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THE PRESENTATION TO MR. AND…

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GOWER ROADS, ETC.

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} [The writer reserves all rights.] GOWER ROADS, ETC. [By ALFRED C. JONAS, F.S.A. (SCOT.), ETC. PART VI. THE EARLY CHURCH. I should like to say just a word or two con- nected with this subject, to which the Rev. T. R. Lloyd called attention at the eisteddfod 21 years ago. I am not aware at the moment that the subject he touched upon has had any further light thrown on it, and so refer to the rev. gentleman's statement, that the Welsh people worshipped God under the name Jesu, before the advent of Christ, and that the druids of Britain worshipped God as Jesus, before Jesus came. We of course know that Joshua was called Jesus, and that Jesus, a son of Sirach, a native of Jerusalem, was author of Ecclesiasticus, 200 B.C. in fact, that the name was a common one, and that Jesus, a Jew, foretold the de- struction of Jerusalem, by Titus, four years before that event happened. (See Josephus, book V., cap., v. 3). It is somewhat curious that in connection with the late Mahdi, he looked forward, or pretended to do so, to the coming of Sayidna Isa (Jesus Christ). I turn now to more material matters. Has it been clearly settled where the castle, called Ghennok, was situated, and which is referred to in the chronicles of the mayors of London. It is mentioned as the castle in which the King, in 1257, put up. A foot-note makes Ghennok equal Glamorgan. I do not for a moment suppose that tc self belongs the idea, but so far -MB I fcrn crtragi of, the opinion which I now offer kxs not been expressed with regard to part of the difficulty found in tracing many place-names, "Vhich are nevertheless lnOTn or believed to hwte existed. Of coursfc, I have been in the main led to the conclusion by facts forced upon my notiee during the writing of these notes and the exa#nisdtion of old maps, parish tithe maps' etc., tTbere, on the fetter, every piece of ground is accurately marked and numbered. Comparing these with existing farms and lands, it is not remarkabkt that I Ttaw come to the conclusion the ♦bgorbing of fields and land! with cots or other .aildit9, adopted by proprietors years tjgo and atill practiced, in the tacking on of snvU holdidgp to neighbouring and larger farms, I and by the joining of two or more farms into one, is tho reaeon, in part, for the names of fields, lands, houses, -tnd even small estates being lost or not now fesceable. Returning, ( shortly, to Sieansea in the 14th century, I ven- ture &e opinion that it did not consist of more than about lr\H-o-doafcn named streets or thorougbftt^, and I estimate there wgre not more than 75 tenants occupying or renting land or h<iaees. Why, ft hundred years ago, if I am not mi.)en, its population was only itbout 0,000, so tlCt for the intejrwsning centuries no tvot pat&reato tea 1io «sid to have been made. We do linow that in 1755, there were only 9,644 hcwacs in the whole of the county. As an indax, possibly act a very safe one, to the busl. ness dose in Ds a shipping iport, etc., amoeg offieers of thj- oat-ports, its Collector ofc Customs (W. Sheqvn), for himself and clerk,, ed fcad* ofL702 and 24 other officers received Qbout X20. It is ,mewhat straaje {rmonft otbor trades which have disappeared from Siwifcea, we hear not a word about st^&w-hat making. About 200 years ag this TPG 4L weli-Itao w n busiuese there. Whether cr not Du.Atable led the Vay in this particular, or folk w€d Swaaaea, I am not able to say Vith resiocl. to Gower, which is more par. ticularly before us, 100 years ago, there n<^ in it -0ny accommodation for man or beas m tiE ebqoo of an ho< el. Ceitainly above Oyster- mouth, there was a lodging-house called Thistle Boon. When speaking of Gower roads, ia it a far cry from them to the Flemings, sheep, and thence to wool? Of course, with respect to the former, the. is small doubt but tnat the Gotwer people are of Flemish origin. This sub- ject tpas discussed by the Cambrian Archseo- logioal Society's meeting, held 37 years ago, while The Cambrian, in 1362, contained bcmhq very interesting correspondence on the matter, which vaas reprinted and exhaustively treated by the Rev. J. Davies, M.A., in his valuable West Gower," 1877. Regarding sheep, Welsh mutton has a reputation par excellence, an for its wool it has c certain celebrity. PrlOr to the 14th aentury, England and Wales fairly held the market for tbo exceeding fineness of their wool and in Edward's timo England and Wales ex- ported this product as far as Turkey, Persia, etc. Bruges, in the King's time, was the great mart for this wool, but the King, quaroolling with the Flemings, removed j the headquarters for wool to England, and for convenience sake, both for buyer and seller, he fixed certain places, as depots in England, that for Wales being Carmarthen. It was at this period that he induced numbers of Flemings to come to this country, who taught the people the making of cloth, &c. In these days of wonderfully and fearfully-made time-tables, it would be a work of superrogation to indicate the route by which to reach the stations nearest to Grower,of which we have been treating. For pedes- trians the rough sketch map will suffice. Assum- ing the explorer takes a ticket to Killay, per the London and North-Western Railway, on reaching which ard alighting, on his left be finds himself in an avenue of trees, through which he walkg leisurely, tor he has a rather long and steep hill to mount. On reaching the top, on the right is seen the hamlet of Dunvant, another station at which Gower can be immediately entered. J 1 the distance are the Brecon Hill5. Turning and facing th3 starting point, a magnificent view of Swansex Bay presents itself. Continuing our way, we pass several recently-built houses which, by the way, are being rapidly added to' The climate, scenery and convenience afforded by the Oemmon no doubt influence many to seek the more free and healthy country air, in preference to the rather stuffy, not tj say polluted, atmosphere of a crowded tc w a. Reach ing a saw mill, in a very few moments Fairwood" Common breaks on the view, with an expanse mcre than the eye can take in. Here mountain ponies, cattle and sheep are quietly grazing without let or hindrance, with miles on all sides to gambol and gallop. On arriving at the first fiug2r post we turn to the left, still having the Common on all sides, till the west end thereof is reached. Opposite a small cot, on the right, is a not much used road, which leads to Kittle Hill' Bishopston, Pennard Church, &c. It was in the latter's yard that Rowland Dawkin, afterwards referred to, was buried. On the right a. rather obscure road past the cot leads to the Farm of Court House, which occupies the site, at least of what is said to be the ancient Court-house' of Gower. Proceeding on the main road, we enter another avenue of trees, whose tops meeting foim almost an arch overhead. Emerging therefrom, we pass the pretty little lodge to Kilvrc ugh, md a short distance further Kilvrough itself. The mansion is some distance from the road, on the left, and occupies the site, I believe of the original building at least we are told that in 1305 William de Breos, with an armed force made his way into the house of William de Lang- ton, at Kilvrough, and tcok him prisoner to the Castle of Ostremuese. The present proprietor and occupier is Admiral Sir Algernon Lyons, son-in- law of the late Thomas Penrice, Esq., who could c claim descent from a very ancient family of the name belonging, centuries ago. to Worcestershire. The eldest branch of the family held Penrice Castle and estate. Genealogy is an interesting study, although somewhat dry," but it is amaz- ing how one becomes excited among the various turns and changes which the tracing of a family history leads to. The first of the Penrice family we know of was a Robert, whose son Robert was designated Lord oi Penrice, Oxwich and Port- eynon, The latter's son, who it is pretty clearly proved, lived in 1203, had a eon, Sir John, who married the heiress of William de Breos, or Brause, of Landymore, and from this stock descended Isabel, sister and only heir of John Penrice, who married Hugh Mansell. Thus the Penrice estates, &c., passed to the Mansells, and we have every reason to know that the last-named family came with, or were gifted members of, "Billy the Norman's" party. How the two families referred to were united to the Turber- villes, Cradocks, Pembroke, &c., is too genealogi- cal and unconnected with our subject to follow, It may be here noted that the statement made in Part IV. respecting the probable date at which Oystermouth Castle was occupied, seems to require amendment, as, from the last record above referred to, it would appear to have been in use at least 24 years earlier than that mentioned in my previous notes. Kilvrough was re-built in 1585, by Rowland Dawkin, who married a Bowen, of Ilston parish. Major-General Dawkin was connected with Swansea in its municipal and other ways. Leav- ing the mansion last named, on the grounds of which, adjoining the highway, not a few pheasants may be seen quietly feeding, heedless of foot or other passenger, seemingly and in reality used to the ways of man, our walk is down a slight declivity, shaded right and left with trees. Crawley Woods to the left, a dense mass of brushwood and trees on the right, till the hamlet of Parkmill is reached, where food and rest for man and beast can be had. There a little limpid stream runs through this peaceful place a pretty school-house, an old water wheel, and two or three houses, which are stamped with marks of some antiquity. At the foot of the rising ground, at the end of the village to the left, standing on the edge of a wild precipitous sand and stony hill, overlooking the valley beneath, are the ruins of Pennard Castle, which, at one time, no doubt, commanded the sea and creek loading to Gower. This stronghold has the appearance of having been built in tumultuous times. There is little about it which can be called a monument of architectural beauty, and little, rery little, have I been able to trace regarding its history. Pro- cetfding up the rising ground, on the left a ravine, the right rocky ground covered with trees and close thicket, reaching the most elevated spot, an expansive view is presented to the traveller for many miles rortd. Further on we pass, on the ?jght, a gatehouse and an entrance to Park-le- Breos, and then reach Penmaen Church. K':

"THE CIRCUS GIRL" NEXT WEEK,

THE LATE MR. LL. COUCH.

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