Pennal - From 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' (1849)
PENNAL, a parish, comprising the Upper and Lower divisions, in the union of Machynlleth, hundred of Estimaner, county of Merioneth, North Wales, 4 miles (W.) from Machynlleth, and 14 (E. N. E.) from Aberystwith; containing 678 inhabitants, of whom 264 are in the Upper, and 414 in the Lower division. This parish is situated on the rivers Dovey and Dulas, and intersected by the turnpike-road from Machynlleth to Aberdovey and Towyn. It comprises 8349 acres, of which 3152 are common or waste. The soil is thin and poor, but in the lower grounds not altogether unproductive; the declivities of the hills afford a scanty pasturage for sheep and young cattle. Peat, which forms the principal fuel of the inhabitants, is found in various parts. The village is small, and presents rather a picturesque appearance; petty-sessions for the hundred are held here every alternate month. The living is a perpetual curacy, endowed with �200 royal bounty, and �1400 parliamentary grant, the latter sum now invested in �1584 three per cent. reduced Bank annuities; net income, �75; patron and impropriator, the Bishop of Lichfield, whose tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of �225. The church, dedicated to St. Peter, was rebuilt about seventy years ago, with the materials of an ancient Roman fortress, called Cevn Caer; but, as the edifice is entirely covered with stucco, the old Roman bricks are not discernible: it is situated near the western extremity of the parish, and is attended by many families from the contiguous parish of Towyn. There are places of worship for Calvinistic Methodists, Independents, and Wesleyan Methodists. A day school affords instruction to about twenty children, six of whom are taught free at the expense of Miss Thurston, of Talgarth; the remainder are paid for by their parents. Five Sunday schools are also held. In 1774, Margaret Carr bequeathed �20, the interest of which is annually distributed among the poor.
Of the Roman fortress of Cevn Caer, nothing but the site is remaining. Several coins of Domitian, Augustus, and Tiberius, have been dug up on the spot; and in a turbary at no great distance from it was found a spear-head, evidently of Roman construction. From this situation is obtained a fine view of the river Dovey to its mouth, and of Cardigan bay, with the Cardiganshire coast, and the parts adjacent. At Esgair Llyverin, in the parish, are preserved the bed and furniture prepared for the reception of Charles I. at Machynlleth, when on his way through the country to Chester; having been removed to this place from an ancient mansion still remaining in the town of Machynlleth. In the grounds of Pant-yLludw is a yew-tree of amazing growth: the trunk is thirty-two feet in girth, at the height of six inches from the ground, and forty-eight feet in height; and the largest branch nine feet in girth, and forty-four in length.