preface Monmouthshire and Wales
  A  TOUR THROUGH MONMOUTHSHIRE AND WALES  Made in the Months of JUNE, and JULY, 1774.
And in the Months of JUNE children, JULY, and AUGUST, 1777  By HENRY PENRUDDOCKE WYNDHAM

This book was purchased by my grandfather had some time before 1935 and someone has written in pencil on the back liner  "16 beautiful plates by Grimm  12/6."


  Frontispiece  picture to be scanned

A View from then Pont Aberglastyn, which divides Merioneth from Caernarvonshire.

Published 1st January 1780, according to the Act of Parliament,      by Edward Easton
S. H. Grimm del.                                                                                                                                      Sparrow sculp


T   O   U   R

W   A   L   E   S,

Made in the Months of JUNE, and JULY, 1774.

And in the Months of JUNE children, JULY, and AUGUST, 1777.


Ad quæ noscenda iter ingredi, transmittere mare solemus, ea sub oculis posita negligimus;
        proximorum incuriosi, longinqua sectamur. Plinii Epist. Lib. viii. Epist.  20.






P   R   E   F   A   C   E

To the first Edition

T H E  author of the following tour has no other view in the publication of it, than a desire of inducing his countrymen to consider Wales, as an object worthy of attention.

THE romantic beauties of nature are so singular and extravagant in this principality, particularly in the counties of Merioneth and Caernarvon, that they are scarcely to be conceived by those, who have confined their curiosity to the other parts of Great Britain.

NOTWITHSTANDING this, the Welsh tour has been, hitherto, strangely neglected; for, while the English roads are crowded with travelling parties of pleasure, the Welsh are so rarely visited, that the author did not meet with a single party of pleasure, during his six-weeks journey through Wales.


WE must account for this, from the general prejudice which prevails, that the Welsh roads are impracticable, the Inns intolerable, and the people insolent and brutish

THE writer of these sheets is happy, that he is enabled to remove such discouraging apprehensions, and to assure the reader, that, in the low, level countries, the turnpike roads are excellent; and that the mountainous roads are, in most parts, as good as the nature of the country will admit of; that the inns, with a few exceptions, are comfortable, and that the inhabitants are universally civil and obliging.

THE author has only to regret, that he did not make his tour more complete; for he is now convinced, that he omitted to see many places, as well in the principality, as in Monmouthshire, which would have richly repaid his curiosity.  But the little intelligence he could learn from former publications, and the trifling assistance he could obtain from the natives, must plead his excuse.

As the names of the places in the 2 0 written according to the Welsh orthography, it is necessary to inform the English reader, that the material difference in the pronunciation depends on the following characters.


C, in Welsh, is always pronounced as K  in English.

F, as V.

G., as G hard in Gun, and never soft as in Gin.

W., as Oo in good.

Dd, as Th in therefore.

Ll, as Thl,  strongly aspirated.

Y, in any syllable of a word, except the last, as U in burn: but in the last syllable, as the English I in birth.

A specimen of the two last characters occurs in the word Llanvyllyn, a town in Montgomery show, which is pronounced Thlan-vuth-lin.

Thus far the original preface.

The preface

To  the present Edition

IN the present volume, the reader will find many places described, which, for want of necessary information, were omitted in the first edition; and will more moreover see some of the most interesting objects illustrated by engravings, made from very faithful designs: these will give him that a genuine idea of the face of the country, to which mere description is inadequate, and enable him to form a much more accurate estimate of its beauties, both of nature and art, then he could have done without these auxiliaries.

As this tour is rather intended for the general traveller, than for the particular inhabitant, the author has endeavoured to confine his observations to those things only, which, he thought, most necessary to be known, or most deserving to be seen.


FOR, if he had deeply engaged himself in enumerating the several vicissitudes of each castle or lordship, or in tracing the genealogies and histories of the several families, to which they have, in different ages, appertained -- or, if he had scrutinised  the origin of every local custom, or of the particular manners, which are to be met with in the different parts of Wales; every county would, at least, have required a volume to itself.

SUCH a minute detail might well suit with the history of a single town or village; but, he hopes that it the reader would agree with him, that it was unnecessary to crowd the following pages with incidents, which could be agreeable to those people alone, who, from local connections, might be interested in the relation of them.

FOR this reason, the author has not attempted to describe every pleasing spot, or prospect, which occurred to him in his tours; though he will venture to assert, that he has left nothing undescribed, which was uncommonly grand or beautiful, or which deserve to be pointed out to the attention of a stranger.

IT is not the least of a traveller's inconveniences, that he is often led to visit very unimportant objects, deceived by the ostentatious eulogy of the owners, or the bigotted partiality of the inhabitants: from such disappointments no traveller is free; but if he recounts his adventure

to the public, it should be his care to avoid burdening it with uninteresting relations, and he should endeavour to make for it, that selection of things worthy to be remembered, which in the mere viewing them, he may not always have been able to make for himself.

THE author has long experienced, and has often too few occasion to lament, that he ran more risque, in his journeys, of seeing too much, than too little.  The first has frequently happened, the latter rarely.  However, he willingly made this sacrifice to the civility of his friends, and with the satisfaction at least, that, if he did not please himself by such excursions, he was always certain of pleasing them.

HE needs not, after this, to inform his readers, that it has been his chief concern to avoid conducting them in pursuit of trifles, or subjecting them to those inconveniences, of which he now complains; but, notwithstanding all his caution and endeavours to the contrary, he still feels himself more afraid of censure, from having recommended too many objects, than too few.

IT may, probably, be objected, that in the engravings, which are inserted in this volume, have not been properly selected, and the many of the most romantic ruins, which are to be found within limits of the tour, have been omitted: If, for instance, such buildings as those of Chepstow, Tintern, Pembroke, Conway, &c have not met with a place


in this work; it is because they have been frequently published, and are too well known to be again repeated; those only are here introduced, which have either never been engraven, or which have not been made familiar to the world by the late numerous publications.

WE need not be apprehensive, that the collection, however large, is yet perfect; every flower cannot have been transplanted from so large a field: many a landscape, and many a ruin have still escaped the diligent searches of the painter; and author's only difficultly was, which to prefer, among the many that occurred to him, as most deserving to be presented to the publick eye: but, of this part of the work he is under no anxiety, as it will be sufficient to add, that all the views were taken on the spot by Mr. Grimm, who accompanied him in his second journey, and that they were engraven by  artists, who have done ample justice to the pencil of so eminent a draughtsman.

created April 10 2005 Hugh Watkins
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