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PedicaHonS of Cardiganshire Churches
HE present instalment deals with the ancient churches, and
chapelries subsidiary to them, which are situated in the
hundreds of liar and Penarth. According to John Speed who
performed his map in the year 1610, there were then "seated"
in the whole County sixty-four Parish Churches for God's divine and
daily service. In the hundred of liar there are quite two dozen
ancient Churches and Chapels-of-ease, and of these, the greater
number are to be found studded along the sea-board extending from
Henfynyw to Aberystwyth. In the Eastern portion of this hundred
which is contiguous to Radnorshire and which may be described as
the hinterland of the County, comprising as it does much craggy
mountain and lake-land there are only one or two Churches, while in
the neighbouring hundred of Penarth, which also contains much rough
moorland and uninhabited solitudes and in which was situated the
erstwhile extensive Rescob forest, there are only six ancient Churches
and subsidary Chapels all told.
In order to pursue our subject with some method and order, we
intend to follow the coastline extending from Henfynyw to Aber-
ystwyth, where as it has already been stated the Churches are most
At HENFYNYW (Old Menevia) we have an ancient Church
which was "restored" in the year 1866, dedicated to St. David.
The name of this Saint needs no introduction, as among the four
hundred and seventy saints to whom Wales lays claim St. David
stands pre-eminent, and is familiar alike to Englishmen and
Welshmen. His father was a powerful Cardiganshire prince,
Sandde, the son of Ceredig lord of Ceredigion, his mother being
Non the daughter of Gynyr of Caergawch, Pembrokeshire. It
is said by Giraldus Cambrensis that he was born at the place
since called St. David's. The same author adds that he was
brought up and received his early education at Old Menevia, or
Henfenyw in Welsh, a word which according to the opinion of some
etymologists means, the old bush," the compound being borrowed
from two languages, hen the Welsh for old and muni the Irish
term for a bush. In the Taxatio of Pope Nicholas, Henfynyw is
given in the forms Hendmene and Hevene which support the idea
that the word is derived from hen and meini, i.e., old stones and
that the form of the word has been changed into Henfynyw in order to
establish a connection with the history of St. David, who is said
to have spent some of his early years at Old Menevia. Another and
more probable derivation of the word is Mainaw a narrow water,
frith, or strait, which makes it correspond with St. David's or some
spot near the Western promontory of Pembrokeshire.
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