5. Caer-gai, Carndochan, Hen Gapel

Caer-gai Chwaraeodd Caer-gai ran ganolog yn hanes Llanuwchllyn o gyfnod cynnar iawn. Yma roedd caer y Rhufeiniaid yn yr ardal ac fe welwch ei siâp yn fras hyd heddiw wrth edrych ar y wal sy’n amgylchynu’r lle. Er nad oes fawr iawn o hanes y gaer wedi ei gofnodi fe wnaed nifer o ddarganfyddiadau yma ar hyd y blynyddoedd, gan gynnwys gwaelod allor a charreg fedd, ac os syllwch chi ar furiau’r tŷ ei hun fe welwch rai o’r cerrig coch meddal a ddefnyddiwyd yn y gaer yma ac acw ymhlith y cerrig caletach, lleol. Ni fedrai unrhyw un fod wedi dewis lleoliad gwell i gaer, gan ei bod ar fryncyn ac y gallwch weld y prif lwybrau i gyd oddi yma. Gwnaed cryn waith ar y ffyrdd Rhufeinig oedd yn arwain yma yn ddiweddar, a gellir olrhain y llwybrau tua Chaer i’r dwyrain, Caersws i’r de, Tomen y Mur i’r gogledd a’r Brithdir i’r gorllewin. Ond nid fel caer yn unig y mae hynodrwydd i Gaer-gai. Bu’n gartref i nifer o feirdd ac yn gartref lle’r oedd nawdd i’r beirdd. Un o’r beirdd amlycaf a fu fyw yma oedd Tudur Penllyn yn y bymthegfed ganrif oedd yn borthmon ac yn un o gefnogwyr Harri Tudur yn ei ymgyrch i ennill coron Lloegr. Yna, yn yr ail ganrif ar bymtheg, Rowland Fychan Rowland Fychan. Roedd Rowland yn gyfieithydd hefyd yn ei ddydd ac fe’i cofir hefyd am fod yn Gapten ym myddin y Brenin yn ystod y Rhyfel Cartref. Fe’i carcharwyd am gyfnod yng Nghaer am ei drafferth ac fe losgwyd ei gartref i’r llawr, a thanio’r tân trwy roi menyn dan y grisiau mae’n debyg. Yr hyn a welwn ni heddiw yw’r tŷ newydd a gododd pan ddychwelodd i’w etifeddiaeth ac mae ganddo nifer o benillion ac englynion o’i waith ar y muriau, yn eu plith mae: Llawer caer yn daer i’w dydd – a losgwyd Lesgwaith gwŷr di-grefydd Y gaer hon i gywir rhydd, Caer gain yw Caer gai newydd. A’r pennill sy’n nodweddiadol iawn o Rowland Fychan a’i ddaliadau: Rho glod i bawb yn ddibrin A châr dy frawd cyffredin, Ofna Dduw cans hyn sydd dda, Ac anrhydedda’r brenin. Roedd Caer-gai yn Stad o dir am ganrifoedd ond erbyn y ddeunawfed ganrif, merch, Mary Mainwaring, oedd yr etifeddes a chan nad oedd yn byw yn yr ardal fe werthwyd y Stad gyfan, fel sawl un arall, i Stad Glan- llyn.
Caer-gai Caer-gai has played a central role in the history of Llanuwchllyn throughout the centuries. This is the site of the Romans’ fort in the area, and its rough outline is still reflected in the stone wall that encloses the site. Although very little of the fort’s history has been recorded, a number of archaeological discoveries through the centuries have given an indication of its history, including the base of an altar and a gravestone, and if you look carefully at the stonework of the house, you will find several pieces of red sandstone used in the fort amongst the harder, local stones. It would be difficult to find a better location for a fort, as it is on a spur overlooking the main routes into the area. A great deal of research has been undertaken into the Roman roads in the area recently, and now the routes towards Chester to the north-east, Caersws to the south, Tomen y Mur to the north-west and Brithdir to the west can be traced. But Caer-gai also deserves recognition in other spheres. It was home to several poets and was renowned for the patronage its inhabitants offered to the travelling poets. One of the most prominent poets who lived here was Tudur Penllyn in the fifteenth century who was a cattle drover and a keen supporter of Henry Tudor in his campaign against Richard III; then in the seventeenth century, Rowland Vaughan lived here. Rowland was a translator and a poet, he is also remembered as a Captain in the Royalist army during the English Civil War. He was imprisoned for a period at Chester and his home was burnt to the ground by the Parliamentarians, who lit the fire by setting fire to butter under the staircase, according to local tradition. The house we see today is the house he re-built after the war and many short poems of his can be seen on the red sandstone in the walls: Llawer caer yn daer i’w dydd – a losgwyd Lesgwaith gwŷr di-grefydd Y gaer hon i gywir rhydd, Caer gain yw Caer gai newydd. (Many forts have been burnt, the work of faithless men, this fort is for the true, the new Caer gai is a fine fort) And a verse that conveys his fundamental tenets in life: Rho glod i bawb yn ddibrin A châr dy frawd cyffredin, Ofna Dduw cans hyn sydd dda, Ac anrhydedda’r brenin. (Praise all without exception, and love your common brother, fear God as this is good, and honour the king.) Caer-gai had extensive lands in the area for centuries but by the eighteenth century, Mary Mainwaring was the last surviving heiress, and the estate was sold to the Glan-llyn Estate.
Carndochan Fe ellid dweud mai oherwydd lleoliad amlwg Carndochan yn Llanuwchllyn y mae’n cael lle yr un mor amlwg yn ei hanes. Mewn llên gwerin honnid mai Rhirid Flaidd oedd yn rheoli’r castell a’i fod yn cynnal gwleddoedd gwych yno. Credid bod aur wedi ei guddio dan lawr y castell ac y byddai’n dod yn storm fawr o fellt a tharanau petai unrhyw un yn ceisio cloddio amdano. Mae traddodiad hefyd bod Rhirid Flaidd wedi rhoi daliad Ty Cerrig, Penantlliw i deulu ei delynor am ei wasanaeth iddo. Anodd heddiw yw canfod unrhyw dystiolaeth o hynny, ond mae un ddogfen ddifyr yn sôn am y lle a allai awgrymu trwy’r cyfeiriad at y ‘Stone House’ bod y stori honno yn wir. Ond beth mae hanes ac archeoleg yn ei ddweud am y lle. Yn sicr mae enw’r safle yn awgrymu bod ei hanes yn ymestyn i gyfnod cynharach na’r castell a welir heddiw. Efallai bod y glain hardd a ddarganfuwyd yn agos i’r castell ym Mehefin 1923 yn cadarnhau hynny, neu o leiaf bod pobl wedi byw yma yn llawer cynharach nag amser y castell. Yn ddiweddar mae Archeolegwyr Ymddiriedolaeth Archeolegol Gwynedd wedi bod yn gweithio’n galed yma, gan gynhyrchu adroddiadau a darluniau dadlennol iawn. Eu prif gamp oedd darganfod y porth i’r hen gastell a thŵr bychan nad oedd neb yn gwybod am ei fodolaeth hyd yn ddiweddar. Castell Carndochan a Llafar Gwlad Castell Carndochan. Gallwn ddyddio’r castell ei hun felly i gyfnod Llywelyn ap Iorwerth mae’n debyg. Amddiffyn ffin ddwyreiniol Gwynedd oedd diben cynharaf y castell mae’n sicr, ond ychydig iawn o’i hanes sydd wedi ei gofnodi. Gwaith aur Tua 1863 fe ddarganfuwyd aur ger Carndochan. “Roedd Thomas Jones Tanycastell yn palu ei ardd a daeth ar draws cerrig pur anghyffredin. Yr oedd Hywel, mab Craig y Tan yn digwydd bod gydag ef ar y pryd. Aeth y bachgen â rhai o’r cerrig gydag ef adref a’u dangos i’w dad. Cymerodd ei dad, Edward Hywel, y cerrig gydag ef i fynydd y Griolen, a chyfarfu â Jonathan Rees, Tanymynydd, Llanfachreth. Wedi profi’r cerrig credai’r ddau bod aur ynddynt.” Mae eironi mawr yn y stori honno gan i Ap Vychan gael plentyndod affwysol o dlawd yn yr union dŷ hwnnw. Mae’n debyg i helynt godi wedyn rhwng Syr Watkin, perchennog y tir a’r Goron am hawliau am y mwynau. Ond llwyddwyd i ddatrys yr helynt a gosodwyd y gwaith ar brydles am ‘royalty’ o 1/12 a thrwydded aur i’r Goron o 1/24. Jeremiah Williams, oedd yr asiant cyntaf a ddaeth yma i redeg y gwaith, ond yng Ngorffennaf 1864 roedd wedi ymddiswyddo. Fe welwch ei fedd ym mynwent Eglwys Llanuwchllyn. Daeth John Parry, a fu yn rhedeg gwaith Figra a’r Clogau yma wedyn. Ffurfiwyd cwmni gyda’r Aelod Seneddol John Bright yn gadeirydd. Gweithiodd y cwmni yn gyntaf trwy gloddio i 28 llath dan y graig a gosod padelli mawr yn cael eu gyrru gan Nant Ty Coch. Roedd y cynnyrch ar y dechrau yn foddhaol iawn gyda’r padelli yn malu tua tunnell yr wythnos i gael rhwng 2 a 6 owns o aur. Gan fod y rhagolygon mor dda aed ati i adeiladu melin fwy yn cael ei gyrru gan olwyn ddŵr fawr gan redeg y dŵr o gryn bellter o Afon Lliw ar hyd ffos y mae ei holion i’w gweld hyd heddiw. Ond erbyn 1866 roedd yr aur yn prinhau ac erbyn Mehefin 1866 rhoddwyd gorchymyn i ddod â’r gwaith i ben. Ym 1873 roedd y gwaith wedi dod i ben yn llwyr gan nad oeddent yn gallu dod o hyd i ddigon o aur i’w gynnal a chyflwynwyd deiseb i ddirwyn y cwmni i ben. Yn 1887 ailddechreuodd y gwaith eto ac erbyn 1889 roedd y gwaith wedi trin 50 tunnell o gerrig i gael 12 owns a hanner o aur. Roedd y gwaith yn dal i redeg hyd 1904-05 pan ddaeth popeth i ben. Darllen pellach Carndochan
Carndochan Carndochan stands in one of the most conspicuous positions in Llanuwchllyn, and has a prominent place in the area’s history. Folklore connects the castle with Rhirid Flaidd and stories are told of the feasting in the castle. It was believed that gold was hidden under the castle and that a thunderstorm would strike if anyone tried to find it. Another tradition tells that Rhirid Flaidd gave Ty Cerrig, a nearby farm, to the family of his harpist for his services. This is very difficult to prove, of course, but one interesting document refers to the place and the reference to the ‘Stone House’ (i.e. Ty Cerrig) could suggest that there is some truth in the story. But what do history and archaeology reveal? The first element of the site’s name ‘Carn’ (i.e. cairn) of course suggests that its history extends much further back than the castle remains we can see today. Maybe the bead discovered close to the castle in June 1923 confirms this, or at least that people have inhabited the site much earlier than the period when the castle was in its heyday. Recently archaeologists from the Gwynedd Archaeological Trust have been working hard here and have produced thorough reports and illustrations. Their main discovery was of the gatehouse to the castle and a small tower that had been hidden for many centuries. The castle itself then dates to Llywelyn ap Iorwerth’s time (1173-1240). This location was chosen as part of the defensive line of castles protecting Gwynedd’s eastern side, but it does not feature in the historical records of the time. The Gold Mine Around 1863 gold was discovered close to Carndochan. “Thomas Jones Tanycastell was digging his garden when he found unusual stones. Hywel, one of the sons of the Craig y Tan family happened to be with him at the time. The boy took some of the stones with him home to show his father. His father, Edward Hywel, took the stones with him up to the mountain and met Jonathan Rees, of Tanymynydd, Llanfachreth. After testing the stones, they both believed that there was gold in them.” The story has a strange irony in the fact that Ap Vychan spent an extremely poor childhood in the house where the gold was found. Tensions then developed, apparently, between Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, the landlord, and the Crown, dim angen comma yma regarding the mineral rights. But the matter was settled when a lease was compiled giving ‘royalty’ of 1/12 to the landlord and a licence to the Crown of 1/24. Jeremiah Williams was the first agent appointed to run the works, but in July 1864, he resigned. His gravestone can be seen in Llanuwchllyn Churchyard. John Parry, who used to work in the Vigra and Clogau mines at Bont-ddu followed him. A company was formed with the MP John Bright as its chair. The company worked on a shaft first, digging 28 yards under the rock and installed large pans that were operated using hydro power from Nant Ty Coch. At first the gold produced was very promising with the pans breaking up around a tonne (pwysau metric yw tonne sef 100 kilogram rwy’n meddwl; ton ydyw tunnell) a week to obtain between 2 and 6 ounces of gold. As the prospects were so promising a larger mill was built, with a large waterwheel and a millrace running quite a distance from Afon Lliw, parts of the millrace, can be seen to this day. But by 1866 the gold was becoming scarce and by June 1866, the order came to cease operations. In 1873 all work ceased, and a petition was presented to wind up the company and all the plant was sold in the following year. In 1887 work re-started here and by 1889 the works had milled 50 tonnes tons of rocks producing 12.5 ounces of gold. Work continued up until 1904-05 when it all finally ceased. Further reading Carndochan
Yr Hen Gapel Bu sawl enw ar y capel trawiadol hwn sy’n eiddo i’r Annibynwyr. Dyma’r capel cyntaf a adeiladwyd gan yr Annibynwyr ym Meirionnydd ym 1746. Rhosyfedwen oedd ei enw ar y dechrau gan mai ar gae Rhosyfedwen y’i codwyd. Fe’i gelwid yn Ebenezer hefyd, ond mae yn ‘Hen Gapel’ ers blynyddoedd maith. Pan ail-adeiladwyd y capel yn 1810 roedd yn cyd-redeg â’r tŷ sydd wrth ei ochr. Ond oherwydd y llwyddiant oedd ar yr achos yma fe ail-adeiladwyd y capel wedyn yn 1871 wrth i’r gynulleidfa gynyddu. Adroddir hanes y lle yn rhagorol yng nghyfrol R T Jenkins ‘Hanes Cynulleidfa’r Hen Gapel’ ac mae’n cyfeirio at y gweinidogion a fu yma, George Lewis, Thomas Roberts ‘Scorpion’ a Michael Jones. Ni fu cyfnod Michael Jones yn un heddychlon iawn gan i’r eglwys rannu, oherwydd dadl ddiwinyddol, yn ddwy garfan, pobl Michael Jones a’r ‘Hen Bobl’. Aeth pethau mor ddrwg fel eu bod wedi mynd i gyfraith i bennu pwy oedd piau’r capel mewn gwirionedd. Mae’r tŷ capel a’r capel ei hun yn adeiladau rhestredig gradd II erbyn hyn. Ond mae’r capel yr un mor enwog am ei fynwent, er nad yw’n fynwent fawr. Yma y cladded Michael Jones, a aeth cyn diwedd ei oes yn Brifathro’r Coleg Annibynnol yn y Bala. Wrth ei ochr hefyd y mae carreg fedd ei fab, Michael D Jones. Daeth Michael D i’r amlwg yn y deffroad a fu i ymladd yn erbyn gormes y meistri tir trwy Gymru, ac ym Mhenllyn yn benodol. Roedd ei fam ymhlith y tyddynwyr a drowyd allan o’u daliadau am beidio â chefnogi’r ymgeisydd Torïaidd yn 1859, ac roedd yn drosedd fwy bod yn fam i Michael D mae’n siŵr. Ond daeth buddugoliaeth fawr i Michael D erbyn 1889 pan gurodd asiant Stad Glan-llyn yn etholiad y Cyngor Sir. Roedd yn arweinydd gwleidyddol o bwys mewn cyfnod pan ail ddeffrowyd yr ymdeimlad o annibyniaeth Gymreig. Ond fe’i cofir yn bennaf am ei weledigaeth o sefydlu Gwladfa Gymreig ym Mhatagonia ac ariannu llawer ar y fenter ei hun oherwydd ei fod wedi sylweddoli na allai diwylliant ac iaith y Cymry oroesi mewn ardaloedd lle’r oedd llu o fewnfudwyr eraill. Wynebodd lu o broblemau cyn i’r fintai gyntaf deithio ar fwrdd y Mimosa i’r Wladfa yng Ngorffennaf 1865. Er bod llu o ddadleuon o blaid ac yn erbyn y syniad o greu Gwladfa mae’r ffaith bod y Gymraeg yn dal yn fyw yno heddiw, yn wahanol i’r holl fannau eraill yr aeth y Cymry iddynt, yn dystiolaeth bod elfen o wirionedd yn nadl Michael D Jones.
Yr Hen Gapel This striking chapel has been given many names over the years. This is the site of the first chapel built by the Independents in Merioneth in 1746. It was named after the field on which it is situated at first, Rhosyfedwen. It was also named Ebenezer, but it has been called Hen Gapel (the Old Chapel) for many years. When the chapel was re-built in 1810 it was aligned with the Chapel House that remains. But due to the success of the cause here, the chapel was re-built again in 1871 as the congregation grew. R T Jenkins in his volume ‘Hanes Cynulleidfa’r Hen Gapel’ records the history of the cause here and several of its prominent ministers, George Lewis, Thomas Roberts ‘Scorpion’ and Michael Jones. Michael Jones’s period as minister became very turbulent as the congregation split in two over a theological argument, an argument that dragged on for years. The matter reached the point when they had to turn to the courts to decide who actually owned the chapel. The Chapel House and the chapel itself are now Grade II listed. The cemetery here is also worthy of note. This is where Michael Jones, who became eventually the Headmaster of the Independents’ College at Bala, was buried. The gravestone next to his denotes the burial place of his son, Michael D Jones. Michael D Jones was a key instigator in the radical awakening to oppose the oppression suffered due to the hold grasp / grip ? of huge landlords throughout Wales, and in this area in particular. His mother was amongst the tenants evicted from their holdings for not supporting the Tory candidate in 1859, and being the mother of Michael D Jones did not help matters. But Michael D experienced a very satisfying victory in 1889 when he stood in the first County Council election for this area and defeated the Glan-llyn Estate’s agent. He was an important political leader in a period when Welsh political identity was re-awakened. But Michael D Jones is mainly remembered for establishing the Welsh colony in Patagonia and funding much of the venture himself. He had realised that the Welsh language and culture could not survive in the midst of many other immigrants, such as was the case in the USA. He faced severe problems before the first emigrants left for Argentina on the Mimosa from Liverpool in July 1865. Although opinions are still divided regarding his vision of establishing the Colony, the fact that the Welsh language still survives there today, in contrast with all the other places Welsh people emigrated to, is proof that there was an element of truth in Michael D Jones’s argument.
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Caer-gai Chwaraeodd Caer-gai ran ganolog yn hanes Llanuwchllyn o gyfnod cynnar iawn. Yma roedd caer y Rhufeiniaid yn yr ardal ac fe welwch ei siâp yn fras hyd heddiw wrth edrych ar y wal sy’n amgylchynu’r lle. Er nad oes fawr iawn o hanes y gaer wedi ei gofnodi fe wnaed nifer o ddarganfyddiadau yma ar hyd y blynyddoedd, gan gynnwys gwaelod allor a charreg fedd, ac os syllwch chi ar furiau’r tŷ ei hun fe welwch rai o’r cerrig coch meddal a ddefnyddiwyd yn y gaer yma ac acw ymhlith y cerrig caletach, lleol. Ni fedrai unrhyw un fod wedi dewis lleoliad gwell i gaer, gan ei bod ar fryncyn ac y gallwch weld y prif lwybrau i gyd oddi yma. Gwnaed cryn waith ar y ffyrdd Rhufeinig oedd yn arwain yma yn ddiweddar, a gellir olrhain y llwybrau tua Chaer i’r dwyrain, Caersws i’r de, Tomen y Mur i’r gogledd a’r Brithdir i’r gorllewin. Ond nid fel caer yn unig y mae hynodrwydd i Gaer-gai. Bu’n gartref i nifer o feirdd ac yn gartref lle’r oedd nawdd i’r beirdd. Un o’r beirdd amlycaf a fu fyw yma oedd Tudur Penllyn yn y bymthegfed ganrif oedd yn borthmon ac yn un o gefnogwyr Harri Tudur yn ei ymgyrch i ennill coron Lloegr. Yna, yn yr ail ganrif ar bymtheg, Rowland Fychan Rowland Fychan. Roedd Rowland yn gyfieithydd hefyd yn ei ddydd ac fe’i cofir hefyd am fod yn Gapten ym myddin y Brenin yn ystod y Rhyfel Cartref. Fe’i carcharwyd am gyfnod yng Nghaer am ei drafferth ac fe losgwyd ei gartref i’r llawr, a thanio’r tân trwy roi menyn dan y grisiau mae’n debyg. Yr hyn a welwn ni heddiw yw’r tŷ newydd a gododd pan ddychwelodd i’w etifeddiaeth ac mae ganddo nifer o benillion ac englynion o’i waith ar y muriau, yn eu plith mae: Llawer caer yn daer i’w dydd – a losgwyd Lesgwaith gwŷr di-grefydd Y gaer hon i gywir rhydd, Caer gain yw Caer gai newydd. A’r pennill sy’n nodweddiadol iawn o Rowland Fychan a’i ddaliadau: Rho glod i bawb yn ddibrin A châr dy frawd cyffredin, Ofna Dduw cans hyn sydd dda, Ac anrhydedda’r brenin. Roedd Caer-gai yn Stad o dir am ganrifoedd ond erbyn y ddeunawfed ganrif, merch, Mary Mainwaring, oedd yr etifeddes a chan nad oedd yn byw yn yr ardal fe werthwyd y Stad gyfan, fel sawl un arall, i Stad Glan- llyn.
Caer-gai Caer-gai has played a central role in the history of Llanuwchllyn throughout the centuries. This is the site of the Romans’ fort in the area, and its rough outline is still reflected in the stone wall that encloses the site. Although very little of the fort’s history has been recorded, a number of archaeological discoveries through the centuries have given an indication of its history, including the base of an altar and a gravestone, and if you look carefully at the stonework of the house, you will find several pieces of red sandstone used in the fort amongst the harder, local stones. It would be difficult to find a better location for a fort, as it is on a spur overlooking the main routes into the area. A great deal of research has been undertaken into the Roman roads in the area recently, and now the routes towards Chester to the north-east, Caersws to the south, Tomen y Mur to the north-west and Brithdir to the west can be traced. But Caer-gai also deserves recognition in other spheres. It was home to several poets and was renowned for the patronage its inhabitants offered to the travelling poets. One of the most prominent poets who lived here was Tudur Penllyn in the fifteenth century who was a cattle drover and a keen supporter of Henry Tudor in his campaign against Richard III; then in the seventeenth century, Rowland Vaughan lived here. Rowland was a translator and a poet, he is also remembered as a Captain in the Royalist army during the English Civil War. He was imprisoned for a period at Chester and his home was burnt to the ground by the Parliamentarians, who lit the fire by setting fire to butter under the staircase, according to local tradition. The house we see today is the house he re-built after the war and many short poems of his can be seen on the red sandstone in the walls: Llawer caer yn daer i’w dydd – a losgwyd Lesgwaith gwŷr di-grefydd Y gaer hon i gywir rhydd, Caer gain yw Caer gai newydd. (Many forts have been burnt, the work of faithless men, this fort is for the true, the new Caer gai is a fine fort) And a verse that conveys his fundamental tenets in life: Rho glod i bawb yn ddibrin A châr dy frawd cyffredin, Ofna Dduw cans hyn sydd dda, Ac anrhydedda’r brenin. (Praise all without exception, and love your common brother, fear God as this is good, and honour the king.) Caer-gai had extensive lands in the area for centuries but by the eighteenth century, Mary Mainwaring was the last surviving heiress, and the estate was sold to the Glan-llyn Estate.
Carndochan Fe ellid dweud mai oherwydd lleoliad amlwg Carndochan yn Llanuwchllyn y mae’n cael lle yr un mor amlwg yn ei hanes. Mewn llên gwerin honnid mai Rhirid Flaidd oedd yn rheoli’r castell a’i fod yn cynnal gwleddoedd gwych yno. Credid bod aur wedi ei guddio dan lawr y castell ac y byddai’n dod yn storm fawr o fellt a tharanau petai unrhyw un yn ceisio cloddio amdano. Mae traddodiad hefyd bod Rhirid Flaidd wedi rhoi daliad Ty Cerrig, Penantlliw i deulu ei delynor am ei wasanaeth iddo. Anodd heddiw yw canfod unrhyw dystiolaeth o hynny, ond mae un ddogfen ddifyr yn sôn am y lle a allai awgrymu trwy’r cyfeiriad at y ‘Stone House’ bod y stori honno yn wir. Ond beth mae hanes ac archeoleg yn ei ddweud am y lle. Yn sicr mae enw’r safle yn awgrymu bod ei hanes yn ymestyn i gyfnod cynharach na’r castell a welir heddiw. Efallai bod y glain hardd a ddarganfuwyd yn agos i’r castell ym Mehefin 1923 yn cadarnhau hynny, neu o leiaf bod pobl wedi byw yma yn llawer cynharach nag amser y castell. Yn ddiweddar mae Archeolegwyr Ymddiriedolaeth Archeolegol Gwynedd wedi bod yn gweithio’n galed yma, gan gynhyrchu adroddiadau a darluniau dadlennol iawn. Eu prif gamp oedd darganfod y porth i’r hen gastell a thŵr bychan nad oedd neb yn gwybod am ei fodolaeth hyd yn ddiweddar. Castell Carndochan a Llafar Gwlad Castell Carndochan. Gallwn ddyddio’r castell ei hun felly i gyfnod Llywelyn ap Iorwerth mae’n debyg. Amddiffyn ffin ddwyreiniol Gwynedd oedd diben cynharaf y castell mae’n sicr, ond ychydig iawn o’i hanes sydd wedi ei gofnodi. Gwaith aur Tua 1863 fe ddarganfuwyd aur ger Carndochan. “Roedd Thomas Jones Tanycastell yn palu ei ardd a daeth ar draws cerrig pur anghyffredin. Yr oedd Hywel, mab Craig y Tan yn digwydd bod gydag ef ar y pryd. Aeth y bachgen â rhai o’r cerrig gydag ef adref a’u dangos i’w dad. Cymerodd ei dad, Edward Hywel, y cerrig gydag ef i fynydd y Griolen, a chyfarfu â Jonathan Rees, Tanymynydd, Llanfachreth. Wedi profi’r cerrig credai’r ddau bod aur ynddynt.” Mae eironi mawr yn y stori honno gan i Ap Vychan gael plentyndod affwysol o dlawd yn yr union dŷ hwnnw. Mae’n debyg i helynt godi wedyn rhwng Syr Watkin, perchennog y tir a’r Goron am hawliau am y mwynau. Ond llwyddwyd i ddatrys yr helynt a gosodwyd y gwaith ar brydles am ‘royalty’ o 1/12 a thrwydded aur i’r Goron o 1/24. Jeremiah Williams, oedd yr asiant cyntaf a ddaeth yma i redeg y gwaith, ond yng Ngorffennaf 1864 roedd wedi ymddiswyddo. Fe welwch ei fedd ym mynwent Eglwys Llanuwchllyn. Daeth John Parry, a fu yn rhedeg gwaith Figra a’r Clogau yma wedyn. Ffurfiwyd cwmni gyda’r Aelod Seneddol John Bright yn gadeirydd. Gweithiodd y cwmni yn gyntaf trwy gloddio i 28 llath dan y graig a gosod padelli mawr yn cael eu gyrru gan Nant Ty Coch. Roedd y cynnyrch ar y dechrau yn foddhaol iawn gyda’r padelli yn malu tua tunnell yr wythnos i gael rhwng 2 a 6 owns o aur. Gan fod y rhagolygon mor dda aed ati i adeiladu melin fwy yn cael ei gyrru gan olwyn ddŵr fawr gan redeg y dŵr o gryn bellter o Afon Lliw ar hyd ffos y mae ei holion i’w gweld hyd heddiw. Ond erbyn 1866 roedd yr aur yn prinhau ac erbyn Mehefin 1866 rhoddwyd gorchymyn i ddod â’r gwaith i ben. Ym 1873 roedd y gwaith wedi dod i ben yn llwyr gan nad oeddent yn gallu dod o hyd i ddigon o aur i’w gynnal a chyflwynwyd deiseb i ddirwyn y cwmni i ben. Yn 1887 ailddechreuodd y gwaith eto ac erbyn 1889 roedd y gwaith wedi trin 50 tunnell o gerrig i gael 12 owns a hanner o aur. Roedd y gwaith yn dal i redeg hyd 1904-05 pan ddaeth popeth i ben. Darllen pellach Carndochan
Carndochan Carndochan stands in one of the most conspicuous positions in Llanuwchllyn, and has a prominent place in the area’s history. Folklore connects the castle with Rhirid Flaidd and stories are told of the feasting in the castle. It was believed that gold was hidden under the castle and that a thunderstorm would strike if anyone tried to find it. Another tradition tells that Rhirid Flaidd gave Ty Cerrig, a nearby farm, to the family of his harpist for his services. This is very difficult to prove, of course, but one interesting document refers to the place and the reference to the ‘Stone House’ (i.e. Ty Cerrig) could suggest that there is some truth in the story. But what do history and archaeology reveal? The first element of the site’s name ‘Carn’ (i.e. cairn) of course suggests that its history extends much further back than the castle remains we can see today. Maybe the bead discovered close to the castle in June 1923 confirms this, or at least that people have inhabited the site much earlier than the period when the castle was in its heyday. Recently archaeologists from the Gwynedd Archaeological Trust have been working hard here and have produced thorough reports and illustrations. Their main discovery was of the gatehouse to the castle and a small tower that had been hidden for many centuries. The castle itself then dates to Llywelyn ap Iorwerth’s time (1173-1240). This location was chosen as part of the defensive line of castles protecting Gwynedd’s eastern side, but it does not feature in the historical records of the time. The Gold Mine Around 1863 gold was discovered close to Carndochan. “Thomas Jones Tanycastell was digging his garden when he found unusual stones. Hywel, one of the sons of the Craig y Tan family happened to be with him at the time. The boy took some of the stones with him home to show his father. His father, Edward Hywel, took the stones with him up to the mountain and met Jonathan Rees, of Tanymynydd, Llanfachreth. After testing the stones, they both believed that there was gold in them.” The story has a strange irony in the fact that Ap Vychan spent an extremely poor childhood in the house where the gold was found. Tensions then developed, apparently, between Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, the landlord, and the Crown, dim angen comma yma regarding the mineral rights. But the matter was settled when a lease was compiled giving ‘royalty’ of 1/12 to the landlord and a licence to the Crown of 1/24. Jeremiah Williams was the first agent appointed to run the works, but in July 1864, he resigned. His gravestone can be seen in Llanuwchllyn Churchyard. John Parry, who used to work in the Vigra and Clogau mines at Bont-ddu followed him. A company was formed with the MP John Bright as its chair. The company worked on a shaft first, digging 28 yards under the rock and installed large pans that were operated using hydro power from Nant Ty Coch. At first the gold produced was very promising with the pans breaking up around a tonne (pwysau metric yw tonne sef 100 kilogram rwy’n meddwl; ton ydyw tunnell) a week to obtain between 2 and 6 ounces of gold. As the prospects were so promising a larger mill was built, with a large waterwheel and a millrace running quite a distance from Afon Lliw, parts of the millrace, can be seen to this day. But by 1866 the gold was becoming scarce and by June 1866, the order came to cease operations. In 1873 all work ceased, and a petition was presented to wind up the company and all the plant was sold in the following year. In 1887 work re-started here and by 1889 the works had milled 50 tonnes tons of rocks producing 12.5 ounces of gold. Work continued up until 1904-05 when it all finally ceased. Further reading Carndochan
Yr Hen Gapel Bu sawl enw ar y capel trawiadol hwn sy’n eiddo i’r Annibynwyr. Dyma’r capel cyntaf a adeiladwyd gan yr Annibynwyr ym Meirionnydd ym 1746. Rhosyfedwen oedd ei enw ar y dechrau gan mai ar gae Rhosyfedwen y’i codwyd. Fe’i gelwid yn Ebenezer hefyd, ond mae yn ‘Hen Gapel’ ers blynyddoedd maith. Pan ail-adeiladwyd y capel yn 1810 roedd yn cyd-redeg â’r tŷ sydd wrth ei ochr. Ond oherwydd y llwyddiant oedd ar yr achos yma fe ail-adeiladwyd y capel wedyn yn 1871 wrth i’r gynulleidfa gynyddu. Adroddir hanes y lle yn rhagorol yng nghyfrol R T Jenkins ‘Hanes Cynulleidfa’r Hen Gapel’ ac mae’n cyfeirio at y gweinidogion a fu yma, George Lewis, Thomas Roberts ‘Scorpion’ a Michael Jones. Ni fu cyfnod Michael Jones yn un heddychlon iawn gan i’r eglwys rannu, oherwydd dadl ddiwinyddol, yn ddwy garfan, pobl Michael Jones a’r ‘Hen Bobl’. Aeth pethau mor ddrwg fel eu bod wedi mynd i gyfraith i bennu pwy oedd piau’r capel mewn gwirionedd. Mae’r tŷ capel a’r capel ei hun yn adeiladau rhestredig gradd II erbyn hyn. Ond mae’r capel yr un mor enwog am ei fynwent, er nad yw’n fynwent fawr. Yma y cladded Michael Jones, a aeth cyn diwedd ei oes yn Brifathro’r Coleg Annibynnol yn y Bala. Wrth ei ochr hefyd y mae carreg fedd ei fab, Michael D Jones. Daeth Michael D i’r amlwg yn y deffroad a fu i ymladd yn erbyn gormes y meistri tir trwy Gymru, ac ym Mhenllyn yn benodol. Roedd ei fam ymhlith y tyddynwyr a drowyd allan o’u daliadau am beidio â chefnogi’r ymgeisydd Torïaidd yn 1859, ac roedd yn drosedd fwy bod yn fam i Michael D mae’n siŵr. Ond daeth buddugoliaeth fawr i Michael D erbyn 1889 pan gurodd asiant Stad Glan-llyn yn etholiad y Cyngor Sir. Roedd yn arweinydd gwleidyddol o bwys mewn cyfnod pan ail ddeffrowyd yr ymdeimlad o annibyniaeth Gymreig. Ond fe’i cofir yn bennaf am ei weledigaeth o sefydlu Gwladfa Gymreig ym Mhatagonia ac ariannu llawer ar y fenter ei hun oherwydd ei fod wedi sylweddoli na allai diwylliant ac iaith y Cymry oroesi mewn ardaloedd lle’r oedd llu o fewnfudwyr eraill. Wynebodd lu o broblemau cyn i’r fintai gyntaf deithio ar fwrdd y Mimosa i’r Wladfa yng Ngorffennaf 1865. Er bod llu o ddadleuon o blaid ac yn erbyn y syniad o greu Gwladfa mae’r ffaith bod y Gymraeg yn dal yn fyw yno heddiw, yn wahanol i’r holl fannau eraill yr aeth y Cymry iddynt, yn dystiolaeth bod elfen o wirionedd yn nadl Michael D Jones.
Yr Hen Gapel This striking chapel has been given many names over the years. This is the site of the first chapel built by the Independents in Merioneth in 1746. It was named after the field on which it is situated at first, Rhosyfedwen. It was also named Ebenezer, but it has been called Hen Gapel (the Old Chapel) for many years. When the chapel was re-built in 1810 it was aligned with the Chapel House that remains. But due to the success of the cause here, the chapel was re-built again in 1871 as the congregation grew. R T Jenkins in his volume ‘Hanes Cynulleidfa’r Hen Gapel’ records the history of the cause here and several of its prominent ministers, George Lewis, Thomas Roberts ‘Scorpion’ and Michael Jones. Michael Jones’s period as minister became very turbulent as the congregation split in two over a theological argument, an argument that dragged on for years. The matter reached the point when they had to turn to the courts to decide who actually owned the chapel. The Chapel House and the chapel itself are now Grade II listed. The cemetery here is also worthy of note. This is where Michael Jones, who became eventually the Headmaster of the Independents’ College at Bala, was buried. The gravestone next to his denotes the burial place of his son, Michael D Jones. Michael D Jones was a key instigator in the radical awakening to oppose the oppression suffered due to the hold grasp / grip ? of huge landlords throughout Wales, and in this area in particular. His mother was amongst the tenants evicted from their holdings for not supporting the Tory candidate in 1859, and being the mother of Michael D Jones did not help matters. But Michael D experienced a very satisfying victory in 1889 when he stood in the first County Council election for this area and defeated the Glan-llyn Estate’s agent. He was an important political leader in a period when Welsh political identity was re-awakened. But Michael D Jones is mainly remembered for establishing the Welsh colony in Patagonia and funding much of the venture himself. He had realised that the Welsh language and culture could not survive in the midst of many other immigrants, such as was the case in the USA. He faced severe problems before the first emigrants left for Argentina on the Mimosa from Liverpool in July 1865. Although opinions are still divided regarding his vision of establishing the Colony, the fact that the Welsh language still survives there today, in contrast with all the other places Welsh people emigrated to, is proof that there was an element of truth in Michael D Jones’s argument.

5. Caer-gai, Hen Gapel

Carndochan

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