Online Encyclopedia

PONTYPRIDD

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 72 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PONTYPRIDD, a parish, market town, and urban district, in the eastern parliamentary division of Glamorganshire, Wales, situated on the Taff at its junction with the Rhondda, on the Taff Vale railway, and on the Glamorganshire Canal, 12 M. N.N.W. from Cardiff, 12 S. from Merthyr-Tydfil, and 169 by rail from London. It is also connected with Newport by a Great Western line 184 m. long. Pop. (1901), 32,316. It receives its name from a remarkable bridge of one arch spanning the Taff, erected in 1755 by William Edwards, a self-taught mason. The bridge is a perfect segment of a circle, the chord being 140 ft., and the height at low water 36 ft. A three-arched bridge was erected close to it in 1857. The town is built at the junction of the three parishes of Llanwonno, Llantwit Fardre and Eglwysilan, out of portions of which Glyntaff was formed into an ecclesiastical parish in x848, and from this Pontypridd was carved in 1884. The urban district was constituted into a civil parish in 1894. The church of St Catherine, built in 1868, enlarged in 1885, is in early Decorated style; other places of worship are the Baptist, Calvinistic Methodist, Congregational, and Wesleyan chapels. The principal secular buildings are a masonic hall, town-hall built above the market, free library (189o), county intermediate school (1895) and court-house. Near the town is a far-famed rocking-stone 91 tons in weight, known as the Maen Chwyf, round which a circle of small stones was set up in the middle of the 19th century under the direction of Myvyr Morganwg, who used to style himself archdruid of Cambridge, and from 1649 till the passing of the Act of Uniformity (1662) held the rectory of St Michael le Querne, London. Subsequent troubles led to his withdrawal to Holland, and he died at Amsterdam in 1679. The work with which his name is principally associated is the Synopsis criticorum biblicorum (5 vols. fol., 1669-1676), in which he summarizes the views of one hundred and fifty biblical critics. He also wrote English Annotations on the Holy Bible, as far as Isa. lviii.—a work which was completed by several of his Nonconformist brethren, and published in 2 vols. fol. in 1683.
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