Welsh Journals

Search over 450 titles and 1.2 million pages

A NOTE of St. HARMON CHURCHYARD, which I have received from the Rev. Stedman Davies. The use of the Church as a place of burial is a remarkable fashion, because it was entirely opposed to the customs of most of the other religions, especially that of the Jews. So abhorrent to the Jews was the idea, that the prophet Ezekiel will not let the burial ground of Kings touch the outer walls of the temple courts: but here in Britain the early christians made use of pagan customs. A burial within a circle of earth or stone became a sacred place to the primitive people, their mounds, their huts, their places of meetings were all circular, set apart for some special purpose. So the early Christian, after converting the family or tribe, made use of their favourite circular enclosure to build a Church on it; and at St. Harmon we see one of these spots so converted to Christian use, the Churchyard is circular and on the south-west side it shows the shape of the usual raised bank that encircled it. The Church stands on slightly higher ground, just as the pagans built their tumuli. I am inclined to think that the raised bank encircling the Churchyard has been deprived of its outer half, perhaps to raise the ground inside, and a stone wall has been erected to hold up the bank, for a great portion of the yard has been raised considerably, quite 4% feet of made ground with about 1^ feet of river gravel before reaching the undisturbed bed. On this spot, tradition says, a Yew Tree stood, which had decayed many years ago, remains of it could be discerned in the soil dug up on Aug. 25th, 1934. Around the spot many broken pieces of roof tiles, thrown away when the Church was restored, were found. Below is a List of Surnames of the householders in St. Harmon in the year 1839. Each figure shows the number of householders called by that particular name. Arthur 1 Francis 1 Lewis 10 Powell 5 Lloyd 3 Price 17 Bennet 1 George 2 Pugh 4 Bound 4 Griffiths 2 Mathews 1 Breeze 1 Meredith 6 Ralph 1 Brunt 2 Hamer 4 Middleton 4 Kees 1 Bufton 1 Hughes 2 Mittan 1 Robinson 1 Bywater 1 Humphreys 1 Morgan 4 Slrns 3 Crowther 1 Hope 1 Morris 1 Thomas 4 1 Ingram 4 Oliver 1 Vaughan 1 Davies 12 Jarman 2 Owen 2 Watkms 2 Edwards 1 Jones 23 Pitchford 2 Williams 7 Evans 10 "Jam ss 1 Parry 2 Woosnam 2