St Peter's, Llanybydder
|Carmarthen East and Dinefwr|
Llanybydder, sometimes formerly spelt Llanbydder, is a village and old market town in Carmarthenshire nestled on the south bank of the River Teifi, which here forms the boundary with Cardiganshire. Llanybydder had a population of 1,423 in 2001, almost three quarters of whom are Welsh-speaking according to the census. The nearest town is Lampeter across in Cardiganshire. Nearby too are Llanllwni Mountain (1,339 feet) and Pencarreg Mountain (1,362 feet), mountains to the east and south-east respectively of Llanybydder.
The village's name may be a corruption of 'Llanbedr', the church dedicated to St Peter; or of 'Llanybyddair', the church of the Ambuscade.
There is evidence of an Iron Age settlement on the hill that overlooks the town. Highmead, formerly the country mansion Dolau Mawr, built in 1777, is now a centre of religious studies for Mohammedans.
One of Wales's most important mediæval poets, Lewys Glyn Cothi, is thought to have been born in the parish in c.1420.
Llanybydder gained a connection to the national rail network on the Manchester and Milford Railway in 1867, which was originally part of an ill-fated scheme to link Manchester to the deepwater port at Milford Haven. However, financial pressures led the route to be diverted, and it remained a cross country route, with passenger services running until flooding severely damaged the line south of Aberystwyth in December 1964. The cost of repairs to a little-used rural line was deemed prohibitive, and although a limited service continued running from Carmarthen to Tregaron for another few months this was the era of the Beeching Axe. The line was closed to passengers in February 1965.
Llanybydder is notable for the horse fairs held there on the last Thursday of each month. These attract dealers and buyers from all parts of the United Kingdom and Ireland. The biggest are held in September and October. Of particular interest are the sales of local Welsh cobs.
Dunbia (Dungannon Meats) was the largest business in Llanybydder, an abattoir, providing around 650 jobs. Some 350 migrant workers, mostly Poles but also Slovaks and Czechs, were employed there, and the presence of such a large Polish community has had a significant impact on the rural community. They specialise in Welsh lamb; the business was formerly known as "Oriel Jones" - a family-run business owned by a local farmer.
At one time there were seven bakeries in the village, and at least ten pubs. Only one bakery and three pubs remain. Other businesses include cafés, farmers' co-operatives, a post office, a solicitor's practice, and a hotel in the village square. The National Farmers Union also has a small office in the village.
- Llanybydder and Rhydcymerau Community Council website
- Llanybydder demographics
- Pictures of Llanybydder and the area on Geograph.co.uk
- Morgan, Thomas The Place-Names of Wales (1912) p.111
- History and Traditions of the Neighbourhood of Highmead, Transactions and archaeological record, Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society Vol. 1, No. 3 1913, at Welsh Journals Online, National Library of Wales
- Lewys Glyn Cothi, National Library of Wales
- Short, L.Ploughing the Furrow, Oriel Davis