« PreviousContinue »
which I had however the satisfaction of making a tolerably perfect representation, which is here engraved from the original drawing. This urn differed from most others of the kind in the varied ornaments that encircled it; the upper portion next the rim, part of which was embossed in the lozenge figure, represented a regal crown; and the lower division of the urn, below the snake-shaped band or plinth, was divided into compartments of the circl ppculiar in this respect as being flat, and, as such, could not possibly have been formed in a lathe, which, from the symmetry of the circle, the other parts were. The urn was formed of clay imperfectly baked, probably by the action of the fire at the time of interment, and contained calcined bones and ashes. The partial opening made in this and another adjacent barrow induces me to infer that they may yet produce many interesting remains, and I trust, if my life be spared, I may, in the course of short period, and assisted by the other members of our Society, be enabled to enter upon a more minute and satisfactory investigation of their contents, as well as of the other tumuli in this locality.
The stratification of this hill-range is various; the greater portion is slate, of a fine quality and dark blue colour, similar to that of Ffestiniog and Maentwrog in North Wales. It is quarried extensively on the north declivity of Moel-Cwm-cerwyn, not far from the source of the Syfyrnwy. Trap dykes, mixed with nodules of quartz, cross it; and upon the surface of Bwlch-gwynt are scattered enormous columns of a very fine porphyritic green stone, in which are imbedded beautiful whit septariae. I saw some of the old tomb-stones recently dug out of the ruins of St. Dogmael's Abbey formed of this stone, which, although very hard, is capable of being sawn, and takes a good polish. It is almost as fine as the foreign verd-antique, but the ground is not quite so green.
Trap and green stone of various qualities, and of columnar or basaltic form, occur towards the extreme western range, and especially in the out-lying hills c Carnengyle and Llanlawer, together with a peculiar mass like hard freestone, apparently a transition between that and slate; it is perforated throughout its substance by small irregular cavities, as if caused by the intense action of fire, and now endures heat better than brick, as a substitute for which it might, no doubt, be usefully employed. I may add, although not a perfect stone, a kind of hard compact ochre of a saponaceous quality, and capable of resisting the action of water in a singular manner; it is found in the bottom of a little brook running from Breselu; the colour in the vein is quite black, but when rubbed down it produces a fine, even, azure blue. The country people mark their sheep with it in the autumn, and term it nod glas, the blue mark; and although simply applied to the wool by wetting and rubbing together two pieces of this substance, the mark remains indelible during the whole of the winter season. A further inquiry into the nature of this ochre is desirable, as it might furnish artists with a new and permanent colour.
To all who are interested in admiring the works of nature I would strongly recommend a visit to this spot in summer, the season best fitted for exploring mountainous regions, and I think the result will amply repay the Tourist, who is supposed to view things superficially, the Geologist or Naturalist, who defines them scientifically, and the Antiquary, who, by the under-ground test of spade and pickaxe, delves into the mysteries of bygone days with a precision that ushers in new light upon facts which the feeble rays of tradition only had before but thrown a faint glimmer.
The ascent on the north side to the very summit of Moel-Cwm-cerwyn can be easily effected on horseback, and from hence the view is indescribably grand in clear weather, either just at sunrise or at sunset. I recollect being there some years ago at the close of a fine summer evening, and witnessing a prospect that, in beauty if not in extent, far surpassed that of the higher mountains of the north, where the several rocky eminences that inter
vened broke the interest of the nearer landscape, and nothing but their craggy tops and a few mountain lakes were seen, the objects of the distance being also too indistinct to claim special notice; here, on the contrary, every high elevation was judiciously lowered, and the green surface of the whole county lay at your feet, like a tinted panorama, studded with populous towns and villages, and all the rivers meandering like silver threads over the whole, and bounded on all sides, but that on the east, by the Irish Channel and Atlantic Ocean, across which the eye in the extreme distance rested upon the Wicklow hills, the Irish coast, the mountains of North Wales, and the Isle of Man, making altogether a most sublime scene.
John Fenton. Glyn-y-mel, 17th January, 1853.
APPENDED AND CORRECTED LIST OF RIVERS RISING IN BRESELU MOUNTAIN RANGE.
Cledde, east and west, i. e. Cleddyf, a sword, in the common acceptation of the word, but in this instance as that of a cross piece of timber that keeps the boards of a door together, as these streams, like a band, enclose the largest portion of the county from east to west, before they unite their waters in Milford Haven. The West Cleddyf does not rise in Breselu.
Kewgill, i. e. Cegil, from Ceg, an entrance, and Cil, narrow; or from Gwy, water, and Cil, the narrow stream or rill. It rises in Bwlch-Ungor, i. e. the pass of a single turn or twist.
Bray, i. e. JBrai, a boundary or outer mark. The whole course of this stream is a boundary between Pembrokeshire and Caermarthenshire.
Clydaghe, i. e. from Clyd, the sheltered river.
Llony, i. e. Llonydd, tranquil, quiet,—the tranquil stream.
Breynan2 Ddu and Breynan Wen, i. e. Brenant-ddu and Brenant-wen, the dark or black hill brook, and the white or fair hill brook. They spring from Carn yr Afar, i. e. the rock of the goat.
8 I. e. Bre nant, which countenances our derivation of Breselu.— Ed. Arch. Camb.
Crining, i. e. Creini, from creiniaw, to creep along the ground, —a low, creeping brook. There is another Creini, exactly of this description, that falls into the Gwheyn.
Sytynvy, i. e. Sy-fyrn-wy, from Sy, that which is circling, efwrn, spreading, and Gwy, water,—the circling, spreading river. From the same root, Sy and efwrn, is derived the name of the river Severn, and that of its tributary Efwrnwy, a river of similar size until its junction, and which flows by Meifod, in Montgomeryshire.
East Marlais, i. e. Marw las, from marw, dead, and Glas, greenish blue, from the colour of the water. There is another river or brook of the same name falling into the western Cleddyf.
Gloyn, i. e. GVoen, that which shines or sparkles,—the sparkling brook.
Gwayn, i. e. Gwheyn, the out-pourer,—a river rapid throughout its course, and bearing, along with its tributary streams, more water than any river of that length in Pembrokeshire. It rises on the north-east side of Moel Eryr, in Waendyfed.
Logen, one of its first tributaries, i. e. Llogen, from Hog, that which augments, and en, a post-fix, signifying quick,—the first or quickly augmenting stream.
Nantmarchan, i. e. Nant-march-on, the brook abounding in male ash trees.
Kead, i. e. Caead, that which is shut up, or enclosed. It rises in Cwm Caead, the enclosed hollow. Wala, i. e. Gwala, from Gwal, an enclosed or fenced place. It rises in Gwern-y-Wala, the enclosed alder-grown moor. Creini,—derivation previously given.
These, with two or three nameless brooks, are the tributaries to the Gwheyn.
I shall add also one more river, not named by George Owen, which rises at the extreme south-western base of the Breselu hills, and falls into the western Cleddyf, near Wolve's Castle. It is called the Sely, derived in all probability from its hill source, and from which was named the hamlet or mansion of Sealyham.
ARCH. CAMB., NEW SERIES, VOL. IV. N
ACCOUNT OF NEWTON NOTTAGE, GLAMORGAN.
By The Rev. H. Hey Knight.
Newton Nottage was, from early ages, a small cymmwd or portion of Tir y Brenhin; its natural limits may be traced without much difficulty. The Severn sea (Mor Hafren) for an extent of more than three miles, always formed the boundary on the south and west. About one half of this shore, proceeding westward from the Black Rocks, consists of drift sand and rolled pebbles. This flat beach is divided at Newton Point and Middle Point by skers, or projecting ridges of low rock. Each of these spits, as well as the somewhat higher point at Porthcawl,1 so named from two fishing wears formerly placed there, is probably continued into the Channel to the south and east under the names of the Patches and the Tusker; the latter rock has a beacon on it, and is especially dangerous from the two skers or ledges which open out at its western end, and on which the tide sets with a heavy break in rough weather. The other half of the sea-board from beyond Porthcawl is almost one continued ridge of limestone, rising to some sixty or eighty feet, to the western extremity of the parish. From this line (the tendency of the last half of which has been much northerly of the west) we now turn north-and-by-east, leaving the shore near a ruined cottage in Sker demesne called Castell Morlais, and traversing about a mile, arrive at New Park, anciently one of the "4 closes" of Sker Grange, when it belonged to the monastery of Neath. Inclining more to the east and following the course of a small brook (probably in Leland's time more considerable), another mile brings us to Pant Mawr, and the north side of Grove, formerly Burdon's Grove farm. Hence, a once disputed boundary
1 Cawell, a wear.