Dogmael's, St. (St. Dogfael) - From 'A Topographical Dictionary of Wales' (1849)
DOGMAEL'S, ST. (ST. DOGFAEL), a parish, in the union of Cardigan, hundred of Kemmes, county of Pembroke, South Wales, 1 mile (W.) from Cardigan; containing 2478 inhabitants. This place is of considerable antiquity, and is connected with some events of importance during the earlier periods of the history of the principality. In 987, the Danes, who had effected a landing on this part of the coast, after ravaging and laying waste the surrounding country, plundered and burnt the church here. In the reign of William Rufus, Llewelyn and Einon sons of Cadivor ab Collwyn, and Einon ab Collwyn their uncle, formed a conspiracy against Rhŷs ab Tewdwr, Prince of South Wales; and having prevailed upon Grufydd ab Meredydd, another chief of that country, to join them, advanced with their united forces to St. Dogmael's, where Rhŷs at that time resided, hoping to attack him by surprise. But Rhŷs was fully prepared for the encounter, and a severe and well-contested battle took place near the village, in which, after much slaughter on both sides, the confederates were totally defeated. Llewelyn and Einon were both killed in the engagement, and Grufydd was taken prisoner after the battle, and beheaded as a traitor. Einon ad Collwyn, the only leader who escaped, fled for refuge to Iestyn ab Gwrgan, lord of Morganwg, who was at that time at enmity with Rhŷs; and, suggesting to him the fatal expedient of having recourse to Norman auxiliaries, introduced into that part of the country a power which afterwards displayed itself in violent acts of aggression, finally depriving Iestyn of his dominions, which were distributed among the Norman knights.
A monastery of the order of Tirone was begun here by Martin de Tours, who forcibly obtained possession of the district of Kemmes, in the reign of William the Conqueror. It was completed by his son, Robert Fitz-Martin, in the reign of Henry I.; and was dedicated to St. Mary. Its revenue, at the time of the Dissolution, was estimated at �96. 0. 2., and the monastery was granted to John Bradshaw, who lies buried beneath the chancel, under a tombstone bearing the following inscription:�"Hic jacet Johannes Bradshaw, Armiger, qui obiit ultimo die Maii, A.D. 1588." Of this family was Bradshaw who presided at the trial of Charles I. The buildings, which were in the early style of English architecture, appear to have been substantial, and on a considerable scale: the remains consist of part of the choir and transept of the church, and the refectory, which has been converted into a barn.
The village is pleasantly situated on the banks of the river Teivy, and is intersected by a small rivulet, across which, and serving as a foot bridge, was a Roman monumental stone, about five feet and a half in length, bearing the inscription "Acrani Fili: Cvnotami:" it has, however, been removed, and is now placed in the corner of a wall near the church. The parish comprises 5900 acres. The surrounding scenery is pleasant, and in some parts picturesque; the view embracing the course of the river Teivy to its influx into the sea, with the town of Cardigan and its ancient bridge, is exceedingly interesting. The lands are nearly all inclosed and in a good state of cultivation, and the soil is generally fertile and productive. A salmon fishery is advantageously carried on during the summer, and a herring fishery in the autumn and winter, affording employment to such of the inhabitants as are not engaged in agricultural pursuits. A portion of the town of Cardigan extends into the hamlet of Bridge-End, in this parish, and is now, under the provisions of the Boundary Act, included within the enlarged limits of that borough: one of the Cardigan fairs is held here.
The living is a discharged vicarage, rated in the king's books at �4. 13. 4., and endowed with private benefaction and royal bounty; net income, �143; patron, the Lord High Chancellor; impropriator, W. Deedes, Esq. The impropriate tithes of St. Dogmael's have been commuted for a rent-charge of �408. 11., and the vicarial for one of �70. The church is dedicated to St. Thomas. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, and Calvinistic Methodists; and six Sunday schools, one of them in connexion with the Established Church. The union workhouse is situated here. The sum of �3 per annum, partly bequeathed by William Rowland in 1738, and partly by his grandson, is distributed in clothes and money among the poor on EasterMonday. There is a strong chalybeate spring in the parish.