Llangammarch (Llan-Gam-March) - From 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' (1849)
LLANGAMMARCH (LLAN-GAM-MARCH), a parish, in the union and hundred of Builth, county of Brecknock, South Wales, 9 miles (W. S. W.) from Builth, on the road to Llandovery; comprising the townships of Penbyallt and Trêvllŷs, and containing 1062 inhabitants. The western and southern parts of this parish are mountainous, and in some places the soil is boggy; but the country adjacent is, notwithstanding, far from being unproductive; and much stately and valuable timber is found in the vicinity. On descending into the Vale of Llangammarch from the Eppynt hills, the north side of which is steep, and in parts even precipitous, the prospect is luxuriant and picturesque, commanding the river Irvon from Llancamddwr to the influx of the river Dulas, throughout which part of its course its banks are finely wooded. The village is situated on the Irvon, which flows into the Wye near the town of Builth; and on the turnpikeroad from that town to Llandovery. A manufacture of fine flannel is carried on, employing about a dozen persons.
The living is a discharged vicarage, with the perpetual curacies of Llanwrtyd and Llanddewi-Abergwessin annexed, rated in the king's books at £8. 14. 5., and in the patronage of the Bishop of St. David's; present net income, £209. The church, dedicated to St. Cammarch, is situated on a projecting rock between the rivers Irvon and Cammarch, and consists only of a nave and chancel, in a very dilapidated condition: it was formerly much larger, having an aisle which, becoming ruinous, was taken down, and never rebuilt. The Calvinistic Methodists have two places of worship, one of which, situated at Cevn Llanddewi, is endowed with a tenement called Pen-llêchvâch, in the parish, purchased by subscription among the congregation, and now let for £5 per annum. A day school is partly supported by subscription, but chiefly by school-pence; and there are three Sunday schools. Margaret Jones, by will dated May 22nd, 1782, bequeathed the reversion of £400 three per cent. annuities, on the death of Harriet, wife of John Robotham, of Hampstead, in the county of Middlesex, then upwards of sixty years of age, to the curate, churchwardens, and overseers of Llangammarch, in trust for the establishment and endowment of a free school, and also the reversion, on the death of the same party, of £200, the interest to be applied in clothing old persons; £50, the interest to be employed in clothing young people; and £50, the interest to be appropriated for an annual feast to the trustees. Hugh Perry, of Brecknock, in 1730, charged a tenement with the payment of 20s. annually, after the decease of his daughter, to be distributed among the poor of the parish; but it is not now paid.
Near the ancient mansion of Caerau is a circular artificial mount, 240 feet in circumference, and 18 feet high. It is supposed to have been the site of an ancient British or a Roman fortress; but as there are neither any remains of the walls nor of the fosse, it is impossible to ascertain its exact origin. No Roman coins, or other antiquities of that people, have ever been discovered here; but from its situation, it is not unlikely to have been the site of a watch-tower on the Roman road from Carmarthen to the station at Cwm, in the county of Radnor.
James Howel, a voluminous writer and an eccentric wanderer, author of the "Epistolæ Hoelianæ," the "Lexicon Tetraglotton," "Londinopolis," "Dodona's Grove," and other works, was born at Cevn-Bryn, in the parish; as was also his elder brother, Dr. Thomas Howel, Bishop of Bristol. Their father was curate of Llangammarch from 1576 to 1631. Theophilus Evans, author of several theological and other works, resided in the parish, of which he was vicar for many years. His first publication, entitled "Pwyll y Pader," appeared in 1739, and contained a comment on the Lord's Prayer, in several sermons written in the Welsh language; in the same year he printed his "Drŷch y Prîv Oesoedd," a brief history of the Britons, a work much read in South Wales, and in 1752 he published, in the English language, a "History of the Modern Enthusiasm." He was a learned antiquary, a man of great benevolence, and devoted to study all the time which was not employed in the performance of his pastoral duties. Being for many years afflicted with a scrofulous complaint, he was the first to discover the medicinal virtues, in such disorders, of the mineral waters in the neighbouring parish of Llanwrtyd, of which he published an account. In 1763, he resigned the living of Llangammarch in favour of his son-in-law, father of the late Theophilus Jones, Esq., the historian of the county of Brecknock, who was born in the parish: this gentleman's history of his native county evinces extensive acquirements, and great industry and perseverance; he died at Brecknock, but was buried at Llangammarch.