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I experienced very good entertainment at the Tregaron Inn, had an excellent supper and a very comfortable bed
Wild Wales by George Borrow

Tregaron is a small market town in the county of Ceredigion in Wales. It lies some seventeen miles south of Aberystwyth, twelve miles north of Lampeter and fifteen miles inland from the coast at Aberaeron in the foothills of the Cambrian Mountains near the source of the river Teifi. A largely Welsh-speaking community, the name Tregaron means the "town of Caron"; although Samuel Lewis records that it was "the burial-place of Caron, a Welsh king", Caron is really a girl's name (derived from the Welsh "cariad" meaning "love").

Tregaron emerged as an important local centre in the early Middle Ages and was granted a Royal Charter in 1292 to hold a fair, "Ffair Garon" (Caron Fair) which is still held today. But it was most prosperous during the nineteenth century when it was staging post for drovers, before they set out on the road that led through the Abergwesyn Pass across the Cambrian Mountains and onward to the markets of England. It was also a important wool spinning and weaving centre whose products were sold across the mining communities of south Wales.

Although some remnants of the wool industry have remained, Tregaron has slowly declined since its heyday and modern Tregaron has a population just 1,000 and has been described as "a typical small Welsh market town feeling the brunt of outward migration" of its "well-educated youth to college or the bright lights of Cardiff". Efforts are being made to develop the town as a tourist centre focusing on the attractions of the largely unspoiilt surrounding countryside.

It is famous as the birthplace of the Welsh Robin Hood, Twm Sion Cati, and of Henry Richard, the Member of Parliament for Merthyr Tydfil and known as the Apostle of Peace who founded the Peace Union and was the first Secretary of the League of Nations. He is commemorated by a statue sculpted by Albert Toft and erected in the Market Square in 1883.

To the north of Tregaron lies Cors Caron or Tregaron Bog, a large area of marshland which is now a National Nature Reserve and home to a variety of wildlife including the rare red kite. Also nearby are the the ruins of Strata Florida, where many of the native Welsh kings and princes were buried.

The Ffair Garon Traditional Country Fair is held every May whilst Tregaron also plays host to the Tregaron Music Festival, Tregaron Carnival, Tregaron Show and the Tregaron Eisteddfod.

Table of References

  • Aid sought to stem migration Tuesday, 21 October, 2003, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/mid/3207326.stm
  • Samuel Lewis's A Topographical Dictionary of Wales 1833 http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/wal/CGN/Tregaron/
  • Holiday And Tourist Information, Tregaron, Ceredigion, West Wales http://e-britain.co.uk/tregaron/

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