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dirty and unpleasant. The buildings are exceedingly irregular, and in some instances very bad. Notwithstanding these disadvantages, Barmouth is frequented during the summer season by many genteel families from Wales and the West of England, as a sea-bathing place. Its origin, as the resort of invalids, has been attributed to persons frequenting the banks of this part of the river for the sake of the scurvy grass, which grows there in great abundance.

The lodging-houses in the town are many of them good. The amusements seem to consist principally in making excursions on the water, and in promenading on the beach or the sands. The beach is a most delightful walk. The wide river Mawddach winds amongst the mountains, forming many elegant promontories. These rise to a great height on each side, some clad with wood, and others exhibiting their naked rocks, scantily covered with the purple heath. The suinmit of the lofty Cader Idris is visible in the background, towering above the other mountains. Had the town been built here, scarcely half a mile from its present situation, instead of being one of the most unpleasant, it might have been rendered one of the most delightful places of retirement imaginable.

Barmouth is the port of Merionethshire.

The Cors y Gedol Arms, which is upon an extensive scale, is the principal inn.

Proceeding from Barmouth to Dolgelley, at high water, when the whole bed of the river Mawddach is filled, the various scenes that present themselves for some miles are truly picturesque. The two first miles are perhaps more interesting than any other part of the journey. In the composition of the views scarcely any thing appears wanting : there is every requisite for a fine landscape, mountain and vale, wood, water, meadows and rocks, arranged in beautiful order. Beyond the beach the road winds among

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the low mountains, at a little distance from the river. From the openings or eminences the water is frequently seen partly hidden by the intervening mountains, and oftentimes assumes the

appearance of a beautiful lake. Many persons prefer making the excursion from Barmouth to Dolgelley by water. To sit at ease, and enjoy without interruption the pleasures afforded by the picturesque scenes along the Mawddach, must doubtless be highly gratifying to an admirer of nature. however, must end at the distance of about a mile from Dolgelley, for here the river becomes so diminished as not even to admit a pleasure boat any further. The company must therefore be contented to walk from thence to the town.

The voyage,

DOLGELLEY,* The Holme of the Groves, is a market town of considerable extent and importance, containing 4087 inhabitants, seated in a wide and fertile vale, between the rivers Arran and Wnion, and surrounded on all sides by high and in many parts wooded mountains. The Midsummer assizes for Merionethshire are held here. Near the Ship Inn is part of the building in which Owen Glyndwr held a parliament. The church is a neat structure as far as regards its exterior, but the seats and the arrangement of the interior are not very ornamental. Here is an ancient monument in memory of Mauric Vychan ap Ynyr Vychan, an ancestor of the present family of the Vaughans of Nannau.

There are at Dolgelley very considerable manufactories for coarse woollen cloths or flannels, called webs.

During the civil wars in the reign of Charles I., about a hundred of the king's troops attempted to raise a fortification around this town. Sir Edward Vaughan, however, at the head of a small party of the parliament's forces, attacked and routed them, taking prisoners the captain and several of the men.

* Pronounced Dolgethley.

The principal inns at Dolgelley are the Golden Lion and the Ship.

NANNAU.

The seat of Sir R. W. Vaughan, Bart. stands on an elevated situation about two miles from Dolgelley. In the grounds of Nannau are the remains of a British fortification.

In the reign of Henry IV. Nannau belonged to Howel Sele, who, though the first cousin of Owen Glyndwr, sided with the Lancastrian party. Upon one occasion, whilst these cousins were out together, Howel bent his bow, and pretending to take aim at a doe, suddenly turned round and shot at Owen; but the armour which he wore under his clothes prevented any injury from the arrow.

Owen immediately seized his kinsman, who was never afterwards heard of alive; but after forty years had elapsed, the skeleton of a man, supposed to be his, was found in the hollow of a large oak, where he had probably been confined by Owen Glyndwr. This oak was named Derwen Cenbren yr Ellyll, the hollow oak the haunt of demons, and was, to the day of its destruction, which happened in 1813, the terror of the superstitious.

EXCURSION FROM DOLGELLEY TO Y VAN. NER, OR KEMMER ABBEY, AND THE

WATERFALLS. Proceeding from Dolgelley, till within a few hundred yards of the bridge at Llanelltyd, there is a foot path to the right, which leads over some meadows for about a quarter of a

Y VANNER, OR KEMMER ABBEY.

165

mile to an avenue of sycamores, and thence to the remains of an abbey, not visible from the road, called by the Welsh Y Vanner, and by the old writers Kemmer Abbey. *

Where pious beadsmen, from the world retir'd,

In blissful visions wing'd their souls to heav'n,
While future joys their nobler transports fir’d,

They wept their erring days, and were forgiv'n.

the space

Y VANNER, OR KEMMER ABBEY. The present remains of this monastery have little interest for any but the antiquary: they are altogether devoid of ornament or elegance, and from no point of view are in any degree picturesque. Part of the church only is left, and

of ground it occupies is very inconsiderable. The ruins of the refectory and the abbot's dwelling form part of the walls of an adjoining farmhouse. The other parts are much shattered, and the farmer, in whose ground the building stands, has patched them in many places with modern masonry, to render them of use. The length of the church is from 30 to 40 yards, and the width not more than 8 or 9. The east end is more perfect than any other part, and, through its thick covering of ivy, may be discerned three small lancet-shaped windows. Against the south wall there are a few small gothic pillars and arches; and in the wall an aperture where probably the holy water was kept. In this part of the building, opposite to two small arches, there has also been a semi-circular door; and, near this, there is the mutilated head of a human figure. A large plane-tree is now growing from among the ruins of the west end of the building, which seems to denote that the abbey has long been in a ruinous state.

* Or, variously, Cymmer, Cymner, Cwmner, Kinner, Kinmer, and Kymmer Abbey. Kymer, in the ancient British language, signified the meeting of two or more rivers.

History of Y Vanner, or Kemmer Abbey.This abbey was founded about the year 1200 for some monks of the Cistercian order, from Cwm Hir Abbey in Radnorshire, by Meredith and Griffith, the sons of Cynan ap Owen Gwynnedd, Prince of North Wales. This seems (says a Welsh writer) to have been a colony of monks, sent off by that monastery, as bees do when the hive is too full.*

About thirty years after the supposed period of its foundation, Kemmer Abbey appears to have been in a flourishing state. At this time, when Henry III. was marching against the Welsh, who had risen, under their prince, Llewelyn ap Iorwerth, and attacked the castle of Montgomery, one of the monks of Kemmer happened to be near, and was questioned as to the situation and strength of the Welsh army. He considered it a duty to befriend his country, rather than assist the enemy, and therefore deceived them so much by his report of the state of the opposing forces, that Henry determined on an immediate attack. The Welsh, at the first onset, feigned a retreat to a neighbouring marsh. The English soldiers, incumbered as they were with their armour, plunged, without hesitation, after them; and as soon as the enemy saw that the greater part were in the marsh, and unable either to act offensively or to retreat, they returned upon them with so much fury, as, after a short conflict, to come off victorious. This deception enraged the king, and not long afterwards, as he passed the abbey with his army, he ordered the monastery to be set on fire and destroyed. All the out-offices were consumed, but the abbot saved the rest of the building by his entreaties to the king, and paying down 300 marks.

At the dissolution of abbies the revenues of Kemmer were

* Letter of Lewis Morris, Cam. Reg. ii. 493. This seems to account for Dugdale's mistake in confounding this abbey with that of Combehire, or Cwm Hir, in Radnorshire.

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