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New Radnor

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New Radnor




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New Radnor is a village in mid Wales. It was the original county town of Radnorshire. The population is around 400, a higher than normal proportion of which are pensioners.

The village lies by the Radnor Forest, and has been said to have been built to replace Old Radnor, although it was a planned medieval town, with streets laid out in a grid pattern. Attractions in the town include a castle mound motte.

New Radnor used to be a shire town for a short while in the 1500s, and had its own court. The old town hall is still in the village today. It used to have its own market, which included livestock and was held once a week, but this is no longer the case.

The Old Station Caravan & Camping Park has recently re-opened in New Radnor for touring caravans, motorhomes & tents. There is also a static holiday caravan to let throughout the season and pitches will be available for people wishing to buy their own static caravan in Wales.

New Radnor has a few pubs, a post office,a shop, chapel, church, community centre, war memorial and primary school. Some years ago it narrowly missed out on the award for best village in Wales.

New Radnor's main sources of income and jobs are from agriculture and farming, although there are some small thriving businesses such as house maintenance and picture framing.

 Pubs/Bars in New Radnor:
 The Crown Inn
       LD8 2PY
 01544 350663

 The Harp Inn
       Old Radnor
       LD8 2RH
 01544 350655

 Radnor Arms
       Broad Street
       New Radnor
       LD8 2SP
 01544 350232

 Red Lion Inn
       New Radnor
       LD8 2TN
 01544 350220

 Hotels in New Radnor:
 Eagle Hotel
       Broad Street
       New Radnor
       LD8 2SN
 01544 350208

Radnor (New), or Maesyved - From 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' (1849)
RADNOR (NEW), or MAESYVED, a small town, a parish, and a borough having exclusive jurisdiction, formerly of sufficient importance to have given name to the county of Radnor, in South Wales, 8 miles (W. S. W.) from Presteign, and 157 (W. N. W.) from London; the parish containing 478 inhabitants. The Welsh name of this ancient town, Maesyved, signifies in English "the imbibing or absorbent meadow." Welsh names are frequently descriptive of the places to which they are attached, and such appears to be the case in the present instance: the little river Somergill, during a great part of the year, sinks into the gravel in the immediate vicinity of the town, and thence pursues an underground course until, meeting with a bed of clay, it is thrown up in several strong and deep springs, giving rise, at a distance of nearly three miles, to Hendwell Pool. It is conjectured, however, by persona conversant with the ancient history of Wales, that the original appellation was Maes Hyvaidd, and that the district was so called from having belonged to Hyvaidd, son of Caradoc Vraichvras, at one time prince of the country. Be this as it may, it is certain that the place was of some note and importance at a very early period; though of the past state and condition of this corporate district, or of the events connected with its history, there remain but very scanty records.

In the parish of Old Radnor, but within the limits of the borough, is a monument of the Druidical era, consisting of four stones of unequal size, placed at the angles of a square, so as very nearly, though not precisely, to correspond with the cardinal points of the compass. The stones are symmetrically arranged as far as their rude shapes will allow, and their size is such as to make it difficult to conjecture either by what means or for what purpose they were placed where they stand. Some persons have thought that a table-stone once covered the whole, but the unequal height of the stones, and their distance from each other, render this supposition improbable. Of the long period during which the country was occupied by the Romans, no work remains that can with certainty be traced to them. Camden says, that the station called Magi was at Old Radnor, but as the opinion is not sustained by any evidence, it has long since been abandoned. It is, however, highly probable that the extensive lime-works which some exhausted quarries in that parish prove to have been carried on at a very early date, existed during the time when the Romans held possession of the country. The celebrated Dyke by which Offa, King of Mercia, in the latter part of the eighth century, defined the limits of Wales, traverses the eastern portion of the borough. It can be distinctly traced over Evenjob Hill, and to Burva Bank, down which it descends into the valley of the Somergill at a place called the Ditch Held; then, crossing the vale in a high and broad mound, it ascends the steep face of the hill called Herruck, along the ridge of which it passes into the county of Hereford.

In the end of the tenth century an incident befell the town of New Radnor, arising out of the following circumstances, recorded by Caradoc of Llancarvan in his History of Wales. Hywel Dda, who by an undisputed right had for several years held dominion over South Wales and the district called Powys, was, on the death of Idwal Voel, Prince of North Wales, in 939, by common consent elected to the sovereignty of the whole of Wales. By this election, the claims of an elder branch of the family of Hywel Dda were for a time set aside. Hywel ruled the country peacefully and prosperously for the space of nine years; but at his death, in 948, Ievav and Iago, the sons of Idwal, successfully asserted their claim to the dominion of North Wales, which was resigned to them without dispute. At the same time, the principality of South Wales and the district of Powys were divided among the sons of Hywel Dda, who were clearly entitled to inherit them. This right, however, was denied by the sons of Idwal; and, for nearly fifty years, Wales was made the scene of bloodshed by the conflicts that took place between various disputants. In the course of these struggles, Meredydd (ab Owain), grandson of Hywel, and Prince of North Wales, succeeded for a time in forcibly usurping the sovereignty both of South Wales and Powys, dispossessing of his territories his nephew Edwin (ab Eineon ab Owain), great-grandson of Hywel, who in his difficulties obtained the assistance of an English force. With the aid thus received, Edwin drove back Meredydd into his district of North Wales; but the latter recruited his forces with such rapidity that in the following year, 991, he invaded the possessions of Edwin, spoiled the district of Glamorgan, and destroyed the town of New Radnor.

Little is now known of the state of cultivation that prevailed in the district in these times. That it did not very materially differ from that which prevailed in the adjoining parts of England, may be inferred from the statements contained in that remarkable and valuable record, Domesday Book, embodying the results of a survey of England, made immediately after the Norman conquest. The survey appears to have been extended in some places beyond the confines of Herefordshire, into Wales. Amongst the lands which are stated to have been then possessed by Richard Osbern, and with respect to which the precise numbers of hides and carrucaria of cultivated land are carefully set down, we find that Titeleye contained three hides, Chenille two hides, and Hertune three hides. To these names answer the present designations of Titley and Knill, parishes in Herefordshire, and Lower Harton, in the parish of Old Radnor. Querentun, with one hide, is probably the same with Kinnerton, a hamlet in Old Radnor parish, generally pronounced Kennerton; this latter mode of spelling being but a small variation from "Quenerton," which, by the transposition of two letters, is the same with the designation in the Domesday survey. Discote, now Discoed in the parish of Presteign, had three hides; and Cascope, the present parish of Cascob, half a hide. With respect to this latter place, it is said that thirty-six carrucaria never paid any thing, as the land lay within the Marches of Wales; but it is especially noted, that "on these wastes there were extensive woodlands, in which the above-named Osbern exercised the right of hunting, taking thence whatever he could catch, but nothing else." In the same record it is stated that the king held Raddrenove, where he had seven hides and thirty carrucaria of land, as distinguished from fifteen hides of waste land. The king held also eleven hides of cultivated and seven of waste land in Birchelincope; though Hugo affirmed that William, Earl of Hereford, had given him this land at the same time that he had given him the land which his predecessor Turchill had possessed. The names thus spelled, it may very reasonably be supposed, apply respectively to New Radnor, and the village still usually called Birchope, though it has acquired the written name of Burlinjob, in the parish of Old Radnor. The property, also, which belonged at this time to Radulp de Mortimer, included some places whose names suggest the probability of the survey having embraced one or two other parishes in this part of Radnorshire; but the spelling is too uncertain to be depended on. Radulp was owner of Wigmore Castle, in the county of Hereford, which is stated in the record to have been built by the above-mentioned William Osbern, Earl of Hereford, "upon waste ground called Merestun, which one Gunnert had held in the reign of Edward the Confessor." This noble earl ended his days in prison, in the year 1071, and appears to have been one of the ancient possessors of the land who sank beneath the power of the Norman conquerors.

When or by whom the castle and fortifications of New Radnor were built, cannot now be ascertained. From the position of the fortress at the western entrance of the valley, and from the still apparent fact that all its outworks were on the west, it is evident that it was erected for the purpose of defending the country from the inroads of the Welsh; and Old Radnor had, no doubt, been abandoned because its situation on the eastern side of the valley rendered it unfit for that purpose. The castle is included by name in a list of the most important fortresses which existed along the line of the Welsh border in the early part of the reign of Henry III., who ascended the throne in 1216. This list is preserved in a manuscript in the British Museum, and runs thus: Hereford, Kilpek, Ewyas Haraldi, Ewyas Laci, Grosmund, Skenefreid, Castrum Album, Monemue, Gotrige, Wiltone, Clifford, Witesneic, Huntingdone, Herdeslie, Wigmore, Radnore, Keveuenleis. "Of these castles," says Mr. Wright, who prints the list in his History of Ludlow, "Hereford, Monmouth, Goodrich, Wigmore, and Radnor, were originally Saxon fortresses, and formed the defence of the border previous to the Norman conquest;" and this line of castles, he adds, "beginning at Monmouth, passing in continued succession by Grosmont, Kilpeck, and the two Ewyasses, to Clifford, Whitney, Eardisley, and Huntington, and ending at Radnor and Kevenlleece, formed the basis of the operations of the early Norman barons in the interior of Wales." Radnor Castle, which occupied an eminence rising on the northern side of the town, must have been a place of considerable strength: on three sides the descent from the castle walls was precipitous, while on the fourth it was defended by a succession of deep intrenchments. The town walls were protected by four strong gates, whose position can still be traced; and a plan of the town has been preserved on the map of Radnorshire in Speed's Geography, published in 1610, shewing the principal lines of street with perfect accuracy, and, with little variation, as they now exist.

By whom, or to what extent, the town of New Radnor was restored after its destruction by Meredydd in 991, it is now impossible to say; but restored it was, for after a lapse of two hundred years, it appears to have been the scene of a remarkable contest. In the year 1194, Rhŷs ab Grufydd, Prince of South Wales, was deprived of part of his territory by Sir Roger Mortimer, who is stated by Caradoc of Llancarvan, already quoted, "to have marched a strong body to Melyenith, and built the castle of Cymaron, whereby he reduced the country to his subjection." In 1196, Prince Rhŷs levied a large army, and, leading it into the Marches of Wales, invested Clun Castle, which, says Caradoc, "cost him a long siege and many a fierce assault; therefore, to glut his vengeance, when he took it, he laid it in ashes." Thence he proceeded to Radnor Castle, which he likewise captured; but Roger Mortimer and Hugh de Say, immediately after, came with a numerous and well-disciplined army, consisting of Normans and English, to the relief of it. Rhŷs, not deeming it prudent to confine his men within the walls, led them out into "a campaign ground hard by," and at once resolved to give his enemies battle, though his forces were neither so well armed, nor so much accustomed to fighting, as were the English. The courage of the Welsh made amends for their want of suitable arms, and their leader's prudence supplied the place of discipline; the attack was boldly made, and the English were not long able to withstand their force, but quitted the field in great disorder, leaving a great number of their men slain upon the spot. Prince Rhŷs pursued them closely, and they were glad of the protection of the night to escape from his fury. Three mounds are still to be seen in the open plain, by the side of the turnpikeroad, about a mile and a half eastward of Radnor; they bear the appearance of burial-places after a battle, and their position accords precisely with the historical record of the engagement between Rhŷs and Mortimer: one of them, called the Knap, is of considerable size. The battle being ended, Mortimer and Say withdrew their forces to the shelter of Wigmore Castle, and Rhŷs proceeded to lay siege to "the castle of Payn in Elvel." It was at New Radnor that Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury, a few years before this, in 1188, entered on his mission to preach the crusades throughout Wales. He was attended to this place by Ranulph de Glanville, justiciary of England, and was here received by Rhŷs and several other Welsh chieftains: he was accompanied in his pious and arduous undertaking by Giraldus Cambrensis, the historian of the expedition.

Such was the state of society in these times, that but a very few years elapsed before the din of war, with blood and sorrow in its train, was again heard around the walls of Radnor. In the year 1216, the English barons being engaged in their struggles to restrain the tyranny of King John, invited and obtained the aid of the Dauphin of France; marched to Winchester, where the king lay; and drove him thence for safety, says Caradoc, "to Hereford, in the Marches of Wales." Here King John applied to Llewelyn ab Iorwerth, Prince of North Wales, whose residence was at Aber, near Bangor, and to Reginald de Breos, owner of the strongholds of Brecknock, &c.; imploring their aid against the French. But "they refusing to hearken to his proposals," he destroyed Radnor and Hay Castles, and then marched forward to Oswestry, which he burned to the ground. Radnor now seems to have enjoyed the blessings of repose for the space of fifteen years. In 1231, King Richard, who was himself occupied in wars in France, left Hubert de Burgh in charge of the defence of the Marches; and it appears that Prince Llewelyn came against Hubert, in person, with a large army, and, encamping before Montgomery Castle, forced him to withdraw. Then making himself master of the place, he burned it to the ground, and put the garrison to the sword. The like fate attended the castles of Radnor, Rhaiadr, and other places. From this defeat, however, it seems that the dwellers in the Marches took no long time to recover; for in 1233, says the historian whom we have been quoting, the English in Wales, being in expectation of King Henry's coming thither, began to repair and fortify their castles, and particularly, Richard, Earl of Cornwall, rebuilt Radnor Castle, which the Prince of North Wales had so lately destroyed. In the year 1263, the castle was besieged by the confederate forces of Llewelyn ab Grufydd, Prince of North Wales, and the two sons of the celebrated Simon de Montfort; and, being taken, was destroyed by them. But although no further account of it occurs in the mean time, it was probably rebuilt, as its final destruction, together with laying the town in ruins, is stated, in the charter of incorporation granted by Queen Elizabeth, to have been effected by Owain Glyndwr. This chieftain, in 1401, having posted himself on Plinlimmon Hill, thence despatched his forces on plundering excursions, during which they destroyed the abbey of Cwm H�r, and took the castle of Radnor, causing the whole garrison, it is said, to the number of sixty men, to be beheaded on the brink of the castle yard. Whatever might have been the importance of the place before this period, there is little doubt that it suffered a fatal shock by the attack of Owain Glyndwr. As a fortress, it was still entitled to some consideration; but as a market-town, Kington and Presteign, both situated within the distance of a few miles, from their more advantageous position, necessarily surpassed it.

It was not until the reign of Henry VIII. that the government of Wales was undertaken in a rational and benevolent spirit; and that an improved system was at length adopted, was mainly owing to the activity, good sense, and sound policy of Roland Lee, Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, who was appointed in the year 1535 Lord President of the court held at Ludlow for the government of Wales and its Marches. His mission was, to reform and civilize the country entrusted to his charge. It was he who first obliged the Welsh gentry to abide by fixed surnames; and he not only cleared the Marches of the robbers by which they were infested, but found the means for effecting the final union of England and Wales. In a letter of Bishop Lee's to Thomas, Lord Cromwell, which has been published by Sir Henry Ellis, and bears date 26th December, 1535, he gives a lamentable picture of the state to which the country had been reduced by severity and misrule; a state so unlike that in which, by the influence of a milder policy, it has long continued to exist. "I have been," he says, "at Presteigne, where I was right hartily welcomed by Sir James Baskerville, and many other, without spears as heretofore had been used; which journey was thought dangerous by some, but, God willing, I intend after Easter to lye one month at Presteigne, even among the thickest of the theives, to do my master such service as the strongest of them shall be afraid to do as before, God willing." He then proceeds to say, "Radnor Castle is not to be repaired, but only a prison-house amended, which must needs be done, for there have been lost by evil keeping no less than eight theeves, and they have no place to keep them: all may not be brought to Ludlow." Of the state of Radnor after its destruction by Glyndwr, some judgment may likewise be formed from the description given by Leland, whose visit must have taken place about the year 1540 or 1545. He writes: "New Radnor town is metely well walled, and in the wall appeareth the ruins of four gates. There is an old church standing now as a chapel by the castle: not very far thence is the new church built by William Bachefield and Flory his wife. There goeth by the town, as I remember, a brook called Somergill. The building of the town, in some part, is meatly good, in most part but rude, many houses being thatched: the castle is in ruin, but a part of the gate hath been of late amended. The town was defaced in Henry IV.'s days, by Owen Glendower. The voice is there, that after he had won the castle, he took three-score men that had the garde of the castell, and caused them to be beheaded on the brink of the castle yard, and that since, a certaine blood-worth groweth where the blood was shed." He, however, who shall now search for this "certaine bloodwort," will as certainly search in vain.
History records another interesting incident connected with the district. A List of "the Marches and Removes of Charles I., from the time of his leaving London in 1641," has been preserved by Thomas Manley, who says that he was an eye-witness, together with his father, of what he has recorded. In this curious document, which bears the name of "Iter Carolinum," he states that Charles, after the defeat at Naseby in June 1645, crossed the Wye and took refuge in Monmouthshire, where his time was passed chiefly at Raglan Castle and at Tredegar: but "the approach of the Scots," says Manley, "involved us in a most disastrous condition, and made us doubt whither to go." After a futile attempt to reach Bristol, the ill-fated wanderer moved on the 5th of August to Brecknock; on the 6th he moved to Gwernyvet, where he dined with Sir Henry Williams. They went thence, says the record, "to Old Radnor, to supper; a yeoman's house; the court dispersed:" "on the 7th to Ludlow Castle; no dinner; Colonel Wodehouse." It is well known that the farmhouse in which the king lodged at Old Radnor stands west of the church, and is called The Stones: a room fitted with oak wainscot, in which he slept, remained unaltered down to a late period in the last century. Sir Henry Slingsby, of Scriven, who accompanied the king, has made a singular entry in his Diary, of this royal visit to the borough of Radnor. Speaking of Charles and his attendant party, he says, that being foiled and defeated by the activity of Poynze, "we gained so much time by the ways which we took through the almost inaccessible mountains of Wales, that he troubled our march no more till we got to Chester. In all our quarters we had little accommodation, but the best (? least) at Old Radnor, where the king lay in a poor low chamber, and my Lord Lindsey and others by the kitchen-fire, on hay. No better were we accommodated for victuals; which makes me remember this passage:�When the king was at his supper, eating a pullet and a piece of cheese, the room without was full, but the men's stomachs were empty for want of meat. The good wife, troubled with continual calling upon her for victuals, and having, it seems, but one cheese, comes into the room where the king was, and very soberly asks if the king had done with the cheese, for that the gentlemen without desired it." It would seem by this notice, that in all the monarch's wanderings, the strictness of courtly etiquette was studiously maintained.

In its present state the town of New Radnor, which contains from eighty to ninety houses, wears rather a mean appearance: it is built principally of a perishable slaty stone, which gives an aspect of decay to many of the buildings. Within the last ten years, however, it has been very considerably improved. The church built by William Bachefield and his wife Flory has been taken down, and a new church of smaller dimensions erected on the site, forming an interesting feature in the town. A new gaol has been built, and the town-hall rendered not only more commodious, but much more respectable in its external appearance. Several houses, of a character greatly superior to that of the old ones, have lately been built; the bridge at the entrance of the town has been widened, and the approaches to it altered and improved. The market, which was held on Tuesday, has altogether fallen into disuse: fairs take place on the Tuesday before Holy-Thursday, the Tuesday after Trinity-Sunday, on August 14th, and October 28th and 29th, which last is numerously attended.

The borough is of very early creation. The charter of incorporation granted by Queen Elizabeth refers to it as a borough that had long existed under charters from various lords of the Marches, and which then, as now, comprehended the whole of the extensive parishes of Old and New Radnor, and Llanvihangel-Nant-Melan, together with parts of Cascob and Llandegley, forming a district nearly thirty miles in circumference. This royal charter, by a neglect in filling up the vacancies that occurred in the corporation by the death of its members, at length became inoperative, and a new charter was therefore granted in the 12th of George II., which confirmed and extended the privileges conferred by the former charters. The government is vested by the charter in twenty-five capital burgesses, who must be selected from burgesses resident within the borough. It is their duty to elect from among their own number, annually on the first Monday after the feast of the Holy Cross, a bailiff and two aldermen, who act as magistrates for two successive years. They also elect a recorder, who holds his office for life. There are thus seven magistrates, who preside both at the quarterly and the petty sessions, and act within the limits of the borough, to the exclusion of the county magistrates, in all matters, and with respect to all crimes and offences not punishable by death. They are assisted by a town-clerk, a coroner, two chamberlains, and two serjeants-at-mace; and are empowered to levy on all property situate within the limits of the borough a rate of the nature of a county rate, out of which the town-hall and gaol, the borough bridges, and all other lawful corporate expenses, are provided for. The charter requires them to hold a court weekly for the recovery of debts and the determination of pleas not exceeding 40s.: at this court the bailiff presides, assisted by the town-clerk. The petty-sessions are held every Monday. With the exception of the Cascob portion, the borough is included in the jurisdiction of the new county debtcourt of Kington; the Cascob portion is in that of the county debt-court of Presteign. The court for the election of the knight of the shire may also be held here, though it has not been for more than half a century. It appears indeed, by the act of the 27th of Henry VIII., that New Radnor was constituted the shire town of the newly-erected county of Radnor, and that the assizes and quarter-sessions were directed to be held alternately here and at Rhaiadr; but by subsequent acts of the 35th and 36th of the same reign, the courts were ordered to be held alternately here and at Presteign, to which latter town the assizes have since been wholly removed, and where they now invariably take place. New Radnor has been appointed a polling-place for the surrounding district, at the county election.

This borough returns a member to parliament in conjunction with the boroughs of Knighton, Rhaiadr, Cnwclas, and Kevenlleece, to which the town of Presteign with a large adjoining rural district was added by the act passed in 1832 to "Amend the Representation." The right of election, heretofore vested in the burgesses generally, is now, by the act just mentioned, vested in the surviving members of the former constituency, if resident, and in every male person of full age occupying either as owner, or as tenant under the same landlord, a house or premises of the annual value of not less than �10. The number of voters within the limits of the borough of New Radnor, in 1847, was 137; and the total number of voters, including the contributory boroughs, 515.

By the grant contained in the charter of George II., the borough is entitled to property which has gradually become of little value. The capital burgesses are lords of the manor of Radnor Foreign, which is held to extend over all the mesne manors within the limits of the borough. The forest of Radnor, once a royal chase, and the manor of Newcastle, were the only lordships reserved by the crown within the district, and the first of these was sold during the reign of Charles I. to an ancestor of the Right Hon. Sir Frankland Lewis, of Harpton, Bart., and M.P. for the borough, by whom the lordship is now possessed. The other property, the manor of Newcastle, was purchased of the crown, of late years, by the late John Whittaker, Esq., of Newcastle. As lords of the manor, the corporation became entitled not only to the advantages arising from the waste land, but to certain fee-farm rents, from which an income exceeding �40 a year was regularly collected down to the end of the last century. A fee-farm rent, however, amounting to �37. 8. 1�., had been originally reserved by the crown, and subsequently granted to the Duke of Leeds. This charge very nearly absorbed the annual income of the borough; the payments were suffered to fall into arrear, and about the year 1812 the then Duke of Leeds' claims on the corporate property were purchased for the sum of �1000 by Sir Frankland Lewis, who is thus entitled to receive whatever income the borough property still produces. This, being confined to the tolls collected at the October fair, and the rent of about sixty-five acres of land allotted under the Llanvihangel and New Radnor inclosure acts, does not suffice to liquidate the claims annually accruing for the fee-farm rent originally reserved by the crown. The large arrears formerly due to the Duke of Leeds, and the amount still annually accruing, remain undischarged.

The parish comprises from 2500 to 3000 acres. Of this area, 1150 acres are rich loamy pasture land, and a fertile tract capable of producing good crops of corn, the whole inclosed; and about 990 acres are allotted in severalty under the powers of the inclosure act, but have not as yet been actually inclosed. The upper part comprehends a portion of the mountain range of the forest of Radnor, consisting of about 360 acres; the lower part of the parish is partly flat and partly undulated. The land around the town is of excellent quality, and the neighbouring hills have of late years been decorated by the plantations of the Right Hon. Sir Frankland Lewis. These extend over from three to four hundred acres, and consist chiefly of larch and oak, both of which appear to flourish, the former planted on the sides and lofty summits of the hills, and the latter at their base. Care has been taken to plant that description of oak which is known, by the long stalk of its acorn, to be the quercus robur of the botanists, and which flourishes in such remarkable beauty in the adjoining county of Hereford. The quercus sessilifora, the acorn of which has the shortest possible stalk, is the native oak of Radnorshire, and is a tree of slower growth and smaller dimensions, the leaves of which lose their verdure much earlier in the autumn, but of which the timber is thought to be fully equal, if not superior, to that of its loftier and more beautiful rival. On the Vron Hill, westward of the town, the declivity is so steep that cattle and horses cannot well be pastured there. It has been found possible, therefore, to raise larch upon the declivity (when planted above the reach of sheep) without any fence or protection whatever: the trees, being placed from fifteen to twenty feet apart, grow freely in their natural forms, and are singularly ornamental. On the southern side of the valley is an extensive plantation of larch, which, though growing in a shallow soil on a plate of limestone, and exposed to the full force of the westerly wind, is seen to thrive with the greatest vigour. It is evident, from the fine plantations in this district, that the larch will endure cold, exposure, and hardship of every sort, if only it is not planted in a wet, retentive soil: where heath grows, it is useless to plant larch. Among the other features of interest in the vicinity of the town, is the curious fall of Water-break-its-neck, one of the largest and most celebrated cascades in Wales: it is situated amidst scenery of the most romantic character, about two miles west of New Radnor, in the parish of Llanvihangel-Nant-Melan. North-west of the town, one of the summits of the mountainous tract of Radnor forest, called Wimble, embraces a view of great extent over several of the adjoining counties, including some pleasing scenery in the immediate neighbourhood, with several gentlemen's seats. Downton House, in the parish, the property of the late Percival Lewis, Esq., is now the residence of Sir W. S. R. Cockburn, only son of the late General Sir William Cockburn, Bart.

The living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at �13. 10. 10., and in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor; net income, about �300, with a glebe of three acres, and twelve acres of hilly ground allotted under the inclosure act. Dr. Merewether, Dean of Hereford, is the present incumbent. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, and situated on the declivity of a lofty hill to the north of the town, has been rebuilt at an expense of �1500, of which sum a third part was raised by mortgaging the parish rates, and the remainder by subscription. The new edifice, which was consecrated in the month of August, 1845, though smaller than the former church, is sufficiently commodious, and has considerable architectural beauty. The windows are lancetshaped, and the tower, at the western end, though small, is handsome and well proportioned. The south transept was built solely at the expense of the owner of the house at Downton; the north transept at the sole cost of the owner of Harpton Court, Old Radnor; and the seats in these portions of the church are permanently appropriated to the two properties, respectively. The rectory-house is a poor, thatched building, unfit for the residence of the officiating minister, and let, with a large garden, at �6 a year. There is a place of worship for Calvinistic Methodists. In 1788, Mr. John Green, of Hereford, bequeathed �300, for the purpose of raising a fund of �10 per annum as a salary for a schoolmaster, to teach fifteen boys of this parish and five of that of Gl�scomb, and �3 per annum for buying bread for industrious housekeepers, to be distributed on the first Sunday in every month; the residue, if any, to be applied in purchasing cloths for the pulpit, desk, and altar, fine linen for the communion-table, and a hearse and pall for the poor. The bequest was lent on mortgage, and in the year 1817 was called in, and applied in the purchase of �499 three per cent. consols. Of the interest accruing, nearly �15 a year, �10 are paid to a master for instructing twenty children, he being also allowed to take pay-scholars; �3 are distributed in fifteen fourpenny loaves among fifteen aged widows and men, and the remainder is left to accumulate in the banker's hands. There is a small charity school for girls, and one or two Sunday schools are supported. A small estate called Longney, in the county of Gloucester, was devised to the parish by Henry Smith, of London, in 1627, the proceeds of which are distributed among the poor: being subject to inundation from the river Severn, the land varies greatly in its value, the rent fluctuating from �7 to �15 a year. A bequest of �50, by an unknown donor, was allowed to accumulate, with its interest, in consequence of a suit in the court of exchequer, until it amounted to �104. 7. three per cent. consols, the interest of which, �3. 2. 6., after three or four years' addition, is expended in the purchase of fuel for distribution among the settled poor. Of the lost charities may be enumerated, one of �40 by John Bedward in 1668, called the Vron charity from a supposed rent-charge bought on that property with the amount; and another charity of �5, by Thomas Eccleston, in the same year, which is thought to have been distributed soon after the testator's death. The parish is comprised in the poor-law union of Kington. Radnor gives the title of Earl to the Bouverie family.


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