Rhôscolyn - From 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' (1849)
RHÔSCOLYN, a parish, in the hundred of Menai, union and county of Anglesey, North Wales, 5 miles (S. S. E.) from Holyhead; containing 498 inhabitants. The name of this parish is derived by the author of the "Mona Antiqua Restaurata" from one of those columns which the Romans erected, both as commemorative of their victories, and to mark the extent of their conquests. The same authority states that Gwenvaen, daughter of Pawl Hên, had a religious house or cloister here, from which afterwards originated the parish church, called, from the founder of that cloister, Llanwenvaen, or "the church of Gwenvaen," an appellation that for some time superseded the earlier term Rhôscolyn, or "the moor of the column." The site of the ancient cloister is still distinguishable by the number of human bones found whenever the ground is turned up by the spade or the plough. The parish forms the southern part of Holy Island, being connected with the parish of Holyhead (forming the other part) by a narrow isthmus, along which runs the old London road to that place, and separated from the western coast of the main land of Anglesey only by a narrow, shallow, and sandy strait. Its surface is chiefly cultivated, though much of it is rendered of poor quality by rocks and sands. The total area is 2195 acres. Near Bôdior, an old mansion in the parish, is obtained in great abundance the variegated marble called verd antique, of which the specimens procured here, in the diversity and brilliancy of the colours, surpass those of Italy; and in the same quarries are found veins of beautiful asbestos, of soft silky texture, and of very superior quality. From the rocky eminence of Rhôscolyn, behind the church, is to be obtained a strikingly beautiful prospect of the adjacent coast.
The living is a discharged rectory, with the livings of Llanvair-yn-Eubwll and Llanvihangel-ynhowyn annexed, rated in the king's books at £10. 5.; present net income, £260 a year, with a glebe-house; patron, the Bishop of Bangor. The tithes of the parish have been commuted for a rent-charge of £169. 17. The church, dedicated to St. Gwenvaen, is a small edifice of the first half of the fifteenth century, measuring 44 feet by 19 feet, external dimensions, and in tolerable preservation. At the western end is a double bell-gable; and on the southern side is a porch, with a rudely elliptical archway for its entrance, and a doorway of good detail: there is also a doorway on the northern side, with a four-centred head. Of the windows, the eastern is of two cinque-foiled lights, with a quatrefoil in the head; the font is of the fifteenth century, of rather singular design, and the mouldings and other details of the building generally are well executed. The church is disfigured by a western gallery, entered by a staircase from the porch. There are places of worship for Baptists and Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists. A day school is aided by an endowment of £1. 16. per annum, bequeathed by the Rev. Dr. John Jones, Dean of Bangor, for teaching five children to read the Bible in their native language; it is otherwise supported by school-fees, and by J. Hampton Lewis, Esq., of Bôdior, who built the school-house, and provides the master with a house and garden rent-free, in addition to his contribution towards the support of the school. There are five Sunday schools held in the parish. Emma Roberts, in 1770, granted by deed a sum of £100, the interest to be divided in certain proportions among the oldest and poorest widows of this parish, and of Bôdedern, Llanvair-yn-Eubwll, and Llanvihangel-ynhowyn; 30s. are appropriated to this place, and distributed at Christmas as directed. The parish is also entitled to participate contingently in Ellen Owen's charity at Llangeinwen for apprenticing a poor boy, but it has never enjoyed any advantage from it, in consequence of the many claimants at Llangeinwen.