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Lampeter is a small market town in the county of Ceredigion in Wales, lying within the Teifi valley. The name Lampeter is a corruption of the Welsh "Llanbedr Pont Steffan" although the settlement was originally known as "Llanbedr Talybont Steffan" which translates as the church of Peter at the end of Stephen's Bridge.

The original St Peter's Church was a small whitewashed building with a square bell tower was sadly demolished in 1822, with only the square stone font being retained. Its replacement did not win favour with the locals and was itself demolished and replaced with a third church in 1870.

Lampeter was probably originally an ecclesiastical settlement until the Norman invasion of Roger of Montgomery in 1093 who built a castle, although nothing remains of this castle as it was destroyed in 1137 by Owain Gwynedd, prince of Gwynedd. There is also the site of Castell Buged, a mile or so outside the town, believed to be named after Hugh Bigod the earl of Norfolk.

Around the castle a small town arose, and in contrast with other similar Norman towns in Wales that of Lampeter was always largely Welsh in character. In 1285 Edward I granted a charter to Rhys ap Maredudd, Lord of Dryslwyn, giving him permission to hold a weekly market in the town, although even by the eighteenth century Lampeter only of a single cobbled street, until it later became an important droving centre.

Much of the town's modern character is derived from the foundation in 1822 of St David's College, originally a theological college, but now known as the The University of Wales, Lampeter (specialising in the humanities and social sciences it is the third oldest university institution in England and Wales); hence although being amongst the smallest towns in the United Kingdom with a population of around 2,000 it is surprisingly cosmopolitan due to the annual influx of students.

Lampeter is home to the Felin-Fach Theatre and a museum and during the summer is host to a number of events, including the Rhys Thomas James Eisteddfod, the Drovers Arts Festival and the local Carnival and Food Festival.

Table of References

  • http://www.gazetteer-wales.co.uk/
  • http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/wal/
  • http://www.aber.ac.uk/dcswww/Telematics/leader_ii/commerce/lampeter/history.html
  • http://www.lampeter.org/menter/

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