Wenvoe - From 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' (1849)
WENVOE, a parish, in the union of Cardiff, hundred of Dinas-Powys, county of Glamorgan, South Wales, 6 miles (S.W. by W.) from the town of Cardiff; containing 485 inhabitants. The ancient Welsh name of this place is supposed to have been "Gwynva," or "Gwynvai," of which the present is a Norman modification. The parish is situated in the south-eastern part of the county, and comprises a large extent of inclosed arable and grazing land, and some portions of common affording good pasturage for sheep. The total area is 2955 acres. Here was formerly a castle, which is noticed by Leland as in a ruinous state even in his time, consisting only of one tower and some fragments of the walls; within a quarter of a mile of which, the same writer describes a well, from whence issued a stream called Silly brook. The modern Castle, the seat of Robert Francis Jenner, Esq., erected by the late P. Birt, Esq., maternal grandfather of the present proprietor, is a stately mansion, consisting of a centre and two wings. Its principal front, facing the south, extends three hundred and seventy-four feet in length, and is three stories in height, exclusively of the basement and the attics; the wings, which, according to the original design, were to have formed two magnificent conservatories, terminate at each extremity in a square tower, and the intervals between the towers and the centre are partly concealed by trees, with a view to relieve the flatness of such a length of masonry. The grounds are laid out with much taste, and comprehend some rich and beautifully varied scenery; but the view from the house, though pleasing, is neither grand nor extensive. Wenvoe village is neat, and of prepossessing appearance. The soil is a damp clay, but the air is salubrious, and the parish registers afford several instances of longevity, among which are the ages of three late incumbents, each of whom held the living for half a century.
The living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at £13. 7. 1.; present net income, £326, with a glebe-house; patron, Mr. Jenner. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a handsome structure, in the later style of English architecture, with a square embattled tower. It is kept in excellent order, and contains some good mural monuments to the several proprietors of Wenvoe Castle. The churchyard is pleasingly laid out, and the graves are decked with various odoriferous plants; near the church grows a remarkably fine yew-tree, in excellent preservation, which is said to be one of the oldest in the county. The parsonage-house, built by the late Mr. Birt, is a spacious edifice. There are places of worship for Baptists and Calvinistic Methodists, with a Sunday school held in each of them; and a day and Sunday school in connexion with the Established Church is held in a house in Wenvoe Park. Elizabeth Thomas, in 1701, bequeathed £20; Sir Edmund Thomas, Bart., in 1721, £40; Mary Thomas, in the same year, £10; William Morgan, £5; and the Rev. John Hodges, rector in 1777, £45, to the poor of the parish. The income arising from these sums, amounting to £6, is annually distributed according to the intentions of the benefactors.