Llandewy-Brevi (Llan-Ddewi-Brefi) - From 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' (1849)
LLANDEWY-BREVI (LLAN-DDEWI-BREFI), a parish, in the union of Trêgaron, comprising the townships of Dothie-Camddwr, DothiePyscottwr, Godwidd, and Prisk with Carvan, in the Upper division, and the chapelries of Blaen-Penal and Gartheli, and the townships of Cugian, Gwynvil, and Llanio, in the Lower division, of the hundred of Penarth, county of Cardigan, South Wales, 8 miles (N. E. by N.) from Lampeter; and containing 2591 inhabitants. This parish, which is intersected by the river Teivy and by the turnpike-road from Lampeter to Trêgaron, derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. David. It is distinguished as the place where a memorable convocation of the fathers of the Christian Church was held in 519, for the suppression of the Pelagian heresy, then spreading rapidly through the principality. This synod, of which many marvellous particulars have been related by Giraldus Cambrensis, was presided over by St. David, to whom St. Dubricius, at that time Archbishop of Caerleon, who was present at the meeting, resigned his archiepiscopal see, thereupon retiring to Bardsey Isle, where he spent the remainder of his days in solitude and devotion. In 1073, a sanguinary battle was fought here between the forces of Gronw and Llewelyn, sons of Cadwgan ab Bleddyn, who had excited an insurrection to avenge the murder of their grandfather the late Prince of Powys, and the troops of Rhŷs ab Owain and Rhydderch ab Caradoc, Princes of South Wales, in which the former were victorious, and Rhydderch was slain. In making their attack upon the Princes of South Wales, the sons of Bleddyn crossed the river Camddwr by a ford still called Rhŷd-y-Meirch, or "the ford of the cavalry;" and on the western bank of that stream are the remains of a military work, called Castell, which was constructed by Rhŷs and Rhydderch on this occasion. A college was founded here in 1187, by Thomas Beck, Bishop of St. David's, in honour of the patron saint of his cathedral, who had so ably confuted the Pelagian heresy at this place, in the year 519; the bishop also recommending it to the patronage of King Edward the Confessor. The establishment was for a precentor and twelve prebendaries; it was amply endowed, and continued to exist till the Dissolution, when its revenue was estimated at £40 per annum. A society formed of late years, for the promotion of Christian knowledge and Church union in the diocese of St. David's, contemplated the foundation of a college at this place, for the education of young men intended for the ministry in the Church of England; for which purpose they procured stone and timber for the erection of suitable buildings; but the plan was afterwards altered, and the object of the society was ultimately carried into effect at Lampeter.
The parish comprises the upper part of the Vale of Teivy, the banks of which river are ornamented with some pleasingly varied scenery; but on the north and east the lands are environed by hills of bleak and desolate appearance, and the surrounding country, consisting of high and barren mountains, wears a dreary aspect. The village, situated about a mile from the Teivy, consists of a few detached cottages, and is watered near its entrance by a small brook, called in Leland's time the Brevy. Fairs are held annually on May 7th, July 24th, October 9th, and November 13th. The living is a perpetual curacy, with that of Llanbadarn-Odwynne annexed, in the alternate patronage of the Earl of Lisburne and R. Price, Esq., the impropriators; net income, £146. The church, dedicated to St. David, and situated on an eminence, said to be the spot on which that saint stood while preaching against the Pelagian heresy, was built by Thomas Beck, Bishop of St. David's, as the collegiate church of the establishment which that prelate founded here in 1187. Having suffered much from dilapidation, the edifice was repaired in 1848, by voluntary contributions; the Society for Building Churches subscribing £100, Her Majesty the Queen Dowager £20, and the Bishop of St. David's £20, in aid of the fund. It is a spacious and venerable structure, in the early style of English architecture, with a massive square tower, and contains about 350 sittings. In it is preserved a very large horn, called by the inhabitants of the place "Mat-Corn ŷch Davydd," and which is said to have been in the possession of the parishioners ever since the time of St. David. On a stone over the entrance to the chancel is a Latin inscription, which is noticed by Edward Llwyd in a communication to Bishop Gibson, and is as follows: HIC IACET IDNERT FILIVS I . . . . . . QVI OCCISVS FVIT PROPTER P . . . . . . SANCTI. Near the west end of the church is a curious old monument, termed by the natives of the place "David's Staff," on which he is said to have leaned whilst preaching in the synod; it is an upright stone, seven feet high, and about ten inches broad, bearing a mutilated inscription, now illegible. A similar stone, four feet five inches high, and one foot eight inches broad, inscribed only with a cross, serves as a gate-post at the western entrance into the churchyard; and at the eastern entrance is a third, three feet ten inches in height, and one foot two inches in breadth, with an illegible inscription. All these three monuments are supposed to have been raised in the early part of the sixth century. At Bettws-Leike is a separate living. There are six places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists. An endowment of £8. 12. per annum is paid to the master of a Church school here; and there is a school at Bettws-Leike, erected with aid from the National Society, and by subscription. Of eight Sunday schools in the parish, two are in connexion with the Established Church, and the others with the Calvinistic body.