Carno - From 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' (1849)
CARNO, a parish, in the union of Newtown and Llanidloes, Lower division of the hundred of Llanidloes, county of Montgomery, North Wales, 11 miles (W. N. W.) from Newtown; containing 995 inhabitants. In 948, a battle was fought here for the sovereignty of North Wales, between Ievav and Iago, the sons of Edwal Voel, and the sons of Hywel Dda, late King of all Wales, which terminated in favour of the former. In 1077, or, according to some, in 1082, an eminence called Mynydd Carn, from a large carnedd upon it, commemorative of some distinguished warrior of a still more remote period, was the scene of one of the most sanguinary battles ever fought in the principality, between Grufydd ab Cynan, rightful sovereign of North Wales, aided by Rhŷs ab Tewdwr, Prince of South Wales, and Trahaern ab Caradoc, who then usurped the throne. In this battle the latter was defeated and slain, after a sharp and obstinate conflict, with the flower of his army; and Grufydd succeeded to the throne, which he filled for fifty-seven years, dying in 1137: his biography is preserved in the Welsh Archaeology, from which he appears to have been distinguished by strong and decisive powers of mind. The scene of this conflict is by some fixed at Carno, in Brecknockshire, but the event may possibly be confounded with an engagement that took place there, in 728, between Rhodri Molwynog, and Ethelbald, King of Mercia.
The parish is bounded partly on the north and on the north-east by that of Llanlligan, and partly on the north and on the north-west by Llanbrynmair, on the south-east by Llanwnnog, and on the south by Trêveglwys. It comprises nearly 5000 acres, of which 3000 are mountainous, 1700 arable and pasture, and 300 woodland. The soil is a cold wet clay; the farmers depend on cattle and sheep rather than on grain. The scenery is singularly picturesque and romantic, the surface consisting principally of hill and dale, deep ravines and precipitous steeps, through which rapid mountain streams burst in every direction, forming numerous beautiful cascades, and whitening their rocky course with perpetual foam. The hills, some of which are of great elevation, command fine views of the Vale of Carno and the surrounding eminences, and their bases and vicinities are enlivened by the courses of the Avon, Carno, Cleddon, and Llwyd streams. Sir Watkin W. Wynn, Bart., is the principal landed proprietor, and the lord of the manor. The village, which has a neat and interesting appearance, is situated on the road from Newtown to Machynlleth. There is a turbary in the parish, where peat is obtained for the consumption of the adjoining district. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with £800 royal bounty, and £200 parliamentary grant; net income, £95; patron and impropriator, Sir Watkin W. Wynn. The church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is an unadorned stone edifice, built in 1807, and capable of accommodating 300 persons: the original structure belonged to the knights of St. John of Jerusalem, who are said to have had a house near it. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists; and several Sunday schools.