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Kittle Hill

Llangenydd East
Llangenydd West
Oxedon (?)

Porth Eynon
Stone Bridge

In a survey of the 37th Henry VIII (8 Jan. 1546), besides the twelve members, the following are called marcher-lordships : Gower, Cilvae, Llandaff, Bishopston in Gower, and Talygarn.

There is no list of the manors within the county, and some are, no doubt, lost, while about others there is great doubt, and here and there great confusion ; and of most, the courts have long since fallen into disuse. Some are mentioned in ancient charters ; others in the Escheat Rolls and “Inquisitiones post Mortem"; and in later times others appear in crown grants and patents, and in family settlements and wills. The“ particulars” of several, that is, their boundaries, contents, and customs, are preserved in the inquests or presentments made from time to time by juries of tenants, headed by the steward or seneschal, acting under commission from the lord of the manor. These presentments are very full, and usually very accurate; but they are seldom older than the reign of Elizabeth, and more commonly of that of Charles I, by which time the manor-courts and the manor-privileges and customs were falling into disuse.


Senghenydd corresponds to the hundred of Caerphilly, and lies between the Taff and the Rhymny, from the Brecknock border on the north to the steep encampment which on the south divides the hill-country from the plain ; beyond which, however, it extends at one


point, and includes Whitchurch. In the northern part also it extends westward of the Taff to the ridge of Mynydd Merthyr, its boundary from Miscin. It is divided transversely by the Caiach, a tributary of the Taff; and it has been always held by the lord of Glamorgan, as now by Lord Bute, who derives thence considerable royalties. It appears 24 Edward I as "Seng' extent", and 35 Edward I as "patria". 8 Edward II, Earl Gilbert held "Sengh' Castle and tenements". The Castle be Castell Coch, as Caerphilly has a separate entry. Sometimes it is called "Foresta". The distinction between the upper and lower portions is not always observed. Thus, 8 Edward II, the men of Senghenydd state that they had "hay-bote" and "husbote" in the "bosc" of Senghenydd before the death of Gilbert de Clare. He, or perhaps De Badlesmere the Custos, sold the "bosc", so that they lost their "bote”. If this were so, the King decided that the men should have satisfaction. (Close Roll, 8 Edward II, m. 13.) 49 Edward III, Edward le Despenser held Sengh' super Caiach, receipts thence, and Enysnalgon, and so on, it being called "patria" and "foresta". The courts for the two members were held in the Court House at Caerphilly, before the steward. In 1262, Griffith ap Rhys, the ancestor of Lewis of Van, held two commots here by the service of a heriot of horse and arms at death.

1. SENGHENYDD SUPRA CAIACH Contains the parishes of Merthyr, Gelligaer, and part of Llanvabon. In the time of John Gifford (9 Edward II) its sub-members were "Merthyr and Eglwyswladus". It contains no sub-manor nor any copyhold tenants.

From time out of mind there has been a dispute as to the precise boundaries between this member and the manor of Penkelly in Brecknock. It was this uncertainty which led to the celebrated quarrel and commission in the reign of Edward I, and which produced, from time to time, a crop of petty local bickerings. One of these was at its height in 1834, between Lord Bute and Major Holford; and on Lord Bute's side the fol



lowing memorandum was drawn up and signed by twenty-eight persons having local knowledge : “ They say the boundary of Senghenydd runs from two great flat stones in the Taff Vachan river, across the highway to the ruins of an old house, once Ty Wm. Evan, now Ty John Morgan, eastward to Bwlch Isaf, and thence to Cornel y Fagar. From thence it goes to a rock .

a called Castell Nôs, and thence to a cairn and a pool called Pwll Morlais, and so to a larger pool called Llwch Mar, and a tumulus called Carn y Clainder, otherwise Pen Rhiw Velin. Thence across Gwaun Christopher to the seven stones, of which one is much lower than the rest, and to the old kiln called Odyn Vach ; and thence southward to the three stones, and by Fold Llewelyn to Carn Helig, and so to Rhyd y Milwyr” (the Warrior's Ford) on the Rhymny river. This boundary they support by reference to an inquisition by Thomas Edwards, under Viscountess Windsor, in 1762. Further disputes occurred, and it was not till about 1855-7 that the parties came to an agreement, and terminated a dispute of at least six hundred years standing.

1. Merthyr Tydvil.—The manor and church were held by Earl Richard, 24 Edward I; but it is not again styled a manor, and is not so reputed. 35 Edward I the lord has Cwmmer Morlais, sixteen acres, probably the site of Morlais Castle, a De Clare fortress built before 1290, upon land taken from Ivor Bach. Since the reign of Henry VIII the ruin has been abandoned by the crown, and has fallen into the possession of Lord Windsor, Ivor Bach's descendant in the female line, and heir general, and owner of the surrounding lands. Howel Velyn ap Ivor gave Pont Rhun, in Merthyr, to his eldest, and Plâs Newydd to Philip, his second son. The elder line afterwards bought out the younger, and the whole inheritance now belongs to Lord Windsor.

2. Gelligaer is not a manor, nor does it contain one. It takes its name from a Roman camp on the meadow north of the church, and is traversed by Heol Adam, a very old trackway. East of the village, in a combe, is


a moated mound. In this parish was Cilfach Vargoed, the seat of Sir Edward Lewis, a cadet of Van, whose descendant founded the Lewis charity. Henllys and Tophill are old houses, as is Hendy, the seat of a cadet branch of Cilfach Vargoed.

3. Llanvabon is divided by the Caiach. In it is Llancaiach, a very curious and perfect Tudor house of the Prichards, descended in the male line from Lewis ap Richard, a cadet of Van. It once harboured Charles Ï. I. Half the estate was sold to the Richardses of Cardiff, but half has descended through the heiress of David Prichard, who married Jenkins of Hensol, to Edward Rice Wingfield.

II. SENGHENYDD SUBTUS CAIACH.-23 Edward III, Hugh le Despenser held "Sengh' Subtus Caiach patria", and in it three hundred acres between Cardiff and the Severn; probably Griffith's More or Moor, not usually included with the member. Henry Earl of Warwick held the same, 24 Henry VI. 28 Henry VI, Ann, daughter of the Duke of Warwick, held the lordships of "Sengh' Supra et Subtus, cum foresta". This contains the parishes of Eglwysilan and Rudry, part of Llanvedw and Llanvabon, and the hamlets of Rhyd y Gwern and Van, belonging to the Monmouthshire parishes of Machen and Bedwas. It contains also parts of Llanvihangel and Whitchurch. Of these, Rudry is sometimes called a sub-member.

1. Eglwysilan, a large parish, contains Caerphilly town, sometimes called a borough, and the Castle, founded towards the close of the reign of Henry III. 24 Edward I, the record has "Caerphilly manor"; and soon afterwards, the "Castle, town, and members, of Caerphilly", including Llanedern. In this parish also is Castell Coch, a hill-fortress of the reign of Henry III; and within it, on the banks of the Taff, probably near Newbridge, resided Llewelyn Bren, who in 1217 headed an insurrection against Hugh le Despenser, for which he was unjustly put to death; and, as was admitted by Edward III, fraudulently disinherited of his lands in

Senghenydd and Miscin. (Close Roll, 1 Edward III,
m. 27.)
2. Rudry, a parish and manor. The “ecclesia de

Rothery” occurs 24 Edward I; and 24 Henry VI is
Rothry hamlet, probably of Bedwas. Temp. Elizabeth
it is called parcel of Senghenydd Subtus. The manor
has descended with the seigniory.
3. Rhyd y Gwern is not a manor, only a hamlet of

y Machen.

4. Van, a hamlet of Bedwas, was once a member of Senghenydd Subtus, and has always been regarded as a manor; probably because from an early period the chief seat of the Lewis family, from whose ancestor such ground was taken as was required for the building of Caerphilly. The Van was a large Tudor mansion, of which parts of the porch and great gallery remain, and a fine pigeon-house. The Lewises deserted it for Soberton, Corsham, and Birstal Tower, their seats in Hants, Wilts, and Oxon; and when these passed from them, Van had become a ruin. Their heiress married the Earl of Plymouth. Since that time the owners of the estates have occasionally visited St. Fagan's, another Lewis seat.

5. Llanvedw is a hamlet of the Monmouthshire parish of Michaelston y Vedw. It appears as a manor, 24 Edward I, and has descended with the seigniory. It contains the ancient and very curious seat of the Kemys family, Cefn Mably; and Ruperra, an old Welsh estate purchased by the Morgans of Tredegar. Near the house is a fine moated mound upon a ridge.

6. Whitchurch, a parish, is called a manor temp. Edward I, and 8 Edward II is returned as Whitchurch Castle and manor. The manor is parcel of Senghenydd Subtus, and is in the chief lord. As late as Lady Charlotte Windsor's settlement it is described as Whitchurch manor and Castle, although the Castle has long been a mere low, circular elevation, with traces of foundations, and some Early English mouldings. It was a round tower, and stood near to and east of the church. A small part of the parish is in Cibowr. There is said


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