Aberedw, or Aberedow (Aberedwy) - From 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' (1849)
ABEREDW, or ABEREDOW (ABEREDWY), a parish, in the union of Builth, hundred of Colwyn, county of Radnor, South Wales, 5 miles (S. E.) from Builth; containing 345 inhabitants. It derives its name from being situated at the mouth of the river Edwy, which, after flowing through the parish, empties itself into the Wye, the latter river here forming the line of boundary between the counties of Radnor and Brecknock: the Edwy is a small stream, famous for its trout and eels. Within the short distance of a quarter of a mile from this place, are various objects of great interest and attraction. The churchyard is bounded in one direction by a steep precipice, whose base is washed by the river Edwy, which from this point winds along a narrow defile of rocks, on one side rising to a height of nearly 300 feet, and romantically varied by alternate stratifications of naked rock and green sward, partially concealed by hanging woods. On the other side of the defile the rocks, though their elevation is less, have a still more striking character. Here a boldly projecting rock threatens with immediate destruction the traveller passing beneath it; there a perpendicular wall of solid rock, extending 100 feet in height, presents its bold, unbroken front, richly mantled with mosses, ivy, and other parasitical plants, and in the clefts of which the larger birds build their nests. Among these rocks a rude cave, about six feet square, called Llewelyn's Cave, is said to have been occasionally used as an asylum by that brave, but unfortunate, prince, Llewelyn ab Grufydd, the last royal defender of Welsh liberty and independence, against the overpowering army of Edward I.
A short distance north-westward from the church, and at the head of this beautiful and romantic dingle, Llewelyn had a castle, the ruins of which may yet be seen on the banks of the Wye, consisting of the fragment of a tower, or bastion, and part of a wall. During the defensive war which he waged against the English monarch, the Welsh prince summoned his adherents to a private conference at this castle; but of the disastrous result of this movement a variety of accounts have been given, some of which cannot be reconciled with the localities of the district. Mr. Jones, the historian of Brecknockshire, who took great pains to reconcile the conflicting statements, says, that having marched to Aberedw, he was there surprised by a superior force of the enemy from Herefordshire, under the command of Edmund Mortimer and John Giffard, to whom intelligence of his arrival had been communicated. Thus unexpectedly attacked, Llewelyn fled with his men towards Builth, taking the precaution of ordering the shoes of his horse to be reversed, there being snow on the ground; which stratagem, however, was made known to the enemy by a blacksmith at Aberedw. Having arrived at the bridge over the Wye, he crossed it, and issued orders for its immediate demolition, before his pursuers arrived. Thus checked in their progress, the English returned to a ford, eight miles lower down on the river, which was known to some of the party; and there effected a passage. Meanwhile, Llewelyn had proceeded to Builth, from which, failing in his attempts to procure aid from the garrison, he advanced westward, up the Vale of Irvon, on the south side, for about three miles, where he crossed the river, a little above Llanynis church, by a bridge called Pont y Coed, or "the bridge of the wood." He then stationed the few troops who had accompanied him, in an advantageous position on the north side of the river, with a view to defend the bridge. The English, on coming up, made an attempt to obtain possession of it, but failing, they discovered a ford at a short distance, which a detachment of their troops secretly crossed; then coming behind the Welsh unawares, they attacked them in the rear, and routed them. Llewelyn himself was slain in a small dell, since called Cwm Llewelyn, or "Llewelyn's dingle," about 200 yards from the scene of action, by one Adam de Francton, or de Frampton, who plunged his spear into his body without knowing the rank of his victim, and immediately joined his party in pursuit of the fleeing foe. Returning after the engagement, probably in search of plunder, de Francton discovered that he had slain the Welsh prince, whose head he immediately cut off, and sent to the king of England. The body was dragged a short distance, to a place at which the road from Builth, two miles distant, branches off in two directions, one leading to Llanavan-Vawr, and the other to Llangammarch, where it was interred, the spot being still called Cevn y bedd, or Cevn bedd Llewelyn, "the ridge of Llewelyn's grave." About 300 yards to the east of the castle of Aberedw, on the summit of an eminence, is a large tumulus, directly above the river Edwy, on the side of which is the awful precipice before described, so beautifully mantled, and forming an object so truly picturesque from every point of view but this, where it cannot be observed without indescribable sensations of awe.
The parish is situated on a cross-road leading up to the Radnor and Builth road, and is bounded on the east by the parishes of Rulen and Llanbadarn-yGarreg, on the south by Llandilo-Graban, on the west by the river Wye, and on the north by Llanvaredd. It comprises nearly 1000 acres, a considerable portion of which is arable and pasture land, well cultivated; other portions are thickly set with oak timber: the surface in some places is rocky and uneven, but the soil is in general favourable to the production of grain. Good stone is quarried for building. The petty-sessions for the hundred are occasionally held here. The living is a rectory, with that of Llanvaredd annexed, rated in the king's books at �12. 13. 4.; net income, �355; patron, the Bishop of St. David's. The tithes of Aberedw have been commuted for a rent-charge of �249. 18., and the glebe comprises one acre. The church, dedicated to St. Cewydd, is a plain building in the later style of English architecture, consisting of a nave and chancel separated by an oak screen, with a square tower at the west end, which, if not rebuilt, appears to have undergone thorough repair, in the time of the Tudors. Lewis Lloyd, in 1633, bequeathed a certain rentcharge, of which �4. 6. 8. per annum are appropriated to this parish, and received by the minister, who distributes �4 among such of the poor as receive the smallest parochial aid, and retains 6s. 8d. for preaching a sermon, according to the will of the donor. A bequest of �20 by Elizabeth Price, in 1742, for the benefit of the poor, proved unproductive. Thomas Jones, a landscape painter of distinguished repute, best known by his two pieces of the "Campi Phlegr�i," was born at Pen Carreg, in the vicinity of this place, where, having succeeded to the family estate, he resided until his death, in 1803.