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place for the reception of local antiquities. The castle could hardly receive a more honourable destination, and the sometimes opposing principles of dignity and utility would be here most happily and harmoniously united. That the crown would give a favourable reception to such a petition, if properly presented, we have little doubt; and it would form an excellent precedent, which might be imitated with equally good results at Conwy, Beaumarais, Harlech, Denbigh, Pembroke, Cardigan, and indeed all county towns where there are still those castles, of which Wales is so justly proud. If the crown led the way in this good act of encouragement for the preservation of national antiquities, we cannot doubt that the patriotism of the nobility and gentry of Wales—of all private owners of castles, – would stimulate them to similar deeds of wise and truly conservative munificence. —ED. ARCH. CAMB.]
To the Editor of the Archaeologia Cambrensis.
DEAR SIR, - I have been recently inspecting the extensive and judicious reparations going on by order of the Commissioners of Woods and Forests at Caernarvon castle. The architect employed by government is Anthony Salvin, Esq., and there is under him Calcott, Esq. No soil nor rubbish is to be cleared out of the castle, saving a heap under the Queen's gate— nor are the town walls to be touched at all. The orders received are, to preserve the present outline—repair the whole exterior, filling up holes— mending turrets and battlements — and supplying quoins to the windows and loopholes. Those parts on the sides of the ancient walls from which other rectangular walls, now fallen to pieces, had branched off, and which are marked by a vertical strip of decay, will be completely repaired, and a toothing left to indicate the spot.
Can any of your antiquarian friends, who may have examined the remains of this castle attentively, inform me as to where and how its junction with the town walls was made on the south eastern side 2 Are we to suppose that some outwork has been there destroyed which formerly existed I am led to put this question from having often looked at this valuable military edifice with a careful eye, and not having been able to find upon the curtains or towers any traces of this end of the wall. If the town wall touched the castle, 1 should presume that it must have been firmly built into the outward defences of that edifice; and therefore I should suppose that some traces would still remain ; but there are none. Part of the town wall comes into the street opposite the castle, and there has been evidently broken through ; but we lose all traces of it when we turn to the castle itself. I have heard persons express doubts as to whether the town walls ever did actually join the castle at this part; — but on this supposition the circuit would have been incomplete. I am, Sir, &c., ARvoNIENSIs.
Caernarvon, Dec. 1st, 1845.
[We are partly able to satisfy the curiosity of our correspondent, though we would rather refer him to the observations of local antiquaries. Possibly the repairs now going on, by order of her Majesty's government, at Caernarvon castle, (for the originating of which we believe we are indebted to the suggestions made to, and acted upon by, the central committee of the British Archaeological Association in 1844, though we have heard that it is due to the strenuous representations made to government by Mr. Justice Coleridge.) may throw light upon this as well as other points, concerning this splendid monument of Edward's military grandeur. In a French atlas of England and Wales, A.D. 1767, (a reprint, we believe, of Ogilby's atlas,) we find a plan of Caernarvon, with the circuit of the town walls quite complete. The wall joined the castle, according to this plan, at that corner of the great tower flanking the Queen's gate towards the water, which is nearest to the gate itself, -at the inner angle that is to say, - so that the Queen's gate, with its drawbridge, opend ocithin the circuit of the walls upon a kind of esplanade. Just at the entrance of the street on the north eastern side of the castle was a gateway leading into the town between two large semicircular towers in the town wall. Perhaps some of our readers at Caernarvon will have the goodness to examine the town archives for information upon this point. The circumstance of no traces of the junction of the walls being observable upon the face of the curtain, need not surprise our correspondent. For although the architects of the middle ages understood their profession thoroughly in most points, they often neglected to bond walls together. Instances of this may be seen in several of the Anglo-Norman castles of Wales; particularly at Beaumarais, where the arrangement of the buildings in the great court is almost inexplicable on account of this practice. We allude to the two large fire places north of the chapel doorway, and should be glad to receive from any antiquarian who may visit that valuable building any suggestions upon this subject. We would propose to our correspondent Arconiensis the following questions relating to Beaumarais castle, which we never have been able to get solved to our own satisfaction: — Did the town walls join that castle at jo If so, where was the junction ? We wish we could learn that government intended to repair the walls of the town of Caernarvon, which are inferior only to those of Conwy for the excellence of their preservation and their picturesque effect. We are afraid that the inhabitants do not value these relics of their former military importance so much as they ought. The walls, no less than the castle, confer peculiar interest and dignity on the town; they are some of the most precious testimonies of historical dignity still remaining in that locality. While upon this subject, we may add that we have heard from excellent authority of its being the intention of Sir R. B. W. Bulkeley to repair the whole, and restore portions of Beaumarais, castle. If such munificent intentions be carried into effect, the whole Principality will be under fresh obligations to the noble and public spirited family, whose name is identified with Mona and its capital. —Ed. ARCH. CAMB.]
To the Editor of the Archaeologia Cambrensis.
LLANDILo, Nov. 1, 1845.
SIR,-A signet ring has lately been found near Kidwelly castle, in the county of Caermarthen; and I forward an impression of it to you, in the hope that some of your correspondents may be able to decypher the meaning of the letters it bears. This castle, as you are aware, is one of considerable extent. It was built soon after the Conquest, by Maurice, or, as some say, William, de Londres, one of the Norman adventurers who assisted Robert Fitzhamon in the conquering of Morganwg (Glamorganshire and some of the adjoining districts.) We do not know the precise date of the first erection, but it is conjectured to have been about 1093–4. It was soon afterwards destroyed by Cadogan ap Bleddyn, and in 1114 fell into the possession of Gruffydd ap Rhys; but about the end of the same century (1190) that prince's son, Rhys ap Gruffydd, is stated to have thoroughly repaired and strengthened it, making it one of the finest castles in South Wales. The
aRchAEol. cAMB. vol. 1.] G
family of the original founder ultimately came into possession of it again, by conquest as it is said, and an heiress of that house conveyed it, by marriage, to #. Earl of Lancaster. Since that period it has remained subject to the jurisdiction of the Duchy of Lancaster. The following is the conclusion of a charter made at that place:—“Given at our castle of Kedwelli, the tenth day of the month of May, in the sixth year of the reign of King Edward, the son of King Edward.” This date corresponds to 10th May, 1313.
The ruins — which are valuable to the architect, the antiquarian, and the lover of the picturesque—deserve that some care should be taken of them, and that the ravages of time should, as far as possible, be prevented or remedied. I understand that the Commissioners of the Woods and Forests are inclined to allot money for the preservation of the crown castles; and perhaps, if proper application were made to them by some influential person, a small grant might be obtained.—I remain, Sir, &c., AN ANTIQUARY.
[We have shewn the impression so kindly communicated by our correspondent to an eminent palaeographer and archaeologist, the Rev. F. R. RAINEs, F.S.A., in whose opinion we place implicit confidence. He has had the goodness to send us the following upon the subject: —
“The impression of the signet ring is very perfect — unusually so, when the date is considered. It cannot be later, I imagine, than the reign of Edward II., or the beginning of his successor's reign. I have referred to a large collection of seals of those kings' reigns, and I find the style of this ring generally prevalent about the period named. The matrix-formed seal had passed away, and armorial bearings had not become general, although not quite unknown. The cypher surmounted by a crown—allegorical or typical of immortality—was a device of the commonest description, nor was it ever altogether displaced until about the Reformation, when rude initial letters, without the ancient ecclesiastical badge, were used by those individuals who were not entitled to the use of arms. The Longobardic letters appear to me to be Holt, but the final letter may have a signification unknown to me.”
The hint thrown out by our valued correspondent at Llandilo, relative to Kidwelly castle, shall not be lost sight of. We wish that we had the means of making known to persons in office the requirements of the antiquarian, or rather let us say of the enlightened, portion of society—with regard to all monuments belonging to the Crown. To few purposes could a public grant of money be so well applied: not much is wanted; local emulation, and the generosity of the neighbouring nobility and gentry would, in most cases, furnish the rest. The preservation of national antiquities is a powerful mean for instructing the national mind:—respect and esteem for the monuments of the country are always transferred thence to the country itself, and its time-honoured institutions; and those who esteem such things and such institutions will not readily lift their hands or their voices against the one or the other.— Ed. ARCH. CAMB.]
To the Editor of the Archaeologia Cambrensis.
LLANDIlo, Nov. 28, 1845. DEAR SIR,- I send you the following inscription, taken from a tomb in the church of Llangathen, Caermarthenshire. It refers to one of the bishops of St. David's, who occurs in the list of prelates of that see between Bisho Middleton and Bishop Milbourne, that is to say, from 1593 to 1615. The same o is in the list of deans of Gloucester, between Lawrence Humphrey and Griffith Lewis, or from 1584 to 1594.— I remain, &c., R. B. WILLIAMs. HIc 1ACET Anthonius Rudd, Natione Anglus, Patria Eboracensis, in Sacra Theologia Doctor, Gloustrensis Ecclesiae quondam decanus, Et Maenevensis Ecclesiae Episcopus Vigilantissimus, qui Plus Minus Viginti Anis Suma cum Prudentia Moderabatur, qui E. Latissima Faemina Anna Doltona, Equestri Doltonorum Familia Oriunda, duos Suscepit Optimae Spei Filios. Vixit, AEternum Surrecturus, Martii Nono, Anū Domini 1614. AEtatis Vero suae 66. Hoc Monumentum Pietatis Ergo Maestissima Coniux Posuit, ultimo Die Octobris Anū Domi 1616.
CHESTER, 4th November, 1845. MR. Editor, In the sixth number of the Archaeological Journal I find, at p. 210, the following passage:— “Mr. Charles W. Goodwin, Fellow of Catharine hall, Cambridge, communicated sketches of two coffin slabs, ornamented with highly decorated crosses flory, which were disinterred, a few years since, from beneath the flooring of the church of Llandudno, on the promontory of Ormshead, near Conwy. They are formed of blue stone, apparently a kind of slate; and the foliated ornaments, which cover the entire surface, are carved in low relief. The dimensions of the larger slab are six feet by two feet at the head, and one foot six inches at the foot. The other slab measures five feet six inches by one foot eight inches at the head, and one foot at the foot. Mr. Goodwin stated that, as far as he could ascertain, no coffins were found with them; and that he was inclined to suppose they had been brought from Gogarth, where the Bishops of Bangor had a palace, a few miles distant from Ormshead. At the time when the slabs were found, the church of Llandudno was dismantled; and a fine screen, which, according to tradition, had been brought from Gogarth, was, as well as the carved roof of the chancel, carried away to serve as fuel.” I merely point out this passage to your notice, in order that I may ascertain through your means, where these tombstones or coffin-lids have been carried to. I can hear no tidings of them at Conwy. Have they been broken up for road-stuff, like the screen and roof for fuel ?—Your obedient servant, AN ANTIQUARY. [Our correspondent may well ask this question; but for an answer, we fear he must only look to the winds that howl around the bleak promontory on which the abandoned church of Llandudno still stands. We have never heard of them ourselves, although we frequently visit Conwy. , Possibly, one of our correspondents, who is now engaged in an architectural survey of Caernarvonshire, may succeed in obtaining some intelligence concerning them, if, indeed, (which we fear is not improbable,) they have not been broken up for the road or the railway. Such vandalism would by no means surprise us in the latitude of Conwy. While upon this subject, we may observe that it is indeed a melancholy sight to see the church of Llandudno, one of the oldest cells in Wales, nearly all unroofed, and abandoned to the winds and the rains. Admitting that it was necessary to build a new church at the foot of the promontory, for the use of the small town now growing upon the flat land, yet the least that could have been done would have been to see that the ancient, building was not suffered to go to decay. A memorial, such as this simple building, of the rude but enduring piety which led St. Tudno to that stormy solitude, is one of the monuments of the ancient British church, – valueless, perhaps, in itself, for any architectural beauties, but of no small importance as a proof and tangible illustration of early ecclesiastical history. How is it possible that this act of desecration on the part of the parochial authorities can have been overlooked by their ecclesiastical superiors ?
Mr. Goodwin is in error when he styles Gogarth as “a few miles distant from Ormeshead.” It is the narrow slip of cultivable land on the south western side of the promontory, upon which are still some remains of the building supposed to have formed a residence for the Bishops of Bangor.— Ed. of ARCH. CAMB.]
ORIGIN OF ST. PATRICK.
SIR-In Rowlands's Mona Antiqua, p. 156, I find the following mention of St. Patrick:— “Patricius or Patrick, a Stradcluid Briton, being sent by Caelestine, Bishop of Rome, to convert the Irish; and on his way to Ireland, visiting St. Elian, in Anglesey, caused a church to be built on the water-side, where he took shipping, called Llanbadrick." And on referring to Rees's Welsh Saints, p. 128, where he quotes the Achau y Saint, and refers to several traditions concerning St. Patrick, I observe, that, while that learned author considers Llanbadric church, in Anglesey, to have been built by another person of that name, viz., Padrig, son of Aelfryd ab Goronwy, he shews that St. Patrick, the apostle of the Irish, was a Welshman, and a native of Glamorganshire. Pray are the Irish antiquarians aware of this facto for, if I mistake not, St. Patrick is claimed by them as a true native of the Emerald isle.— Your obedient servant, A CAMBRIAN. Pembroke, Oct. 23, 1845.
OUR readers will be glad to learn that the splendid oaken roof of Cilcain church, in the county of Flint, is safe. It was in a state of great dilapidation, owing to a faulty covering; and, probably, had not been put up in the best way after its removal thither from Basingwerk abbey. Owing, however, to the activity of the Rev. W. H. Owen, of Rhyddlan, who called the attention of the Archaeological Institute to its condition, Ambrose Poynter, Esq., was induced to undertake the repairing of it; and the works are now going on,