarages of Corwen, Gwyddelwern, Llandrillo, and Llanfawr, and the p. curacies of Fron-Goch, Llanwchllyn, Llawr-y-Bettws, and Trinity.

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

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a city"   (ADL Feature Type: "cities")
Administrative units: Flintshire AncC
Place names: ASAPH ST     |     LLANELWY     |     ST ASAPH
Place: St Asaph

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