"NEWCASTLE, a parish comprising the Higher and Lower hamlets, each of which separately maintains its own poor, in the hundred of NEWCASTLE, county of GLAMORGAN, SOUTH WALES, adjoining the market town cf Bridgend, and containing 890 inhabitants, of which number, 305 are in the Higher, and 585 in the Lower, hamlet.
This parish, which is situated on the western bank of the river Ogmore, near its confluence with the river Ewenny, derives its name from a fortress of later date than that of Oldcastle, on the opposite bank of the Ogmore. By whom these castles were originally built has not been clearly ascertained ; but their origin has been attributed to some of the Norman invaders of this part of the principality, who probably erected them for the protection of the territories of which they had obtained possession.
The Lower hamlet forms part of the market town of Bridgend : the lands in the Higher hamlet are, with the exception of only a small portion, enclosed and cultivated. The scenery is generally pleasing, and from the eminence on which the church is situated is a fine view, including the influx of the Ogmore into the Bristol channel, the castles of Coyty and Ogmore, and the mansion of Coytrehene, higher up the river Ogmore, with its luxuriant groves, forming an assemblage of picturesque objects.
The living is a discharged vicarage, with Bettws, Laleston, and Tythegston annexed, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Llandaf, rated in the king's books at £ 7.7. 3 1/2., endowed with the rectorial tithes of the parish of Bettws, and in the patronage of the King, as Prince of Wales. The church, dedicated to St. Illtyd, is an ancient structure with a tower, and is situated on the declivity of an eminence.
The interest of £20, bequeathed by several individuals, and of which £ 10 is vested in trust with the overseers, is annually distributed among the poor of the parish.
The only remains of the ancient castle are, a gateway remarkable for the elegance of its pointed arch, and the ruins of the wall which enclosed the site ; the area has been converted into a garden: they are the property of the Earl of Dunraven.
The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor of the whole parish amounts to £288. 4., of which sum, £55. 16. is raised on the Higher, and £232. 8. on the Lower, hamlet."