Llanrûg, or Llanvihangel-Yn-Rûg - From 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' (1849)
LLANRÛG, or LLANVIHANGEL-YN-RÛG, a parish, in the hundred of Isgorvai, union and county of Carnarvon, North Wales, 3½ miles (E.) from Carnarvon, on the new line of road to Capel Curig; containing 1760 inhabitants. This parish is separated from that of Llandeiniolen by the river Seiont, the northern boundary of Llanrûg; and has the parish of Llanberis on the east and south, that of Llanbeblig also on the south, with the town of Carnarvon (in Llanbeblig) on the west. It comprises 4105 acres, of which 2067 are arable, and 50 wood. The land is stony and mountainous; and some of the elevations, especially that on which the church is built, command wide prospects of the sea and the country adjacent, embracing the Snowdon range of mountains on the east, and the bay of Carnarvon on the west; in certain states of the atmosphere even the Irish hills being distinctly visible. The soil is gravelly, and the produce consists chiefly of barley, oats, and potatoes; the land is for the greater part inclosed and in a good state of cultivation: the waste was inclosed by an act of parliament obtained about the year 1809. The farms are small, seldom comprehending more than one hundred acres, and such of the inhabitants as are not engaged in agriculture, are employed in the quarries and the neighbouring mines. There are several good mansions in detached situations, inhabited by opulent families, among which are the beautiful small villa of Glangwnna, deeply embosomed in woods on the bank of the river Seiont; Plâs Tirion, Pantavon, Llwynybrain, Havod, Brynbrâs Castle, Tŷ'n-y-Coed, and Tŷ Gwyn.
The parish contains the village of Cwm-y-Glo; and many of the inhabitants were formerly occupied in working the quarries, which produce slate of a reddish hue, or of a brown colour, of a very durable substance, and not apt to open or crack when exposed to the weather; but the number of persons thus engaged has latterly been much diminished. Of the several quarries, the largest, Glyn-Rhonwy, belongs to Lord Newborough; the others are on crown property: the whole of them do not employ above a hundred men. The slates used to be brought down the Llanberis lakes in boats, and thence conveyed by carts to Carnarvon; but since the new line of road has been formed, they have been brought by carts the whole of the way. There are indications of copperore on Caer Cwm-y-Glo, and also on a mountainous rocky farm termed Llwyncoed: some small veins have been actually laid open; and in a rock near the lake, close to the new road, and on the same farm, a vein of asbestos, or amianthus, has been found. At a short distance higher up, and near the boundary of the farms Llwyncoed and Glyn-Rhonwy, is a vein of white soapy clay, resembling fullers'-earth, which dips into the lake, and may be taken up from a boat. Numerous curious specimens of fossils, minerals, and crystals, are to be obtained in the mountainous district of the parish.
The living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at £5. 12. 6.; patron, the Bishop of Bangor: the tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £200. The church, dedicated to St. Michael, is a small, venerable, cruciform structure in the later English style, without tower or steeple, but having at the west end a pointed arch, rising above the roof, and surmounted by a cross, under which a bell is suspended. It is sixty-two feet long, and twenty-seven broad, and nearly all the sittings are free. On account of its elevated situation it is seen from a great distance in every direction, and it has been rendered still more conspicuous by being whitewashed all over, not even excepting the roof. There are places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, Wesleyans, and Independents; a National school, established in 1834, by subscription aided by a grant of £15 from the National Society; and six Sunday schools, conducted gratuitously by the dissenters. Mr. John Morris, in 1710, bequeathed land for apprenticing poor boys of this parish and the town of Carnarvon, now containing in the whole about 107 acres, and producing £58. 9. 10. per annum, including 35 acres on an inclosure of the common of Llanrûg in the year 1819; two or three boys are annually apprenticed from each, according to the will of the testator, and the benefit is enjoyed by both places equally: a premium of £10 is given with each boy, and he also receives £1 annually for clothing. About £1 is distributed in bread to the poor, arising from the rent of two cottages erected on the common from two bequests.
In several parts of the parish are remains of cottages, or huts, probably the abodes of the aboriginal inhabitants at some period of remote antiquity. They are generally in clusters of eight or ten each, and appear to have formed distinct villages: they are called cuttiau 'r Gwyddelod, or "the Irishmen's huts." Their shape is usually circular; two stones on one side of each seem to mark out the entrance, and a large upright stone probably points out the fire-place: the walls, which are about two feet high, and three in thickness, are composed of small stones without mortar. Near the huts are frequently found remains of the "quern," or stone handmill, consisting of two stones, one concave and the other convex, with a place for an iron handle; and stone and brass celts have also been found in the vicinity of these ancient habitations, which are generally distributed through the parish, and of which the number of circular form exceeds 300. Davydd Thomas, the celebrated bard, better known as "Davydd Ddû o Eryri," was interred at this place; and Dr. Edwards, who accompanied Commodore Anson in his voyage round the world, and held the office of surgeon on board the Tamer frigate, was a native of the parish, and son of one of its rectors: he also lies buried in the churchyard.